Pep Boys Gives 10% Discount for Military

Pep Boys is another major retail chain that is offering a 10% discount to active and retired military when they show their ID card.

Lowe’s 10% discount now for all veterans

Lowe’s has made a change to it’s 10% discount program for military personnel. Previously it was open to active duty, reservists, retirees, and others with valid government IDs. Now they have changed the program so that the 10% discount is available for all military, active duty and veterans. However, you need to register with them in order to receive the discount.

The good new is it’s an easy process:

  1. Register or logon at webpage to create an account or to logon.
  2. Enroll at where they will ask you for information from your DD214.
  3. You should be CONFIRMED IMMEDIATELY once the information is entered and verified.

You can then use the discount both online and in their stores. You will need your Lowe’s account card (which is not a credit card) or tell them the phone number attached to the account to use the discount at a store.

Veterans Crisis Line – Message of Hope

The Veterans Crisis Line has a new and very cool feature. It’s very simple to use but sends a clear and beautiful message to all your friends using social media. The interactive screen for creating your message is here:

Here’s what the starting interface looks like:


As you can see, there are just a few simple buttons at the bottom to create and then share your message. Here’s a simple one I created in only a few seconds:

Vet-Crisis-Line_sample-msgSo why not give it a whirl and get more people informed and helping our vets.


DVBE – BART Meeting 5/21

The Disabled Veteran Business Alliance reports that many people at the recent KTP convention expressed a desire to see local and regional government entities have the same 3% goal for DVBE participation. To achieve this, local DVBE input is critical.

For those in the Bay Area, an opportunity to show your interest and make your feelings knows is coming up soon with the BART District Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Information Forum. It will be held on May 21, 2014 from 9:30am to noon at the Elihu Harris State Building, 1515 Clay Street in downtown Oakland.

See their flyer for more information:

You must register for the event. You can register here:

California VETERAN license plates available again

CalVet logo

Apparently when they dropped the VETERAN license plates in favor of “Honoring Veterans,” CA annoyed quite a few vets. Many contacted the state requesting they bring back the veteran plates and so CA now has.

The plates can be customized with the branch of service or service organization logo of choice. The proceeds from sales go to support CalVet and the 56 county veteran services offices throughout the state.

For more information or to reserve a VETERAN license plate, go to and download the application. Alternately, you can call CalVet at 877-741-8532 to request an application be mailed to you.

This is all explained in a new press release from CalVet. You can read the full press release here: Veteran-License-Plates-Reserve_press-release.doc

Third Annual Small Business Summit


November 7, 2013 – Veteran’s Breakfast with the Stars

Veterans brkfst with stars

Be wary of charities

Just because it has “veteran” in the name, it doesn’t mean a charity actually does much for them. Based on articles I’ve read such as this one, it seems many charities give very little to the veterans (or other supposedly supported groups such as disabled or children). Most of the money goes to the fundraising companies and to the charity’s executives.

As noted in the article, there are several sources that investigate and review charities. I am familiar with Charity Watch ( While some information is free, to see their full report on all charities, you need to become a member for $50 a year. If you only give a small amount, this may not be worth it, but if you give generously, I would recommend joining as the information will help ensure your donations are used wisely.

Not substantial, but this list of America’s worst 50 charities could be very handy (and it’s free): Note that, sadly, there are six organizations that purport to provide aid to veterans that made the list.

It was also interesting to learn that just because an organization has a Congressional Charter, it doesn’t mean it is very good at supporting veterans. A charter apparently is more a testimony to their lobbying efforts than anything else. There is no congressional oversite or any other support from Congress, yet they wave this charter as if it is some sort of stamp of approval.

So the bottom line is, be wary with your donations, especially if you are being cold-called. There’s a very good chance that the money goes more to pay the caller then the veteran. (And, of course, there are just outright frauds going on also.)

by Jim Collins

Great seminar to learn how to get started as DVBE

On July 23, 2013, the Southwest Veterans Business Resource Center ( is holding a seminar that will cover many great topics on how to get certified and started as a DVBE.

This is part one of a planned two part series on the subject. Topics for the day include:

  • Registering with the High Speed Rail Project
  • Certifing with the DGS as a Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise and Calvet programs for Veterans
  •  Certifying with the VA as a Veteran or Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business
  • Networking, Answering questions on financing your business

The event will be held at 227 N D Street, Perris, CA 92570.

For more information and to register go to:


For those in and around the Bay Area (CA)

The Northern California Chapter of Elite SDVOB Network is holding Business Mixer and Roundtable Luncheon from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The address is:

2077 Gold St.
Alviso CA. 95002

The announcement says:
Join us for business networking and lunch and take advantage of opportunities to speak directly with key decision makers!
Come see Database currently on Engage IST Server
As a Database Tool…..
Capable of cross referencing by
– WCC, NAICS, Certification Type
Louis Collins
(Certified SBE/DVBE)

Special Guest Speakers:
California’s Department of General Services (DGS)
Wayne Gross, Outreach Liaison

Tim McLaughlin, Supplier Diversity
Prime Supplier Program Manager & DVBE Outreach


PG&E has invited several current suppliers who are actively seeking
subcontractors.  Subcontracting with Disabled Veteran Enterprises
is a key compliance area under General Order 156.  Don’t miss this
opportunity to meet and connect with International Line Builders, Inc.