Category Archives: VRC News

VRC Breakfast Featuring Commander Dan O’Shea

VRC Breakfast Featuring Commander Dan O’Shea

VRC Breakfast Featuring Dan O'SheaClick Here to Register

Florida Tech Research Study for Combat Veterans Following Deployment

Florida Tech Research Study for Combat Veterans Following Deployment

Final for New Research Flyers-001





IS SMALL BUSINESS OWNERSHIP FOR YOU? Entrepreneurship and small business ownership is a key opportunity for transitioning service members and veterans as they transition to civilian life.  Returning veterans are natural entrepreneurs, possessing the skills, experience and leadership to start businesses and create jobs.  According to the most recent U.S. Census Data, veteran-owned firms represent 9 percent of all U.S. firms. These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employed 5.793 million individuals. If you have a passion and the drive to start a business, this intensive training workshop is a perfect fit for you!

WORKSHOP OVERVIEW The Two-day Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Self- Employment Intensive Training Workshop is offered in collaboration among the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. We are recruiting 30 interested transitioning service members and veterans to participate in the workshop, you will learn if starting a business is right for you, if your business idea is feasible and much more!

WHEN: 27 May–28 May 2015 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Airman & Family Readiness Center, Bldg 722
POC: Mr. Sal Noto
Phone Number: 321-494-3472

ELIGIBILITY You must be a transitioning service member, veteran or spouse interested in starting a business.

TO REGISTER: Phone number: 321-494-3472

PARTICIPANT BENEFITS After the two-day workshop you will have created a Feasibility Analysis Deliverable that will serve as the basis for future business planning efforts. It is designed to assist you in developing an ‘actionable’ plan for subsequent efforts focused on launching a new venture.


Veterans Now Have Options if They Live Away From VA Medical Facilities

Veterans Now Have Options if They Live Away From VA Medical Facilities

US Department of Veteran AffairsThe U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs has announced a new Veterans Access program, designed to help Veterans to receive non-VA health care rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.

Launched November 5, 2014, the new Choice Program will begin to cover non-VA care for eligible Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare. Veterans are eligible if any of these situations apply:

  • Has been told by local VA medical facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days from your preferred date or the date medically determined by your physician.
  • Need to travel by plane or boat to the VA medical facility closest to your home.
  • Face a geographic challenge, such as extensive distances around water or other geologic formations, such as mountains, which presents a significant travel hardship.
  • Current residence is more than 40 miles from the closest VA health care facility.

To set up an appointment with a non-VA provider, call the VA at 866-606-8198 and we will work with you to ensure you are approved for care in your community.

Additional Program Information

  • The Choice Program does not impact your existing VA health care or any other VA benefit.
  • If you are satisfied with your wait time at a VA facility and wish to continue waiting for VA care, there is nothing you need to do at this time.
  • Non-VA care is only covered by VA for medical needs which have been approved by your VA physician. We can happily schedule an appointment for other medical needs, but the we can only cover the cost of care related to your VA-approved health needs.
  • The Veteran Choice Program is part of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA).

Note: If you do not receive approval, you may be responsible for some or all of the costs of the non-VA treatment you receive.


FREE Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Florida

FREE Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Florida

Veterans Entrepreneurship Progrram

The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) program is offering to disabled veterans, particularly those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our program helps these men and women attain the dream of becoming entrepreneurs. The Veterans with Disability Entrepreneurship Program, or VEP for short, is now accepting applications. The deadline for applications is (March 2, 2015).

VEP offers cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship from world class faculty and an amazing cadre of successful entrepreneurs. The program is rigorous and engaging.

We are inviting all disabled veterans, but especially those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines disabled or distinguished during their service as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Date: May 9 – 16, 2015
Where: University of Florida Campus in Gainesville for (eight days)
Address: 2008 Northeast Waldo Road, Gainesville, FL 32609

The VEP program is offered entirely free to those veterans who are accepted. We cover the cost of travel to Gainesville, accommodations, the online and live courses, instructors, books, materials, all meals, and outings during the program.

For more information: call Michael H. Morris, Ph.D. at 352-273-0330,  e-mail . or visit the website  or click the brochure below.


Start Your Veteran Owned Business Event in Palm Bay

City of Palm Bay to host a “Starting Your Veteran Owned Business” Event with the SBA.

SBA Logo

Palm Bay Logo

Where: City of Palm Bay City Hall, Community Meeting Room
120 Malabar Road SE
1st Floor Community Meeting Room

When: Thursday November 6th, 2014 from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

What: Please join us for the Starting Your Veteran Owned Business,
with guest speakers from U.S. Small Business Administration

Cost: Free!

The City of Palm Bay, Florida and the Small Business Administration (SBA) is hosting a “Start your Veteran Owned Business” event on Thursday November 6th from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the City Hall Community Meeting Room (1st Floor).

Business resources and assistance will be provided to help new veteran businesses, or veterans interested in starting a business. Click here to register for this free event.

For more information, contact Edyie McCall with the City of Palm Bay, (321) 952-3426.

Volunteers America Awarded Grant to Fight Veteran Homelessness

Organization Battling Veteran Homelessness Secures Multimillion Dollar Support Grant

Volunteers of AmericaThe primary goal of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program is to help Veterans and the Veteran families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness quickly gain or regain housing stability in  permanent housing. Eligible parties must meet income requirements and head of household must be a veteran that was other than dishonorably discharged. A pre-screening will be conducted on all applicants to determine if individuals/families meet the basic eligibility requirements for SSVF Program.

Click here to learn more about this magnificent organization and how to get involved.

Veterans Choice Act Signed Into Law

Surviving Spouse of Service Men & Women Measure Passes Into Law

VABenefitsThe Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”) was recently signed into law.  Most of the Act pertains to Veterans health care but it also included two provisions affecting GI Bill® benefits.

The Fry Scholarship was created to honor Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry, 28, of Lorena, Texas.  Sergeant Fry had one week left in his tour in Iraq in 2006, when he made the ultimate sacrifice on March 8, 2006, in Anbar province, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated.  He left behind a widow and three children.  The Veterans Benefits Administration has created Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Agreements with both TAPS and the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation with the sole purpose of encouraging cooperation and collaboration between VA and both of these important organizations, to promote the Fry Scholarships to eligible individuals.

Section 701 of the Choice Act expands the Fry Scholarship to include the surviving spouses of Service-members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001.  Prior to this law, only children of those who died in the line of duty were eligible for this benefit.

The law states eligible spouses are entitled to receive:

  • 36 months of full benefits, equal to 100% level of the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, this includes tuition and fee payment, a monthly housing allowance, and a stipend for books and supplies.
  • Training must start on or after January 1, 2015.  Training prior to January 1, 2015, is not eligible to receive benefits under Section 701.
  • A spouse has 15 years from the date of the Service Member’s death to utilize benefits.  If a spouse remarries, benefits end the date of the remarriage.

Some spouses currently eligible for, or already receiving, benefits under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program may now be eligible for the Fry Scholarship.  DEA is an educational program offering up to 45 months of education benefits to eligible dependents of Veterans who died while on active duty, as well as dependents of Veterans who died as a result of a service-connected condition or are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition.  Surviving spouses of Service-members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001, will have to make a one-time irrevocable election to receive either the Fry Scholarship or DEA.

Please plan to submit Fry Scholarship applications by mail from spouses starting Monday, November 3, 2014.

If you know of a surviving spouse please pass this on.  As well, please share information so we can ensure everyone who may be eligible is aware.

To learn more about this important new benefit, please review the Fact Sheet at To either apply or make an election, one can complete and send an application (Form VA-Form 22-5490).  You can download the form at and send a copy via the GI Bill website ( using the “Ask a Question” button.  You may also mail the completed form to your nearest Regional Processing Office, or request a paper application by calling 1-888-GI BILL-1 (888-442-4551).

Veterans Stickmarsh Bass Challenge Highlights

On Saturday September 6, 2014 the city of Palm Bay joined with the Melbourne Regional Chamber of east Central Florida, Bass Pro Shops and many other sponsors for the 1st Annual Veteran’s Stick Marsh Bass Challenge. Mayor William Capote challenged all local elected leaders to compete and help support the veterans. Nearly 30 veterans were paired with a boat captain who donated his/her time, and an elected leader to see who could catch the biggest bass. This video provides a brief summary of the day’s activities.