The Wounded Warrior Problem

 

Which charitable organizations do you believe in or donate your time and money to? Today we discuss the controversy surrounding the most well known organization in the veteran outreach community. The Wounded Warrior Project was recently found to be using over 30% of their donations, over $100 million, purely for fundraising purposes such as advertisements, conferences and for whatever else they deem necessary.

 

The organization has also gone after former employees and veterans that have taken it upon themselves to speak out about the non-profit's spending habits. The Wounded Warrior Project has brought a lawsuit against the few former members that may have violated a clause which would force them to stay quiet about the charity's dealings.

 

ReWalk

New advancements in recent technology have brought about the first robotic legs which are aptly named ReWalk. This new technology is currently being tested with amputee veterans to determine the viability of the ReWalk system and will hopefully bring new hope for those that thought that they may never walk again.

 

The Clone Army

The Army has decided that it will begin giving deploying soldiers the option of freezing their sperm or eggs before heading overseas. The Department of Defense has stated that most deploying soldiers are in the prime years for bearing children, but many never get the opportunity due to combat related injuries. This opportunity would allowed wounded soldiers to still plan for a family despite combat related injuries and would also save the government a pretty penny by avoiding reproductive surgery in the case of these soldiers.

 

Kit Kats for Life

A British woman has brought about a particularly interesting lawsuit after purchasing a Kit Kat which did not include the wafer typically found inside the milk chocolate. Instead of suing Nestle for millions as we typically see in today's world (for the most insane reasons), this woman is suing Nestle for a lifetime supply of Kit Kats. The article states that "having one Kit Kat a day at $1.29 would cost $28,000 over a lifetime not including dentist visits."

 

 

 

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-20final.mp3
Category:army -- posted at: 7:00am 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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Operation Supply Drop is an organization that has dedicated itself to serving veterans and soldiers in a unique and interesting way. We had the opportunity to speak with one of their Community Managers, Gray Hogan, about the different approaches they take to be "the most-generationally relevant veteran support organization on the planet serving US, NATO and ANZAC veterans."

 

 

They have 3 primary programs which support both veterans and currently serving soldiers:

  • The Teams: The goal of the Teams Program is to build local groups of military, veterans, and civilians in order to promote a welcoming community where these groups of individuals can relax, have fun, and be accepted.
  • Supply Drops: This program was very much a program developed around sending a crate of video game themed goodies over to deployed service members. Over the years, we have redefined what a Supply Drop is and where we send them.
  • Thank You Deployments: Launched in early 2014 as a result of feedback from our community, the Thank You Deployment program is a hit. Targeted at providing fun and inspiration for veterans and a civilian counterpart. The Thank You Deployment gives us an opportunity to give a VIP type trip to a veteran deserving of the honor.

 

 

Gray was a fantastic guest to have on the show and his organization is one that not only seeks out those veterans and soldiers in need, but does so in a way that is relevant and even rehabilitative for those who need it. 

 

 

We would like to thank Gray and Operation Supply Drop for taking the time to tell us about their organization and would definitely encourage any of you that would like to learn more to download the episode and share it with fellow veterans.

 

 

 

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-018final.mp3
Category:interviews -- posted at: 3:49pm 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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What is your New Year's resolution for 2016? In this episode, we talk a little about our own resolutions and how we hope to bring about the new year in a more positive light. First, Tracy has decided to focus more on training and fitness again as her military photography has taken precedent over her personal business. Want a personal nutrition and fitness program? Email Tracy at themacs@vetscafe.com. Also, we are committed to releasing episodes on a more consistent basis. We even upgraded our mics to the popular Rode Procaster as a motivational boost.

 

 

Know who else had a resolution of their own? The Army. You can read this article to see the new plans the Army has for how they feed you.

 

 

Finally, we had an amazing opportunity to talk with Matthew and Cori Maple who are the founders of the up and coming organization, Clothes for Joes. This newly found non-profit is committed to helping homeless veterans by providing them with jackets and clothing. You can read more about their organization at clothesforjoes.org. They also have an upcoming event if you live in the Indiana area between the 17th and 24th of January taking place at their sponsor's local restaurant.

 

Here are some ways to contact Clothes for Joes if you would like to donate or participate:

 

 

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-016final.mp3
Category:interviews -- posted at: 7:50am EDT
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In episode 15 of the podcast we interview Jennifer Miller about her newest book The Heart You Carry Home. Jennifer teaches writing at Columbia University and has published a number of articles with news outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Fast Company, The Christian Science Monitor and The Daily Beast. She is also the author of two other books: The Year of the Gadfly and Inheriting the Holy Land.

Jennifer's book is a compelling story that follows two characters through their struggle in attempting to cope with the emotional turmoil that soldiers often bring home from combat. The story is a unique perspective in that Jennifer not only deals with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in soldiers, but it gives an eye-opening account to the mostly ignored consequences that it can have on family members as well. 

Click on the link below to view her book at Amazon:

 

 Chapter 1 Preview

Read more about Jennifer at her website: Jennifer Miller.

The article we talked about involving the Rolling Thunder motorcycle group can be seen here. Also, if you are interested in inviting Jennifer to join your book club, visit Jennifer's website to read more about it and contact her directly.

 

 

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-015final.mp3
Category:interviews -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT
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How do you feel about Facebook collecting your Biometric data to bring you a better product? In this episode, we discuss the implications of Facebook collecting facial recognition data via your pictures and the implications that it could possibly have. The opening sound-bite is from Richard Linklater's movie Waking Life.

 

On the topic of the internet and its users, the US government will soon be handing the reigns over to the non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, to be managed in a neutral setting by a private organization. However, it forces one to consider the implications as ICANN is still a government funded non-profit, but not a government entity. Does the 1st Amendment still apply to the internet if it is being managed by a private organization? We can certainly see that governments have no shame in censoring free speech like the current closing of porn sites in India, but does a private organization funded by the government solve this issue, or simply create a puppet entity?

 

Lastly, we discuss the recent development that Marijuana may actually prove to be an effective, and less lethal, treatment to veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although a meaningful discussion is occurring about the use of marijuana by veterans, some states are not willing to bend. As a result, one veteran is currently facing up to a life sentence as the max penalty for having six pot plants in his home which he used to treat his PTSD symptoms.

 

 

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-014final.mp3
Category:army -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT
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In this episode, we open the show discussing the recent issues the Army has had with recruiting soldiers. The opening sound-bite is from the movie Starship Troopers, although the movie had almost nothing to do with the book which was an excellent read. Apparently, the Army is having issues recruiting 40,000 soldiers even though they spent last year cutting 40,000 soldiers.

Speaking of new soldiers in new positions, we also discuss the two females in Ranger school who recently completed the mountain phase and have moved on to the swamp (also the final) phase of the rigorous school. Although they both recycled three times, they have continued to push through the school and have stood strong with their male classmates.

And since we spoke about strong women, who couldn't help but bring up the amazing KO that Ronda Rousey achieved in her most recent match with Correia? We talk briefly about female fitness in general and how Ronda's philosophy revolves around an important lesson her mom taught her about being a "Do Nothing Bitch."

Finally, after the death of Cecil the lion, Tracy and I attempted to hash out our disagreement over the controversial killing of a significant animal. While I felt that the economic consequences and social media outrage were far beyond warranted, Tracy was of the mind that the online movement brought relevant justice in a situation for which a true arbiter didn't exist.

 

 

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-013final.mp3
Category:army -- posted at: 8:40pm 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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Do you have a hobby that you have been considering turning into a business? Have you already started your business? Tracy's photography business, Tracy McKithern Photography, actually started out as a simple hobby. After over a year of continuing to improve, we ultimately started investing more money and turned her hobby into a full fledged business. 

 

If you're wondering about certain aspects of starting your business, we can help! Whether it be web design tutorials and resources, learning Search Engine Optimization, or learning about the accounting and book keeping aspects, we can provide you with some resources and tools to help you get started.

 

Web Design:

  • Treehouse - A great resource for learning web design. Be sure to email them about the veteran discount!
  • Tutvid - A great Youtube resource for learning specific HTML and CSS tricks.
  • CSS Tricks - Great for CSS refinement and updated details for CSS3.

 

Business:

  • Skillport - Army resources including online courses and classes that count as promotion points.
  • KISSmetrics - A great site for understanding social media marketing.

 

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-011final.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 12:54pm EDT
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