Starting a new business is hard, especially for veterans. This org makes it much easier.

When Officer Kimberly Jung  was looking for roadside bombs in Afghanistan, she couldn't help but notice a vicious cycle.

"It felt like every time we found one, a new one would take its place," Jung recalled in an interview with Bunker Labs.

She was a route clearance platoon leader, so it was a big part of her job. But constantly uncovering weapons of war made her wish they could interact with the land and its people in a more positive way.


She wasn't the only one who felt like this; several of her friends who served with her also saw the symbolism behind the seemingly unending activity. It was time to change how they related to Afghanistan.

When Jung returned to civilian life, she and her colleagues decided to start cultivating peace by working with Afghan farmers to harvest saffron.

Rumi (right) with her fellow co-founders. Photo via Bunker Labs/YouTube.

They co-founded a company called Rumi Spice in Chicago to help make the expensive and rare saffron spice more available in the states.

For them, it's not just about turning a profit. They have hired Afghan employees and created lasting partnerships with Afghan farmers to encourage a more healthy relationship with the war-torn nation.

"What we’re doing here is laying a sustainable foundation for peace through economic empowerment," Jung explained.  

By working with Afghanistan in this way, Rumi Spice is helping to infuse economic prosperity back into a country that desperately needs the boost. This, in turn, helps the farmers think positively about American businesses that want them to maintain their seat in the world's marketplace.

As of last year, Rumi Spice has been able to export 5% of Afghanistan’s total saffron available for it. It's a huge leap for such a small business, especially because they're simultaneously strengthening a key link between Afghanistan and the Western world.

Their thriving business is largely possible due to assistance from Bunker Labs — a national nonprofit that empowers veterans to become leading entrepreneurs.

Photo via Bunker Labs.

Bunker Labs was founded by former veteran Todd Connor, whose own experience returning home from the Navy sparked this idea for an interactive support system for veterans interested in starting their own businesses.

"He realized that one of the main barriers to success was the resources, networks, and a connected ecosystem in which to support them," Becca Keaty, Chief Development Officer for Bunker Labs, explains in an email.

So that's exactly what Bunker Labs provides. It inspires and equips veterans through immersive workshops, active mentorships, and innovative programs both in-person and online via its Launch Lab Online. But perhaps most importantly, it helps them establish a tribe of fellow veterans who are also pursuing their business dreams.

Jung, in particular, has found that network incredibly helpful and motivating.

"Our biggest supporters have been other veterans," Jung said. "Being part of a veteran community has been key to our success."

Jung works with another veteran at a Bunker Lab. Photo via Bunker Labs/YouTube.

And she's far from alone. As of February 2018, Bunker Labs entrepreneurs have helped create 1,581 new jobs and generate $67,449,544 in revenue. What's more, the organization has headquarters in 22 major cities across the country, with a three-year goal of getting one in all 50 states, so those numbers will only continue to climb.

Thanks to brands like Macy's, that goal will likely be reached even sooner. As part of its July 4 Give Back campaign, if you donate $3 at checkout in stores or online, you'll receive 25% percent off your purchase, and a portion of your donation goes to Bunker Labs. Your donations will help them expand their programs, making them more accessible to a larger population of veterans.

It can be especially hard for veterans making the transition back to civilian life to set themselves up for success in business. According to Bunker Labs, while 25% of returning veterans want to be entrepreneurs, only 4% manage to do it because they don't know where to start. But now, with organizations like Bunker Labs in place, they can avoid a lot of that guesswork and turn to fellow veteran entrepreneurs for advice when they're feeling overwhelmed or looking for assistance.

Being in the military means never leaving someone behind. That sentiment doesn't expire when their uniforms are off.

To learn more about Bunker Labs, check out this video:

Salute those who serve by donating at Macy's to organizations that support veteran and military families from June 28th — July 8th.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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