Recently the 2015 Medal of Honor Convention kicked off in Boston. My spouse, Lin Higgins, who is our Chief Operating Officer at Veterans Advantage, and I were fortunate enough to attend this year’s convention with Paul W. Bucha, our board member and Medal of Honor recipient. We met many incredible individuals whose courage and selflessness earned them our nation's highest military award.
This year's convention coincided with another important date: September 18, which was National POW/MIA Recognition Day. As we recognized some of the U.S. Military's most heroic members at the convention, we were also called to remember those whose heroism may never be recognized.
You can expect updated coverage of our time at the Medal of Honor Convention in the coming week on my blog.
And be sure to check out our VetFamily feature on Michael Strahan, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and host of the morning show LIVE with Kelly and Michael. Take on your morning routine by stocking up on breakfast items at your local CVS/pharmacy. Shop for cereal, milk, juice and other family favorites and use your 20% off coupons to stock up and save, available online in Members Only.
This September, Veterans Advantage will be traveling to Boston to mingle with some of our nation’s most distinguished heroes. One of these individuals is Capt. Thomas Kelley, who we’ve highlighted in our cover story this month.
This cover story is very close to our hearts. Our own Paul “Bud” Bucha – who works on Veterans Advantage’s advisory board – is a Medal of Honor recipient, and we’re awed by the incredible bravery and humility Bucha, Kelley and all Medal of Honor recipients exhibit.
We appreciate Kelley’s willingness to share his experience and his thoughts on the upcoming Medal of Honor Convention in Boston. His humility and sense of service remind us to give back to our veterans every day.
Longtime Veterans Advantage partner United Airlines hosted us recently for a stirring speech by its CEO, Jeff Smisek at the Wings Club, the prominent NYC-based aviation industry organization.
It was a packed house. Jeff was surrounded by a terrific team representing United. As you know, United honors Veterans Advantage members with an exclusive discount of up to 5% every day. The company has a long history of strongly supporting those who serve. Through its pre-merger partner Continental Airlines, our partnership has been in place every day since 2004.
Smisek’s speech grabbed the attention of the several hundred industry executives attending the lunch. He was passionate in his defense of preserving American jobs in the face of unfair overseas competition from Gulf carriers.
Jeff took time out to chat with our Veterans Advantage Team. Our Vice President of Marketing, Roy Asfar expressed how very appreciative we are of our longstanding partnership that delivers tremendous travel benefits to military veterans and family members who are members of Veterans Advantage. In return, Jeff let Roy know that United is also deeply appreciative of what Veterans Advantage does to serve you. Thank you Jeff, and thank you United!
Lin and I are so sad to hear the news of Pat Gualtieri's passing. For many years, Pat served on the United War Veterans Council and as a spokesperson for veterans of New York City and the metropolitan area. Pat was the recipient of the "HeroVet" Award from Veterans Advantage. Having served his country, he went on to make significant and important contributions to our society as a whole.
A fellow Vietnam Veteran, Pat was a great leader and he poured out his heart and soul for all who served and their families. It wasn't that long ago that the NYC Veterans Day Parade was a poorly attended event, with marchers often stopping for traffic lights on Fifth Avenue. Through Pat's hard work and vision, the NYC Parade has been transformed into America's largest Veterans Day Parade. Americans across the country also share in the celebration, as the Parade is broadcast on television throughout the U.S. Much of this outpouring of appreciation and support of our veterans came thanks to Pat's dedication, persistence and absolute belief that America must thank those who serve.
As we march in this year's parade, we will be thinking of Pat all along the parade route. We will deeply miss his strength, commitment and inimitable sense of humor and showmanship.
We were pleased to have expanded our relationship with Verizon earlier this year when we included the FiOS double-play and triple play packages. You should check out Verizon’s latest special offer, which we just launched this week.
The savings opportunity is tremendous. In addition to up to $120 annual savings, $240 with a two year contract, you also can get up to $350 more in the form of a bonus Visa Gift Card with your two year agreement. In total, that amounts to $590 in cash back in your hands as a Veterans Advantage member.
Verizon FiOS's Veterans Advantage Discount combines the best value available for the general public, including special promotions, with an additional savings offer of $10 off monthly ($120 annually) for a qualifying “Triple Play Bundle” (TV, Internet & Phone) or $5 off monthly ($60 annually) on qualifying “Double Play Bundles” (TV, Internet or Phone).
Our other Verizon offerings include 15% off your monthly wireless service, and 25% off your accessories. More on Veterans Advantage and Verizon Wireless here.
New York has always had a special place in my heart with the founding of Veterans Advantage, over 15 years ago, when we began our mission to create greater respect, recognition and rewards to honor those who serve.
This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced our new partnership with the City and its municipal IDNYC Card program. The IDNYC card is being enhanced with a new insignia to recognize the City’s more than 225,000 U.S. Veterans. Veterans Advantage has been selected by the City of New York to provide exclusive access to our national retail and travel discounts for veterans who are IDNYC cardholders with Veteran Designation.
We are grateful to the City, Mayor de Blasio, and his Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Loree Sutton, for their vision in getting veterans increased access to veterans services and discounts with Veterans Advantage. We welcome this valuable support in creating better benefits, and enhanced access to them, for those who have served and continue to serve our country, and their family members. It is an innovative use of a public/private partnership to get our special benefits to this most deserving group of Americans. We hope that New York City’s initiative can serve as an inspiration to other leaders and public entities to follow suit with similar great programs.
In the meantime, we are immensely proud we can now honor the IDNYC cardholders with Veteran Designation, and welcome them as valued members of Veterans Advantage at www.veteransadvantage.com/idnyc.
The New York Historical Society (NYHS) – one of the country’s leading historical museums, in the heart of New York City -- is in the planning stages of a comprehensive exhibition about the Vietnam War. And they would like your help with this exciting project.
The NYHS wants to get it right when it comes to representing the experience of American service personnel (of all branches) in the Vietnam theater of operations. We want to offer your feedback to make sure they have it right.
So, they have asked me to ask you:
What items of your personal kit would you say absolutely MUST be on display at this type of exhibition?
What are the physical things that best represent what it meant to be there for you?
Here are some examples of the kinds of things we thought of for the Vietnam era:
A P-38 can opener
Vietnam Service Award medal
The list of potential items is endless...Be sure to make your suggestions. Thanks!
Tell Us Your Favorite Items In Your Personal Kit When You Served