Filipino World War II Veterans Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

On October 25, 2017, Filipino World War II veterans finally received the recognition they had been seeking when Congress awarded them the Congressional Gold Medal for their service to the United States. 20 veterans and their families gathered at the United States Capitol to hear speakers and accept the medal on behalf of the estimated 15,000 Filipino World War II veterans still living.

The road to the medal was a long one. It all started in 1935 when the Philippines, which had been ceded to the United States from Spain, was granted commonwealth status by the American government. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Filipino soldiers, who were US citizens at the time, were called up to serve their country. More than 250,000 Filipinos fought during the war and were guaranteed full government benefits. After the war ended, the Philippines gained its independence, and the United States paid $200 million to the new government to help with war recovery efforts. Since they had disbursed a large sum of money, the American government theorized that they did not need to extend full benefits to Filipino veterans. President Truman signed the Rescission Act in 1946, stripping the veterans of their benefits. For the next 70 years, the veterans would struggle to regain these lost benefits.

Filipino veterans did not achieve much headway until the 21st century. In 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. A portion of the bill provided for a one-time payment of $15,000 to be disbursed to surviving veterans of World War II, including eligible Filipino veterans. The next phase came when Major General Tony Taguba founded the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetRep). The non-profit organization’s main goal was to lobby Congress for a Congressional Gold Medal. In 2015, their efforts bore fruit when Senator Mazie Hirono sponsored S.1555, a bill that proposed awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino World War II veterans. The bill was signed into law in December 2016.

November 11 2017 Extends to a Whole Month of Celebration for Veterans

Every year, on November 11, America celebrates those who have served the country in the military – the veterans. They include men and women who have previously served actively in the U.S. armed forces on military duty and are now civilians. On the Veterans Day, with parades and speeches across the US, these brave category of people are duly applauded for the sacrifices and risks they have made for the country with Americans coming together to tell them ‘Thank you’.

The number of veterans in the US is over 19 million and continues to rise. The US government through the Department of Veterans Affairs ensures that veterans are cared for when they return to the U.S from war. Just yesterday, the President Donald Trump signed a proclamation establishing November as a Veterans and Military Families Month with events running throughout the month. It will be the first time that America will celebrate Veterans and Military Families, not just on Veterans Day, but for a whole month.

As part of this year’s events, some veterans will speak to high school students. The event is proposed to raise the awareness and appreciation of those who have served in the military. It will also provide students with service perspective they can’t find in their books. Veterans will be offered VIP treatment including reserved parking spaces, escorts, breakfast, lunch, and more.

On this Veterans Day and the entire month of November, let us unite as Americans to thank the veterans for their service to our nation.

Highland Capital Management Is An Investment Adviser Company Who Cares

Highland Capital Management is an investment adviser company that employs some of the industry’s most experienced credit managers who specialize in alternative global investments. While managing $14 billion in assets, on a yearly basis, the company has found a lot of its success through focusing on credit hedge funds, special situation private equities, and emerging market investments. The company has offices in Seoul, New York, Singapore, and Sao Paulo, but is based in Dallas, Texas. Read more at Biz Journals about Highland Capital.

Recently, during 2017, Highland Capital Management Korea Ltd. closed a deal worth $147 million in the healthcare field. The company looks to continue to work with Korean private equity and venture capital firm, Stonebridge Capital, which makes this its first healthcare-focused endeavor in Asia. This makes a lot sense because Highland Capital is an expert in the healthcare industry spending 50% of its time working in it. In fact, over $1.5 billion in assets in the healthcare industry are being managed by the company.

Highland Capital cares deeply about the communities it serves and invests in plenty of other markets other than the financial industry. It has made money donations to local community organizations as well as national organizations that work on a non-profit model to better the world. On top of this, the company gets directly involved in its communities through volunteering and being part of the advisory boards of charities. To date, Highland Capital has donated over $10 million to different non-profits and other organizations globally. Read this article at PR Newswire.

Highland Capital Management offers a large variety of career opportunities to people all over the world. By becoming a part of a team that has so much experience, employees can expect to learn a lot more about investing than they know now. The company looks to hire people who have a remarkable track record, work well with teams, have good ethics, and look to become part of a company that fosters success in its partners. Its website shows that it is hiring a Consultant Relations Director, Executive Assistant, External Wholesaler/Regional Sales Director, Institutional Fundraiser – Europe, Institutional Fundraiser – US Sales, and many more positions.


US Veteran Sells Electric Pedal Assist Bikes

Chris Nolte is the owner of Propel Bikes in Brooklyn, New York, a shop that deals in electric pedal-assist bikes or e-bikes. The bikes come in handy when it comes to mountain biking, kid carrying, and even urban commuting as they add a motorized boost when riding. The rider uses less energy when riding the e-bikes as compared to their traditional counterparts.

Nolte served in the military and was present during the 2003 Iraq invasion but came out with a back injury. Being disabled, he decided to venture into electric bicycling to exercise (since he bike-exercised since childhood) and for recreation purposes.

Despite his back injury, Chris would still take on biking, but this time, he had to go for traditional bike alternative. This is where he landed on the electric pedal-assist bikes. He learned that the technology used in the bikes would only demand little energy to ride, making the bike perfect for disabled people. He knew the bicycle would improve his life as he would again see himself riding alongside his friends.

As a quick thinker, he developed a business idea. He thought of filling the gap for sweat-shy commuters and disabled people through selling them the bicycles. He then got a loan of only $20,000, and by 2011, he had sold his first batch of e-bikes. Within just three years, his sales had hit $1 million. In 2015, he started the Propel shop.

Nolte knows that the e-bike industry is still young and growing. He urges perspective entrepreneur to tread carefully with technology so that it does not harm the industry in the long run.

Combating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dillion Naslund was a 25 year old veteran having served with the 133rd Regiment and served in Iraq for 4 years and had just come from a 1 year Middle East deployment. Just like other parents, the Naslunds were happy to have their son back home and he also seemed to enjoy being back and sharing time with family and friends. Things soon fell apart with Dillion suffering depression and was eventually diagnosed with PTSD after his family took him to the Veteran Affairs, a stress disorder common among combat returnees, in Dillions case, treatment seemed to have worked, but in hindsight, the Naslunds believe he just got better at hiding his situation from the family, Dillion sent a text to his ex-girlfriend on December 10th who alerted his parents, he was later found dead, he had committed suicide.

Engage America

Following their son’s death, the Naslunds realized many more families were dealing with situations similar to theirs, the Veteran Affairs says roughly 20 veterans commit suicide daily, about 1 death every hour. This statistic is what buoyed the Naslunds to start Engage America, an organization that helps bring together veterans ,their families and friends by offering support programs such as health (mental and medical), education (check more on their website and also help connect them to other veteran care organizations.
If you know any returned veteran who might need their help, or any veteran, you might refer them and have them get help and gun down PTSD.

Military Veterans Take on a Cause to Grow Pot

A Los Angeles internship program for growing marijuana is helping veterans take on a challenging task to overcome PTSD. Although they get to earn money, this program is more personal. This is done in a featureless industrial warehouse located in downtown Los Angeles.

Multiple military veterans spend long days cultivating rows of plants and inspecting leaves and buds of marijuana growing under the orange lights. By the end of the three-month internship dubbed ‘seed to sale’ at the THC Design’s facility, these veterans hope that they can enter the profitable multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with full-time occupations.

During an interview with the BuzzFeed News, a veteran by the name Steven Passmore said that most people are blown away each time he tells them that he is farming pot even though he didn’t smoke even in school. Passmore, a US Army combat aged 35, says that he just explains to everyone that this is his new job.

The THC Design publicized this unique cultivation training program designed for veterans in June. They received over 65 applications. Among the people who sent the applications was a Vietnam veteran aged 71. Seven of the applicants joined the program, with two of them getting full-time employment. Steven Passmore was a natural fit. He is pursuing a botany degree at the Los Angeles City College and is currently experimenting growing cannabis in his small closet. The California law allows one to grow not more than six plants at home.

Fake News On the Way Out

In a little more than a week, five military personnel have paid the ultimate price to maintain America’s freedom and two Federal Government employees have been called on the carpet relative to the election scandal which makes one wonder why it has taken so long for Facebook to shut down a questionably authentic news page devoted to U.S. Vets. when is the American public going to realize that anybody with access to cyberspace can submit items to social media sites and capture multitudes of followers amounting to an estimated 200,000 on Facebook alone. Bets have not been anted yet for how many social media reps will voluntarily sit down with the U.S. Senate and House Intelligence committee members. According to Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook will be cleaning up its act on her watch.

Rock Star John Fogerty is standing Up for Nam Vets by donating personal funds and calling attention to the almost completed Veterans center in Los Vegas which will offer more just to meet the immediate needs of homeless veterans with a hot meal and a warm place to sleep. This facility, slated to open on Veterans Day November 11. 2017, will offer medical and mental health care as well as avenues to explore for reentry into the workforce.

All Americans need to tune their ears to catch a new song “Love and War” co-written by Fogerty and Brad Paisley that could be a small vehicle on the track of making America great again.

Exploiting Veterans for Profit

Despite the numerous attempts and efforts by the Congress, the Trump administration and state attorney generals to counteract the predatory practices by most of the profit colleges. Service members and veterans who work under the G.I Bill Gates and the defense department to go to school are still under the target by the industry saddling people with useless degrees and debts. According to a recent report by the senate committee, the same warning was issued three years ago in vain. They issued this warning when it came to their attention that there are numerous deceptive practices in the veteran industry. Federal agencies and state attorney generals were investigating seven for-profit companies generating their money from the G.I Bill Gates Foundation. Some of these colleges have shut down their premises.

However, a new scale has been brought forward by the Veteran Education Success. This is one of the few non-profit organizations that offers their legal services to the veteran students at various veteran centers in the United States. This organization found out that the for-profit industry is still working hard to retain their quality and standard in the veteran premises. They are still on sights with the service members and veterans while the non-military enrolment seems to go down each day.

This is a problem that has emerged proficient in the 90/10 rule. This is a rule that was created by the Congress in 1998. This rule also allows the for-profit schools to have more than 90 percent of their profits raised from the federal student’s aid. For this reason, they can use other sources of money to raise the remaining 10 percent of their income. This was a measure taken by the government to prevent the low-quality schools from raising most of their money from the state agencies working to enrich the education standards among the veterans.

Why Veterans Need to Have Access to the Internet

The internet is probably a major part of your life. Most Americans are connected to the internet at home and on-the-go. However, many veterans and military families are lacking access to the internet. The FCC recently announced that they will be reconstructing their Lifeline Program. The Lifeline Program helps low-income families get internet access. Around 12% of Lifeline Program users are veterans. This amounts to 1,300,000 people. This shows us that many veterans and military families are not getting normal internet access. According to The Hill, it is crucial for veterans and military families to be connected to the internet in order to enter the economy.

Veterans deserve to get access to the internet. One common problem that is common for veterans is that they live in rural areas. Around 30% of veterans live in rural areas. In rural areas, broadband internet is not as common. There are so many resources that are made available to veterans after they return from service. However, without access to the internet, it is a lot harder for veterans to find out about these programs and get access to them. In rural areas, television white space can be used instead of broadband to provide internet access. Television white space refers to unused TV cables.

Many activist groups have been working on encouraging the FCC to make sure that veterans have easy access to the internet. It can change the lives of many veterans.

The career and Education Background of James Dondero

James Dondero is a graduate of the University of Virginia. He obtained the highest honors from the school of commerce in addition to a major in Finance and Accounting. James is the co-founder as well as president of the famous Highland Capital. With more than 30 years of experience, James Dondero worked in the Credit and the equity markets where he specialized in the high-yield investing. Sine the year 1993, High Capital Management has been operating in developing Collateralized Loan Obligation (CLO) market and the credit-oriented solutions. Read more at Huffington Post about James Dondero.

In 1984, James Dondero started his career as an analyst in the Morgan Guaranty training program. He then served as the chair of Cornerstone Health center as well as a member of the board at the American Banknote and the MBM Studios. James is an industrious person that has supported an array of initiatives in education, public policy, and community development. Besides, he is one of the Certified Management Accountant (CMA), the designation earned him the right to use the title of a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Mr. James was part of the group that created the GIC subsidiary of protective Life. As the Chief Investment Officer, he assisted in taking the firm from its formation to more than $2 billion in the year between 1989 and 1993. He was a corporate Bond analyst between 1985 and 1989, then a portfolio manager at the American Express.

Under Mr. James Dondero’s tenure, Highland Capital Management has been leading in the development of the collateralized loan obligation (CLO) market as well as advancing in credit-oriented solutions for the institutional and the global retail investors. Highland’s product offered to include the hedge funds, mutual funds, ETFs, REITs, private equity funds, CLOS, separate institutional accounts among others. Follow James on Linkedin.

Mr. James Dondero is also the Chairman as well as president of NexPoint Residential Trust, Inc., Chairman of Nexbank Capital, board member of Jernigan Capital, and MGM Holdings, Inc. Besides, he worked at the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business Executive Board.

The committed philanthropist, Mr. James is a guy who understands various needs and challenges in the society and the ways to solve them.