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5 minutes reading time (1037 words)

"Pin-Ups For Vets" with Gina Elise


In this episode of The BOLO Podcast, Mike is speaking the founder of Pin-Ups For Vets, Gina Elise. After hearing about US veterans going without medical care, she wanted to raise money by creating a 1940's Pin-Up style calendar and donate the proceeds to buy rehab equipment for a local VA hospital. 

13 years later, the calendar is striving and features female veterans sharing their amazing stories. The non-profit organization travels around the United States and overseas visiting over 12,000 veterans at different VA hospitals, military hospitals, and state veterans homes around the US.

Mikey B is solo in the studio bringing us this weeks law enforcement news.

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Show Take-Aways

Summary of Hot Topics with Mike:

  • A man shoots a firework towards police officers in Huntington Beach, CA. The man faces up to 27 years in prison.
  • Mike has struggled with high and low points in maintaining his weight and diet regimen. 
  • Mike felt like he had gotten stagnant with his routine and decided to switch up his work schedule. 
  • Stress can cause depression and lead to poor eating and workout habits. 
  • Mike almost stroked out while having to go to the ground with a suspect. He knew he needed to 'right the ship' again. 
  • With the accompaniment of his wife, Mike is hitting keto hard!
  • Junior Guzman was viciously stabbed with a machete outside of a bodega in New York by a group of gang members. 
  • Do you think officers need to change the tone or conversation about law enforcement?
  • Officers should be proud of the good they are doing helping people by making a difference. Don't let the negative or partial media bring you down about the profession. 

KeyStone Uniforms in Riverside, Santa Ana, and Long Beach is the official sponsor of The BOLO Podcast. Follow them on Instagram @keystoneuniforms. They are offering 15% off (all non-contracted purchases) to our listeners by just mentioning 'The BOLO Podcast' in stores.

Summary of Interview with Gina Elise:

  • Gina Elise is the founder of Pin-ups For Vets making pin-up calendars for Veterans. The proceeds go to medical equipment for wounded veterans. 
  • Gina was working in the hotel industry while she built the non-profit organization. She now works full time on PinUps For Vets. 
  • When Gina heard about vets coming back from Iraq without medical care, she wanted to do something unique to help out. 
  • She was a big fan of WWII pin-up art from the 1940s and wanted to bring that back with a calendar to raise money and donate to buy rehab equipment for a local VA hospital. 
  • In the beginning, she was the only model in the calendar and only had intentions of doing it for one year. 
  • Military bloggers started spreading the work about Pin-Ups for Vets. 
  • She started giving people the option to purchase the calendar personally or give one as a gift that Gina would deliver in the VA hospitals or gift to deployed units.
  • After her 1st year, she was able to donate $5000 to the Loma Linda VA in California. People began to inquire about when the calendar for the following year would be available, she decided to work on another. 
  • Pin-ups for Vets just shot their 13th Calendar. 
  • Since their initial launch, they have visited with over 12,000 veterans at different VA hospitals, military hospitals, state veterans homes around the US, and visited Launsdale VA hospital in Germany. 
  • They are currently on a 50 state US hospital tour, ship care packages to deployed units, offer makeovers for military wives and female vets and continue to donate rehab equipment. 
  • The calendar now features female vets. 
  • Starting in 2006, it has been a slow build but is flourishing. 
  • Gina was not involved in the military community before starting Pin-Ups for Vets. 
  • She was a major in the arts and a dancer in for many years. 
  • Gina has a great passion to serve the military community and has been inspired by the people she's come in contact with. 
  • Mike came across a photo of Gina with Ranger Mike Slitz, Mike lost both of his arms and had burns over 80% of his body, but still exudes positivity with a smile in the photograph. 
  • When she first started visiting vets who were severely injured, she was shocked at the severity of their injuries. 
  • She knew that her visits with wounded veterans weren't about her feelings, but it was her job to keep their spirits up and bring joy. 
  • A few years into running the calendar, Gina started receiving inquiries about female veterans that wanted to model and volunteer. 
  • The veteran models and volunteers have a special bond with fellow veterans. 
  • Female and male veterans who have chosen to model in the calendar gain the platform to share their story. 
  • PinupsForVets brings people of different backgrounds together for the same cause. 
  • A female vet said, "she came for the service and stayed for the sisterhood."
  • There is a casting call in spring for model vets to pose for the calendar and also share their story. They aim to hire people who are inspiring and have a great story to tell. 
  • Look out for their social media casting calls. Submit a photo, a submission about your service, what you did in the military, and why you want to be a part of Pinups For Vets.
  • The organization received amazing submissions from all over the United States, but only has a limited number of spots. 
  • All of the pin-up months in the calendar are prior service, some photos are of volunteers. 
  • Kirstie Ennis is a marine corp veteran. Six years later, she suffered a broken neck, lost her jaw, had a below the knee and above the knee amputation. She is the first female amputee featured in the magazine. 
  • If you go on to pinupsforvets.com you can go online and purchase for yourself, deliver in a care package, or have the pinups deliver the calendar to the hospitals. You can also make a one-time donation or set up recurring monthly donations.

For more information go to pinupsforvets.com or follow on social media @pinupsforvets


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