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Resources Support Inspiration

Best of 2016

Vol. 3 Number 12 • December 2016

The Legacy of Service • Bringing Life to Adaptive Athletes Stories Beneath the Skin • A Soldier’s Christmas Best of 2016 - Inside the issues

HOMELAND / December 2016 1


HOMELAND / December 2016

Research Opportunities

VETERANS: WE NEED YOU VA San Diego Healthcare System and Veterans Medical Research Foundation are looking for participants for human subject research studies on Veterans health issues. Findings will help provide better treatments for Veterans and the general population. • We are one of the largest VA research programs in the nation • We employ the most advanced research technologies • We employ some of the best, talented and world renowned researchers in the country • We conduct approximately 400 human subject studies annually

Sign up for a research study TODAY!  

Some studies provide medical care and/or reimbursement for participation.

Check out our current list of research opportunities.

Visit: www.sandiego.va.gov/studies.asp and www.vmrf.org/studies.html

HOMELAND / December 2016 3



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 Linda Kreter Vesta Anderson Wounded Warrior Project Sara Wacker National Veterans Transition Services M. Todd Hunter Steven Wilson Disabled American Veterans Jenni Riley R4 Alliance World T.E.A.M Sports Eva M. Stimson Shelter to Soldier Jaime Smith Boot Campaign Operation Homefront Scott McGaugh CYT San Diego Public Relations CJ Machado Thomas McBrien Graphic Design Trevor Watson

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.

Homeland Magazine 9528 Miramar Road, Suite 41 San Diego, CA 92126

With warmest thanks, Mike Miller, Publisher

858.275-4281 Contact Homeland Magazine at: info@homelandmagazine.com


HOMELAND / December 2016



inside this issue 6 The Legacy of Service



8 Righting History - 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack 10

10 Stories Beneath the Skin 14 “Shop For a Cause” - Helps Veterans and Rescue Dogs 16 R4 Alliance Member Highlight - World T.E.A.M Sports 18 Enlisted To Entrepreneur 22 A Soldier’s Christmas 24 The Tradition Continues 30 Reboot Workshop - Helping Vets Transition to Civilian Life



Best of 2016 Inside The Issues


HOMELAND / December 2016 5

When the Laws Fall Silent; The Legacy of Service in Uniform By Scott McGaugh

The 442d Regimental Combat Team


hroughout our history, when Americans have been attacked or felt threatened, fear and vengeance sometimes have ruled. On more than one occasion an entire ethnic group of native-born Americans has been branded a threat.  Entire communities have been forcibly unrooted without due process in a passion first captured by Cicero when he wrote, “In times of war, the laws fall silent.”   In this century, 9/11 and more recent jihadistinspired domestic violence have spawned speculative calls for databases of Muslim Americans, mosque closures, and broad banishment of ethnic immigrants of similar faith.  These draconian cries for action are hardly precedent-setting.   In the past, America’s retribution against ethnic groups lasted years and sometimes it has become part of our culture.  When Native Americans were viewed as a threat to white settlement and expansion, tens of thousands were forcibly moved onto more than 300 reservations.  

The attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941 led to unparalleled fear and anger directed at thousands of our neighbors who were our classmates, who ran restaurants, and who grew our food—simply because they were Japanese Americans. President Franklin

President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the removal of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast in 1942 solely because of their ethnicity. There was no due process.  No formal charges. 


HOMELAND / December 2016

Roosevelt ordered the removal of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans from the West


Coast in 1942 solely because of their ethnicity. There was no due process.  No formal charges.  Families were given only a few weeks’ notice to sell their businesses, homes, personal belongings, and even family heirlooms.  “Japantowns” from San Diego to Seattle were gutted within a few months. Indeed, Cicero proved prescient when our Japanese American neighbors were sent to internment camps in some of the same desolate regions that had become home to Native Americans.  It was euphemistically called “relocation” and “evacuation” at the time.  But the reality was far different.  Most endured about two years in a prison-camp environment  of barracks as families lived in a single room.  They were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by armed soldiers, weapons turned inward.    A year later, President Roosevelt authorized the segregated Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team and asked their sons to volunteer for an army commanded by white officers and possibly die for their country in Europe and the Pacific.  Remarkably, 10,000 volunteers from Hawaii stepped forward.  Together with about 1,500 volunteers from the internment camps and draftees, army recruiters were overwhelmed by the response.   The 442nd suffered horrendous casualties on questionable missions as it compiled a remarkable war record.  Ultimately the Japanese American 442nd became the most-decorated unit of its size in World War II.  One of its battalions, the 100th from Hawaii, brutally earned the moniker “Purple Heart Battalion.”  The 442nd ultimately earned more than 18,000 awards for valor, more than one for every man.  (Yet Japanese Americans were denied Medals of Honor until President Clinton issued 21 in 2000.  Only seven were alive to receive them personally.)   They returned home after the war and some suffered continuing hatred from their neighbors. Yet they endured and rebuilt their lives as parents, teachers, merchants, church leaders, and mechanics.  Even though they had been treated as a faceless, homogenous, and undefined internal threat against America, for the most part they suffered silently as they rose above America’s fear and vengeance.   Today their legacy sounds a cautionary note against partisan political talk of Muslim American databases; muddled policy statements about Muslim Americans abroad; and the dangers of American mosques.  Today’s sweeping characterizations of Muslim Americans are a dangerous echo  of America’s treatment of Japanese Americans nearly 75 years ago when Oregon governor Walter Pierce stated, “Their [Japanese American] ideals, their racial characteristics, social customs, and their way of life are such that they cannot be assimilated into American communities.  They will always remain a people apart, a cause of friction and resentment, and a possible peril to our national safety.”   His statement sounds eerily familiar today.  It is a sentiment that sullies the American spirit and one that should be stifled against the backdrop of our history when thoughtful discussions about national security take place in today’s America.    Scott McGaugh is the founding marketing director of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, a bestselling historian, and author of Honor Before Glory, the true story of the 442nd’s seven-day battle to successfully rescue a battalion of 275 American soldiers surrounded by Germans in 1944.)


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HOMELAND / December 2016 7

Righting history DAV marks 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack By Steven Wilson


or more than 60 years, DAV life member Will Lehner knew his ship, the USS Ward, fired the nation’s initial rounds in World War II, sinking an enemy submarine a full hour before the first Japanese bombs hit Pearl Harbor, but it took six decades before the ship and its crew received the recognition they deserved. At 6:30 a.m. during the sleepy Sunday of Dec. 7, 1941, the Ward’s crew sighted a submarine periscope operating in restricted waters. “So we looked around, and all of a sudden we see the conning tower come up out of the water,” Lehner said. “But we didn’t know it was a Japanese sub; we didn’t know what it was. Then finally the whole thing was up, and we were only about 50 yards from it.” The Ward’s captain, Lt. Cmdr. William Outerbridge, gave the order to fire. “They fired the No. 1 gun, which was up on the bow, and I watched the sub. [The shot] went right over the conning tower and splashed right behind it.” Then the second shot was fired. “I saw it when it hit the conning tower at the lower part of it,” said Lehner. “The shell hit, and when it hit the sub rolled over and came back again and started going down. “Well, that was an hour and fifteen minutes before the [Japanese] planes ever came over.” The Ward’s captain made radio reports to higher headquarters, but the reports were largely dismissed; the enemy vessel was never accounted for. “When I went to school after I got out of the service, I told different guys that we had sunk a submarine,” Lehner said of the fateful encounter.


HOMELAND / December 2016

DAV life member Will Lehner shows his Adapt, Improvise and Overcome Award presented by the VA in 2016 for being an “inspirational model for other patients and for healthcare providers.” Lehner was a sailor on the USS Ward, which fired the opening salvos of the United States entering World War II.

At the time, his story was discounted. But in August 2002, Lehner and fellow sailors of the USS Ward were vindicated, all beginning with a phone call from a researcher with the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL). “I talked to Terry Kerby [from HURL],” said Lehner. “He called me and says, ‘I think I found that one that you sunk. It’s got a hole just where you said. I’m pretty sure it’s that one. It’s laying on a little sand dune down there. You can get a good shot of it.’” Kerby asked if the former sailor would like to join him at 1,200 feet below sea level to get a look at the submarine. Lehner jumped at the chance and was soon with Kerby in a small research submersible on the ocean floor, about five miles from the mouth of Pearl Harbor, face to face with his old foe after more than six decades. For more than three hours, Lehner snapped pictures of the Type A Ko-hyoteki submarine that began World War II for the United States, remembering how he heard doubters remark that there was no proof his


Far left: The USS Ward (DD-139)—photographed Feb. 26, 1919, shortly after its commission as a destroyer—fired the first American shots at Pearl Harbor. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Naval Historical Center) Left: Will Lehner while he was still in the Navy.

The VA estimates there will be as few as 257,000 World War II veterans by 2020. —DAV National Commander Dave Riley

ship engaged an enemy vessel. “Everyone said we didn’t sink it, but we did,” he said. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Ward was retrofitted as a high-speed transport. Lehner and the crew of the Ward became part of the task force responsible for troop landings in the South Pacific, where kamikaze attacks by Japanese planes were common. “What they liked to do is come in on the fantail on the stern, and they’d skid along the top of the ships if they could and kill as many people on deck as they could first and then slam into the ship and then that would explode the gasoline,” Lehner said. It was such a kamikaze attack that eventually led to the scuttling of the Ward on Dec. 7, 1944, three years to the day after it first engaged the enemy at the mouth of Pearl Harbor. “Three of them came down on us,” Lehner said. “I was first loader on No. 4 gun, which was on the aft part of the ship. We were firing and we knocked down two of them, but the third one got through.” Lehner and his shipmates abandoned ship and made their way to other friendly vessels before the destroyer USS O’Brien—coincidentally commanded by the Ward’s former captain, William Outerbridge—scuttled the damaged Ward. Lehner was discharged and treated for the psychological wounds of war. After returning home from his military service, he experienced some of the


same issues that have always affected some veterans. “I didn’t talk about any of my experiences to my kids or to my wife for about 20 years,” Lehner said. “I had [post-traumatic stress disorder]. To me, I was just holding it in and just wanted to forget about it.” But then a unique opportunity presented itself when he discovered his own children didn’t know anything about Pearl Harbor. He began speaking at schools and museums. “Will, sharing his story for over 60 years, has helped correct the historical record,” said Department of Wisconsin Commander John Polk. “He was present at a critical juncture in our nation’s history, and his perspective on the Pearl Harbor attack is nothing short of a national treasure.” “The VA estimates there will be as few as 257,000 World War II veterans by 2020,” said DAV National Commander Dave Riley. “DAV will never forget Will and his fellow veterans of what we rightly call our nation’s ‘Greatest Generation.’” Lehner will never again have to convince doubters, or history, of how the Pearl Harbor attack actually unfolded. “I’ve got pictures,” he said. “I’ve got proof now.” n

Learn More Online To see and hear Will Lehner discuss Pearl Harbor, visit dav.org/learn-more/news/2016/ pearl-harbor-75-years.

HOMELAND / December 2016 9

Stories Beneath Wounded Warrior Project Peer Support Mentor,

Artist Co-Found Ink Therapy Project, Duo Promotes Healing Through Stories Beneath the Skin

“Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past.” – Jack London


rmy veteran Derrick Brooks was looking for an additional way to reach out to his fellow warriors. During his two years as a peer support group leader for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), Derrick has worked hard to connect with others dealing with the visible and invisible wounds of war – to assure them they are not alone and to guide them toward helpful WWP resources on their paths to recovery. But he struggles with coordinating schedules and setting meeting places with the injured veterans residing in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. “Nights never seem to work out for anybody,” the former infantryman said. “A lot of the warriors are busy doing night classes and other things. So then comes the question of ‘How else can I reach them?’” Derrick was still mulling that question over at Rochester Tattoo, where at the recommendation of his wife he booked an appointment with local artist Misty Chastain. As she inked the countenance of Scottish hero William Wallace onto his skin, Derrick noticed


HOMELAND / December 2016


the Skin

several things about Misty – she was soft-spoken, her touch was light, and she was incredibly kind. “Being that most of us injured veterans hurt all the time, it was nice to escape,” Derrick said. “When you do this, your mind sort of goes away from all the other pain.” Ink therapy: It is the unofficial term for the zen-like state some people attain while in the chair of a tattoo artist. And as a friendship began to grow between the warrior and the artist, so did the idea for a unique way to reach wounded warriors in the area – and hopefully parts beyond. Finding a Calling While Misty has been tattooing for the past five years, she has been an artist her entire life. She knew she would lean heavily on her creative side when it came time to choose her career path, but there was another element of her disposition she felt could not be denied.

a rainbow of inks – her sword and shield – she could bring those stories to the surface. With that, Derrick and Misty founded the Warrior Ink Project. Each Sunday, Misty opens her shop to a single veteran for a three-hour session. The warriors never pay for the work, at least not with money. Stories are the currency at Warrior Ink Project. Veterans share their personal struggles and triumphs. Derrick lends a sympathetic ear and a bevy of shared experiences. And because stories are invaluably enriched when there are illustrations, Misty provides visual elements the veterans can enjoy forever. “Most of the stories are forward-thinking,” Derrick said. “We want them to be able to look back on this happily, and we want them to leave with a very positive experience.” Rage No More Hector R. Matascastillo is a man who has worn many hats. For nearly two decades, he served the country as a U.S. Army Ranger. He has spent the past several years advocating veterans’ rights and helping injured warriors through his career as a social worker. He is both a wounded warrior and a volunteer for WWP, much like Derrick. When Hector learned of the project Derrick had organized with Misty, he was excited. It was a chance for him to close a particularly dark chapter in his eventful life.

“I’ve always been compassionate toward people,” she said. “I’ve always known that I wanted to help people. I just couldn’t figure out where I fit in.” She believes everything happens for a reason, which is why she feels it was more than just a random whim that brought Derrick and his wife to her shop. As their friendship blossomed, Misty began to learn quite a bit about Derrick, especially about his service to the United States. It was a trait shared with the man who has always been a hero in Misty’s eyes – her grandfather. “He fought in Vietnam and had exposure to Agent Orange, so he’s had health problems ever since,” she said. “Grandpa’s still alive and kicking though, and he and my grandmother have done so much for me growing up.” Knowing about Derrick’s work as a WWP peer support group leader, Misty was moved to offer assistance. “He’s always there for his fellow veterans when they’re struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other issues,” she said. “He goes through those things himself, but he tries to be there for everyone else. I asked him how I could help.” Derrick identified many of his brothers and sisters in arms could benefit from a few hours of ink therapy. He felt the gift of a tattoo would be a perfect way to bring wounded veterans into his healing circle – and he could provide whatever they needed to adjust to a life outside of war, even if it was just a shoulder to cry on. Misty recognized some stories are carried within because they are too hard to articulate. She also knew that with her trusty machine and


HOMELAND / December 2016 11

“Back in 2000, I was in the crux of my angry days,” Hector said. At the root of that anger was a series of hazardous missions to hot zones in the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Kosovo. The visions of humanity at its worst seared his memory, plaguing him with nightmares. He would awaken to a different pain – a battle scar on his back that he said felt like it was always bleeding. When a friend and fellow Ranger veteran showed him an article about amputees using ink therapy to deal with ghost limb issues, he readily agreed to give it a try. Soon his back was emblazoned with large, Old English letters spelling out a single primal sentiment: RAGE. “Mine wasn’t any ordinary rage,” Hector said. “It was how I felt and how I behaved. And after the twin towers went down, that rage increased. Somehow, this tattoo became an open doorway to every demon that wanted a place to stay.” With his PTSD at a critical point, Hector endured failed marriages – including one in 2004 that ended with a flashbackinduced standoff with police that nearly cost him his life. Gradually, he turned things around. He became a therapist and a family man. And while he was working to improve what he carried on the inside, his own skin betrayed him. It was a constant reminder of the man he no longer wished to be. Hector reached out to Derrick and received an almost immediate response, and soon he was making the hour-and-ahalf drive to Rochester. “I walked into the tattoo parlor, where I saw the humble giant who is Derrick with the mighty ink warrior, Misty,” he said. “She may be small at first glance, but she grows into a titan as the minutes pass while getting to know her.” Hector knew he didn’t want a cover-up. His was a past that could not be hidden – it was better to show that from a seed of grief and anger grew a plant of hope and perseverance. With “the touch of an angel doing God’s work,” Misty added six new letters to his body to form a new message: COURAGEOUS. The reveal, Hector said, was fraught with emotion. “I flashed back to hundreds of events where my rage destroyed, hurt, and left others in its wake,” he said. “I turned to Misty and saw in her face a deep understanding of what she had done. In case anyone is wondering, some angels are inked. The hard ones – who have been there with us and know that this is the place where most angels fear to tread – are inked.” The transformation goes beyond mere symbolism, and Hector feels that Derrick and Misty have helped his journey continue in a positive direction. “There is no more bleeding out from scars – I feel calm,” Hector said. “I feel my past has now caught up to me and it was met with a courageous soul that can heal the beaten up and tired part.”


HOMELAND / December 2016


Misty said her motivation at the start of this new project was to honor her grandfather – a man who hates tattoos. “But he entirely supports me doing this,” she said. “He is truly proud of me for this, and that really means a lot. It’s not really complicated – we’re just trying to help the best way we can.” Derrick is thankful he’s found a way to build on the assistance he provides to wounded warriors through WWP’s peer support group. Peer support plays an important role in the recovery process as injured veterans rely upon each other’s learned experiences when managing day-to-day challenges. All WWP programs and services have an aspect of this support structure, while the Peer Support program is solely dedicated to ensuring every injured veteran, family member, and caregiver encourages one another in recovery, thus embodying the WWP logo of one warrior carrying another off the battlefield. Derrick has shifted from needing to be carried to now lifting up others through their difficult times. Drawing the Way Ahead Since the recent inception of the Warrior Ink Project, Derrick said the inbox of the Facebook page has been flooded with interested parties. “I get requests every day, and at this point I could literally keep Misty booked for years,” he said. “At first I started working with WWP wounded warriors, but I’ve had other veterans reaching out to me. I find out they’re struggling and don’t even know about the resources out there to help them – and I can help provide them with that.”

“Most warriors want to feel loved and welcomed and that they’re a part of something,” Derrick said. “Working with these first participants has set a precedent for the veterans I’m booking who aren’t really involved with much but need somebody to bring them out of the cold. They can see these stories, see that they’re not alone and that we genuinely care.”

The team scans the requests together, with Derrick fielding the veteran-related inquiries and Misty handling the tattoo-related questions. Everything in tandem – that is the key to their newfound success. “Derrick shows up every Sunday with me,” Misty said. “That makes the veterans feel comfortable to share their stories. Derrick knows what to say, what questions to ask. I don’t think any of this would have been possible without him. And he’d say the same about me.” The relationship between Derrick, Misty, and the veterans they help is a symbiotic one. Derrick has another source for finding and assisting his fellow wounded warriors. Participants leave Rochester Tattoo with a piece of art they can carry on their skin. And Misty receives a sense of completion. “I’ve always felt unappreciated as an artist,” she said. “It’s not that I’m expecting anything out of this, but I have felt more appreciated in the past month than I ever have in my entire life. I feel like this is my purpose. It is definitely something that is going to stick around.”

About Wounded Warrior Project The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The WWP purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To learn more about WWP and Warrior Care Network™, visit woundedwarriorproject.org. (Photos courtesy WWP) www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / December 2016 13

Shelter to Soldier Launches “Shop for a Cause” Online Store to Help Veterans and Rescue Dogs By Eva M. Stimson ‘Tis the season! Shelter to Soldier has launched their online store, “Shop for a Cause”, featuring logo apparel and gifts, from which 100% of all net proceeds will benefit this non-profit organization. Just in time for the festive holiday shopping season, a 10% discount will be offered on all website purchases by entering coupon code “holidays” when checking out. The online promotion will take place during the month of December and up to January 2, 2017. Shelter to Soldier is a non-profit organization that adopts dogs from shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other injuries associated with combat service experiences.

Every 69 minutes a US veteran commits suicide and every day, 3200 dogs are euthanized nationwide. “Saving Lives, Two at a Time”, Shelter to Soldier adopts dogs from rescues and helps save veterans from the perils of mental injury associated with traumatic combat experiences. The healing impact that a highly trained service dog provides for psychological treatment

Shelter to Soldier has partnered with Pet Mall America, a US veteran-owned company that was founded in 2007 and whose mission is to provide pet owners and their pets with quality products with a unique educational experience. According to Shelter to Soldier Founder Graham Bloem, “Pet Mall America was the perfect fit for our new online store…this partnership will save Shelter to Soldier a large investment to set up a custom e-commerce website and they have already demonstrated their desire to give back with a percentage of existing merchandise sales on their website currently being donated to our charitable organization. We’re excited to be launching our store during the holiday season for everyone to take part in giving back with each and every purchase.” The online store includes Shelter to Soldier logo sportswear for both ladies and gentleman (t-shirts, tank tops, and caps), as well as a variety of logo accessories and gifts (insulated beverage cups, magnets and window clings). Kyrie Bloem, Co-Founder of Shelter to Soldier explains, “It was so much fun to shoot photos of our products on the beach in San Diego, California with two of our graduated-veterans and their service dogs…the enthusiasm preparing for the launch of our logo apparel line was infectious and the bond between the veterans and their dogs was heartwarming. Knowing that each and every sale from our online store will help other veterans and rescue dogs in need, brought smiles to everyone’s faces!”

for US veterans improves their overall quality of life, personal relationships, confidence, and sense of security. Shelter to Soldier service dogs help US veterans integrate back into society and find their purpose, often for the first time since their military service.

Visit www.sheltertosoldier.org for additional information or to purchase items online. 14

HOMELAND / December 2016


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HOMELAND / December 2016 15

R4 Alliance Member Highlight

World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Face of America Brings Life to Adaptive Athletes Rachel Fredericks had lost all hope. Joining the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17 to serve her country, the Troy, New York native was appointed to a small Marine Aviation training support squadron following Basic Training. Stationed at eastern Mississippi’s Naval Auxiliary Air Station Meridian, Fredericks spent two years teaching young Marines when her life unexpectedly changed. While traversing an obstacle course, Fredericks took a horrific 20-foot fall. Hitting the ground hard, she fractured both hips and two vertebrae, tearing muscles and ligaments. Unconscious after hitting her head, the young Marine awoke to a new reality. At age 20, she found herself working hard in rehabilitation as she struggled to recover from her multiple surgeries. For nine months, her single goal was to return to active duty with the Marines, resuming her life ambition to serve her country. She was heartbroken when doctors advised her injuries would not allow her to do so. “I had no motivation or desire to do anything because of my new limiting factors,” Fredericks recalled. Returning to her home in upstate New York, Fredericks pursued a college education. In only three years, she was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in criminal justice. Despite her educational triumphs, she felt unable to pursue fulltime work owing to her physical disabilities and ongoing Post Traumatic Stress. “Before becoming disabled I loved to compete,” said Fredericks. “Thankfully, I now ride a hand cycle and am able to compete again.” New York non-profit Angel Bikes generously provided Fredericks with her own hand cycle that she learned to ride in non-competitive bicycling events. Hand cycles are specifically created for athletes who are unable to pedal with their legs. With the use of a hand crank, the athlete can propel the three-wheeled vehicle to surprisingly fast speeds. “It opened so many doors for me and made me feel alive again,” she said of her new hand cycle. Following participation in two non-profit veteran rides in New York State, a colleague told Fredericks about the Face of America from national non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports. Hosted each April, the two-day bicycle and hand cycle ride offers participating athletes a choice between two routes to Gettysburg, one from the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and the other from General


HOMELAND / December 2016

George Washington’s winter encampments at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Joining as a replacement rider in early March 2016, Fredericks was surprised to learn she had committed for a 110-mile ride in two days. “This made me very uneasy knowing I only had 30 days until the ride.” Accepting the challenge, Fredericks began a vigorous training program on local streets and highways in her hometown of Troy. By time she traveled to Arlington for Face of America, she felt ready to tackle the miles and ride alongside other injured veterans from all service branches. “I was shocked and amazed that I made the whole ride,” Fredericks recalled. “I never thought I would make it. I met a great group of veteran and civilian www.homelandmagazine.com

friends at Face of America, and they inspired me to keep going.” Fredericks notes that one bike marshal took particular interest in her well-being and provided personal assistance on many of the hills south of the Maryland/Pennsylvania state line. “Although we nearly died together, we made it together the whole way through!” Since the inaugural Face of America in 2000, World T.E.A.M. Sports’ most popular cycling event has attracted thousands of participants from across North America, Puerto Rico and western Europe. Originally created as a crosscountry bicycle ride that joined teams of adaptive athletes from the east and west coasts under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, the ride was redirected in 2002 and 2003 to serve as the official memorial ride for victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America. In these two years, nearly 2,000 athletes rode the three days from Ground Zero in New York to the Pentagon in Virginia. After a two year hiatus, Face of America was relaunched by the non-profit as an inclusive ride between Washington, D.C. and the historic Civil War battlefields of Gettysburg. Dedicated to honoring the sacrifices that military members have made in service to their country, the ride grew slowly at first, but by 2011 included more than 100 military veterans with disabilities. These veterans rode bicycles, hand cycles and recumbent bicycles with active duty servicemen and women, retired military and civilians. In 2016, the continued growth of participants encouraged World T.E.A.M. Sports to launch a second route, leading 120 miles west across southern Pennsylvania from Valley Forge. Both routes join together in downtown Gettysburg, with the combined riders cycling together through the historic battlefields to the ride ending at the All Star Expo Complex. Between the two routes, event organizers anticipate 800 or more participants will participate in the April 28-30, 2017 ride, including more than 180 injured and adaptive veterans from across the country.

As one of the larger non-competitive bicycle rides in the mid-Atlantic region, Face of America helps World T.E.A.M. Sports meet its mission of creating inclusive sporting events that bring together adaptive and able-bodied athletes. This active participation creates inspiration for all, and builds confidence and improved physical fitness for the adaptive athlete. “Hand cycling has changed my life and helped me find me again,” Fredericks said of her experience. “If anyone I meet has an interest in Face of America or any other adaptive sporting event with World T.E.A.M. Sports, I encourage them to go. It could be a life-changing experience, as it was for me.” In addition to Face of America, World T.E.A.M. Sports creates and manages events across North America, from the wilderness team experiences at Colorado’s Adventure Team Challenge to the Coastal Team Challenge, a sea kayaking adventure along southern Long Island’s coast. Past events include a World Ride in 1995, the Vietnam Challenge in 1998, two Sea to Shining

Sea cross-country bicycle rides, two climbs of Kilimanjaro and a successful climb of Nepal’s 20,075-foot Lobuche East in 2010. Chartered in 1993, World T.E.A.M. Sports is a member of the R4 Alliance, a growing consortium of 78 nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving the military family. Education, collaboration and shared research between these organizations help military veterans and their family members gain success and direction in their lives. For adaptive athletes like Fredericks, the positive experience of successfully completing a challenging outdoor sporting event can change an outlook on life. Despite losing hope when she left the military with an honorable medical discharge, Fredericks now looks forward to life and to helping others who have darkness in their lives. “Nothing will ever repay what World T.E.A.M. Sports has done for me and my overall health and wellness!” she exclaimed. .

About World T.E.A.M. Sports World T.E.A.M. Sports is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization chartered in North Carolina and headquartered in Holbrook, New York. Since its founding in 1993, World T.E.A.M. Sports has organized athletic events for disabled and able bodied citizens – mountain climbing, white water rafting, biking, and more. Four things always happen at our events: (1) Disabled participants build self-confidence and physical fitness; (2) The disabled provide a role model for other disabled citizens, encouraging them to take up physical activities; (3) The disabled become a moving inspiration to other participants and to spectators when they see that disabled individuals can meet challenges beyond anyone’s imagination; and (4) The disabled and able-bodied participants learn to work as a team to overcome those challenges. World T.E.A.M. Sports changes lives through sports www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / December 2016 17

So You Want to be an Entrepreneur?

A Workshop for Veterans and Military on entrepreneurial pathways.

2:30PM Case Study 1: Nathan Fletcher

12:30PM Welcome & Overview of the Day

3:00PM Break

1:00PM The Entrepreneurial Leader; Ken Blanchard, the Blanchard Companies

3:15PM Case Study 2: Eric Venn Watson

2:00PM So You Want to be an Entrepreneur? Greg Horowitt, UCSD Office of Innovation & Commercialization

4:45PM Q&A Roundtable

4:00PM Case Study 3: Colin Supko

5:30PM Networking and time with Professionals

12:30pm - 6:00pm Fuse Integration

1425 E St•San Diego•CA 92101



DEC 2016

RSVP https://ucsdinnovation_veterans.eventbrite.com

HOMELAND / December 2016



Get Out There and



ith the advent of the internet you’d think the “old-fashioned” effectiveness of business networking has been left in the dust. Not true! Face-to-face contact is, and always will be, the number one way to grow your business. I’m currently coaching a veteran entrepreneur who is highly skilled in what he does. But, he’s uncomfortable meeting new people. He has to get over this if he is to succeed. Shyness is a luxury an entrepreneur cannot afford. Visibility Builds Trust Often the most competent competitor doesn’t win. Ask 100 people what is the best burger in town, and many of them will say McDonald’s. Because

there is one on every corner, they are perceived as the best. They have visibility. Visibility builds trust. Hide behind your computer, and you will be the competitor who loses. Business groups will urge you to show up consistently. This is because they know that half the battle is being seen, becoming a familiar face and reintroducing your business over and over again. Networking gets easier the more you do it. You never know what you’ll find or who you will meet. Attracting new business, forging alliances, opening up opportunities...all are waiting for you if you will just get out there.

8 Networking Tips out your hand and say “Hi, I’m (your name). What do you do?

Instead, network with the people around the display tables.

2. Don’t sit with your friends. Sit with a table of strangers and converse with all of them.

5. Get to know the organization’s decision makers and power brokers. Be helpful to them.

8. Besides looking for customers, also look for people you might team with, or who could be good referral sources.

3. Once you find a promising organization, volunteer to help at the check in table where you will meet everyone who arrives.

6. Find out who determines the speakers. Your trustworthiness will grow rapidly if you speak.

4. Look for first timers. Walk up to them, stick

7. Don’t waste your money on display tables.

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Veteran Entrepreneurs Today & President of Marketing Impressions. Look for trusted advisors, or apply to be a B2B vendor for veteran entrepreneurs at www.veteranentrepreneurstoday.org.

1. Networking is not for making a sale on the spot. If you’re all about selling, people will avoid you.

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Veteran Entrepreneurs Today & President of Marketing Impressions. Look for trusted advisors, or apply to be a B2B vendor for veteran entrepreneurs at www.veteranentrepreneurstoday.org


HOMELAND / December 2016 19

communities built to support those who serve.

. 24/7 Maintenance . No Security Deposit . Gas & Water Included Roadside Assistance . Average Electrical Use Included . Intrusion Alarms

Free Family Events

Call 866-779-5434 or visit www.lincolnmilitary.com


HOMELAND / November December 2016

www.homelandmagazine.com www.homelandmagazine.com

www.homelandmagazine.com www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / November December 2016 21


This Page is Dedicated With Gratitude To All Of The Men, Women and Veterans Of Our Country’s Armed Forces.


HOMELAND / December 2016


‘Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone. I had come down the chimney with presents to give, and to see just who in this little house lived. As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see, no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. No Stockings by mantle, just boots filled with sand, on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands. With medals and badges, awards of all kinds, A sobering thought came through my mind. For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
The home of a soldier, I could now see clearly. The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone, curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home. The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder, not how I picture a United States Soldier.


Was this the hero of whom I’d just read? Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed? I realized the families that I saw this night, owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

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.

Soon round the world, the children would play, and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day. They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year, because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure, whispered, “Carry on Santa, It’s Christmas Day, all is secure.

I couldn’t help wondering how many lay alone, on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.

One look at my watch, and I knew he was right, Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a Good Night.

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

Wishing You a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Peace Love Joy Homeland Magazine

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice, “Santa don’t cry, for this life is my choice”. I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more, my life is my God, my country, my corps.”

HOMELAND / December 2016 23

The Tradition Continues

CYT San Diego is a local nonprofit organization best known for providing after-school theater arts training for students ages 4 to 18 in addition to quality family-friendly musical theater productions throughout San Diego County. It originated more than 35 years ago as part of CCT (Christian Community Theatre) and has continued to grow and is now located in 6 areas countywide with an annual enrollment of more than 2000 students. 24

HOMELAND / December 2016

In addition to CYT’s programming for children, CCT continues to provide musical theater entertainment the entire family can enjoy. The 23rd Annual production of “Traditions of Christmas” is generously sponsored by Blanchard, Krasner & French this year. This musical spectacular, patterned after Radio City Music Hall’s annual event, has become a holiday favorite and will have nine performances taking place at Lincoln Performing Arts Center between December 16th and 23rd, 2016. Audiences will www.homelandmagazine.com

experience the perfect collection of the sights and sounds of the holiday season and even get to sing along to holiday favorites like White Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! Traditions of Christmas has grown to be the biggest Christmas show in San Diego drawing over 250,000 patrons since it began. It is a musical journey through all the greatest Christmas songs and celebrations from around the world. Santa’s Workshop comes alive with dancing elves, Raggedy Ann dolls, and magical toys. The Rockettestyle tap dancing kickline will have you cheering in the aisles. You’ll even get to sing along to your holiday favorites like White Christmas and Santa Claus is Coming to Town! A touching highlight of each years show is the dazzling tribute to the United States military services. Every branch of the service gets a chance to stand and represent as their specific service songs are played and honored from the stage. In appreciation of our amazing military throughout the San Diego region. The celebration culminates with our most treasured tradition of all – a Living Nativity complete with live animals.


Returning this holiday season to the Lincoln Performing Arts Center, December 16th-23rd. Tickets and information at cytsandiego.org Please call the CCT box office at 619.588.0206 for military discount!

HOMELAND / December 2016 25



www.JOINSDPDNOW.com (619) 531.COPS 26

HOMELAND / December 2016


SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration® The moment you arrive at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration® you’ll feel a wave of holiday spirit splash over you. Christmas fills the air and the Skytower sparkles after dark.  Shamu® Christmas Miracles show brings the season to life beneath the stars in a way you have to see to believe. Celebrate the season with our dolphin and pilot whales in the Dolphin Island Christmas show, share a smile with a sea


lion in Clyde and Seamore›s Christmas Special and don’t miss the pet-stravaganza The Pets Rule Christmas show. The Christmas Village features Santa›s Cottage with the best interactive experience with the big guy himself. The village also features ongoing entertainment NEW delicious treats and the return of the 40› Happiest Dancing Christmas Tree. With everything from Santa to Shamu, SeaWorld›s Christmas Celebration is where holiday memories are made.

We Salute Our Veterans Free admission to SeaWorld® San Diego per veteran & up to 3 guests.*

Limited-time offer exclusively online at WavesofHonor.com

*ONLINE ONLY — tickets must be obtained in advance through the online registration process. Offer not available at the SeaWorld ticket windows. Ticket is non-transferrable, non-refundable and not for sale. Not valid with any other discounts, offers and has no upgrade value. Offer valid through 12/31/16. © 2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / December 2016 27


IT’S TIME WE RETURN THE FAVOR. After all you’ve done to protect our country, you deserve the best. So we’re giving the brave men and women of the military* the opportunity for big savings on top of all current incentives.* Like up to $1000 on select models. If you’re an Active or Reserve U.S. Military, U.S. Retired Military who completed at least 20 years of Active or Reserve duty, or a U.S. Veteran discharged from active service within the past year, Nissan’s Military Program is open to you and your spouse or partner. To get started, just print your Military Program Certificate, gather your proof of eligibility, and head to your local Nissan store today.*

Visit NissanUSA.com/military *Eligibility requirements apply: Eligible individuals include U.S. Active and Reserve Military, U.S. Military Veterans within 12 months of separation from Active or Reserve duty, U.S. Military Retirees that have completed at least 20 years of Active or Reserve duty required. Military cash certificate available towards the lease or purchase of a qualifying new Nissan vehicle from dealer stock. Excludes Nissan Versa Sedan S Trim, Maxima, Murano, Murano Cross Cabriolet, 370Z, Quest, Pathfinder, Armada, Titan, GT-R and NV. Military cash certificate amount varies by qualifying model. Offer valid from 3/1/16 through 3/1/2017. Limit up to 2 vehicle leases or purchases per calendar year per qualified participant for personal use only. Offer not valid for fleet or business use. Down payment may be required. Available on lease or purchase. Must take delivery from new dealer stock. Subject to residency restrictions. Other restriction s apply. See dealer for details. Offer is subject to change at any time. Always wear your seat belt and please don’t drink and drive. Nissan, the Nissan Brand Symbol, Innovation That Excites, and Nissan model names are Nissan trademarks. ©2016 Nissan North America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Visit www.ChooseNissan.com.


HOMELAND / December 2016


Proudly serving Military members since 1936.

Attention Active Military & Veterans

Great service and rates. Call 760-753-7907 or visit 711 Center Dr, San Marcos, CA

The Homes for our Heroes program will save you thousands on the purchase OR sale of your new home! Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. See geico.com for more details. GEICO and Affiliates. Washington, DC 20076. GEICO Gecko image Š 1999-2016. Š 2016 GEICO


CAREERS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT Visit today at www.HomelandMagazine.com


Get 100% of your closing costs covered and up to a 20% return on commissions... cash! Contact us today at 619-937-3659 or visit us at SDHomesForOurHeroes.com to find out how our program can help you! CalBRE#01990368

HOMELAND / December 2016 29


HOMELAND / December 2016


Mike Knutson Bachelor of Science, Cybersecurity Navy Veteran

Because I wanted to draw on my past to better our future, it had to be UMUC. Credit for your military experience and training. You deserve credit for what you already know. At University of Maryland University College, you can receive up to 90 undergraduate credits for your prior college coursework and military experience and training and be well on your way to an in-demand degree from a respected state university. You may even be able to ďŹ nish your degree in as few as two years with online and on-site classes and multiple start dates throughout the year.


Call 800-939-UMUC (8682). Visit umuc.edu/homeland. www.homelandmagazine.com 16-MIL-215 November National Military Mike K Print Ad_Homeland_HRR1.indd


Š 2016 University of Maryland University College

HOMELAND / December 31 10/10/16 2016 11:20 AM

Our Affordable Units Fit All Budgets San Diego’s Total Self Storage Solution 3 Months 1/2 OFF on a 6 month lease. 10% Discount for Military, Senior, and Students. Associated Storage Miramar 858-693-1717 Associated Storage Kearny 858-495-1717

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Military Friendly Colleges & Universities Making Your Transition Easier

Visit today at www.HomelandMagazine.com 32

HOMELAND / December 2016


Best of 2016 - Inside The Issues

The following pages “Inside The Issues� features the monthly articles of 2016. You can read all articles, current and past at www.HomelandMagazine.com www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / December 2016 33

January 2016

inside this issue


HOMELAND / December 2016


February 2016

Celebrating 75 years

inside this issue 6 Moving To Zero



12 Tribute Tower and Carillon at Miramar 14 What Leadership Traits are Important to You?


17 Enlisted To Entrepreneur 18 Valentine’s Day 20 Behind The Family Behind The Family Portrait 24 Connecting Vets and Communities 26 Transitioning Tips To Corporate America


USO Celebrating 75 Years


HOMELAND / December 2016 35

March 2016

inside this issue


6 Moving To Zero 12 Tribute Tower and Carillon at Miramar


14 What Leadership Traits are Important to You? 17 Enlisted To Entrepreneur 18 Valentine’s Day 20 Behind The Family Behind The Family Portrait 24 Connecting Vets and Communities



Transitioning Tips To Corporate America

HOMELAND / December 2016


April 2016

inside this issue 6 8 14

The Deepest Wound of War: A Moral Conscience War Comes Home

10 26


and Sniper Fire, to Dogs That Heal

16 Reboot Your Life After The Military 21 Tax Tips for Service Members and Their Families

5 Tax Tips

23 Can Military Service Make You A Millionare

for Service Members and Their Families

24 Drugs & Alchol: When Are The “Good Times” Over?



Changing Veterans’ Lives


HOMELAND / December 2016 37

May 2016


HOMELAND / December 2016


June 2016


HOMELAND / December 2016 39

July 2016


HOMELAND / December 2016


August 2016


HOMELAND / December 2016 41

September 2016


HOMELAND / December 2016


October 2016


HOMELAND / December 2016 43


November 2016

inside this issue 8 The Heart of Patriotism 11 HACKSAW RIDGE 14 Refreshing The Wall 16 What Veterans Day Means to Me and Why?


22 8

20 Operation Homefront Accepting 2017 Military Child of the Year® Nominations 26 23 From Soldier to Samaritan – The Odyssey, and Oddities, of Service 26 Quality Veteran Care - Serving Those Who Served Our Country


28 Military Spouse Back To School 31 Enlisted To Entrepreneur - Title III JOBS Act 34 Life After The Military - Are Your Ready? 38 Seize The Benefits 40 Partnership to Support Veterans and Rescue Dogs 42 Veterans Day Facts




“I Got Your Six”

A Warrior’s Pledge and Honor

HOMELAND / December 2016 www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / November 2016 5 www.homelandmagazine.com

December 2016

Homeland 14

inside this issue 6 The Legacy of Service



8 Righting History - 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack 10

10 Stories Beneath the Skin 14 “Shop For a Cause” - Helps Veterans and Rescue Dogs 16 R4 Alliance Member Highlight - World T.E.A.M Sports 18 Enlisted To Entrepreneur 22 A Soldier’s Christmas 24 The Tradition Continues 30 Reboot Workshop - Helping Vets Transition to Civilian Life



Best of 2016 Inside The Issues


HOMELAND / December 2016 45

Come Visit Us! Love To Show You Our New Location

• • • •

Why Our University?

Affordable Tuition 100% Online Course Options GI Bill and MyCAA Approved Financial Aid Available For Those Who Qualify • Tuition Assistance Our new address: 3550 Camino Del Rio N. Suite 208 San Diego, CA 92108 Easily accessible from anywhere in San Diego Easy Freeway Access: I-8, I-15, I-805 / Bus Stop: #18 Trolley Stop: Mission San Diego Phone: 858.653.3000


HOMELAND / December 2016

Call to speak with our Military Admissions Advisors.

BE CAREER READY IN 6 MONTHS OR LESS! Southern California’s Provider of Career Computer Training!


      The nation’s only computer training provider           

1-800-561-MCSE www.cta.edu (6273) Inland Empire and Temecula Campuses




  for your service


HOMELAND / December 2016 47

Santa Monica Police Department THE BENCHMARK OF EXCELLENCE.

Benefits: • • • •

Join Us.

Annual Salary Ranges of $80,988 - $99,984 Compressed work schedules Paid vacation, sick, and personal leave City paid medical, dental, and vision insurance

• 2.7% at 57 Public Employee Retirement Plan • Educational incentives- 6% for Intermediate POST Certificates, 12% for Advanced POST Certificates • Uniform allowance • Additional bilingual pay • Court standby pay • Longevity pay • Sick leave buy back incentive

santamonicapd.org/join 48

HOMELAND / December 2016

TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP TOWARD A REWARDING CAREER In addition to Patrol, our core service, the Department offers a wide range of special assignments: • Crime Impact Team • Criminal Investigations Section • Crisis Negotiations Team • Downtown Bicycle Unit • Field Training Officer Unit • Gang Unit • Homeless Liaison Unit • K-9 Unit • Mounted Patrol Unit • Neighborhood Resource Officer Unit • Personnel and Training Unit • School Resource Officer Unit • Special Weapons and Tactics Team • Traffic/Motor Unit • Vice/Narcotics Unit


Homeland Dec 2016  

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