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Vol. 5 Number 12 • December 2018 www.HomelandMagazine.com

Homeland Veterans Magazine

Giving Stories That Touch the Lives of Warriors and Their Families ‘SANTA BOOTS’ OUTREACH PROJECT SURPRISES DESERVING MILITARY FAMILIES

A CHRISTMAS SOLDIER ‘Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, in a one bedroom house made of plaster...

How To Help A Loved One Who Struggles With PTSD And Other Fear Related Issues

Enlisted to Entrepreneur Careers In Law Enforcement END OF THE YEAR LEGAL CHECKLIST

National Services Through Online Networks


The Next Trip to Washington, D.C. is May 3-5, 2019

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Greetings and a warm welcome to HOMELAND Magazine! 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 veterans, 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.

Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller Contributing Writers CJ Machado Vicki Garcia - Enlisted Holly Shaffner - Honor Flight Joe Molina - VCCSD Lori Boody - VANC Shelter to Soldier Eva M. Stimson Boot Campaign Barry Smith Wounded Warrior Project Vesta Anderson - Gary Corless DAV - Dan Clare American Warrior Jim Lorraine Operation Homefront Chris Martin Kelly Bagla. Esq. Billieka Boughton Tom Edwards Stan Popovich Public Relations CJ Machado Thomas McBrien Marketing/Sales Mike Miller Gina Henderson Entertainment Media Bob Dietrich Calvin Goetz 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.

We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine.

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Happy Holidays! Mike Miller, Publisher

858.275-4281 Contact Homeland Magazine at:

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Inside This Issue 8 A Christmas Soldier 10 ‘Santa Boots” Outreach Project 14 Shelter to Soldier 16 Giving Stories 20 National Services Through Online Networks 24 Helping Loved Ones 27 Veteran Gets Hooked On Outdoors 29 Getting A VA Home Loan 30 Heart Recipient with Operation Homefront 32 VANC - Happy Holidays 34 ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR 36 Transition = Change 38 End Of Year Checklist 39 Overcoming Financial Challenges 42 INFINITE HERO FOUNDATION 45 Careers in Law Enforcement

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HOMELANDMAGAZINE.COM Resources Support Inspiration

Homeland Veterans Magazine Voted 2017 Best Resource, Support Media for veterans, military families and transitioning military personnel.

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This Page is Dedicated with Gratitude to All of the Men, Women and Veterans of our Country’s Armed Forces.

A CHRISTMAS SOLDIER ‘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 the 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.


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The very thought brought a tear to my eye, I dropped to one knee and started to cry. 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. 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.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Wonderful New Year.

Homeland Magazine

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anta deserves a ton of credit for delivering gifts and creating millions of happy faces around the globe every Christmas morning. But his job, as most people know, would be impossible without his dedicated army of elves. The national military non-profit Boot Campaign has enlisted its own platoon of elves who volunteer to help Jolly Old Saint Nick through its annual “Santa Boots” project. The initiative, piloted by Boot Campaign’s Programs Director Meg Jones, sends Christmas gifts to deserving military families across the country with the help of patriotic corporate partners, Boot Elves, and a little magic! Without help around the holidays, many military families would go without the uplifting tradition and gifts they deserve. Money is often tight after deployments, and some military families have permanent change of station orders or face servicerelated injuries. Since 2015, Boot Elves have assembled and delivered a “surprise” box full of meaningful gifts to 189 deserving families in 35 states. The gifts are provided by Boot Campaign, its national non-profit partners Armed Services YMCA and Operation Homefront, as well as its participating network of grateful Americans. The volunteers come from near and far, write personal notes of thanks, shop for gifts, wrap gifts in one of two Texas workshops, and hand-deliver Santa Boots boxes to families in their city.


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“Shopping for our families is something hard to describe, but I knew I had to be part of it and make Christmas special for these families,” explains Hughes, who became involved four years ago. “It’s like you can picture the family members in your mind and when you find just the right toy, outfit or gadget, you are so excited and can just picture them opening it and thinking, ‘Wow, Santa or someone really knows me and cared!’” “When we get all the gifts in the warehouse to start wrapping, I really do feel like an elf,” adds Cupp, a resident of the Fort Worth, Texas area. “It’s quite magical like the North Pole. People in the program are hustling and bustling to make everything look just right, all to make our families know we love them, and know we appreciate them for their sacrifice and service.” Both Hughes and Cupp are civilian volunteers and each responsible for managing half the shopping for the 75 families from 31 states and Washington D.C. that were selected to receive Santa Boots boxes this year. Although they are not direct members of the military community, they participate because of their deep understanding, appreciation and respect for what that community does for them and their loved ones. Each box is stuffed with approximately 15 to 20 personalized gifts for each member of the recipient family. The gifts are donated from patriotic individuals and businesses across the country, and are curated based on the selected families’ interests, hobbies and immediate circumstances.

“We have military families who’ve sacrificed so much to protect my freedom and my family’s freedom, and to think that many of them are hurting right now is tough,” confides Hughes, who also sits on Boot Campaign’s Advisory Board while her husband John is on the Board of Directors. “I can’t just say, ‘Thank you for your service.’ I have to do something to help. I want them to know I care. I appreciate what they chose to do, and I stand in support of them.

Pamela Hughes

“It is my job to ensure I’m a good steward of every dollar in the budget to get my families the right gifts as they are needed, because every family is very deserving,” she continues. “We have legit military families who are really struggling. Each story is different, but they can be heartbreaking.” Cupp says it is an emotional but rewarding time for her when she receives information about the families she is responsible for buying gifts. “When I’m given the list of families to shop for, I go through so many emotions,” admits Cupp, whose husband Randy sits on the Boot Campaign Advisory Board. “I’m so grateful for those that choose to serve to help keep us safe, and I feel such empathy for the challenging times the families might be going through. “I have a hard time detaching myself from their problems, and I really hope to brighten each family’s lives, if only for a day,” Cupp adds. “I try to get everyone new outfits and toys that will make them squeal!”

Lisa Cupp

Whatever the challenge, two vitally important Boot Elves to the Santa Boots project – Texas natives Pamela Hughes and Lisa Cupp – are among those passionate volunteers who enthusiastically spring into action when active-duty and veteran families in need are nominated and selected to receive Santa Boots gift boxes.

Not only do Cupp and Hughes enjoy personalized shopping, they also are thrilled with the opportunity to recruit friends and other generous Americans to sponsor families they can help. Continued on next page >

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“I live in a small town with the most amazing and generous friends,” reports Hughes, a Poteet, Texas resident. “I give them intel on Santa Boots nominees and they ‘adopt’ a family and do all the shopping on their own dime. When they do that, it means even more of the budget can go to extra gift cards for the families who need them most.”

“Then they said that they wanted to pay this forward. That’s what Santa Boots is all about, helping those in need to get a fresh start, and them helping the next family.”

“This is my third year as a Boot Elf and I’m always so blown away with all the people I come across who want to help,” echoes Cupp, regarding the inspiring holiday spirit she encounters on almost a daily basis. “I’m the crazy lady with a cart towering over with toys and clothes, carrying my huge binder and flipping through pages trying to find things like sizes and colors. There’s always a stranger who walks up to me to ask who I am shopping for, and then gives what they can or offers to help.” When Cupp or Hughes meet potential Boot Elves or interested individuals who want to join in by giving back, these Texas women are more than happy to spread the word on how to help share the holiday joy with heroic families in need. “Anyone can make a monetary donation through the Boot Campaign’s website (www.bootcampaign.org), host a gift drive, help with gift wrapping or even adopt a family from one of the elves like me,” Cupp explains. “Whatever someone gives to Santa Boots is also a gift to themselves.” Adds Hughes: “Volunteers like those involved in Santa Boots really do care with no strings attached.” After all the planning, research, shopping and wrapping are complete, what is left for a few lucky Boot Elves is an experience that is truly priceless – delivering a Santa Boots box of love to a worthy military family who could use a hand up. “With one of the families we delivered to, I called the father and told him who I was with and that I wanted to stop by to visit his family,” recalls Cupp. “His face was stunned to see us with this huge box of gifts. He was truly overwhelmed. We walked into his house as he explained they weren’t able to buy a tree that year. His daughters came running into the house and the first thing they said was, ‘Daddy, you said we weren’t having presents this year.’ “That’s when I knew I was so lucky to help this family,” Cupp beams. “The girls would open a present, run to their room and come running out with their new outfit on. They would scream with every toy they opened, and dance with excitement. I didn’t want the day to end, the family was so beyond grateful! 12

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Learn more about Boot Campaign and its Santa Boots project at www.BootCampaign.org.




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Shelter to Soldier Is Saving Two Lives at a Time™ with the Help of the Petco Foundation by Eva M. Stimson Through the Petco Foundation’s life-saving Helping Heroes grant of $30,000 awarded to Shelter to Soldier in October of this year, the donation will enable Shelter to Soldier to adopt two dogs into its service dog training program to later be matched with post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or other invisible wounds from combat experiences, a representation of the program’s mission of “Saving Lives, Two at a Time.” Desmond was rescued from a local hoarding situation that housed 48 Mastiffs. At the time of rescue, Desmond was a small puppy, so the Shelter to Soldier team recognized an opportunity to build his confidence and provide him with another chance for a life of purpose. He was adopted by Shelter to Soldier in the spring of 2018 from the San Diego Department of Animal Services Bonita Shelter. Desmond has settled into the Shelter to Soldier training program nicely and is working with their trainers in confidence-building exercises in public places and advanced obedience. Soon Desmond will advance to psychiatric service dog task training and will begin to meet veterans from the programs’ wait list. Desmond’s adoption, care, training, and future graduation with a veteran from the program was sponsored by the life-saving funds of the Petco Foundation’s Helping Heroes grant in early 2018, aligning with their mission to provide life-saving funds to service-related organizations. The Petco Foundation chose the name Desmond after Desmond Doss, the US Army Corporal who saved lives during WWII as an unarmed combat medic with an infantry company. Moose is a 3-year-old pit bull mix that was adopted from the San Diego Department of Animal Services Bonita shelter. His adoption, care, training and future graduation with USMC veteran, Jaimie McAfee, was also generously sponsored by the Petco Foundation through their Helping Heroes campaign in 2016. The pair is currently in handler training where Jaimie is learning service dog laws and how to become a proficient service dog handler to best utilize and depend on the tasks and support Moose is already trained to provide. They are anticipated to graduate in Spring 2019. Every day on average, twenty (20) U.S. veterans and one (1) active duty service member commit suicide (Department of Veteran Affairs) and every day, 3200 dogs are euthanized in the U.S. Shelter to Soldier provides hope for both veterans and dogs facing lifethreatening challenges and offers its services for free to veterans upon completion of a screening process. 14

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Upon qualified match, veteran-handlers train for an average of four to six months depending upon handling abilities and how well the team picks up on training. Handlers learn to communicate effectively with their dog to create a loving bond while learning all commands and service dog laws/regulations to prepare them for a life with a service animal. Shelter to Soldier dogs are trained over 12 to 18 months to be highly obedient and handler-focused in all environments, to ignore distractions, and to mitigate symptoms of stress, anxiety, hypervigilance, insomnia, fear, over stimulation, and depression through task-related work.



Jaimie & Moose

Shelter to Soldier is located at the Pacific Pet Resort and Dog Training Center located at 2909 San Luis Rey Road in Oceanside, CA, www.pacificpetresort.com. The nonprofit organization is a gold participant of GuideStar and accredited by the Patriot’s Initiative. For additional information, or to make a donation for as little as $10 per month, visit www.sheltertosoldier.org. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call (855) 287-8659 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility.


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Giving Stories That Touch the Lives of Warriors and Their Families By Gary Corless – Chief Development Officer, Wounded Warrior Project Every 26 minutes a new warrior or family member registers with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to receive the help they need. That care is always provided at no cost. Since 2003, WWP has been a tireless advocate for our nation’s finest, improving the lives of millions of warriors and their families. The sobering reality is that the need is great and growing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 3.3 million veterans of this generation who, incidentally, have the highest percentage of service-connected disability (36.1 percent) of any wartime group.

Consider this: • $19 can provide a safe voice on the other end of the phone for a warrior in need. • $25 can provide a session with a career counselor for one warrior. • $35 can provide a consultation with a claims specialist to help a warrior obtain military benefits. So, who are these generous Americans and how are they making an impact on the lives of wounded veterans? A Family Affair: Generations of Caring Claude and Judi Foster’s grandchildren get together about once a year in Richmond, Virginia. There are nine grandchildren all together, and three of them, Oliver, Ben, and Anna, live near the grandparents. The money they collected from a lemonade and cookies stand this year was sent to WWP with a note that said, “Bless You All,” along with a touching illustration by young Anna. Anna’s Lemonade Stand

Invisible wounds like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affect approximately 500,000 veterans who served after 9/11. Similarly, traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change a person’s health before they realize what has happened. A combination of these two medical issues affects a great number of veterans, who often delay treatment because their injuries are invisible, as compared to someone who lost a limb. Years ago, WWP recognized a gap in services addressing these warriors’ invisible wounds and began to build programs to address the challenges they face. Warriors never pay a penny for these WWP programs – because they paid their dues on the battlefield. In addition to mental health services, WWP offers free services in personal independence, physical wellness, adaptive sports, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care. The Power of Giving These programs are possible due to the humbling generosity of the American people who donate to make a difference in the lives of warriors. They give through WWP, not to WWP. Their gratefulness for the selfless sacrifice of our nation’s veterans helps support warriors by funding the programs and services they need. WWP


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“We like to give the grandchildren an experience in the importance of giving,” Judi said.

“Though we have no family members serving in the military presently, in the past we have had some serve in the Army, Navy, and National Guard. One of Anna’s friend’s dad has a service dog to help alert and steady PTSD episodes since his military assignment in Afghanistan. This is what spurred on their choosing Wounded Warrior Project to be the beneficiary of the lemonade stand earnings this year. The grandchildren also donated their own earnings (each can earn up to $10 for their day’s work) into the donation to Wounded Warrior Project. Thanks for helping us teach the grandchildren the importance of giving!”

A Hero Movie to Help Heroes Sam, 11, is using his love of Marvel comics and movies to make a difference. He wanted to give to warriors, so he organized a Marvel movie night at Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta, Georgia. He enlisted the help of Kids Boost, a nonprofit designed to empower kids to give to an organization important to them. Sam chose WWP for his project. “I wanted to help Wounded Warrior Project because warriors have sacrificed for our safety and freedom, and I think we should give back,” Sam said. “I love how Wounded Warrior Project makes this possible.”

High School Students Join Forces for Veterans Students from the Cerro Gordo-Bement High School football team in central Illinois play the sport jointly. They also join forces to give back to warriors through T-shirt sales. They receive inspiration from mentors like Coach Craig Witts, Navy Reserves since 2001, with four years of active duty, and Coach Todd Dalton, Army 1992-1996 and National Guard 1996-1998. Coach David Elder’s brother Derek is on active duty in the Army.

“We want our students to know that other people have made sacrifices so that they can play,” said Chad Corum, assistant football coach. The message is well received. “I know how lucky I am to be here and be able to play football,” said senior Braden Wright, who plays defensive end and wide receiver. “I’ve always been one of the smaller guys on the team, and I want people to do their best and persevere. When it comes to veterans, we are all appreciative, but we wanted to take action.” Inspired by their coaches who are veterans themselves, this group of students is taking action for warriors. “We want to help veterans achieve their personal goals beyond their service to our country and have other people see the whole person,” Braden said. The team sent a check to WWP in honor of active and retired service members in the Illinois communities of Cerro Gordo, Bement, Ivesdale, Oakley, La Place, Milmine, and Casner. They also hosted Military Appreciation Night at one of the regular season games.

Continued on next page >

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From One Warrior Generation to Another, with Love As a Vietnam veteran, Dale Mullin knows what it’s like to come home from war. “I observed that my fellow Americans were not aware of the issues that veterans were returning home with,” Dale said. He noticed a gap in services for veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with both visible and invisible wounds. “We needed grassroots support for returning veterans and their families. I noticed a lack of awareness within the community, and I wanted to help.” He decided to start a golf tournament, and later, a Veterans Day dinner as ways to raise funds to help veterans and their families. He organized a nonprofit called Wounded Warriors of Collier County Charity Golf Outing. Channeling the efforts through WWP made sense. “Wounded Warrior Project is a national organization that’s bringing awareness to the needs of injured veterans,” Dale said. “Today’s veterans need to come home to a grateful nation with open arms to receive them. Veterans need real support for the visible and invisible wounds of war. That’s why I wanted to get involved, to bring awareness to the needs of today’s veterans and to solicit the public’s support.” Dale, his wife Marie Elaina, and the board of directors of his nonprofit have raised more than $1 million over the last eight years to help wounded warriors. The fundraisers have attracted others who want to help, including community members around Naples, Florida, where the charity golf outing is held, and national businesses.

“It’s important for generations of veterans to support each other. Wars will go on forever; this is about veterans helping veterans. We want to give back and help the new generation of veterans returning home.” At WWP, we know every person can make a difference. The free services WWP offers warriors are possible only with support from people, families, and communities that want to give back to veterans who have given so much. See how other generous donors of every age are helping injured veterans achieve their highest ambition at https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ gratitude, and see ways to give back at https://wwp. news/GiveBack.

About Wounded Warrior Project Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), top rated by Charity Navigator, and holding a GuideStar Platinum rating. To get involved and learn how WWP connects, serves, and empowers, visit http://newsroom. woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.

About the Author Gary Corless is chief development officer for Wounded Warrior Project. He leads the fundraising, public awareness, and marketing teams. Gary also oversees the promotion and protection of the organization’s mission, vision, and purpose.

Dale, his wife Marie Elaina


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Before joining WWP, Gary was president and chief executive officer of PSS World Medical, concurrently serving on the company’s board of directors. From 2002 to 2010, his extensive career with PSS World Medical included serving as chief operating officer, executive vice president, and president of the Physician Business. Gary studied finance at Florida State University. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with his wife, Ruby, and their four children.

Wounded Warrior Project helped me reclaim my life.




©2016 Wounded Warrior Project, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Local Veteran Organizations Open The Door to National Services Through Online Networks By Jim Lorraine, President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership The people who are best positioned to assist veterans are often found within the very communities where they live and work. Every city or town is unique in its own way, and local organizations based within a community understand how to navigate the programs and services available to veterans. As a national organization, we at America’s Warrior Partnership focus on empowering these local community groups with the resources they need to proactively and holistically support veterans. One of the ways in which we seek to empower community organizations is by ensuring they can refer veterans to an appropriate partner or program when a need cannot be met by their in-house services. A lack of internal or local resources is a recurring challenge for veteran-serving organizations across the country. The VA Office of Research and Development published a study that surveyed 7,600 veterans and identified several factors that can lead to a veteran not seeking care or dropping out of offered care. One of the leading causes was delay in treatment, which can lead to veterans feeling like they are “lost in the system.” An exhaustion of in-house resources to assist a veteran with a specific issue opens an opportunity for organizations to refer that veteran to a trusted partner who does have the ability to assist with that problem. This approach ensures that veterans receive the care they need with as little delay as possible. The benefits of having access to a strong network of partners were recently illustrated by the Veterans’ One Stop Center of Western New York, a local affiliate organization of America’s Warrior Partnership based out of Buffalo, New York. The center helped Stanley, a 24-year old former Marine, overcome challenges he was facing in getting a medical appointment for back surgery. Stanley had been trying unsuccessfully for months to get the medical attention he needed when he connected with outreach officers from the Veterans’ One Stop Center. He needed a consultation to if determine surgery would be appropriate to alleviate a problem with his back. 20

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While the Veterans’ One Stop Center could not fulfill this need itself, the team did have connections with local VA medical centers that could. An advocate assigned to Stanley’s case scheduled a consultation for him at a nearby VA medical center, which was able to address his needs and determine the best course of action. In addition, the Veterans’ One Stop Center connected Stanley with a veteran service organization based in his county to assist with filing an increase on his disability claim. This partner was able to help Stanley complete the necessary paperwork and navigate the claims process. By referring Stanley to partners who could assist in areas that it could not handle in-house, the Veterans’ One Stop Center ensured he received needed assistance as quickly as possible, which also helped him regain faith in the system. Veteran-serving organizations across the country can follow this example, even if they do not have an extensive network of partners. Technology opens the door for these local organizations to connect with national resource by tapping into online platforms built specifically for veteran communities. As an example, we provide the Veterans’ One Stop Center and many other organizations nationwide with access to The Network, which is built on a HIPAA-compliant technology platform called WarriorServe. Organizations that tap into The Network can create case files, make live referrals and conduct follow-ups for individual veterans based on identified needs. In addition to partnering organizations at the local level, The Network connects groups with national resources such as the VA, education institutions and veteran-centered service providers. It all adds up to a holistic network of care for veterans that can be accessed at the local level. These kinds of networks open a wide range of opportunities for local veteran-serving organizations. Community groups looking for more information on how to connect with a national network can visit www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org/The-Network to get started. About the Author Jim Lorraine is President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership, a national nonprofit that helps veteranserving organizations connect with veterans, military members and families in need. Learn more about the organization at www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org.

veteran, r e d i v o r p & r fathe . d e r e w o p m i am e



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TOUR OF HONOR Since 2010, Honor Flight San Diego has flown more than 1,300 veterans on their “Tour of Honor�

Do you know a WWII or Korea War veteran who has never flown on Honor Flight and would like to go on the next trip? Please complete the Veteran Application at:


. honorflightsandiego.org For more information, email us at:


The Next Trip to Washington, D.C. is May 3-5, 2019

HOMELAND / December 2018 23

8 Tips How To Help A Loved One Who Struggles With PTSD And Other Fear Related Issues By: Stan Popovich

Do you know someone who is in the military or is a veteran who struggles with PTSD and don’t know how to help them? Are you at your wits end on how to help a family member or colleague get relief and stop their suffering from PTSD and other fear related issues? If so, here are 8 helpful tips to help the person cope in these kinds of situations. 1. Learn as much as you can in dealing PTSD, Anxiety, And Depression. There are many books and information that will educate you on how to deal with PTSD and mental health issues. Share this information with the person who is struggling. The main point is that the person who is struggling gets as much information as possible on how to overcome their PTSD. In addition, other family members should be aware on how to deal with someone who is struggling without making things worse. Education is the first step in overcoming a person’s mental health issues. 2. Be understanding and patient with the person struggling with their fears: Dealing with PTSD, depression, and anxiety can be difficult for the person so do not add more problems than what is already there. Do not make things worse by getting into arguments with someone who is suffering. Yelling at your loved one with PTSD will only make things worse.


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3. Talk to the person instead of talking at them: It is important not to lecture the person who is struggling with PTSD. Talk to the person about their issues without being rude. Most people will listen if you approach them in a proper manner. It is also important to listen to what they have to say so you get an idea of where that person is coming from. 4. Get the person to see a PTSD Counselor: It is very important to get the person who is struggling with PTSD to talk to a professional counselor. A counselor can give advice and ideas on how to overcome PTSD. Getting advice from a professional is the number one priority in helping your loved one deal with their mental health issues. 5. Find Out The Reasons Why The Person Won’t Get Assistance: Some PTSD sufferers may not want to get help for various reasons. If this happens, find out the reasons why that person won’t talk to a counselor. Many people who are struggling are fearful and frustrated. Try to find out the reasons why he or she won’t get the advice they need and then try to find ways that will overcome their resistance of seeking treatment. Addressing a person’s issues and fears of getting assistance will go a long way in helping your loved ones. 6. Your Learning How To Overcome Your PTSD. Some people in the military may think that getting help is a sign of weakness. In this case, remind your loved ones that they are not asking for help.

Instead,they are learning how to overcome their PTSD. Remind your military friends and fellow veterans that when they were in the military, they had to constantly learn new ways of doing things. Every member of the military had to learn new things on a regular basis during their time in the service. Dealing with PTSD is no different. There is nothing wrong with learning new things; whether your learning how to start a new job, learning a new hobby, learning how to drive a car, or learning how to deal with your fears and PTSD. Learning is learning and there is nothing wrong with that. 7. Find a local veteran’s support group for your loved one. It is also important that the person who is struggling join a local veteran’s support group so they can get advice from other veterans. Many people who have been in the military and are struggling with PTSD will be better able to relate to other veterans who may have similar experiences and insights. 8. How To Deal With The Nightmares: Many veterans and military members who have been in combat may get nightmares regarding their past war time experiences.

It is not easy to stop the nightmares, but you can start to reduce the frequency of these dreams by getting advice from a PTSD counselor or local veteran’s group. The more time you spend in getting assistance to address your PTSD issues, the better the chances that you will be able to reduce those nightmares. Some veterans turn to drugs and alcohol to fix their problems, but that will only make things worse. In addition, suicide is not the answer. A person can overcome their PTSD by learning how to overcome their mental health issues. Making excuses or ignoring your problems will not make your problems go away. Do yourself a favor and make the choice to get the assistance you need to overcome your PTSD once and for all! About Stan Popovich Stan is the author of a popular managing fear book, “A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear.” Stan’s book has received over 400 book reviews and offers a lot of free mental health advice on his website. For more information and some more helpful advice, visit Stan’s website at www.managingfear.com

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HOMELAND / December 2018

Grant joined the Navy after graduating from high school in 2015. He developed into a strong and effective leader while training at the Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School. At UVA, Grant hopes to study physics and international relations while actively engaging with the university and surrounding communities. Grant says, “the Posse Foundation is investing in groups of driven individuals with incredible leadership potential to have an impact on conversations, campuses, communities, and the world."

Mike McElhiney, a former Army Special Forces operator and longtime angler, lit the spark that helped DAV in Minnesota start its outdoors program.


t stands to reason that veterans living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes are more likely than others to love the outdoors and, in particular, fishing. And the DAV Department of Minnesota is empowering them to do so. On a late-summer trip to Lake Minnewaska, a dozen veterans on five boats trolled for trophy fish. Retired soldier John Gaulrapp was the top angler at the event, catching three bass and another three northern pike, one of which, at nearly 38 inches, was the largest caught. “It’s a morale boost,” said Gaulrapp, who typically spends more time volunteering than fishing. The goal of the Department of Minnesota’s outdoors program is to get veterans out and encourage positive and healthy behaviors. “It’s absolutely true that it’s therapeutic,” said retired Army Col. Scott St. Sauver, a member of DAV Chapter 25 in Fergus Falls. St. Sauver, through his company, American Heroes Outdoors, works with DAV to facilitate events. “Getting [veterans] in a boat puts them at ease. And they just start to talk. The next thing you know, they’re sharing experiences. And whether the experience might be in Afghanistan in 2013 or Vietnam in 1965, they’ll find commonality in service.” Jim Liebl, a member of Chapter 15 in New Ulm, agrees. Now 88, Liebl served in Korea in 1951 and 1952. “I went through some of the things they’re going through now after service,” he said. “It helps once in a while to feel most guys out, and maybe they’ll get to feel better about their situation by talking to us.” Liebl admits he typically tries to avoid memories of the war. “Some of it was really not very good. We lost a lot of people over there. But this gets us out in the open and introduces people to Mother Nature,” he said, adding that speaking to younger veterans helps him process the impact the war has had on his life. The outdoors program would not be what it is today without the help of Mike McElhiney, a former Special Forces operator who served on one of the first teams on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11. (His team’s story was told in Doug Stanton’s book, “Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a

Land of Lakes veterans get hooked on outdoors Band of U.S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan,” which was later adapted for the 2018 film “12 Strong.”) The Army veteran lost his right arm and suffered several other injuries weeks after the attacks in Kandahar. Now chief of staff for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and a member of DAV Chapter 28 in Rochester, McElhiney was able to connect DAV at the state level with Bob Lange, an avid outdoorsman, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has donated and facilitated commitments of more than $880,000 to support the outdoors program over the years. “Inherently, people want to help veterans. Most of them just don’t have someone to put it together for them,” said Lange, whose back kept him out of service in Vietnam but who has always felt a sense of responsibility for those changed by war. “DAV is a national [veterans service organization] with an outstanding record of helping disabled veterans,” McElhiney said. “Our state DAV was at a point where they understood the rehabilitation and healing power that comes with connecting with the outdoors.” “Thanks to Mike and Bob, we’re able to create these opportunities that mean so much to those who’ve served, especially Minnesota veterans,” said National Senior Vice Commander Stephen “Butch” Whitehead, who, as adjutant for the Department of Minnesota, leads the outdoors program. “And this is just one trip. This year, DAV in Minnesota is facilitating eight events and sponsoring an additional nine to help heroes in our state to redefine their perceived limitations and focus on positive activities.” Events include hunting, kayaking, canoeing, and both open-water and ice fishing. Volunteers, like Jeff Reuss, of Benson, act as guides and support participants on and off the water. Reuss brings his daughter, Danielle, and said he feels the event strengthens her understanding of service and sacrifice. “She knows what everybody gave,” he said. “They’re so humble about everything,” said Danielle, 17, who is preparing for a career in law enforcement. “I enjoy being around them, and I think they enjoy being out here with us, too.” n

HOMELAND / December 2018 27

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HOMELAND / December 2018

Getting A VA Home Loan Because you earned it! For those with eligible military service, the VA Home Loan Benefit—which never expires—provides a tremendous option to refinance or purchase a primary residence. All things being equal, a person using this benefit will generally qualify for more home loan than with other available loans.

Title 10 Orders are eligible after 6 years of participating service. To see the service requirements for your specific era of service, visit www.benefits.va.gov/ homeloans/purchaseco_eligibility.asp. The benefit is open to Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Reserve and National Guard, spouses of un-remarried Veterans who died while in service or from service-connected disability, or the spouse of a Veteran who is MIA or a POW.


Qualifying--two steps:

There are many “myths” that prevent people from using the VA loan, but all of the following are true FACTS regarding the VA home loan benefit: it is not just for firsttime buyers; you can use it multiple times; it is possible to have more than one VA loan at the same time; there is no limit on the loan amount--with a small down-payment/ equity it can be used above the VA County Loan Limit; it is possible to use it after a short-sale or foreclosure on a prior VA loan using remaining entitlement; the seller is not required to pay the Veteran’s closing costs; the Veteran may pay for repairs; there are no non-allowable fees, only fees that are limited.

Step one: Determining if you are eligible to use the benefit. To do that, a proficient lender, electronically connected to the VA, will request discharge papers or— if on active-duty, a statement of current service from you--and order a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) directly from the VA on your behalf. The COE tells the lender whether your service qualifies you to use the benefit.

Benefits: Benefits of the loan include: lower interest rates than conventional loans; zero equity required (with full entitlement) up the VA county loan limits (loans above the limit require a small down payment); no mortgage insurance; easier to qualify; shortest time to get a loan after a short-sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy; limitations on closing costs; no pre-payment penalty, and the ability for any qualified buyer (not just a Veteran) to assume the loan at a later date.

Step two is like any other loan: Comparing qualifying income against current debts, the lender calculates the amount of house payment allowed. For a home purchase, the lender uses that payment to calculate the approved purchase price and loan amount and issues a pre-approval letter. That letter tells your real estate agent the price range of homes to show you. Pretty easy. Bottom line: When you are in need of a home loan, do not make assumptions, find a proficient VA lender and…JUST ASK!

If you have military service (you don’t need to have served over-seas or in combat), you are most likely eligible to take advantage of this benefit. You just need to ask a lender who is proficient in handling a VA loan. You want a lender that does several VA loans per year (just being able to do the loan doesn’t make a loan officer ‘proficient’). Eligibility: General eligibility requirements are: currently serving on active duty at least 90 days; Veterans with other-thandishonorable discharge and served 24 months, or 90 days during war time/181 days during peace time. Keep in mind these are “general” guidelines and time requirements vary depending on era of service. Those serving in the National Guard or Reserves and have never been called to active

Author: Andrew Vierra NMLS #230799 Branch Manager Wealth Wise Mortgage a division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation NMLS #1850, Equal Housing Opportunity

HOMELAND / December 2018 29

JPMorgan Chase Awards 1,000th Home to Purple Heart Recipient with Operation Homefront Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit that builds strong, stable, and secure military families, was privileged to host the celebration of JPMorgan Chase’s 1,000th mortgage-free home award to a military family. JPMorgan Chase presented the keys to the milestone home to Purple Heart Recipient and U.S. Army Specialist Brian Storemski and his wife, Alison, in Bowie, Maryland. More than 100 people attended the home presentation event on November 14th including, Mark Elliott, Head of Military and Veterans Affairs for Chase, Bill Ackerman and Rusty Smallwood of Chase Owned Real Estate division, Rob Robertson, DC area Market Manager for Chase, and over 40 Chase employees. The event also welcomed special guests Leon Harris of NBC4, Mayor G. Fred Robinson, Eve Schuman of Senator Chris Van Hollen’s (D-MD) office, Franklin Killebrew of the MD Veterans Commission, and Secretary George Owings of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs. The 1,000th home celebration commemorated the significant accomplishment of a pledge made by Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in 2011.

Brian Storemski was injured while serving in Afghanistan as an Army medic, earning him a Purple Heart. When he was forced to medically retire after seven years of service, the abrupt end to his military career left him, and his wife, struggling with their employment options, unsure of their financial future and without a place to call home. During Brian’s rehabilitation, the Storemskis decided to make the Washington, D.C area their home, and they applied to Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront (HOTH) program to receive the Bowie house. After accepting the keys to the JPMorgan Chase home, the Storemskis officially entered the HOTH program. During the two-to-three year long program, Brian and Alison, will work with financial counselors and caseworkers to build their savings, reduce debt, and learn home ownership skills that will provide long-term stability.

“We’re honored to reflect on the 1,000 families whose service we have celebrated through this program,” said Mark Elliott, Head of Military and Veterans Affairs at JPMorgan Chase. “At JPMorgan Chase, we support service members as they transition to post-military life, and we know that finding a home is a critical part of that transition. The Storemskis are working tremendously hard to rebuild their lives. We’re thrilled to join Operation Homefront to provide them, and many more families to come, with a solid foundation for a secure future.” “We are absolutely thrilled to have been able to partner with JPMorgan Chase to provide mortgage-free homes to veteran families over the past seven years,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray, Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “ Today, we celebrate the award of their 1,000th home to Army veteran Brian Storemski and his wife Alison and recognize JPMorgan Chase’s unwavering commitment to helping us help transitioning military veterans have the opportunity to thrive, not simply struggle to get by, in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.” 30

HOMELAND / December 2018

Brian Storemski and his wife Alison

“Ali and I are excited to start a family in the Bowie house,” said Brian. “We would just like to say thank you to Operation Homefront and Chase. The assistance takes a great deal of stress off our shoulders. Thank you from the both of us.”

The Military and Veterans Affairs program uses the firm’s full resources and its relationships with non-profit and government partners to ensure that service members, veterans and their families have access to products and services, employment opportunities, professional development tools and small business resources. Since the program started in 2011, JPMorgan Chase has hired more than 14,000 veterans and facilitated 470,000 veteran hires through the Veteran Jobs Mission coalition; committed more than $4.6 million to support veteranowned small businesses; and helped 6,600 veterans and military spouses complete 9,100 career certifications through Veterans Career Transition Program at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, which was co-founded and is supported by JPMorgan Chase and Syracuse University. Learn more at: www.jpmorganchase.com/veterans About Operation Homefront:

The HOTH program will allow Brian and Alison to focus on their financial wellness and to concentrate on education goals. They also look forward to expanding their family as they begin their exciting journey in their new home. Upon successful completion of the HOTH program, the Storemskis will graduate and receive the deed to the home. Since 2012, over 500 families have graduated from the HOTH program and have been deeded their home, mortgage-free. Since the program began, Operation Homefront has provided over $75 million dollars in associated home equity to military families. JPMorgan Chase and Operation Homefront have partnered together for the past seven years to deliver this important program, creating a generational impact on the lives of military families by giving them a solid foundation to support their families now, and into the future. For the past eight years, JPMorgan Chase has worked with nonprofits, such as Operation Homefront, to select the extraordinary military families who receive the homes and has reached veterans of all six branches of service, awarding them with mortgage-free homes in communities across 44 states. The financial services firm has supported veterans since before World War I.

Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive - not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, longterm struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org. JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to service members and veterans: JPMorgan Chase, a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide, has supported our veterans since before World War I. The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs (MVA), started in 2011, has hired more than 14,000 veterans and facilitated more than 470,000 veteran hires through the Veteran Jobs Mission coalition; awarded 1,000 mortgage-free homes to military families in need; helped 7,700 veterans and military spouses complete 10,500 career certifications through Veterans Career Transition Program at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, which was co-founded and is supported by JPMorgan Chase and Syracuse University. Learn more at: www.jpmorganchase.com/veterans.

HOMELAND / December 2018 31

“The men and women who serve our Nation deserve our support — Today, Tomorrow, Always —” www.vancnorthcounty.org

Happy Holidays I love the holidays. I am from a large family and we had family traditions, great food and lots of catching up to do. I did not envy my Mom making dinner for the eight of us at Thanksgiving. Our Turkeys every year were over 35 pounds. My five brothers were all over the United States and the states seemed to change for at least one of us every year. But when we were lucky enough to all be in the same state with my parents around the holidays, it was a blast. Our most memorable holiday was a Thanksgiving with all of our collective families at one house. There were 38 of us. Not much in the way of leftovers that year…Thank God we were in Texas as the kitchen was big enough to fit our house. I realized what a blessing it was to have a large family as socializing with all different types of people came easy to the youngest. I met an ever growing list of my brothers’ friends, girlfriends, and every time we moved to a new town, we started all over again. My parents often had their friends over, our neighbors often stayed for dinner and everyone was welcome. My own family is a little smaller than the 8 I grew up with, but the traditions, the food are still great, it is just now that my own boys are traveling back from where they are to get together to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. They bring friends and girlfriends by and we meet new people each year. We invite single friends and folks without a family to visit and that feeling of family is shared with people we often just met. By the time you read this, we will have had our Veteran’s Day celebration, followed by Kelly, Rich and the San Diego Homeless Veterans team serving turkey on Thanksgiving Day to the homeless veterans in their care. You may, or may not, participate in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday.

But, if you are having trouble during the holidays getting into the spirit, there is a new day to put on your calendar: Wednesday’s at the Veterans Association of North County are for Vet to Vet. Most Vets I know say things like: I don’t want to be a burden. The selflessness they learned when they pledged to cover another man’s life in combat is a hard thing to overcome. Often, people want to sort things out for themselves. Vet to Vet will let you be yourself. It will let you participate in any way you want. And there are no medical professionals (or wannabe’s) trying to fix anything. From 4pm to 6pm each week, a group of Veterans get together to talk. Yup, just talk. No homework, no rules, no challenges. No need to participate each time and no need to stop if you are on a roll. It is funny how easy it is to blend in to a group of veterans. You can’t be late…meaning, whenever you get there and whenever you have to leave, you are welcome to stop in or stay a while. Do yourself a favor. If you are a veteran or a member of a veteran’s family, or even a friend of a veteran, stop in and check out Vet to Vet at VANC.

If you are a veteran or an active duty military family member, there is a lot of things we can do for you at VANC. If you live in our community, we would love to see you at VANC. You can volunteer, you can donate, or just come and enjoy our events. If you are a member of the veteran service community, join us on the first Monday of each month at noon for an opportunity to network with others serving our veterans. And when you walk in the door, sign in to our guest book. Welcome to Veterans Association of North County.


HOMELAND / December 2018

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Instant Business:


Last month I wrote about the seemingly easy, low-cost way to start an online ecommerce operation. This month’s Enlisted to Entrepreneur column will cover the “how to” of setting up and making Dropshipping work for you. The Dropshipping model has several benefits and a few drawbacks. To know more, visit the November issue of Homeland Magazine at www.HomelandMagazine.com (Current & Past Issues) Warning: This is not the complete everything you need to know about dropshipping. This is a taste of getting into the game. There are tons of tutorials and educational docs on the web. - DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Step 1 – Find Your Niche/What to Sell Just because you’re crazy about the show Mayans Motorcycle Club, it doesn’t mean you should sell groovy aftermarket motorcycle parts, no matter how obsessed you are with it. Picking the right niche (aka products) is probably the singular most important decision you will make. And this is where many aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs fail. Fortunately, there is a mountain of research, advice, and aids to help you determine what you should sell. Generally, you should be looking for products that meet the following criteria – • Is there a passionate audience for it? (think golf, dogs or travel) • Are other sites making money from it (competition is a good thing)? • Can you sell it on FaceBook? • Is there a perceived value for the products?


HOMELAND / December 2018

(Part 2)

• Are these products somewhat difficult to find? What would make you special? • Is there an upward trend for these products? • Do these products interest you enough that you will enjoy marketing them? A search on Google for “Best Selling Products” will generate helpful info. YouTube has zillions of informative videos on the topic. There are even FaceBook groups on dropshipping. Stay up to date by checking on product trends. Go to www.trends.google.com to see if your product is trending up or down. You can also search by keywords using the Google Adwords Planning Tool (You must open an account, but not spend any money). Look for search terms with a high volume of searches and low competition.

Step 2 – Determine Your Platform/Where to Build Your Store Generally, there are two preferred options: Shopify and WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin that allows you to sell anything beautifully. Built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress, WooCommerce is a favorite eCommerce solution that gives both store owners and developers complete control and includes oodles of themes, built in blogging, payment processing and much more. It’s free, which is always my favorite option. Shopify is an extremely popular platform with all the bells and whistles built in for you. It offers online retailers a suite of services including payments, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools to simplify the process of running an online store for small merchants. Only problem: $29/mon You can search for other platforms, but these are the two I think are worthy of your consideration. You can sell on Amazon, eBay or Etsy as well. Sept 3 – Find Products to Sell And now, it gets interesting. You want to look for “dropshippers,” as opposed to manufacturers or wholesalers. With a dropshipper the cost per item may be slightly higher, but you can order low quantities or even one at a time. Your profit margin may be a little lower, but you won’t have to handle shipping. Well worth the convenience. Here’s a list of the primary drop shipping partners you might want to consider. • Doba – the #1 drop shipping company • Oberlo – a great marketplace for ecommerce products, free for first 50 orders, great educational materials • Sunrise Wholesale – Has a good selection of obscure products • Wholesale 2B – A bit overwhelming, but lots of products, integrates well with numerous platforms • SaleHoo – a directory of suppliers worldwide, look for ones with catalogs

Some of these companies give you the option to start with them and then pick a platform from within their site. Check for suppliers who enforce MAP prices which means you must sell the item at a minimum price equal or above the MAP price. Research competitor websites to determine your prices. Step 4 – Market Your Site Like any site, you must reel in customers. Here are a few recommended tactics. • Have an SEO strategy and apply it • Create a blog with interesting original content • Use promotions to attract consumers • Use social media sites • Use pay-per-click marketing tools • Get your products reviewed • Provide free samples • Collect emails with discount offerings • Use email marketing to create relationships • Use pop-up offers It is very easy to get swamped with all the info that is available. I suggest you pick one resource and stick with it. Otherwise, it’s a big, big world of dropshipping intelligence to sift through.

[ To reiterate – Dropshipping means you can sell

almost any product and when your online store sells that product, you purchase the item from a third party which ships it directly to your customer. You never see or handle the product. This means you can get into selling almost any product with no big investment or physical office. ]

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 30+ -year- old marketing consulting firm. Apply to join Operation Vetrepreneur’s FREE Think Tank Groups at www.veteransinbiz.com or visit www.operationvetrepreneur.vet for more info.

HOMELAND / December 2018 35

Transition = Change by Chris Martin

Transition is literally changing from one condition or place to another.

Change is inevitable in life and transitioning from military service to civilian life can be a stressful one. There are career possibilities, school opportunities and financial costs that need to be considered or at least thought about. The military has an extensive array of services to help make your transition a success. Be sure to take advantage of these resources and assistance. Know what you are good at, what you like to do and where you can provide value to you and your family. Basically, you need to plan where you are going, literally and figuratively. There will be a dramatic change in your personal finances when you leave the military. It may take longer to find employment or get your paperwork completed for furthering your education and obtaining benefits. Don’t forget to budget your money. For years the military covered your housing, food, utilities, medical and dental, etc. Now you will be paying for those items yourself. Start saving money BEFORE you get out of the service. When it comes to employment, there may be a gap between your military experience and the skills needed for civilian employment. Not all employers will understand your military or leadership skills. Keep in mind that some employers value military service and will often seek out military personnel. There will also be those employers that have no idea what it is like in the military and they may have a misperception, often negative, of military veterans. You may need to work hard to overcome those perceptions. You may have to start at a lower level than anticipated or you may have to work harder to learn the skills needed for that particular employer.


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You may need to learn how to “sell yourself” in writing your job resumes. Be honest about the value you can bring to an employer in a competitive environment. For example: being a tank driver or infantryman does not really transfer well to a job in the civilian world. However, managing people and problem solving are great skills in any job. Keep your DD 214 handy. I recommend making copies and keeping the original in a protected sleeve. You never know when you will need it. For example, you may need it for a home loan or potential employers may want verification of your military service. In addition, service organizations will often ask for one to prove you are eligible to join their organization. Get copies of everything, especially your medical and dental records. You may qualify for service connected benefits as soon as you leave the service or medical issues that you had in the service may cause you to apply for benefits 20, 30 or 40 years later. It is always a good idea to have a copy of those records. Don’t forget that your family will be transitioning with you. Make sure they are on the same page as you as far as planning for the future. Do you want to stay living in the same area or do you want to move back home or to some other city that you loved. The bottom line is: transition can be stressful, but proper planning and thought can relieve some of that stress and make it a more pleasant experience.

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HOMELAND / December 2018 37


By Kelly Bagla. Esq.

END OF THE YEAR LEGAL CHECKLIST FOR SMALL BUSINESSES We’re entering the home stretch of 2018. While it’s easy to become overwhelmed with end of the year sales, not to mention holiday planning and parties, business owners should take time to make sure their business is legally in good standing before the year ends. Keeping in good standing with the law is important for the future and growth of your business. Here are some important steps to complete on your end of the year legal checklist: RECORDKEEPING. Having an annual meeting is the bare minimum you can do to stay in compliant with the law. If you are a corporation, it’s important that you hold an annual meeting before the year ends. This is where you reelect the directors and the directors reelect the officers. The law wants to see that you are treating your corporation as a separate entity and following corporate compliance. This important step preserves the “Corporate Veil” so you don’t end up getting sued personally. FILINGS. Each State has its own yearly filing requirements but a Statement of Information is usually required from most business entities in most States. The Statement of Information is filed with your State’s Secretary of State and updates them on important information about your business, including the names of your directors, members, and registered agent. Missing a Statement of Information filing could cost you more than the filing fee. INCORPORATE YOUR BUSINESS. Although incorporating isn’t a necessary step in the end of the year legal checklist, it’s an essential next step you should take if you want to grow your business in the new year. For one, incorporating allows small businesses to raise capital much more easily since most banks and lenders look at incorporated businesses as more legitimate and eager to invest in. With more funds, you’ll have more options and resources to build your small business into an empire in the future. TAXES. Before the year ends, it’s important that you assess your estimated tax payments with your tax professional. Make sure you haven’t overpaid or underpaid and review closely how much your business made year to date. Also, make sure you review all your annual earnings of your full-time employees and your independent contractors so the paperwork is ready to be filed, reported, and submitted early next year.


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TIE UP ANY LOOSES ENDS. Now is the perfect opportunity to tie up any loose ends you’ve been putting off throughout the year. For example, does your business need a Fictitious Business Name (DBA)? Did you get a Tax ID number (EIN)? Are your licenses and permits in order? Have you setup a benefit plan for your company? It’s not how much you make but how much you can save. As business owners, you have accomplished more than the average person and you should celebrate every win. Make sure you take time to enjoy all your hard work and accomplishments throughout the year and enter 2019 on the right Legal Foot. Happy Holidays to all and a Prosperous New Year! For more information on how to legally protect your business please pick up a copy of my book: ‘Go Legal Yourself’ on Amazon or visit my website at www.baglalaw.com - (760) 784-9109 NOTHING COMPARES at this price to Go Legal Yourself ® Startup Essentials Package. This specialized, customizable package of legal contracts and documents includes everything a startup company needs to protect its assets from the beginning. You won't find these contracts online anywhere but here. Compare Go Legal Yourself ® Startup Essentials Package against the rest:


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Easy Steps to Overcoming Financial Challenges By Joe Molina www.vccsd.org Veterans Chamber of Commerce veteransccsd@gmail.com

Finding it hard to save up? Have a pile of bills sitting on your desk? Losing sleep over a payment deadline? We all have these issues from time to time. Financial challenges are legit and constant causes of worry and anxiety. They create mental burdens which ultimately affect our quality of life. What’s worse, it is very easy to get in the cycle of debt and more difficult to get out of it. Thankfully, the steps to overcoming financial challenges are achievable but more importantly, actionable and deliberate. Here are some proven steps to could help with overcoming financial challenges: • Get real enough to properly ‘identify’ the challenge The first step to getting financial challenges half-solved is to get real enough to admit that you have a challenge. The next is to properly identify the ‘what and why’ of the challenge. Whether yours is the case of having a hard time making savings or financing existing debts, it best you started asking the right questions like: what habits increase your spendings and gets you into more debts? How has this affected your mental and physical life? Is it taking a toll on the quality of your relationships? Finding answers to these will help set the tone of other steps you’ll need to make. • Stick to a budget If you are having an issue with impulse buying, this is probably the last thing you’d want to be told. However, if you are really serious about dealing with your financial issues then you have to start drafting one right away. A budget allows you to decide on how your income will be spent. This not only ensures that you don’t engage in impulse buying, it also make sure that you will be able to make savings and also finance long standing debts. • Have an alternative source of income Truth be told, depending solely on just one source of income almost never pays the bilsl. With fluctuations in interest rates on loan and the cost of goods and services, getting an alternative source of income will definitely come in handy.

Granted, working two or more jobs at a time will be very stressful demanding. A way around this is to monetize your passion. There are many options to choose from If you have a talent there is probably someone out there who needs your service or product. Take a look around and what people are having difficulties with or in need of. Understand that you have Two primary Markets, Individuals and Businesses. • Do an inventory of what people need and are willing to pay for. • Do a self-evaluation and see how you may be able to help people solve their need. - Do an inventory of what Businesses need and are willing to pay for. - Do again a self-evaluation and how you may be able to help solve these business’s needs. You will be surprized on what businesses pay for. Just to give you an idea, next time you visit a restaurant look around and you most likely see plants decorating the restaurant, in many instances those plants belong to a third party who cares for them, cleans them and waters them (and it is not the restaurant staff). So, be creative and you will find a niche that will provide additional income. For freelance writing, graphic designing, hand crafts, virtual assisting, etc. If you would like help with this just reach out to the Veterans Chamber for assistance • Get accountable To maintain a steady and effective financial recovery, it is best you enlist the assistance of trusted financial advisor/ coach, and software to help keep track of your spending and income. Beyond ensuring that you stick to the plan, these team of accountability partner will be there to get on track each time. In Summary: Recovering from a financial hardship takes time and planning. However, It is very easy to get in financial stress but slower to get out of it. Keep in mind that in average it takes three months for every month we get behind. Putting this in perspective, for every month we get behind it will take us three months to get current. However, having the right support system and committing to taking small and steady steps is a sure way to overcoming any financial challenge faster.

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HOMELAND / December 2018


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THE INFINITE HERO FOUNDATION REIMAGINING RECOVERY By Tom Edwards The name Infinite Hero came from the conviction that the sacrifices of heroes should always be remembered. Established in 2012, they have, to date, donated more than $3 million in funding and support to 17 different veterans’ organizations. I became aware of the Infinite Hero Foundation when my wife Cathy and I were at a National Hot Rod Association race in Las Vegas a few years ago. A great looking race car had pulled up to the starting line and the public address announcer mentioned the car was driven by ‘Fast’ Jack Beckman, a driver I was familiar with having followed drag racing for years. He and I have a number of things in common. We’re both veterans and cancer survivors. Jack coaches a baseball team; I have done that and co-authored a baseball book. We also both have a weird sense of humor, but that’s a story for another day. Jack has earned 2 World Championships – Funny Car in 2012 and Super Comp in 2003.

We partner with like-minded organizations to provide access to innovative rehabilitation programs that address the unique needs of veterans and their families. The measure of our impact is positive outcomes, not merely gestures. Like the heroes we serve, we refuse to shy away from a challenge. Where boundaries exist, we will plow through them. Where strategies and solutions have not yet been found, we will create them. We will marshal the resources of technology, community, medical research and mental health care to foster collaborative innovation and affect positive change for our heroes in need”. This veteran appreciates that level of commitment. The Infinite Hero emblem design has an interesting history. The color purple is featured to honor veterans wounded in battle. The Greek cross signifies aid and the infinity symbol is in place to represent the conviction, as stated, the sacrifices of heroes should always be remembered. The emblem is on one side of the ‘Challenge Coins’ Jack has with him during every lap down the race track. They are a fundraising tool and can be purchased with a modest donation to the Infinite Hero Foundation. They are housed in a nice I.H.F holder that Jack autographs, personalizes and adds the speed and the elapsed time the car ran when that coin was in the car. That program started in 2014 and has been successful. As a veteran and drag racing fan I have added a few of them to my sports memorabilia collection. The Challenge Coin program has raised more than $450,000 for Infinite Hero and has brought a tremendous awareness to some of the most difficult issues facing our returning military heroes and their families.

I looked into the organization that was bannered on the side of Jack’s race car and was impressed. Their pledge is: “Infinite Hero’s pledge to those who have risked their lives is to reward their sacrifice and bravery with support that articulates our gratitude. 42

HOMELAND / December 2018

You can go to www.infinitehero.org and click on NHRA Coin Program for more information. Drag racing fans can find them at Jack’s pit area at ever race.

The funding for the Infinite Hero Foundation race car initially came from Terry Chandler. All funds donated to the I.H.F. go directly to the organization. Sadly, we lost Terry, a philanthropist and racing enthusiast on July 4, 2017. We’re talking about someone with a heart the size of Texas. Her husband Doug has picked up the funding needed to keep the car, and the team necessary to have a car on the track at the professional level. The back of the current ‘Challenge Coin’ has Terry’s initials inside a heart. How appropriate. At the 2015 National Hot Rod Association awards banquet she was presented the Blaine Johnson Award in acknowledgement of her giving spirit. During the race Cathy and I saw the Infinite Hero car for the first time I had the honor of meeting Chief Warrant Officer 5 Gary Linfoot, U.S. Army (Ret.) in the Don Schumacher pit area. His resume is beyond impressive. A helicopter pilot with more than 5,000 flight hours and 1,200 hours of combat he is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan, 2001) and Operation Iraqi Freedom 2002 – 2008 for 20 combat deployments. In 1997 he had joined the Night Stalkers, the Army’s elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). He spent the next 13 years as an instructor pilot and flight lead. On May 31, 2008 while conducting operations in Iraq his helicopter experienced mechanical failure and crash landed breaking his back and leaving him paralyzed from below the waist.Three months later he returned to active duty. Gary retired in 2010 and continues to serve the Night Stalkers as a simulator flight instructor.

His decorations include: the Combat Action Badge, Master Aviation Badge, Parachutist Badge, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with 2 Oak Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal. In October 2013 Gary became the first military recipient of an exoskeleton for home use with a grant from the Infinite Hero Foundation. He and his wife Mari have raised 3 children during their 26 year marriage. Wearing an exoskeleton Gary walked his oldest daughter, Allyssa, down the aisle during her 2016 wedding day. He is the President and CEO of Intrepid Concepts and Consulting in the Clarksville, Tennessee area. When asked why so many drag racing fans are supportive of Infinite Hero, Gary replied “Many fans are veterans and even if they’re not they have a family member that has served”. Copy that. When Cathy and I are at a race and spend time at the Infinite Hero pit area we notice a variety of military related baseball hats. While reading the Infinite Hero Foundation Report for 2012 – 2017 I learned there is a San Diego connection to the organization. Kimberly Mitchell, CEO of Veterans Village San Diego is on the I.H.F. Board of Directors. Kimberly is a 17 year Navy veteran and served as a Surface Warfare Officer on surface ships and shore commands. She was a spokeswoman for the Defense Department’s 50 year Vietnam War Commemoration Committee. During her last 2 years on active duty she served as Deputy Director for the Office of Warfare and Family Support.

HOMELAND / December 2018 43


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HOMELAND / December 2018

Military service can be a perfect entrance into a law enforcement career. Military and law enforcement personnel have had a long-standing relationship with overlaps in training exercises, equipment, and, most important, personnel. It is not uncommon for a service member to make the jump from the military to law enforcement, as both professions look for the same characteristics; leadership, fidelity, chain of command, and teamwork are all common themes in both professions. Quite understandably, many American military veterans often gravitate to a career in law enforcement when the time comes to rejoin the civilian workforce. The two professions have many fundamental similarities; from the uniforms they wear with pride, to the firm command structure they serve under, to great personal risk they endure while protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

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