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Fountain House is Sponsoring Camaraderie – A Safe Place for Veterans to Build and Have Community April 13th – NY, NY

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Fountain House is sponsoring “Veteran Camaraderie” at Fountain House, 425 West 47th StreetNew York, NY 10036 .

Starting on lucky Friday, April 13th at 5PM, Fountain House will open its doors to veterans and active personnel of Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf eras.

Purpose:  To have a place …

1.  Where veterans come to meet and talk with each other; 2.  Where veterans cook and eat together; 3.  Where veterans are part of the solution; 4.  Where veterans can receive anonymous and free of charge mental health support ; 5.  Where healing of invisible wounds is possible through self-help, peer support and camaraderie; and, 6.  That veterans can call HOME.

Come join us and help us as we support you in creating a camaraderie amongst the veteran and active service community that serves as a continuum of what we had/have while in service!

We will be serving food, so kindly RSVP to me at jrivera@fountainhouse.org so that we can plan accordingly.

Feel free to reach out with any questions about this exciting endeavor!

I look forward to seeing you on April 13th!

All the Best,

Jennifer

Jennifer Rivera
Director of Human Resources & Veteran’s Affairs Fountain House, Inc.
425 West 47th Street
New York, NY 10036
T: 212.582.0341 exts. 271/272
F: 646.395.7391
www.fountainhouse.org
Dream it … Believe it … Achieve it …
Military-Civilian: Hot Jobs, Events, and Helpful Information for Veterans Seeking Civilian Careers

Civilian Jobs for Military Veterans & Families

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Civilian Jobs for Military Veterans & Families

We work to connect military veterans and their families seeking civilian jobs with companies who have open career opportunities. If you or anyone in your network is looking for work either stateside or overseas, I encourage you to check out the job posts in the Careers Directory of my site http://www.military-civilian.com. All career postings are free to view, with no login required, and you can submit your resume directly there. You can also sign up for our Hot Jobs newsletter or RSS feeds to get all our job posts straight to your inbox, or join our Hot Jobs for Veterans and their Families group on LinkedIn at http://bit.ly/Military-Civilian. Thanks for the opportunity to share this–the more we spread the word, the more veterans we can help find jobs!

Military-Civilian: Hot Jobs, Events, and Helpful Information for Veterans Seeking Civilian Careers
Military-Civilian: Hot Jobs, Events, and Helpful Information for Veterans Seeking Civilian Careers

Veterans Job Fair March 15 SFV

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The 6th annual Veterans Job Fair will be  held on March 15,  at 9AM at McCambridge Recreation Center
1515 N Glenoaks Blvd.
Register for the event at  BurbankVeteransJobFair2018.eventbrite.com
Registration ends March 14.
Bring with you multiple copies of your resume and dress for success!

 Please note the following changes:  TTY number 818-548-3857

Military-Civilian: Hot Jobs, Events, and Helpful Information for Veterans Seeking Civilian Careers

Why Shelter Dogs are Good for Veterans

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Why Shelter Dogs are Good for Veterans

The general health benefits of spending time with dogs, has been well documented through scientific research. Canine companions can lower our blood pressure and stress levels as well as assist with pain management. They decrease feelings of social isolation and depression as well as offer the motivation many need to stay more active.
As Military-Civilian recently reported, Service Dogs have been improving the quality of life for many vets returning to civilian life with PTSD. These dogs help to break through social barriers, offer unconditional love, and foster feelings of safety for their veteran companions.
Beyond improving physical and mental health, shelter dogs in particular offer several benefits for veterans returning to civilian life:
 

Sense of Purpose
Our canine friends are social animals. Like humans, social isolation is painful and traumatic for them to endure. Dogs waiting for a second chance at shelters across the nation are hungry for attention and companionship. Volunteering to take them for a walk or play some fetch is a low commitment way for veterans to enjoy a sense of purpose by providing a vital support structure for these abandoned dogs.

 

Second Chances

It is not a coincidence that so many returning veterans find a special bond with shelter dogs. Many vets find a kinship with canines who, like them, are looking for a second chance to thrive in life. When veterans adopt or foster shelter dogs, they can experience giving the love, support and guidance that enables those dogs that may have experienced neglect and abuse to “fit” in a world that has been a traumatic place.
Being patient with second chance dogs can remind returning vets to be patient with themselves as they take on the sometimes difficult transition back to civilian life.
 

In the Moment

Dogs live in the present. Veterans struggling with anxiety or depression can get fixated on memories or worries that are a distraction from the joy available to us in each moment. Dogs offer a chance to focus on something safe and enjoyable, right now. They can give vets an easy way to access fun and joy, critical for creating balanced perspective that includes gratitude for the simple pleasures in life.
 

Organizations Devoted to Pairing Vets and Shelter Dogs

The impact of shelter dogs on the lives of veterans has been so profound that several organizations offer programs to help vets find the right dog for their lifestyle and needs. Here are just a few:
This organization has nearly 30 local chapters across the nation to help pair veterans with shelter dogs in their area. They use a detailed application process to get a good picture of the lifestyle, needs and desires of applicants in order to find a strong match.
Dogs undergo in home training with a professional trainer before being placed in their new homes as Companion Animals. The special needs of each individual vet are taken into account when designing a training program for each dog. The costs of adoption fees, initial vaccines and spay/neuter procedures are covered thanks to donations from sponsors.
There are three factors that make this organization unique:
·       They focus on placing the most overlooked shelter animals who are at a high risk for euthanasia due to breed, age or special needs.
·       They provide generous financial support with food and veterinary care to make pet ownership more affordable for veterans.
·        They work with all vets, including those on active duty and those that served as far back as WWII.
The focus of this organization is to train rescued shelter dogs to be full-fledged Service Animals for vets with PTSD, traumatic brain injury and/or those who experienced sexual trauma during their military service.
Not only is this organization run by vets, they include each veteran applicant in the process of training their own Service Animals. The extensive program is designed to get vets actively engaged in their own recovery. In addition, helping to train their own service animal fosters a tremendous bond with these second chance canines.
Due to an extensive wait list, the focus of K9s for Warriors is on post 9/11 veterans.
 

Volunteering and Fostering

Veterans that are not ready for the commitment of full time dog ownership can still reap the benefits that shelter dogs offer. All of the programs mentioned above offer volunteer opportunities for vets that want to learn more about dog training or just want to spend some time with rescued dogs. In fact, most shelters also make room for volunteers to help provide the dogs in their care with much needed socialization.
Another excellent opportunity to get a dog in your life is to consider fostering a second chance dog to give them a temporary safe home while they wait for their forever family. Fostering is a great way to learn if having a dog fits your lifestyle as well as getting to know more about the canine personality that is the best fit for your needs. Many shelters and local foster groups offer services such as pet sitting and financial assistance for foster parents.
 
Author Bio:
Mathew has worked with dogs for just under a decade and is the founder of wileypup.com, a dog lover’s website that provides great tips and advice for paw parents everywhere.

 
Military-Civilian: Hot Jobs, Events, and Helpful Information for Veterans Seeking Civilian Careers

MOLLY’S NEWSLETTER – THE VETERAN’S ADVOCATE [JAN04/VOL04] – REL 01/30/18 [b3-4]

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Heart MOLLY’S NEWSLETTER – THE VETERANS’ ADVOCATE [JAN04/Vol04] – rel01/30/18   
      Dedicated to the lasting memory and ‘living legacy’ of Patrick “Pat” Gualtieri, U.S. Army, Vietnam Veteran [d.07/21/15]
      [Announcements, events, information, musings, philosophical whimsy, resources, even trivia … to engage, inspire and enjoy!]
Greetings, family, friends, veterans’ community and interested parties!
As January 2018 winds down and the short but lovely month of February approaches, I hope you’re making the most of 2018 in new ways that match your goals and wishes. You can make it happen – whatever it is – endless possibilities, say I, the eternal optimist! May you enjoy more of what you ‘want’ vs. ‘have’ to do! 
Some shareworthy information:
 Postage stamps: The price increased by 1¢ from 49 to 50 cents a/o Jan. 22, 2018! 
 Super Blue Blood Moon (rare celestial occurrence) – January 31, 2018Blood Moon occurs when Earth passes between Moon and Sun, giving Moon a reddish tint… more commonly known as a lunar eclipse. Blue Moon combined with a Supermoon (Moon is at its closest point to Earth…appears 14% bigger / 30% brighter than normal) is a rare phenomena called a Super Blue Blood Moon. The last time all of these events occurred simultaneously in the Western hemisphere was 1866.
■ Daylight saving time: Begins at 2am on Sunday, March 11, 2018 – set clocks 1 hour forward (as in Spring ahead/Fall behind)!
 Speaking of Spring – it officially beings Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 9:16am– just 50 days away!
PLG Veterans Assistance Fund Inc. [ThePatFund.com
This 501(c)3 non-profit organization, created in 2015 in memory of Patrick “Pat” L. Gualtieri, continues Pat’s “living legacy” of helping others. Our veterans have a permanent place in heart and mind for their service and sacrifice. May we be empowered to always remember our servicemembers as Pat Gualtieri exemplified with passion and purpose… touching the lives of others… producing world-class events that honor service. His spirit, personality, vision, tenacity, contagious enthusiasm, positive, ‘can-do’ attitude continue to inspire us… We carry the torch of freedom in meaningful ways, consistent with our Mission and Primary Pillars of support [Education / Suicide Prevention / Special Needs – TBI/PTSD/Other]. Your generous donations enable us to continue this important work; thank you and keep ’em coming! 
Featured event upcoming: big outreach for in-kind donations (see attached flyer)!  Seek to make this year’s annual PLG Veterans Assistance Fund Inc. ‘Valentine’s For Veterans’ event even better than last year which was a home run! Items needed include but aren’t limited to hats, gloves, scarves, socks, stationery, cards (especially handmade); playing cards, electronics, stuffed animals, toiletries (men/women), etc. Multiple drop-off locations (Brooklyn, Manhattan). We bestow beautiful, handmade cards, candy, assorted gifts and goodies to our veterans at local VA facilities. Thank you in advance for your anticipated participation this year. Pat Gualtieri created the Valentine’s initiative (then titled ‘The Goodwill Valentine’s Caravan’) and we honor him by continuing this legacy!
                                                              
To this end, on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, we held our annual, by-invitation-only Valentine card-making event, produced by PLG Veterans Assistance Fund and graciously hosted by The Municipal Bond Women’s Club of New York (MBWCNY)! End result: A productive, fun evening of social engagement, refreshments and 170 beautiful, handmade cards that will be presented to veterans for Valentine’s Day with much love! 
Special Announcement!!! Save the Date!
U.S. Army, Vietnam veteran, the late Patrick (“Pat”) Gualtieri will be recognized and honored posthumously by U.S. Army Garrison Ft. Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at Ft. Hamilton’s annual Vietnam Veterans Ceremony! Stay tuned for additional info!    
Community Events
January 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs – Town Hall Meeting with Martina Parauda, Director, VA NY Harbor Healthcare System
Time: 10am / All Veterans Welcome!
Location: NY Campus – Atrium
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
TRAVIS MANION FOUNDATION SOCIAL – Join TMF for a social!
Time: 6PM
Location: Croton Reservoir Tavern 108 W 40th Street, between 6th Ave./Bway – (downstairs bar). Learn more about what’s ahead for 2018 and connect with veterans and supports in the TMF community. The bar operates happy hour specials from 5-10pm. TMF will cover light appetizers Here’s all you need to know- and where you can sign up: http://bit.ly/2CWRQDW
February 2018
Tuesday, February 6th – Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Strong Star Training Initiative – Now accepting Applications for an upcoming Training in NYC: Participate in a Learning Community in Prolonged Exposure for PTSD. Hosted at Columbia University & New York State Health Foundation. The Learning Community will include: ▪  Pre-workshop readings and webinars ▪ 2-Day in-person workshop in Prolonged Exposure ▪ 6 months of weekly phone case consultation ▪ Monthly advanced practice webinars ▪ Organizational consultation ▪ 30 Continuing Education Units (includes 3 in ethics and 3 in diversity) 
LEARN MORE & APPLY: www.strongstartraining.org
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Veteran Information Session! Topics of Discussion include: Services / New Staff / Job Industries / Training 
Time: 10am-12pm
Location: Bronx Workforce1, 400 East Fordham Road, 7th Floor, Bronx, NY 10458
Call Amauri Espinal at 718-960-4677 for more details or register at: https://veteranpartnermeeting.eventbrite.com 
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Event. Join us for this amazing networking event hosted by the AUSA NNJ chapter, bringing together service members, veterans, nonprofit leaders, ROTC cadets, corporate leaders, government officials, higher education officials and members of numerous military associations. Special guest speaker is LTC Justin Constantine, Purple Heart recipient and American hero; come meet and greet this amazing American. 
Time: 1800 /6:00pm / Dress Code – Business casual
Location: Harvest Moon Brewery, 392 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ
RSVP: By February 2, 2018 / Cost $ 5.00 per person – ROTC cadets, student veterans and soldiers E5 and below are FREE
To register and pay online: https://socialseam.org/events/260 
For more info or questions, contact: Col. Dennis Dougherty / email: doughertydj@comcast.net / phone: 908-230-4020
Thursday, February 8, 2018
New Jersey Veteran Employment Workshop Transitioning military members, veterans, and spouses: Join us 830-5pm, for a Veteran Employment Workshop presented by Hire Heroes USA and BASF.
Time: 8:30am-5:00pm
Location: BASF Campus, 100 Park Ave., Florham Park, NJ  07932
Event will consist of career coaching, job search strategic planning, an expert panel Q&A session, and speed networking. More info and to RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-jersey-veteran-employment-workshop-registration-40909827395
Friday, February 9, 2018
Boots to Business Reboot: Starting or Growing a Veteran-Owned Business – Sign up for Boots to Business Reboot, an entrepreneurship training program for veterans and their spouses.
Time: 9:00am-5:00pm
Location: James J. Peters VA Medical Center, 130 West Kingsbridge Rd., Bronx, NY 10468 / 3rd Floor, 3-D-22 Front
For more information and registration: aamoroso@arsenalpartnerships.com / Tel: 518-326-6328
To Register, go to: https://sbavets.force.com
Friday, February 16, 2018
Free Tax Preparation Day – Services provided for Qualified Veterans by Ariva. Who is eligible? Households with: ▪ less than $ 54,000 income with dependents or ▪ less than $ 30,000 income with no dependents. Certain restrictions apply as not all types of returns can be prepared. 
Time: 10:00am-4:00pm
Location: Bronx Vet Center, 2471 Morris Ave Suite 1A, Bronx NY. 
Call 718-367-3500 to schedule an appointment time.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Free Veterans Financial Workshop
Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: Queens Vet Center 75-10B 91st Avenue Woodhaven, NY 11421
Please RSVP with JoJo 718-296-2871 ext. 7767
March 2018
Thursday, March 8, 2018 – SAVE THE DATE
DAV/Recruit Military New York Veterans Job Fair
Time: 11:00 AM  –  3:00 PM
Location: Venue still TBD – more info to follow – stay tuned!
Tuesdays, March 13th – May 8, 2018
Signature Bank invites you to participate in the First Time Investor Program (FTIP) designed for United States Veterans. This year the Bank is devoting its efforts to assisting America’s Veterans, and we are pleased to support our commitment to our heroes’ future by giving participants $ 1,000 to add to their own $ 500 in their investment account, for a total of $ 1,500. (Note: Certain conditions apply.)  Signature Bank will also provide each participant with a 6-month subscription to the Wall Street Journal.   
Eligibility to Participate: Must be US Veteran / 2017 taxable income doesn’t exceed $ 55,000 / Must have $ 500 of your own funds to invest
Time: 6:30pm-8:15pmTuesday evenings
Location: Signature Bank, 1177 Ave. of the Americas – 4th Floor, NYC 10036 (between W. 45th/46th Sts.)
For more information, contact: Michael Schwartz, Director of Community Development-SVP Tel: 646-822-1820 / mschwartz@signatureny.com or
Joan Bartolomeo, Assistant Director, Community Development Tel: 646-981-2424 / jbartolomeo@signatureny.com 
Thursday, March 22, 2018 – SAVE THE DATE!
Every year Fort Hamilton (USAG), Brooklyn, NY hosts a ceremony in March to honor Vietnam Veterans. This year, it will be an honor for Colonel Sicoli, Command Sergeant Major Stephens and the Soldiers of Fort Hamilton to honor the service of US Army, Vietnam Veteran, Patrick (“Pat”) Gualtieri posthumously during this year’s event! [“I am over the moon for this distinguished and well-deserved honor”, says Molly!]
Time: 11am – 12pm (end time approximate)
Location: Fort Hamilton Community Club
Stay tuned – more information to follow!
Friday, March 23th – Sunday, March 25, 2018
AFTER HER SERVICE.  M-SPAN at the University of Michigan presents a new program for women veterans called “After Her Service.” After Her Service is aimed at building personal resilience and professional success by combining a skill-building retreat with six months of individual professional coaching. 
Location: New Orleans, LA
All travel expenses for the weekend are covered. Visit http://m-span.org/our-programs/after-her-service/participating/ to learn more and apply!
Saturday, March 24, 2018 – SAVE THE DATE!
2018 Vietnam Veterans Day – annual event produced by United War Veterans Council! Includes the following:
Reading of Names of the Fallen / Tribute March / Wreath Laying Ceremony 
Stay tuned – more details to follow!
Friday, March 30, 2018
The Veterans Health Alliance of Long Island along with Adelphi University invite you to join us as we come together for the screening of Blood Stripe (rescheduled date)
Time: 6:30pm / movie begins at 7:00pm
Location: Adelphi University, Performing Arts Center, Concert Hall, Garden City, NY
Blood Stripe: A scarlet stripe that runs down the dress trousers worn by officers of the United States Marine Corps. Synopsis – Our Sergeant returns home after a third tour with the Marines. Unable to sleep, wracked by paranoia and anxiety, it is clear that in addition to the scars she bears on her body, Our Sergeant carries unseen wounds. When a boisterous homecoming party provokes an explosive outburst, Our Sergeant has nowhere to turn, and so she runs… deep into the North Woods. Discovering a picturesque summer camp on a lake, Our Sergeant seeks refuge and at first, finds solace. But she cannot outrun her own heart of darkness and the pristine wilderness becomes fraught with peril.
RSVP Required, Rhea Spina RSpina@mhanc.org / 516-489-2322 x1260
This screening is free of charge and open to all – Veterans, Family Members, Friends and the General Service Provider Community!
Q&A w/Filmmaker/Star to follow screening  / https://www.bloodstripefilm.com/
Request for Speakers – Special Announcement
Request for veterans to participate in Black History Month Veterans Panel with NYC Dept. of Health/Mental Hygiene- Headquarters in L.I.C., NY.
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 12:00-2:00pm
■ Looking for Veterans Candidates to speak on a Panel / Male or Female (3 Males already selected) / Time Frame: 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
■ Veteran willing to speak on experience before or after learning, benefit or impact effect of military life etc.
(People who are good at speaking or presenting information please)
Addition
Date/Time: Monday, February 26, 2018  – Theme: Summary of Black American Veteran in War
■ Looking for Key Note Speaker Black American Veteran High Profile or any other person of this caliber Tuskegee Airmen, Purple Heart etc. 369th Harlem Hell fighters
POC: Carla Redix, DOHMH Health Police; Manhattanville Health Center, 21 Old Broadway, NYC 10027
Resources
 
VA101 “How Can I Help You” Resource Guide – This is a good document (see attachment) that has phone numbers and links to many of the VA Healthcare, Benefit, and Burial resources.  Some of the weblinks may be forwarded now due to the recent VA website upgrade (www.vets.gov)  
Military-Civilian: We work to connect military veterans and their families seeking civilian jobs with companies who have open career opportunities. If you or anyone in your network is looking for work either stateside or overseas, I encourage you to check out the job posts in the Careers Directory of my site http://www.military-civilian.com. All career postings are free to view; no login required; you can submit your resume directly there. You can also sign up for our Hot Jobs newsletter or RSS feeds to get all our job posts straight to your inbox, or join our Hot Jobs for Veterans and their Families group on LinkedIn at http://bit.ly/Military-Civilian 
Free Yoga For Servicemembers, Veterans, & Their Families. Mats/Blocks provided; no experience necessary.
When: Thursdays
Time:   12pm-1pm
Location: Bronx Vet Center, 2471 Morris Ave., Suite 1A, Bronx, NY 10468
Contact: Mr. Bongioanni (Mr. B) for details: 718-367-3500
Attention all veterans and spouses of veterans who are interested in a rewarding career in teaching. Please contact Dr. Peter Leibman —Director of Troops to Teachers for New York State and Associate Professor at St. Francis College. There is a teacher shortage as baby boomers retire and quality role models are needed. Contact Dr. Leibman at: 718-489-5282  or email at pleibman@sfc.edu. Dr. Leibman will review your experience and background and share the most expeditious path to becoming certified. You can be at the “head of the class” sooner than you think!
VA Decision Ready Claims Program Expands to Include More Types of Claims- As part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) ongoing efforts to modernize and improve Veterans’ experience with the disability claims process, VA unveiled its latest enhancements to the Decision Ready Claims (DRC) program, which will expand the pool of Veterans, surviving spouses and service members eligible to participate in the program. More info attached about DRC and link here with a video that describes process more:  https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/DRC.asp
Job-Seekers, Students and Career-Builders: NY Resume Workshop offers Professional & Student Coaching for YOUR path to a BRIGHTER FUTURE.  Services include: Professional & Academic Assessment; Resume & Cover Letter Assistance; Interview Prep & Pointers; Social Media & Reputation Advisement. ALL services conducted in person for optimal results. Contact nyresumeworkshop@gmail.com or call 516-4357-3990.  Reasonable rates! Veterans receive a 20% DISCOUNT!
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PLG Veterans Assistance Fund Inc. [501(c)3]- [ThePatFund.com]
Established in memory of my beloved life partner, U.S. Army; iconic Vietnam veteran, Patrick (“Pat”) Gualtieri [d. July 21, 2015]; the consummate event specialist, producer, leader, mentor, visionary, family member, friend, life partner and more… well respected [and sorely missed] in the veterans’ community and beyond… Donations needed – individuals and corporate sponsorship welcome; thank you! Your donations enable PLG Veterans Assistance Fund Inc. to continue Pat’s ‘living legacy’ and commitment to our veterans community in multiple ways. See prior newsletter with PLG’s… 2017 year-end recap and active community engagement! 
Kick-starting 2018 is our annual ‘Valentine’s For Veterans’ initiative (see event flyer). Thank you in advance for your anticipated support to help make this a most successful event for our veterans at local VA facilities.    
Remember A VEteran Inc. = R A V E© [M.Levi, Founder] [raveusa.org] is pleased to have co-sponsored the ‘Valentine’s for Veterans’ at the Brooklyn, VA and looks forward to reprising this once again in 2018! Additional initiatives underway in local communities. Goal is to inspire the youth of our city and nation-at-large to ‘Remember A VEteran‘ in various ways; pay it forward! Visit website for expanded info including Mission/Vision Statements.  R A V E has a special interest and extended outreach to students for Valentine cards! 
Reminder: Use mlevi426@aol.com for communications; advise changes to your status/contact info. Keep your emails, events, and comments coming! You continue to inspire me; I’m proud to be a veterans’ advocate and carry the torch to ‘help mankind’ [Pat’s mantra]. I’ve taken this on in meaningful ways to preserve our freedom, honor, recognition, remembrance, and respect for service… and continue Pat’s ‘living legacy’…
Molly’s Newsletter – The Veterans’ Advocate is independently produced with dedicated effort; every other week or weekly as needed. Every effort is made to keep pace with the tremendous influx of information for considered inclusion; subject to review; limitations apply given time/space constraints. Stay tuned for next release – new information/resources regularly added; no representations made. Feel free to share. Your interest, support, and donations are appreciated; thank you. [The PLG Veterans Assistance Fund Inc. and The Veterans’ Advocate assume no responsibility for the professional ability and/or integrity of events and resources listed.]
Favorite Pat quote:
“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”  – George Washington
In patriotism and friendship and so much more…  I leave you with continued good wishes for abundant good health, much happiness, peace, prosperity, and joyful moments. Sharing a great quote by Henry David Thoreau (a favorite poet, philosopher, historian…) that inspire me:“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.”
Molly   
Marleen “Molly” Levi, Veterans’ Advocate; Author/Consultant/Special Events
Founder, PLG Veterans Assistance Fund Inc. [ThePatFund.com]
Founder, Remember A VEteran Inc. [R A V E] [raveusa.org]
Producer/Editor, The Veterans’ Advocate (Molly’s Newsletter)
Member organizations:
AVVA/VVA, Chapter#126, Manhattan
Rolling Thunder#1, Brooklyn
General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of NY
BAOC, CNYC, FINRA, FWA, GMWC, MBWC, NATAS, Toastmasters Intl.

Email: mlevi426@aol.com  /  H: 718-946-0242  / C: 917-669-7620
Military-Civilian: Hot Jobs, Events, and Helpful Information for Veterans Seeking Civilian Careers

Veterans Are Choosing Service Dogs as an Alternative for Dealing With PTSD

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Veterans Are Choosing Service Dogs as an Alternative for Dealing With PTSD

Our military men and women bring home more than memories when they return from deployment.  The injuries they’ve sustained – both physical and psychological – can stay with them for a lifetime.  Being injured themselves or witnessing others injured or dying, can have lasting effects on returning veterans. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is “is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.” The symptoms of PTSD, which can surface immediately or take years to appear, include sleeplessness, recurring nightmares or memories, anger, fear, feeling numb, loss of interest in life, and suicidal thoughts. There are many ways to treat these symptoms, but one option promises no negative side effects – the use of service dogs.
What is a Service Dog?
A service dog is one that is trained to specifically perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric, or intellectual disability.  Service dogs meant specifically for PTSD therapy, provide many benefits to their veteran companions.  These dogs provide emotional support, unconditional love, and a partner that has the veteran’s back.  Panic attacks, flashbacks, depression, and stress subside.  Many vets get better sleep knowing their dog is standing watch through the night for them. 
Service dogs can also improve quality of life by assisting disabled vets with daily needs.  They can turn on lights, retrieve, drop items, alert to danger, and get help in an emergency.
Taking an active role in training and giving the dog positive feedback can help the veteran have purpose and goals.  They see that they are having a positive impact and receiving unconditional love from the dog in return.  The dog can also be the veteran’s reason to move around, get some exercise, or leave the house.
Bonding with the dogs has been found to have positive biological effects elevating levels of oxytocin, which helps overcome paranoia, improves trust, and other important social abilities to alleviate some PTSD symptoms.  When the dogs help vets feel safe and protected, anxiety levels, feelings of depression, drug use, violence, and suicidal thoughts decrease.
Service dogs can also reduce medical and psychiatric costs when used as an alternative to drug therapy.  Reducing bills will reduce stress on the veteran and their family. 
How Dogs Can Have a Positive Impact on Life
Veterans with PTSD tend to isolate themselves internally, externally, or sometimes both.  They keep others outside their wall as a defense mechanism and to feel safe.  Service dogs force interaction and help break down that barrier, by encouraging conversation and taking the focus off the veteran.  By engaging with the dog, veterans can learn to also reconnect with family and friends.  In fact, even just boarding dogs without electing to get a service dog can help with this for similar reasons.
Dogs offer 24/7 unconditional love.  When veterans return to civilian life adjustment can be frustrating, as the skills that they have learned and used in their military profession are not working well for a career back home.  The service dog will show them respect regardless of who they are or what job they do, offering constant love and support.
Service dogs can also foster a feeling of trust and safety in veterans.  Going through traumatic experiences overseas make it difficult for veterans to trust their environment and harbor a feeling of safety.  Living with a service dog can promote a routine, rid the veteran of the need for hypervigilance, and offer a sense of trustworthiness.
Relationships are sometimes difficult after departing the military because veterans are accustomed to giving and receiving orders.  Since dogs are very responsive to authority, they make excellent companions to veterans.  And while taking care of the dog’s needs, the veteran can also learn to recognize and respond to the emotions of others.
Service Dogs are also protective.  They can assist the veteran by watching their back at the atm, store, or other public place.  They can provide security and calm without judgement.  The dog will offer support whether you’ve had a bad day, or just need some company. 
Not surprisingly, The relationship between veterans and their dogs is also life-enhancing for the dog as well.  Many dogs being trained as service dogs for vets are shelter dogs, who have also had a rough past.  Training as a service dog gives the dog purpose, love, and a secure home.  Both the veteran and the dog gain a companion, and a reprieve from isolation, on the road to a better future.
Check out the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for information on the VA’s service dog program here.
Here are several programs that can help if you are a vet or know one who could benefit from a service dog:

TenderLovingCanines.org
Military-Civilian: Hot Jobs, Events, and Helpful Information for Veterans Seeking Civilian Careers