Homeland Magazine August2020

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Vol. 8 Number 8 • August 2020


PURPLE HEART Day Veterans Share What It Means to Be Awarded a Purple Heart

Homeland Interview “World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji” and Retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans


For Warriors

Dog Days of Summer

Tribute to Service - Working Dogs THE SERVICE DOG

DILEMMA What’s Next

Spirit of`45 The 75th Anniversary

Transition to Civilian Life

of the End of WWII

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A Veteran-led program serving our military-connected community‌including Active Duty, Veterans, National Guard, Reservists and their family members.

24/7 Access to Resources and Peer Support

Call 877-698-7838 or dial 2-1-1 Visit our website at

www.Courage2Call.org 2

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Courage2Call @CourageToCall @CourageToCall

Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater

A Vision for Miramar National Cemetery More than 20,000 veterans and their loved ones are interred at Miramar National Cemetery. The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation holds services in the Flag Assembly Area on Memorial Day weekend and on Veterans Day to honor our veterans. The Flag Assembly Area has no permanent seating. The Support Foundation plans to build the Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater with permanent guest seating in a beautifully landscaped setting. This will be the Support Foundation’s biggest project yet. Its cost—for construction and permanent maintenance—will range from $450,000 to $500,000. No federal funds will be expended. Contributions from corporations, veterans groups, civic organizations, local government, and the public are needed to make this vision reality at Miramar National Cemetery.

Please Contribute Today! Make the Vision a Reality

Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater Any contribution amount counts!

Please go to www.miramarcemetery.org and click on “Contribute” to donate to the Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater. The Support Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity. All donations are tax deductible. Tax ID #65-1277308. You will receive an acknowledgment for your contribution.

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Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Joe Molina Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby

What’s Next - Transition

Eva Stimson

Veteran Advocate

Collaborative Organizations

www.HomelandMagazine.com Greetings and a warm welcome to Homeland Magazine! Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. The Magazine focuses on national resources, support, community, and inspiration for our veterans and the military 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 our veterans, service members, military families, and civilians. The magazine is supported by a distinguishing list of national veteran organizations, resource centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. Homeland Magazine is a veterans magazine for veterans by veterans. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of Homeland Magazine.

Mike Miller

Publisher/Editor mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 4

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Wounded Warrior Project Raquel Rivas Disabled American Veterans American’s Warrior Partnership Shelter To Soldier Father Joe’s Village Flying Leathernecks Give An Hour Courage To Call Operation Homefront With National Veteran Advocates & Guest Writers 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

9528 Miramar Road, Suite 41 San Diego, CA 92126

(858) 275-4281 Contact Homeland Magazine at:



8 Veterans Awarded “Purple Heart” Share 12 Medal of Honor Recipients Chat 14 Spirit of ‘45 16 History of Service Dogs 17 Dog Days of Summer 18 The Service Dog Dilemma 22 Music Studio And A Service Dog 24 Assistance In Action 26 Dogs Are Greatest Teachers 28 Animal Center Provides Heart 29 Origins: Dog Days of Summer 30 World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji 34 LENS: Compassion Fatigue 36 Vet Caregiver Self Check-In 42 Veterans & Healing 44 Arts & Healing: Artist Spotlight 46 What’s Next - The Power of One 50 Enlisted to Entrepreneur - Business Ideas 52 Legal Eagle - Use it or Lose it 56 Homeland 2020 Editorial Calendar

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Host this National Memorial in your Community

Please contact us to add a Fallen loved one, host the memorial, or make a donation at: info@RememberingOurFallen.org

www.RememberingOurFallen.org www.PatrioticProductions.org

Tribute Towers

Remembering Our Fallen is a national memorial unlike any other -with military & personal photos of 5,000 military Fallen since 9/11/2001 Unveiled at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2017, it has since traveled the nation coastto-coast. This memorial also includes those who returned from war, but lost their inner battle to suicide, and those who died from non-war zone injuries while serving in their military capacity. Please contact us to add a Fallen loved one, host the memorial, or make a donation at: info@RememberingOurFallen.org Artist - Elizabeth Moug Artist - Saul Hansen 6

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“If the purpose of a war memorial is to help us remember the sacrifices of the Heroes, and to help us heal from our sorrow, then your mission has been accomplished. Thank you for this tremendous gift.” - 1LT Daniel P. Riordan’s Mother

“There is a ‘disconnect’ between those we ask to serve our military objectives and our society at large. This memorial made that connection very dramatically and helped us understand the magnitude of their sacrifices. - Ed Malloy, Mayor of Fairfield, Iowa


YES, you fill out

the census.

The more New Yorkers who fill out the census, the more money we get for our: • Schools • Housing

• Roads & Bridges • Hospitals

• Senior Centers • Jobs



Fill it out now at My2020census.gov or call 1-844-330-2020. JUST 10 QUESTIONS:


• Fill out online • By phone • By mail

• Immigration • Citizenship

• Your job • Social Security number

BY LAW, YOUR RESPONSES CANNOT BE SHARED: • Not with ICE • Not with the police

• Not with your landlord • Not with anyone


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Veterans Share What It Means to Be Awarded a Purple Heart Purple Heart Day (Aug. 7) commemorates the brave men and women who have been wounded or killed as a result of enemy action during their military service. To honor these veterans, many people across the nation pause to recognize the sacrifices made for our freedom. The purple color of the award represents the courage of those who gave so much. About 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) asked some of the warriors it serves what having a Purple Heart means to them.

For some, it’s a reminder of what happened in battle:

Andrew Harriman, U.S. Army

Brent Whitten, U.S. Army

Mike Matthews, U.S. Army

Having a Purple Heart is a tangible reminder of what happened in Iraq. It’s a reminder that you don’t necessarily come back in the same condition that you left.

The Purple Heart award for me brings thoughts of all those wounded or slain in this nation’s history in battle. I am honored and humbled to share the same medal as others who answered America’s call of duty.

Having a Purple Heart means that I was stronger than what was meant to take me out. It means that by no means did I run from danger or uncertainty, but instead faced my enemy head on!


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Other veterans feel it is more about those who served and their sacrifices than the award itself:

Jeffrey Adams, U.S. National Guard

Josh Wathen, U.S. Army

I’ve always seen it as just being an award for something happening to you. Nothing special about it, just cause and effect. I don’t even know where mine is. Do I respect and appreciate those who have earned a Purple Heart? Wholeheartedly, yes. Do I see any weighted value or anything special in mine? No. I volunteered, I did a job, I got wounded. Sometimes that happens. There are many veterans — and families — who made greater sacrifices and tend to get less recognition. I find it far more valuable to appreciate all who have served, regardless of where or when, because of one simple fact: they volunteered to serve.

I am proud and honored to be a Purple Heart recipient. Knowing that I was injured by the enemy, and that many others gave the ultimate sacrifice, is something I think about daily. I was blessed to serve our great country, and I would do it all over again without hesitation.

For some warriors, the award is a symbol of honor:

Deron Santiny, U.S. National Guard

James Rivera, U.S. Marine Corps

Being awarded the Purple Heart is a great honor. Given the history of the award, it means a lot to me to have been awarded it. It is truly an award that no one goes into combat wanting, but it is an honor to have it. It shows that you have given your blood, sweat, and tears in service to your country and that you were willing to spill your blood for others.

Having a Purple Heart is a daily reminder that I need to keep fighting on in honor of those who no longer can.

Continued on next page >

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And for others, it’s about something that will never be forgotten:

Roberto Cruz, U.S. Army

Tom Marcum, U.S. Air Force

During the time when I was about to receive my Purple Heart, I was still in a hospital bed, unable to move, and was going through surgeries and intense rehab. The Army asked me who I would want to pin my medal on me, and I asked for a fellow soldier who had been on the battleground with me. About a week later, Lt. Gen. William G. Webster showed up at my bedside to present me with my Purple Heart medal.

To me a Purple Heart is a badge of honor and faithfulness. My family served our country. We served it honorably and faithfully. The Purple Heart shows that our country has not forgotten that and never will.

It was a very big moment, and I was thankful my parents were able to be there with me. Since that time, I’ve become a trustee in the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Tampa, Florida. We visit schools, hospitals, and do volunteer work in the community. It’s encouraging to know that I can help others, just like others helped me when I was in the hospital.

Ultimately, every Purple Heart recipient has made significant sacrifices — as unique as the meaning behind the award itself. WWP recognizes and is here to support those who have been wounded — both visibly and invisibly. WWP’s programs in mental and physical health and long-term rehabilitative care change lives. 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. Learn more at www.newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.


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Ultimately, every Purple Heart recipient has made significant sacrifices — as unique as the meaning behind the award itself. WWP recognizes and is here to support those who have been wounded — both visibly and invisibly.

August 7

National Purple Heart Day 2020

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Virtual Fireside Chat with Medal of Honor Recipients

Every General Session will be introduced by an incredible group of influential leaders supporting veteran services:

By Jim Lorraine, President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership

• Gary Sinise, Chairman and Founder, Gary Sinise Foundation

America’s Warrior Partnership is hosting its annual Warrior Community Integration Symposium as a virtual event that is open to all attendees at no cost from August 25 – 27, 2020. We have a robust lineup of influential speakers this year, and I am excited for the opportunity to bring their insights to a larger audience of veterans and community organizations through this free online setting.

• William McRaven, ADM (Ret.), The University of Texas at Austin, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

The topics our speakers will explore range from employment and entrepreneurship to nonprofit management and suicide prevention. No matter the specific issue, everything will center on empowering communities, veterans, their families, and caregivers to build the life they have earned through their military service.

• Harriet Dominique, Senior VP, Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Affairs, USAA

The value that veterans bring to communities will be at the forefront of a fireside chat led by Fox News anchor Jon Scott with Medal of Honor recipients Sal Giunta, Clint Romesha and Kyle White, who all served in the U.S. Army during the War in Afghanistan. They will speak about their military experiences and how their service continues to affect the life decisions they make today in their civilian careers and transitions they are currently making in their lives. The Medal of Honor Fireside Chat is just one session in an agenda filled with respected and influential leaders for this year’s Symposium. Here are a few of the additional speakers and topics that attendees can look forward to at this year’s virtual event. 12

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• Mike Linnington, LTG (Ret.), CEO, Wounded Warrior Project • Douglas Petno, CEO of Commercial Banking, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

• Catharine Grimes, Director of Corporate Philanthropy, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation • Mike Hall, Executive Director, Three Rangers Foundation The Transition to Civilian Life Our featured keynote speaker this year, Lieutenant Commander Jesse Iwuji, will share how he has managed the transition from active-duty service to professional sports and business management. LCDR Iwuji graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he competed as a NCAA Division I-A football player for four years and was commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer. He was deployed for a total of 15 months to the Arabian Gulf on two Naval Warships, and after transitioning to the Naval Reserves, he debuted in the NASCAR Truck Series where he had a Top 25 finish.

Outside of racing and his Navy service, LCDR Iwuji owns a drag racing events company and a trucking business. In hearing his incredible story, we hope attendees will consider the various paths that veterans can take to build the quality of life they desire.

In addition, entrepreneurship will be the focus of a session led by Misty Stutsman Fox, Director of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business portfolio at the Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). Ms. Fox will moderate a panel discussing the entrepreneurship ecosystem and how communities can support veterans in building their own businesses.

Empowering Veteran Families Two sessions during the Symposium will focus specifically on issues related to veterans and their families, including a panel on streamlining the transition to civilian life for a veteran’s entire family, as well as a panel on strengthening family units post service.

The full agenda for the Symposium includes more information on these panels and other sessions that will take place over the course of the week. The agenda and information on how to register to virtually attend the event at no cost are available at

This second panel on strengthening family units will include representatives from Blue Star Families, a nonprofit dedicated to serving military families through community building, and the Four Star Alliance, a membership network of veteran-serving organizations that provide therapeutic recreational wellness programs. These panelists will discuss how outdoor recreation and wellness programs that are tailored to veteran families can serve as a valuable resource for veterans to build stronger relationships with their spouses and children.


About the Author Jim Lorraine is President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership, a national nonprofit that empowers communities to empower veterans. The organization’s mission starts with connecting community groups with local veterans to understand their unique situations. With this knowledge in mind, America’s Warrior Partnership connects local groups with the appropriate resources to proactively and holistically support veterans at every stage of their lives.

Veteran Employment and Entrepreneurship Workplace topics will again take center stage at this year’s Symposium with several sessions featuring discussions on how communities and businesses can collaborate to create veteran-friendly office environments.

Learn more about the organization at www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org

Sal Giunta & Clint Romesha

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Spirit of `45

Gil Nadeau & Stu Hedley

The 75th Anniversary of the End of WWII By Holly Shaffner

The day was August 14, 1945. President Truman announced, “This is the day we have been waiting for since Pearl Harbor. This is the day when Fascism finally dies, as we always knew it would.” Every WWII veteran knows exactly where they were when they heard the news. For U.S. Navy WWII veteran Gil Nadeau, he was on his Landing Craft Support (LCS) ship in the Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines practicing maneuvers for an invasion on Japan. In the late morning on August 14th a ship’s radioman announced, “The war is over! The war is over!”After being away from home for over two years, Nadeau thought, “Now I can go home.” Nadeau recalls the parties and celebrations that ensued. He remembers the harbor looking like the 4th of July with guns being fired into the air and pyrotechnics illuminating the sky. He remembers the LCS pulling up on the beach and the crew jumping to land and drinking like sailors until it was time to get underway again. He remembers the donkey and the cart that helped get the sailors from the nearby Army base back to the beach. The Japanese surrendered on August 14th and on September 2nd, allied supreme commander General Douglas MacArthur along with Japanese officials signed the official Japanese surrender aboard the U.S. Navy battleship Missouri, officially ending World War II. Many Americans called August 14th V-J Day or Victory over Japan Day. Today, we celebrate the end of WWII in a celebration called “Spirit of `45”. In 2010, Congress voted to make the second Sunday in August the National Day of recognition. In San Diego, the largest annual celebration has been at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park. 14

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For many years, the museum hosted the event and Honor Flight San Diego contacted hundreds of WWII veterans to attend the celebration. The event typically garners about 500-700 people; there’s a ceremony with guest speakers telling their “end of WWII story”, there’s WWII re-enactors who set up tents and vehicles, there’s singers and dancers dressed in their best 1940’s attire. But the most important part of the day is when the veterans reunite with their brothers and sisters. It is a family affair with the veterans, their guardians, and Honor Flight San Diego volunteers. Due to COVID, this is one of the many events that has been cancelled in 2020. Our WWII veterans will miss this event this year. Since it is important to recognize this historic day, Honor Flight San Diego will be part of a special ceremony. It will not be attended by hundreds of people but will be able to be viewed by thousands. For more information about this year’s event, go to: www.HonorFlightSanDiego.org or follow them on Facebook @HonorFlightSanDiego. On this 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, Let’s Keep the Spirit Alive! If you know a member of our Greatest Generation…simply ask them, “Where were you when the war ended?”

Courtesy U.S. National Archives

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THE HISTORY OF SERVICE DOGS Have you ever wondered about the first service dogs? Who trained them and what types of tasks did they perform? Were dogs considered “family members” as they are today? Or were they nothing more than tools? We thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at the history of service dogs and how their roles evolved over time. DOGS AS COMPANIONS Nobody knows exactly when dogs and humans first forged their inseparable bonds. The oldest dog ever found was a perfectly preserved puppy found frozen in the permafrost in the Far East. Scientists estimate its age to be about 12000 years old. We know that Ancient Egyptians kept both cats and dogs and valued them enough to take them along into the afterlife. Dog mummies have been found from as early as the sixth century B.C. and in Peru, a burial place dating back to 900 A.D. holds individual plots for both dogs and their owners. The evidence is strong that dogs have played an important role in men’s lives for a very long time. EVIDENCE OF DOGS AS SERVICE ANIMALS When, though, did dogs first begin to help those with disabilities? One of the first known references to service dogs is found in Ancient Rome. Frescoes depict blind men being led by dogs and Ancient Chinese scrolls talk of the same. In America, one of the first well-known seeing eye dogs made history in 1928. Buddy and his blind owner, Morris Frank, publicly demonstrated how his dog could guide the visually impaired by having him navigate a busy New York intersection. Since then, guide dogs have been publicly accepted and sought for those with vision problems. THE MODERN SERVICE DOG It wasn’t until the 1960’s that service dogs for those other than the blind began to be trained and recognized. For the hearing impaired, dogs could signal a crying baby, a telephone, or the sound of sirens. 16

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As time went on, dogs became companions for autistic children and soldiers suffering PTSD. Today, a service dog can be trained for all manner of tasks. • Recognizing the onset of seizures. • Notification of blood sugar issues. • Stability and many others. But, the role of the modern service dog wasn’t really defined until the American with Disabilities Act of 1990. That particular law was written to prohibit discrimination based on disabilities, but it also defined the rights of service dogs. The ADA defines service dogs (or animals) as being TRAINED to perform tasks for a person with disabilities. They are not just companions, though they also fill that role. Service dogs are caregivers, nurses, and assistants. SERVICE DOG LAWS Today, the role of “service dog” has broadened to the point that new laws are required. Whereas it was once understood, that a service dog was trained to execute a specific task, people will now try to take untrained animals into public access areas. These dogs are often for emotional support as opposed to being trained to perform physical tasks. For those who have invested time and money in their trained? service dogs, this can present a source of frustration. HOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TRAINED SERVICE DOGS For anyone wanting more information on how to acquire a trained service dog or how you can train your own dog to become one, please feel free to contact us. White Mountain College for Pets (603) 536-4219 www.collegeforpets.com office@collegeforpets.com

Homeland Magazine Presents

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER Tribute to Service - Working Dogs “Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong.�

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FREE ASSISTANCE DOGS FOR VETERANS Our assistance dogs master more than 40 commands to assist veterans with disabilities with daily tasks. DONATE. APPLY. VOLUNTEER. cci.org/veterans info@cci.org 800.572.BARK

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Home Music Studio & A Service Dog: How One Veteran Overcomes COVID-19 By K9s For Warriors Since COVID-19 crashed the country and disrupted Army veteran Don Zuzula’s own health, his home music studio has become a haven - not only for him, but for his PTSD service dog, Harbaugh. Don was paired with Harbaugh in 2017 by the national nonprofit K9s For Warriors. After their three-week training at the organization’s headquarters in Florida, the new team returned to Don’s home and family in Michigan. The battle buddies had been doing very well in the time since, increasing their bond to help relieve Don’s PTSD and anxiety. However, the pandemic hit Don hard at home. He found out in April that he tested positive for coronavirus. That could have easily sent him spiraling back down into the dark depths of PTSD. Service dogs are trained to help veterans do the exact opposite of what Don was now forced to do to protect his physical well-being: isolate and social distance.


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“I had what was considered a mild case, but even a mild case was miserable. Forty-five days after I was sick, I was still having a hard time breathing. I couldn’t walk up the stairs the whole way. I had to stop halfway because I struggled to breath.” Don turned to some of his deepest loves to cope with COVID-19 and the heightened feelings of anxiety brought on by the situation: music, and Harbaugh. Don and his brother began a challenge together: write a song a day while he was quarantined. He spent days and nights in his home music studio, set up with guitars, a keyboard, a drum kit and production gear. What became Don’s comfort space also became Harbaugh’s. The music studio turned into the shelterturned-service dog’s favorite hangout, where he now keeps his bed, toys, and lovingly keeps an eye on his veteran Don as they both adapt to the ongoing pandemic.

“Harbaugh was the most instrumental in helping me recover from COVID-19. He always gave moral support. Every time I get sick, he just lays in bed with me and doesn’t move. He just stays with me. And he still helps with PTSD and anxiety. He really did help me with recovery.”

“He has a great amount of concern for how I’m feeling. If I go to a room, he goes to that room. I don’t have to strap him to me for him to go wherever I go. It’s just where he wants to be. I like that he’s there with me.” Don knows that his relationship with Harbaugh isn’t one way; he also has a responsibility to help Harbaugh despite social isolation. He made a point of finding ways to get them both outside to maintain Harbaugh’s training and own well-being.

K9s For Warriors, the organization that paired Don & Harbaugh, is the nation’s largest provider of service dogs for disabled American veterans. The three-week program is run at the nonprofit’s Northeast Florida headquarters, which has served veterans from all over the nation. Due to safety regulations imposed since COVID-19, K9s For Warriors is currently only holding classes for veterans from Florida and the surrounding states.

“I’m really thinking about how unfair it is to him. He hates not working. He becomes insufferable and waits for me to walk towards the door. That’s been the hardest thing with things being closed down and not going to restaurants. We miss out on a lot of training opportunities. Now I’m making a conscious effort to go out so I can maintain training.”

Nevertheless, any interested veteran nationwide is still encouraged to apply if they are diagnosed with PTSD, TBI or MST and desire a service dog to help heal from military-related trauma.

To maintain that training, Don takes Harbaugh on walks daily and runs errands safely with him. But it’s not all just for Harbaugh; these daily activities also help keep Don’s PTSD at bay and not let isolation eat away at him. It’s a reciprocal relationship.

K9s For Warriors is proud to provide its program free to all veterans. The average cost of a service dog is around $30,000. Through the support of generous individual and corporate donors, K9s For Warriors is able to maintain its services that rescue dogs from shelters and transform them into lifesaving service canines.

Altogether, Don composed 50 songs in 50 days. He credits Harbaugh with getting him through the illness as well as the ongoing tough times.

If interested in donating, or for other ways to give to the nonprofit, please visit: www.k9sforwarriors.org/ways-give-k9s-warriors

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Assistant Care Members of the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing and 108th Wing, pet Cole, a therapy dog at the Vineland Veterans Memorial Home in Vinewood, N.J., May 22, 2020. Cole is deployed to the home to assist staff in caring for the residents during the COVID-19 crisis. Courtesy of DOD - Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Cristina J. Allen, New Jersey Air National Guard 24

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Dozing Dog Marine Corps Cpl. Carlos Deleonsantiago rests with his military working dog, Fero, at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Feb. 16, 2020, during Marine AirGround Task Force Warfighting Exercise. The exercise focuses on the tactical application of combined-arms maneuver, offensive and defensive operations during combat. Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Cedar Barnes

Canine Cuddle Air Force Airman 1st Class Ashland Busman spends time with Benji, a therapy dog, during a visit to a COVID-19 testing center manned by the Illinois National Guard in East St. Louis, Ill., May 19, 2020. Photo By: Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Ken Stephens

Therapy Dog Army Spc. John Ward, a behavioral health technician assigned to the 405th Field Hospital, introduces a service member to Mila, a therapy dog used as a stress reliever for service members at the Javits New York Medical Station in New York City, April 17, 2020. In support of the Defense Department’s COVID-19 response, U.S. Northern Command, through Army North, is supporting the Federal Emergency Managemen Agency to help communities in need.


Photo By: Navy Chief Petty Officer Barry Riley

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- Dogs Are Our Greatest Teachers My name is Lance Weir and I have received three service dogs from Canine Companions for Independence®. Sharing my story over the past few years has become a big part of my life. A story of tragedy and triumph and the 26 years that fit in-between. On August 7, 1993 I was 21 years old, a Marine Reservist, and had just months earlier joined my college football program in hopes of making the team as a walk on. The outdoors, adventure, adrenaline and physical exertion is what I needed; it’s what I felt I was made for. On August 8, after leaning into a river headfirst to retrieve a ball cap, I struck a rock which resulted in paralysis not only in my legs but most of my arms. Instantaneously I lost everything that mattered at the time. Depression started immediately and ultimately lead to years of addiction and thoughts of suicide. Thankfully I was able to win those battles and ultimately found the life I had always dreamed of. I feel so blessed and so thankful on most days that I truly feel like the luckiest guy on earth. You may be asking how? Because of a dog. In 2004 I received my first service dog, a black Lab/ Golden cross named Satine. When I arrived on the Canine Companions for Independence campus, I had no idea what to expect. My expectations on anything had grown low and who was to prove to me that this would be any different. What I was hoping for was the chance to regain a small piece of my independence back. Asking for help over the simplest things like picking up a remote, a phone or a piece of paper had demoralized me. Not only did Satine give me back some of that independence, she would ultimately give me a second chance at life. I know I would not be here today if it were not for Satine. The responsibility I felt for her gave me hope on the spot, and before Satine and I had even graduated I knew that I wanted to be a part of what “we” were experiencing and vowed to myself I would come back. In an instant my life had flipped. I began to say yes instead of no. I began to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. In two years, I would finally finish college and move from Arkansas to California to work for Canine Companions. Expectations were met and then some. Because of that experience 16 years ago, not only am I alive, but I have been lucky enough to do the things I had once thought were lost and even do new things. New experiences like working with my second service dog Auggie, a black Lab that pushed me for eight and a half years to keep up with him. 26

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Having Auggie by my side resulted in many awesome personal accomplishments, like riding the coast of California eight years in a row; becoming the first tandem hand-cycle to enter an Ironman; first challenged athlete to finish the 508 – a 508-mile bicycle race in 48 hours; and back-to-back gold medals for the Marine Corps in the Warrior Games. To this day, anyone who met Auggie from his service years of 2011 to 2019 says he is the gold standard for service dogs. Thank you again to Canine Companions for giving me the gift of Auggie. Today I am matched with Elijah, a yellow Lab/Golden cross who is the smartest dog I’ve ever been around and one I can’t wait to continue to learn from. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from incredible people along my journey but none more than the three service dogs I’ve had the privilege to spend the past 16 years with. They have been my greatest teachers. And this is how I feel like the luckiest guy on the earth. What’s incredible about Canine Companions for Independence is that my story is just one of thousands. Every day Canine Companions changes and saves lives and saves families. They have the ability to make profound changes in individuals’ lives and families that get the chance to experience the bond between a human and a dog bred and trained to serve. Thank you for taking the time to read a little bit of my story. You can learn more about how you can help make more stories like mine happen at www.cci.org.

Lance & Elijah

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HELEN WOODWARD ANIMAL CENTER Provides Heart to Community and our U.S. Military Throughout the PANDEMIC!

In the past several months, news updates on the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic reveal disturbing trends, socially, politically, and economically. The world is in crisis and dealing with more questions than answers. For this reason, it comes as no surprise to those involved in animal welfare that orphan pet adoptions are on the rise. Helen Woodward Animal Center has always sung the praises of our furry friends. The Center’s mission, which promotes “people helping animals,” reminds the community that “animals helping people” is an important and equal component to the success of its many programs. The jump in adoption numbers over the last year may have much to do with a need to bring more joy, heart, and comfort into the homes of families quarantined and individuals suffering from socialdistancing. Nowhere is this need more evident than in the homes of our dedicated military families where pandemic concerns have been added to the ongoing stress of coping with a military spouse, parent, or child away on leave. While shelters across the country have been forced to close due to limited staff and funding, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s adoption department remains open to the community seeking to secure a new furry friend to lighten the challenging days ahead. The health and safety of the Center’s staff, animals, and adopters is top priority and the adoption process has undergone some noticeable changes. Adoptions are now by appointment only with much of the beginning legwork and interviews done via computer and phone. Adoption appointments last one hour, and potential adopters meet with one adoption staff member wearing proper PPE and are allowed to meet with up to three orphan pets. 28

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“It’s been really wonderful,” stated Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoption Services Manager Dora Dahlke. “Over 75% of our appointments result in a happy adoption. This is compared to last year at just over 40%. I definitely believe that the wait time to get an appointment tends to weed out anyone who doesn’t have their whole heart set on adoption. The families willing to wait are the lucky ones who get the unconditional love and dedication a pet can bring into a home.” In addition to orphan pet adoptions, Helen Woodward Animal Center boasts 13 additional programs celebrating the human animal bond. The Center is proud to report that four of these programs assist the heroic men and women of the U.S. Military. These programs include Pet Encounter Therapy serving 60-70 veterans monthly (at the VA Hospital and the Hawthorne Center), utilizing therapeutic animals to help lower blood pressure, even breathing, improve memory and lift the spirits of wounded soldiers. Helen Woodward Animal Center also assists the military through its AniMeals program, thanks to a partnership with the natural pet food company Blue Buffalo, providing pet food to wounded military clients with service dogs through the Recovery Care Coordinator Office (RCC) and the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), and ASPIRE Center, located in Old Town, ensuring that food cost will not be a factor in keeping these beloved friends by the sides of the soldiers who depend on them. Helen Woodward’s Companion Animal Hospital’s Military Fund also supports our military by offering free services and deep discounts to Active Duty Enlisted Military E-1 to E-7 or Disabled Military and their immediate family members including: One free wellness exam; Free vaccinations; and Free spay and neuter procedures for up to two pets in the household per 12-month period. Additionally, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Pets Without Walls program is assisting Cammie for Canines to provide spay/neuter surgeries, vaccines, wellness checks, and basic medical care, along with food and supplies to the special dogs who will one day become companions to military veterans.

For more information on adoption or any of these programs, please contact Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoptions Department at: 858-756-4117 ext. 313, visit www.animalcenter.org or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

“Dog Days’ of Summer” Why is this time of year, approximately forty days from early July to early September, referred to as the ‘Dog Days’ of Summer?

Sometimes myths are just myths. Handed down from generation to generation, but the real origination of this time of year being dubbed Dog Days, is based on a partial myth also.

Many people believe the phrase “dog days of summer” stems from the fact that dogs tend to be a bit on the lazy side during the hottest days of summer. Of course, who can blame them? With that much fur, dogs that exercise during the hot days of summer can overheat easily.

The term Dog Days was coined in ancient Rome, and was named after the star Sirius, the Dog Star, which is the brightest star besides the sun. It was thought that due to the rising and setting of Sirius around the same time of the sun each day at this time of year, that Sirius added its heat to the sun’s heat, thereby making the days hotter. Hence the term Dog Days.

We have all heard the myths about Dog Days, most of which focus around our canine friends, which is why the old folks say this time of year is called the Dog Days. Some of the myths are:

Our modern day usage of the term has little to do with Sirius or his alleged wrath. We use the term Dog Days to refer to anything that is slow, lazy or languishing.

Hunting dogs will not hunt, dogs go mad and foam at the mouth for no apparent reason, snakes go blind and strike at anything that comes near them, (dogs in particular), no use in going fishing because the fish will not bite, wounds and sores will not heal, if it rains on the first day of Dog Days, it will rain every day for the next 40 days, or the opposite-if it does not rain on the first day of Dog Days then it will not rain for 40 days, and the list of myths goes on.

I think the best way to appease the the wrath of Sirius is to gather up my canine friends and go stagnate on the couch in front of the air-conditioning or hit the beach and enjoy the cool ocean breeze.

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By Amber Robinson

Homeland Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with Executive Producer Lisa Hennessy “World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji” and Retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans. (A member of Team Unbroken - USA) HOMELAND: For those who may not be familiar with the World’s Greatest Race: Eco Challenge Fiji, can you tell us more about it? Lisa Hennessy: World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji is the ultimate expedition race and has raised the bar to new heights for non-scripted television. Filmed last fall in Fiji, the series is a battle to the finish for 66 international teams totaling 330 athletes all competing in the world’s most physically demanding expedition race. This is the largest number of teams ever to compete in this race. They will have to overcome their greatest challenges and biggest obstacles on the upcoming television revival. Every team of adventure athletes raced non-stop, 24 hours a day, across 417 miles of rugged backcountry terrain while navigating through torrential downpours, scorching temperatures, and treacherous mountains which stands between all those competing and the finish line.


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Each race team is made up of four competitors and has at least one member of the opposite sex. The teams must have one assistant crew member that is of any gender and there is one captain per team. All competitors are at least 18-years-old or the legal age of adulthood in the country in which they reside. The teams will race under a single country flag while making their way through some of the most impenetrable terrain Fiji has to offer. Throughout the series bodies and minds are broken by the grueling conditions of the race called for heart, determination and endurance from the athletes. Teams had to train to become proficient in and pass assessment tests in mountaineering, horseback riding, sea kayaking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, camel riding, canyoneering and more. The race will encompass a variety of forms of nonmotorized forms of transportation including outrigger paddling, mountain biking, rappelling, climbing, whitewater rafting, pack rafting and paddle boarding. The first Eco-Challenge premiered on April 25, 1995 in southern Utah and lasted eleven days. It was held each subsequent year running through 2002 in different locations including Australia, Morocco, Patagonia, Borneo, Canada and New Zealand.

HOMELAND: How were the competitors chosen?

“ The teams faced a multitude of technically challenging disciplines over some of the most rugged and unforgiving terrain in the world.

Lisa Hennessy: Teams submitted themselves via a Competitor Registration Form and recorded a 5 to 10-minute video as a way to introduce themselves and explain why they wanted to be a part of the competition. HOMELAND: What challenges and obstacles do the teams face? Lisa Hennessy: The teams faced a multitude of technically challenging disciplines over some of the most rugged and unforgiving terrain in the world. The Difficult terrain challenged every athlete during a biking leg of the race, recent torrential rains and heavy trail traffic, transforming the red volcanic clay trail into a muddy red muck. This was especially grueling for the athletes who were sometimes forced to carry their bikes on their backs - up steep, slippery mountains in 95-degree humid weather. There was unforecasted tropical storms that affected navigation, and successful navigation is crucial, the slightest miscalculation can send teams miles in the wrong direction through dense jungle in harsh weather conditions HOMELAND: WOW, that sounds dangerous, scary, exciting and AWESOME! As a disabled veteran, I’m curious about Team Unbroken. Can you tell me about The Wounded Warriors of Team Unbroken? Lisa Hennessy: Team Unbroken is a team of veterans and civilians who are racing to remind themselves, and others that you may be wounded, but you remain unbroken. Two combat veterans in Team Unbroken are Keith Mitchell Knoop and Gretchen Evans. Gretchen Evans served 27 years in the United States Army. She is a Bronze Star recipient along with many other medals, awards, and decorations. She was wounded while serving in Afghanistan in 2006. Overcoming severe injuries, she is an advocate for veterans of all eras.

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Homeland was lucky enough to ask Gretchen Evans a few questions about the competition and her message to disabled warriors. HOMELAND: Gretchen, how did your military training and experience help you prepare for this race? Gretchen: My military training and experiences were incredibly helpful in preparation for the race. In the military, we emphasize the importance of working as a team where each person knows how to perform all necessary tasks to complete the mission. HOMELAND: Veterans working through combat disabilities, wounds, and internal struggles can be a difficult road. What if any advice would you have for them about moving forward and maintaining an unbroken spirit?

Gretchen: Working through disabilities, wounds and internal struggles is a difficult road for most Veterans. We are accustomed to being vibrant, healthy, strong, motivated individuals and when something happens to shake that sure foundation, it is life altering. When these circumstances arise, I recommend, and have learned through my journey, that it is best to not allow your wounds or disabilities define you as a person. Whomever you were before you got hurt or incurred a trauma that changed your life, you are still that person. You may look different and feel different, but you are that same courageous person. The very same person who stood up and raised your right hand and pledged your allegiance and life to your country. That person who committed her/his life to protect, defend, and care for those with whom you served, while answering the call at any cost whether foreign or domestic to defend the rights of all. I have found that it takes a great deal of grit, determination, and practice to remember that my core worth is still the same. Without this discipline, it is far too easy to lose sight of who we are after a traumatic event that leaves you changed. HOMELAND: Where did your unbroken spirit come from, and what should we all remember about overcoming obstacles? Gretchen: My unbroken spirit came from life experiences, my family, friends and my military battle buddies who never let me quit and always believed in me even when I could not believe in myself. They stood shoulder to shoulder with me and still do as I continue to live out my life of purpose. It also came from deep inside me. I knew that I could not dwell in any self-loathing or pity, but instead must fight each day, staying positive, looking for the good in everything. I could not become stagnate. Everyday gives you the opportunity to be a spectator or a participant. I choose the later, it is more fun and awarding. There were so many times in the military when the odds were not in our favor and we looked each other in the eye knowing we had but one choice; to continue the mission with all that was within us as there was really no other choice. Some believe that only certain people have courage. I believe everyone has courage they just need an opportunity to demonstrate that courage. It is within you. There will always be obstacles in life for everyone. Face them with confidence, ask for help, work on your personal mantra in which you continually tell yourself that you can and will succeed


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I have to send out a big high five to Gretchen, Team Unbroken and Amazon Prime Video for bringing widespread representation to those with disabilities, especially veterans. Then I’ve got to send out another high five to Gretchen especially, not only as a fellow woman and disabled veteran, and as a fellow Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) combat veteran, but as one who was in Afghanistan at the same time as she (my first tour was in 2006). Therefore, I already feel we are connected on many levels.

in navigating the obstacle knowing you will have the opportunity to rise again and again. Like President Teddy Rooseveltstated: “Get in the arena.” Celebrate every small accomplishment, don’t worry about setbacks, stay on your path, encourage others to join you, have your team in place, take care of each other, reach, reach, reach, and reach again until you grasp what you are attempting to obtain. Care deeply for yourself and others. Be kind. Remain UNBROKEN!

But, so many of Gretchen’s words here resonate with me as well, from the standpoint of a disabled veteran. In the service we are trained to be physically strong and dispel weakness. When I became disabled, I all of a sudden could not do what had defined me in the service. In 2015 I collapsed from adrenal insufficiency and was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease and Fibromyalgia. My time in service had burned out my adrenals. I went from combat-tough Army soldier to having to rest going up the flight of the stairs to my apartment. It was hard to not judge myself, and see myself as weak. Over time, though, I learned that I could be strong in a different way. Now, I know that I, too, am unbroken. I’m rooting hard for Team Unbroken and I can’t wait to see Gretchen and her team members show us what determination in the face of adversity truly looks like. Best of luck and thanks for the inspiration! Team UNBROKEN

World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji will premiere on Prime Video on August 14th 2020

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A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain, LCSW

Compassion Fatigue

A few months ago, in the beginning of our global pandemic, I was reassigned to work at the local convention center. The convention center became home to over 1000 of San Diego’s local homeless population. Sadly, many of our homeless were also experiencing severe mental illness and at time substance use disorders. Once you spend time with many of the clients you quickly see many have additionally experience trauma. For some, that trauma began at a young age and followed them into adulthood. In the early days I felt energized to do the work. I felt like I was truly doing amazing work and helping people get their lives back on track and address their challenges. Over time…. several months and many long days….I heard hundreds of stories and truly felt empathy for those that were in our care. It didn’t take too long for the signs of compassion fatigue to set in. By early July I knew it was time to take a step back for me.


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I am lucky, I saw the warning signs and practice regular self-care. I was able to do a mini staycation (with appropriate social distancing). This was the little reset I needed. This along with regular breaks, prayer, exercise and self-care have truly helped me and in turn helped me be able to help others. Compassion fatigue is a condition characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others. It is often referred to as secondary traumatic stress and be seen as the negative cost of caring. Compassion Fatigue can occur when working with individuals suffering from the consequences of traumatic events. This many time can be seen in those that work as care givers, therapists, or other helping professions. Compassion Fatigue is different than burnout. Burnout if the cumulative process involving emotional exhaustion and withdrawal associated with increased workload or other stressors- NOT trauma related.

Compassion Fatigue is more rapid onset and in contrast burnout emerges over time. Compassion Fatigue has a faster recovery and can be more easily managed if caught early. So what are the symptoms and how do I know if I am developing Compassion Fatigue? • Sleep disturbance. • Emotional intensity increases. • Cognitive ability decreases Impaired judgement. • Behavior changes. • Isolation. • Depression. • Loss of self-worth. • Loss of hope and meaning -existential despair Anger toward perpetrators or causal events. Tips for Managing Compassion Fatigue



Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not always allow the affected to seek help. Lend a hand and provide them with methods of help, listen and be a friend.

Understand that the pain you feel is normal. Exercise and eat properly. Get enough sleep. Find someone to talk to Take some time off.

Homeland Magazine works with nonprofit veteran organizations that help more than 1 million veterans in life-changing ways each year.

Don’t: Blame others. Ignore the warning signs. Self-medicate. Neglect your own needs and interests. Neglect Self Care.


Prevention • Talk out your stress- process your thoughts and reactions with someone else (coworker, therapist, clergy, friend, family, supervisor) • Build a positive support system that supports you, not fuels your stress • Practice excellent self-care • Nurture yourself by putting activities in your schedule that are sources of pleasure • Allow yourself to take breaks/ time off • Get professional help when needed to get back on track- we all need help at times

Support. Inspiration. At Homneland Magazine you can visit our website for all current and past articles relating to PTSD, symptoms, resources and real stories of inspiration.

I used to think I was invincible to Compassion Fatigue. I thought I have great boundaries and I am really good at compartmentalizing….mean I leave work at work. Well, that doesn’t always happen, and Compassion Fatigue can happen to anyone.

Resources & Articles available at: www.HomelandMagazine.com


Practice self-care!! Help yourself before you can help others! Stay safe!

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One of the most important—but often forgotten— tasks for caregivers is caring for themselves. A caregiver’s physical, emotional, and mental health is vital to the well-being of those in need of care. To be a good caregiver, you must be good to yourself.

Self-care for the Caregiver

So often as caregivers, we are running so hard, putting ourselves last, and not realizing we are burnt out until we fall ill. Or, we know we’re overwhelmed, but we accept it without question.



HOMELAND / June 2015


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Ask these questions to start:

What happens when the caregiver is down for the count - the wheels have a tendency to come off, don’t they? Make a promise to yourself to CheckIn at least weekly. Better yet, do the same with a trusted caregiver or friend as an “accountability partner” so you don’t neglect to consider your own health.

· Am I eating well? Skipping meals, snacking too much? · Do I laugh each day? Red flag if you don’t find something amusing each day, even if you don’t laugh out loud. How many times do we text LOL, but not DO it? · Am I drinking enough water? Do I exist on coffee and soda instead? · Do I spend quiet time, reflective time, prayer, or meditation each day? · Am I sleeping well or enough? · Do I get exercise each day? · Do I interact with others each day? Inperson is preferable, but at least by phone or zoom to hear a voice or online if all else fails. If you’re aware that you’re not checking in, or struggling when you do, we urge you to talk to someone professionally. Seek community resources such as Southern Caregiver Resource Center (www.caregivercenter.org) or Courage To Call (www.courage2call.org)

Life is so precious and perhaps you cannot change your situation, but you can change aspects of taking care of you. Caregivers are the heartbeat of the family, and make the active choice to care for you.


HOMELAND / June 2015 3

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not always allow the affected to seek help. Lend a hand and provide them with methods of help, listen and be a friend.


Homeland Magazine works with nonprofit veteran organizations that help more than 1 million veterans in life-changing ways each year.




Support. Inspiration.


At Homeland Magazine you can visit our website for all current and past articles relating to PTSD, symptoms, resources and real stories of inspiration.

Resources & Articles available at:



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I had a complete meltdown with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder). I thought I was losing my mind. I’d never been out of control before, and it was hard to admit I needed help, but I wanted my old self back. I’ve gotten that and more. I’m strong. I’m healthy. I have tools, I have knowledge, and I have strength and courage to deal with it. I’m doing just fine. RON WHITCOMB SGT US ARMY 1968 - 1969 SQUAD LEADER, VIETNAM




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PTSD COACH PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. More than half of individuals experience at least one trauma in their lives. The National Center for PTSD offers FREE, confidential mobile apps that provide help, education, and support related to mental health.

Download PTSD Coach to:

Learn about PTSD and available treatments Track your PTSD symptoms over time Practice relaxation, mindfulness, and other stress-management exercises Grow your support network Access crisis resources


PTSD Coach is not meant to replace professional care.

Search “PTSD Coach�

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Veterans Chamber of Commerce By Joseph Molina www.vccsd.org


There are a lot of health care services that are being provided by the VA here in the U.S. to help veterans and their families. With the VA’s health care, veterans are open to a lot of options that range from medical to non-medical services, but for the sake of this article the main focus will be on the non-medical side of health taking a more nontraditional approach on what is available and the potential benefits. We work hard to ensure that our veterans have access to different types of care, as it is just one way to honor our heroes. We have gladly seen an increase in other non traditional forms of treatment to help veterans increase their quality of life and help them enjoy a higher level of civilian life.


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When Getting Help is Needed In this article we will be presenting various nonmedical programs (programs that do not require the traditional medical approach). Some of these products or services have been approved by the VA while others remain “on hold”. Stress Management and Diabetes Diabetes is a very serious disease and should not be taken lightly. People with this disease are advised to handle it with care on a daily basis as it can lead to other complications in the body. Some researchers in the VA came to together to develop a program called MIND-STRIDE. This is a stress management program designed by researchers at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System to assist veterans in reducing stress.

This program consists of home practice and mindfulness. This has proven to be an effective way of helping veterans heal and has been approved by the VA.

The goal is to teach individuals to use smart devices as cognitive prosthetics. This program is offered at no cost to Veterans though the Veterans Chamber.

Veterans and Yoga Yoga is another non-medical treatment that has been approved by the VA. As we all know, yoga is a relaxation exercise that can help both the mind and body gain more control with relaxation techniques. It is viewed as a key player in helping veterans connect and manage potential stressful situations.

PTSD and the Outdoors/Agriculture It is not a VA approved program, but time spent in the outdoors provides the sense of relaxation and openness where one feels less restricted. Programs that offer retreats or working at the farm may be good choices to consider. Retreats and Camps Retreats and camps have been developed over the years to give veterans yet another option. These retreats tend to implement one or a few of the options mentioned. Some may do Yoga and Horseback or Camping and Music. These retreats could offer a great opportunity to find one or more ways to deal with PTSD.

Music Therapy Another effective non-medical treatment is music therapy. Music therapy programs could be a powerful tool to help someone suffering with PTSD and/or other stress related issues. It can be very useful in the treatment of PTSD which is also related to traumatic brain injury (TBI). The idea of using therapy started when people saw how the music made a great impact on the lives of veterans after World War II. In the world today, music therapy is a very popular treatment method that is applied across the world.

In Summary: These non-traditional options are just a few, and I am certain that others will be gaining approval overtime. It is critical to mention that regardless of the approach, a mentor and or support group should be included with the option. Having someone to talk to, bounce ideas off of and be able to freely express challenges we are encountering is critical.

Equine Therapy The approach of developing a connection with a horse and or horseback riding has shown to have a positive impact. In a report from the National Library of Medicine concluded that “Therapy Horseback Riding may be a clinically effective intervention for alleviating PTSD in military veterans”. It doesn’t take much research to find many supporting articles on the positive benefits of horseback riding.

I would strongly recommend becoming involved in a peer to peer group.

Dog Companionship One article posted by Psychology Today states that veterans with service dogs in the home had a more positive impact on the life of the veteran by lessening their anxiety and improving their sleep patterns. It is again a constant reminder that there are many options, programs and or services that could have a positive impact. It is also important to point out that not all programs work the same or have the same results on every person using it. Each of us must try different options to find the one that works best for us and it is equally important to clarify that a program may have a lifespan and may not give us the same response all the time.

The Veterans Chamber of Commerce Radio Show • Would you like to recognize a Hero in your Community? Let us know and we will announce it on the show. • Would you like to share your story? Be our guest on the show. Visit our REQUEST FORM (https://www.vccsd.org/radioshow.html) just fill it out and send it to us.

BEST BEST (Brain, Education, Strategies and technology) provides tools and building blocks to help manage and navigate day-to-day hurdles. BEST is a program that present practical apps, strategies, and training to help brain injury survivors and other groups dealing with executive function and self-regulation challenges.

If you have any ideas or project that you would like to see developed by the Veterans Chamber send your idea to: veteransccsd@gmail.com

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Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans By Amber Robinson

Veteran Artist Spotlight: Luz Helena Stacey Thompson

This month I wanted to continue our Veteran Artist Spotlight series with Marine veteran, artist, surfer, poet and vet advocate Luz Helena Stacey Thompson. Thompson lives in Oceanside as a single mother of three (four if you count her chocolate lab service dog, Reef) who has used the power of art and the ocean to help her heal from wounds she sustained while in service. Thompson joined the service in 1998 at the age of 17 as part of Traffic Management Operations. Originally shooting to join the Army, a Marine recruiter challenged her, asking “What? You don’t think you can be a Marine?”. Thompson decided to prove that she could step up to that challenge and signed herself over to the United States Marine Corps. After her basic training and individual schooling for her job, Thompson was stationed in Okinawa, Japan in 1999. She says she remembers the day she got there because she showed up to base in a skirt and pink tank top and felt proud to be a woman Marine when she arrived. “I was very proud to know I was a STRONG woman, I was a MARINE, yet know I was still feminine,” said Thompson. She soon found out what it could mean to be a woman in the Marines. As soon as she arrived to her unit, she started to face sexual harassment, where the ratio was one woman to 60 men. “I was blindsided,” said Thompson. The harassment progressed and Thompson eventually became the victim of Military Sexual Trauma. Although not one to usually go out, she made the decision to take a chance one night and have a little fun. That night she was drugged by her immediate supervisor and assaulted. Thompson tried to report the assault, but experienced a common occurrence after sexual assault is reported in the service, retaliation from her command and peers. “I reported it,” said Thompson. “But the more I pushed for things to be done, the more repercussions came to me professionally and personally. I was basically blacklisted.” 44

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Unfortunately, her perpetrator never had to stand trial. He was released from service and was able to return to the United States with no mark on his personal record of his crime. Thompson then called a Congressman to seek further justice. She received dramatic retaliation for that by being removed from service with an Other Than Honorable Discharge, which barred her from receiving any veterans’ benefits once separated from the Marines. Sixteen years later, after years of litigation with the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs, Thompson finally received 100% service-connected disability and can receive care from the VA and other veterans benefits. As part of her healing, Thompson has since poured herself into her art, creating pieces for herself, art buyers and her community. “I spent 16 years in silence about what happened to me in Okinawa,” said Thompson. “Art allowed me to go into the dark places of my mind and heal from the inside out without having to say a word.” Thompson started her art journey in 2011 after her grandmother died. My artwork began in 2011 after the passing of my grandmother, Irene, who was also an artist,” she said. “I could not express the depth of pain it caused losing her and I turned to artwork as a way to ease the pain and feel connected to her.”

Then Thompson created with paint, charcoal and graphite. Now her work has become more industrial. She is now a glass mosaic artist and specializes in large scale mosaics. She is also a muralist and has painted a number of community murals in Southern California. She also does smaller scale work. “I also paint with acrylics and watercolor and I make coastal themed jewelry,” said Thompson. “I have lately fallen in love with woodworking and building custom tables for my mosaic artwork. Thompson credits art with being a major part of her healing, but also credits her love of surfing, her children and her service dog, Reef. “My service dog Reef, or “Reefer”, helps me stay balanced and stable throughout the day,” said Thompson. “He is so in tune with me and my emotional state that oftentimes he knows what I need before I do!” As a single mom, her kids keep her on her toes and each have their own creative or athletic outlets inspired by Mom. Her son, also her oldest, plays guitar; her teenage daughter is a wrestler and surfs as often her mom and her smallest loves to work in the studio with her, learning about glass mosaic and more. Although surfing, she says, is the main thing that keeps her balanced and motivated. She surfs 4 to 5 times a week and has even been linking up with and working with other women veterans who are interested in surfing. Thompson’s life now is much better than the years she suffered in silence after her malicious discharge from service. Now, she says she seeks to be “salt and light” to everyone that she meets, crediting the energy of art and creativity as one of her biggest self-building blocks.

“(My trauma) affected every avenue of my life for over a decade,” said Thompson. “Art (writing and visual) has been a way for me to learn to trust myself again and my instincts. It taught me how to love myself for the courage it takes to confront that which is difficult, extremely intimate and private and use my story of recovery to help others.” Thompson is also co-founder of Veterans Recovery Program, a program that helps survivors of Military Sexual Trauma. To learn more go to www.VeteransRecoveryProject.org. To check out Thompson’s art, go to www.ImageryArtworks.com

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WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby

THE POWER OF ONE In June of this year the Department of Labor announced that we were at an 8.8% veteran unemployment rate, down from 9.1% in May. This positive trend is promising and it is our goal to drive that number to zero!

PREPARATION IS KEY! What I have learned after all these years as a Human Resources professional is that it only takes one person to “like” you for you to get hired. You never know when you will meet that person, or where, so you need to be prepared. Here are things I did to prepare:

I was introduced to Greg Von der linden and was inspired by his accomplishments and his message to those in transition. I asked him to put his thoughts in writing to share with you. These tips will help you get hired.

· Re-read my evaluations – What did people say about me? I wrote down the adjectives and statements they used to describe me. I looked for consistency in the comments. These were my strengths.

Separating From Military Service

· Take the Strong Interest Inventory – It will help you learn about your interests and how people with similar interests are employed. You learn what jobs you may or may not be a fit for.

You have made the decision to transition. Congratulations! You have just taken your first steps towards your new life. I made that same decision 27 years ago.

1. Thank you for your service. Your knowledge, skill and experience will serve you well in the future. You will never regret your service, the experiences you had, and most of all the relationships you forged.

· Take the 16 PF (Personality Factors) –This is a very powerful tool. I use it when I hire my direct reports. The 16PF tells me “how you are wired” (my words) and details how you do with Problem Solving, Stress, Interpersonal Interactions, Work Setting Preferences, and even suggests Career Activity Interests. I highly recommend you take this as the results for me were frighteningly accurate.

2. You will be ok. There is life after the military and it’s a good life. Civilian work is different from military service, but you will adapt and it will feel normal in short order.

· Review common interview questions. I had to buy a book to get them. Now you can just search “top interview questions” and easily find them.

Before I share my separation story, I want to tell you three things:

3. You will get hired. Searching for a civilian job is overwhelming, but here is the good news: It only takes one person to “like” you! Your job now is to find that one person and convince them that you can solve their problem. In 1993, I made the decision to resign my commission as a Lieutenant in the US Navy. I enjoyed my time in the Navy and performed very well and I was ready to do something different. I resigned my commission and found my first civilian job. 22 years later I achieved the top of my profession when I was hired as the Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for Opus Bank. I share my story as a Navy veteran and HR professional in hopes that it helps you as you with your journey to civilian life. 46

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Dave Grundies

I made flash cards for about 20 of them and crafted my responses to highlight my strengths, and demilitarized examples from my military service. · Prepared my resume. I recommend “ The Damn Good Resume Guide” by Yana Parker. First impressions matter! You will get about 5 seconds of any recruiter’s time as they review your resume so make them count.

If they do, reach back into your stories and find an example to overcome the objection. If you can’t overcome the objection, can you give an example of how you had to “figure it out” and were still able to get results. 3. It only takes one person to like you for you to get offered a job. That’s the truth. You must convince that one person that you have what they need to solve their problem. Remember, hiring managers interview candidates to solve a problem they have.

Become an expert in YOU! Ask yourself: What are the 3-5 things you want people to know about you? Then, Perfect your story to sell yourself, both verbally and in your resume. Your story needs to be refined, crisp and impactful.

4. Practice makes perfect. Every interview is a chance to practice your pitch. Every NO gets you one step closer to YES. I have applied for jobs that I was not interested in to get an interview so I could practice. Think Offensively about the interview (have a plan to execute) versus Defensively (what are they going to ask me??). That subtle mindset shift will translate nervousness into confidence.

Execute your plan! Interviewing for me was nerve wracking when I was in your place. The thought of a stranger asking you hard questions can be overwhelming. It does not have to be that way. I would suggest four thoughts to change your mindset to achieve better results.

Enjoy the Ride! Transitioning from military life to civilian life takes effort, but anything worth doing requires effort. I believe that if you create your plan, prepare, and then execute your plan, you too will be successful. Additionally, the plan, prepare, execute model is in itself the first step towards civilian life as it forces you to move away from the structure and direction of military life to your civilian life.

1. Have a plan and execute it. During my own transition, I came across a relevant quote from Zig Zig Ziglar that has stuck with me. “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”

Enjoy the journey. Thank you Greg for sharing your experience and helping us drive that veteran unemployment rate to zero, one hire at a time.

If you have done the work above, expect to WIN! By the way, you will be surprised by how few interviewers are prepared to interview you. Use that to your advantage.


2. Every question is an opportunity to tell your story. Don’t leave that room until the interviewer knows the 3-5 things you want them to know about you. At the end, ask if they have any concerns about your ability to do the job.

Happy reading and as always, if you need help with your career transition, connect with Eve on LinkedIn. www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-0050452/

Transitioning out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce? Finding a job in the civilian world may seem easy at first. After all, you have learned skills, practiced leadership and demonstrated initiative that will make you successful wherever you go. The reality, though, is that it can be difficult. In fact, it can be down right depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned. This column is dedicated to you and to helping you succeed in your transition. For advice, tips and programs you can read Eve’s monthly column at: www.homelandmagazine.com

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EXPERT books from HR expert PAUL FALCONE

Pick up any of these book by Paul Falcone from your favorite retailer or at HarperCollinsLeadership.com www.hcleadershipessentials.com

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20 Business Ideas for Pet Lovers Yes, you really are seeing more

dogs everywhere. According to United States Pet Population and Ownership Trends Report 2017, dog ownership is up 29% in the last 10 years. Families increasingly have more than one dog or cat. It’s the wild west when it comes to pet-centric businesses. Last year pet owners spent more on their furry friends than they did on alcohol, handing over at least $450 each. This means opportunity for small business!

Here Are A Few Unusual Ideas for Your Own Pet-Centric Business 1. Doggie Boot Camp One-third to one-half of all pets are overweight. If you enjoy being active, start a dog running or workout program. Why isn’t there a dog gym anywhere? For dog owners who want their pets to get a bit more exercise, you can take them for runs regularly. Add a coaching routine for pet parents who need support to slim down Fido. 2. Doggie Day Care Operator Aside from just needing someone to watch their animals while they’re traveling, some pet owners just want somewhere for their pets to go on a more regular basis. You can open a doggie day care to serve that need. 3. Organic Treat Maker More and more, pet owners are concerning themselves with the ingredients of their pet food and treats. By baking and selling organic treats for pets, you can gain the attention of pet owners who are concerned about things like health and the environment. 4. Pet Photographer Make a deal with a mom and pop pet shop to set up a little photo studio, charge and share the profits. 50

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5. Dog Whisperer Pet owners who are dealing with a particularly difficult dog may be interested in the services of a dog whisperer. If you specialize in dog behavior, you may be able to help some of those dogs and dog owners get to the root of those issues. 6. YouTube Training Expert If you don’t want to share your knowledge or expertise about pet training or behavior with clients in person, you could start a YouTube channel to inform pet owners about different methods. Monetize it with advertising. 7. Pet Travel Service Provider When people travel or move with their pets, it can be a stressful experience. If you have a method of transportation or even just some tips to share with pet owners, you can offer a service that helps pet owners transport their pets. 8. Unique Pet Store Owner Not everyone wants to shop in the big box stores. All over the country small pet boutiques that feature unusual outfits, collars, toys, and treats are popping up. The exceptional Muttropolis in La Jolla, California is a great example. https://www.muttropolis.com/ 9. Pet Bakery Owner Whether you make your own dog treats or just want to source them from other bakers, opening a bakery that specializes in pet food and treats can be a lucrative business. 10. Custom Pet Portrait Artist For pet lovers with artistic talent, you can offer your services as a custom portrait artist. Customers can send you photos of their pets or tell you about their breed, then you can draw or paint their animal for a fee.

17. Animal Toy Maker Most pet owners purchase some kind of toys for their animals to play with. If you like sewing or fabricating small toy type items, you could sell them as dog or cat toys.

11. Custom Collar Designer You can add designs, colors or even personalized details to pet collars or leashes and sell them at stores, events or on-line. 12. Pet Jewelry Designer High end bejeweled and beaded necklaces for snooty fur babies are all the rage in certain circles. If you’re into beading, let your talent go to the dogs (and kitties too).

18. Homemade Pet Food Creator Make your own brand of dog or cat food and sell it to local pet stores, restaurants or even on your own website. People are more health conscious and want the same for kitty.

13. Pet Clothing Designer People go nuts for funny, weird or holiday-themed outfits for their pets. Use your creative talents to design and sew clothing items for dogs, cats, and other animals. Halloween and Christmas are boom times.

19. Yard Cleaner Anyone with a dog knows the difficulty of cleaning up after them — particularly when it comes to the yard. That means that a lot of customers are willing to pay for someone to come to their yard and provide pooper scooper services.

14. Bed/Housing Designer Some pet owners even purchase large beds, pillows, playhouses or other furniture for their animals to use. Woodworkers or builders create fancy dog houses and sell them to pet owners or stores. Don’t forget to include little staircases to get Tippy up on the bed.

20. Helping to Say Goodbye An astonishing 700 funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries in the nation cater primarily to pets, according to a 2012 estimate from Businessweek. Pet parents gave their pet the best care in life, and they want to do the same in death. They want a safe place for visitation without shame. They know it’s not ‘just a dog.” There is actually an association called Pet Loss Professional Alliance -

15 At-Home Boarding Service Provider Some pet owners might feel more comfortable leaving their pets in a real home when they travel. There have even been some websites and other services that have opened up in the last few years that connect pet owners with people who will care for them in their homes.

www.iccfa.com/membership/plpa/ Whatever you choose to do, do it with passion and excitement. Owning a business is not only to make money, it’s to give you freedom and independence. If you make it about pets, it’s sure to be fun as well.

16. Animal Blogger If you love sharing photos of your pets or tips with other pet owners, you could consider starting a blog about your pet adventures or expertise, and then monetize it with advertisers.

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 one-onone mentoring at www.veteransinbiz.com.

* Feel free to email Vicki with column ideas at veteransinbiz@gmail.com

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / AUGUST 2020


legal Eagle Straight-forward legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners By Kelly Bagla, Esq.

Trademarks are used to distinguish goods and services from those of their competitors. Consistent use helps customers know a product or service comes from a single company. Marks also help customers trust that the quality will be the same as the last time they made a purchase. Infringement occurs when someone else uses your mark or a similar mark and there is a likelihood of confusion among consumers as to the source of the goods or services. Infringement is hard to prove if you are not using your trademark consistently enough for consumers to be familiar with it. BEST PRACTICES TO PROTECT YOUR TRADEMARK You trademark is your valuable intellectual property and you can, and should, protect it. Here are several best practices you should follow:

USE IT OR LOSE IT! Ferrari is notoriously protective of anything and

everything that bears even a remote connection to the Ferrari brand and has, along the years, earned a reputation for being quick to fire cease and desists and even lawsuits against anyone who dares infringe their trademark. Ferrari has held the trademark for the shape of the 250 GTO, aka the most iconic Ferrari of all time and one of the most expensive cars in the world. The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO originally cost $18,000 when they were new. In 2018 a 250 GTO sold privately for $70 million dollars. Ferrari lost its European Union trademark for the 250 GTO for nonuse. It is not enough to just register your trademark. You must use it or lose it. To maintain trademark rights, your trademark must be continuously used in commerce. The mark must appear prominently and consistently on labels or packages of goods and on all marketing materials for services. 52

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Use your trademark continuously and consistently This means you should always use the same capitalization, font, and colors as well as the same punctuation and spacing every time. Be consistent in your use of recognized trademark symbols There are three recognized trademark symbols: ÂŽ, TM, SM. You may only use the ÂŽ symbol after you have received a trademark registration from the USPTO. Before you receive a registration, you can use TM or SM to let the public know you are claiming a common law right to the mark. The TM symbol stands for trademark and should be used for marks that represent goods. The SM symbol stands for service mark and should be used for marks that represent services. Create branding guidelines Your company may have many employees who use your trademark on a regular basis. This can cause inconsistent use of anything from color to attribution. You can help prevent this by creating brand guidelines that detail exactly what is required every time your trademark is uses.

Register your trademark Your trademark could be worth millions someday, just take a look at Mercedes Bens, Rolex or Apple. These trademarks are priceless and recognized around the world. Registering your mark with the UDPTO could be one of the best decisions you can make for your brand.

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Disclaimer: This information is made available by Bagla Law Firm, APC for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.




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www. HomelandMagazine.com Voted 2017, 2018 & 2019 BEST resource, support media for veterans, military families & military personnel.

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- Publishing Date – The 1st of each month. - Space Reservation Deadline – Mid Month. - Drop deadlines vary with confirmation and month (Call for monthly details) * Please note themes & additional features are added closer to issue publication date.

INSIDE THE ISSUES * Editorial Content “Every Month” Includes the following: • Monthly Featured Articles Resources, support, inspiration and human interest articles from contributing veteran organizations throughout the country. • Homeland Columns (Award Winning) Transition, financial, legal, health, veteran life, arts, military families, Plus - guest industry & advocate writers & more...

Join Us Homeland Magazine Voted 2017, 2018 & 2019 BEST resource, support magazine for veterans, transitioning military personnel, active military, military families & veteran organizations

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• Hot Topics - Military personnel & veterans in transition, educational resources & opportunities, civilian jobs, jobs for vets, careers in law enforcement, veteran entrepreneurship, healthcare & more... • HEALTH CARE Fighting PTSD, healthcare, mental health, research studies & more... • Monthly Calendar Information Military & national holidays, Including events (airshow, military/veteran film festivals, fleet Week, city job fairs, EDU seminars,workshops and more... • National community endorsements & advocates, supporting businesses, veteran & military organizations, U.S. service organizations & agencies, educational institutions, transitioning offices, City military & veteran offices, and much more... - (858) 275-4281 - www.HomelandMagazine.com

2020 Editorial Calendar & Themes • JANUARY

Veterans Life 2020 Military, Veterans and Families 2020 Health 2020


Adaptive Sports Transition / Education Military Spouse & Family


Women’s History Month Brain Injury Awareness Month Month of the Military Caregiver


Month of the Military Child Transition - Health - Service


Memorial Day Issue National Military Appreciation Month


PTSD Awareness Month Mental Health Programs - Clinics

Editorial Additions July - Dec 2020 * Starting July 2020 - Added focus on education,

transition & financial security for active military and veterans to combat the challenge of transitioning due to the effects of COVID-19


Summer Issue Purple Heart Day Tribute To Service Dogs Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship - Healthcare


“Never Forget” 9/11 Gold Star Mother’s Day National Suicide Prevention Month Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship - Healthcare


Breast Cancer Awareness Month Transition Assistance Programs Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship - Healthcare

• NOVEMBER - (Premier Issue) VETERANS DAY ISSUE Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship - Healthcare



Independence Day Disabled Veterans

Holiday Issue / BEST of 2020 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Wreaths Across America

Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship - Healthcare

Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship -Healthcare

Colonel Robert Thacker

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