15 December Events With Free Tickets for Service Members, Veterans, And Mil Families

Entertainment
Local Military leaders, led by Gen. Stephen W. Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, left, salute during the National Anthem as the B2 Spirit Bomber flies over the field at the start of the 103rd Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 2, 2017.
U.S. Air Force photo

As the month of December signals the winding down of 2017, that doesn’t mean there’s any slowdown of free events available to the military community of veterans of all eras, currently serving military members including the Guard and Reserve, family members of those killed in action, military spouses, families and caregivers of VetTixers. December is the beginning of NCAA Bowl season and with that comes the opportunity for VetTixers to attend college bowl games with their families, friends and caregivers.


Among the various bowl games this month, if you’re going to be soaking up some sun and waves in Hawaii, before you wish everyone Mele Kalikimaka, attend the Hawaii Bowl on December 24th. If you’re in the Lone Star State, the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl and the Texas Bowl in Houston are on the 27th and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic is in Arlington on the 29th. Keep on checking your Vet Tix emails for notifications of additional bowl games as we continue to receive more bowl game donations. If college football isn’t your thing, check out the other great events throughout the country this month. If you’re not a member of Vet Tix, stop missing out on attending fun and exciting events and sign up for free at www.vettix.org.

NCAA Football Bowl Games:

  • December 23: Mobile, Alabama: Dollar General Bowl
  • December 24: Honolulu, Hawaii: Hawaii Bowl
  • December 26: Dallas, Texas: Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
  • December 27: Houston, Texas: Texas Bowl – Big 12 vs. SEC
  • December 28: San Antonio, Texas: Valero Alamo Bowl – Big 12 vs. Pac-12
  • December 29: Arlington, Texas: Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
  • January 1: Pasadena, California: The Rose Bowl: College Football Playoff Semifinals

Arts & Entertainment:

  • December 9: Richardson, Texas: Holiday at the Ballet Performed by Contemporary Ballet Dallas
  • December 15: San Diego, California: The Nutcracker Performed by California Ballet Company
  • December 20: Colorado Springs, Colorado: A Colorado Nutcracker – Performed by Colorado Youth Ballet

Sports

  • December 9: Phoenix, Arizona: Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs NBA
  • December 12: Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings NHL
  • December 17: New York, New York: Brooklyn Nets vs. Indiana Pacers NBA
  • December 21: Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Tennessee Tech NCAA Men’s Basketball
  • December 23: New York, New York: New York Islanders vs. Winnipeg Jets NHL

To become a VetTixer and request tickets to these and hundreds of other events, which are free except for a nominal delivery fee, visit VetTix.org to create a free account. Once you’ve create an account and your military service is verified, you can review hundreds of upcoming events across the country.

Arizona Army National Guard soldiers with the 160th and 159th Financial Management Support Detachments qualify with the M249 squad automatic weapon at the Florence Military Reservation firing range on March 8, 2019. (U.S. Army/Spc. Laura Bauer)

The recruiting commercials for the Army Reserve proclaim "one weekend each month," but the real-life Army Reserve might as well say "hold my beer."

That's because the weekend "recruiting hook" — as it's called in a leaked document compiled by Army personnel for the new chief of staff — reveal that it's, well, kinda bullshit.

When they're not activated or deployed, most reservists and guardsmen spend one weekend a month on duty and two weeks a year training, according to the Army recruiting website. But that claim doesn't seem to square with reality.

"The Army Reserve is cashing in on uncompensated sacrifices of its Soldiers on a scale that must be in the tens of millions of dollars, and that is a violation of trust, stewardship, and the Army Values," one Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, who also complained that his battalion commander "demanded" that he be available at all times, told members of an Army Transition Team earlier this year.

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According to an internal Army document, soldiers feel that the service's overwhelming focus on readiness is wearing down the force, and leading some unit leaders to fudge the truth on their unit's readiness.

"Soldiers in all three Army Components assess themselves and their unit as less ready to perform their wartime mission, despite an increased focus on readiness," reads the document, which was put together by the Army Transition Team for new Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and obtained by Task & Purpose. "The drive to attain the highest levels of readiness has led some unit leaders to inaccurately report readiness."

Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, who served as the director of the transition team, said in the document's opening that though the surveys conducted are not scientific, the feedback "is honest and emblematic of the force as a whole taken from seven installations and over 400 respondents."

Those surveyed were asked to weigh in on four questions — one of which being what the Army isn't doing right. One of the themes that emerged from the answers is that "[r]eadiness demands are breaking the force."

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If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention in the last few years, you know that the Pentagon has been zeroing in on the threat that China and Russia pose, and the future battles it anticipates.

The Army has followed suit, pushing to modernize its force to be ready for whatever comes its way. As part of its modernization, the Army adopted the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept, which serves as the Army's main war-fighting doctrine and lays the groundwork for how the force will fight near-peer threats like Russia and China across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.

But in an internal document obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army Transition Team for the new Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, argues that China poses a more immediate threat than Russia, so the Army needs make the Asia-Pacific region its priority while deploying "minimal current conventional forces" in Europe to deter Russia.

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As the saying goes, you recruit the soldier, but you retain the family.

And according to internal documents obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army still has substantial work to do in addressing families' concerns.

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The Marine Corps Exchange at Quantico (Photo: Valerie OBerry)

If you're a veteran with a VA service-connected disability rating, a former prisoner of war, or a Purple Heart recipient, the exchange, recreation facilities, and commissary on base will be opening their doors to you starting in 2020.

In what's being billed as the largest expansion of new shoppers in the military commissary system in 65 years, veterans will be allowed back into many of the same retail outlets they had access to while in uniform starting on Jan. 1, 2020, thanks to a measure put in to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

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