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February 7, 2017

Patriots Superbowl win proves you should never quit, no matter what

So, I attended a retreat for Post 9/11 female veterans this past May in which the theme was to ‘never quit.’  That mantra rings true with the seemingly impossible Superbowl win Sunday night. The Atlanta Falcons seemingly had the game in hand with a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in the third quarter, but by the time there was 53 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Patriots had come all the way back to tie the game. A few minutes later, they had won in overtime 34-28. ESPN writer Bill Barnwell describes it perfectly. “The Pats pieced together incredible play with fortuitous bounces and impeccable timing to overcome a Falcons team that had a 99.8 percent shot of claiming its first Super Bowl with 21 minutes to go, ” he writes. Tom Brady led one of the greatest comebacks in Super Bowl history, coming back from a 25-point hole to the Patriots’ fifth title in the first overtime Super Bowl. We can draw meaning in this feat and use it in our daily lives. No matter how dire things seem, no matter how bad things are, you have to see through the fog of despair and never, ever give up. I struggle with this daily. Just act of making myself get up out of bed, getting dressed, leaving my house and coming into work everyday is a major accomplishment. I have to say that mantra to myself, several times a day, “Never Quit, Never Give Up,” a […]
April 18, 2017

St. Luke’s Lutheran paying it forward

Giving of oneself is really the best way to celebrate the Lenten season and members of the congregation of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church did just that through the church’s Be Rich campaign. The campaign, now in its third year, partners with non-profit organizations to help others through donations and service. “The program is inspired from 1 Timothy 6:18 which says, ‘command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share.,'” said Aaron McCullough, the church’s Be Rich campaign coordinator. “A church in Atlanta first came up with the idea and made resources available to other churches. This happened around the same time as our church leadership was looking for some sort of outreach program to bring us all together (all ages) in serving outside our walls,” he added. St. Luke’s partnered with Military Veterans Resource Center (MVRC), The Ohio State University Star House, Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition (CORRC), Faith Mission, Lutheran Social Services Champion Food Pantry and My Very Own Blanket for the 2017 campaign. “Helping veterans has been near the top of our list for some time, so we decided to take it on this year,” McCullough said. The campaign revolved around three themes: “Give, Serve, Love.” Members of the congregation donated a previously identified item of the week for the campaign which lasted from March 1 through April 4. “Our team looked for items we thought we could really stock up on. We’ve found we make a […]
June 8, 2017

Move gives vet hope

Moving can be stressful for some people and a downright pain for most. But for WWII veteran Dominic Pulito, the whole experience gave him a fresh look on life. “He is a completely changed person, since he moved,” his caregiver Berdina Payne said. “He is more talkative…so much happier,” she added. The 96-year-old Pulito, who was living in a cramped apartment near Dublin, was moved in less than three hours by about a dozen volunteers from Post 4719 of the VFW, American Legion Post 800 and the staff of the Military Veterans Resource Center. The team of veterans and civilians moved Pulito from Claremont Retirement Village near Dublin to a stand-alone ranch-style house on the near East Side of Columbus. Pulito, a veteran of World War II, flew the P-51 Mustang in the US Army Air Corps. The P-51 escorted heavy bombers (B-17s) on massive daylight bombing raids over Germany. Long-range bomber escort became necessary as many unprotected bombers were coming back to base heavily damaged, when they came back at all. “Everytime the bombers went on runs, more than half were shot down for awhile, ” Pulito said. “So they called us up to go over there to protect the bombers. We provided close air support up to their bomb runs and after,” he added. According to aviation-history.com, The P51 Mustang had an astonishing success rate. Its ratio for kills to losses was said to have been 19 kills for every one Mustang lost. The P-51 helped turn the […]
June 13, 2017

MVRC teams up with VSP Global to offer free eye care for vets

  “This is awesome.” “I haven’t had glasses in years.” “I’ve been using glasses bought at the local drugstore,” and “This is like Christmas,” were some of the comments from several veterans who received free eye exams and glasses on May 4-6. Military Veterans Resource Center hosted the event in partnership with VSP Global Eyes of Hope mobile clinic. Over the space of three days in May at two of MVRC’s locations 200 veterans received free eye exams and glasses on the spot or vouchers to get eye care at a later date from a VSP network optometrist. The VSP mobile clinic, outfitted with a exam room, frame selection area and a finishing lab, travels all over the country providing eye exams and glasses to hundreds of people each year.  However the clinic has never served veterans exclusively – until now. The response from the veteran population in Columbus and Chillicothe was phenomenal. MVRC Columbus had veterans calling for appointments from as far away as Cleveland. The Chillicothe event brought in veterans from several southern Ohio counties. “This proves that the need is definitely there,” said Stefanie Hauck, communications officer for MVRC. “We had several local homeless shelters bringing groups of vets in as well.” she added. Working in partnership with VSP optometrists who volunteer their time and services, patients seen at the VSP mobile clinic receive a comprehensive eye exam and, if needed, glasses. Glasses include single vision, bifocal, or trifocal lenses and a new frame, which patients select […]
August 21, 2017

The solar eclipse is today but you probably already knew that

If you already didn’t know or have been hiding under a rock for the past month, today marks the first coast to coast solar eclipse since June 8, 1918 in the U.S. Here in Ohio, we will experience almost total darkness between 2:30 to 2:33 p.m. today. If you are in Cincinnati or Dayton you will see 91 percent totality and if you are in Columbus or Chillicothe, you will see about 86-87 percent totality. The shadow of the moon will first make landfall in Oregon at 1:15 p.m., Eastern Time. By 2:49 p.m. the shadow will have reached Charleston, S.C. The whole thing will be over in less than 90 minutes. The total solar eclipse of June 8, 1918 crossed the United States from Washington State to Florida. This path is roughly similar to today’s projected path. The path of totality is the most accurate in history as it utilizes data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, If you can’t get outside to see it or you just didn’t have time to buy eclipse glasses or make a box viewer, you can watch it happen on this livestream from TIME Magazine. In 1918, The US Naval Observatory dispatched an expedition to Baker City, Oregon and successfully observed the eclipse. An artist, Howard Russell Baker, sketched the corona and made a fine painting of the eclipse. Baker City is also within the path of the 2017 eclipse.
August 23, 2017

2018 proposed pay charts reflect two percent increase

The proposed 2018 military pay charts reflect a 2.1 percent pay increase set forth by the Trump Administration which is the same increase approved by the President Obama in Fiscal Year 2017. 2018 Military Pay Scale (years 2-8) GRADE 2 OR LESS OVER 2 OVER 3 OVER 4 OVER 6 OVER 8 O-10 (*1) $- $- $- $- $- $- O-9 (*1) $- $- $- $- $- $- O-8 (*1) $10,368 $10,708 $10,933 $10,996 $11,278 $11,748 O-7 (*1) $8,615 $9,015 $9,201 $9,348 $9,614 $9,878 O-6 (*2) $6,533 $7,178 $7,649 $7,649 $7,678 $8,007 O-5 $5,446 $6,135 $6,560 $6,640 $6,905 $7,064 O-4 $4,699 $5,440 $5,803 $5,883 $6,220 $6,582 O-3 $4,132 $4,683 $5,055 $5,512 $5,776 $6,066 O-2 $3,570 $4,066 $4,682 $4,841 $4,941 $4,941 O-1 $3,099 $3,225 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899 O-3 (*3) $- $- $- $5,512 $5,776 $6,066 O-2 (*3) $- $- $- $4,841 $4,941 $5,098 O-1 (*3) $- $- $- $3,899 $4,163 $4,317 W-5 $- $- $- $- $- $- W-4 $4,270 $4,593 $4,725 $4,855 $5,078 $5,299 W-3 $3,899 $4,062 $4,228 $4,283 $4,458 $4,801 W-2 $3,450 $3,777 $3,877 $0 $4,170 $4,518 W-1 $3,029 $3,355 $3,442 $3,628 $3,847 $4,169 E-9 (*4) $- $- $- $- $- $- E-8 $- $- $- $- $- $4,223 E-7 $2,936 $3,204 $3,327 $3,489 $3,616 $3,834 E-6 $2,539 $2,794 $2,917 $3,037 $3,162 $3,443 E-5 $2,326 $2,483 $2,603 $2,725 $2,917 $3,117 E-4 $2,133 $2,242 $2,363 $2,483 $2,589 $2,589 E-3 $1,925 $2,046 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170 E-2 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831 E-1 > 4 mos $1,633 $1,633 $1,633 […]
September 12, 2017

Hiring Fair TODAY at MVRC Columbus

MVRC Columbus will be hosting Quantum Health for a hiring fair TODAY from 1-4 p.m., for Patient Services Representatives and various nursing positions. Bring your Resume and dress to impress! Patient Service Representatives (PSRs) Patient Service Representatives (PSRs) have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives every day, while working in a collaborative, employee-centered environment focused on caring for our members.  We are looking for empathetic, energetic, smart & service-minded healthcare warriors to join our team. As a PSR, you are the first point of contact for our members and their healthcare providers.  Whether answering a seemingly simple question, or unraveling a complicated billing issue, the primary role of the PSR is to serve as an advocate for our members.  By working directly with members, as well as providers, caregivers and other vendors on the member’s behalf, we take the confusion out of the complex healthcare system. Roles and Tasks: Provide exceptional customer service through inbound & outbound calls with our members, their providers, and other vendors, regarding everything from benefits coverage to claims and billing issues Coordinate care by working directly with patients, providers, claims payers, pharmacies, and any other parties relevant to the healthcare of the patient Ask probing questions to identify and escalate issues relevant to a member’s healthcare journey Advocate for our members through education regarding their health plan and available benefits, and connecting the needed resources or parties to support & streamline their healthcare journey Utilize Quantum Health’s systems and technology to accurately […]
September 12, 2017

What can you do about the widespread Equifax breach

Last week Equifax announced a “Cybersecurity Incident” in which (Personal Identifiable Information (PII) from about 143 million Americans was compromised by hackers. This amounts to most of the U.S. adult population. As a member or former member of the military,  you are probably wondering what, if anything, you can do about this. First, do not sign up for Equifax’s free credit monitoring.  think twice before signing up for Equifax’s free credit monitoring. You can do this yourself. Monitor your own credit from all three bureaus at annualcreditreport.com. If you are affected, you should put a freeze on your report — and possibly a fraud alert. A freeze restricts access to your credit report, making it impossible for a thief to take out lines of credit in your name (unless they hack your PIN, we’ll get to that). When you put a freeze on your report at a credit bureau, that bureau won’t release your report when a company requests to pull it. Let’s say a thief steals your Social Security number and applies for a line of credit with Chase bank. If you’ve frozen your report, Chase will try to pull your report only to find it’s frozen. Thus, the thief can’t open a new account. According to Forbes Magazine,  “Someone who isn’t looking to borrow money may want to freeze their credit for security purposes. A good candidate would be someone who owns their home or is a long-term renter who doesn’t plan on making a new car purchase […]
October 12, 2017

Veterans Food Drive underway

Did you know? More than 140,000 veterans go hungry in Ohio each year. This number doesn’t include spouses and children. You can help alleviate hunger among veteran populations by donating to our food bank during our annual fall food drive. The Veterans Food Drive is a volunteer effort to gather canned and non-perishable items to fill the Veterans Food Bank which provides food/hygiene items/clothes and more to veterans who are struggling to provide for themselves and their families during periods of unemployment or career transition. This year’s drive ends on Nov. 30. 700 pounds of food collected translates into roughly 583 meals. Conversely, raising and donating $700 translates to 2100 meals. That’s because the Veterans Food Bank is a Mid-Ohio FoodBank partner and can secure large amounts of produce below retail cost. Acceptable items include canned and boxed items, as well as any other shelf-stable products.  We are in need of hygiene items such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, tooth brushes, razors, shaving cream etc. We have several community partners collecting food for us through local food drives. Drop off locations are: Columbus MVRC Columbus, 1395 E. Dublin-Granville Road Egan-Ryan Funeral Homes Bishop Hartley High School (collecting items to assemble care packages) Overbrook Presbyterian Church St. Luke Lutheran Church in Gahanna Delaware County Air Force JROTC (Drop off food at Delaware Hayes High School) The Ohio State University Military and Veteran Services Columbus State Community College Dublin Coffman High School VSP Ohio The neighborhood of Worthington Hills Chillicothe Logan Elm […]
October 27, 2017

THE ROAD HOME

More than 810,000 veterans live in Ohio. Including family members, over 2,000,000 Ohioans are part of veteran families – including more than 140,000 children. There seems to be an innate drive in veterans to serve our nation and be part of something bigger than themselves. They feel proud of their service, but sometimes the road home is dark and difficult. 130,000 Ohio veterans live in poverty; 140,000 have difficulty feeding their families. 120,000 struggle with service-related mental health issues. Military Veterans Resource Center is an Ohio 501(c)(3) nonprofit that for nearly 20 years has helped struggling veterans regain their self-reli-ance and independence. Each year, we serve over 3,500 Ohio veterans by providing assistance with employment, shelter and transportation. We provide thousands of meals to hungry veterans and their families, deliver school supplies to the children of veterans and offer free, confidential mental health counseling services. The Road Home is dedicated to increasing awareness of the sacrifices men and women make in service to America, and the struggles many face when they come home. Sergeant First Class (Ret.) Michael Schlitz, who is our guest speaker, enlisted in the Army in March 1996 and served as a rifleman and Platoon Sergeant. While in Baghdad, Iraq on February 27, 2007, Schlitz and his crew were on a road clearing mission when their vehicle was struck by an improvised ex-plosive device (IED). His gunman, medic and driver were killed. Schlitz was ejected from the vehicle. He lost both hands and his eyesight in his left […]
November 7, 2017

Veterans Day freebies and discounts

Arranged by date Whole month of November Pro Football Hall of Fame Free Admissions for Veterans and Active Military Nov. 1-30. Through the generous support of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will provide free museum admission to all veterans and active military plus one guest during the month of November. Eat’n Park — All active and former military personnel will receive a 10% discount for the entire month of November at all locations. COSI – Veterans Day Special – Free COSI Admission for Active-Duty Military and Veterans November 8-12, 2017. COSI wishes to say thank you and recognize those in active, reserved and retired military service with free general admission to COSI, November 8-12. Immediate family members will also receive 50% off general admission. Simply show your military ID or mention that you are a Veteran to receive the discount! Newport Aquarium and Humana are honoring all the men and women who’ve served our country by offering them free admission from November 4th to 12th. If you’re an active or retired member of the military, a disabled veterans, military reservist, or anyone who has ever served in the Armed Forces, just show your Military I.D.* at the Newport Aquarium ticket window to receive your free admission. Family members can receive our military discount of $3 off adult tickets and $2 off child tickets. *To receive discounts you can show a Military I.D. card, VA membership or healthcare card, a state verified veteran status […]
November 9, 2017

Veteran Arts Initiative presents: OSU Theater Department’s ‘Beyond All Recognition’

On November 17 at 7:30 p.m. there will be a special showing of an original play by veterans, Beyond All Recognition at the Drake Performance and Event Center. The play is about veterans who have to negotiate the military/civilian divide as the bonds of friendship and honor are tested. There are showings throughout November, with specific dates and times found at: theatre.osu.edu.  The play is about a TV star,  Andy Stark, who has skyrocketed to fame in a new hit television show. Back home in Ohio, his sister Denise is struggling to readjust after military service. Beyond All Recognition is new play about brothers- and sisters-in-arms who have to negotiate the military/civilian divide as the bonds of friendship and honor are tested. Since January 2017, the nine actors in the department’s Master of Fine Arts program have been creating this piece, inspired by their experiences working with local veterans, active military personnel and their family members, and professional caregivers. During the development and creative process they have explored the experiences of war and its aftermath through individual research and by facilitating Shakespeare-based acting workshops for community partners. Immediately following the performance on Friday, November 17, join the cast and invited guests for discussion that centers on the Shakespeare and Veterans initiative. Heather Seymour, Creative Arts Coordinator/Social Worker, Columbus Veterans Administration. Zack Star, founder, VetConnect. Mike Carrell, Assistant Vice Provost, Ohio State Office of Military and Veterans Services. Kevin McClatchy, Project Supervisor, MFA Outreach and Engagement Project. Discounted Tickets for Veterans […]
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