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This Airman Uses TikTok to Help Veterans Get Discounts and Benefits

National Guardsman’s alert on military community perks goes viral

spinner image Jon Lynch TikTok account
Courtesy Jon Lynch

A free three-day cruise for veterans? A free veterans technology education course? A free wedding dress? Yes, please! 

These are among the more than 150 military and veterans benefits that Senior Airman Jon Lynch of the New Hampshire Air National Guard has become famous for featuring on the social media video site TikTok. 

Using the handle @itsjonlynch, the 22-year-old has released viral videos that have gained him more than 161,000 followers and 1.3 million likes. One of his videos has been viewed 1.5 million times. 

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Previously a skeptic of social media, Lynch first posted on TikTok — which he had regarded as “a dancing app” — in January last year after a college friend persuaded him to try it out.

fuel specialist in the Air National Guard, Lynch’s full-time job is as a field quality assurance specialist with the multinational pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb.

But his principal passion is educating service members about a wide array of government and civilian opportunities and perks. Using the same handle on Instagram, which he joined only this year, he has over 60,000 followers.

This mission grew from his own experience. “One of the main reasons I joined the Air National Guard was the education benefits they offered me,” he told AARP Veteran Report. “The financial aspect from the college side was a really big deal for me.” 

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He decided to post a video on financial aid options through the military and hasn’t looked back since. Lynch says anyone with something to say can take to social media to help others — it just takes one video to make a splash to gather legions of followers. 

“I made a video about my drill weekend experience,” he said. “That video did pretty well. I started talking more about the military benefits because it was an audience who had questions about why I joined, and from there, they asked about other benefits.”

Lynch wants other service members and veterans to consider social media to share messages that matter to them. 

“Social media gives you the biggest platform for the least amount of work — I started with zero followers, and look what happened over the course of a year or two. All you need is one story to get big, one veteran to say hey ‘know this,’ ‘learn about that,’ ‘this is my experience.’ ”

Lynch spends hours digging up deals both locally and around the globe. His greatest passion is in sharing education opportunities for current military members and veterans. 

“I talk a lot about discounts and benefits, but with education, it opens so many opportunities that can improve your life in so many ways,” he said. 

“I wish there was a bigger push to have people use the benefits given to them while they are still serving or when they transition out.” He added that more veterans should take advantage of the GI Bill and other offerings through the military.

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Veterans have a huge leg up in the workplace, he said. “We know you can show up on time, we know you can follow orders,” he says. 

Lynch was given permission by the Air National Guard to take part in a TikTok promotional video

Among the benefits Lynch has highlighted are getting LinkedIn Premium free for a year, a trip to a military-only resort in the German Alps, weeklong stays around the world for $379, and free tickets for concerts and sports games.

He hopes other military members and veterans will be inspired by his TikToks to take full advantage of the opportunities around them. “This is the life that you have … don’t live it in anger or resentment … take those chances, take those risks. Do it.”

The views expressed in this article are those of Jon Lynch and do not represent an official policy or position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense or its components.

You can subscribe here to AARP Veteran Report, a free e-newsletter published twice a month. If you have feedback or a story idea then please contact us here.

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