Tag Archives: veterans

Memorial Day Walk for Warriors in Los Angeles Supporting New Directions

It is Time for the 2013 Walk for Warriors supporting the incredible programs at New Directions

May 27, 2013

This event is over, but you can still donate to this great cause or check out their website so you can go to the next event.

General Donation

Walk, run or just go out and help support veterans programs in your town. We at On Purpose Magazine support New Directions and their yearly Walk for Warriors.A great day in the sun with color guard, New Directions Choir as seen on America’s Got Talent and so many great vendors and associations that are helping veterans and their families the support they really need. Continue reading

I ♥ Vets Tee Shirts Helps Vets

Blake Leitch Wounded Combat Vet Makes I Vets Tee Shirts to Help Put Unemployed Vets Back to Work.

Blake Leitch is a combat veteran. In 2005, Blake was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During my deployment he was wounded in action when an IED hit his Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

Since coming home and recuperating from the wounds he sustained he has realized that there is no greater need than to invest in our Veteran families’ education. Blake linked up with Mark Slaby, the Founder of Illinois Patriot Education at The Medinah Patriot Day. That day he realized that there is not only a huge gap in our nations heroes VA benefits, but there is also many great Americans that want to help the vets succeed.

I met Blake through a wonderful friend and I was so inspired by his story and what he is doing to help other vets that I had to meet him.

Blake is one of the nicest guys you ever want to meet and he is working hard to build a business that helps his family, his community and other combat wounded vets.

Blake started the I Heart Vets Tee Shirt Company to help combat wounded vets in his town, find jobs and get help and he has been fairly successful at it.

I love his Tee Shirt so much I have asked Blake to make a special one for my US Veterans Group on LinkedIn. That group now has over 23,000 members. Not all of them need help, but many need resources and jobs and we are always looking at ways to help.

Blake has made us his I ♥ Vets Shirt with our US Veterans Logo on the back, but you can have Blake make your organization a shirt or just buy a plain I Heart Vets Tee Shirt by going to his site and choosing from what he has in stock. 

If you want the US Veteran Special Edition Tee Shirt, which costs the same as his regular shirts, you can go to www.bit.ly/usvet. 20% of the proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Program.

Blake is a great guy and his company is doing wonderful work so please support his efforts. Thank you Blake for all you do. – JW

I Heart / Love Vets

Blake Leitch, wounded combat vet first started making I Heart Vets Tee Shirts to support the efforts of The Illinois Patriot Education Fund (IPEF) and he still heavily supports that cause.

Blake’s Tee Shirts have now taken off and he offers his Tee Shirts that support his causes and his family and also can offer your organization his services to easily use I Heart Vets merchandise for your student group, Student Veteran of America Chapter, VFW, American Legion, or any other group. Start fundraising.

This book has one primary purpose: To Get Veterans Jobs! With the help of veterans from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines this book was written by a current Professional Fortune 50 Lead Recruiter with nearly 15 years of experience.

Because the author recruits as his profession in this challenging job market every day, he knows what works and what doesn’t.

This is a no-nonsense guide to help vets get hired, even in this difficult job market –even if nothing else has worked.

A substantial portion of the proceeds from book sales are donated back to charity to help veterans at HonorVet.org and to help the stray and abandoned animals at Logan’s Run Rescue.

Blake Leitch I Heart Vets Tee ShirtsBlake Leitch

Reposted From Off The Shelf & Online
Eastern Illinois University Journalism Dept.

Among so many things, Blake Leitch is a father, student, and husband. But like many other veterans and their families, Blake suffers from the aftermath of war. 

Blake graduated from Mattoon High School in 2000. He was an active participate in the National Guard his junior and senior year. Right after high school, Blake entered basic training for the military. He said

“During that time I came to the realization that I liked doing the Army full-time,” Blake said.

Blake signed up for active duty not knowing the future ahead of him. “The day I reported for active duty was actually September 11th, 2001,” he said.

A few months later, Blake found himself in the midst of the war: Iraq. During that time Blake’s vehicle was hit by an IED bomb over 20 times. From that incident alone, Blake now suffers from severe back and traumatic brain injuries.

“I lost count after about 24 roadside bombs that my convoy vehicle was hit with and the last one is when I took strap mill to my face,” Blake said.

Blake said it wasn’t just one of the bombs that caused his injuries, but a combination of all the explosions he was in.

Years later and a safe return home, Blake is still fighting a battle with the skeletons of his past. Along with back injuries and traumatic brain injuries, Blake was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suffers from ringing in the ears.

Many soldiers face similar struggles like Blake after returning from war.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. Kim Dowland, a nurse practitioner at Eastern Illinois University Health Services, said PTSD is not an uncommon mental disbility for military veterans. Click here to watch Kim’s interview about PTSD.

Blake still visits the doctor on a regular basis because of his back injuries. Due to the PTSD and traumatic brain injuries he also has difficulties sleeping.

“Every night I’m taking a sleeping pill to help me go through that,” Blake said. “I’ve had a hard time finding a medicine that wouldn’t put me in such a deep sleep that I’d have nightmares.”

Blake said it’s also really hard for him to stay focused for long periods of time due to the PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.

“My brain is just so messed up from what happened over there that it’s just taking a long time to really re-program that,” Blake said.

Blake’s wife of over 7 years, Jackie Leitch, and their son 22-month-old son, Spencer, have helped Blake get through difficult times.

Jackie said though Blake being deployed wasn’t easy, it has actually made their relationship stronger knowing that they have overcome such difficult hurdles.

“We look back at that year that Blake was deployed and we know that we wouldn’t want to do it over again, but we also know there were great things that came out of that for us,” she said.

Jackie said seeing the struggles he still is dealing with a couple years later is still tough. Though she will never truly know what Blake is going through, she said she offers him a listening ear, encouragement, and support. To hear more of what Jackie has to say about her husband, Click right here.

“Honestly, I think its made us stronger,” Blake said. “It makes us communicate better.”

Blake said knowing that he has his family there for him helps him get through everyday. “It gives me more to live for,” he said. Click here to view a slideshow of Blake and his family.

Other than his family, Blake’s spiritual beliefs have also gotten him through post-war difficulties. Blake and his wife Jackie are strong believers in their faith.

“I really believe if it wasn’t for my devotion and my relationship with Jesus I really wouldn’t be alive,” Blake said.

Click here to see a photo essay of how Blake deals with his everyday struggles.

I Heart Vets:

The I Heart Vets Website
The I Heart Vest Special Edition US Veteran on Linkedin Tee


US VeteranUS Veteran on LinkedIn

The US Veteran Group on Linkedin was started to assist US Veterans of all services and of any age to connect. As it has expanded to over 23,000 members and growing, it now also looks to help find resources for the veterans who need them.

We also allow family members and resources such as job recruiters and vet help programs for drug abuse and suicide etc.. also join.

If you are a vet looking for work you can also join our US Veteran – Jobs Group

Memorial Day 2012

My Message to U.S. Veteran’s on LinkedIn on this Memorial Day Weekend

As a U.S. Navy veteran and the founder of the largest military and veterans group on LinkedIn, US Veteran, I do what I have done every year and took some time to send out a message to our over 22,000 veteran members.

To all the our Troops, Veterans and Families I wish you all the best this Memorial Weekend. – JW

This Years US Veteran Post for Memorial Day 2012

I was looking around for something inspirational to send out this Memorial Day Weekend and found this small paragraph by 3rd Grader Ali M.

“As the flowers rest on the decorated graves and the sunlight shines on the beautiful sailboats,

Uncle Sam whispers in my ear about how we should care for the soldiers and remember the ones that have died.

Swimming pools open, BBQs fry. Today is the day to think of what they have done for us.

There are blurs of red, white and blue marching down the street and flags are lowered at half-mast. But we should always remember and never forget what set us free, from this very day on.

© 2001 Ali M., 3rd Grader, Academy Elementary School, Madison, Connecticut.

How incredible this 8 or 9 year old was to write this wonderful and imaginative description of Memorial Day, but what really came to mind for me was that Ali M. and her dream of this perfect day of remembrance is exactly what our veterans put their lives on the line for.

So this Memorial Day lets remember the veterans and be grateful for this wonderful life they have given their lives to protect.

New Directions Walk for Warriors Memorial Day 2012 Los AngelesI will be covering the Walk for Warriors Event for New Directions in Los Angeles, CA on Memorial Day. If in LA come out and see me and join in… http://www.walkforwarriors.org

Where ever you are and what ever you are doing.. Please have an incredible weekend honoring our fallen heros.

Warmest Regards,
JW Najarian
US Veteran – LinkedIn

New Directions Veteran Help and Hemancipation Presents Cars, Bars and Cigars at Tesla Motors

CARS BARS & CIGARS to Support New Directions Veterans Resource


Watch This Video to Find out About What New Directions is Doing for Veterans and Their Families


Hemancipation presents luxurious event at Tesla Motors in Los Angeles, to benefit veterans at New Directions

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 19th, 2011) – A predominantly affluent male crowd gathered on the evening of May 19 at Tesla Motors in Beverly Hills to enjoy beautiful cars, the best vintage whisky and the finest cigars. Appropriately called Cars Bars & Cigars, the evening is a signature Hemancipation event, produced by the company that assists men with luxury lifestyle management.

Host Akilah Kamaria, Hemancipation CEO, says “I’ve hosted several Cars Bars & Cigars and the guests will be mostly men. But women feel very comfortable and have a great time at our events.”

Cars Bars Cigars features cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, complimentary cigars and the opportunity to observe a master cigar roller, and includes a preview of luxury cars. Joining Kamaria as hosts are Mark Burton, JD CMAA, Managing Director of Los Angeles Consulting Group, Courtney Norris, Managing Partner of Allure Plus LLC, and Kathleen Tepley, Managing Director, Los Angeles Consulting Group.

A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit New Directions, Inc.

Herself a veteran of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Kamaria is committed to helping veterans who find returning home to be far more challenging than they ever envisioned. During military service,

Kamaria found herself constantly helping her fellow Marines to adjust during the many transitions inherent in military life. She continued after the military assisting “her guys” with the lifestyle aspects of independent living.

Realizing the need in the marketplace and that she truly had a gift for lifestyle management, Kamaria founded Hemancipation, a luxury lifestyle management service for men.

“When I heard about New Directions, I was impressed that they understand that women who have served in uniform are veterans, too. After a visit, I decided it was time to put together another Cars Bars Cigars evening to benefit this amazing agency,” she noted. The event website may be viewed at http://carsbarscigars.com

About Hemancipation

HEMANCIPATION is the first luxury lifestyle management service for men. Hemancipation provides highly personal concierge services to men and their families.

Clients seek Hemancipation services when there has been a change in their life or if they are anticipating a change. Change can be something as normal as buying a new home or as significant as regaining order after relocating or divorce. Still in many cases, clients call Hemancipation when they are simply overwhelmed with their family’s lifestyle demands.

They also work with attorneys; financial advisors, accountants and other trusted advisors to handle the lifestyle concierge needs of a demanding clientele. More information at www.hemancipation.net

About New Directions, Inc.

Founded in 1992, New Directions, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 public benefit corporation that provides comprehensive services to hundreds of homeless veterans each year in five transitional housing facilities. Veterans leave New Directions with money in the bank, new clothes, new communication skills, jobs or other income, and a new outlook on life.

The V.A. estimates that more than 8,000 homeless veterans still reside on the streets of Los Angeles. More information about New Directions can be found at www.ndvets.org.

Contact: Cindy Young at New Directions
(310) 914-4045 ext 112

Akilah Kamaria at Hemancipation
(888) 473-0876

About Walk for Warriors

Monday, May 30, 2011

It may have been your father, your sister or even your son. We all love someone who has fought for our freedom. Is there a warrior in your family you would like to honor?

Join New Directions, Inc., a nonprofit agency that assists homeless veterans and the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce in a Memorial Day 5K Walk/Run that honors those who have served and those who are currently serving in the Armed Forces. This event will benefit veterans who are transitioning from homelessness back to families and community.

Mark Lyden – Veterans: Do This Get Hired

Do This! Get Hired! is Practical Help for Unemployed Veterans

You can NOT expect to get a job in THIS difficult job market by doing the same old things and following the same old advice.  IT WILL NOT WORK!  It is time to get advice that has been PROVEN to work especially in this difficult job market.  Even when nothing else works, this advice WILL!

When you talk to Mark and find out his story, you really get a sense that you are getting to know a real giver.

He and his wife are volunteers for many causes and Mark is doing great with his business and other projects, but when he heard about the unemployment rate of young veterans he was alarmed and wanted to do something. He had written a book to show people how to deal with recruiters and employers and he decided that he would fix it to focus on vets.

The book is full of great information which is broken down very simply. Listen to this interview, Mark gives many of his best tips right here, but buy the book as it helps support HonorVets.org and it really is a great resource.

Also if you know of any students or other professionals that may need some help; please pass this along because Mark’s books for college students and professionals are just as powerful and full of tried and true strategies that get results. – JW

book veterans do this get hiredVeterans: DO THIS GET HIRED

Filled with practical and easy to follow steps, on every major job search topic, which has proven to be extremely effective and has often been the difference between a candidate getting a job or not getting a job.

This book has one primary purpose: To Get Veterans Jobs! With the help of veterans from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines this book was written by a current Professional Fortune 50 Lead Recruiter with nearly 15 years of experience.

Because the author recruits as his profession in this challenging job market every day, he knows what works and what doesn’t.

This is a no-nonsense guide to help vets get hired, even in this difficult job market –even if nothing else has worked.

A substantial portion of the proceeds from book sales are donated back to charity to help veterans at HonorVet.org and to help the stray and abandoned animals at Logan’s Run Rescue.


Mark Lyden is Senior College Recruiter for a Fortune 50 company and has been a professional college recruiter for over 10 years.

He has recruited candidates for small, medium, and large companies and has lead hundreds of college recruiting teams, events, and career fairs on college campuses across the country.

Mark has recruited for technical and non-technical majors at all levels from Freshman through Ph.D. and has recruited for Secret and Top Secret programs.

He has screened, taught, served as a mentor and interviewed thousands of college candidates and has formally presented to approximately 10,000 on various campuses across the United States.

In his career he managed one of the top Co-op / Intern programs in the country. This extensive experience gives him the unique insight and expertise to teach college students the best ways, the proven ways, to approach every major step of their job search process.

Plus because he currently is a Senior College Recruiter as his profession, he understands the challenges of this market.  Mark has a BS, MS, and one year of Ph.D. study in the areas of Business, Human Factors Engineering & Education, and Psychology respectfully.

is an expert at getting people jobs. He has already helped thousands get hired even in this difficult job market. For nearly 15-years, he has been a Professional Lead Recruiter for a Fortune 50 company.

His approach is fresh, practical, easy to follow, and extremely effective. In his recruiting career he has recruited for small, medium, and large companies and organizations.

Mark has screened, taught, mentored and interviewed thousands of candidates and has presented job search seminars across the country. His extensive experience plus the fact that he recruits each day in this difficult job market, gives him the unique insight on the best ways –the proven ways to approach every major step of the job search process so candidates have the best chance at getting hired.

Mr. Lyden’s practical and easy to follow steps, on every major job search topic, has been extremely effective and has often been the difference between a candidate getting a job or not getting a job.

Mark Lyden’s previous top selling book, “College Students: Do This! Get Hired!” has been featured in major news outlets like CNNMoney.com, The Washington Post, and many others. It has helped thousands and thousands get hired.  Now Mark has turned his attention and expertise to helping veterans get jobs.

Mark’s style and approach is fresh and very effective. Those reading or hearing his advice in a seminar are always surprised to learn something new and often discover that what has been holding them back or a mistake they have been making over and over that prevented them from getting hired.

Finally what makes Mr. Lyden’s advice and information so valuable is that it works! But there is a reason why it works better than other information and why so many people get hired with his advice. Every step, trick, tip, or technique he provides has a strong logical reasoning behind it backed up by nearly 15 years of experience.

Anyone can give opinions of what they think might work, or what may have worked for them, but it takes someone doing the job as a Professional Recruiter in this difficult job market to KNOW what works and what specifically you need to do to get hired.


HonorVet.org reviewed the book and said: “If you’re a veteran you need to read this book! Best advice for getting hired that we have ever read.” With his advice, Mark has already helped thousands of people get hired, even in this challenging job market.

What makes his advice different from what you can find on the Internet or in other “How to get a job” books is that his advice has been PROVEN to work.

“If you’re a veteran you need to read this book! Best advice for getting hired that we have ever read.” – HonorVet.org

Because he currently works recruiting in this job market every day, Mark has a unique perspective on what exactly veterans need to do to have the best chance at getting hired. I am a returning Iraq veteran with disabilities. Since being home I have been fired from (2) civilian jobs and turned down for at least 30. I then received Mark’s book, Veterans: Do This! Get Hired! I read it cover to cover in the parking lot of the post office.

The information is straight forward and easy as hell to understand. I followed his advise in chapters 2&3 to the letter. I saw immediate results on the same day I posted my resume by getting 3 requests for interviews. Mark is on- target with this information. ” –  Matt K. U.S Army (Ret.) Panama/Iraq/Somilia

If you need a job and want help getting it … then you should be interested in buying Mark’s book, please go to his website HERE

Mark can be reached by email HERE