Exclusive Military Discounts, Benefits & Rewards for
Active Duty Military, Veterans and Their Families
Exclusive Military Discounts, Benefits & Rewards for Active Duty Military, Veterans and Their Families

Veterans Advantage Blog


If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may be hearing the name Justin Constantine for the first time. In an exclusive interview with Veterans Advantage, the former Marine Corps Colonel shares his inspirational story of service before self. We have awarded him as our newest HeroVet, having overcome his serious injuries sustained in Iraq, and now distinguishing himself by his contributions to his fellow veterans and leadership in his civilian life. Justin tells us he has been guided both by the experience of his injury and the skills he gained from his military service.

His book My Battlefield, Your Office is a must read for business managers and young executives, or anyone who can benefit greatly from these inspiring leadership lessons from the front lines. We bought copies for our employees at Veterans Advantage. Be sure to pick up one for yourself, friends, family members or your own employees.

Finally, speaking of recognizing significant people, we want to remind you - Mother's Day, Sunday, May 8 is just around the corner. Every one of us has at least one special woman to thank for their dedication as a mom. Fortunately, there's our benefit partner, 1800Flowers to help us out! For an exclusive Veterans Advantage 30% Off, check out 1800Flowers and Veterans Advantage today - before it is too late for delivery!


We hope you enjoy this month's feature on Dierks Bentley. As any vet will attest, country music is a favorite among our military. That's been true for as long as I can remember, which goes back to Johnny Cash, who was an Air Force veteran. Maybe it's the intense love for our land shared by the singers and veterans alike which makes country music so compelling from a patriotic perspective.

Bentley's father, who passed away in 2012 was a World War II Army veteran who also had a passion for country music.

On the benefit side, I'm impressed how quickly Foot Locker stocks its site with championship gear after a team is crowned #1 in the NCAA or professional leagues. And, of course, you can purchase the gear using your Veterans Advantage 20% everyday discount.

Foot Locker has been a Veterans Advantage benefit partner for nearly six years. Check out the benefit today and find out for yourself why it's so popular with our members.


In honor of Women’s History Month, we wish to recognize with our HeroVet award U.S. Army veteran Laura Law-Millett, the co-founder of the GI Film Festival.

At Veterans Advantage, our mission of greater respect, recognition and rewards for those who serve includes recognition of those who continue to serve, giving back in various communities and industries after their military service. Millett has done this through her GI Film Festival, now celebrating its 10th Anniversary this May. As our nation’s women veterans continue to increase their influence in the military community and beyond, Law-Millett is one to watch.

In the past, Veterans Advantage has celebrated the ongoing ‘giving back’ activities of our nation’s women veterans with other HeroVet awards. Most recently, Veterans Advantage recognized Linda Spoonster Schwartz, Assistant Secretary of Policy and Planning for the Department of Veterans Affairs and earlier, Bonnie Carroll, founder of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS),as well as Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, USAF (Ret.), president of the Women's Memorial Foundation

Other women that Veterans Advantage has recognized as having served in our nation’s military with TopRank awards for distinguished military achievements include: Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, the first female four-star general; Eileen Collins, the first female space shuttle commander, and featured a cover story regarding Capt. Vernice Armour, the Marine Corps’ first African-American female combat pilot; and an Air Force veteran.


Appreciating Our Exclusive Partnership This Easter, And Every Day

Last week, I attended a book signing of Dr. David Agus’s The Lucky Years, an inspirational new book that offers practical knowledge on how to live a healthier and more meaningful life.

At the reception, I had a chance to meet and talk with Jim McCann, the Chairman and CEO of 1-800-Flowers. Jim is a wonderful guy – a successful entrepreneur (be sure to read his book Stop and Sell the Roses) and a strong, patriotic supporter of our military and veterans. Turns out Jim lives in the same town where I grew up – Manhasset, Long Island!

1-800-Flowers offers Veterans Advantage members a great deal - 30% off! You still have time to order flowers for Easter weekend and take advantage of this terrific benefit. Click here to learn more and get started with 1800FLOWERS.


Justin Constantine, a Marine officer and decorated Iraq veteran, joined us for our Veterans Advantage holiday party in December. While the focus of the event was to get together with good friends and celebrate a wonderful year, Justin was a reminder of the gratitude we should have for living each day like it may be our last. Nearly mortally wounded by sniper fire in Iraq, Justin, through great determination, persistence and the support of a steadfast spouse, put his body and life back together. Today, he is a passionate motivational speaker who spreads his leadership advice to companies and his fellow wounded warriors.

Justin has also written a book, My Battlefield, Your Office. It is a powerful compilation of the greatest leadership strengths borne from military training that has great value for any company or family. I immediately ordered copies for our staff in CT and Salt Lake City. I was particularly drawn by one passage which reflects Justin's experience, and represents a lesson to us all: "A poor leader says 'Woe is me. Why can't things be the way they always were?' A good leader says, 'We are moving in a new direction now. This is exciting."

Pick up your copy from Amazon and be inspired today.


 

TopVet: Dusty Baker

Baseball and Beyond


As President Obama announced in his 2016 African-American History Month proclamation, "We honor the contributions of African Americans since our country's beginning, and we recommit to reaching for a day when no person is judged by anything but the content of their character." All this month, as Veterans, we recognize the character and accomplishments of great African Americans while in uniform and after their service.

In our TopVet piece today, we recognize Dusty Baker for his impact on baseball, both as a player and a successful manager for four Major League Baseball teams. Whether in a Marine uniform or a baseball uniform, Baker has excelled and inspired.

And as I noted in an earlier post, Tucker Smallwood - who we profiled earlier this month - is a fellow Vietnam Veteran who had a role to play in the release of Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam. He is also an outspoken advocate for understanding and addressing PTS.

The award program at Veterans Advantage includes the designations of CelebVet, VetFamily, TopVet, HeroVet, and TopRank. This program is a central part of our mission - to raise awareness of the value of military service. This program showcases inspiring stories of those who serve who continue to apply the lessons of service in their chosen fields with notable success. During this month, we recognize great African Americans who have served our country and created a lasting impact on our nation. All of us at Veterans Advantage recognize, acknowledge and applaud their efforts and remarkable accomplishments. A huge thank you from all of us at Veterans Advantage!


Actor, writer, musician, advocate and fellow Vietnam veteran, Tucker Smallwood has been in over 30 films, performed in more than 40 theatrical productions and voiced over 1,000 television and radio spots. With the excitement and film frenzy leading up to the Oscars on February 28, we recognize him as a CelebVet and applaud his work on an Oscar-nominated film that’s near and dear to our hearts at Veterans Advantage.

He lent his voice to the HBO documentary Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam. Dear America is based on the book of the same name and features letters, stories and anecdotes compiled by the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission, which I was honored to co-chair. Dear America won HBO its first Emmy and a documentary on the making of the movie was nominated for an Academy Award.

Smallwood has also been in some much-loved television series, including Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, Seinfeld and Friends, and feature films like Presumed Innocent and Deep Impact. Though he hasn’t received an Oscar nomination – yet! – Smallwood serves as a celebrity ambassador for Veterans in Film and Television (VFT). This year, VFT member Hank Hughes’ short film, Day One, has been nominated for an Academy Award. We wish VFT and Hughes good luck, and thank Smallwood for entertaining us over the decades!


After 256 games played in the 2015-2016 NFL season, the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers not only won their divisions handily, but were victorious in their respective conference championship games. So, with Super Bowl 50 taking place on February 7, we will once again have a VetFamily member coaching a Super Bowl team: the Panthers' Ron Rivera.

Rivera is the son of a 32-year Army veteran and was raised and educated on numerous military bases in Europe, Central America and throughout the U.S. He was a standout linebacker in high school and almost wound up in the Army himself after being heavily recruited by West Point, but chose to follow a different path, still carrying with him the many military values learned from his father. That path eventually led Rivera to the NFL and twice to the Super Bowl, first as a player with the 1985 Chicago Bears and now, in 2016, as head coach of the Panthers.

Under Rivera's leadership, the team actively supports many military members stationed in North Carolina, going above and beyond the NFL's annual Salute to Service campaign. Rivera often invites military members and veterans to attend practices and speak to his team, inspiring even the most famous players in the locker room, including quarterback Cam Newton.

So, in just over a week, keep an eye out for Rivera on the sideline as the Panthers and Broncos battle it out in the Bay. And whether you're watching the Super Bowl on the big screen at home, on Verizon's NFL Mobile app or at Santa Clara's Levi's Stadium itself, we hope you enjoy the game!

Continue reading.


Early Thursday we were already feeling the effects of Winter Storm Jonas, expected to arrive full-force in the Mid-Atlantic region tomorrow. According to the National Weather Service, Jonas is a “potentially crippling winter storm” with anticipated snowfall of up to two feet around Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and significant freezing that could reach as far south as Kentucky and North Carolina.

Along with the expected power outages and snow-choked roads, flight delays and cancellations are clearly expected. Airlines operating out of airports near the storm are already issuing waivers for travel over the weekend, including our two great partners: United Airlines and JetBlue, both of which are keeping customers up to date on Twitter (@united and @JetBlue) and on their websites. The travel waivers they issue will allow passengers affected by the storm to change to alternate flights without paying a fee.

 

 

And, as I’ve said before, kudos to those of you who prepare for such dangerous storms by keeping a stock of emergency supplies close at hand, helping alleviate the strain on emergency services when disasters hit. Building and maintaining a disaster supplies kit, or 72-hour kit, is a responsibility we should all take seriously long before a crippling winter storm threatens, and a number of our partners offer much of what you’ll need.

So when you build your first 72-hour kit or need to refresh your current supplies, take a look at this list from ready.gov and consider how much you can save with your Veterans Advantage member benefits: buy extra phone chargers and accessories from Verizon Wireles Stores nationwide at 25% OFF, find first aid and personal sanitation supplies with 20% off in store at CVS/pharmacy and on CVS.com, get a powerful flashlight and spare batteries from officedepot.com or your local Office Depot or OfficeMax Store with 20% savings. Online shop for emergency gear at Coleman.com and be rewarded your service with our exclusive offer of 35% OFF site-wide until the end of February, and buy additional warm clothing with 10% OFF brand-name winter gear from Eastern Mountain Sports

Good luck to all in the path of Winter Storm Jonas this weekend, especially our service personnel and first responders who will be looking out for the rest of us. Stay warm and stay safe.


A mere two weeks into 2016 and it’s clear that military and veteran issues are already dominating the news. From cities pledging to end veteran homelessness to the Defense Department’s implementation of new goals and procedures related to the Medal of Honor and other combat awards, 2016 is shaping up to be a big year for our nation’s military and veterans.

Our Cover Story this week focuses on another big military story that is receiving a lot of media attention: the continuing investigation into the disappearance and capture of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl spent almost five years in Taliban captivity before his release in May 2014, but the circumstances surrounding his initial disappearance have been questioned by many here at home. The controversy of his capture and eventual release – that freed five enemy commanders from Guantanamo Bay – was recently thrust back into the spotlight when his story became the subject of the popular podcast Serial

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