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For those of you in the market for a car, check out our new benefit from Avis and Budget – pre-owned cars! Fans of public radio may know the “Car Talk” guys, Tom and Ray – they’re big fans of pre-owned cars from rental car companies.

As they said in a recent column (click here to download the full article):

  • “Rental-car companies sell relatively new cars, and they maintain them pretty well. After all, if anything’s broken, it has to be fixed before the next customer rents it.”
  • “And because the cars are pretty new, you often have years of warranty coverage left.”
  • It is a great savings option for families on a budget, or looking to buy a young driver their first car.

For all of these reasons, a pre-owned car from Avis and Budget is the way to go. Plus, you are recognized for your service to our country with a $750 discount on the purchase of a very well-maintained vehicle because you are a Veterans Advantage member.

Enjoy the ride.

As part of our ongoing coverage of student discounts – students across America are gearing up to go back to school. Veterans Advantage offers a great travel package for them, including discounts on Greyhound Bus and United Airlines.

And keep in mind that when you enroll your children in a family membership and they’re traveling more than 100 miles from home (like my three traveling to college), you are covered with $50,000 of Emergency MEDEVAC insurance, as part of our Prepaid Benefits Plan. Be sure to get this coverage so you can have some peace of mind when the kids are going back to school!

Speaking of student discounts, Coleman honors America’s Veterans with 30% OFF a wide variety of top quality products, including coolers, airbeds, and backpacks, perfect for any dorm.

Finally, for you Social Media fans, thanks to Coleman for its recent support of Veterans Advantage on Facebook.

For those of you looking to enjoy travel to California, our partner Wyndham has just announced the opening of the Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove. This is part of our Veterans Advantage hotel discount benefits with Wyndham, where members save up to 20% every day.

This location is perfect for business and leisure. It is within walking distance of the Anaheim Convention Center and easy reach of the Disneyland Resort. The rooms are adorned with upscale amenities, including an ergonomic work station with a Herman Miller chair, a refrigerator and a flat-screen LCD TV.
If you have not traveled to Southern California yet, let our Veterans Advantage discount persuade you to plan a trip soon.

The local attractions are endless and include:

  • Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, and Disney’s California Adventure Park for the family.
  • The Outlets and Orange and South Coast Plaza for shoppers
  • Angel Stadium of Anaheim and Honda Center for sports & entertainment fans
  • Within proximity of three major airports.

Finally, you can easily get to Southern California with Veterans Advantage exclusive travel providers United Airlines (5% OFF), Amtrak (15% OFF), and Greyhound (20% OFF).

For more great travel destination savings, click on over here for more on Veterans Advantage hotel discounts that recognize your military service.

It’s August, and our Veteran and Military family members are starting to think about back to school shopping. Check out our ideas for your best back to school savings in today’s newsletter, which highlight our major discounts from Apple, Greyhound, Verizon Wireless and CVS/pharmacy.

Incidentally, we got word from fellow members that CVS recently put out a mailing thanking its top 1% savers. Many Veterans Advantage members were happy to report that they got this great news as our Veterans Advantage 20% OFF CVS discount has helped drive a lot of those savings.

CVS offers such a wide array of products in its stores which qualify for Veterans Advantage discounts. For instance, have you ever shopped CVS for printing supplies? You should! Lin, who also received the “Top 1% Savers” mailing, did a product comparison on print cartridges with a recent combinable sale with our CVS discount (click to view) and found it beat Amazon.com (click to view).

Speaking of families, Lux Gurusamy, an Army Veteran of Kosovo, Iraq & Afghanistan – just wrote us: “I have a four year old daughter so the shopping for baby items and other things at CVS made a huge difference when I used both CVS discount and the Veterans Advantage discount. All in all, I am extremely happy that I use Veterans Advantage.” Lux is also pocketing a lot of his savings to enjoy other Veterans Advantage benefits, most recently theme park discounts at Six Flags.

As we near the unofficial halfway point of the summer, we wanted to offer you this timely reminder about a popular benefit category that is a must for many Military and Veteran families this time of year: Hotels & Resorts.

Browse our website and you will discover that this section lets you comparison shop for discounts across popular hotel categories: Resorts, boutiques, business, value, and extended stay hotels. You will find nearly 30 brand names that can be booked with a Veterans Advantage discount, while our search engine from Veterans Advantage Travel lets you book at low prices with other brand names outside of our discount benefits.

And, as with all the Veterans Advantage travel benefits, you are covered with our travel emergency benefits through our Prepaid Benefits Plan – comprehensive coverage, including $50,000 of Global MEDEVAC, any time you travel more than 100 miles from home.

With summer travel in full swing, now is the time to shop for a great hotel and save with a great price. If you are not yet a member, enroll today and find out how you can save.

We hope you enjoy this week’s TopRank. We first profiled Vice Chief of Naval Operations Michelle Howard after her nomination earlier this year, and this month’s development makes it official – the Navy has promoted its first four-star female in its 238-year history.

The woman who made it to the President’s box for the 2014 State of the Union address has certainly captured the attention of the military by her historical significance. As Defense Chief Chuck Hagel noted in a special blog post on women in the military, “When asked about the women who joined the Women’s Army Corps during World War II, General Douglas MacArthur called them ‘my best soldiers,’ he said.”

“We’ve come a long way toward giving women a truly equal opportunity to serve in uniform and throughout DoD – and we’ve still got a lot more work ahead of us,” Hagel added.

Meanwhile, speaking of other military ceremonies, our followers on Facebook got the breaking news earlier this week that President Obama is about to award the Medal of Honor to the ninth living recipient to have served in OIF or OEF. We salute Ryan Pitts, and thank him for his extraordinary service to our country.

Scott with Donna and John Pinto at the GateScott with Donna De Varona (center) and John Pinto (right) at the Gate

With all eyes on Rio this weekend for the World Cup Final, a faceoff between Germany and Argentina, I’m reminded of a recent trip to Berlin.

It’s hard to believe that 25 years have passed since the historic fall of the wall along Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, marking the end of the Cold War and the beginning of democratic governments replacing communist rule. While standing only yards from the Gate, I reflected on the enormous contributions our military have made in defending this region of the world.

Millions in our military served our country during the Cold War. Since we were not officially “at war” as a nation, however, there are some who don’t consider these servicemembers “real” Veterans, including some of the Veterans themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Their efforts were vital in securing the peace, especially during those uncertain years after World War II and Korea, and before Vietnam. They wore the uniform of the United States, and served honorably. They are Veterans, just as those who served during wartime and they are entitled to the same benefits, including membership in Veterans Advantage. We owe them a great debt of gratitude.

I also had the honor of meeting our American Ambassador to Germany, John Emerson, his lovely spouse, Kimberly and two of his three daughters. He hosted a wonderful dinner at the residence, and – keeping in the spirit of sport — we were joined by German athletic great, Katarina Witt, a two-time Olympic Figure Skating champ. Other Guests of Honor included Veterans Advantage Advisory Board Member Donna De Varona, herself a two-time Olympic champion, and her spouse John Pinto, a U.S. Army National Guard Veteran. The next day, Ambassador Emerson gave us a tour of the American Embassy, a remarkable building next to the Brandenburg Gate, completed in 2008.

Group Dinner PhotoAmbassador Emerson, second from left, and other guests including, Katarina Witt (center, with Scott Higgins, right)

Finally, if you are a fan of soccer – or Futbol, as the rest of the world calls it – tune in Sunday at 3pm Eastern for the World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina. Germany’s historic 7-1 thrashing of Brazil was amazing to watch, and no doubt will be the talk of this upcoming match.

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