Veteran Connect

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Job Connect Newsletter

october 10, 2013


In this issue...

United States Navy Celebrates 238 Years

Navy Bday 3

Happy 238th Birthday to the United States Navy.

This Sunday marks the 238th year of our United States Navy. The birth is traced back to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775 by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America. The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work. All together, the Continental Navy numbered some fifty ships over the course of the war, with approximately twenty warships active at its maximum strength.

Today, the U.S. Navy has nearly 500,000 personnel, approximately a quarter of whom are in ready reserve. Of those on active duty, more than 80 percent are enlisted sailors, and around 15 percent are commissioned officers; the rest are midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy and midshipmen of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at more than 180 universities around the country and officer candidates at the Navy's Officer Candidate School.

It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious. - George Washington

Photo courtesy of Steven Munoz - DVOP Ferndale

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VRAP Application Deadline Date Has Arrived


On October 1, 2013, the Departments of Labor and Veterans Affairs stopped accepting applications for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), as the deadline to apply established in the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 has been reached. The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that VRAP has been overwhelmingly successful. More than 142,000 Veterans applied with more than 68,000 unemployed Veterans using the benefit program to date.

Although the application deadline has expired, those veterans who have received a certificate of eligibility (COE) for VRAP who have not yet started or completed their training can continue to use VRAP until March 2014. If you are or know someone who has been issued a COE for VRAP, please encourage them to start their training as there are less than six months left in the program. Let’s not allow any of those 99,000 slots go unused.

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Michigan Eye Specialists Helps Veterans Suffering From TBI

Dr Debby

Many of our military personnel suffer head injuries while on deployment. Exposures to blasts are a leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) among active duty military personnel in war zones. The U.S. Military Casualty Statistics report a total 253,330 TBI cases between January 1, 2000 and August 20, 2012. Undoubtedly, many cases go unreported as mild or misdiagnosed.

Fifteen to 20 percent of TBI patients experience persistent post-concussive symptoms (dizziness, headaches, anxiety, neck pain, reading and concentrating difficulties) which traditionally have proven difficult to treat. Vertical Heterophoria (VH - a form of binocular vision dysfunction) appears to be causative of these symptoms in approximately 50 percent of these patients.

               Dr.Mark Rosner                  Dr. Debby Feinberg

Vertical Heterophoria is an eye condition referring to a small amount of vertical eye misalignment, which the brain corrects by directing the eye muscles to properly reposition the eyes. When focusing on an object, one eye would look slightly higher or lower than the other eye. 

The good news is that nearly half of all TBI patients who experience prolonged post-concussive symptoms can be helped with glasses with prismatic lenses and this treatment with prismatic lenses reduces the post-concussive symptoms by 80 percent.


Dr. Debby and the staff at Vision Specialists of Michigan have developed a very detailed and specialized neurovisual evaluation, which allows for the accurate diagnosis and treatment of Vertical Heterophoria. Using realigning prismatic spectacle lenses, the strain and fatigue within the visual system is reduced or eliminated. Patients notice significant improvement in their symptoms during their first office visit. Improvement continues over the course of several visits as the prismatic prescription is fine-tuned and customized for the individual.

To determine if you or a loved one suffers from Vertical Heterophoria, visit Vision Specialists of Michigan. Compare your symptoms with the extensive list and fill out the specialized questionnaire developed by the researchers at Vision Specialists of Michigan. Dr. Debby will score your answers and contact you if you would benefit from her services. It is a simple yet comprehensive eye exam.

Dr. Debby recently published "If the Walls of My Exam Room Could Talk". This book contains 40 stories about people with TBIs and Vertical Heterophoria (VH) who had persistent post-concussive symptoms; and when their VH was treated with special glasses containing prism lenses, their persistent post-concussive symptoms markedly reduced or resolved. Click here for more details about her book.

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Spotlight on Local Veteran Employment Specialist Calvitta Collins

Profiles of the men and women of the Veterans' Services Division of the state of Michigan's Workforce Development Agency, working every day to help veterans find employment and Michigan employers acquire the talent they need to grow and thrive.

Cal Collins1

I was born in Chicago, Illinois and blessed with a rather large family. I am the oldest of 10 siblings and have 12 aunts and uncles. When I was younger, my parents moved us to Michigan for employment opportunities in the automotive industry. As I got older, I learned that my dad was a former Marine and wanted to follow in his footsteps…all except the Marine part. I joined the Air Force. 

My military career began when I enlisted as a Security Forces member and advanced into a Pass and Registration Clerk. Later I went on to become a Public Health Technician, NCOIC of Health related programs where ultimately I received an “excellent” rating for the management of those programs from Fourth Air Force. After that, I joined the Air National Guard as a Knowledge Information Manager. I had been stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. I am an active member of the Air National Guard, a prior Reservist, and Active Duty member.

I decided to leave the service and to spend more time with my family. So I came home to pursue another degree and to give back by working to help others.

When I learned about the State of Michigan Veterans’ Services Division, becoming part of the team by helping veterans with barriers to employment find jobs was an easy decision for me. I contacted a veteran representative at Mott Community College and the rest is history. Working as a Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist (DVOP) in Wayne, I am able to draw on my prior experience of serving the young adult population in order to reach out to returning veterans who are struggling. I have been providing employment services to youth and adults for nearly four years.
The most rewarding thing about my job is the confidence that a veteran gains in moving forward and overcoming their obstacles after seeking my assistance. It is truly heartwarming and rewarding to receive a phone call or an email saying, “Thank you for helping me. You went above and beyond when you didn’t have to.” This has a positive influence on me and motivates me to continue my mission to help the next veteran.

I will retire in a few short years with my family to an overseas location.

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Tim Gordon 10 Mile Memorial Run and 5K

Tim Gordon Memorial Run

The Army Aviation Association of America Michigan Great Lakes Chapter is proud to announce the first annual, Quad A, Tim Gordon Memorial 10-Miler and 5K, October 27, 2013, at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Grand Ledge, Michigan. The race will kick off at 9:00 am with registration beginning at 7:00 am. This is an opportunity for Soldiers, families, and the community to come together in recognition of Aviation Soldiers and in remembrance of our fallen heroes. In a time when so much has been asked of so few, we have made it our mission to support the soldiers, families, and communities that serve so that they may also experience freedom after service. One way that we feel our organization can partner with the community in this effort is to host this event and spur the positive effects of both social interaction and physical activity.

AAAA Michigan Great Lakes Chapter would like to invite the 3-238th FRG, the ROTC Schools of Michigan and interested soldiers or individuals to either participate in the run, or volunteer to help on race day. FRG please come out and support your soldier! ROTC Cadets and Cadre, What a better way to display your college pride than having a spirited competition with other ROTC programs, either with the number of volunteers or the time earned on the run. At this time we need approximately 50 more volunteers. Volunteers will be divided into teams and placed in accordance to need on race day. Each volunteer will receive a T-shirt and support a great cause. If you would like to volunteer, contact Lee Fuller at

To learn a little more about Tim, read our Facebook post.

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Flyin’ Heroes - Fishing and Connecting with Local Veterans

Flyin' Heroes

Flyin' Heroes is more than casting a line. This program was created by veterans for veterans to share experiences and develop life-lasting relationships, heal wounds and share lives

Veterans enjoy a guided float trip down West Michigan's Pere Marquette River, Muskegon River, or the White River. All veterans will learn the basic techniques of fly and spinner fishing for trout and other species. Fishing will be from within a drift boat, on a riverbank, or physically wading into the river depending on the comfort level of each participant. The trip typically lasts from four to six hours and includes lunch provided by Flyin’ Heroes. All necessary fishing tackle, rods, and waders is also be provided by Flyin’ Heroes. Fishing trips begin in the early spring and go until weather no longer comfortably allows. Flyin' Heroes run about 20 trips per season. The events are free to all U.S. military veterans.
The program focuses on enriching lives through a therapeutic recreational opportunity that encourages the development of life skills through achievable results, teamwork, and positive attitude.

Visit their website to learn more and 'like' them on Facebook to stay connected.

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Wayne County Community College District’s Job Fair 2013

WCCCD Job Fair

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Wayne County Community College District
Northwest Campus
Denise Wellons-Glover Welcome Center
8200 W. Outer Drive • Detroit, MI 48219

This event is open to the public at no cost. Dress for success and be prepared to meet with representatives to explore available employment opportunities.

Workforce Development Agency (WDA) will be on site to provide access to on-line resources.

For more information, please contact WCCCD Career Planning & Placement Offices at: 313-943-4076

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Aramark Correctional Services is Hiring Food Service Workers


Aramark is hiring food service associates and food service supervisors. They are enthusiastically seeking hard working veterans for the four correctional facilities in Ionia as well as the correctional facility in Carson City.

Veterans interested in pursuing this opportunity can attend a job fair being held on Monday and Tuesday – October 14 and 15 from 8 AM to 5 PM at the Michigan Works, 307 W. Adams St. Ionia, MI 48846.

ARAMARK Correctional Services (ACS) provides a wide range of food, facility and other customized support solutions to more than 600 correctional facilities across North America. ACS prepares over 1,000,000 meals a day for state and municipal facilities, partnering with clients to meet the unique challenges of the corrections environment.

They offer a competitive starting hourly pay rate and paid holidays, as well as health insurance plans and vacation time (for full time employees).

You can also apply on-line at

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Links and Items of Interest

  • Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN) programs are dedicated to military mental health and include innovative approaches to outreach, overcoming stigma, and the design and delivery of programs for military families. A wealth of valuable information on this site.
  • Wondering how the Affordable Care Act will affect you and your family? Join Clinton Davis from OLHSA (Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency) at Troy Michigan Works for an information session regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace.  Friday, October 11, 2013 at 1 pm Monday, October 21, 2013 at 10 am.  Register for this session here
  • College Reality Check is an interesting source of comparison information that could be useful for selecting colleges in the US.  It is a search engine that one can search by State, zip code, cost, graduation rates, etc.
  • If you are a veteran or service-disabled veteran, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has resources to help you start and grow your small business. From creating a business plan to finding your first customer, they want you to succeed.
  • Operation Vet Connection 2013 - five job fairs in five cities over five days.  Download the event flyer. If you are a business or know of a business interested in hiring vets the registration form can be accessed here or you can fill out a form online here - all the fields must be filled in before submitting. October 31 is the deadline to register as an employer.
  • Pure Michigan Talent Connect – a collaborative effort of the State of Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) - is your launch pad for new jobs, careers and talent. It is an online marketplace connecting Michigan’s job seekers and employers.

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Connect With Michigan Veterans' Services Division and Other Vets

Thank you for your service to this great country. Are you part of Michigan Veterans' Services Division Facebook Family?

Check it out and become an active member by clicking 'like'. ------------->>

Popular Facebook Post of the Week - Check it out!

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