Soldier’s Angels Marks the 15th Anniversary with a National Fund Raising Event

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15 Years Of Support Be Part of the Celebration

2018 marks the 15th Anniversary of Soldiers’ Angels. To commemorate this milestone, we are hosting an anniversary celebration in San Antonio, Texas on Friday, October 26, 2018— otherwise known as?Day of the Deployed.

Volunteers, sponsors, donors, military service members, veterans, wounded heroes, military families and civilians will come together to show their support for deployed service members and veterans of all eras by packing 15,000 care items in 15 hours: 5,000 Care Packages for Deployed, 5,000 Hygiene Kits for Veterans at VA Hospitals, and 5,000 Box Lunches for homeless veterans and for VA Caseworkers to hand out to veteran patients who may not know where their next meal is coming from.

Join us virtually for this one-of-a-kind opportunity by helping us collect the necessary funding and in-kind items needed to complete our goal. Click the buttons below each thermometer to donate cash or shop for items that will be shipped directly to us for the packing event.

Click Here to Donate, Participate or Sponsor

Soldiers’ Angels Provides Hunger Relief for Charleston-Area Veterans

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National military and veteran charity partners with the Lowcountry Food Bank and the Ralph Johnson VA Medical Center to provide food assistance to low-income Charleston-area veterans and their families at Mobile Food Distribution event.

Charleston, South Carolina (April 10, 2018) – The Soldiers’ Angels Hunger Relief Program will host its monthly Veteran Mobile Food Distribution this Friday, April 13 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at the Ralph Johnson VA Medical Center, 109 Bee Street in Charleston. This event provides food assistance to more than 200 low-income, at-risk, and homeless veterans in the Charleston area in partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank and the Ralph Johnson VAMC.

“Registration for this event fills quickly, which shows us there are veterans here in Charleston who need our continued support,” said Amy Palmer, President and CEO of Soldiers’ Angels. “These families have sacrificed so much in service to our country, and many of them rely on this program in order to keep food on their table for the entire month. This is a small token of appreciation for all they have sacrificed for our freedoms, and a way we can come together and say, ‘thank you for your service.'”
“Charleston County is home to more than 29,000 veterans, and almost 2,500 live below the poverty level,” said Charleston VA Chief of Community Engagement and Veteran Experience, Edmund “Fred” Lesinski. “Hunger is a serious problem in this community, and we’re proud to support Soldiers’ Angels with Mobile Food Distributions?at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center?that get food right to our veterans who need it.”

The Hunger Relief Program is designed to provide monthly supplemental food assistance with up to 50 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and non-perishables. The Mobile Food Distribution is set up drive-through style so the veterans, many of whom have injuries, don’t have to get out of their cars. Those who don’t have cars walk through with a volunteer and load their groceries in a cart or wagon.

Soldiers’ Angels Hunger Relief Program is a nationwide initiative that started in September 2015 at the Soldiers’ Angels headquarters in San Antonio, Texas. The monthly program continued in San Antonio and has expanded to other cities with high veteran populations across the country, including Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; and Detroit, Michigan.

If you are interested in becoming a part of this monthly event in Charleston, Soldiers’ Angels is always looking for volunteers and sponsors to help continue the Hunger Relief Program. This is an amazing volunteer opportunity for anyone interested in giving back to Charleston’s military heroes. Contact Soldiers’ Angels at (210) 629-0020 to learn more about supporting this program. Also, visit SoldiersAngels.org to learn about many other programs and services Soldiers’ Angels provides for active duty service members, wounded heroes, veterans, and their families.

Learn more about how this event impacts local veterans with this video clip.

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About Soldiers’ Angels: Soldiers’ Angels is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, their families, and the growing veteran population. Founded in 2003 by the mother of two American soldiers, hundreds of thousands of Soldiers’ Angels “Angel” volunteers assist veterans, wounded and deployed personnel and their families in a variety of unique and effective ways. (Tax ID# 20-058-3415). Headquarters address is 2700 NE Loop 410, Suite 310 San Antonio, TX 78217. Learn more at www.soldiersangels.org.

About The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center:?Located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is a tertiary care teaching hospital providing the highest level quality care from cardiology to neurology to primary and mental health care for 70,000 Veterans along the South Carolina and Georgia coast. The Ralph H. Johnson VA achieved a 5-Star rating according to VA’s Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning Value (SAIL) model. The SAIL rating ranks the Charleston VA in the top 10 percent of VA medical centers nationwide for quality of care and efficiency. The Charleston VA is also ranked in the top 10th?percentile according to the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). HEDIS is an independent review that measures performance of 90 percent of America’s health plans and facilities in both the public and private sector on dimensions of care and service. The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is the first VA National Tele-Mental Health Hub providing care for Veterans across the U.S. The 149-bed hospital includes six community based outpatient clinics, a 20-bed nursing home, women’s health, and the full range of inpatient and outpatient care, including medical and surgical intensive care. The VAMC provides more than 875,000 outpatient visits and approximately 4,400 inpatient stays annually. With more than 2,500 employees, Charleston VA has an annual budget of $458 million, research funding of more than $21 million, and more than 100 principle investigators participating in approximately 300 research studies. For more information, visit?www.charleston.va.gov.

On-site Contact: PJ Norlander
Mobile Food Distribution Coordinator
Direct: 469-247-3437
Email: pnorlander@soldiersangels.org

SC Works Trident Partners Trident Technical College on Incarcerated Veteran Re-Entry Program

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PROGRAM’S FIRST GRADUATES RELEASED AND EMPLOYED

CHARLESTON, S.C. (MARCH 20, 2018) — An incarcerated veteran’s transition back into society is often long and arduous. A new re-entry program at MacDougall Correctional Institution, led by SC Works Trident career counselor Scott Cook, helps participants re-enter into society with a purpose, education, training and a job.

SC Works Trident is partnering with Trident Technical College on its $250,000 Veterans’ Education and Transition Support (VETS) Re-entry grant project, designed to provide training and supportive services to 48 participants. Of the first nine released graduates who completed training last December, six obtained construction-related full-time jobs.

Cook, the grant’s program coordinator, works with veterans incarcerated for nonviolent crimes who are 180 days or fewer from release

SC Works Trident Scott Cook

and attend training classes four times a week for approximately sixteen weeks.

“It’s an opportunity to truly turn things around for these guys,” Cook said. “Most students surrender good time credit for early release so they can join the program and gain the skills needed for a stable re-entry into society.”

The classroom in the MacDougall GED Center looks like most any other. Open textbooks, highlighted notes and a slideshow on carpentry skills displays at the front. Cook guides students as they receive hands-on training and works with each individual to set them up for a successful future.

The success of the program’s job placement is attributable largely in part to Cook’s follow-ups once enrollees are released. Cook checks in periodically to ensure graduates are happily employed and to see if they need any assistance.

“Staying in touch and sustaining the momentum are incredibly important. We’re not going to send anyone out there without proper support,” Cook said. “For instance, two of my Summerville students needed housing assistance, so we secured spots at the Fresh Start halfway house, which also provides them with transportation to and from work.”

The strength of the innovative program lies in its collaborative structure, with Cook providing overall coordination of project activities. MacDougall Correctional Institution offers a specialized veterans housing unit and a wealth of supportive services. Trident Technical College provides construction industry job training and grant management.

Non-profit partners, including Military Community Connection, Palmetto Warrior Connection, Goodwill, and the VA Medical Center, provide critical supportive services, including soft skills and work readiness training, professional development seminars, housing support, health and wellness activities, and connections to community support.

For more information, contact Scott Cook at (843) 574-1835 or email scook@eckerd.org.

About SC Works Trident

SC Works Trident helps individuals find their dream career at any age and any stage of their lives, and includes one-stop centers in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. SC Works Trident offers a variety of services to help employers and job seekers meet their workforce development needs, such as skills assessment testing and on-the-job training programs. For the latest on SC Works, visit tridentscworks.org and like us on Facebook.

Show Your Patriotism Charleston: The 2017 National Care Letter Campaign To Honor Service Members and Veterans Is In Full Swing

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Help Us Honor Veterans and Deployed Service Men and Women this Holiday Season?by Sharing a Card or Letter in Appreciation of their Service and Sacrifices.?

CARE LETTERS WILL BE ACCEPTED THROUGH 18 DECEMBER 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 2017 marks the seventh year that America’s Adopt A Soldier ? will reach out to America to ask for cards of thanks to share with our nation’s Service Members who are deployed and Veterans who are in State Veterans Homes and Hospitals.

According to Mary Keeser, America’s Adopt A Soldier? Founder, “In 2016, over 120,000 care letters, were shared. This year, the goal is to reach over 300,000, which would allow us to send at least four letters to every Veteran in a Veterans Home or Veterans Hospital as well as to our deployed Service Members.”

Mary adds, “The cards and letters we receive are drawn or written by a diverse group of individuals, from 3 years-old to the over 100 years- old. From kitchen tables to classrooms, to businesses, to college dorms to faith-based establishments, the pens, pencils, crayons and pieces of paper used to create messages of hope, appreciation, unity and support will have a positive impact. The letters of care are truly the caring pulse of America towards our Service men and women.”

To participate in the 2017 National Care Letter Campaign, mail your personal written and designed letter or greeting card to America’s Adopt A Soldier, 5400 Shawnee Rd. Ste #300, Alexandria, Va. 22312.

For more information visit: www.americasadoptasoldier.org or call 703-278-3718.

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America’s Adopt A Soldier ?
5400 Shawnee Road, Suite 300 Springfield VA 22312

“Making a Difference in the Lives of Our Service Members, Veterans, and their Families”
Certified 501c3

www.americasadoptasoldier.org

America’s Adopt A Soldier ? Media Contact:
Mary Keeser, mary.keeser@americasadoptasoldier.org,?703-278-3718

Helping a Hero has Awarded Over 100 Homes in 22 States – Read the Touching Story of MSgt Rhyner from Raleigh, NC

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Helping A Hero Has Awarded Over 100 Homes In 22 States

RALEIGH, N.C. (May 30, 2017) – Helping A Hero, a 501(c)(3) non-profit non-partisan organization, presented a specially adapted home to wounded hero MSgt Zac Rhyner. A decorated veteran, MSgt Rhyner, USAF has been presented: three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and the Air Force Cross as only the 192nd airman in the history of America to receive this rare and coveted award. This award is the highest honor the Air Force bestows upon an airman, given to those who show exemplary valor and second only to the Medal of Honor. After receiving this honor, MSgt Rhyner deployed for the sixth time to Afghanistan where he was further wounded and forced to retire due to a severe leg injury. He now only has 5% use of his leg and hip. MSgt Rhyner and his caretaker and wife, Jillian, will enjoy this new home with their two sons.

Having awarded over 100 homes in 22 states for veterans wounded in the war on terror, Helping A Hero designed a beautiful 4 bedroom, 3 bath home in a Holly Springs subdivision with special adaptations to make MSgt Rhyner’s day to day life easier. The Today Show covered the emotional story and aired it celebration of Memorial Day, Monday, May 29. Watch it here: LINK.

Learn more about the Helping A Hero Wounded Hero Home Program at HelpingAHero.org. To make a difference in lives of heroes like MSgt Zac Rhyner, visit HelpingAHero.org/Donate. Follow us on Twitter @HelpingAHero and “Like” us on Facebook, facebook.com/HelpingAHero. Spread the positive word using the hashtag #EmpowerHeroes.

ABOUT HELPING A HERO:

Founded in 2006, Helping A Hero provides support for military personnel severely injured in the war on terror by providing specially adapted homes for qualifying service members through partnerships made with the builders, developers, communities, and the wounded warriors. Helping A Hero strives to engage the community in providing services and resources for our wounded heroes and their families. Additionally, the nonprofit organization provides additional support programs such as marriage retreats, caregiver retreats, recreational activities, emotional support, and financial support.

Through the generosity of patriots across the nation, Helping A Hero has awarded over 100 homes in 22 states since 2006. These adapted homes promote a successful transition from military to civilian life and allow wounded veterans to regain some of their lost independence. Helping A Hero adapted homes are not free. The homes are typically valued around $250,000 and the veterans have a minimum $50,000 mortgage. In addition, the veteran commits to reside in the home for at least 10 years as his/her primary residence. More information on Helping A Hero can be found at www.helpingahero.org.

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@HelpingaHero awards specially adapted home to wounded hero. Watch @TODAYshow j.mp/HAH_Rhyner

Veteran’s Day 2016 – Thank you for your proud dedication and sacrifice

“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid”? – Colonel David Hackworth

Today is a day of reflection and love for hundreds of thousands who have served or waited for their loved ones to return home from domestic and foreign lands.

It is a day we all experience in a different way. For some it is filled with sadness of the loss of a loved one or happiness because of the sacrifices made to preserve freedom throughout the world.

Whether you reflect on this day in silence or cheer, take a moment to remember. Remember the honor, dedication, sacrifice and commitment.

As a history major in my undergraduate days, I had the honor of studying under some of the most knowledgeable academic minds on the topic of history of the United States and foreign nations. I have taken that knowledge with me as I continue to see the world around me.

Each day, I wear the military dog tags of my father. He is still healthy and vibrant and I value every moment I spend with him; but I display it with pride for the dedication and commitment he gave to his family and his country. I may not have been born at the time or even a thought in his mind but I know somewhere in Europe, he thought about his future and now that future is the present and I am a very important part of it.

 

When I think of Tim and Necia and their three children, I cannot get sentimental at the story of their love. Two Air Force specialists who met in basic training, fought for the lives of others thousands of miles away and found their way into each others arms amid bloodshed and tears years later. Now as I see the unconditional love they provide to their children, I can only smile and embrace how I am fortunate to have them in my life as well.

To Dad, Necia, Tim and all those that have affected our lives and protected our freedoms, thank you. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and my life.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Most Patriotic State in the United States – South Carolina

Annually Movoto Real Estate Blog compiles a list of the most patriotic states based on a number of criteria:

  • Number of National Historic Landmarks per capita
  • Veterans per capita
  • Amount of money spent to fund Veterans programs and needs
  • Percentage of eligible voters that voted in the last national election
  • People that Google / Search for American Flags
  • People/Residents that list America as an interest on Facebook

This diversified set of criteria and our ability to compile analytics with so much available public data allowed for this ranking to be compiled.? When the numbers were tallied and averaged, the number one most patriotic state in the United States was our home, South Carolina.

We are very proud to lead the country in level of patriotism and pride in our nation.? Thank you from coast to inland to all the residents that proudly display the flag and hold America close to their hearts.

Complete Top Ten List

  1. South Carolina
  2. Maine
  3. North Carolina
  4. Wyoming
  5. Virginia
  6. Florida
  7. Georgia
  8. Alaska
  9. Alabama
  10. Arizona

Charleston Honors our Heroes on Veterans Day with Great Deals to say Thank You

“The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.” – Judd Gregg

Veterans Day is a day of reflection; a day we honor those that have given the ultimate gift of generosity by protecting our freedoms.? It is a day of conversation to share stories of honor, strength and bravery.? It is a day to just say thank you to those that have worn the uniform of courage.

In Charleston, the importance of our military in preparation, defense and homestead is so important to our culture that it is no surprise that the community has banded together to offer some wonderful opportunities to our active military and veterans as a way of saying a humbled and respectful thank you.

  • South Carolina Aquarium – On November 11, retired and active duty military personnel will receive free admission to the Aquarium.? Their dependents will receive half-price admission. Valid military ID cards are required for military personnel and their dependents.
  • Patriots Point –? FREE admission to all veterans on Wednesday, November 11.
  • Fort Moultrie – FREE admission for all on Veterans Day.? Bring the whole family.
  • Magnolia Plantation and Gardens – FREE general garden admission for All Veterans as well as?Active Duty Military as their spouses and dependents.
  • Great Clips – FREE haircuts for Veterans on November 11.
  • Golden Corral – FREE Dinner for Veterans from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM on November 11.
  • Outback Steakhouse – Active and retired military members will get a free Bloomin’ Onion and beverage by showing military ID on November 11. Also, they, and their families, get 15% off their bill from November 12 to December 31.
  • Applebee’s – Veterans and active duty military, show proof of service and get a free meal?November 11. Drink not included.
  • IHOP – Free Red, White and Blue pancakes (glazed strawberries, blueberry compote and whipped cream) to veterans and active duty military on November 11, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wild Wing Cafe – Veterans eat free all day on November 11.? Any awesome salad, wild wrap, beefy burger or chicken sandwich.
  • Olive Garden – On November 11, veterans and active duty military get a free entrée from this list: cheese ravioli, spaghetti with meat sauce, lasagna, chicken parmigiana, garlic rosemary chicken, and unlimited soup, salad and bread sticks. Family members dining with the veteran or military member get 10% off their meals.
  • Hooters – All veterans and active duty military get a free entrée on November 11.
  • Little Caesar’s – Veterans and active duty military members receive a free $5 lunch combo, which includes four slices of deep dish pizza, and a 20-ounce Pepsi product on November 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Cracker Barrel – Veterans will receive a complimentary Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake dessert on November 11, and other guests can help support troops transitioning back to civilian life by purchasing the dessert or select items from the Old Country Store. 10% of the sales price of those items will be donated to the USO Transition 360 Alliance.
  • O’Charley’s – Free $9.99 meal to veterans on Monday, November 9. Free pie to veterans on Wednesday, November 11.
  • Bonefish Grill – Active and retired service members with valid military ID get free Bang Bang Shrimp on November 11.
  • Starbucks – Free tall brewed coffee for active duty service members, veterans and military spouses on November 11.
  • Ruby Tuesday – Veterans, active military and reserve get a free appetizer November 11.