Inside The Issues: 2015 A Year In Review Resources Support Inspiration
Vol. 2 Number 12 • December 2015
SAN DIEGO COUNTY VETERAN OF THE YEAR:
Edward Berger “SKIN IN THE GAME” A Perspective for Educational Benefits Shedding Burdens Overcoming Limitations “STAY STRONG” The Invincible Spirit A Soldier’s Christmas
HOMELAND / December 2015 1
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Publisher Michael J. Miller
Contributing Writers CJ Machado Vicki Garcia Linda Kreter Vesta Anderson Keith Angelin Rick Rogers Paul Loisel Christopher W. Diem Photography Cover & Veteran of the Year Cece Reed Photography Public Relations Linda Kreter CJ Machado
Greetings and a warm welcome to HOMELAND Magazine!
Graphic Design Trevor Watson
Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. Homeland Magazine focuses on real stories from real heroes; the service member, the veteran, the wounded and the families that keep it together. Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with service members, families, veterans and civilians. Homeland is about standing your ground, resilience, adaptation, inspiration and solidarity. HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; our focus is on family, military and civilians alike. I believe HOMELAND is where the heart is, and our publication covers a wide variety of topics, and issues about real life and real stories. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. They say San Diego is a military town, I find that San Diego is a HOMELAND town, where military and civilians work and live together. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine. With warmest thanks, Michael J. Miller, Publisher 4
HOMELAND /December 2015
Homeland Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved. Homeland Magazine 9750 Miramar Road, Suite 315 San Diego, CA 92126
858.240.0333 Contact Homeland Magazine at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Homeland Inside This Issue
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A Year In Review: Inside The Issues San Diego Veteran Of The Year Flying Leathernecks Shedding Burdens The Invincible Spirit Skin In The Game: Educational Benefits 21 Going Back To School As A Military Spouse 24 Eating For The Holidays 28 Brain Drain
26 A Soldierâ€™s Christmas
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A Year In Review
Inside The Issues
4 Our Wish For Military Families 8 San Diego VA - Evolving Treatments as Traumatic Stress Rises 12 Transitioning Warriors to the Civilian Workforce 14 Department of Defense Helps Service Members 16 Louis Zamperini: A Hero Like No Other
6 America’s Symbol of Living Freedom 8 Scholarships for Military Children 10 American Sniper: A Movie with Issues 16 From PTSD and Sniper Fire, to Dogs That Heal 18 Caring for a Service Member/Veteran with PTSD 20 Military Veterans to First Responders 26 Top Gun Guru Pulls The Trigger 28 The Best Superbowl Commercials
March 6 New Midway Exhibit: 6 Minutes That Changed The War 8 Meet The ‘Hug’ Lady 10 A Fight For Independence 16 Veteran Entrepreneurs Today (V.E.T.) 18 Moving And Deployment Tips 20 Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls 24 Abe’s Hearse Draws Crowd 26 Eight Signs Of Terrorism
7 Midway To Celebrate Legacy Of Sacrifice & Freedom In Vietnam 8 To Hell & Back - Service Dog Helps One Veteran Survive 12 Helen Woodward: AniMeals Aids Wounded Warriors 16 SDPD K9 Unit - Going To The Dogs 20 Do Something Revolutionary 22 The Deepest Wound: A Moral Conscience 24 Wounded Warrior Project Alumni
6 Why Celebrate Memorial Day 7 It’s Summer: A Time To Honor & Reflect 9 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 10 San Diego Ride For Vets 18 Canine Companions For Independence 23 Smiles For Heroes 26 Memorial Day - A Time For Heroes 32 Casting Light On The Invisible Wounds Of War
June 6 Save The Date: WWII Celebration 8 Bigs Military Mentoring Program 12 Caring for a Service Member/Veteran with PTSD 14 VetCaregiver Self Check-In 17 Enlisted To Entrepreneur 21 United We Stand, United We Sew 22 A Combat Veteran’s Struggle 24 Drugs & Alcohol: Are the “Good Times” Behind You?
Homeland: Inside The Issues The stories, newsmakers and community events of 2015 Explore the most talked about stories of the year, both current and past at
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July 6 70th Anniversary Of The End Of World War II 8 A Declaration Of Independence 16 Leadership Lessons Through Recovery: One Marine’s Story 18 US Military Marriages 20 Life After The Military: Are You Ready? 22 How To Prepare For A Job Fair 24 Education Revolution 32 There is A Solution
August 6 A Living Symbol Of Freedom 8 Jobs After Military Service 12 The Benefits Of Education 16 Women Veterans In Justice System 19 One Marine’s Story 20 Hogan’s Hero 24 Shelter To Soldier 26 Faithful Service To Mankind 30 Orphan Pets Raise Patriotic Paws 32 Spice: Fact VS Fiction
October 8 The Warrior Ball 16 Katie Higgins: A Bolt To Blue 12 Meet Col Dean Caswell 18 Mentoring: Unspoken Secrets To Landing A Career After Military Service 20 San Diego City Mayor Faulconer’s NOT SO SECRET Weapon To Help Veterans 22 REBOOT Workshop 24 Top Gun: “Taking Flight” California Miramar University 26 California’s Citizens Soldiers
6 Cost Of War 8 9/11 Changed Our Reality 10 Thomas McBrien, A Memorial Journey 14 September 11 Remembered 16 SDFD Reflections Of 911 20 9/11: 14 Years Later 22 Military Transitioning 24 REBOOT Your Life After The Military 31 Veterans Museum 70th Anniversary WII 32 How Do You Love Someone Addicted
6 The Disappearing Greatest Generation 10 Defying The Odds Together 12 REBOOT Workshop 14 Project Management: How Service Members Get It Done. 20 Gary Sinise: Honor. Gratitude. Rock n’ Roll. 22 San Diego Celebrates Greatest Generation Parade 24 Keeping The Wall Refreshed 28 Appreciating Military Families 30 Helping Substance Abuser
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A Year In Review: Inside The Issues San Diego Veteran Of The Year Flying Leathernecks Shedding Burdens The Invincible Spirit Skin In The Game: Educational Benefits Going Back To School As A Military Spouse 24 Eating For The Holidays 26 A Soldier’s Christmas 28 Brain Drain
Thank you Col. Dean Caswell A true friend to Homeland magazine
HOMELAND / December 2015 7
SAN DIEGO COUNTY VETERAN OF THE YEAR:
Edward Berger By Sarah Luken
The room erupted with cheers and not single person stayed seated when Edward J. Berger was announced as the 2015-2016 San Diego County Veteran of the Year. In a room of over 300 people Berger was chosen to be the Veteran of the Year (VOY) on Friday, Nov. 6. When Berger heard his named called as the VOY, “I was floored. I couldn’t believe it,” said Berger. “These (VOY) are folks who have done tremendous things for veterans and I couldn’t believe I won.” Berger joins 16 other San Diego County Veterans of the Year with this honor.
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Berger keeps himself busy through a multitude of volunteering– from serving as president and singing in the Rancho Bernardo Chorale to driving and scheduling medical visits for Disabled American Veterans to helping people prepare their income tax returns with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to being a founding member of the Poway Veterans Organization (PVO). For all his volunteer work, the PVO nominated him for
the noteworthy recognition. Of his vast volunteer experience, Berger is most proud of his time with the PVO. Smiling ear to ear, Berger explained, as veterans get older there aren’t as many community organizations that help older veterans with dayto-day struggles, like plumbing or car repairs. He wanted to fill that void and was vital in the PVO’s
Smiling ear to ear, Berger explained, as veterans get older there aren’t as many community organizations that help older veterans with dayto-day struggles, like plumbing or car repairs. He wanted to fill that void and was vital in the PVO’s creation.
It’s no surprise Berger wants to continue improving and expanding the PVO and its mission.
Meritorious Support of Veterans Award, with Waxie Industries as this year’s winner.
“I want the PVO to take off and be a model for other communities to help their veterans,” said Berger.
The VOY will be recognized at several events, including the Veteran’s Day Parade, Charger and Padre games and other special events.
“We can’t let them down. We do whatever we can to help,” said Berger.
With his VOY win Berger has the opportunity to encourage veterans to volunteer and to create more programs like the PVO.
To be nominated as a Veteran of the Year, a nominee must be honorably discharged from the United States military and a resident or employed in San Diego County.
The PVO’s mission is to help veterans and their families in the Poway, Ramona and surrounding areas. The organization has no paid staff and any money raised goes straight to helping veterans. As a founding member of the PVO, Berger stepped up and filled many roles, including attaining the 501(c)3 certification, creating and updating the website. Additionally, he is also the treasurer and in charge of managing fiscal compliance of the organization and much more. “It is often said that when an organization needs something done, give the task to the busiest team member,” said Nicholas J. Yorio PVO Board of Directors member. “In the case of the PVO, this is not necessary as our busiest member, [Ed Berger], always steps forward to get the job done.” Recently the PVO helped a 97-year-old WWII veteran who had flooding damage and it also helped a Korean War veteran with new carpet, plumping and maintenance of the house. “There are lots of vets who need things and we try to do what we can,” said Berger. Berger chucked and said the biggest challenge of the PVO and all his volunteer experience is finding time. Recently remarried and with two grown children of his own, Berger is a busy man. Berger’s volunteering that earned him the VOY award stems from his desire to be an example for others. “When I get to that age I hope there will be people who will help me like I am helping people now. I’m lucky to be in good health and am able to do things that some veterans can’t,” said Berger. “I want to help those who can’t do what I can so when I can’t do things, there will be people to help me.”
Berger believes veterans have needs beyond their own capabilities and wants to encourage veterans to volunteer and help others who have more needs than we do. “I’m most excited to do as much as possible to represent veterans,” Berger said.
“The Veteran of the Year program recognizes the many contributions veterans make to our community,” said Will Hays, retired naval officer and chairman of the board of directors for the Veterans Museum. “It is our job to recognize and honor them for all they do after they leave the military.”
Smiling ear to ear, Berger explained, as veterans get older there aren’t as many community organizations that help older veterans with day-to-day struggles, like plumbing or car repairs. He wanted to fill that void and was vital in the PVO’s creation.
Berger was born in Philadelphia and grew with up three sisters. After high school he joined the Navy and served from 1960 to 1981. He was inspired to join the Navy because of his uncle’s service as a Merchant Marine Officer in World War II. While specializing in Navy warfare, Berger traveled across the globe, including Northern Europe, the Strait of Magellan, the Pacific Ocean and more. As for his service, Berger said, “I never regretted it. I would do it again in a heartbeat.” After finishing his time in the Navy, Berger focused on his education and earned an A.S. in accounting and a B.S. and M.S. in Information Systems Management. The Veteran of the Year program was established in 1989 to celebrate and recognize the contributions veterans make in the San Diego community. The program also includes the Will Hays Lifetime Support of Veterans, with Jon Nachison, PhD as this year’s winner; the Allegiance Award for nonprofits, with The San Diego American Legion District 22 as this year’s winner; and the
For More Information To find out more information about the Veteran of the Year program please contact the Veterans Museum at 619-239-2300 or visit us online http://www.veteranmuseum.org You can find pictures of this year’s VOY event on the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park’s Facebook page.
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Flying Leathernecks storms the sands of Encinitas
egendary Vietnam Veteran, Colonel John R. Bates, USMC, (Retired) with the Flying Leathernecks and the Tsunami Sky Divers stormed Moonlight Beach in Encinitas for the inaugural ‘Moonlight Surf, Wounded Warrior’ event. The Veteran’s Day event was sponsored by the American Legion San Dieguito Post 416. Over 400 spectators and veteran supporters were captivated as the Skydiving teams landed on Moonlight Beach. Ray Hollowell, founder of Plansea.org captured the exciting footage and is creating a video to help with the “Save our Legion” effort. Country artist, Amy Scruggs sang the National Anthem during the opening ceremony. Surfers from across San Diego and the United States came to surf with our wounded veterans in the open waters of Encinitas. Veteran surfer and event organizer, Alan Lerchbaker stated, “My initial thought was to create an event to help support the “Save our Legion” campaign, where veterans help veterans. I wanted to do something that would connect Veteran’s Day with something I love so much.” Alan has been surfing for over 35 years and lives in Encinitas with his wife Amy.
Post Commander Steve Lewandowski, “Save our Legion” Chairman, Ralph Bettencourt and concerned members of Post 416 started the campaign to rebuild a more sustainable structure to continue to support our veterans and the Encinitas community. The American Legion, San Dieguito Post 416 was chartered in 1933 and it became the meeting place for all veteran affairs. Since that time, the American Legion has continued the tradition of supporting our veteran community. Post 416 is in need of donations and sponsorships to re-build. If you would like to donate to the “Save our Legion” campaign, please visit: http://calegionpost416.org/ Following the Moonlight Beach event, the community was invited to have lunch at the Post, where veterans and citizens were welcome to enjoy the savory makings of “Boomer’s” Brisket, Ribs and sausage. Musician, Doug Benson, entertained the Post playing Johnny Cash tribute music. His band ‘Cashed Out’ plays Johnny Cash tribute music from Alaska to New York City. Post Commander Steve Lewandowski honored our veterans and mentioned how the Post has helped so many of our displaced vets find a safe haven to relax and enjoy the company of other veterans. Among the honored guests were Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar and County Supervisor Dave Roberts. Mayor Gaspar and County Supervisor Roberts spoke of the importance of honoring our veterans and preserving the historical Post. Mayor Gaspar announced the plan to implement a veteran awareness and support program and she proposed to allocate an interactive site for veterans to gather, stay active, converse and heal. The event ended with the auction of a donated surfboard from Avasin, Gravity Skateboard and Matuse Wetsuit. Many sponsors were there to support the event including Ballast Point Brewery, a loyal sponsor of Post 416. The American Legion is the most influential nonprofit organization in the country for veterans. With their Operation Comfort Warriors, they raise funds for troops that are in hospitals recovering. They lobby Congress for better military support and on behalf of veteran causes as well as provide scholarships for children of service members killed on or after September 11, 2001. Nationwide, the Boys and Girls State events have been presented by the American Legion since 1935 to teach them leadership skills and to appreciate their citizenship by creating and running a working government.
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The American Legion San Dieguito Post 416 provides many activities and resources for the community. Please visit their calendar and plan time to stop by and have a good time. http://calegionpost416.org/ calendar.html
By CJ Machado Photojournalist, Homeland Magazine www.homelandmagazine.com
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About Wounded Warrior Project The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWPâ€™s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the publicâ€™s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To learn more about WWP and the PH&W program, visit woundedwarriorproject.org. (Photos courtesy WWP)
HOMELAND /December 2015
fter retiring from the U.S. Army, Frank Boardman found it difficult to maintain the active lifestyle to which he had grown accustomed during his time in the military. Due to an injury suffered while on deployment in Afghanistan, Boardman had a titanium plate implanted on his spine and found it difficult and painful to do much more than sit on the couch.
By Paul Loisel
Boardman’s injury, coupled with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), left him withdrawn from life, and using his injury as an excuse to remain inactive. He found himself weighing 325 pounds and in the worst shape of his life. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine reports that American adults with disabilities are more likely to be obese. Accordingly, the Department of Veterans Affairs reports that 42,000 of the more than 250,000 Americans suffering from serious spinal cord injuries (SCI) and disorders are veterans. In 2011, The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine conducted a pilot study to define the temporal course of weight gain in adults with new SCI and to identify predictors of weight gain in the same population. The study confirmed a significant increase in body mass index (BMI) after a SCI. The study also concluded that individuals with new SCI are at greater risk for weight gain during the first year following rehabilitation. Two case studies of US veterans revealed two-thirds of spinal cord injuries have led to weight gain. It wasn’t until Boardman became involved with the Physical Health and Wellness (PH&W) program at Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) that he decided not to be defined by his injuries. WWP offers 20 ever-evolving programs and services to best serve the needs of injured veterans, and their families and caregivers. The WWP PH&W program is designed to reduce stress, combat depression, and promote an overall healthy and active lifestyle by encouraging participation in fun, educational health and wellness activities. WWP provided Boardman with a gym membership and personal trainer. Now, with a blended focus on engagement, fitness, nutrition, and mental and physical wellness, Boardman was empowered to overcome his visible and invisible injuries. He credits this move with changing his life.
“Wounded Warrior Project set me up with a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness who worked with my physical therapist at the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) to develop a workout plan that strengthened my back and helped me overcome my limitations,” says Boardman. In the 13 months since beginning the program, Boardman has lost more than 100 pounds and feels better than he has in years. When asked if he has any words of encouragement for his fellow veterans who are dealing with obesity, Boardman says, “No matter what your limitations are, you can overcome them. Get out there and live your life. There are people who can help you.” (Contributed to by Vesta M. Anderson) www.homelandmagazine.com
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The Invincible Spirit “We can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more” –Gary Sinise
s 2015 comes to an end, Homeland Magazine would like to pay tribute to all veterans, active service members and their families. We thank the organizations and veteran supporters that make a difference in the lives of our nation’s defenders. Gary Sinise and the Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF) work endlessly to honor our service members and their families. Gary Sinise embodies the sentiment of President Calvin Coolidge when he said, “The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.” Taking this statement to heart, Gary Sinise lives his life to ensure our nation’s defenders are not forgotten. The Gary Sinise Foundation is a partner with American Airlines, MGM Resorts International and the USO in the 7th annual “A Salute to the Troops” 2015 weekend in Las Vegas. A group of wounded service members from around the country were flown in courtesy of American Airlines for Veteran’s Day celebrations. Veterans and their families enjoyed an amazing weekend in Las Vegas that included a live performance by Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band. During his performance, Sinise thanked our warriors for their service and reminded them that their acts of bravery in the line of duty are not forgotten. He announced with admiration that they are appreciated and encouraged them to “Stay Strong.” Volunteers from the USO and GSF partied with our warriors and made sure to let them know, they are OUR heroes and we love them and honor them. The Freemont Street Experience is open to the public and is free for all to enjoy, so you can save-the-date for next years “Salute to the Troops.” http://vegasexperience.com/calendar/free-concert-gary-sinise-the-lt-danband/ In recognition of his continued support of our service men and women, this year the USMC Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation (FLHF) awarded Gary Sinise the FLHF Distinguished Service Award. This award is the highest honor that the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation can bestow on an individual. The recipient must demonstrate extraordinary qualities of leadership, integrity, service, philanthropy and patriotism and have made contributions to our American heritage by truly giving of himself/herself to his/her community, state, country and fellow man. The FLHF Distinguished Service Award was established in 2012 and there have only been three recipients: Major Glenn Ferguson in 2013, Lt. Colonel Gerald “Jerry” Coleman in 2014 and Gary A. Sinise in 2015. The USMC Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation is based in San Diego, CA
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and it is the only Museum dedicated solely to preserving Marine Aviation history. For more information on the FLHF Distinguished Service Award, visit: https://www.flyingleathernecks.org/ distinguished-service-award/ Many years after his role as ‘Lt. Dan’ from the 1994 box office hit ‘Forrest Gump,’ Gary Sinise was inspired to form the ‘Lt. Dan Band’ to entertain troops all around the world. Gary Sinise founded his namesake foundation in 2011, which actively reaches out to service members, veterans and their families. 18 thousand people have donated or volunteered to help with the foundation to date. The Foundation has many facets of recognition and support for our nation’s service members. One of their new programs is dedicated to supporting First Responders and recognizing the heroism that they demonstrate in their local communities on a daily basis. The First Responders Outreach program was inspired by the men and women that met the challenge
Continued on page 16 www.homelandmagazine.com
Mentorship for children in military families who deserve our thanks and support. Enroll a child or become a Big Brother or Big Sister. Call (858) 746.9173 SDBigs.org/OperationBigs
HOMELAND / December 2015 15
of the tragic day’s events on September 11th, 2001 with their actions of courage and bravery. This program gives grants for training and vehicles to fire fighters across the country. Two Lt Dan Vans, a trailer and a Lt. Dan Rescue boat as well as training support for 45 firefighters in Colorado are just some of the ways that the Gary Sinise Foundation has provided support since the start of the outreach program. The Lt. Dan Band has played for troops, veterans and the United Service Organizations (USO) all around the world. They raise the spirits of the veterans and troops but they also help raise funds and awareness within the community. For over a dozen years, the band has been showing honor and gratitude through Rock n’ Roll and has performed over 300 concerts, inspiring the youth of America to honor and support our nation’s service members. The Lt. Dan Band is also featured at the Invincible Spirit Festivals sponsored by the Gary Sinise Foundation. They are organized all across the country to spread the spirit of gratitude and honor for our veterans. The day long festivals bring a fair-like atmosphere to the veteran’s hospitals and rehabilitation centers across the nation. The festivals have given over 50K servicemen and women, their families and hospital staff a way to relax and enjoy the day. During the live performance of the Lt. Dan Band, a BBQ cookout headed by celebrity chef Robert Irvine, a Gary Sinise Foundation ambassador, feeds the hungry, happy crowd. During WWII, the “Greatest Generation” defended our country with sheer determination and valor. The Soaring Valor program is a partnership with the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. This program will document the individual stories of WWII heroes and preserve them for future generations. The personal stories will create a “Living Library” so we will never forget the contributions that many brave service members gave for the liberty of our nation. The Gary Sinise Foundation is also a proud partner with Snowball Express, an organization that serves the children of our fallen heroes. The mission of Snowball Express is to provide hope and new happy memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11. The year-long outreach program is topped off by bringing children together from all over the world for a four-day experience filled with fun activities, like sporting events, dances, amusement parks and more. It is the largest gathering of children and family of service men and women. Snowball Express creates an environment for children that makes each child feel special and gives them an opportunity to share their feelings about losing someone close to them. The connections in fellowship and friendships are built between those
HOMELAND /December 2015
that share the common bond and similar experiences of loss and grief. The Snowball Express is always looking for volunteers and support, to find out how you can help, see http://snowballexpress.org/. Less than 2% of Americans volunteer to defend this country and many are forever wounded in its service. The Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program stands for Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment for wounded veterans. Many families are unable to cope and retrofit homes or vehicles to help our wounded heroes to excel as civilians. Wheel chairs, track chairs and special vehicles given through this program have changed the lives of those in need. Smart technology homes that are custom made for the severely wounded veterans are tailored to the needs of each recipient warrior. Independence starts with the homes, but community support is also vital to the success of the service member in transition. To date, 36 of these homes have been built or are under construction. Not all have the ability to build homes, but we can all give back locally, doing what you can, where you are. Inspired by Gary Sinise, Dr. Leslie Bonar, D.D.S. with Grand Dentistry, created the ‘Smiles for Heroes’ program to help veterans in need of dental work in her community. Dr. Bonar has been practicing dentistry since 1984. She has served in Desert Storm and in the Naval Dental Corps for over 12 years. Dr. Bonar happily serves families and veterans throughout Escondido, CA and works closely with Interfaith Community Services. Interfaith Community Services empowers people in need to stabilize and improve their lives through comprehensive programs in partnership with diverse faith communities and people of compassion. http://www.interfaithservices.org Dr. Bonar believes in serving our veteran community by enhancing the lives that gave so much to ensure our freedom. Dr. Bonar gives “Smiles for Heroes” because a confident smile can change a life, giving many displaced veterans the support they need to re-integrate into society. http://tinyurl.com/ SmilesForHeroes Dr. Bonar has adopted the Gary Sinise Foundation’s philosophy of “community,” “A strong local network of support is key to the success of a transitioning warrior.” – Gary Sinise Thank you Gary Sinise for honoring OUR veterans and inspiring America. “While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.” –Gary Sinise
By CJ Machado - Photojournalist, Homeland Magazine www.homelandmagazine.com
enlisted to entrepreneur
For the month of December
By Vicki Garcia
GI Bill Benefits to Start a Small Business?
ne thing is for sure. This isn’t 1944. When FDR signed the GI Bill, college was an unreachable dream for most Americans. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act was a boon to veterans and a bulwark against an economic crisis. Today, as few as 36.9% of eligible vets use the education benefit. We now live in a world where even a college education is not a guarantee of employment. The recently introduced Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition (VET) Act of 2015 would give some veterans access to money in the GI Bill – funding traditionally used for tuition -- as seed money for their new businesses. The legislation has passed committee and is working its way to the Senate floor.
Republican Sen. Jerry Moran, of Kansas, a co-author of the bill, wants to see entrepreneurial ambition ignited in the ranks of retiring service members. “Veterans have the capabilities, have the training, have the experience, have the desire and the attributes necessary to start and grow a business,” according to Moran. Opponents of the plan say that due to the high rate at which small businesses fail, allowing vets to use their benefits in this manner will leave them with nothing to fall back on if their businesses do not succeed. Does it have to be one or the other? Why not allow both? Training on small business skills should be part of the package, and there are countless schools and programs willing to supply that education. Business ownership is the route to independence and wealth. Giving veterans a chance to tap into that potential is good for both the vet and the country. Join the Debate
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Go to http://tinyurl.com/ngz2bor to read up on both sides of the argument and voice your opinion.
Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Veteran Entrepreneurs Today and the Boss of the marketing firm, Marketing Impressions, with 30 years helping small business owners succeed. Learn about and apply for V.E.T. at http:// veteranentrepreneurstoday.org or fill out an application at https://www. surveymonkey.com/r/veteran-entrepreneur www.homelandmagazine.com
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HOMELAND / December 2015 17
“Skin in the Game” A Perspective for Educational Benefits
By: Christopher W. Diem, MA, PMP, CWO3, USMC (Retired)
f you have served or are currently serving our great nation, I want to start by saying, “Thank you.” As a retired Marine, I understand many of the trials and difficulties you face/faced during your service. One of the great things about serving is the abundance of benefits one can receive during and after our time in the military. One of the great tragedies, however, is the missed opportunity by service members and veterans when it comes to taking advantage of the available programs and having the right mindset for school. A few months ago I wrote an article about education and the military. I discussed how I, as well as many others, have taken advantage of the educational opportunities we earned. I discussed how doors open when one works hard on achieving academic success. I tried to relate overall, had I not taken the time and effort to earn two degrees on active duty, I would not be teaching college or enjoying many of the additional benefits my education has afforded me. This article is meant to provide a perspective on how to avoid squandering the opportunities we have earned; because unfortunately, some people do not look at these benefits in quite the right way. If you have been in the military, you should have a pretty good understanding about the Tuition Assistance Program and G.I. Bill benefits (traditional and Post 9/11). You probably also realize regardless of your status (active or veteran), taking advantage of these government sponsored programs can greatly add to your marketability and skills in life. Outside of the earned government assistance, many schools offer scholarships or other benefits to military members and their families. An example of a school providing extras to military members is California Miramar University (www.calmu.edu). Besides being a great supporter of the military, California Miramar University offers The Doyle Foundation Scholarship to military service members (present and past) and their families. Thus, reducing the overall educational costs. So what does this all mean and what perspective should students consider? The answers are quite simple. I believe there is sometimes a key component missing from student performance when it comes to the value they gain from scholarships and earned government educational
California Miramar University, in San Diego, CA is committed to supporting our military and veteran students. The university is VA Approved and Accredited by Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools (ACICS). The university is committed to offering very affordable tuition. At California Miramar University faculty are known both for their excellence in their chosen field and passion for teaching. Students may complete their courses 100% online from anywhere in the world or attend hybrid classes on our San Diego campus. Visit: www.calmu.edu or call 858-653-3000 for more information.
HOMELAND /December 2015
benefits. What is the key component? It is called “Skin in the Game”. Every money someone gave you or you saved for a car? Your education will serve now and again, a student squanders opportunities provided either by you far longer and far greater than any car. Thinking of the money as “yours” their service or a generous donor by not completing a course/program or gives you the perspective of having “skin in the game”. If you do not work performing at a very low level (ie: not doing their assignments on time or hard to achieve your educational goals, you would have simply squandered your money away. completely). When this happens, a student has basically thrown money away; and often Suggestions: As you pursue your education, times they have taken funds from someone who could have benefited. As an example, If you are offered a $5000.00 find a program giving you the greatest “bang for your buck”. Find out if a school offers any if a program takes four years to complete scholarship (free money) and/or type of scholarship for military members and a person has 36 months of benefits, a donated scholarship could cover the costs have government benefits (earned (and their families) and how you can take advantage of the opportunity. Research for the remaining months of school or at money), why would you treat it less a school’s certificate programs to see if least a portion of remaining classes. Even they have scholarship money available for a small scholarship could keep a person importantly than the money someone these types of programs; certificates are a from having to spend their own money to complete their education. gave you or you saved for a car? Your great way to find out your level of interest in a particular field of study or employment education will serve you far longer and never look bad on a resume. Plus, they I think one should treat every benefit dollar be a great way to get back into the flow and scholarship dollar as money they have and far greater than any car. Thinking can of attending college. Ultimately, take full in their own personal bank account. If someone gave you $5000.00 (free money) or of the money as “yours” gives you advantage of what you have earned and put it to be use as best as possible for your you worked really hard and saved $5000.00 the perspective of having “skin in the future. Regardless for how you have funds (earned money) and you wanted to use it for college, always treat the money as though as a down payment to purchase a car, you game”. it is coming directly from your bank account would not likely spend the money on a new and you physically put every dollar in the computer and video games. The car is more account. Do not squander opportunities to important and squandering the money on trivial objects would not put you behind the wheel of your dream car. The increase your knowledge and possibilities in life. You have worked hard to same attitude should be applied to money you have for your education. If earn these benefits; do not waste them. You deserve the best possible future you are offered a $5000.00 scholarship (free money) and/or have government you can have. benefits (earned money), why would you treat it less importantly than the
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AmericA’S beSt deServe the beSt. After all you’ve done to protect our country, you deserve the best. That’s why we created the Nissan Military Program—to help you get the best offer on a new Nissan. As part of this program, all active and reserve U.S. military, retired U.S. military, U.S. veterans discharged within the past year, and their spouses and partners can get the same pricing we give our Nissan friends and family. Just visit NissanUSA.com/military, grab your qualified proof of military service and your VPP Claim ID, then head to your local Nissan store1. Our best savings and most exciting innovations are waiting for you.
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HOMELAND /December 2015
Going Back to School As a Military Spouse Many military spouses are jumping at the chance to go back to school. And why not? You can expand your career opportunities, boost your earning power, become eligible for promotions, and find more meaningful and fulfilling work. Going back to school is an investment in yourself, your career and your future. Consider the following questions to help you get back in the education game.
Questions to consider Writing down your career goals and planning how to reach them is a great first step toward figuring out what’s right for you.
you can be competitive. As a military family, you should consider where you’ll most likely live and whether there’s a market for your career in the area.
Is this the best time to go back to school? This is a big commitment, so step back and consider how family and work responsibilities might be affected. Also, look at what’s down the line for you and your family. If your spouse is deploying soon, for example, going back to school could add a lot of stress, but it might also be a good distraction for you. Also, you should consider educational benefits that may be available through your spouse and their timeframe for use.
Choosing your program Your chosen career path will determine the type of program you’ll need to meet your field’s educational requirements, which may include a degree, professional license or certification. Everyone can face obstacles to continuing their education, but military spouses can face extra hurdles. Once you’re ready, and have explored your options go ahead and reap the rewards of going back to school, because you’re worth it.
What are my career goals? It’s said if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. So figuring out your goals is important. Are you passionate about a particular field or purpose? Are you looking for financial freedom? Do you want work that’s steady and predictable, or are you a risk-taker? As a military family, will you need a portable career that can move with you? Clearly defining your goals will let you focus your efforts.
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What are my personal goals? Your career goals might help you achieve your personal goals. Will going back to school give you a sense of pride and accomplishment? Knowing what you hope to gain personally from this experience can also help you tailor your career and educational path.
What new opportunities can more schooling provide? You might have multiple options to consider. Know the educational requirements for your job field.
What’s the job market like in my field? Knowing the job market an d an y rest ric t ion s related to state licensing could help you plan your educational needs and find opportunities where
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By Rick Rogers
We don’t just eat during the holidays – we binge graze.
The Holidays We don’t just eat during the holidays – we binge graze.
number is 3,500. That’s the number of calories that make up a pound of body weight.
Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, the smorgasbord of cookies, cakes, dips, chips, candies, gravies, meats, treats, poultry, sauces, deserts and beverages packs 10 pounds on to our fleshy frames.
Burn 3,500 more calories then you eat = lose a pound. Consume 3,500 more calories than you burn = gain a pound.
Were we all offensive linemen this would hardly matter. We are instead a nation that swallow first and regret later -- usually around Jan. 2 when the mirror the wall tells us just how dreadfully far we are from achieving our New Year’s resolutions. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Obesity numbers in America are, well, obese and mainly getting worse. The average American man now weighs 195 pounds with the average woman 165. Fully twothirds of us are overweight, and Type II diabetes and other weight-related ills are surging. Obesity is public health enemy No. 1 in the United States. Yet most of us know more about exotic African diseases that most of us will never face than a common killer that most of us carry. So in an effort to turn the tide of social ignorance, here are a few numbers you need to know in order to have a basic understanding of how weight gain and loss works. The single most important
HOMELAND /December 2015
The second number to keep in mind is 2,000. That’s roughly the number of calories someone needs to consume daily to maintain their current body weight. Consume less than 2,000 calories a day and you tend to lose weight. Consume more and you gain. There are, of course, variables: a physically larger person needs and burns more calories; a smaller person less. So, to, do athletes burn more calories because they expend more energy training. But for most of us, the 2,000 calories-aday rule works just fine. Another way of thinking of this is to consider your body a bank account and calories like dollars. Deposit more dollars than you take out and your account gets fatter. Take more out than you save
and your account gets flatter. There are really only two ways to lose weight without resorting to surgery or prescription drugs and they best work hand in hand. One is to consume fewer calories and the other is to burn more. The best of both worlds is to pursue both: Reduce calories while exercising more. Start by first cutting the empty calories, which are calories from food and drink that offer no or little nutritional value. For example, a can of soda typically contains 140150 calories and except for some carbohydrates offers little of nutritional value. Same goes for junk food like chips. Next, limit fried foods and highly processed items. How to you know something is highly processed? How closely does it resemble what it looked like when it left the ground, sea or butcher house? The less it looks like animal or vegetable, the more processed it is. To get a better handle on the nutritional value of food and beverages, check out the government website http:// www.choosemyplate.gov.
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This December the tradition continues! CYT San Diego returns to the stage with the 22nd Annual Traditions of Christmas, A Musical Spectacular, at the beautiful Don Powell Theater on SDSU’s campus. Come be a part of one of San Diego’s most beloved traditions as we celebrate 22 years of Christmas memories.
Friday, December 18th at 7pm Saturday, December 19th at 11:00am, 3:00pm, 7:00pm Sunday, December 20th at 2:00pm, 7:00pm Monday, December 21st at 2:00pm, 7:00pm Tuesday, December 22nd at 2:00pm, 7:00pm Wednesday, December 23rd at 2:00pm
Don Powell Theater (on SDSU Campus) 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, 92182
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HOMELAND / December 2015 25
A SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS
This Page is Dedicated With Gratitude To All Of The Men, Women and Veterans Of Our Country’s Armed Forces.
HOMELAND /December 2015
‘Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone. I had come down the chimney with presents to give, and to see just who in this little house lived. As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see, no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. No Stockings by mantle, just boots filled with sand, on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands. With medals and badges, awards of all kinds, A sobering thought came through my mind. For this house was different, it was dark and dreary, The home of a soldier, I could now see clearly. The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone, curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home. The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder, not how I picture a United States Soldier. Was this the hero of whom I’d just read? Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night, owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight. Soon round the world, the children would play, and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day. They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year, because of the soldiers, like the one lying here. I couldn’t help wondering how many lay alone, on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home. The very thought brought a tear to my eye, I dropped to one knee and started to cry.
I didn’t want to leave, on that cold, dark night, this guardian of honor, so willing to fight. Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure, whispered, “Carry on Santa, It’s Christmas Day, all is secure. One look at my watch, and I knew he was right, Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a Good Night. Wishing You a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Peace Love Joy Homeland Magazine
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice, “Santa don’t cry, for this life is my choice”. I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more, my life is my God, my country, my corps.” The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep, I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep. I kept watch for hours, so silent and still, as we both shivered from the cold night’s chill.
HOMELAND / December 2015 27
Addiction and Brain Drain Are you powerless? What a question! Nobody wants to think of themselves as being incapable or inept. The word “victim” leaves a tang in your mouth that smacks of weakness. Gross. That being said, how else would you describe the phenomenon of addiction?
busing alcohol and other drugs actually alters brain chemistry. In effect, the abuser takes over the responsibility of commanding the body when to feel bliss. Now they feel blissful on demand. What a thing! However, just like eating Hershey’s Kisses, one is never enough. Feeling that good is so good, it reinforces the need to experience it again and again. Tolerance builds and builds as the body adapts to the intake of poison. Tolerance results from brain cells becoming desensitized to, and depleted of, dopamine. So the abuser experiences less and less bliss even though they are using more and more poison. Nevertheless, they are compelled
to continue even when there is no more enjoyment to be had. They have mismanaged the body’s reward process by draining the brain of natural feelgood chemicals like dopamine. The greater the brain-drain, the more anxious and depressed the abuser feels whenever they are not high or drunk. Compulsive substance use is now producing the opposite effect than intended. You can see this effect at work in alcoholics who need a drink to stop shaking in the morning. You see it in the opiate dependent person who swallows many times the recommended dosage and - instead of being knocked out - becomes clear-headed and energetic. And you see it in the heroin user who must shoot up every few hours like clockwork in order to feel comfortable in their own skin. In each case, the substance has the opposite effect. Brain scans show that brain drain affects the abuser long after they quit. So why would someone continue paying for, and using, something that drained their head of good chemicals (and all common sense)? It’s not by choice! Substance abuse is a brain disease of which drugs and alcohol are symptoms. Admitting you are powerless is not the end. It is the beginning. (Excerpted from AT HOME RECOVERY HANDBOOK: Recover From Alcohol and Drug Addiction In 28-Days At Home! Now available at Amazon.com)
KEITH ANGELIN, MBA, CADC-II, CNDAI, is a Masters level, Board-Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor and Nationally Certified Intervention Specialist. Prior to entering the field of substance abuse counseling he spent two-decades as a marketing executive in the health and nutrition industry where he worked with numerous professional athletes and celebrities including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood and the Dallas Cowboys. A ten year battle with drugs and alcohol nearly ended his life on three occasions. His recovery compelled him to re-evaluate his life and share the miracle with others. He can be reached at (949) 939-9222 or Keith4Counseling@gmail.com.
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