Memorial Day Poppies
The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is a Memorial Day tradition. The practice takes its origin from the poem In Flanders Fields, written in 1915 by John McCrae. Is your organization planning to distribute poppies this year? Let us know so we can pass the word – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark your calendars for a Town Hall meeting:
LGBTQ Issues in the Veteran Space: A Discussion with Subject Matter Experts
DVVC invites you to attend a Town Hall meeting on June 2, 2021, from 3 to 4:15 p.m. on Zoom to discuss this important topic with experts in the field.
Registration information will be available at our new & updated website: www.dvvc.org (Note: we’ll have more on about the website update in next month’s newsletter!)
NEWS FROM OUR MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS
America Salutes is an annual online event honoring high school seniors enlisting in the U.S. Armed Services after graduation. The event was created last year by DVVC member organization Our Community Salutes (OCS) and founder Dr. Ken Hartman to honor the graduating class nationwide at a time when most local OCS events had to be suspended.
The event is hosted this year by actor Jon Huertas, a U.S. Air Force veteran who plays Miguel in the hit NBC show “This is Us”. America Salutes 2021 will feature celebrities, music artists, and military leaders saying “Thank You” to more than 150,000 high school seniors who are enlisting.
Event is May 4th at 7 p.m. with an encore at 9 p.m. Register online here to get an email with the event link on the day of the event.
May is Military Appreciation Month! Show the High School Enlistee Class of 2021 that you care. Send them a message by signing the OCS Virtual Thank You Card at https://www.ourcommunitysalutes.org/
Penn Medicine Veterans of Care/Penn Platoon Distinguished Lecture Series
Remembering and Honoring Those Who Serve this Memorial Day
Join us for an engaging program and enjoy camaraderie and networking with your colleagues on Thursday, May 13, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Join the event here.
This month’s speaker is Rear Admiral Bruce L. Gillingham, Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy, who will provide a briefing and discuss common challenges the Navy and Penn Medicine face today. Rear Admiral Thomas E. Beeman, USN (ret), will host a question-and-answer session.
Mind Your Brain Podcast Features Cohen Clinic Director
The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania, another long-time DVVC member organization, provides high quality mental health care for veterans, military members, and their families at no cost. In Episode 33 of the Mind Your Brain Foundation’s podcast series, Clinic Director Dr. Leah Blain discusses the intersection of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and combating the stigma in the military community. Check out the podcast, Finding Help for Hidden Heroes, here.
To learn more about The Cohen Clinic at Penn or to schedule an appointment, visit: www.pennmedicine.org/veterans or call 844-573-3146.
Focus on LinkedIn, ATS, Clubhouse, DEI & more in May!
A Sampling of Career Info & Events from Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group
Any meeting with a $5 fee is free for unemployed veterans by arranging with Lynne in advance that you want to attend – email@example.com.
- Clubhouse Job Seeker Power Hour with Lynne Williams every Friday, 11 a.m. – 12 noon. You must be on Clubhouse to participate.
- Handling Difficult Interview Challenges with Ken Sher on May 4, 9-11 a.m.
- LinkedIn by various presenters both days and evenings on May 6, 11, 12, and 15.
- Ally Up! The Definitive Guide to Building More Inclusive, Innovative, and Productive Teams with Di Ciruolo on May 10, 6 – 8 p.m.
- Mastering the Job Interview (Oscars Edition) with Adriel Lubarsky on May 13, 9-11 a.m.
- Beating the Applicant Tracking System with Lynne Williams at Northern New Jersey Chapter of the Association for Talent Development (NNJ-ATD) on May 13, 6-8 p.m.
Registration links are at https://greatcareersphl.org/events.
Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network Develops Professionals in Business
Veteran Business Referral Network Regular Meeting – Wednesday, May 19, 8 a.m.
VBRN connects veterans so they can help each other thrive in their businesses. Get involved with other passionate and motivated veterans committed to sharing prospects and helping each other’s businesses grow and flourish.
This month’s speaker is Alex Gorsky, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson – one of just seven leaders who have served in the dual role since the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1944.
A longtime advocate of diversity and inclusion and supporter of Veterans’ issues, Alex is an active member of the Business Roundtable and the Business Council and sits on the board of directors of the Travis Manion Foundation and IBM. Register here.
Chapel of the Four Chaplains Foundation Celebrates 70 Years!! Events Include:
Thursday, May 13
9 – 11 a.m. 5th Annual Veteran Health Symposium (Virtual)
12 – 5 p.m. Chapel Open House
3 – 3:30 p.m. U.S.A.T. Dorchester Survivor Plaque & Hope Chapel Dedication Ceremony*
4 – 4:30 p.m. The Four Chaplains Story
7 – 9 p.m. “Under the Chapel Lights” Social and Open House at the Chapel
Friday, May 14
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Chapel Open House, including The Four Chaplains Story at 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 15 Armed Forces Day
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Central Region Nordic Alliance National Trail Orienteering Championships
12 – 1 p.m. “Lost at Sea” Memorial Brick Dedication
1 – 4 p.m. Open House with Mission BBQ – come and enjoy, no tickets necessary
6:30 – 9 p.m. Legion of Honor Gold Medallion Award Ceremony*
Presentation to Dr. Kenneth Hartman, Founder, “Our Community Salutes”
Sunday, May 16
10 a.m. – noon Central Region Nordic Alliance National Trail O Championships, Day 2
12 – 4 p.m. “Salute to the 70th” Marian Anderson Historical Society & Museum Scholars
The Marian Anderson Historical Society lead by Jillian Pirtle will be hosting a live concert at the Chapel. Bring a picnic basket and sit in the tent to hear some beautiful music.
Team River Runner Offering Intro Course
Intro to Whitewater Paddle – Saturday, May 8, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Trinley Park
This course is for those who have proven themselves to TRR in the past in the areas of wet exit and the water comfort test; knowing a whitewater roll is not necessary.
The plan is to work on the basic skills of paddling upstream, paddling downstream, reading the river, surfing, eddying, rolls, ferrying, paddle strokes, etc. Email Joe Heinz at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and get the details.
Get Dirty in South Jersey with Heroic Gardens
Heroic Gardens is partnering with the Stratford Township Parks and Recreation Department to help transform their beautiful Veterans Memorial Park into a destination for all Veterans and the community to remember those who have served.
The first volunteer event at this location is Saturday, May 22, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bring work shoes and a pair of gardening gloves and get ready to clear your mind. Registration required; sign up for this event and other like it at https://heroicgardens.org/volunteer.
Upcoming VA Virtual Events
Corporate Fellowship Information Session – Tuesday, May 11, 7 – 8 p.m.
The Corporate Fellowship Program is an innovative 12-week program that provides transitioning service members with professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. Join Hiring Our Heroes for a question-and-answer session for prospective fellows. All prospective service member applicants are strongly encouraged to view the HOH Corporate Fellowship Program Overview found here. Additional questions will be answered at this session.
Virtual Group: Coping in 2021 & Beyond – Wednesday, May 12, noon – 1:30 p.m.
Hiring Our Heroes is pleased to present the fifth annual Military Spouse Employment Summit. During this virtual event, we will celebrate the progress that community and corporate leaders have made in elevating the conversation around military spouse employment and keeping it in the forefront.
See the entire list of upcoming events at https://www.va.gov/outreach-and-events/events/ And please share with the Veterans, Service Members, and Family Members you serve!
VA2K 2021 is back!
The Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center’s annual VA2K event will be held as a Virtual Wellness Week, May 17-21st.
The week will be filled with fitness challenges to support your whole health and well-being while also helping Veterans who are experiencing homelessness.
To participate, join PHL VA2K Teams page: https://bit.ly/3t3IIEF
Questions: Beth Korb, Elizabeth.Korb@va.gov
All Veterans, their spouses, and caregivers can get COVID vaccinations from VA
Crescenz, Coatesville, and Wilmington VA Medical Centers are now vaccinating all Veterans, including those who are not enrolled or eligible for VA health care, their spouses, caregivers, and CHAMPVA beneficiaries.
Veterans who are enrolled in VA Health Care should call the number for the VAMC where they normally receive care (including if they receive care at an associated CBOC):
All other Veterans and spouses call the following numbers to pre-register and get information on scheduling an appointment.
Or sign-up online using the “Keep Me Informed” tool at www.va.gov/covid-19-vaccine
This newsletter serves DVVC member organizations by providing information to share with Veterans. Member organizations can also use our LinkedIn group, https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12177627/ and Facebook page, www.facebook.com/dvvcorg, to get the word out! Let us know how we can help!
News from the Executive Committee May 2021
It is my honor to contribute to the May issue of our DVVC Newsletter, as we observe Memorial Day this month. For over 250 years, my organization, Penn Medicine, has proudly stood next to our nation’s armed forces. Today, the Penn Medicine community includes hundreds of Veterans and Reservists, recruited for their ability to perform in situations that require extraordinary skill, poise, and integrity.
Memorial Day was first established to honor those who died in battle. Today, many observe Memorial Day as a day to honor all Veterans and their stories, along with caring for those veterans across the course of their lifetime.
Those who join the service go with the understanding they may go to a contingency environment at war or an environment foreign and unknown. Military medicine has gained a great deal of insight on multiple toxin exposures and combat-related injuries, both physical and invisible, associated with trauma. Decades of research has also revealed the impact of trauma and stress on deployed service members who are separated from their families and worried about their well-being.
When the warrior finds themselves in a combat zone they are exposed to many aspects of war, both physical and emotional. Physical exposures, such as a blasts, can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI) alongside other injuries. Combat experiences themselves can have a lasting impact even in the absence of physical injury. Bearing witness to the death of a brother or sister in arms, being asked to do things one was raised to believe were unforgivable, and witnessing suffering one cannot mend, can take their toll. These experiences, both physical and emotional, can lead to psychological stress for the warrior, including anger, irritability, memory loss, behavior or mood changes, depressed mood, increased anxiety, and hypervigilance.
All of us – fellow Veterans, family, friends, and community members – must pay close attention to signs of distress, including symptoms of TBI, PTSD, and suicidality. It is important for everyone in the warrior’s life to be informed, supportive, and ready to act, if needed, to prevent one of the leading causes of death of our warriors today: SUICIDE. We must be armed with the information and ability to support our warriors. And, every person who has served should have access to high-quality, effective care to stay safe, healthy, and thriving.
This Memorial Day, we honor all who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our country, including those who later lost their lives to service-related injuries and illnesses, and all those who are bravely fighting their battles today. We at Penn Medicine are pleased to stand with so many supportive DVVC member organizations this Memorial Day.
Paula E. Crawford-Gamble, MSN, CRNP, CAPT, NC, USN (Ret)
Penn Medicine Veterans Care Excellence Liaison
I would like to express a heartfelt appreciation to Leah Blain, PhD, Clinical Director of the Steve Cohen Clinic for her contribution towards this article promoting a credible text to this sensitive subject matter.