Animals for Armed Forces Special Adoption Event!

In honor of Memorial Day, Irvine Animal Care Center is waiving adoption fees for veterans Friday, May 25, through Sunday, May 27.

The program is made possible through the Animals for Armed Forces Foundation, which is covering adoption fees for the veterans.

The adoption discount applies to active duty, reserve and veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and National Guard, and their immediate family members.

2889fd0babeec81fb068cda2be897ed1--red-white-blue-yellowThe discount does not apply to licensing or puppy wellness fees.

In order to qualify for the discount, the potential adopter needs to bring their photo ID and one of the following:

  • Military ID
  • Dependent ID
  • Veterans ID
  • DD-214
  • NGB Form 22

The Irvine Animal Care Center is at 6443 Oak Canyon Road.

The center is open weekdays noon-7 p.m., weekends 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and is closed Tuesdays and holidays.

The center will be closed Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day.

For more information, call 949-724-7740.

Animals for Armed Forces Foundation is dedicated to providing our US Armed Forces families with free pet adoptions.

Its mission is to save shelter animals by finding them safe and loving homes and thank the heroes of the US Armed Forces and their families with free pet adoptions

Animals for Armed Forces Foundation started in 2010 when Matt MacFarland and Amanda Han, drove by a local animal shelter during Veteran’s Day Weekend and came up with an idea. That following spring, Matt and Amanda had their first event on Memorial Day at the Orange County Animal Shelter.

In just one day, they had 37 adoptions, and in February 2012, Matt and Amanda officially began their lifelong mission of uniting our service men and women with a loving furry companion.

Since that time, Animals for Armed Forces has helped 1,300 adoptions happen.  To Matt and Amanda, one of the biggest rewards is meeting veterans and military families, hearing their stories, and seeing them leave alongside a new pet with a smile on their face.

Currently, the organization is partnering with 29 shelters throughout Southern California and Utah for their annual Memorial Day Weekend adoption event. 

With more awareness and volunteers, Animals for Armed Forces will be able to bring a smile to our heroes’ faces and give shelter animals a second chance at a loving forever home.

You can contact Animals for Armed Forces at animalsforarmedforces@gmail.com or (714) 509-5823.

Celebrate Armed Forces Day — Vote YES on Measure B!

Armed-Forces-Day-683x1024

Today, May 19, 2018, is Armed Forces Day.  First observed in May 1950, the day was created to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense.  To all active duty, reserve and veteran members of the U.S. armed forces – thank you for your service to our nation!

099550e8635598e306c4b09874a0272fOrange County has a long and proud military tradition. Currently, more than two million veterans live in California – more than in any other state.  Orange County has over 130,000 veterans — one of the highest populations in the United States – including more than 7,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Yet Orange County veterans do not have their own dedicated military cemetery.  Those in Orange County who want to visit a veteran’s grave in a military cemetery must travel several hours to Riverside, San Diego, or Los Angeles counties.

Please join me in showing your support for Orange County’s military veterans by voting YES on Measure B to facilitate the creation of a veterans cemetery on the grounds of the former El Toro Marine Base.

Orange County veterans – who have sacrificed so much for us – deserve a final resting place close to their families and loved ones.

For more information about the veterans cemetery, please see:

Putting Politics Aside to Honor Veterans with a Final Resting Place

Stop Playing Political Games with Veterans Cemetery

Stop the Politics and Build the Veterans Cemetery Now

Distinguished Environmental Group Laguna Greenbelt Endorses YES on Measure B for Veterans Cemetery!

Irvine Takes Historic Step Forward for a Veterans Cemetery at the Former El Toro Marine Base

Tell the Irvine City Council to Keep Your Promises to Our Veterans

The Strawberry Fields Site is the Best Location for the Veterans Cemetery. Now Let’s Get it Done!

Don’t Be Deceived By The “Save The Veterans Cemetery” Petition!

OC Register Slams Agran, Lalloway, and “Despicable,” “Misleading” Veterans Cemetery Petition

Help Us Defeat the Paid Mercenaries who have Invaded Irvine and their Fraudulent “Save the Veterans Cemetery” Petition!

As the daughter of an Orange County Korean War combat veteran, I am proud to have participated in making sure that Orange County’s veterans – who have sacrificed so much for us – will at last have a final resting place close to their families and loved ones.

Please help by voting YES on Measure B.

Thank you.

Melissa

Join Me as Irvine Honors Our Fallen Heroes

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” — President John F. Kennedy

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  — President John F. Kennedy

Please join me this weekend as Irvine honors the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

Irvine has a long and proud military tradition. From 1942 to 1999, Irvine was home to Marine Air Station El Toro, the largest Marine Corps Air Station on the West Coast. During World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, thousands of United States Marines, as well as airmen, sailors and soldiers, departed for war from MCAS El Toro.

Many never returned.

As the daughter of a combat veteran and as an Irvine City Councilmember, I am proud that Irvine will honor our fallen heroes in two ceremonies this weekend:

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Candle Lighting Ceremony: Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial 

4531 Bryan Avenue, Irvine CA 92620

4:00 p.m.

Northwood memorialThe Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial, dedicated in 2010, is the nation’s first and only memorial dedicated exclusively to listing the names of all the fallen American service members in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The names of every service member who has died in Afghanistan and Iraq are engraved in granite in a permanent memorial, to assure that future generations of Americans will remember and honor them with gratitude as we do today.

The ceremony will honor our fallen heroes from all generations, with special tribute to those fallen heroes of the recent and ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The candle lighting ceremony will also a dedication ceremony for the memorial expansion.  We will also hear from and honor Gold Star families. Please bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

Monday, May 39, 2017

Memorial Day Ceremony: Col. Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park

4 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine CA 92606

10:00 a.m.

Col. Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park, located next to City Hall, is named in honor of Korean War Medal of Honor recipient and Irvine resident Marine Corps Colonel William E. Barber (1919-2002).  Attendees will have the opportunity to memorialize our troops’ sacrifice by writing a brief remembrance to be posted on a memory board.  As I have done in past years, I will be filling out a memorial card for my cousin, PFC Irwin Handler, USMC, who was killed in Korea, and for the son of family friends, LCPL Donald J. Hogan, USMC, Navy Cross, who was killed in Afghanistan.

Cards will also be available for well-wishers to send a message of appreciation and support to Irvine’s adopted 211/Marine Battalion.

Click here to download a pre-made remembrance card.

As stated so beautifully and appropriately by the Veterans of Foreign Wars:

“Pausing to remember and honor America’s fallen service members is a practice dating back more than 100 years. Since the days of the Civil War, humble Americans have gathered together on Memorial Day to remember and pay tribute to all who have fought and selflessly surrendered the precious gift of life, so that other could live free.

Again we gather this Memorial Day, as a nation solemnly united in remembrance of the fallen defenders of our great nation. Freedom is not free. It has come at great cost, paid for with the lives of our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, friends and comrades.

Every American owes a great debt to the courageous men and women who have selflessly given their all to defend and protect our way of life. And while giving back to the extent they deserve is impossible, celebrating their memory and honoring their most selfless deeds offers a start.

This Memorial Day, pause to reflect on the absolute selflessness of the 1.3 million members of our nation’s military who paid the price needed to ensure our way of life endures, and let us not forget the families whose pain will never go away, but may lessen with our thanks and prayers.

God Bless our fallen, their families, and our men and women in uniform all over the world.”

UC Irvine Boot Camp for Employers: Veteran Talent Recruitment and Retention

bannerHomeNew

UC Irvine, along with other community partners, is collaborating on the upcoming 2016 Joint Veteran Talent Reintegration Conferences to help the courageous and talented men and women who have served in all branches of the armed forces transition successfully into civilian industry jobs.

Whether your company is interested in tapping into the specialized leadership, teamwork, discipline and/or strategic thinking skills and dedication veterans are known for,  you want to learn more about employer rewards for hiring veterans, or you simply want to do your part to show veterans how much you appreciate their service and sacrifices for our Country, this event is for you.

july18announcement_textwebsm (1)July 18, 2016, will be the first of three strategic programs focused on helping Veterans find employment.

The first event — Veteran Talent Recruitment and Retention Bootcamp for HR Professionals — is not just for HR professionals, but also business and organization managers to improve their veteran recruitment and retention programs, de-mystify stigmas, understand veteran health issues including establishing a realistic perspective on PTSD, learn relevant laws, employer rewards, and overcoming challenges to retention. You will hear best practices directly from companies successfully utilizing Veteran talent and discover helpful community resources available to veterans and employers.

Participating experts include Thomas Parham, Vice Chancellor Office of the Vice Chancellor Student Affairs; Michael Hollifield MD, Associate Clinical Professor, Director, Program for Traumatic Stress, Long Beach VA Healthcare System; Eli Pascal, UCI Assistant Director, CARE Campus Assault Resources in Education; John Tyler, US Army Sergeant (Ret), Employment Coordinator, Long Beach VA Healthcare System; Grace Tonner, Professor, Lawyering Skills, University of California, Irvine School of Law; Mario Barnes, US Navy Commander (Ret), Professor, Co-Director UCI Center on Law, Equity and Race; Antoinette Balta Esq., California State Military Reserve, Captain, JAG, Installation Support Command, President, Veterans Legal Institute; Veteran Law Clinic Lecturer, UCI School of Law; Jan Serrantino, PhD, Director, UCI Disability Services Center; Adam Karr, Partner, O’Melveny & Myers; Aaron Anderson, US Army Special Forces Green Beret (Ret), Associate, Trade Compliance, PIMCO; Stephanie Soltis, US Air Force Reserve Pilot, Vice President, Account Management, PIMCO; Jeff Matsen, US Army Officer, Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management, Edwards Life Sciences; Tim White, US Marine Corps Captain (Ret), Executive Vice President, Account Manager, PIMCO; Chip Hawkins, US Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer (Ret), Senior Military Recruiting Strategist, Veteran Outreach Specialist, Aetna; and Mark Whalls, US Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret), Head of Military and Veteran Recruiting, HR Talent Acquisition Professional Recruiting, Aetna.

Follow this link for more detailed information.

UCI Veteran Services provides veterans, reservists, active-duty members and dependents assistance in obtaining the educational benefits to which they are entitled. The office is responsible for submitting entitlement requests for new and continuing students to the V.A., answering any questions veteran students or dependents may have concerning their educational benefits and providing resources and programs to assist veterans in navigating their transition to civilian and student life.

Join Me as Irvine Honors Our Fallen Heroes

MemorialDayCarousel-2016

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  President John F. Kennedy

Please join me this weekend as Irvine honors the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

Irvine has a long and proud military tradition. From 1942 to 1999, Irvine was home to Marine Air Station El Toro, the largest Marine Corps Air Station on the West Coast. During World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, thousands of United States Marines, as well as airmen, sailors and soldiers, departed for war from MCAS El Toro.

Many never returned.

As the daughter of a combat veteran and as an Irvine Community Services Commissioner, I am proud that Irvine will honor our fallen heroes in two ceremonies this weekend:

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Candle Lighting Ceremony: Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial 

4531 Bryan Avenue, Irvine CA 92620

4:00 p.m.

Northwood memorialThe Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial, dedicated in 2010, is the nation’s first and only memorial dedicated exclusively to listing the names of all the fallen American service members in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The names of every service member who has died in Afghanistan and Iraq are engraved in granite in a permanent memorial, to assure that future generations of Americans will remember and honor them with gratitude as we do today. The ceremony will honor our fallen heroes from all generations, with special tribute to those fallen heroes of the recent and ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  We will also hear from and honor Gold Star families.  Please bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Ceremony: Col. Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park

4 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine CA 92606

10:00 a.m.

Col. Bill Barber Marine Corp Memorial Park, located next to City Hall, is named in honor of Korean War Medal of Honor recipient and Irvine resident Marine Corp Colonel William E. Barber (1919-2002).  Attendees will have the opportunity to memorialize our troops’ sacrifice by writing a brief remembrance to be posted on a memory board. Cards will also be available for well-wishers to send a message of appreciation and support to Irvine’s adopted 211/Marine Battalion.  Click here to download a pre-made remembrance card.

As stated so beautifully and appropriately by the Veterans of Foreign Wars:

“Pausing to remember and honor America’s fallen service members is a practice dating back more than 100 years. Since the days of the Civil War, humble Americans have gathered together on Memorial Day to remember and pay tribute to all who have fought and selflessly surrendered the precious gift of life, so that other could live free.

Again we gather this Memorial Day, as a nation solemnly united in remembrance of the fallen defenders of our great nation. Freedom is not free. It has come at great cost, paid for with the lives of our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, friends and comrades.

Every American owes a great debt to the courageous men and women who have selflessly given their all to defend and protect our way of life. And while giving back to the extent they deserve is impossible, celebrating their memory and honoring their most selfless deeds offers a start.

This Memorial Day, pause to reflect on the absolute selflessness of the 1.3 million members of our nation’s military who paid the price needed to ensure our way of life endures, and let us not forget the families whose pain will never go away, but may lessen with our thanks and prayers.

God Bless our fallen, their families, and our men and women in uniform all over the world.”

 

Join the Irvine Police Department this Saturday, May 9, for “Push-Ups for Charity” to Benefit U.S. Military Veterans and their Families

pushups-charity (1)

Join the men and women of the Irvine Police Department this Saturday, May 9, 2015, for the 5th Annual Irvine Police Department Push-Ups For Charity event!

Push-Ups for Charity is an annual event that raises awareness of the challenges military service members and veterans face, and raises money to support their unique needs.

IPD Patch New (Layered)Push-Ups for Charity participants can collect donations from friends and family with the promise to perform as many push-ups as possible in 90 seconds.

It doesn’t matter how many pushups you can do, everyone can do their part to support America’s heroes. Big and small, near and far, we need YOU to get involved.

Each pushup completed raises much-needed funds for the Boot Campaign, a national nonprofit that promotes patriotism, raises awareness and provides vital assistance for our nation’s heroes and their families.

push ups for charity.01

Come out to support the competition this Saturday at 9;00 am between SWAT teams from police departments around Orange County, members of the Orange County Fire Authority, military veterans, high school students, and many others!

Do you want to compete? You can sign up as an individual or with a team here:

Anyone interested in participating but not competing can join the open session, which eliminates the pressures of competition. This fun event is open to everyone!

This year, we’ll open the event at 7:30 am with the 2nd annual 5K Fun Run/Walk. This is a great $35 alternative for those who want to get involved, but are not interested in the push up challenge!

Click here to register as a Host for $125 (includes training, marketing materials, and 10 official PUC 2015 t-shirts) or a Participant for $25 (includes an official PUC 2015 t-shirt. Choose your size upon checkout.).

What: Push-Ups for Charity (benefits United States military veterans.and their families).

Where: Irvine Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606-5207.

When: Saturday, May 9, 2015. 7:30 am for the 5K Fun Run/Walk and 9:00 am for Push-Ups for Charity.

Help the Irvine Police Department make a difference in the lives of America’s veterans!

Get Fit, Have Fun and Make a Difference!

By a Veteran, For Veterans Job Search Guide

jobs.vets.01

by Omar Masry

[Note: This “By a Veteran, For Veterans Job Search Guide” was written by my friend Omar Masry, formerly a city planner for the City of Irvine and now a city planner for the City and County of San Francisco. Omar served in the U.S. Army in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  It is reposted, with his permission, from the website of the City and County of San Francisco Veterans’ Affairs Commission. Much of Omar’s great advice works for non-veteran job seekers, too.]

You must approach the description and translation of your military responsibilities, experiences, and accomplishments in the proper manner to perspective employers. I am a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves and currently a San Francisco City Planner.

Omar Masry, Melissa Fox, melissafoxblog, melissajoifox, Irvine Community Services Commissioner Melissa Fox, Melissa Fox for Irvine

Author Omar Masry in Iraq, 2003.

Here is my “By a Veteran, For Veterans” job search guide:

Alpha

If a hiring manager has to read through four pages of a resume to quickly figure out a quick sense of your job history and your education, you’re doing it wrong!

To make your resume more concise and comprehensible, use bullet points:

Think in 3’s. First, indicate your duties.

Second, indicate something you improved upon or built or were proud (be confident, not cocky. Better to say you excelled/achieved/initiated than to say you were awesome/on point/hard charging).

Third, highlight a transition to a sub-specialty within the job or a special project.

Fourth, add a few more bullet points for jobs with more relevance to the position you are applying for.

Finally, use action verbs as first word of a few bullet points, such as “completed,” “managed,” “built,” etc.

Bravo

Chronological job listing is NOT a requirement; especially if it doesn’t pertain to the job you are applying for. You can put previous jobs in order of relevance, especially if you recently took a part time temp job to make ends meet, but you’ve had more substantial/relevant jobs a year or two ago.

Charlie

Education versus work experience. If new to workforce, education should come at the top of the resume, then experience. If your school experience involved hands-on application relevant to the job, then mention it.

While there are websites where you can enter your MOS and rank/pay grade and find a “civilian” job translation, bear in mind some of the answers are a bit odd/lame/irrelevant. If you try it, only use it as a starting point.

Delta

State accomplishments in numbers/scale; whether $$$, number of people managed, square footage built, state the measurements of what is measurable. For example: You were a Finance Clerk in the Military. An employer has no idea from that title if you handed out $20 bills to buy stuff from the Post Exchange or if you balance ledger books for million dollar accounts.

Echo

Save the resume as a PDF. Don’t hire a resume writer; it’s often a waste of $100-200.

Test, test, test any links to a resume but still send a PDF resume.

If the job is one where you’d like to post examples of projects online (designs, videos, news articles about your work). Include it as a link on the resume and use a service like http://bit.ly or http://tinyurl.com to create a shortened link.

If you work with a recruiter they will want a word document version, and PDF. They often add a logo and other information.

Foxtrot

Military Supervision/Management experience. Explain your rank and the size of any group you led. Were you akin to a Supervisor, a manager, or CEO?

Most civilian managers don’t know what a Sergeant or Captain means. If you indicate you lead a squad or platoon, they don’t know if that means 5 or 50 soldiers.

Did you engage in counseling, write performance or counseling reviews? If so, convey that!

Many employers assume it’s all akin to boot camp and you yell all day, when it came to supervisory experience in the military. Highlight your ability to engage in effective written counseling. Brag (mildly) if you improved outcomes or morale.

Golf

You’re a bit special; your experience might make some managers awkward about asking questions (so you’re not alone in terms of comfort level).

Hiring managers with no military experience might wonder: if you come back “unable to deal” with the lack of a strict work structure; can you function amongst a lot of hippies/hipsters? Play up the fact that you probably dealt with all types in the military. If you think it will work with the interviewer use sports analogies at times.

Hotel

Don’t use military acronyms. If you use terms that sound “unique” then put a short explanation next to it. For example: “Psychological Operations (battlefield public relations/media engagement)”

India

Create a LinkedIn profile. Remove/block photos of you acting a fool on social media sites. Don’t be afraid of establishing a professional facing profile on Twitter or Facebook.

Juliet

If you do all this, and you don’t have someone else, who is a professional, read your resume, then you’re wasting your time. Don’t be shy about asking. If you don’t know anyone personally, and you’re in a small town, check with the EDD (Employment Development Department, or organizations like Kiwanis, Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce, etc.). They’re often looking for opportunities to connect with and mentor vets.

Kilo

Intel. Use Google.com/alerts to receive an email every time a search term shows up online. Follow a company or field and receive emails about it automatically from Google. Read the mission statement of the company you’re applying to (often in the “About Us” portion of the website). Follow interesting companies on LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or Facebook (people sometimes notice it then reach out to you).

Lima

Volunteer or intern. UnitedWay, Friends of the Library, Veteran’s Affairs, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, County Parks, City Hall, local Federal agencies like a nearby National Park. Sometimes, what starts out as an unpaid internship can turn to a paid opportunity.

Mike

Practice! Print out some interview questions and ask your friend to interview you or record yourself. Reduce your likelihood of using words like “um,” or rambling.

November

Spell check every resume, cover letter, and email to the company!

October

White space! Leave some room on your resume so it doesn’t have an overwhelming sense of being too full of text. Print it out and take a look at your resume. There is no magic rule on the number of pages (less is more), but generally the first page should convey a fairly complete sense of relevant job history and education. If needed, try to only use the 2nd page to list certifications, and other less relevant jobs.

Papa

Include the same keywords in your resume (to the extent relevant) that are in the job description (e.g. technical qualifications/concepts, lead, manage, supervise).

Quebec

Strongly advise against expensive private schools in combination with private loans. Be very skeptical on job placement claims. Always ask for increases in Subsidized Stafford versus Unsubsidized Stafford loans whenever job or medical or family expenses change for worse. Do not be afraid to ask for assistance/scholarships. It’s a hand-up, not a handout. You’ll do far more for yourself, and your Country if you take advantage of any assistance now and succeed in the long run.

Romeo

Did you come back from serving, act a fool one night, and get caught up with a misdemeanor? If so, get it expunged. Start the paperwork 2-3 months before you are off probation. If you need help, write a letter asking your County’s public defender if they have a “Clean Slate” (San Francisco Example: http://sfpublicdefender.org/services/clean-slate/), or similar program; in Orange County, contact the Legal Aid Society for help. Check with local law firms (written letter, not a phone call/email), if they do any pro bono (free) legal work with Vets. You’d be surprised how often they just might say yes.

Sierra

Dress Code. Even if it’s some funky/hip company and they all wear jeans, you’re still wearing a suit to the first interview. No sport watch, white socks, or funky ties.

Tango

Your turn: when you are asked if you have any questions during the interview, don’t ask about salary or hours. Instead, ask for a description of workplace culture and priorities. Ask what would make a person successful in this position. Show an interest in any interesting mentions that came up earlier.

Uniform

Consider taking notes during interview. Often times you’ll receive a two-part question. The trick is making sure to look down at your notes and not forget to answer the second part of the question.

Victor

Send a thank you letter; by email OR written letter. Yes, it may seem cheesy, but it’s important. I’ve seen an example where a Vet was only contacted after the interview because he sent in a thank you letter. Or times when the Vet didn’t get the specific job they applied for but received a call months later because another position opened up. Don’t ramble in your letter, but use two or three bullet points in your letter as an opportunity to build upon the interview.

Whiskey

Don’t use the phrase “references available upon request.” If you are asked for a list of references before/after the interview, then list their contact information and also include two to three sentences about how you interacted with them. Did you report to them? Was that person a peer who can speak to your ability to work in a team?

X-ray

Team… highlight your ability to work in a team environment (often with folks you would have never known had you not joined the military) and what you specifically contributed to the team, especially if the job involves small team groupings.

Yankee

Get excited about the next phase of your career. Opportunity is out there. Don’t believe me? Check out tech resources for vets, TED talks for job search inspiration, these job and skill specific job sites, or VetNet (Hire Heroes USA and Google’s Partnership to Help Veterans).

Zulu

Stay the course, and stay on point. Finding a career is a job in itself.