Texas Veterans Summit Focuses on Serving Veterans Through Coordination and Collaboration

Warrior Gateway‘s Serena Hayden and Nathalia Magri attended the Texas Veterans Commission 14th Annual Veterans Summit this week in Austin, Texas.  The summit focused on serving veterans through coordination and collaboration, and brought more than 600 providers of veteran services and 80 exhibitors under one roof.

Warrior Gateway hosted an exhibit table, and participated in several of the breakout sessions featured during the summit.

“With approximately 1.8 million veterans across Texas, it’s vital that all organizations work together to address the unique needs of the military community,” Serena said.  ”The Veterans Summit provided an incredible platform for building partnerships and learning how to best impact the men and women who serve our country.”

In closing, Col. David W. Sutherland, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Warrior and Family Support, spoke about the resiliency, strength and courage of the military community.  Specifically, focusing on the “Sea of Goodwill” and the importance of partnerships.

Serena, who led Sutherland’s public affairs team while deployed to Divala Province, Iraq, from October 2006 through December 2007, was highlighted during the speech as the colonel highlighted the strength of the military community through the Army’s Warrior Ethos – “I will always place the mission first.  I will never except defeat.  I will never quit.  I will never leave a fallen comrade.”

“I am grateful to the Texas Veterans Commission for bringing all of these military-focused organizations together,” Serena continued.  ”Warrior Gateway is eager and looking forward to working with the many organizations we had the opportunity to learn about.”

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Widows and Daughters of Fallen Military Get Their Own Miss America Experience

Warrior Gateway has partnered with Got Your Back Network, The Miss America Organization and others to form an iniative called Project Gratitiude.  Project Gratitude, in its third year, will take 22 wives, daughters, and one mother of fallen service members on a unique, once in a lifetime experience this week with the Miss America 2012 pageant in Las Vegas.  The highlight of their visit will be a ceremony Friday evening January 13th when each will be pinned by former Miss Americas with a crown pin, symbolizing their status as the newest honorary Miss Americas.  The families will travel from around the country courtesy of Air Compassion for Veterans and American Airlines Veteran’s Initiative.

“We started Project Gratitude out of a deep, heartfelt sense of gratitude and highest respect for the ultimate sacrifice that was made by our nation’s fallen heroes and their families,” explains Sharlene Hawkes, former Miss America and President of Remember My Service Productions.  ”By recognizing each of the women and their daughters as honorary Miss Americas – and giving them the VIP experience that Miss Americas’ have received over the years, it is just our way of doing what we can to pay tribute to these great Americans.”

Project Gratitude is a great example of how communities can step up, work together, and support our military community and their families.

Warrior Gateway is honored to be a part of Project Gratitude in supporting widows and daughters of our fallen military members.  Initiatives such as Project Gratitude show how communities across the nation can step up to work together and support the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  Alongside Got Your Back Network and The Miss America Organization as well as other partners, we are honored to join these families of our fallen in Las Vegas for the Miss America pageant,” said Devin B. Holmes, CEO of Warrior Gateway.  ”Warrior Gateway remains committed to supporting all members of the military community as they return home and seek out their new normal life.”

Keep in touch with us throughout the week for updates, photos, and much more:  FacebookTwitter, Foursquare

If you would like further information on Project Gratitude, please visit the Got Your Back Network website.  If you are interested in supporting the initiative, please click here.

Chili Cook-Off to Benefit Warrior Gateway

Warrior Gateway is honored to be the benefiting charity for the “Annual DC Wild Card Chili Cook Off” in Washington, D.C. on January 7th, 2012.  Starting on the first weekend of the NFL playoffs, chili and football fanatics can gather at the Union Pub, eat chili, watch football; all for a great cause.  Building off a great event last year, this year will have more chili contestants and even more drink specials.  Again, all proceeds will go to Warrior Gateway, to help our mission of connecting military, veterans, and their families to the resources and information they need.  Tweet this, post on your Facebook, tell your friends!

Where: Union Pub, Washington, D.C

When: January 7, 2012 4pm-8pm

RSVP to the event by visiting the Cook-Off Facebook page.

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Follow the Chili Cook-Off live on Twitter by following: @DC_Chili and searching #DCChili

Retweet this message to help spread the word: Please attend 2nd Annual Wild Card Chili Cook-Off on Sat. Your $10 supports @WarriorGateway: http://ow.ly/8jmGV #veterans


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Warrior Gateway Supporting Student Veterans of America at National Conference

Members of the Warrior Gateway team will be attending “The 4th Annual National Conference presented by Student Veterans of America,” December 8-10, 2011 in Las Vegas, NV.  This will be a great opportunity to connect with student veterans, their families, and the organizations and institutions assisting them.  To see the event schedule, register, and learn more information, click here.

Opening remarks and guest speakers include: Eric Shinseki, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Col. David Sutherland, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Kevin Schmiegel, Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The conference theme is “Combating Veteran Unemployment,” which is a predominant issue right now for veterans nationwide.  One of the conference highlights will be the career fair on Friday, which will involve Student Veterans of America partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and RecruitMilitary to bring employers from across many different sectors together that want to hire veterans.  Top tier employers will be in attendance, such as veteran friendly employers Booz Allen Hamilton and General Electric.  Attendees are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resume and employers are asked to bring national and local job opportunities.

We will provide a live feed from the event through social media, so stay in touch!  If you are attending, or know someone who is, please connect with us. We are excited to network with as many student veterans, military families, and other organizations as we can.

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin and join the conversation!

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Warrior Gateway will be supporting veterans continuing higher education and employment next week at the 4th Annual Student Veterans of America National Conference in Las Vegas, NV.  http://www.warriorgateway.info/?p=2958

Warrior Gateway Helps Connect Military and Civilian Communities During Veterans Day Events

Warrior Gateway partnered with ServiceNation and local organizations to host three of the eleven 11/11/11 Mission Serve projects nationwide.  The projects brought together the civilian and military communities through volunteerism and service.  Celebrities, professional sports teams, and others helped make these 11 nationwide projects memorable.  Members of the Warrior Gateway team helped coordinate and host projects in Seattle, Tucson, and Denver.  All three events were a great success; with volunteers of all ages and background joining together for a day of service.  The purpose of these events coincide directly with the mission at Warrior Gateway: connecting the military community and their families to meaningful resources in their local communities.  Helping the military community connect with their local community is essential for a successful transition.  The Warrior Gateway team was honored to partner with ServiceNation and others for these signature events.

Tucson, Arizona

The Tucson project brought together the civilian community, military and vetereans alike.  Volunteers gathered at Tucson Mountain Park to perform various community services including buffel grass removal, trail work, litter clean-up and mural painting.  ”I couldn’t imagine a better turnout for Tucson,” said Tabitha Cooper, Community Partnership Manager at Warrior Gateway, and coordinator of the event. “I saw veterans, active duty service members and civilians working together as a whole; serving alongside one another to better our community.  It was truly a beautiful event and I cherish days like this.”  Tabitha’s husband currently serves in Afghanistan, which makes events such as this close to her heart.  Photos from the event.

Seattle, Washington

In Seattle, Warrior Gateway joined Veterans Conservation Corps, and the Sierra Club for the second annual Veterans Day at Hamm Creek Estuary event.  For the past two decades Hamm Creek has been transformed into a more natural setting, in addition it has been a focal point in veteran healing and transition.  Volunteers showed up in great numbers, despite a steady rainfall in Seattle.  A little damp weather did not deter members of the military community, veterans, and civilians to join together for a morning of beautifying the already stunning Hamm Creek Estuary.  ”It was an honor to be involved with a project such as this on Veterans Day,” said Mike Broom, Marketing Manager at Warrior Gateway.  ”Seeing the multitude of volunteers come together, both military and civilian, and work side by side despite rainy weather was an amazing experience.  Weather could not put a damper on the dedication and strength of those in attendance.”  Photos from the event.

Denver, Colorado

The third event featured volunteers from all backgrounds (active duty, veterans, military families, civilians) come together to clean up the Cherry Creek Trail in Denver.  Volunteers helped Denver Parks by collecting over 20 bags of debris along the trail, replacing wire around trees, and painting a bridge.  ”As coordinator for the event, it was wonderful to see relationships being built during the three-hour service project at Cherry Creek,” said Nathalia Magri, Community Partnership Manager at Warrior Gateway.  ”By the end of the day everyone was exchanging contact information, and the non-profits involved had a chance to inform those in attendance of their services offered.”  Photos from the event.

Please check out all of the photos from the event on our Facebook page.  Share with others, and share with us what you think!