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OPERATION S.A.F.E. RETURN: Jeep Delivering Military Safely Since 1941

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Story By: Kellie Gunderman, MSEJ Assistant Editor

During the holiday season we all seek out inspiration.  As members of the military community, we not only spend this time of year shopping, decorating and baking but also celebrating life.  One way of doing this is by giving back through charities that speak to our souls while supporting organizations that spend their time and funds, year round, providing our loved ones with the support they need. As our military men and women sacrifice their minds and bodies to defend this great nation, there are many programs that stand ready and willing to provide assistance.  One of those programs belongs to a brand that has a deep rooted history with our country’s military.  It was the vehicle that took them into battle and is now the vehicle that brings them home safely: JEEP.

The JEEP brand, owned by Chrysler Group, LLC, has done many things in its history of over seventy years, in celebration of the military community.  This has included, but is not limited to, vehicle incentives, trainings programs and employment initiatives.  However, the Operation Safe Return (OSR) program, which partners with the USO, brings all of these wonderful ideas to life through one simple, yet crucial, word: S.A.F.E.


 Secure Transport

JEEP donates vehicles to the USO to provide transport for troops and supplies.  The vehicle that was so well known for taking soldiers into the thick of the fight during WWII, has now become a symbol of hope as they deliver traveling soldiers right to their front door.  These vehicles are also used to bring supplies, and groceries, to USO centers around the world. The centers provide military members and their families with a bite to eat and a pillow to lay their heads during nationwide, and sometimes worldwide, journeys. In this year alone, eleven vehicles have been donated for this purpose.

 Aid for Transition

JEEP works with the USO to assist in the veteran reintegration process through an employment initiative that guides veterans through career opportunities with Chrysler Group, LLC.  They have even set up a toll free hotline that connects veterans directly with a specialist who can help match their military skills with available positions. (1-855-HIRE-OSR)  The Aid for Transition component of the program also provides for a vehicle incentive to assist in the purchase of a JEEP vehicle.

Freedom Adventures

Kim Adams House, Head of Advertising for the JEEP brand, , tells us that the Freedom Adventure element of the program is JEEP’s opportunity to speak from a brand voice.  “We wanted to offer an opportunity for troops to take a fun filled hiatus to escape a bit from their rigorous military service and enjoy themselves.”  In addition to the type of adventure that can be found by strapping a kayak to the roof ofa JEEP Patriot Freedom Edition or “off-roading” through rough, muddy terrain in a JEEP Wrangler Unlimited, this program provides opportunities that would otherwise never be experienced.  For example, Operation S.A.F.E. Return brought 7 military members from across the country to join JEEP and the USO in New Orleans to have a once in a lifetime experience at last year’s Super Bowl.

When discussing this event, and the JEEP Super Bowl commercial that captured the true beauty and spirit of the American military family, Kim told us, “We felt it was fitting that JEEP be the brand to celebrate our military.  We take great pride and joy in the effort.  Our Super Bowl spot was an open letter from JEEP to the American people to our  service men and women.  It was created to convey a sense of gratitude on behalf of all of us and to celebrate these brave individuals, as their loved ones sit, patiently, waiting for their safe return home.”  It was with the utmost admiration and respect that JEEP told this great story on Super Bowl Sunday.  If you have not yet seen JEEP’s tribute to the military family, you can watch it below.

Enduring Care

The last element of the S.A.F.E. platform is how JEEP and the USO touch the lives of the wounded and their families.  JEEP allows the USO to make use of those funds where they are needed to make the greatest impact as part of $1 Million donation.  When asked what makes the USO a good candidate to work with the JEEP brand, Kim said, “The USO’s reputation speaks for itself.”  The USO supports JEEP in its mission to provide financial and in-kind aid to returning troops.

Fun Fact:

Military members wounded in battle are awarded The Purple Heart.  However, there is one folklore surrounding a member of the JEEP family who was awarded this military decoration in 1943 for its heroic role during WWII: a JEEP 4×4 vehicle named “Old Faithful.”

The JEEP brand’s deep history with the US military allows this brand to continuously drive head on addressing the needs of those in need while serving in the military.  They have brought vehicle after vehicle to life with each one celebrating the brand’s military past and capturing the military essence.  Because of JEEP’s authentic lineage, this brand will continue to explore opportunities that support this nation’s military.

For more information on how you can support Operation S.A.F.E. Return, please visit the OSR website HERE.


Doing Good Is Good For You

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Interview with Kate Rubin, Vice President Social Responsibility (UnitedHealth Group)

By Amy Rossi, Editor and Kellie Gunderman, Assistant Editor (MSEJ)

The Military Service Employment Journal (MSEJ) recently had the opportunity to interview Ms. Kate Rubin of UnitedHealth Group (UHG) about the effects of volunteering on your health for our WorkLife Wellness section.  Kate’s clear passion and sheer exuberance for helping others shines through in everything she does, which undoubtedly stems from her upbringing.  She was raised to give back to the community and remembers taking gifts and meals to those who could not get out during the holidays.  Today, her desire to not only give back, but educate others on the long-term benefits of volunteering is astounding.

For over three years, Kate has worked with UnitedHealth Group as a leader of the department of social responsibility.  She has worked for big, medium and small companies and has lived all over the US, allowing her to empathize with the military lifestyle.  Moreover, Kate is an avid supporter of the military, proudly devoted to her nephew who is serving as a Drill Sergeant at Ft. Jackson.  “I’m just thrilled to talk to you about my passions and volunteering.  This is a great thing that you are doing with the crossover between volunteering and work life.”  When Kate was asked what she would say to someone who does not think they have the time to volunteer, her answer was simple: “You don’t have time not to volunteer!”


2013 Volunteering and Health Study

UnitedHealth Group, like many other large companies, chooses to support missions that closely align with their own.  In their case, it is how to help people live healthier lives and build healthier communities.  And so, UnitedHealth Group began the “Doing Good Is Good for You: 2013 Health and Volunteering Study.”  UnitedHealth Group believes that, “To help people live healthier lives and modernize the health care system… it is necessary to be active and responsible citizens in our local communities and around the world.”  They knew that volunteerism played a vital role in that mission, but they wanted to explore the idea that volunteering helps people feel healthier and helps employers as well.

2013 Health & Volunteering Study

Now that we know volunteering as an individual promotes an overall sense of wellbeing, how does it help companies?  According to the 2013 Volunteering and Health Study, “If people are feeling healthier because they are volunteering, they will feel better at work as well.”  This causes less stress in the workplace, allowing employees to focus on their work and interpersonal skills.  Overall, volunteerism directly correlates to a positive impact on any company.

How does a company begin to encourage their employees to volunteer?

UnitedHealth Group seems to have the answer: 81% of their employees along with 96% of their executives volunteer in their local communities.  This is more than double what most companies contribute as a whole.  Last year alone, UHG documented 460,000 hours of volunteering.  Kate Rubin suggests that companies should explore volunteer opportunities for their employees that relate to things that are important to them as a company.  Then, set the focus. UnitedHealth Group does this by placing employees together into work teams and providing incentives.  For example, in 2013 anyone who completes 30 hours of volunteering per year, receives $200 to donate to the charity of their choice.  In 2014, that amount is set to increase to $500.

With families and careers, it is no wonder why employees may find it difficult to find the time to volunteer.  However, UnitedHealth Group has solved this problem with an innovative online platform: micro volunteering.  The program allows employees to set up a profile with their skills and interests so that virtual opportunities can be sent straight to their computers.  Volunteering tasks range from accounting and logo design to translation projects; the opportunities are worldwide across 28 different countries.  In as little as 15 minutes, their employees can give back, and if you still think families can get in the way, UnitedHealth Group recently announced their lead micro volunteering expert of 2013: A mother of five, from Colorado.

The Bottom Line:

When people think about wellness they tend to imagine the physical, but Kate Rubin believes, “it’s all about the balance between mental and physical… making sure there is time for work, exercise, friends and family.  That balance is so critical.” In fact, Kate began her New Year’s Resolution early this year by making a commitment to get back into that balance and really focus on her own physical health.  She ended our interview by telling the MSEJ, “It’s a journey. It’s not a destination. I fall down and get back up and try again.”

This article was originally published in the MSEJCASY-MSCCN would like to thank Kate Rubin and UnitedHealth Group for this wonderful contribution to the WorkLife Wellness section of the Military Service Employment Journal.  United Health Foundation is a supporter of the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network and UnitedHealth Group has many strong connections with the military community, including focusing on increasing access and reduced healthcare costs.  UnitedHealth Group also manages three million members of the military in the Tricare West region and was named one of the top 100 military friendly employers by GI Jobs in 2013.  

Veterans Day: Remembering that Number

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24324_506457942804_1714822_nBy: SFC Josh Marquis (pictured)

As November approaches, we often look at the calendar in anticipation of that one day when most health food addicts suffer a significant emotional event.  But nestled quietly between the 10th and the 12th, annotated with neatly printed text, is another significant event known as “Veterans Day.”

“How’d that get there?” we often ask ourselves.

The celebration of November 11th dates back nearly 100 years.  President Wilson took to the national stage on November 11, 1919 to recognize the first anniversary of the armistice between Germany and the Allied nations.  While honoring the brave men who perished during World War I, he referred to this day as “Armistice Day.”  It was celebrated as such for another 35 years before being renamed “Veterans Day” in 1954 after a World War II veteran named Raymond Weeks fought to expand the holiday.  His hopes were to not only honor those veterans who gave their lives for this great nation during World War I, but to celebrate all veterans.  On May 26, 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill expanding the holiday which would later become known as “Veterans Day” during a Congressional amendment on June 1, 1954.

While “Memorial Day” recognizes those who made the ultimate sacrifice, “Veterans Day” recognizes all Veterans, both past and present, while still honoring all veterans who have passed away, regardless of cause.  But just how many people are we honoring?  According the U.S. Census Bureau (2011), even though 1.47 million veterans are serving on active duty at any given time, there are 21.5 million veterans in the United States today.  That’s just 7% of the population.  Dating back to June 14, 1775, some estimates show an astonishing 100 million people have served in the American military.

Wherever you may be on Monday, November 11, think of that number.  Whether you’re spending the day celebrating with a classic American barbeque, spending the day out with family, earning your next paycheck, or relaxing at home, remember that number.  Without that number, the United States may still be paying levies to the Queen; Europe may be in the hands of the Nazis; the United States may be dependent on the Japanese; Communism may rule the world; Saddam may be in control of the world’s oil; and the United States may have never gotten justice for September 11, 2001.

This Veterans Day, if you know a veteran, hug them, praise them, look them in the eye and shake their hand.  Whatever you do, thank them.  Remember that number because, without it, the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness may no longer be self-evident.

Read more Veteran stories in the Military Service Employment Journal at

A “Must Do” — Career Planning Made Simple

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The old saying “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail” certainly applies to career planning. Many people simply don’t understand what it involves and go from job to job in a haphazard way, failing to plan their own careers. Military spouses are especially vulnerable to the haphazard trap, often feeling like a leaf caught in the wind without any control or known destination. As “trailing spouses,” those who want to work must be capable of establishing and maintaining a career while relocating multiple times to destinations not always conducive to their chosen line of work.Career planning basics focus on two elements ………………


ABC4Free $2.6 million free franchise giveaway! for veterans….

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August 27, 2013

Always Best Care Senior Services
Offers $2.6 Million in FREE Franchise to Veterans!

Roseville, CA (August 27, 2013) – In a major salute to veterans, Always Best Care Senior Services announced today it is launching a contest to award a free franchise to military veterans in every state in the union – 51 free franchises (including the District of Columbia) worth more than $2.6 million.
Based in Roseville, CA just outside the state capitol in Sacramento, Always Best Care is one of the nation’s leading providers of non-medical in-home care, assisted living services and skilled home health care. The company was named one of the best franchises for veterans by Military Times EDGE, and one of the top 50 franchises for veterans by the World Franchising Network in USA Today, June 21, 2013.
“President Obama called for industry to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs for veterans,” said Michael Newman, founder and CEO of Always Best Care. “We’re taking it a step further by providing not just a job, but a lifelong career opportunity that will allow our nation’s heroes to build a business while making a real difference in people’s lives.”
For complete information on the Always Best Care contest for veterans, please visit
Veterans of all US military services are invited to join the contest, Mr. Newman explained. Veterans will be asked to create and post a three-minute video, and complete the online entry form (click here to view the form). Finalists will then be selected for personal interviews with a panel of judges comprised of Always Best Care executives. The videos will be judged on the basis of creativity, a compelling personal story that outlines why the veteran believes they should be a winner and become and Always Best Care business owner, the ability to apply former experience to the concept of business ownership, and personal attributes, including compassion for seniors and a driving desire to succeed.

Instructions on how to post the videos are included in the contest website,
Winners will be awarded a free Always Best Care franchise – all franchise fees plus royalties, marketing and other fees will be waived for the first six months of operation. The total value of each free franchisee is a minimum of $51,200.
The contest officially opens September 1, 2013, but early entries will be accepted beginning August 27. Veterans will have until December 31, 2013 to complete their entries. Winners will be announced on or about February 1, 2014.
Founded in 1996, Always Best Care began franchising just six years ago, and now has more than 180 franchised territories throughout the United States. The company plans to expand to Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and other countries in 2013/2014, according to Mr. Newman. Always Best Care has assisted more than 25,000 seniors representing a wide range of illnesses and personal needs.
To learn more about Always Best Care, visit
For information on Always Best Care franchise opportunities, call toll-free 1-855-430-CARE (2273), write to us at, or visit

About Always Best Care
Always Best Care Senior Services, founded in 1996 by Michael Newman, is based on the belief that having the right people for the right level of care means peace of mind for the client and family. Always Best Care Senior Services has assisted over 25,000 seniors, representing a wide range of illnesses and personal needs. This has established the company as one of the premier providers of in-home care, assisted living placement assistance, and skilled home health care. Franchise opportunities are available to individuals interested in leveraging the company’s clear strategy and proven track record for delivering affordable, dependable service to area seniors.
By working with case managers, social workers, discharge planners, doctors, and families, Always Best Care franchise owners provide affordable, comprehensive solutions that can be specifically matched to meet a client’s particular physical or social needs. The hallmark services of the Always Best Care Senior Services business portfolio include in-home care and assisted living placement.
For more information, visit
© 2013 ABCSP, Inc., 1406 Blue Oaks Blvd., Roseville, CA 95747

Career Corps Volunteer Program has an opening in Jacksonville for an Employment Specialist Volunteer Position.

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Job Posting for Employment Specialist – Jacksonville

Are you interested to volunteer? CASY-MSCCN Career Corps Volunteer Program has an opening in Jacksonville for an Employment Specialist Volunteer Position.

Through the Career Corps Volunteer Program the MSCCN offers our military-affiliated job seekers the opportunity to serve in positions that allow them to keep their work experience current while they hone and expand their skills.

The Employment Specialist is responsible for handling a variety of tasks in support of our corporate partners, our applicants, and the MSCCN Team. Working under the direction of the Gateway Manager, the Employment Specialist will work with other team members to ensure the successful delivery of MSCCN services to customers (corporations and applicants). MSCCN Employment Specialist Career Corps volunteer position is virtually served.

For a full job description of the Employment Specialist Volunteer Position please check our website:

If you are interested please send your resume to Bianca Nafpliotis, Career Corps Volunteer Program Coordinator at

CASY-MSCCN Career Corps Volunteer Program is looking for volunteers.

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Are you interested to volunteer? CASY-MSCCN Career Corps Volunteer Program is looking for volunteers.

Through the Career Corps Volunteer Program the MSCCN offers our military-affiliated job seekers the opportunity to serve in positions that allow them to keep their work experience current while they hone and expand their skills.

CASY-MSCCN Career Corps Volunteer positions are virtually served.

Opened positions with CASY-MSCCN are: Employment Specialist Volunteer Position, Employment Specialist – Job Posting Volunteer Position.

Opened positions with collaborating organizations are: Intern Writer Post (Military Spouse Foundation), Grant Researcher, Strategic Partnership Manager and Grant Writer (Military Musters)

Please check our website to find out more about our volunteer positions and their full job description: and for the volunteer positions and their full job description of the collaborating organizations:

If you are interested please send your resume to Bianca Nafpliotis, Career Corps Volunteer Program Coordinator at