Archive for category Veteran News

Veteran News: Memorial Day– The Hero Dead Still Play Their Part…

The hero dead cannot expire:
The dead still play their part.
-Charles Sangster

For this year’s Memorial Day, I wanted to find a quote and theme that best described my feelings about the sacrifice and service of our dead military and contractor heroes of wars past and present.

The dead speak to us every day, and they speak loudest on days of remembrance. They tell us not to forget what they gave to this country. They tell us not to forget the cost of war, and to be damned sure that future wars we fight are worthy of the blood and sacrifice of heroes.

But they also want us to live our lives. A life that they would be proud of if they were to visit us today. They would want us to keep our heads up and go forth into the world to live a life fulfilled. To raise our families, lead our communities, prosper and be happy, and to live honorable lives.

So remember the hero dead today, and every day. But also remember that the hero dead still play their part in our lives and in this country, and we should by inspired and guided by what their deaths say and by what their deaths mean. –Matt



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Veteran News: Combat Veterans And Security Contracting–A Perfect Fit!

Below I have posted two significant stories as it applies to today’s veterans and their job prospects. The US congress has recognized a big problem on their hand, and that is this country has a ton of unemployed veterans. The second story below puts it at about 30% unemployment in the US. That is a huge problem for those who want to get re-elected, and if your veterans are not employed, then when those vets start putting the word out about how worthless their congressional leader is, then a voting public tends to listen. In other words, the veteran vote is a very important vote to have and win over.

It is also just common decency and respectful to recognize the sacrifice and contribution that our veterans have made in the war, by implementing measures that will make their transition into civilian life that much easier. So I applaud the Senate for approving these benefits for veterans.

But what I wanted to talk about is combat veterans and security contracting. This industry loves combat veterans. It is one of the few industries out there that not only appreciate the combat experience and skills of veterans, but pays them pretty well for applying those skills and experience as security contractors in the war zones and throughout the world.

Back when I was in the Marines, there wasn’t a vibrant security contracting industry like we see today.  It was a very exclusive industry back then, and companies only hired SF types or depended upon word of mouth and referrals in order to fill the very few security jobs available. And believe me, back then I looked high and low for any kind of contracting job that a grunt/infantryman like myself could work in, and they just weren’t there.

Now if I had available to me back then, the industry choices and jobs we have now, then I probably would have gone that route and been gainfully employed as a security contractor. Which brings me to my next point.

Security contracting is a great place for those with a combat arms background, and the war zone experience to back it up. This industry is only growing in my opinion, and it has been a steady source of employment for the last 10 years. But for an individual to be successful as a security contractor, they have to play the game and become a student of the industry.

Today’s combat veterans across the world will be needed to fill all sorts of security jobs throughout the world. From piracy, to energy security, to war zone duty, and executive protection– the work is out there. It is up to the veteran to put in the research and due diligence for finding that work, and applying.

Or better yet, to figure out what kind of work they want to get into, and pursue that. Maybe you do not want to carry a gun anymore? There are plenty of combat veterans who are working as contract plumbers/HVAC/electrical/etc. in the war zones or other countries. The veteran just has to be willing to put the effort in to get those jobs. But believe me, the companies in this industry need you and want you.

It is also cool that as a security contractor blogger, I can help others get into this industry. It can be intimidating to apply for this stuff and enter this world. No one teaches ‘contracting 101’ in schools or community colleges, and career counselors are pretty clueless about what this industry is all about.

With that said, there are still excellent sources out there for learning about this industry.  On the blog over on the right hand side, I have a list of forums. These are the forums I tell folks to go to, anytime they ask about getting into this industry. I tell them to search the forums, read the stickies, and get a handle on what this industry is all about.  I also tell them to read this blog and use the search feature, or read the other blogs out there that discuss the industry. Get informed and knowledge is power!

After all of that research, then the next step is to get your resume written and ready for the industry. I suggest folks pay for a good resume service to produce the product. That’s unless they have really good writing skills and are comfortable with making such a thing.

Then finally, get networked and sign up on all of the pertinent job boards out there. I always suggest Secure Aspects Job Board, but there are others out there as well. Get on Facebook and other networks with like minded contractors, and get yourself in the mix. Linkedin is a great place to look for work as well. Definitely bookmark all of the career pages of all of the companies out there, and check those once or twice a day too.  Just keep looking, keep applying, be persistent, and you will eventually get a job in an industry that needs you. –Matt


Senate approves jobs benefits for veterans
November 10, 2011
A united Senate emphatically approved legislation Thursday intended to help unemployed veterans and companies doing business with the government, endorsing a measure that includes the first small slice of President Barack Obama’s jobs plan that is likely to become law.
The 95-0 vote will let senators head home for Friday’s Veterans Day events and take credit for helping some of the 240,000 jobless veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The bill would give tax credits of up to $9,600 to companies hiring disabled vets who have been jobless at least six months, and improve job training and counseling for veterans. Obama included the tax breaks in his $447 billion jobs plan, which has otherwise gone nowhere so far in Congress.
“Our veterans are one issue we should never be divided on,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chief author of the veterans’ provisions.
The bill also repeals a law requiring federal, state and local governments to withhold 3 percent of their payments to contractors. That statute, which has yet to take effect, was designed to thwart tax cheats, but lawmakers now say it makes it harder for those companies to hire more workers.
The House could pass the legislation next week.

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Cool Stuff: Giving Thanks To Military And Civilian Veterans Across The World

Contractor Casualty Statistics
The Department of Labor Defense Base Act Claims Cumulative Report By Employer
From 09/01/2001 to 09/30/2011
Killed: 2,871 (DEA)
Wounded: 74,571 (NLT, LTO, LT4)
Companies: 1936

Today, there is much attention, respect and remembrance for military veterans of war across the world. And they deserve that. But what is not heard or given thought to, is the great amount of sacrifice, contribution, and heroism given by our civilian veterans around the world during times of war.

Now personally, I am a military veteran and war veteran, but I am also a civilian veteran whom has worked extensively in the war.  I have also lost co-workers in this war as a civilian veteran, and those losses and their sacrifice will never be forgotten to me. It is the same for all civilian veterans whom have worked in the war zones and lost friends and co-workers. On Memorial Day, and days like this, contractors all go through the same process mentally of recognizing our military veterans, but also recognizing the work of their fellow contractors in this war.

And one of the more interesting facts of the war is that there are a percentage of contractors that are not military veterans at all. Danger Zone Jobs was able to get a statistic about such a thing. Out of the group of contractors polled in their survey, 37.3% of them did not have any prior military service.  Now how closely this matches the overall contractor history in this industry, is up for debate.

The other data point of interest, that no one has really been able to figure out, is how many civilian have served in the war over the last ten years. Although it would be safe to say that those numbers probably match that of the military. The current numbers of contractors in the war zones are at about 175,000. So that is 175,000 folks that deserve our thanks for stepping up and serving in the war zone, despite the dangers and hardships. That is also 175,000 civilian veterans that have friends and families, all praying for their safety every day. Wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, sisters, brothers, daughters, and sons–all proud and supportive of their loved one’s service in the war. And they should be.

Not to mention all of the civilian veterans out there that have been wounded, and some grievously. It troubles me that my nation, or any nation out there, is not taking the time to recognize the service of these civilian veterans that I speak of.

I am here to give thanks to our military veterans. But on this day, I will also recognize our civilian veterans, and that is the least I can do.  –Matt


Ed Stiles, 91, said better pay and the whiff of possible adventure prompted him to overlook the risks of volunteering for combat duty with the famed Flying Tigers of World War II.


BALAD, IRAQ. An Australian doctor in the Balad Air Force base in Iraq photographs United States private contractor Jake Guevara. Insurgents ambushed Guevara, along with his team, when they went to pick up people from the embassy, and one of his team was shot and killed instantly. Hundreds of wounded soldiers have come through the military hospital for emergency treatment since the siege of Falujah began in early November.


Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day, Armistice Day and Veterans Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the official end of World War I on that date in 1918; hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice (“at the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.)
The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance of members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.
The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields”. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

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Books: Gifts Of War–Once Upon A Rice Paddy, By Dan Roach

This is cool. Every once in awhile I get a heads up from a reader about a book they wrote. This particular book is about the author’s experiences in Vietnam. What is cool though is that this book has appeal to all types of veterans, and the leadership lessons learned are priceless.

Those lessons and the blood, sweat, and tears of war, are the ‘gifts’ of memory that I believe the author is referring too. They are the memories and experiences that veterans will always cherish–the good and the bad. And lucky for us, Dan has taken the time to put those memories into a book and share that with the world. A gift indeed.

At this time, the book is being distributed through Author House, so follow the links below if you are interested in checking it out. If you are a Ranger or 101st Airborne from that era, you are really in for a treat with this book. Like Dan says, ‘you’ll laugh, you’ll cry but most of all you will be treated to a gift of understanding’. –Matt


GIFTS of WAR, Once Upon A Rice Paddy
By Dan Roach
Like many that have experienced the bitter taste of war; I understand the need for war and warriors. Yet, I am now a reluctant warrior. This book is an invitation for you to be embedded with a young lieutenant as he experiences an incredible journey as a combat platoon leader. You will experience the daily social, psychological, emotional, ethical and moral dilemmas presented by war. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry but most of all you will be treated to a gift of understanding. I believe you will be awe inspired at what our nation asked of these young warriors and how they responded. You will be pleasantly surprised at the gifts of war received by this warrior. Vietnam was the stage and we were the players in a life and death drama.
About the author.
After graduating from college with a B.S. Degree in Forestry, Dan Roach faced one of the biggest decisions of his life; enlist or be drafted during time of war. He chose enlistment hoping to have more control over his destiny. On May 10, 1966 he enlisted in the Army and was off to FT. Jackson, SC to attend Basic and AIT (Advanced Infantry Training). After AIT he reported to Infantry OCS (Officer Candidate School) at Ft. Benning, GA. On March 27, 1967 he graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant and went directly into RANGER School. After RANGER School he was assigned as an instructor in the Mountain Phase of RANGER Training at Dahlonega, GA. As a RANGER he was sent to Airborne School at FT. Benning, on 17 July 1967.

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Weapons Stuff: The FNH USA Distinguished Service Program

   Thanks to Matt for sending me this excellent program that FNH is offering. Check it out and pass it around. –Matt



The FNH USA Distinguished Service Program.

In recognition of the courage, dedication and outstanding service by America’s military and law

enforcement professionals, FNH USA is offering a cash-back, mail-in rebate on the purchase of

selected models of these FNH USA firearms.

• $100 back on a new FNX pistol in 9mm or 40 S&W

• $125 back on a new FNP-45 pistol in 45 ACP

• $200 back on a new Five-seveN® pistol

• $100 back on a new SLP shotgun

• $250 back on a new FNAR rifle

• $300 back on a new FS2000 carbine

• $150 back on a new PS90 carbine

• $100 back on a new TSR XP USA bolt-action rifle

This special FNH USA offer is open to all current or retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including

active duty, reserve and National Guard, and to all current or retired law enforcement officers whose

duties include holding the power of arrest.

It’s just our way of saying thank you to our military and law enforcement professionals for a job

well done!

Full program details and rebate forms can also be found at

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Veteran News: Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay

    Hey gang, this was sent to me by Chris and I think this could impact quite a few guys and gals in this industry.  If you were part of the stop loss crew, here is the information you need.  Just follow the link to the Veterans Today website, and they have listed all the services that have websites that will help you file for your retroactive stop loss pay. –Matt


From Veterans Today

The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriation Act set aside $534.4 million for the Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay compensation authority. Soldiers, veterans and survivors of those whose service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss between September 11, 2001 and September 30, 2008 can apply to receive $500 for every month, or portion of a month, they served under Stop Loss. The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act established and largely funded the payment for all military services, but dictated that each service process and pay their own applicants.

Go here to learn more.


Story at Marine Corps Times here.


Story at Army Times here.


Story at Stars and Strips here.


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