Business Energy

U.S Military / Veterans with our civilian counterparts

Building stronger communities together

Orlando & surrounding areas

"If They Don't Know You, You Don't Know Them"

The POWER of
ONE
NETWORK

Updated: February 2022

Table of Contents

Craig Leyson Portfolio

About The Founder

Craig

President / Owner

U.S Air Force Veteran

Advertising / Consulting / Marketing / Podcast / Commercials / Public Relations

I’m a very motivated self-starter. I’m able to stay very focused. I have a big heart. My passion is connecting people. When I talk to people, I’m very confident in where I’m heading and people respond to that.

CY6 Podcast

Featuring Tim and Craig
Small Business owners with a military background discuss the challenges of business ownership, transitions from active duty and taking your experience and training from the military into the civilian business world. Join your hosts Craig Leysen with Vets Growth and Tim Proctor with GRP Studios as they discuss and talk with other small business owners on a variety of topics.
check your 6 logo

Website Support

My Website Spot

Need help getting your business on the web? My Website Spot is an Orlando-based business, and our team of full-stack developers brings out the best of WordPress by creating custom solutions that are easy to manage. If you have questions about a new or existing site, we are the ones to call!

"You Can Do Anything, You Can't Do Everything"

Vets Growth Alliance Team

Specialist in their fields

The Vets Growth Alliance team is a group of members that are specialized in the services that they are. No matter what you need, we have someone in our alliance team who can help with any of your business needs. 

Tim

U.S Air Force Veteran

GRP Studios traces its origins back to 1974 when founder Greg Rike began recording radio jingles. Looking back, it’s been quite a journey. From a small home studio writing and recording jingles back in 1974, to being a lab instructor at fledgling Full Sail, to becoming a veteran-owned business, here we are . . . four studios and 40+ years later!

Jerald

Veteran Support

MyWebsite Spot can assist you with a custom-tailored website design constructed on sound strategic, creative and technical solutions. We are a search engine optimization, website design, and maintenance organization in Orlando, FL dedicated to providing quality results and creative graphic design for all of our clients.

sean esler

Sean

Veteran Support

Sean Esler – Edge Consulting, Inc. With over 30 years of experience providing technology and growth strategies Sean has geared his business towards providing the small business the EDGE they need to be efficient and successful. This includes providing the tools and security to protect your business and he served to keep you running.

Jennifer

Veteran Support

The Orlando Law Group – She is the managing partner and founder.  For over 15 years, she has focused on business disputes, business law, general civil litigation, special needs & education law, family law, personal injury, and real estate. She has represented entities and individuals in both federal and state trial and appellate courts.

John

U.S. Army Veteran

A Hero For Kids is a Veteran founded ALL volunteer 501(c)(3) Foundation that works to make our community a better place for our children, Veterans, and our First Responders. We partner with schools, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, community groups, civic organizations, veterans groups, non-profits, and like-minded individuals to help where needed.

wanda parisi

Wanda

Veteran Support

Embroidery Plus Promotional offers a variety of branding services. While we focus on and specialize in exceptional custom embroidered shirts, we also offer screen printing and all other promotional items you may need to promote your business such as ink pens, flash drives, water bottles, coffee mugs etc. for all your branding solutions.

Vetsgrowth Alliance Team Tony Busby

Tony

U.S. Army Veteran

GreatFlorida Insurance – Tony Busby a US Army Combat Veteran is an insurance agent that prides himself on assisting people keep their dreams intact when things happen. He works with over 200 carriers nationally and will take the time to explain the coverage and why you should or should not have it. 

Marv

U.S Air Force Veteran

Dr Marv’s Perfect Portraits specializes in Business Portraits and has been In Business for 40+ Years. He us a Photographer
and Touch up Artist. Proofs are sent after the Shoot and your choice selection is attached with a new Background color or
outdoor scene. You receive a finished file for Printing

Joel

Veteran Support

Edward Jones will develop a comprehensive, personalized strategy
that is focused on what is most important to you. Their goal is to understand
the “why” behind their clients’ goals; whether it is related to retirement,
college savings, preparing for the unexpected, or another goal.
As a client of his office, you will experience service tailored to your goals.
They often refer to their clients as a family because of their close relationship
and understanding of what is most important to them.

Pamela

Veteran Support

Pamela Costa (Realtor – Coldwell Banker Realty) is a native of Central Florida. She is happy to share local details of the real estate market in your desired area to help you sell or buy a home in Orange, Volusia, Lake, Polk, Seminole Counties in the City, Country or on the Beach. She has many certifications such as Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) and Seniors Real Estate Services (SRES) and is a Pricing Strategy Specialist (PSA) and is a Member of the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing and assisting U.S. Veterans in Relocating anywhere. She is available 360 days a year from 7 am – 9 pm to call, text or email.

dottie adams

Helen

U.S. Army Veteran

Connecting the Dots for Veterans – Helen is a Persian Gulf era, Army service-connected disabled veteran that served from 1986 to 1990. She has over 30 years of experience educating veterans and their families, free of charge, on how to navigate the VA process and maximize their benefits. She is the founder and president of a non-profit called “Connecting the dots for Veterans”.

"Tackle Challenges, Promote Innovations, and Bring People Together"

Business Energy Teams

Businesses That Help Veterans

The Business Energy Team is a dedicated group of entrepreneurs and business owners that help many veterans in their community.

Veteran Business Team

These Soldiers below all have achieved being that “Leader”

Camaraderie: mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together. Air Force / Army / Coast Guard / Marines / Navy / National Guard / Reserves / Space Force

Military Bearing: A strong military bearing in a leader will instill pride in Soldiers. A strong military bearing among leaders will create a sense in the Soldiers that their leader is technically and tactically proficient and a true professional leader, a leader whom they can trust, respect and place their confidence on, a leader who will take care of them. They will want to follow and be like that leader

A Hero For Kids

John Kalish

U.S. Army Veteran

Email: John@AHeroForKids.org

Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks

Matt Stetson

U.S Marine Veteran

Email: Matt@accomplicecider.com

Carl Black

Omar Rodriguez

U.S. Marine Veteran

Phone: 407-426-3000

Command K9 Service Dogs

Alexandra Nass

U.S Army Veteran

Email: a.nass@CommandK9sd.com

County Veterans’ Service Office

Tommie Maldonado

U.S. Army Veteran

Phone: 407-836-8990

GreatFlorida Insurance

Tony Busby

U.S. Army Veteran

Email: Tonyb@greatflorida.com

GRP Studios

Tim Proctor

U.S. Air Force Veteran

Email: tim@grpstudios.com

Ignite RPM

Vince Loran

U.S. Air Force Veteran

Phone: 407-706-3020

Lake Nona Veterans Club

Tom Keen

U.S. Navy Veteran

Email: ctkeen@gmail.com

Last Chance Enterprise

Dennis Last

U.S. Air Veteran

Phone: 321-388-1572

Marketing Technologist

Susan Finnigan

U.S. Marine Veteran

Phone: 239-207-5805

Perfect Portraits

Marv Broderick

U.S. Air Force Veteran

Email: DrMarvsPerfectPortraits@gmail.com

Protech AC

Shawn Graham

U.S. Navy Veteran

Email: Shawn.Graham@protechac.com

Randolph – Real Estate

Ron Randolph

U.S. Army Veteran

Phone: 407-454-0214

Southern Cycles

Nate Bower

U.S Marine Veteran

Email: southerncycles1@gmail.com

Techy Electronic Repairs

Chuck Davidson

U.S. Coast Guard Veteran

Email: clermont@techycompany.com

Vets Growth

Business Energy and Veterans Business Alliance

Craig Leysen

U.S. Air Force Veteran

Phone: 407-754-5779

I highly recommend U.S. Veterans Magazine For Additional Veteran Needs.
U.S. Veterans Magazine is published quarterly
You won’t find a Better Veterans Magazine Anywhere

Charities

Veteran Charities

Below are charities that support Veterans and active soldiers. You can contact the organization below if you would like to volunteer or support their mission.

Camaraderie Foundation
Command K9 Service Dogs
Command K9 Service Dogs
connect the dots for veterans logo
Connecting the dots for Veterans
Hometown Heroes Alliance
KISS: Kids In Support of Soldiers
Tuskegee Airmen Inc

Find Your Home

Pamela Costa Helps Veterans Find Or Sell Their Homes

“Florida is a great place for home ownership and has so much to offer for all kinds of lifestyle choices. I welcome the opportunity to earn the right to help anyone wanting to buy or sell a home here.”

Your R&R is waiting
Armed Forces Vacation Club
A WEEK OF RESORT R&R
Just $379 * USD

The Best thing about Armed Forces Vacation Club? Its complexly free to join and full of BIG benefits – exclusively for active duty, retired members, and veterans of the military

That includes weeklong resort stays in dream destinations all over the world. All starting at just $379. Join today, save and get going.

Fisher House Foundation

Helping Military Families

Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military & veteran families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital.

These homes are located at military and VA medical centers around the world.

Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room, and an inviting living room.

All Your Video Recording Needs

Tim Proctor GRP Studios
A team of audio and video professionals with over 40 years of experience committed to bringing your vision to life.

Tuskegee Airman, International

Then, Now, Future!

Sylvester L. Terry

President, Tuskegee Airman, International

CMSgt Richard R. Hall, Jr. Chapter

Our Orange County, Florida-based Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen lives up to its motto: Then,  Now, Future! 

Approaching our 2nd year in existence – even through the pandemic – The Chief Master Sergeant  Richard R. Hall Jr. has partnered with the 40-year-old Brevard County-based General Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. Chapter to inform our community of the Tuskegee Airmen Legacy, provide STEM-based Avionics and Aviation education, and prepare our youth and young adults for  careers in the Avionics and Aviation industries. 

Combining the experience of the General Chappie James Chapter with the relationships of the  Chief Hall Chapter members, we will grow exposure and opportunities from the Space Coast to  Research Park to the Gulf Coast of Florida. With the larger community support, we will  continue to provide FAA-level education and Certification in Drone Piloting and Services as  well as education and licensing opportunities for Single Engine, Twin Engine, and Commercial Piloting. Leveraging our members’ experiences and relationships with Air Traffic Control,  Avionics Systems, certified aircraft mechanics, and more; we will provide exposure to many  other career paths beyond piloting aircraft. 

The General Chappie James Chapter provided 3 members a full-ride scholarship to a piloting  education program. With no previous experience, successful completion of the program will  provide the students the opportunity to obtain their Private Pilots License, Pilot Instrument  Rating, advance to a Commercial Pilot Licence, and some will become Certified Flight  Instructors (CFI). At the end of the program, 3 graduates will receive immediate job  opportunities while the remaining graduate will be offered CFI Positions.  

14 Tuskegee Airmen Chapter Members have received Professional Drone Pilots training so far.  FAA Certifications will be their next achievement. 

Adult and Youth Membership to our Tuskegee Airmen Chapter is now open! We also welcome  Corporate Membership and Business Sponsorship to help us achieve these goals. 

Contact Sylvester Terry President@CFLC-TAI.org for more information. You may also read  more about the Chief Hall Jr. Chapter and submit your membership application at our website: www.CFLC-TAI.org/Forms 

Sylvester L. Terry Jr. 
President, Tuskegee Airman, International 
CMSgt Richard R. Hall, Jr. Chapter 
President@CFLC-TAI.org 
www.cflc-tai.org

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum!

Veterans Day Discounts

U.S. Military & Veterans

In honor of our U.S veterans, many companies and organizations are providing products, meals, services and entertainment at a discounts rate specifically for military. Veterans, active military personnel and. their families. Plan your Veterans Day today with some of this year’s offers:

Note: The Below applies to all active-duty military and veterans  individually unless otherwise stated. Valid Military ID may be required to redeem these perks.

FOOD

7-Eleven: One free coffee or big gulp, also redeemable to military family members.

BJ’s Restaurant: Complimentary entrée under $14.95 and free Dr. Pepper on Veterans Day

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co: Military Personnel and their families will receive 20% off entire order when they dine=-in on Veterans Day.

Cici’s Pizza: Free food from select items for Veterans with valid ID.

Coco’s: One free slice of pie and “Buy One, Get One” free Promotion at all locations on Veterans Day for dine-in and take-out orders.

Denny’s: Varying discounts per location, usually around 10-20% off

Dunkin Donuts: One free donut on Veterans Day, in-store only.

Joe’s Crab Shack: 20% off purchase on Veterans Day.

Krispy Kreme: Free Doughnut and coffee on Veterans Day.

Olive Garden: One Free Entrée from a special menu with dine-in. 

Starbucks: Free tall coffee on Veterans Day, also redeemable to military spouses.

Texas Roadhouse: From 11am = 2pm, Texas Roadhouse will be handing out free dinner vouchers to veterans and active-duty military on Veterans Day. The Free meal can be redeemed that night or at a future date.

Yard House: One complimentary appetizer on Veterans Day. 

 

SHOPPING

Bass Pro Shops: 10% off entire purchase in store or online on Veterans Day.

Bed, Bath, & Beyond: 25% off entire purchase, also redeemable to military spouses

Cabela’s: 10% off entire purchase in store or online on Veterans Day, some exclusions apply.

Dollar General: 11% off any purchase online or in -store, also applies to military families

Food Lion: 10% off in store purchase, also applies to military spouses.

Home Depot: 10% off entire purchase

Lowes: 10% off entire purchase, also applies to immediate family members.

Old Navy: 10% off in-store purchase.

Pax Forever: 15% off your purchase, also applies to military families

Pottery Barn: 15% off your purchase, also applies to military families

Rack Room Shoes: 20% off entire purchase, also redeemable to military family members.

Target: 10% off during the early weeks of. November, discount also applies to military family members

Under Armour: 40% off entire purchase, also redeemable to teachers, healthcare workers, policeman, firemen, and. first responders 

Yeti: 30% off your entire purchase

 

SERVICES:

24 Hour Fitness: $5.00 off monthly payments on select memberships, also applies to military spouses. 

Amtrak: 10% off travel all year long across Amtrak rails for all veterans.

Beaches Resorts: In additional to current military discounts existing with. Beaches Resorts, an extra 10% will discounted during the month of November.

Free Oil Changes: Many local auto repair shops offer free oil changes for veterans on Veterans Day. Inquire at your local shops to see if they are the ones of the many honoring the discount. 

Free Haircuts: Man: Many local barber shops will offer free or discounted haircuts on Veterans Day. Inquire at your local shops to see if they are the one of the many honoring the discount. 

Great Clips: One free haircut or a haircut card to be redeemed at a later date.

Greyhound: 10% off travel with military ID , also applies to family members. 

Lenscrafters: 60% off lenses, als do redeemable for first responders, nurses, hospital employers, medical staff, government employees and teachers

Phone Services: Many cellular companies offer discounts for military personnel year-around, but extra savings may be applied on Veterans Day. Inquire with your preferred service for more details 

Super 8: At least 15% off your stay

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts: At least 15% off hotels in. the United States and Canada at Participating locations. 

YMCA: Free memberships and childcare, also applies to military families

sean esler

Business Consulting

Edge Consulting

Sean Esler is a community leader in Central Florida dedicated to helping individuals and organizations reach their highest potential through education, access and resource management. Sean has been serving the needs of the small business community for thirty years using technology to help small businesses get on a level playing field with their larger competitors.

Monday Market Update

Combating inflation while maintaining valuable relationships

Beyond Commercial’s commercial real estate experts have the knowledge and tools you need to target the right properties, increase values, and maximize returns. Align with our professional team to unlock your commercial real estate competitive edge creating value in your business and property portfolio.

The word everyone hated to hear a year ago was “unprecedented” … today’s it’s “inflation.”  It’s our new centerpiece of conversation.  What can you do as a business owner to combat inflation while maintaining valuable relationships with your vendors, customers, and employees?

  1. Adjust workforce spending.
    • Leverage work-study, internship, and other opportunities.
    • Create training programs to capture talent you can develop within your organization.
    • Consider bonuses rather than salary or hourly increases which can be less costly in the long-term.
  2. Focus on revenue and productivity growth.
    • Consider raising the sales price of good or services after conducting a competitive analysis.
    • Improve the uniqueness of your offerings through enhancements or warranties.
    • Invest in your customer experience to better your selling process.
  3. Eliminate commercial real estate costs.
    • Mark-to-market study of your lease or broker opinion of value if you own the property.
    • Cost analysis to identify ways to reduce spending on property taxes, utilities, and other commercial real estate expenses.
    • Evaluate refinance, sale-leaseback, 1031 and other commercial strategies to capitalize on equity and extract cash.
  4. Decrease operational costs.
    • Increase your spending visibility and regularly compare your actual expenditures
    • Negotiate lower prices on everyday expenses. 
    • Explore incentives and discounts with your vendors
  5. Accelerate Account Receivables.
    • Motivate your customers to pay quicker by providing incentives or discounts. 
    • If you’re still mailing invoices and taking payments by check, you’re missing out.  From Square to QuickBooks Online and more, it’s never been easier to automate accounts receivable.
    • Take deposits wherever possible against orders or future work.

Humorous Children's Books

Nardini Sisters

Writers of humorous middle grade fiction and family-friendly screenplays

Perfect Portraits

UPDATE YOUR BIZ PHOTO With Dr. Marv's "Face-Lift without Surgery"

Dr Marv’s Perfect Portraits specializes in Business Portraits and has been In Business for 40+ Years.

In addition to handling all of your professional photo needs, Dr. Marv has photographed over 1/4 million Estates for Sale and created photography solutions for TV Broadcast for 12 years. He has produced creative brochures for Real Estate Agents for 25 Years. If you have any photography needs, give Dr. Marv a call. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with his ability to build a creative solution for you!

As always, if you don’t have a current headshot, or don’t have one that is the correct size, we can schedule a quick and easy appointment, with beauty prep by Bette, to capture you at your best!

“DOCTOR” MARV can correct:

issues with blood-shot eyes, glare on the face, blemishes; 
as well as smoothing necklines and adjusting skin tones.

Space is available at my safe and spacious studio or at your location. By appointment.
We are now offering family portraits.

 

Financial Focus

Joel Ferguson, CRPC® | Edward Jones

Edward Jones will develop a comprehensive, personalized strategy that is focused on what is most important to you.

Financial tips for new veterans

If you’ve recently separated or retired from the military, or you will be leaving soon, you can be proud of the service you’ve provided to your country. But once you’re a veteran, away from the structure and imperatives of the military, you may need to take greater control over managing your finances and protecting your family. 

For starters, consider housing. When you were on active duty, you may have moved around frequently and found it more convenient to rent, but you may now want to purchase a house. Assuming you meet the eligibility requirements, you could apply for a VA loan, which typically does not require a down payment and is usually offered at a favorable interest rate. Make sure that you only take out a mortgage you can afford – you don’t want to become “house poor.” 

You’ll also want to save and invest for retirement. While on active duty, you could invest in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), but when you separate from service, you can no longer contribute to it. Now, if you get a job in the civilian sector, you may have access to a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan, and you might be able to roll your TSP balance into your new employer’s plan. If you become self-employed or open your own business, you may be able to choose from several retirement plans, including a SEP-IRA, a SIMPLE IRA or an “owner-only” 401(k). But no matter what plan you have, try to contribute enough to meet your income needs in retirement, which could last two or three decades.

Furthermore, once you become a civilian, you may need to consider two topics that have special importance to you and your family: health and life insurance. Regarding health insurance, you should be able to get coverage through TRICARE and/or the Veterans Administration, but you also may want to take advantage of employer-sponsored health coverage. As for life insurance, you will lose the coverage offered by the military (Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance, or SGLI) shortly after you separate from active duty, so you’ll want to consider your options for your SGLI, such as converting it to either Veterans’ Group Life Insurance or a civilian policy. Your new employer may provide some form of insurance as an employee benefit, but it might not be sufficient for your needs. In any case, if you have dependents, it’s essential you don’t lose life insurance coverage, even for a short time. 

Finally, be prepared for one negative aspect of becoming a veteran: fraud attempts. It’s unfortunate, but scam artists frequently target veterans. Scammers may tell you that you qualify for “secret” government programs, but you must first pay a fee or provide personal information, which can then be used for identity theft. Or they might try to charge you for access to your service records, even though you can get them free from the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a general rule, be suspicious of anyone you don’t know who seems overly eager to help veterans.

Entering a new phase in your life can be exciting and rewarding – and you’ll enjoy it even more when you get comfortable with your new financial arrangements.

Need An Attorney?

Jennifer With Orlando Law Group

For over 15 years, she has focused on business disputes, business law, general civil litigation, special needs & education law, family law, personal injury, and real estate.

Top Five Reasons To Hire An Attorney

  1. The Law is Complicated and Confusing – There is a reason why even seasoned lawyers do not represent themselves in court. When you are too close to a situation, you tend to think with your heart, and not your head. A trained, emotionally detached attorney with a strong understanding of the legal system is imperative to maintaining a cool head under pressure. Attorney’s also have knowledge of court deadlines and protocol which must be followed to the letter when filing legal documents. One late or incorrect filing could cause your entire case to crumble. Trust your attorney’s knowledge of the law. They went to four very long years of Law School to acquire it, and they know it inside and out. Foregoing the presence of a lawyer while reviewing contracts or starting a business can also lead to avoidable headaches.
  2.   Attorneys Have Connections – Expert witnesses and private detectives often fill rolodexes on the desks of many lawyers. This network of contacts comes with years of experience that the average person does not have. The presence of such key professionals can help in challenging testimony or evidence by the opposing party.
  3. Experience in negotiating settlements and plea bargains – In cases of civil or criminal suits, sometimes it makes more sense to seek a settlement or plea bargain. Chances are, an experienced attorney will have seen cases similar to yours before and will be able to make a calculated guess as to how it might end at trial. These lawyers have experience in negotiating settlements and plea bargains for their clients, often saving them money and/or jail time.
  4. How Do You Plead? – We’ve all heard these words asked in courtroom shows, but your plea can be a make or break moment in your case. An attorney’s expertise and this matter is not just recommended, it is essential. Your lawyer will explain your options and help you avoid more severe penalties. Don’t gamble with your financial future and freedom!
  5. The Other Party Likely Has One – Non-attorneys representing themselves against an experienced attorney is akin to entering a boxing match with your hands tied behind your back. The playing field needs to be level. The attorneys representing your opposition will take full advantage of your lack of legal expertise to pull the rug out from under you.

Hiring a lawyer to defend you in your legal battles aids in your protection, and will benefit your case and your future at the same time!

The Orlando Law Group is ready to help defend your rights, and provide you the highest level of legal expertise and service available! Call 407.512.4394 today to schedule a consultation. 

dottie adams

Connecting The Dots For Veterans

Helen “Dottie” Adams

For over 15 years, she has focused on business disputes, business law, general civil litigation, special needs & education law, family law, personal injury, and real estate.

I love the fact that our country is a melting pot of immigrants. Both sides of my family were immigrants: My father’s side came over from Germany and my mother’s side from Korea. Being an Amer/Asian was both fascinating and devastating; Fascinating, in the fact that I was so different from most everyone else and devastating for the same reason. The fascinating side was that I learned the cultural side of Koreanism. The devastating side was the never ending bullying that I grew up with. In America I was too Asian and often called racial names like “chink, gook baby, slant eyes” and when in Korea for being too American and was called “Yankee and told to go home” (they meant back to the states). Children were not the only ones being cruel, it was from adults as well. I often felt like I did not have a country. The worst tragedy of it all, was that I was made to feel very bad for what I was; the message was loud and clear, I was just plain wrong.

My mother instilled in me a very deep appreciation for my Korean heritage and love of cooking Korean cuisine that I share openly and often with friends as well as strangers. For me, food is the universal language of love and can bring people together; It certainly has for me. My motto is quite simple, “we can vehemently disagree on everything and at the end of the day we can agree to disagree over a wonderful plate of Korean food and walk away friends”

Being an Army brat (military dependent) and shy was a rough road for a few years. My mother spoke Korean most of the time and she learned English as I went to school so as a result, I did not learn English until I was 6. School was not a fun experience for me at first and I was terrified of my peers and stayed pretty much to myself. Often, I would cry and hide under tables to just get away from everyone. Luckily, I had very compassionate teachers who worked with me to overcome my fears. Finally, in third grade I had my very first best friend. Moving around constantly was the norm and in 8th grade, I attended 3 different schools in the same year, in the same town.. 

My home life has always been very chaotic with two abusive parents that were out of control and unpredictable. It was a true miracle that I survived them. The saving grace that I had in high school was JROTC. This program truly saved my life because of the structure and guidance I received from my instructors; I finally found a place I could flourish. Because of my experiences with JROTC, I decided early on that I was going to join the military and it would be either the Marines or the Army, but I was signing up the minute I turned 18. As fate would have it, I joined the Army.

My father served 22 years in the Army and the reason he joined was to get dentures. His teeth fell out due to gum disease at the age of 14. So, when it was my turn to decide what job I wanted in the Army there was only really one choice for me: Dental Lab. I joined the Army to make dentures. I served from 1986 to 1990 in Dentac. I went to Basic Training at Ft. Dix NJ, AIT at Ft. Sam Houston, TX and finally my permanent duty was at Ft. Wainwright, AK. I requested Korea of course to find my relatives, but that was never to come to fruition. 

My military service was one of the best experiences of my life and some of the worst. Originally, I had intended to stay and be a career soldier but because of multiple issues surrounding Military Sexual Trauma, I decided to get out when my original 4-year enlistment was over. I remember being very angry that circumstances like that stole my career and I felt cheated out of a future that I once had planned for myself.

Life has a funny way of turning tragedies into silver linings and after a few years, I found myself immersed in the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a veterans service organization that helps veterans. I was afforded tremendous opportunities as a volunteer in this organization to include becoming the first woman DAV, Department of Alaska Commander in 2000. In 2008 I even ran for National office. I have served on numerous Governor’s councils and legislative committees. For over 7 years, I was a TAP briefer in Montgomery, AL and assisted more than 5500 active-duty transition from military to veteran life. I never knew how satisfyingly rewarding my life would be, by being of service to others.

After 30 years of being involved with numerous veteran organizations and educating myself on the VA processes and terminology, it is with great joy that I was able to start a non-profit recently in Saint Cloud, FL. Living in “Soldier City” and dealing with people that are like minded, kind  and generous has absolutely helped me thrive. 

My non-profit “Connecting the dots for Veterans” is focused on 3 main objectives: 1. Connecting Veterans to Veterans, 2. Connecting Veterans to Resources and 3. Connecting Veterans to Vet-Friendly businesses. It is imperative that Veterans get connected especially to veteran organizations and get involved immediately, like I did. Educating yourself and protecting your benefits is crucial. Do not wait for someone else to do it. You must learn and advocate for yourself. The best advice that I impart with you is to change your mindset from the military way of thinking to the veteran mindset. Please reach out to me so that I can educate you on where to get information to start your journey of self-empowerment. Help yourself first and then help others. Let us all continue the legacy of service to others.

Stay safe and healthy. 

-Yours in service always DOTTIE

Security And Protection

Dennis Last With Last Chance Enterprises

At Last Chance Enterprises, our job is to protect the people who are important to you and your business, and to provide that protection with courtesy and respect.

Not only do we provide neighborhood security, but we also have security for hotel events along with special outside events during conventions and providing personal security for certain celebrities and high ranking political people who request our service.. In the past Last Chance Enterprises has provided security  in stores as theft prevention and several Golf tournaments during special events. 

With my training and experience with USAF security guard for 4 years {1969 through 1971} 24 years as a Detective in Metropolitan Police Department in Washington DC, {1971 through {1994}, along with 15 years as a Warrant Deputy in The office of the Sheriff in Prince Georges County Office of the Sheriff,{1994 through 2005} I have past my expertise to all my employees that I have hired reminding them that they are working in my name every day…

My FaceBook and my Web page includes several positive comments about the security we have provided in the past and in the present.

All my staff has been trained thru the Department of Agriculture and are licensed, except those who are pool attendants at several neighborhood pools and Community Service who do not need a license. All my employees are covered with Workers Compensation and under our insurance. We are a Veteran owned and willing to hire any Veteran for Last Chance Enterprises.. 

Any questions please contact me at lastchancecfl@gmail.com

Personal Protection Equipment

Craig Goodwin With Goodwin Supplies

With over 25 years of experience building relationships with healthcare providers and organizations in the Medical, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industry we have been able to Quickly find products and resources to help our customers.

Most Recommended Hospice in Central Florida

Bernadette Cipriani-Major With Halifax Health Continuing Care

Halifax Health – Hospice provides services that may not be possible in a traditional healthcare setting. Our care teams work closely with the patient’s personal physician and/or Halifax Health – Hospice physician to develop a personalized plan of care to manage pain, control symptoms and ensure physical comfort so our patients can focus on enjoying this precious time with their loves ones.

Sign Printing

Amy Robl With Signarama Orlando

At Signarama Orlando, you are part of the family! We have been enriching the community for years – whether it’s an illuminated sign for your storefront, displays for your next trade show or event, eye-catching graphics for your vehicle, or any of your other signage needs, our sign experts are here to bring your vision to life.

Business Cards

Contacts For All Your Needs

Veteran Resources

Resources For All Your Veterans

American Legion & Veterans Of Foreign War Military Associations

American Veterans Memorial Post 412
10524 Moss Park Road #204-190
Orlando, FL., 32832
407-325-2205

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2093
4444 Edgewater Drive
Winter Park, Florida, 32804
407-270-7025

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3227
915 New York Avenue
St. Cloud, Florida, 34769
407-892-6761

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5405
420 N Edgermon
Winter Springs, Florida, 32708
407-327-3151

Marine Veteran Motorcycle Association
OPEN HOUSE
4th Saturday of Every Month
7 pm til ?
2867 Stonewall Place
Sanford, Florida, 32773

East Orlando Chamber Of Commerce

Andrew Cole
Director of Events
OFFICE: 407-277-5951
Andrew@eocc.org
12301 Lake Underhill Road
Suite 245
Orlando, Florida, 32828
Listening is Learning:
https://www.Buzzsprout.com/1027078

Seminole County Chamber

Kristina Peacock
Vice President of Sales
1055 AAA Drive
Suite 153
Heathrow, FL 32746
OFFICE: 407.708.4600
DIRECT: 407.708.4608
MOBILE: 321.277.8683
kpeacock@seminolebusiness.org I LinkedIn I Event Calendar
seminolebusiness.org I Facebook I Instagram I YouTube

Senate Bill 586

About

SkillBridge is an excellent opportunity as you plan for your life after the military. SkillBridge matches civilian opportunities to your job training and work experience at the end of your military duty. In addition to opportunities such as Tuition Assistance and the GI Bill program, you can enhance your marketability and post-separation career prospects by participating in a SkillBridge opportunity.

Any rank, enlisted or officer, may apply for SkillBridge. SkillBridge permits you to use up to the last 180 days of Service to train and learn with an industry partner. During SkillBridge participation you continue to receive military compensation and you are covered by your military benefits. Release for SkillBridge is always mission-dependent and your unit Commander must authorize participation prior to entering into any agreement with interested industry employment partners.

There are many industry partners with opportunities in a variety of fields, such as energy, information technology, manufacturing, retail, transportation, civil service and more. These industry partners have developed SkillBridge programs for separating Service members because they value your expertise, dedication and service.

Program Overview

The DoD SkillBridge program is an opportunity for Service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of
service. SkillBridge connects Service members with industry partners in real-world job experiences.

For Service members SkillBridge provides an invaluable chance to work and learn in civilian career areas. For industry partners SkillBridge is an opportunity to access and leverage the world’s most highly trained and motivated workforce at no cost. Service members participating in SkillBridge receive their military compensation and benefits, and industry partners provide the training and work experience.

SkillBridge is an excellent benefit for installation and Unit Commanders who have members nearing military separation. SkillBridge can help Service members bridge the gap between the end of service and the beginning of their civilian careers. Commanders can greatly ease this transition to civilian life by supporting their reports’ interest in SkillBridge. When mission permits, Commanders who support SkillBridge participation are helping their personnel transition more seamlessly from service to a civilian career with a trusted employer.

Separating Service members can be granted up to 180 days of permissive duty to focus solely on training full-time with approved industry partners after unit commander (first O-4/Field Grade commander in chain of command) provides written authorization and approval. These industry partners offer real-world training and work experience in in-demand fields of work while having the opportunity to evaluate the Service member’s suitability for the work.

Spouses

In addition to the Department of Defense’ other educational and employment Services, many SkillBridge providers/Partners offer program opportunities to Military.

Go to the SkillBridge Locations Map to learn about existing opportunities.

USO

US. MILITARY & VETERANS
ALONG WITH FAMILIES
407-825-8761
Centralflorido.uso.org
Orlando Airport has one of the Newest
USO’s Located at:
9301 Jeff Fuqua Blvd Suite #1871
Near Enterprise Rental Car
Same Floor of Rental Cars

Food & Beverages

  • Beverages
  • Coffee & Tea
  • Snacks

Rest & Relaxation

  • Children’s Play Area
  • Library
  • Lounge
  • Sleeping & Quiet Area
  • Toiletries

Connectivity

  • Computers & Laptops
  • Desks & Work Areas
  • Phones
  • Printers
  • Wi-Fi

Travel Services & Gifts

  • Flight Time Boards
  • Local Information
  • Lost & Found
  • Luggage Storage
  • Transportation Information

Multimedia & Gaming

  • DVD & Blu-ray Player
  • PS4
  • TV & Cable
  • Xbox One

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