Monday, December 28, 2020

Continuing the Support For Our Veterans! An Interview with American Veterans Ball Founder Mr. Ozzy Ramos

 Honor, Support & Connecting Our Veterans to the Resources they need! 

Founder Mr. Ozzy Ramos sits down with The Savvy Event Guru

*The Savvy Event Guru had the wonderful pleasure of sitting down with Founder of the American Veterans Ball, Mr. Ozzy Ramos in November 2020 to discuss this incredible event, geared towards  connecting, supporting and honoring our Veterans! 

*This incredible event has been in existence for several years, changing the lives of many veterans and non-military civilian that encounter this event. I am so very excited to learn more about the American Veterans Ball, an Organization Driven by Passion Rooted in Purpose and Anchored to the Future Leaders of America. (https://americanveteransball.org)

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The Savvy Event Guru: Good Afternoon Mr. Ozzy Ramos!  How are you doing? Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with me.

Mr. Ozzy Ramos: Hey Steph, I am well.  You're very welcome.  Thank you for interviewing me.


The Savvy Event Guru: You're most welcome. How have you and your family been doing during this Pandemic?

Ozzy Ramos: We are doing well.  Just trying get through the pandemic!

The Savvy Event Guru: Good, I can agree with you. This has been an interesting year. 

Ozzy Ramos: Yes it has been. 

The Savvy Event Guru: Well I don't want to take too much of your time up, so let's begin.

The Savvy Event Guru: So please tell me a little more about yourself.  Who is Ozzy Ramos?

Ozzy Ramos: Ozzy Ramos is a Humanitarian, a leader, and I am servant of God. In my daily life I try to show kindness, empathy, and compassion towards others. My parents are from Puerto Rico, but I was raised in Brooklyn NY. They came to New York from Puerto Rico in the early 60's to make way for a better life for me and my siblings. My father was a hard working factory Cobbler who made women’s shoes. He was always a great provider who possessed moral and ethical compass.

                                           Photo by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots

Photo by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots

Ozzy Ramos: My family did not have much money and we grew up very poor, but one thing my parents instilled in me, was the ability to go into the world and do good to make a difference!

The Savvy Event Guru: Wow! It sounds like your parents were amazing people.

The Savvy Event Guru: So what would you say Motivates you? 

Photo by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots

Ozzy Ramos: Serving God’s purpose is what motivates me to serve others! I believe that I’m at a point in my life where my passion has intersect my purpose which has led me to my vocational calling, which I like to call "Ozzy's Journey". A vision which propels adolescents to young adults through a youth empowerment, development, and educational mobilization which contributes to the production of exceptional young citizens and leaders for the Greater Good of humanity.

Photo by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots

Ozzy Ramos:
 
Just to add more to what I just mentioned, My mission in life is to "plant seeds", touch people's lives, and to inspire change in other people lives. I recognize that I have a "Rare" gift that allows me to do that and I’m very careful and respectful of that gift in how I use it to impact other people’s lives.

The Savvy Event Guru: Wow! Thats amazing.  It's very rare that people even recognize when their passion and purpose have collided and it's wonderful that you use those gifts to serve people.  At the end of the day I feel that we are here on earth to serve others. 

The Savvy Event Guru: So Veterans Day was last month and I hear that you, yourself are a Veteran. If you don't mind me asking which branch of the Military did you serve? 

Ozzy Ramos: No problem at all, yes, I was in the United States Marine Corps. I retired Chief Warrant Officer 3 in 2005 after serving 21 years. During my last duty station I was stationed at Marine Barracks 8th & I, Washington, DC where I served as the Program Coordinator for the President Support Program which included the security at Camp David, White House Communication Agency, Annapolis, MD and the Marine Barracks.

The Savvy Event Guru: Wow, you have had quite the career. What would you say were some of your most memorable moments in the Military?

Ozzy Ramos: I would have to say one of my most memorable moments in the military for me is when I was promoted to Sergeant and promoted to Warrant Officer.  Other great moments for me while I was in the Military involved taking care of the Marines; providing leadership, guidance and sowing seeds into the other Marines. 

The Savvy Event Guru: Thats very impressive.  Thank you for sharing. 

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American Veterans Ball

The Savvy Event Guru: What would you say inspired you to start the "American Veterans Ball" organization?

Ozzy Ramos: What inspired me to begin the American Veterans Ball (AVB) was the identification that there was an immediate disconnect between veterans and respective branch of service post active service. Veterans need and thrive on those structural and institutional disciplines whether in or out of the uniform. We all witness many veterans that are suffering from a host of problems such as; depression, homelessness, unemployment, broken marriages, drugs, alcohol, and a sense of not belonging to anything anymore. Many veterans are struggling in life looking for that passion and purpose in life is what veterans thirst for after leaving the military. As a veteran I recognize that there is a profound need to stay CONNECTED to the military in some sought of way and AVB is a great platform to do just that. It allows veterans to be a part of something meaningful that is bigger than themselves. Even though we don't wear the uniform any longer, out of habit we still look for that structured as a way of life. This connection does carry a profound sense of pride and impact for those that experience an AVB event.

Ozzy Ramos: So basically, I saw a gap and created a solution to fill the hole in connecting veterans to each other post active service and giving them the opportunity to network and enjoy a great show. AVB is unique as it is the only ALL Armed Service Ball in the country.

The Savvy Event Guru: Wow, that is admirable.  You truly understand the need because you are veteran yourself.

The Savvy Event Guru: What is the goal and mission behind AVB? (American Veterans Ball)

Ozzy Ramos: The goal of the American Veterans Ball is to connect our past and present Military Professionals to the Future leaders of America, while keeping them true to the RED, WHITE & BLUE. The AVB was created to provide ALL VETERANS of the "Armed Forces" with the opportunity to participate in an annual service ball, similar to our active service components. The AVB will also serve out its mission by creating a pathway that will reignite, connect with, and maintain our patriotism with our fellow veterans through this unique event for years to come during this event once a year.

Photos by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots




The Savvy Event Guru: Where is the American Veterans Ball headquartered?

Ozzy Ramos: In Stafford, VA

The Savvy Event Guru: When and where did the first American Veterans Ball take place?

Ozzy Ramos: We had the first AVB event in 2015 at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House and Conference Center in Fredericksburg, VA and since have grown tremendously.

                                          Photo by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots

The Savvy Event Guru: How would you say that the response has been towards the American Veterans Ball?

Ozzy Ramos: When we first put on our first event, we did little to no advertisement with our event and yet drawn a sold out event. Since then we out grew every other local venue in our area and have now moved up into the MGM National Harbor, MD. The response has been overwhelming and have experience significant growth. All of our attendees can identify, relate, and support AVB because it’s such a worthy and much welcome event for those who serve. It also creates the opportunity for community leaders and businesses to also get involved with. We have been truly blessed in creating the magic that comes along with our efforts.

The Savvy Event Guru: What other organizations are affiliated with the American Veterans Ball?


Ozzy Ramos: AVB is affiliated with the organization Home of Miracles & Embraces, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to youth development, leadership and variety of humanitarian issues that affect our youth today. Here lies the connection to our youth and their future. We support sending kids to camp, leadership conferences, JROTC, and other types of youth related educational programs. This is why we are driven by passion, rooted in our purpose, and anchored to the future leaders of America.

The Savvy Event Guru: That sounds like a great organization.  Who are some of the Big Sponsors for the American Veterans Ball?

Ozzy Ramos: Some of our big sponsors are NBC Universal Comcast, GEICO of Fredericksburg, VA and Washington DC, Reality Realty, Trilogy Security Services, Guarantee Rate Mortgage company, Larry Stokes & Associates, Stephanie White Events, and Think Big International to name a few.


 The Savvy Event Guru: You have a lot of wonderful supporters. 


The Savvy Event Guru: So what do you want people to take away from the AVB event? What "Message" do you want people to receive?

Photo by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots

Photo by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots

Ozzy Ramos: The message I want others to receive that as veterans and for veterans we have a social responsibility to pass on the torch of knowledge for a better tomorrow to a younger generation of leaders that will need a leg up through the portals of an older generation of veterans and their lessons learned. The AVB provides both platform and connection in making these efforts possible.

                                            Photo by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots

The Savvy Event Guru: Wow, that is admirable!!  So it sounds like it all about giving back, whether it is connecting our veterans with resources or giving the youth a leg up!

Ozzy Ramos: Yep, that's it!

The Savvy Event Guru: So with everything going and with this year's 2020 American Veterans Ball being postponed until 2021, what has AVB been up to?

Ozzy Ramos: Yes, the 2020 AVB event was postponed due to the COVID 19 epidemic. We are not motivated by money and the anticipated revenue that our event brings into the organization. This does not define who we are. We have a moral, ethical, and social responsibility to our attendees, staff, and volunteers. Therefore, we will always put the health and welfare of others ahead of our personal ambitions for growth of our event. This is really important to me and the AVB team. We hope and pray that we will be able to have it on Friday, November 5, 2021 at the MGM National Harbor. MD.

Ozzy Ramos: Some of what we've been up to during this Pandemic period is the distribution of MASKS to Veterans and others in need throughout our community. To date we have distributed over 5000 masks and hand sanitizers to all of our local First Responders. We have also distributed approximately 26 Air Purification units to local elder home facilities to help take care of our most vulnerable. Click this link to read our most recent story with the Freelance Star: https://fredericksburg.com/news/local/ozzy-ramos-leads-effort-to-help-clear-the-air-during-pandemic/article_98df8f8f-0a85-55bd-bb7c-bb691d44b1c4.html


The Savvy Event Guru:
Okay thats wonderful!  Due to the pandemic and the Mask Requirements for people, masks are few in number.  I am so glad that your organization has continued to look after the veterans to make sure they have what they need. A lot of times our Veterans are forgotten and homeless veterans are forgotten more often than not. 


Ozzy Ramos: 
This is very true. The most important message we send our via our efforts to veterans is that they are not alone and that we need to stay CONNECTED. As a leader and founder of this great organization it is important for me to keep my fingers on the pulse on a host of issues that plague veterans today so we can bridge the gap and focus on their needs.

The Savvy Event Guru: Mr. Ozzy you are truly a hero. Thank you for all that you do for Our Veterans.


The Savvy Event Guru: So what's next for the American Veterans Ball? Where do you see your organization going in the future? 

Ozzy Ramos: First off you're very welcome I take what I do very seriously. It's my ministry. 


Ozzy Ramos: The future of AVB is very bright! I see the AVB event being replicated across the country on the same day. We already know that our production platform works in bringing veterans an “experience” of a life time. Veterans that attend our AVB event leave with a wow-factor and thirst to come back the following year. I know that there are veterans out there that the AVB mission and goal is something they will love to connect and be a part of and I am committed in making it happen for them. If I can be of any assistance to any veteran, I will. It’s a lifetime commitment that I am dedicated to. 

Photo by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots

The Savvy Event Guru: That will be amazing.  There is certainly a need for organizations and events such as yours in every state.

The Savvy Event: How can one donate or be a part of the American Veterans Ball event and organization?

Photo by Brian Silver from DC Hot Spots

Ozzy Ramos:
To lean more about the American Veterans Ball people can visit our website https://americanveteransball.org/.  If you are looking to VOLUNTEER for one of our events please email us at volunteers@americanveteransball.org If you are looking to donate please go to our HOME PAGE on our website and click the link MAKE A DONATION. 

Ozzy Ramos: We are also on Facebook under AMERICAN VETERANS BALL - AVB and on Instagram @american_veterans_ball and the Direct AVB contact number is 540-288-7100.

The Savvy Event Guru: Wonderful! People have several ways to get in touch with your organization.  Thank you so much Ozzy for your time today.  I am grateful to get this interview with you despite everything that is going on with the Pandemic, etc.

Ozzy Ramos: No thank you, I am grateful to be interviewed. It has truly been an honor. 

The Savvy Event Guru & The Founder of the American Veterans Ball Mr. Ozzy Ramos




Photo by Ms. Jackie Hicks, Make-up by Ms. Letitia Thornhill 

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