WASHINGTON, May 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Veterans Advantage Inc., a national military card program that creates military benefits for the over 100 million Americans who qualify as served in the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, has honored disabled Air Force veteran Dr. Linda Spoonster Schwartz with a HeroVet Award for her nearly five decades of commitment to serving fellow servicemembers.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning overcame significant service-related injuries to achieve not only high honors in academia and nursing but also an outstanding record of leadership in state and federal government service as a veteran's advocate. Her drive to excel came thanks to her lifelong passion for serving our country, and desire to serve as a role model for those following in her path.
"For us, going to serve your country was as much a part of life as going to school or going to church," Dr. Schwartz, a daughter of a World War II Navy veteran, tells Veterans Advantage in an exclusive interview and published in her citation on VeteransAdvantage.com.
"Veterans Advantage honors 'HeroVets' as great Americans who serve their country in the military and then as veterans go on to produce a greater good, or significantly give back to society through their ongoing service or leadership," said Scott Higgins, CEO of Veterans Advantage. "There are many who have had the post-service challenges that Dr. Schwartz has experienced, but today is about recognizing her high achievement and unique spirit of service she embodies, in spite of her challenges."
"We believe it is fitting, as we honor the dedicated service and special sacrifices of our military this Memorial Day, to recognize Dr. Schwartz," Higgins added.
Appointed in September 2014 by President Obama and endorsed by her home state's Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dr. Schwartz is the VA's principal advisor on all matters of policy and organizational strategy. She provides VA decision makers with the advice, counsel, and support necessary to fulfill the VA mission.
"You can be what you want to be," Schwartz adds in the Veterans Advantage interview. "That is the mantra of the veterans today who come to VA. I'm a product of what VA can do for veterans, and in my current position, I feel very responsible to be able to craft that."
Prior to her confirmation, she served as State Veterans Affairs Commissioner of Connecticut since 2003 where she was known for her leadership of the State's Veterans' programs as well as federal level engagement in her strong advocacy for Homeless Veterans, Veteran Suicide Prevention, and Women Veteran issues.
Dr. Schwartz served during the Vietnam War, was a member of the United States Air Force (1967-1986) and served on Active Duty and as a Reservist. She retired in 1986 due to her injuries she sustained in an aircraft accident while serving as a USAF Flight Nurse. After her military service, she earned a Masters in Nursing from Yale and went on to achieve a Doctorate in Public Health from the Yale School of Medicine through the VA Vocational Education Program.
Dr. Schwartz led several major research initiatives and served seven years on the VA Scientific Advisory Committee Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study. From 1989 to 1998 Dr. Schwartz served in an advisory capacity to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on several subjects including Veterans Mental Health and Women Veterans issues. She has been elected to the National Board of Directors of the American Nurses Association, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Vietnam Women's Memorial. She was also elected to the American Academy of Nursing in 2001.
Other recent Veterans Advantage honorees with special citations from Veterans Advantage include:
- Ken Hicks, former CEO of Foot Locker Inc.
- Richard Jones, Senior Vice President and General Tax Counsel, CBS Inc.
- Former Miss USA Nia Sanchez
- Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Communications Inc.
About Veterans Advantage
Founded in 2000 by prominent Vietnam War Veterans, Veterans Advantage grants use of its royalty-free and licensing free marketing and technology platform to retail and travel industry leaders that create Veterans Advantage discounts redeemed with the VetRewards Card. The VetRewards Card is the first secure military ID card designed to protect Military and Veterans' privacy when verifying eligibility for military discounts. Veterans Advantage advocates for greater respect, recognition, and rewards for U.S. Active-duty, Military Veterans, Retired Military, Active and Retired National Guard & Reserve, and their families, from all periods and branches of service, who are enrolled in Veterans Advantage. Veterans Advantage Members receive exclusive Veterans Advantage discounts from Office Depot, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, CVS/pharmacy, National Passenger Railroad Corporation, "Amtrak", Greyhound, Ford Motor Company & Lincoln Motor Company, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Apple Inc., Dell Inc., Foot Locker, Target, Choice Hotels, Wyndham Worldwide Corp., Avis Budget Group Inc., and other leading brands. Veterans Advantage benefits plans include complimentary services and insurance coverage: $50,000 of Travel Guard Global MEDEVAC, VIP Concierge and travel assistance services, $5,000 in Accident "AD&D "Insurance, ID Theft Restoration Services, a prescription drug discount plan, custom personal financial planning services, and more. Accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2001, the company has been awarded the highest BBB rating of A+. More at www.VeteransAdvantage.com.
SOURCE Veterans Advantage Inc.