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Bier's Blog

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Jeff Bier - Signed Articles of Agreement June 29, 2009, 39th Learner

United States Air Force

This is my beginning to My Life, My Lineage, My First Paperback Book. I invite you to read my journey as I compose each chapter of the 14 Level Reintegration Program. My success is your success and our community's success. Thank you for your courage and support. To post comments you must register with our community. You can view this outline  I am using to map out my progess. Thank you for your comments, I value them.

  • Wednesday, March 10, 2010 13:41 | Jeff Bier

    Well the first thing I need to do in this area is find out why almost one else is NOT doing their 14 Levels of Reintegration blogs.  I have looked at all 75 current Learner's Blogs and only 43% have published thier first blog - Level 1 "Orientation".  That's over 55% haven't a single post yet. Why is that?  And only 24% have posted their Level 2 blog.  Level 3 and up is at less than 5%.   And 1/2 of us have been learners for about a year now.  Blogging is one of our most important existing resources.

    Even my last post of over a month ago doesn't have a single comment to it.  I thought that when we signed up with this organization, we all committed to do the blogs.  I am also to blame.  I need to look at all the other 70 learner's blogs (outside my home state) and make comments to them too.  Al's program does not work if we don't do our part. 

    Here at the Northwest Center in Vancouver, WA, I am inviting all of our learners to meet with me at the Center at least once a month to post blogs together.  We will have coffee and goodies provided free by a local bake shop and coffee house.  FREE food!  Everyone should be here for that.  But what about there rest of you across the country?

    I hereby challenge each and every one of you, my fellow learners, do post at least a single blob within the next 30 days.  This organization will not grow if we don't help in doing our part, and that's blogging!

    I also need to call upon each and every member of our Board of Directors to do thier blogs too.  You told me that leadership starts at the top.  Please help by setting the example and blog your stories.  I want to know more about you as an individual, a veteran, and what you are currently doing to help this organization grow and thrive! 

    I need to also find out what our existing resources (i.e. our VPs) have been up to lately.  Have we developed any Programs yet that can be shared amongest the three Centers?  Do we have Handouts yet, so we can tell our local communities who and what we are while we attend community functions?  I have developed a tri-fold based on this Websites infromation and have printed up over 100 to hand out to Veterans when they visit our center or when I go to local comunity evernts, and even when I see someone in uniform walking down the street.  Does anyone at the other Centers want a copy?

    We have the resources, its time to start using them.  Please help me help the SWVBRC grow.  Tell me what you have already done to spread the word of our Mission and what we do for Veterans.  Thanks, and I hope to get lots and lots of comments with this post.  We need to move foward to the next step in this organization growth.

     

     

  • Thursday, February 11, 2010 16:57 | Jeff Bier
    OK, it's been over eights months since I signed up here at our Vancouver, WA Center. In that time I have checked and double checked the benefits available to me from Uncle Sam through his VA. I have found, once again, that there are three major areas of benefits, and they are: housing, education; and medical. And each one has different financial limits based on when you served. The best way to see your individual limits is to go and check out the VA website at: www.gibill.va.gov. I was first introduced to the Housing part when I purchased my first house in 1982. I used it twice since when I moved and purchased my second then third house. Not many problems with that side of benefits. I used my Educational benefits for 1976 until I used them all up by 1986. I was able to complete my BS and two Master's degrees with the financial assistance benefit. So this second major benefit is over for me. Since I have been separated in 1992 from the USAF, I have not had a reason to look into, let alone apply to the third and last major Veteran's benefit, medical. Up until now, I have not seen a reason why. I have been in good health these past 18 years, except to the dreaded 25+ (gain in weight right after one leaves active service and stops their exercise program just to relax. However that 25+ has grown over the years to almost 75. That plus everyone in this organization has said that I should apply ASAP, I started the process this past September. At first it looked real simple, go on-line to the VA website, click on the "Enroll/Update Medical Benefits" link, fill out their forms, and then send them in along with a copy of my DD214. A month later I get a letter from the local PDX VA Center that my DD214 don't show what my discharge type was and that I would have to get a new one from Uncle Sam. OK, so I contacted HQ USAF, filled out their forms and got two certified copies (four total since I had been both Enlisted and an Officer) with two more weeks. Sent in that proof to the VA and then they sent me a card stating that my next step was to schedule an introduction physical at the local Vancouver Center. OK, got that done and went in November and had my physical and met my assigned doctor. Then went over to the VA office within the Center to get my picture taken for my VA card. Not that simple, after I checked in they told me that had made $1,100 over the maximum in income last year and that I was NOT eligible at this time. A new VA employee over in Portland had mistakenly approved me and set up my physical which I wasn't suppose to have yet. So they gave me some more forms and to me to wait until after 1/1/10 to reapply with new income numbers and add in my 22 year old son in as a dependent since he moved back in with us this past Spring. OK, that was only a month away. Now January, I received a bill from the VA Center for the physical that I wasn't suppose to have. I then went and visited Roger Procter (our local VA advocate) to go over what had happen to me so far. He helped my by refilling out my paperwork on-line and gave me a copy to add my son's SSN to before resubmitting. I just resubmitted and now wait for the next chapter to begin. I also have to apply to the VA for a disability rating, but I am waiting to see if I can get my VA without one for now. I'll keep you posted as things happen. As for Resources that I found on the way, well Roger is one of them and my brothers and sisters in this organization are others. I've found several others, my county and state have websites and individuals to talk too. I've even use out of state support organizations to get answers to some of my questions. I'll let you know of more as I find them. Comments of where else to look?
  • Wednesday, November 25, 2009 13:11 | Jeff Bier

    Well first and foremost is to get the Vancouver Center a lot more active than it is right now.  Currently we have three active volunteers here that keep the doors open 15 hours a week.  That is, three hours a day from Monday to Friday.  I need to find at least three more people to volunteer at least three hours a week to our Center.  That would allow each of us to be here manning the Center tha same hours per week, but also give us all time to go out into the Community to start letting everyone we meet who we are and what we do here at the Center.

    So if you are reading this blog, live in Vancouver - Portland area and would like to help us, please come on today, registar and volunteer to man this office.  I have plans and work for anyone who wants to help.  We will bw starting a "Hometown Heros" wall in the Center.   We need someone to collect the 4"x6" photos that we will be getting in, mounting them in frame, typing up infromation on who is in the picture, their rank, branch of service, serive time, and current duty station. 

    That's one objective that I have, get the vancouver Center to be a place where veterans want to go.  The second is to apply for a SBA grant so that I can develope and present classes to veterans on how to start a small business in our county.   I plan on taking to Concordia University @ Portland's School of Management to help develop and present other small business courses since over 1/2 of their staff are veterans themselves.

    My third objective is to start to visit and talk to as many small businesses on this side of town.  It will involve a lot of walking and talking to the owners just to let them know who we are and want we can do for them when they look to hire veterans.  And my fourt objective is to look deeper into the VA and local chapters and posts of the American Legion, VFW, VVA, 40 et 8, DVA, and others.  I will start to attend monthly Air Force Association meeting at the PDX airport, and let them know that we are here.  I will register our center whenever and whereever I can at the county and state levels.

    My fifth objective will to start to ask all my friends and family on social enetworks (like facebook) to go to our website, look around, sign up, read our blogs and make comments to those blogs.  I have already developed and published a SWVBRC - Northwest Region page on Facebook, now to ask ours to look, registar and comment.  I'll stop at five, but add others as these first five get completed.  So what do you think?  Can you help me completed these objectives?  Can you please comment on this blog?  Thanks.

     

  • Wednesday, October 07, 2009 13:25 | Jeff Bier

       First and foremost is to get meaningful full-time employment with benefits once again.  I've been part-time employeed without any benefits or paid vacation time for over seven years now, and it stinks.  And I hate beening told that I'm "over qualified".

       My second goal is to have said employment on this side (Washington State) of the river.  I don't like the traffic going to and from the Portland, OR area, but even more than that, I don't like paying Oregon State income taxes when I don't have vote in their state.  It's taxation without representation!  However, if I am to be taxed on my earning while in Oregon, then ALL Oregonians should pay local state and city sales taxes when they shop in Vancouver / Clark County WA.

       Goals one and two could be completed if goal number three happens and happens within the next few months.  That goal is to turn my volunteer time here with SWVBRC into something more than just manning the Vancouver, WA office on each Wednesday for three hours.  We, as an organization, need to get a federal government contract or two that would pay us to help other veterans and in that way would allow us employment ourselves.

        My fourth goal is to get more involved in local and state politics.  I am currenlty a Republician PCO for my district (646).  I got somewhat involved this past elections with placing signs, phoning people to remind them to vote, manning the party's booth at the state fair, but I haven't help an individual canidate yet.  I would like to do that this time around.  I might even run for a commissioner's position since I don't believe that anyone should run unopposed, and that seems to be the case a lot for utility, water, dog, fire district and some other commissioner positions.  You know, the ones that don't pay much if anything at all.  Locally, we've had several people on our utility board for over 30 years now and they always run unopposed, why is that?

        My other goals are less important and change from month to month, or day to day depending if I have completed them or not.   I have a lot on my plate, bit its achieveing my first goal that has taken the most time but still hasn't happened.  Maybe this next year....

     

     

  • Friday, September 04, 2009 13:00 | Jeff Bier

       It has been oven 17 years now since I was "let go" from the Air Force due to force reduction.  I left with over 15 years of R+D contracting experience in the areas of Project, Contract, and Financial Management without any success in finding meaningful employement since then.  Everywhere were I went to find full-time work these past 17+ years I have been considered "over qualified" .  Now they (potential employeers) are starting to say that since I haven't actually been employed doing this kind of work for over ten years, now my experience is "weak".  I can't win.

       Anyway, I am still interested in government (federal, state, or local) in the areas of contract administration, project management, or budget development and execution.  I've applied many many times for govenment position, but its not what you know, but who youi know that will give me a break and let me in.  However, now that I'mm 55 years old, most won't even bother looking at my resume since I'd only be available to work for 10 more years until forced retirement at 65.  No win again.

         That's why I have been staying away from direct government employment and would like to get a federal government track to manage.  I would like to find a local small business that already has a government contract or is about to get one, and then be placed as the contract manager for its duration.  Does antone out there know of a local small business that is looking for someone like me?  Please let me know.  I am convinced that I will only find a full-time positiopn like this throught networking. 

         I love to manage and spend the government money.  I make it a personal challenge to get the most "bang for the buck" as many of my past supervisors know.  I just need the oppertunity once again to show a new employer what I'm worth.  So again, I interested in contract management positions, government or small business.  Please help me if you can.  Thanks.

  • Wednesday, July 22, 2009 12:01 | Jeff Bier

    I was born a 3rd generation American in Queens, Long Island, New York in 1954 to an ex-Marine and his wife of  five years.    My dad was born in Brooklyn, NY (served as a Marine guard on the Battleships New York and Wisconsin and was at Iwo) and my grandfather was born in Paterson, New Jersey.  He served in the US Army Veterinarian Corp as a private during WWI and was stationed in France for a few months in 1918.  When he got back, my grandfather started a Coal and Ice business in Brooklyn which was very good.  Good enough to buy a 240 acre farm in upstate New York in the1930s.  He passed away when I was only six weeks old at the age of 62, and my mom's dad died 15 years earlier, so I never knew my grandfathers.  But I did know that my grandfather and his brother, my dad and all five of my uncles had served in the US military.   

    Please read "Comments" for the rest of this story...

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2009 17:11 | Jeff Bier
    It started with reading an article in the local Vancouver, WA newspaper (The Columbian) on May 22, 2009. A new veterans' center was about to open just a mile south of where I live and it's focus is to help military veterans reintegrate into society and their local communities. I had been thinking for several months now about volunteering with a new organization here in Vancouver, WA. I had spent the past several years (15+) helping out at my church, with the Boy Scouts, with Portland food banks, and a national fraternal organization (Thrivent Financial for Lutherans). I had been a worker then in leadership positions with all of them. And time comes when you have to let go and let others lead, so I did just that. Now was time to move on to something else, and this looked like it could be just the thing. I had thought about volunteering my time at the local USO at the airport (PDX) or getting involved with my local Air Force Association chapter at the airport. Either way it is a drive across the river into "that other" state. You know, "the Peoples' Socialist Republic of Oregon". Anyway, I digress. Since it was so close to home and something that would help fellow veterans, I wanted to know more about it. The Center is currently only open from Noon to 3 PM, Mondays through Fridays, so what do you think I did? I walked the 1.5 miles from my house at 9:30 AM only to find it closed until Noon. Well I needed the exercise anyway, so I walked back home and came back at 2PM the same day. When I came back, fellow new learned Tim Richardson was manning the post. I came in and we talked for some time about what the Center was for and how I might help out as a volunteer. Tim invited me to come back later in the month to meet the organization's founder, Albert Renteria, who would be stopping by for a visit. I thanked Tim for the information and invitation to return. I went home and registered online that day. Then just a few days ago, I came back (on Sunday after work) and met Big Al. We talked and he went over with me the program and its steps. I originally just wanted to volunteer with the running of the Center, but Al talked me into becoming a learner too. It made sense to go through what I would be asking others to do. I've done it before, and going through the program myself has always helped me in being a better volunteer worker and then leader. So here I am and here I go off on yet another of Life's journeys. Hope you'll take it with me as I open up my life, my hopes, my dreams, and my heart on this new path that the Good Lord has brought me to. Hope to hear from you soon as posts to my blog.
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A welcoming home for our Troops.

Welcoming home our men and women doesn't end after the crowd disperses, it MUST continue on for the life of the Veteran! They've served us, now we will serve them with programs that work so they reintegrate into society.

We are a national public benefit nonprofit organization that educates American Communities about best practices to serve Veterans.  We honor their service by empowering Veterans to apply their training and skills to successfully transition to productive careers and enterprises.

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