A Salute to Support


Each year, it is estimated that the military discharges nearly 300,000 Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard members.  For those of us who have been in the military or are members of military families, the transition to the civilian word can be challenging.   My husband, Mark, worked tirelessly to develop an initiative here in Maine called the High Tech Patriot Program (HTPP) helping guardsmen and women attain high tech jobs.  It was a win-​​win for the employer and the military member.  Here are some of my other favorite organizations that may provide support to you and your family. 

Helping America’s Best — VFCC

I recently met, Chris Paschane, a military veteran with a passion for fitness and a desire to help other military vets pursue a successful career in the fitness industry.  With numerous fitness certifications under his belt and a tremendous track record in the fitness industry, Chris founded the Veterans Fitness Career College (VFCC) in 2011 to provide fitness education, career connections, resources and networking services.   VFCC’s primary mission is to provide these services to Active Duty, National Guard, Reservists, Veterans and their families.  Their services include:

  • Fitness Training Education — a certification program offered either online or in live classroom settings at select universities and colleges.
  • Job Placement — VFCC is partnered with over 2,000 health club locations all over the world
  • Apprenticeship — VFCC offers a unique program which supports fitness entrepreneurship and business building strategies.
  • Mentorship — through a global team of veterans, fitness experts, non-​​profit veteran support organizations and corporate partnerships, VFCC offers 1–1 mentorship, advocacy and career guidance.
  • Patriot’s Magazine — a free online magazine offering breaking fitness news, information, health, exercise and motivational tips.

One of the most interesting aspects of the VFCC is their focus on training the trainers to work with special populations including veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI.  Whether you have a specific interest in becoming a certified personal trainer or a desire to gain more knowledge about your own fitness and performance, VFCC may be a helpful resource.  If you would like to know more about VFCC visit www​.vfccollege​.org 

Hiring Our Heroes — Hire Heroes USA

US Marine Corp veteran, Nathan Smith, is the Chief Operating Officer at Hire Heroes USA.  Nate’s parents attend our church and are truly remarkable people.  It’s no wonder we like Nate so much.  When I heard about his non-​​profit organization, I knew it would be a great resource to share.  Their core values of integrity, innovation, compassion, confidence and commitment embody the role of every member of our military in their service to our country.  Hire Heroes provides free employment training for U.S. military veterans and their spouses including:

  • Resume support — sometimes it is a challenge for veterans to convey the breadth and scope of their military experience effectively.  Hire Heroes helps revise resumes so that potential employers see the full value potential of the veteran applicant.
  • Strategic Planning — often service members and their spouses have difficulty transitioning to civilian life.  Hire Heroes helps veterans develop a post-​​military strategic plan for employment.
  • Benefits and Beyond — this great program helps veterans identify post-​​military financial requirements and helps to explain additional veteran benefits
  • Job Hunting — veterans learn to effectively navigate the job searching process from search to application to interviewing techniques.

It has always been my belief that the best trained people in the U.S. workforce today have strong military backgrounds and experiences.  Hire Heroes helps to transfer these vital skills from the military to the private sector.   You can learn more about Hire Heroes here  www​.hireheroesusa​.org

Geared Up at US Elite Gear

If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know that I am a total geek when it comes to gear, especially fitness and performance gear.  US Elite Gear is dedicated to providing the highest quality gear for military members, veterans, fitness enthusiasts and hard-​​core adventurers.  They are a Service Disabled Veteran Owned and Operated Small Business with their roots in Special Ops.  Their core values are embodied in the acronym, e-​​RIP which stands for:

  • Entrepreneurial — their focus is to build a business on a solid foundation and to go the extra mile for their clients.
  • Raising the Bar — US Elite Gear may not be the biggest company out there and that suits them just fine as their focus is on providing stellar service and holding themselves to the highest standard.
  • Integrity — respect, trust and character are the hallmarks of US Elite Gear which assures its customers of the highest quality products.
  • Passion — loving what you do allows you to have fun everyday and it is reflected in their values.

From tactical gear to flame retardant clothing to sights, scopes, and survival gear, US Elite Gear is ready to outfit the warrior in all of us. You can learn more here: www​.us​-elitegear​.com 

Doing Our Part

After my husband, Mark, retired from his USAF and MeANG career, his transition to civilian life wasn’t always smooth as we both learned many lessons along the way.  The biggest thing he learned is that I don’t take orders!  We have been very grateful to provide military families with training and educational support in nutrition and entrepreneurship.  Our core values are quality, trust, integrity, contribution, value and service.  We are able to provide current military and veterans the following:

  • Optimal Nutrition — our entire product line is safe, effective, and guaranteed to work with a full 30-​​day unconditional money-​​back guarantee.
  • Cutting Edge Science — with advanced ingredients like LunaRich™ and LunaRichX™ we are advancing nutritional genomics in order to provide optimal gene expression for normal cell function.
  • Greater Freedom — the wellness market is booming and so are the dizzying array of choices.  We offer simple ways to enjoy our products with no monthly obligation and no hassle.  Our VIP site enables consumers to enjoy discounts on 24K™ healthy energy shot and access to a free private shopping lounge for all of our products.  Go to www​.my24kvip​.com enter vip code: gold
  • More Money — for those seeking ways to enhance their income, we have an extremely lucrative marketing plan without the hype.  We teach you a  simple way to earn extra income where you decide how, where and when you want to work with no monthly purchases require and no minimum orders. Earn discounts from 20–40% on all products and enjoy up to five avenues of income.  All active duty military receive a free 6-​​pack of 24K when you join here:  www​.reliv​.com/​j​oin and enter Sponsor’s RCN: 53960101
  • Safe & Secure — All of our sites are fully secure so your personal information is safe, never shared or sold.  *When placing your first order, you may be asked to enter your address twice even if your billing address is the same as your shipping address.

As a military family, we understand the challenges service members and their families face from retraining, to job searching, to better health and vitality.  Hopefully, these resources will give you some great information to keep you on track.  Thank you for your service, sacrifice, dedication and commitment to our country!

Copyright © 2013 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.


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Chris Toriello

Chris is a military spouse and a successful entrepreneur working from home along the beautiful Maine coast. A former mechanical engineer, Chris has a passion for sports and fitness. As a worldwide trainer and nutritional expert, Chris has mentored and coached individuals, families, businesses, non-profit and sports organizations to perform at their peak with optimal nutrition. She also teaches marketing and branding of an elite performance nutrition product line to help others expand their brand and develop a viable passive income stream.

"We also hold the exclusive rights to the world's first epigenetic superfood, Lunasin. Nutritional epigenetics is about to experience explosive growth and we are actively seeking business partners to help us with this massive expansion (the initial business registration fee is waived for all active duty military)." To see what all the excitement is about, contact Chris at chris@relivingmaine.com, 207.657.6978 or www.lunasinproducts.com