Local Veteran Participants of Leading Non-Profit Organization take Tent Formation, Assembly and Erection to New Heights

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Local Veteran Participants of Leading Non-Profit Organization take Tent Formation, Assembly and Erection to New Heights

Over the past three weeks, Fort McCoy Army Base, located between Tomah and Sparta, Wisconsin was the latest temporary home and staging area for a devoted and dedicated group of veteran participants, lead by John Blanchard, executive director of NASA Education Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company and current recipient of the 2008 Congressional Medal of Distinction. Liberating Solutions Corporation, partnering with NASA Education Corporation for personnel, was awarded a government contract with Fort McCoy to assist in the setup and tear down of 155 general purpose tents that will be used this summer as a major element in the preparation for an exercise on the base.

Information from the Fort McCoy website, http://www.mccoy.army.mil/ explains "Fort McCoy's mission is to support the readiness of the force by serving as a training center and a support site for power-projection missions. As a Total Force Training Center, Fort McCoy's primary responsibility is providing quality training facilities for reserve- and active-component military forces. Fort McCoy also fulfills the role of one of the Army's Power Projection Platforms. Fort McCoy is a ready and capable mobilization site, equipped to prepare and deploy military units for any contingency". The task of timely and quality tent erection was equally as crucial and even though there was a tight and critical completion date of July 9th, Mr. Blanchard's group finished the task not only on time but ahead of schedule; completing days earlier. Blanchard's crew of 19 veterans took on the mission of staging, assembling and erecting 155 tents measuring between 468 and 832 sq ft, weighing way between 350 and 900 lbs as the first part of a contract awarded to Avant-Garde company, Liberating Solutions Corporation. Blanchard's team will be returning late summer for the second part of the contract which is to take down and disassemble the tents; packing them away until the next summer.

Liberating Solutions partnered with NASA Education set up camp at the Pine View Camp Grounds, which is located right on the grounds of Fort McCoy and was the groups evening hangout. Although most evening's exhaustion set in shortly after dinner and showers, there were still many hours spent around the campfire for fellowship, camaraderie and reminiscing. Reveille awakened the team, played by a single bugle each morning at 6:00 a.m. and the same bugle ended their day with Taps at 11:00 p.m., taking Blanchard's group back to the most stable, structured time in their life; their time in the military. The teamwork that was built and portrayed throughout the task took the participants back to their roots and the core of their military training. Team members began looking out for one another, helping and assisting when the going got tough, it brought back forward thinking skills and those that seemed reserved and quiet began to come out of their shells; truly each member having a significant role and when that team member wasn't there, they were surely missed.

John Blanchard, who served in the U.S. Navy for eight years, is a true leader and veteran advocate assisting his brothers and sisters of the military that have fallen on hard times. In addition, Mr. Blanchard's continued success as a business owner is a true testimony of how a veteran himself, who for a short time was one of those less fortunate returnees, could take his final paycheck and through determination and a very strong faith create not one but two successful, profitable, international companies: The National Association of System Administrators, Inc (NASA, Inc.) a leading provider of hardware maintenance, co-location and disaster recovery services, founded in 1994 and National Association of System Administrators Corporation (NASA Corp.), a software development company founded in 1997. NASA Education, founded in 1998 by Mr. Blanchard is a Crystal Lake-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive workforce and community reintegration services for U.S. veterans who are displaced, disabled, homeless or otherwise in transition.

Through the knowledge and realization that there is a large number of companies that are hesitant to employ the majority of disadvantaged past military heroes, Blanchard founded and created the companies that would hire his fellow veterans, thus the birth of the Avant-Garde companies; all disabled-veteran owned companies. Vet-Teks focuses on transportation: livery, medical transport and over the road trucking and recently accomplishing the facilitation of its very own CDL driving school. Anchor Solutions, specializing in call centers, customer service centers, help desk and dispatching services. Liberating Solutions Corporation specializes in landscaping and grounds keeping, building maintenance, property management, light construction and demolition. Through successful bidding, the Avant-Garde companies have been awarded other contracts with Federal agencies such as The Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Department of Agriculture; U.S. Department of Defense; U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force; U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs; and the U.S. Department of Treasury, totaling over $1.9 million dollars since August, 2007.

For more information about the Avant-Garde Companies or NASA Education Corporation, please contact Amy Johnson at 866-338-4968 (866-EDU-4YOU) or amy_johnson(at)nasaeducation.org or visit our website at http://www.nasaeducation.org.

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