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Meet IVMF’s #MilitarySpouseOfTheWeek, Angela Raffa, an Air Force spouse!

Raffa is a Syracuse, New York native. She met her husband while attending Syracuse University. He was in ROTC and the two connected their sophomore year. They were engaged at the famous “Kissing Bench” on the Syracuse University campus and were married two weeks after graduation at Hendricks Chapel. They graduated in 2007.

Raffa moved to Columbus, Mississippi, where her husband completed pilot training. He became a First Assignment Pilot Instructor. During their time in Mississippi, the two had their first son together.

In 2012, her husband’s second assignment was at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, where he was assigned to fly the E-3. The couple also gave birth to their second son in Oklahoma. Four months later, Raffa’s husband deployed for six months overseas.

Raffa and her children moved back to Syracuse to stay with her parents during the deployment.

“It was so important to have the support of family during that time,” she said.

Raffa says her best advice to military spouses is to be independent. She knows that with her husband’s hours, she is often doing tasks alone. She encourages spouses who live on base to make friends with neighbors and to invest in an iPad to FaceTime your spouse during deployments.

The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through our focus on programming, the IVMF provides no or low-cost industry training, business ownership training, and certification opportunities for veterans, military family members and service members. To see if you or someone you know qualifies, visit www.vets.syr.edu.
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Lynn Adams's profile photoDennis Purdy's profile photo
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Awesomeness 
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Meet IVMF’s #K9ofTheWeek, a service dog from Canine Companions for Independence.

Hi, my name is Sharif! I’m a Golden and Lab mix. I’m nine-years old and have been trained to open doors and retrieve items that my owner may need.

My dad is an Iraqi War veteran. In 2004, my dad, First Lieutenant Jeffrey Adams, was hit by a roadside bomb. He lost his leg but recovered and now walks with a prosthetic titanium leg.

My dad doesn’t let anything slow him down! He has learned to ski and is a professional ski instructor, helping other wounded veterans learn the sport.

For more information on Canine Companions for Independence, visit www.cci.org.
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高少华's profile photoLori Tibbels's profile photoTeresa Decker (Tess)'s profile photoJason Dodge's profile photo
 
nice dog
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Meet IVMF’s #MilitarySpouseOfTheWeek, Kelly Narowski, an Army spouse.

Narowski has spent the last two years at Fort Polk and her and her husband will soon be relocating to Germany.

Narowski works as a government contractor, delivering safety presentations to servicemembers. She is a professional speaker, having worked for both the military and the Think First Foundation, a brain and spinal cord injury prevention organization.

She has participated as an FRG Advisor at Fort Bragg and served as Liaison for the 82nd Airborne Division’s Wounded Warriors Committee. Certified by the Army, she is also a Spouse Master Resilience Trainer. Narowski has earned the Iron Mike Award for volunteerism, the Commander’s Award for Public Service and the Dr. Mary E. Walker award.

As a disability rights activist and Certified ADA Coordinator, she has advocated to make over 80 businesses in five states become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Narowski also served on the Board of Directors for the Whole Person Center for Independent Living in Kansas City and was an advocate for the Fayetteville Council for Persons with Disabilities.

Narowski holds a Bachelor’s in Health and Exercise Science from Missouri Western State University and a minor in Psychology. She is currently a graduate student at the City University of New York, pursuing a Master’s degree in Disability Studies.

To learn more about Kelly Narowski, visit www.kellynarowski.com.

The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through our focus on programming, the IVMF provides no or low-cost industry training, business ownership training, and certification opportunities for veterans, military family members and service members. To see if you or someone you know qualifies, visit www.vets.syr.edu.
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Dennis Purdy's profile photoPatricia Longo-Anders's profile photoJason Dodge's profile photoSteven Taylor's profile photo
2 comments
 
Why the lower enlisted with a saber? Smh.
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Meet IVMF’s #StudentOfTheWeek, Stepheni Norton, a U.S. Coast Guard reservist.

Norton enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in 2010 through the Direct Enlisted Petty Officer Training Program. She deployed in October 2012 for 10 months to Maritime Security Detachment, Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Norton is a social entrepreneur and listed as one of San Diego Magazine’s 50 People to Watch. She is the co-creator of Tradesmen ~ creative proprietors & charitable pour house, a restored historic home that is used as a work and event space for entrepreneurs and charities.

Norton also collaborates with Cake & Whiskey magazine, becoming the founder and chapter leader in San Diego. The venture recognizes females in business and fosters community change.

In August 2013, Norton attended the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) conference in Denver. After being on active duty, she used the opportunity to re-engage with her entrepreneurial ideas.

“V-Wise was the perfect open, women focused, creative environment to rekindle my entrepreneurial fire. This environment and having the support of my sisters in arms was the key to my success,” she said.

Norton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurial Business Management from Pepperdine University. She also is a Sexual Assault Victims Advocate, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Peer and First Responder Crisis Hostage Negotiator.

Norton is a Chief in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve as well as an active auxiliary member of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary District 11 Southern Region. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two dogs.
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Noah Brogle's profile photoKevin Holland's profile photo
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+Noah Brogle Also, I married my Supply Sergeant, a female soldier in Iraq. Tell me again how I am sexist? We fought side by side, and you should shut the fuck up about what you do not know.
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Syracuse University, its Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) celebrate the anniversary of the GI Bill, embraces the vision it set forth as a means to repay veterans for their service and improve society, and is proud to have played a role in its realization. We remain committed to serving veterans of every generation. Today, Syracuse is embracing hundreds of veteran students who are attending the university on the Post-911 GI Bill. http://vets.syr.edu/syracuse-university-and-the-servicemens-readjustment-act-of-1944
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George Doyle's profile photoP Thompson's profile photoSandy Allen's profile photoJames Simpson's profile photo
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Eh Syracuse. .....fuck off !
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Meet IVMF’s #HometownHero, Chris Richelderfer, an active duty servicemember with the U.S. Army.

Richelderfer graduated with a Bachelor’s in Biology from Mount Saint Mary’s University in 2005. He was commissioned as a Medical Service Corps officer. He was then stationed at the Army hospital in Würzburg, Germany. He deployed a year later with the 1-91 CAV, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team to the Kunar Province in Afghanistan for 15 months as the Headquarters Troop Executive Officer and then as the Medical Platoon Leader.

After the deployment, he opted to stay in Germany and took an assignment as the Executive Officer for the U.S. Army Health Clinic in Bamberg. Upon return to the United States, Richelderfer attended the Captains Career Course at Fort Lee before being stationed at Fort Bragg. There, he deployed a second time, this time to the Ghazni Province of Afghanistan for a six month tour as a Medical Company Commander.

Upon returning from the deployment, Richelderfer received a position in Resource Management at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg. He has since decided to pursue a career field working almost exclusively in Army hospitals.

Richelderfer is currently seeking certification as a Resource Manager in the Army Medical Department. To earn that certification, he is currently enrolled in Syracuse University’s Defense Comptrollership Program, which includes an MBA from the Whitman School and an EMPA from the Maxwell School. He is also pursuing a Certificate in Health Services Management from Maxwell.

Richelderfer lives in Syracuse, New York, with his wife and three children. After his schooling, he will be stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington to complete an internship at Madigan Army Medical Center.
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Natasha Patches's profile photoKim Akers's profile photoCumberland Valley Civil War Roundtable's profile photoJason Dodge's profile photo
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Civil War buffs may recognize the background, which appears to be the Pennsylvania Monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield.
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Meet IVMF’s #StudentOfTheWeek, Rosemary O’Brien, a military spouse and owner of Pocket Parks Publishing.

O’Brien’s husband had a 28-year military career, of which O’Brien has spent 15 of it. At her first duty station, she realized that the job she wanted was not as easy to find in the military. Instead, she decided to find her entrepreneurial side and became a freelance writer and author. Her first novel, First Saturday, was published in 2002 and her second novel, Scraps, was published in 2012.

O’Brien had dreams of starting her own business. In 2013, she attended and graduated from the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families (EBV-F). She also graduated from the 2014 V-WISE New York City conference.

“I went to EBV-F with one book about parks in mind and came out with an entire business idea thanks to their instruction and guidance,” she said.

After the course, O’Brien started Pocket Parks Publishing, which publishes guides to pocket parks and public spaces in New York City and future locations around the U.S. and London. The company also has a service that publishes veteran stories. The service has veterans submit their deployment journals and interviews to produce a personal, private book of their stories during their time in the military that they can pass down to their family.

“My first client was an Army nurse I met at the national EBV Conference,” she said. “A session leader recommended I write veterans’ stories and another part of my business was born.”

O’Brien has a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from San Diego State University and has won numerous awards including 2nd place in EBV’s 90-Second Pitch Competition at the 2013 National Conference, 4th place in Patriot Boot Camp’s Pitch Competition and is currently a semi-finalist in Citi Salutes “Realizing Your Dream” business plan competition. For more information, visit www.VeteranStories.biz and www.PocketParksPublishing.com.

Credit: Mark Bennington Photography
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Meet IVMF’s #HometownHero, Larry Hellman, a Navy veteran.

Hellman enlisted in the Navy in 1972 after completing a year of college. He felt it was time to see the world and do his patriotic duty. He hoped to serve in Vietnam.

Hellman completed boot camp in San Diego and technical school in Port Hueneme, California. He graduated at the top of his class. He chose the MCB 5, which was the most likely battalion to return to Vietnam, but the war ended before Hellman got the chance to fulfill that part of his dream. Instead, the battalion was sent to Japan, where Hellman completed his first eight-month deployment.

After serving five years in the military, Hellman returned home to Humboldt, Arizona. There, he opened Hellman Brothers Woodcrafting with three of his brothers. As new business owners, the boys all joined the local volunteer fire district and encouraged the firefighters to become EMTs. It was there that Hellman realized he loved saving lives.

Hellman returned to the Navy in 1988 as a recruiter for the Naval Reserve Recruiting Command. He served over seven years before exiting as a Chief Petty Officer.

After separating from the military, Hellman’s wife encouraged him to pursue his dream of being a doctor. At the age of 45, he returned to Grand Canyon University to finish schooling, earning a pre-med degree in human biology. Upon graduation, Hellman was accepted into Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, where he graduated with a doctorate in natural medicine.

Hellman opened Shea Wellness with two partners, but decided to return to his love of recruiting and teaching his community about natural medicine. He turned to the Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce (SWVCC), where he was elected President in 2014.

The Navy instilled a ‘Can Do’ attitude in him. An attitude he and his business partners show in many areas of life and business. Hellman currently lives in Arizona with his wife.
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Meet IVMF’s #ServiceDogOfTheWeek, Ice, a four year old Siberian Husky.

I have been trained to "brace" for vertigo spells to support my dad, Lyndon Villone, a Marine combat veteran. I help suppress anxiety attacks and night terrors.

My dad served two tours in Fallujah, Iraq as an Amphibious Assault Vehicle crew chief. With so many blast exposures from IED's, mortars and miss-fired counter-battery, my dad developed a mild form of Vertigo. He was also diagnosed with PTSD when he came home so I stepped in to help!

When I was born, my dad’s best friend in the Marines passed away six days earlier due to a training accident. I was named in honor of Sgt. Wesley J. Rice. My dad dropped the “R” and named me Ice in memory of his friend.

My dad registered me as a therapy dog and we volunteered with Therapy Dogs International to visit at-risk youth and hospice patients. I hung up my Therapy Dog bandanna in the beginning of 2014 so I could start specifically training for my dad's Vertigo spells.

We worked tirelessly with former military dog handler, Marine Sgt. Kevin Moore, to show us correct obedience for my public access. After five months of training, I passed!

With this new relationship, and the positive things that have come from it, my dad and I decided to found Heel the Heroes Inc., where we will help other wounded veterans utilize animal assisted therapy.

My dad recently became a dog trainer through the Animal Behavior College and is now attending Bergin University of Canine Studies to be a service dog trainer. I'm happy that my dad is better and we are able to move forward by helping other veterans in need.
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Jlm 522's profile photoPenney McNutt's profile photoDamian Dekker's profile photoLyndon Villone's profile photo
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Congratulations- you are a great team.  Susan
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In observance of Father's Day this Sunday, the IVMF has released a Research Brief study that examines how 14 men in the National Guard and Reserve Component understand their roles and support needs as servicemembers and parents of young children. http://vets.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Dayton-2014-IVMF-Research-Brief.pdf #FathersDay
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Support our troops
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SU trustee and alumnus Winston Fisher ’96 is participating in Race Across America—a 3,000-mile competitive bike race in support of our wounded military heroes suffering from traumatic brain injury. Fisher is a member of Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes. The team’s fund is building “Intrepid Spirit” centers at military hospitals across the country. Learn more at http://intrepidheroesrace.com.
IN JUNE 2015, TEAM INTREPID FALLEN HEROES WILL COMPETE IN IN RACE ACROSS AMERICA- A 3000 MILE COMPETITIVE ENDURANCE RACE THIS YEAR AS A 4-PERSON MIXED TEAM
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Meet IVMF’s #MilitarySpouseOfTheWeek, Charlena Haines, an Army spouse.

Haines is married an Army soldier stationed at Fort Drum.

Haines was a senior in high school when her boyfriend asked her to marry him. He was on leave after six months of being stationed in Korea and came home to celebrate her 18th birthday together. After her birthday, he went back to South Korea for another six months.

“It has now been two years that William and I have been together—the best two years of my life! The commitment and passion in marriage is really beautiful,” she said.

After a year of dating, Haines’ husband was stationed at Fort Drum, a location near her hometown. Once Haines graduated, they moved to post together and married a month later.

Haines worked at Kinney Drugs the first few months of their marriage until she began classes at SUNY Jefferson to receive an Associate’s degree in Allied Health. She now balances both working and being a student.

While Haines has dreams of a career as a Registered Nurse, she loves being a part of the military community through supporting her husband.

“Being away from your partner for a long period of time is not the best feeling in the world, but I do believe it makes both partners stronger. Knowing you have support through it all and having someone by your side till the end,” she said.

Haines says it takes strength and patience to be a military spouse. She says that spouses have to be strong and supportive because so many things constantly change in the Army.

The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through our focus on programming, the IVMF provides no or low-cost industry training, business ownership training, and certification opportunities for veterans, military family members and servicemembers. To see if you or someone you know qualifies, visit www.vets.syr.edu.
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Gene Wu's profile photoAshely Cruz's profile photo
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Ohh cute
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People
In their circles
2,885 people
Have them in circles
143,311 people
Shellie Hall's profile photo
Hickman Law Office's profile photo
Eddie Hayes's profile photo
Kliff Le Roya's profile photo
scott nathan's profile photo
Darlene cordero's profile photo
Simon Huebner's profile photo
Yolanda Moran's profile photo
Lillie Steele's profile photo
Contact Information
Contact info
Phone
315.443.0141
Email
Fax
315.443.0312
Address
INSTITUTE FOR VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES Syracuse University 150 Crouse Drive Syracuse, NY 13244