My daugther Shawna Ryan put this tribute together and my good friend Sam Tate (former Country Songwriter of the Year) wrote the background music "Thanks To You". I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. Click HERE to view the video.
WOW! Been several months between updates. Sorry about that but it's been very busy around Able Forces which is a VERY good thing. Here's some quick updates with pictures to be included soon:
- Won a 62 FTE contract with Army ROTC Command and formed a 2nd company; Able Forces Professional Services (www.ableforce-ps.com), as our employee's didn't fit the profile of Able Forces. In one year we've gone from 2 employee's to 78; 77 are are Veterans, many are Wounded Warriors.
- We're working with Miryana Navarro-Monzo, the woman behind Welcome Home Garden, and the Burpee Seed Company to provide Veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with a very special Welcome Home Seed Packet. Able Forces has already distributed over 1,000 packets that include carrot, radish, lettuce, squash, tomato and cucumber seeds, among other vegies. Seeds for zinnias and marigolds are also included in the packet.
- The National Veterans Center (www.nationalveteranscenter.org) is rocking. Nicholas Anderson, my Director is doing an outstanding job bringing job preparation training to our Veterans. We have our upcoming Open House on 10 May at the Center. You're all more than welcome to join us between 6:30PM and 9:00PM.
- I'm leaving next week for Ft. Carson to be there when my nephew returns from Afghanistan. I'll post pictures when I return. in the meantime, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWOQ21v9ePQ&feature=youtu.be to view a tribute video my daughter Shawna created that includes Tony.
Had an incredible visit at the Warrior Transition Command at Ft. Campbell yesterday. Have met with my key Advocate several times before but she set up our meeting with the entire Cadre of Transition Support Staff for the entire Battalion. They are very excited about supporting our potential activity at Bluegrass Station and now the developing requirements for Help Desk support at Ft. Knox. They were also very interested in the model we've established at the National Training Center, and the training we will be providing.
The Battalion has offered to provide a training center on base for Able Forces to set up a training center to support the Tranisiton Brigade FREE OF CHARGE. They are introducing Able Forces to the ACAP (Army Career and Alumni Program) on base. The program has available funding and resources that could support Able Forces program offerings. They have also iivited me to speak at the the upcoming March "Open House" which is a monthly "formation" for the entire transition Battalion (currently 570 WWs not including Cadre). Spent a wonderful afternoon at the VA Medical Center Huntsville with the Advocates we work with, whom Ive met with several times in the past. They're also very encouraged by the upcoming potential at Bluegrass and Ft. Knox, would like to assist us in setting up our training programs at the Medical Center. This was just a really great visit. Hung out with some Warriors waiting for appointments. Met an old 1st Sgt. that started his career with a tour in Viet Nam and ended his career with a tour in Iraq. Wonderful stories of the deployments in between. Man, I love this stuff!!!
OK, its the weekend. Leaving tomorrow for Huntsville and Redstone Arsenal.
Thursday was an incredible day. The OEF/OIF/OND office at VA Medical Center Louisville brought the 4 managers of the program to discuss Able Forces and how we can work together. They are very excited about the potential at Bluegrass Station and now the Help Desk potential at Ft. Knox. They would also like to assist us with setting up a training center in cooperation with University of Louisville.
We had a wonderful visit at the Ft. Knox Warrior Transition Brigade. They also are very impressed with our work on both the employment and training side. They are willing to provide us free of charge classroom space to offer our job preparation training which is dearly needed by over 450 WW soldiers in this Brigade. Met several WWs in the brigade including a Warrant Officer that's ready to go to Bluegrass.
Now packing up and getting ready for our 10AM visit to the WTU at Ft. Campbell before moving on to Nashville.
Great day Wednesday. Started the morning with a meeting at Special Operations Command (Bluegrass Station) Lexington KY. Met with a rep from NISH, 3 Lockheed Martin Program Managers, and the SOC Contracting Officer. We're all working to bring Wounded Warriors to support SOC requirements. They are all very enthusiastic about our opportunities to support the Command. After discussing the work of Able Forces and the support we provide our Warriors, the contracting officer said, "I want you to understand this, I have never said this to any contractor but I would love to work for Able Forces!". What a wonderful compliment on the work we do.
In the afternoon we met with Paul Green, OEF/OIF Advocate and Therapist at VA Medical Center Lexington. He is establishing contacts with a number of Wounded Warrior care givers that will be very important in our support of upcoming contracts at Bluegrass and Ft. Knox (upcoming help desk support I'll talk about later). He could not have been more supportive of our work and is very enthusiastic about our bringing a "very needed" WW training center to Lexington.
Now starting Day 2 and meeting a large group of WW Advocates at VA Medical Center Louisville, then traveling south to Ft. Knox for a meeting a the Warrior Transition Command, followed up by a meeting with L3-MPRI outside the gates of Ft. Knox. Another busy day.