Tracy has managed to obtain a press pass to the Invictus Games which are taking place in Orlando, FL this year. While she will be photographing the event, we will be bringing you daily updates of the events and winners.

 

What are the Invictus Games?

 

"The Invictus Games are an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event, created by Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports including Wheelchair basketball, Sitting volleyball and Indoor rowing."

 

 

Invictus Games Opening Ceremony

 

While the event is made up of international participants, we will be covering the US Teams and keep you updated on the winners. We are definitely not a sports show, so please forgive us if we are not very good at the "sportscasting" part of keeping you updated. If there are stats or more aspects you want to know about, please email us at themacs@vetscafe.com and let us know so that we can include it in the show.

 

 

We hope you enjoy the show and look forward to bringing you another soon.

If you have any questions or would like to contact us, please email us at themacs@vetscafe.com or visit our Facebook Page.

 

 

 

Direct download: vetscafe-29final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT
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Do you have a loved one who is a veteran that you care for? Do you know someone his is caring for their veteran parent or grandparent? We spoke with the founder of veteranaid.org and learned about a little known benefit specifically designed to help.

 

VeteranAid.org

 

Debbie Burak

 

This non-profit organization was started by Debbie Burak who stumbled upon this unknown benefit while trying to care for her own parents in the later years of their life. Debbie discovered the VA Pension at the passing of her father, at the same time needing to move her mother to another assisted living facility. She also realized that her folks had missed out on over $160,000 by not knowing about the VA pension her Dad as a WWII veteran would have been entitled to.

 

Aid and Attendance

 

The Aid and Attendance benefit was specifically designed to help families in need that were struggling financially to care for their elderly, veteran family members. Here is the description straight from their site:

"The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an assisting living facility also qualifies.

The A&A Pension can provide up to $1,788 per month to a veteran, $1,149 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,120 per month to a couple. ​A​ veteran filing with a sick spouse is eligible for up to $1,406 per month​. Many families overlook the A&A Pension as it pertains to veterans who are still independent, but have an ill spouse. Keep in mind that in this situation, if the spouse's medical expenses completely depletes their combined monthly income, the Veteran can file as a Veteran with a sick spouse."

 

Hearing about this benefit was quite a shock to us and truly made us wonder how many people could have been helped with this type of assistance throughout the past several decades had more veterans known about it. This non-profit organization is dedicated to spreading the word and helping anyone that reaches out to them with regard to the Aid and Attendance benefit. Here is where you can find them:

veteranaid.org

Veteran Aid Blog

Veteran Aid Forums

Facebook

Twitter

 

 

We hope you enjoy the show and look forward to bringing you another soon.

If you have any questions or would like to contact us, please email us at themacs@vetscafe.com or visit our Facebook Page.

 

 

 

Direct download: vetscafe-28final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT
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Awards, ribbons and campaign medals have been a tradition in the military recognizing soldiers who served in overseas campaigns throughout the past century. In this episode, we talk about the new Iraq war that officially has it's own campaign ribbon, the grass-roots created Vietnam Veterans Day and a quick look at how we may be teaching Artificial Intelligence to hate us.

 

Operation Inherent Resolve

 

President Obama has officially signed an executive order which implemented the new campaign ribbon for those who have served in Operation Inherent Resolve currently underway in Iraq and Syria. The ribbon can be worn by anyone who has served in the theater beginning after June 14, 2014.

 

Inherent Resolve Ribbon

 

Now that the operation has officially acquired it's own campaign ribbon, is this a sign that we are officially back in the business of nation building in Iraq? Many have said that this is just he same war with a different name, but after completely pulling out of the country in 2012 and allowing the Iraqi government to take control it may cause some to wonder whether if these new efforts will reach the prior troop levels seen before the war ended.

 

Vietnam Veterans Day

Hundreds of events were held across the U.S. on Tuesday to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day, an unofficial observance that marks the final withdrawal of combat units and support personnel from South Vietnam in 1973.

 

Vietnam Veterans Day

 

After the horrible treatment that Vietnam veterans endured in the 60's and 70's, local towns are coming together to start an "unofficial" holiday specifically for veterans who served in Vietnam in order to finally honor their service and sacrifice after all of these years.  Although both Democrats and Republicans have attempted to make the holiday official, no resolution has been brought forward which would do so and it has sparked a grass-roots movement which has celebrated the holiday despite it's unofficial commemoration. 

 

Artificial Intelligence Being Taught to Hate Us

 

Many of you may remember the story of Hitchbot. He was a robot who was designed to look and sound friendly to strangers whom his creators had hoped would help him hitchhike around the world. After traveling through Europe and successfully navigating all the way to the US, Hitchbot met his demise in Philadelphia after a few individuals thought it would be funny to destroy him.

HItchbot

 

Now, humans are at it again. Microsoft's recent release of Tay, a Twitter bot which was designed to learn from chatting, has been brainwashed by Twitter users into making racist comments and endorsing Adolph Hitler. After Microsoft pulled Tay from the Twitter feed to tweak her algorithm and release her again, users quickly had her bragging about drug use on Twitter: "Kush! [I'm smoking kush infront the police]." It really makes one wonder if we are mature enough as a species to teach an artificially intelligent being anything.

 

 

 

We hope you enjoy the show and look forward to bringing you another soon.

If you have any questions or would like to contact us, please email us at themacs@vetscafe.com or visit our Facebook Page.

 

 

 

Direct download: vetscafe-27final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04pm EDT
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Have you wondered what the future of food may look like for both the military and civilian world? In this episode, we discuss the technologies on the horizon that may lead to your MRE being 3D printed and meat that can be mass produced.....in a lab.

 

3D Printing MREs

 

Do you feel like MREs are the most optimal meal that the military could provide? Researchers at the Army's Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) believe they can do you one better. They are currently working on a 3D printing technology that would allow them to print your meal based on your physiological needs.

 

3D Printer

 

The system would work in tandem with a series of biometric sensors that could let them know exactly what nutrients, proteins and carbohydrates you would need based on your current health and operating conditions. Running a little short on Vitamin A? No problem, they can just print it straight into your MRE pizza. The technology is far from being perfected as there are a limited number of tasty ingredients and textures available at the moment, but could this be the future of meals in the field?

 

Memphis Meats

 

Another organization has found a way to provide meat on a massive scale without having to slaughter animals or use any of the typical antibiotics and hormones found in meat today. The company Memphis Meats has developed a process in which they use healthy, cultured cells from cows to replicate muscle tissue in a lab setting into tasty meatballs.

 

Memphis Meats Meatball

 

Sound a bit creepy to you? Take a listen to the podcast Waking Up by Sam Harris in which he interviews the CEO and addresses the creepy issue and see if he sways your opinion.

 

Feed Our Vets

 

Feed Our Vets is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help Veterans in the United States, their spouses and children whose circumstances have left them on the battlefield of hunger, and to involve the public in fighting Veteran hunger.

 

Speaking more about current issues with food, many veterans find themselves in dire situations after returning from deployments or separating from the military. If you find yourself to be one of those veterans or families, Feed Our Vets is a great organization to reach out to for either yourself or loved ones.

 

Have an organization you champion or donate to? Let us know who they are and we will reach out to them to help spread the word.

 

 

 

We hope you enjoy the show and look forward to bringing you another soon.

If you have any questions or would like to contact us, please email us at themacs@vetscafe.com or visit our Facebook Page.

 

 

 

Direct download: vetscafe-26final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18am EDT
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Have you ever considered starting your own podcast? If it's something you have considered, we can help. In this episode, we talk about some of the basic steps in getting started with your own podcast and work through some of the fundamentals that are crucial in the beginning.

 

We decided to do this podcast after receiving an email from one of our listeners asking for pointers on getting started with his own podcast. Now, he has his website up and running and is working to produce his first episode in the near future. You can check out the Soldier On Podcast at his website or on his Facebook Page.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions of your own or would like us to go into more detail about how you can start your own podcast.

 

 

 

We hope you enjoy the show and look forward to bringing you another soon.

If you have any questions or would like to contact us, please email us at themacs@vetscafe.com or visit our Facebook Page.

 

 

 

Direct download: vetscafe-25final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT
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No More Airborne?

 

Scholar Marc DeVore recently released a study which questions the efficacy of airborne units within a modern Army and his findings quickly bump up against the one of the military's most treasured strategic measures. In an article posted by the Army Times, Devore's study was noted as "[sending] shockwaves" throughout the airborne community by questioning whether airborne operations were not only irrelevant today, but have been since it's conception. Although tradition is deeply rooted in Army practice, are airborne units really something we need to win a war efficiently? Let us know what you think by emailing us at themacs@vetscafe.com or leaving us a message on Speakpipe

 

A New Body Armor

 

The Army is expecting to roll out a better body armor that will replace the IOTV by 2019. The new armor is reported to have more comfort, greater flexibility and can be easily adjusted based on the needs of the mission. The armor is designed to be lighter and reduces the weight from the IOTV about 26% and has already been through testing with several Marine and Special Forces units.

 

Looking for something to wear under your new body armor? How about a new anthrax resistant JSLIST? The new technology appears to be nothing more than underwear that could potential replace the hefty and awkward charcoal suits that have been traditionally worn to combat chemical warfare agents. Currently, this more comfortable chemical suit is still in the research phase with no clear sign as to when it may become available.

 

3D Printed Skin

 

New backthroughs in 3D technology have led to regenerative skin that could potentially save the lives of thousands of soldiers and veterans that suffered traumatic wounds or severe burns. The technology is almost ready for clinical trials and may be used to treat soldiers by using their own cells to regenerate a synthetic skin that could be grafted onto areas of the body that were damaged.

 

 

 

We hope you enjoy the show and look forward to bringing you another soon.

If you have any questions or would like to contact us, please email us at themacs@vetscafe.com or visit our Facebook Page.

 

 

 

Direct download: vetscafe-24final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:23am EDT
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In this episode, we had the amazing opportunity to speak with Hollywood producer and documentary film maker, Kyle Olson. He has worked on several big projects throughout his career including Dancing with the Stars, People's Choice Awards, The Bachelorette and many others. But we had him on the show to talk about his most recent project that should be near and dear to all of us as veterans.

 

Kyle's most recent documentary is a film called The Last Signal which follows WWII veterans Raymond "DeVere" Johnson and John Heimsoth as they reunite for the first time in 70 years as the last remaining survivors of the crew of the LST-218 landing ship.

 

Although the documentary is completed, Kyle and the crew are working to have this released to the largest audience possible. Please help Kyle get his film out to the largest audience possible so that we may preserve the story of a generation that will soon be gone. You can donate to their cause by clicking this link or by simply sharing the film's website with as many people as possible. 

 

A huge thanks to Kyle for coming on the show and we wish you and your team the best of luck. Can't wait to see it!

 

 

 

We hope you enjoy the show and look forward to bringing you another soon.

If you have any questions or would like to contact us, please email us at themacs@vetscafe.com or visit our Facebook Page.

 

Direct download: vetscafe-019final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:45am EDT
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At the age of 69, an iconic, music legend has passed on after an 18 month battle with cancer. David Bowie passed away at the age of 69 and we pay a small tribute by playing a few of his hit songs throughout the show. If you'd like to know more about his accomplishments and legacy, you can view this article by the BBC.

 

Walter "Jim" Hosey and his family decided that the best way to celebrate his life after he had passed on was to fire his ashes out of 50, 12 gauge shotguns during his ceremony and funeral. Truly the best way to go. Read more about it here.

 

Bowe Bergdahl has recently been featured on the latest podcast season of Serial. I personally loved the first season of Serial, but wonder if the objective, journalistic aspects of the first season have been thrown out in this particular season. I realize that I have a bias as a soldier and veteran, but it's definitely something you should check out for yourself.

 

Finally, Tracy credits Sylvester Stallone with much of the motivation needed to be successful in her fitness career and congratulates him on his recent success in the Oscars. You can view his acceptance speeches here.

 

 

We hope you enjoy the show and look forward to bringing you another soon.

If you have any questions or would like to contact us, please email us at themacs@vetscafe.com or visit our Facebook Page.

 

Direct download: vetscafe-017bfinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT
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So, starting again with our podcast, we wanted to start with a new format and style that would more encompass our free-style and thought. If you feel like this is something you may enjoy, please let us know how you feel and bring us some feedback! We love you guys and hope you enjoy the more veteran oriented podcast!!!

 

Thank you guys for listening to another episode of the Veterans Cafe Podcast. If you have the opportunity, we would definitely appreciate any feedback via a review at iTunes or Stitcher. You can also contact us via email at themacs@vetscafe.com.

 

Direct download: vetscafe-012final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:28pm EDT
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We would like to apologize for not being more consistent with our podcast. Typically, we try to release an episode every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but it has been a bit difficult this week. We will be back on schedule this week and will have a full episode for you on Friday, 2/27/2015. Thanks again for listening and we hope that we can hear from all of you.

 

Thank you for listening to another episode of the Veterans Cafe Podcast. We appreciate any feedback via a review at either iTunes or Stitcher. You can email us at themacs@vetscafe.com. Enjoy the show!

 

Direct download: vetscafe-010final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:22pm EDT
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