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Homeland Vol. 2 Number 2 • February 2015

America’s Symbol of Living Freedom Military Veterans to First Responders From PTSD and Sniper Fire, to Dogs That Heal Caring for a Service Member/Veteran with PTSD

AMERICAN SNIPER A Movie with Issues

HOMELAND / February 2015 1


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EDITOR’S

LETTER

HomeLand Publisher Michael J. Miller

Contributing Writers Wounded Warrior Project Linda Kreter Rick Rogers CJ Machado Judy Keene Public Relations Linda Kreter CJ Machado Graphic Design Trevor Watson

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 family, military and civilians alike. I believe HOMELAND is where the heart is, and our publication covers a wide variety of topics, and issues about real life and real stories.

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 are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. They say San Diego is a military town, I find that San Diego is a HOMELAND town, where military and civilians work and live together.

Homeland Magazine 13223 Black Mountain Road, #168 San Diego, CA 92129

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

858.877.3421

With warmest thanks, Michael J. Miller, Publisher

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HOMELAND / February 2015

Contact Homeland Magazine at: info@homelandmagazine.com www.homelandmagazine.com


Homeland Inside This Issue

AMERICAN SNIPER A Movie with Issues

6 America’s Symbol Of Living Freedom

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8 Scholarships for Military Children 10 American Sniper - A Movie with Issues 15 First Lady Defends ‘American Sniper’ 16 From PTSD and Sniper Fire, to Dogs That Heal

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18 Caring for a Service Member/Veteran with PTSD 20 Military Veterans to First Responders 26 Top Gun Guru Pulls The Trigger on Memory

28 The Best Superbowl Commercials

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America’s Living Symbol of Freedom

Ens. George Gay & E.S. McCuskey, June 1942 By, CJ Machado hether you live in San Diego or visiting “America’s Finest City”, the USS Midway Museum is a must see. Ranked #1 among all San Diego attractions on tripadvisor.com, it is the first historic naval ship to reach an attendance level over 1 million per year.

The pride of the 6th fleet first sailed on October 29, 1947 but later sailed into the Pacific to join the 7th fleet in 1958, touring Japan, Philippines, Korea and Taiwan. The flight deck was expanded to an amazing 4 acres to accommodate new aircraft flight operations in 1966. Its aviators scored the first air victories, credited to US fliers in Southeast Asia, when VF-21, Midway’s Attack Wing 2, downed two MIGs on June 17, 1965.

Commissioned only a week after the end of WWII, the USS Midway served from 1945 until 1992, making it the longest-serving American aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Although it never served in WWII, it was named after the battle of Midway, the turning point of the war in the Pacific. The Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955, so big it couldn’t fit through the Panama Canal.

Standing, anchored in San Diego Harbor, this historic ship was donated by the U.S. Navy to the USS Midway Museum, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The USS Midway Museum opened on June 10, 2004 and now features over 60 exhibits and 29 fully restored aircraft.

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www.homelandmagazine.com


Flight crew aboard the USS Midway The Museum’s success is greatly attributed to it’s dedicated volunteers. Approximately 800 volunteers contribute more than 225,000 hours annually. The volunteers are incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic, making it easy for visitors to approach them with questions of curiosity. Stepping back in history as you climb aboard, you can see the massive hangar deck and experience what it was like to serve on this floating legend. The over 1 million visitors a year, can see the sleeping quarters, huge galley, the engine rooms and even the jail called the brig. Expect to spend 3-4 hours on board enjoying the flight simulators, the gift shop and relaxing at the Fantail Café. The newest attraction, “Voices of Midway”, was recently introduced at the Battle of Midway Theatre. A compelling 14-minute documentary Directed by, Scott Levitta, best known for Silk Stalkings (1991) and Renegade (1992). This short film reminds us of the sacrifices many brave men made to ensure our freedom during the Battle of Midway. The Voices of Midway are portrayed by the young men and their invincible spirits that changed the course of history. Through the real-to-life imagery of holograms, lighting and sound, the audience can live the adventure that took place in the middle of the Pacific many years ago. The thoughts and emotions of the inexperienced Torpedo Squadron 8 are captured while writing letters home on the eve of battle. Japanese soldiers outnumbered ours almost two to one and yet these young ensigns, led by Lt Cdr Waldron, confronted death courageously. George Gay, the sole survivor of Torpedo Squadron 8, watched from the waters of the Pacific as the Japanese fleet took their fatal blows from the American Air Squadrons.

Now Showing! A cinema and holographic experience.

In the new Battle of Midway Theater! Experience the journey into the battle that turned the tide of World War II! Not recommended for children under 10.

On June 4, 1942 heroic, young Americans overcame insurmountable odds and forever changed the course of history.

Includ with Mu ed se Admissio um n!

“Even against the greatest of odds, there is something in the human spirit – a magic blend of skill, faith, and valor that can lift a people from certain defeat, to incredible victory.” -Walter Lord, National WWII Memorial, Washington D.C.

For more information on the USS Midway Museum, please contact: www.midway.org www.homelandmagazine.com

910 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 • (619) 544-9600

www.midway.org

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Scholarships for Military Children The 2015 program is open! Submit your application to your commissary no later than February 13, 2015. Commissaries are an integral part of the quality of life offered to service members and their families. The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created in recognition of the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community. It is the intent of the program that a scholarship funded through contributions be awarded annually for each commissary operated by the Defense Commissary Agency worldwide.

Application can be filled out using Adobe Acrobat or another PDF software, however once completed, you must print and hand-carry or mail it to your local commissary. Applications may not be emailed or faxed. Individuals may apply at only one commissary. Typically this will be the commissary where his/her family does their shopping.

The Scholarships for Military Children Program is primarily funded through the generosity of manufacturers and suppliers whose products are sold at military commissaries, worldwide. We encourage military families to take advantage of their commissary benefits that not only provide a savings of more than 30 percent on the products purchased, but also support the military community through programs such as this scholarship. The purchase of products from these companies funds the Scholarships for Military Children program. The Fisher House Foundation is honored to be involved with the Scholarships for Military Children Program. Fisher House Foundation provides a “Home Away from Home” near military medical centers for families experiencing a personal medical crisis and is one of the premiere quality of life organizations supporting military families. The Foundation volunteered to underwrite the administration of this program. A minimum of one $2,000 scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location where qualified applications are received. More than one scholarship per commissary may be available based on response and funding. The scholarship provides for payment of tuition, books, lab fees and other related expenses.

Where to Apply An application can be picked up at your local commissary and is also available as a PDF file (http://www.militaryscholar.org/sfmc/application.html).

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It is your responsibility to ensure that your complete application package is received at a commissary by close of business on the application’s due date.

What You Need to Apply Each application will include the following, which must be submitted as ONE PACKAGE: The completed two-page application High school applicants: transcript indicating a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale College applicants: transcript indicating a cumulative unweighted GPA of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale A short TYPED essay.

Essay Question Choose a woman who during WWII significantly influenced military decisions for either the Allied or Axis forces. Discuss what she did and why, how her actions impacted the war effort, and any unique challenges she may have faced. What lessons can be learned from her actions? Please choose an actual person (i.e., not a representation such as ‘Rosie the Riveter’). You may choose someone who served in the armed services, a civilian who acted ‘behind the scenes’ or an intelligence spy. Essay must be 500 words or less, typewritten or computer-generated, double spaced, and no longer than 2 pages. Place your name in the upper right hand corner of each page of the essay. For more information or an application either visit your nearest commissary or visit http://www.militaryscholar.org/index.htm www.homelandmagazine.com


Veterans Museum and Memorial Center “Serving those who served” Come Join Us Thursday, February 19th @ 7 PM Rear Admiral Rod Melendez, former Executive Director of the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, will present this evolution and discuss the impact and experiences of the men and women who served in the park during a program at 7 PM on Thursday, February 19th in the Museum’s main Gallery. The Military and the Naval Hospital in Balboa Park: 1915 to 1988

of this evolution is fascinating, not widely known, and spans World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Although the Naval Hospital was relocated to Florida Canyon in 1988, its impact on the park is still felt in 2015. The Veterans Museum is a unique venue to host meetings, conferences, ceremonies or celebrations in an impressive and historic setting. Contact the Events Director to schedule an appointment today. Veterans Museum is located at 2115 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101. It is open from 10 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday. The Military played an instrumental role in the development of San Diego and was heavily involved in Balboa Park from 1915 through 1988. The history

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For more information, visit www.veteranmuseum.org or contact the museum at (619) 239-2300 or via email at info@veteranmuseum.org.

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AMERICAN SNIPER A Movie with Issues By Rick Rogers Special to Homeland Magazine

American Sniper deserves its popularity and its six Oscar nominations. Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of brawny former SEAL super sniper Chris Kyle has been lauded for its subtle, and director Clint Eastwood’s work for its depth and sensitivity. But if it is a great movie, it is great because of the issues it raises, issues important to millions of combat veterans, tens of millions who call them father, mother, uncle, aunt and friend and hundreds of millions more who relied them to do the country’s bidding.

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All of which makes this film more vital than any epic, especially here in San Diego, home to the most modern-era combat veterans in the country.

service. The movie then follows him to war.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the movie is about the exploits of Kyle – aka The Legend – the Odessa, Texas native brought up with a rifle in his hands and a very strong sense of duty in his heart.

It’s not giving anything away to mention that Kyle miraculously survives four combat tours in Iraq where he is blown up and shot multiple times while protecting Marines only to be killed at a stateside gun range by a Marine veteran apparently suffering from a war-related mental illness.

Looking for a purpose after a severe arm injury ended his bronco-riding career, Kyle joins the Navy in 1999 and goes to SEAL school after being rejected by the Marines and initially by the sea

The movie is ostensibly about Kyle, who racked up 160 confirmed kills, and what he, his comrades and family experienced before, during and as a result of combat.


His bestselling memoir American Sniper, on which the film is based, was published in 2012. The film célèbre debuted in December is already poised to replace “Saving Private Ryan” as the top grossing war film of all time. The San Marcos theatre where I watched one Saturday night was packed, dispelling any notion American Sniper is simply a runaway hit in the red South and Midwest. Such mass popularity for a film about this modern conflict is rare. Other movies about the Iraq war, notably The Hurt Locker, have not fared nearly as well. I’ll dispense rehashing the controversial opening scene -- much less the banal partisan bickering over the film’s real or perceived political agenda -and get to the wider ripple of the film after a brief detour. American Sniper appears destined for much interpretation and analysis. All ready in its brief life it’s stirred much debate. Some have touted it as glorifying combat while others call it antiMuslim.

My date asked if it accurately reflected my time as an embedded reporter in the summer of 2004. The answer is no. No film could ever possibly capture the smell, heat and threat of the place or the sense that incalculable fate hung on every decision whether where to take a leak or what side of the truck to sit.

losing his temper on more than one occasion. The accompanying anguished cries of his wife have the ring of a sadly familiar war soundtrack. “I’m making memories by myself.” “Even when you are here, you’re not here.”

These are cosmetic, cosmic and constant details that unless you live with them every day seem absurd. But then killing and being killed for a living is absurd. All I can tell you is that the experience quickly shapes – or warps -- your sense of identity, mission and the enemy. Very quickly most troops decide the place is not worth dying for and adopt a mind set that most assures survival. Later back home there are often problems in the form of Post Traumatic Stress and accompanying guilt, anger and intrusive thoughts.

“If you think the war isn’t changing you, you’re wrong. You can only circle the flame for so long.” Whatever personal problems Kyle faces, those around him fare worse. His brother, a deployed service member, disintegrates into a disillusioned zombie. Others die or are broken. This is not war rendered heroic, where real or imagined moral superiority provides internal peace much less absolution, but instead a nod to the fact when blood flows all are stained. Two scenes at the end of the movie stand out.

Paradoxically, it’s these scenes in American Sniper, which might be pure invention, that are film’s greatest gifts.

More recent reviewers claim the film is actually a slyly anti-war manifesto in the garb of a pro-war movie.

Kyle did four combat tours in Iraq and every tour took another bite out of him – and his family -emotionally and physically.

Unsurprisingly, American Sniper – and I expect this to be so for all the Iraq veterans who see it – brings back memories.

This is depicted in scenes showing elevated blood pressure; him calling his family from a bar after returning from a deployment unannounced and

One is when Kyle and other U.S troops are nearly killed after he vanquishes his archenemy. What ultimately saves them is a sand storm, possibly a metaphor for the fog of war, which allows escape. In the next scene, Kyle is stateside talking to a Department of Veterans Affairs counselor in San Diego, where he agrees to help other vets -- and possibly himself.

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Then in early 2013, troubled Marine veteran Eddie Ray Routh shot Kyle and Chad Littlefield to death at a shooting range.

In 2009 Kyle left the military, moved to Texas with his family and started a tactical training company for law enforcement military personnel named Craft International. He also increased his outreach to veterans working through their wartime experiences.

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Then in early 2013, troubled Marine veteran Eddie Ray Routh shot Kyle and Chad Littlefield to death at a shooting range.

should resonate among San Diego’s combat veterans where asking for help still carries a stigma.

In the end super warrior Kyle addressed his issues by reaching out to others. That powerful message

Rick Rogers is a longtime military writer based in San Diego.


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First lady defends ‘American Sniper’ at veterans event “While I know there have been critics, I felt that, more often than not, this film touches on many of the emotions and experiences that I’ve heard firsthand from military families over these past few years,” she said. Chris Marvin, managing director of Got Your 6 and a former U.S. Army officer and Blackhawk helicopter pilot, said their campaign isn’t hoping to show veterans in a good light but in an honest one.

First lady Michelle Obama urged Hollywood to give a more accurate portrayal of veterans and defended the Oscar-nominated “American Sniper,” which has received criticism for its depiction of war. Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for best actor for his portrayal of the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, joined Obama and media heavyweights in Washington, D.C., on 01/30 to launch “6 Certified” with representatives from Warner Bros., National Geographic Channels and the Producers Guild of America. The initiative will allow TV shows and films to display an onscreen badge that tells viewers the show they’re watching has been certified by the group Got Your 6, which derives its name from military slang for “I’ve got your back.” To be approved, the film or show must cast a veteran, tell a veteran story, have a story written by a veteran or use veterans as resources. “We hope our country will welcome back our veterans — not by setting them apart but by fully integrating them into the fabric of our communities,” Mrs. Obama said. Mrs. Obama also came to the defense of “American Sniper” — about Kyle, considered the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. It has become a box-office sensation and has strong supporters but has also weathered a growing storm of criticism that the film glorifies murder and serves as war propaganda.

“Most Americans tell us that they only see veterans portrayed as broken or as heroes who walk on water in film and television,” he said by phone. “We’re missing something in the middle. Veterans are everyday people.

identified Hollywood as an engine of cultural change. “This is more of a challenge than anything else. We’re challenging the entertainment industry — myself included — to live up to the responsibilities inherent in the powers we have and with the reach that we have,” said Charlie Ebersol, a producer and creator of the “6 Certified” program. Ebersol said films like 1987’s “Full Metal Jacket” by Stanley Kubrick and Clint Eastwood’s new “American Sniper” would likely be eligible for certification because they portray veterans accurately, even if the soldiers in those films aren’t representative of the population of veterans.

“We have a real opportunity to go way beyond the platitudes of the entertainment industry. We love to say, ‘I support the troops!’ and ‘I’ve got a yellow ribbon!’ but there’s an actual, tangible way to make a difference. That’s what the challenge is here.” “They’re your next door neighbor who helps you bring your garbage cans back when they blow away. They’re your kids’ fifth-grade math teacher. It’s the person running for city council,” he added. “You see them every day in your own life but you don’t see them on film or television.”

Mrs. Obama cited TV shows including “Nashville” and “Doc McStuffins” as ones that share stories of “our veterans in new and meaningful ways.” She said telling veterans’ stories honestly makes for “tremendous TV and movies” and “are good for business as well.”

The Got Your 6 group was launched in 2012 to enlist Hollywood in the effort to discourage stereotypes and promote more accurate representation of the 2.6 million soldiers coming home over the past 10 years. Surveys have found that many Americans presume veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, are homeless or are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Ebersol had his own list of shows with positive veteran portrayals, including the Jay Pritchett character in “Modern Family,” Sam Waterston’s portrayal of veteran Charlie Skinner on “The Newsroom” and Seth Rogen’s guest role as a veteran on “The Mindy Project.” In all them, being a veteran wasn’t their defining characteristic.

The group has taken lessons from other successful efforts to change national viewpoints, including increasing gay rights, reducing teen pregnancies, encouraging colonoscopies, improving animal rights and reducing drunken driving. It has

“We have a real opportunity to go way beyond the platitudes of the entertainment industry. We love to say, ‘I support the troops!’ and ‘I’ve got a yellow ribbon!’ but there’s an actual, tangible way to make a difference. That’s what the challenge is here.”

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From PTSD and Sniper Fire, to Dogs That Heal

By Judy Keene

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or our military men and women, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can include constant fear of sniper fire and being killed in a doorway, in a crowd, in the dark, or anywhere with people. Sudden flashbacks and night terrors can disorient and put the warrior instantly back in the bomb zone or crisis situation. The overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety puts 99.99% of people with severe PTSD into isolation, rarely leaving their homes, and can often lead to suicide. The story of Eddie Ray Routh who suffers from PTSD (and shot and killed “American Sniper” Navy Seal Chris Kyle in 2013 at a Texas shooting range) is extremely rare.

The overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety puts 99.99% of people with severe PTSD into isolation, rarely leaving their homes, and can often lead to suicide.

Next Step Service Dogs in San Diego County was privileged to train rescue dog Sasha to be a service dog for Tacoma Parris, a former Marine, who was in boot camp when 9/11 hit and spent 12 years and 5 deployments serving as an American warrior in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. “ I loved my job in the infantry. I didn’t love killing people. I loved going with

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good people to bad places, and the people to my left and to my right were the best people I ever met. My biggest problem has been hypervigilance, feeling in every waking moment that I am still in Iraq, wanting to be there, missing being there, walking down the street with my left hand positioned for a rifle. When anxious or hearing an unexpected sound, I pat my thigh, feeling for the pistol that should be there. “

These Marines are trained to shake hands with the right hand but be prepared to kill with the left hand. The natural result of this life is hypervigilance, constant looking for exits, constant need to protect family and self from random violence, a constant evaluation of how many men you can defeat at


a moment’s notice if threatened. Seeking to reduce the resulting severe anxiety in public settings but uncertain if he even wanted a service dog, Tacoma attended a Next Step Service Dogs training session where a big Labrador mix named Sasha laid on his leg, making him feel calm, the best calm of his entire life. Within two months of training with and living with Sasha, Tacoma felt a 100 times better and eliminated the medications that made him feel like an exhausted zombie. And he is now able to seek a job with the border patrol, a job that he is sure to love. So what does Sasha do exactly to help Tacoma? Sasha and Tacoma developed a bond, a silent, totally trusting communication, that happened quickly. Sasha uses body language, a mere nudge, pressure on his leg, resting on his feet, licking his face, to distract and return Tacoma to here and now. If his anxiety escalates while watching the news, Sasha is likely to block his view of the TV, stare at him, or pace in front him, saying “cut it out!” Other times she will get in his face and wiggle her eyebrows to make him laugh. And if she becomes anxious, Tacoma is quick to find the source; if she is calm, he knows that his world is safe and he has no worries. Just being in Starbucks used to be a nightmare; now Sasha just circles around Tacoma creating a “safety bubble” of space while he waits in line for coffee, without fear. This is huge. “I don’t talk in my sleep any more, looking for snipers. I don’t have to use medications that make me exhausted and incoherent, and barely able to hold a job. And I no longer have constant thoughts of death and destruction. My wife and daughters say I smile a lot more, and are glad that I can go places with them now – not everywhere but still many more than before. I am learning to be more patient and more social, and take time to educate the public about Sasha and service dog work.” For more information about Next Step Service Dogs, a nonprofit 501(c), in San Diego County, see www.nextstepservicedogs.org or call 760-4389190. Next Step Service Dogs depends on your generous donations to provide training and dogs.

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Caring for a Service Member/Veteran with PTSD

By Linda Krater

O

ne of the most challenging aspects of PTSD is that it may affect the entire family, from veteran to children to aging parents. It is remarkable how realistic the movie American Sniper demonstrated the effects of combat deployments and PTSD on the family – and this is a good thing, since acknowledgement is the first step toward growth. Since these injuries are invisible, for those surrounding a returning service member or veteran, behaviors may be misinterpreted, judged, and even condemned by those closest to you. Family and friends are strong social supports, and healing is helped with knowledge and compassion. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is the body’s reaction to a traumatic event. With the combat veteran, it may be the body’s response to seeing or experiencing exceedingly horrific things. The symptoms of PTSD may not come neatly wrapped and obvious, and may become more pronounced over time. Family may feel at first as though “something’s different”, and maybe

This unpredictability is one of the most difficult to deal with and explain to others, or even yourself. Secondary PTS/D may occur among family members as they live certain aspects of the condition daily. Living with such a person, even if you’re sympathetic and you love them can be hard. Who finds it easy to walk on eggshells, lacking restorative sleep, and listening to harsh remarks? Now enter the extended family and friends. What they see is only a partial picture, and it can be very, very confusing, and they can in a well-meaning way try to support you. Or not. Let’s face it: people fear what they don’t understand. They may only see the isolating sullenness, or what they perceive as a negative attitude. They may be fearful that if those harsh words they just heard are any indication, than how does he or she treat you when they’re not there? Families may truly try their best to care – but they are helped with guidance and information. By learning more about PTSD, talking about it easily and when it’s not on display can help both you and your close family and friends. “You’ve

Let’s face it: people fear what they don’t understand. They may only see the isolating sullenness, or what they perceive as a negative attitude. They may be fearful that if those harsh words they just heard are any indication, than how does he or she treat you when they’re not there? Families may truly try their best to care – but they are helped with guidance and information. it’s a period of readjustment or he or she needs some transition time after returning from deployment. The body and mind can react very strongly to a traumatic event – and so can that of those around them. Some of the symptoms a friend or family member will recognize are possibly watching them reliving the trauma during the day with flashbacks, at night with active nightmares -- or chronic insomnia with anxiety. Perhaps ‘walking point’ end to end of the house or apartment – this quickly exhausts the family. Many couples talk of difficulty with closeness, intimacy, and abrupt irritability and even increased aggressiveness. This is often what the family or a friend sees – without knowing the rest of the story.

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probably heard, Mom, that PTSD is a normal coping mechanism when a person goes through a traumatic event? Sometimes ‘Jim’ will need quiet and you may think they’re being standoffish, but that’s what helps them. Other times, you may see a hair-trigger temper outburst, but that’s not all the time.” Another problem for family members is that they may feel judged by negative comments. No one likes to be judged, especially when they are not the ones working through PTSD day in, day out. It may help to sit them down initially and share what you know about PTSD, ask them to learn more and show them where to get the information. But, when you do your best to share the


Linda Kreter is the founder of WiseHealth and VeteranCaregiver.com and a subject matter expert on caregiving and military family support.

information, sometimes it just won’t register – why? Because he or she acts NORMAL most of the time. So, scared, uninformed people can make family life more difficult. It’s helpful to have a signal between you and your service member/veteran so they have a way to say “I’ve had enough, I’m out of here”. If you know noise levels escalate a situation, discuss it beforehand. If a crowd is too

overwhelming, then leave and do what’s right for your family. Recognize that others will not always get it, despite your incredible patience, education, reinforcement, and reminders. Guard your home relationship, and if that means new traditions, and new ways of coping, then go with what works for you. We all know families who now live in remote places, finding peace with fewer stressors, and others who’ve adapted with some accommodation. Health and wholeness is vital to good quality of life!

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feature continues on next page >

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As a retired Captain in the United States Army, Jonathan Pruden has seen a great deal of war and destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. But when Jonathan deployed as a volunteer for Team Rubicon, he wasn’t prepared for the destruction he would witness right here on American soil. In spring of 2014, Jonathan traveled to Louisburg, Mississippi, to work side-byside with other military veterans, providing disaster relief and support following a deadly tornado outbreak that ripped across much of America. Team Rubicon, a

there still was hope. “The resiliency of the human spirit was evident everywhere, quickly shifting the tone from shock and despair to recovery and rebuilding. We found a litter of puppies that were somehow spared from the storm’s wrath,” added Pruden. “Seeing how people reacted to this small, but powerful sign of life was pure inspiration. It was an honor to be there as part of Team Rubicon. We helped bring hope to those people’s lives.” While helping those in crisis held huge personal rewards for Jonathan,

“While I had served my country in several war zones, seeing buildings and homes that were destroyed was not unusual. But now it was right here in America. I had never seen such devastation right in our back yard,” southern California-based veterans service organization that combines the strengths of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams, coordinated the relief effort. Jonathan deployed with 20 other veterans and first responders from around the Southeast

experiencing the camaraderie he felt with his fellow soldiers when serving in the Army was very powerful. “We were all working together on one mission,” said Jonathan. “It didn’t matter what your rank was, everyone was there to just work together for the common goal.”

“While I had served my country in several war zones, seeing buildings and homes that were destroyed was not unusual. But now it was right here in America. I had never seen such devastation right in our back yard,” said Jonathan, who now serves injured veterans as a regional Alumni Director at Wounded Warrior Project. “People in the disaster area were already struggling to survive. Then tornados ripped what little they had away, and they were left nothing.”

In 2014, Wounded Warrior Project began collaborating with Team Rubicon to help grow the force of military-trained disaster responders from each organization’s memberships. It is natural for the two organizations to combine efforts. Wounded Warrior Project’s mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, and Team Rubicon’s is to unite the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Veterans are an amazing resource during a crisis. They are goal-

But while the damage was catastrophic

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HOMELAND / February 2015

oriented, accountable, mission–driven, and have solved tough problems in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. Injured veterans see no barriers to continuing their service – they are still driven to serve others. Deploying to a disaster area in a crisis is a win-win for both the veterans and those who are in need of help. As part of the collaboration, Wounded Warrior Project is helping fund Team Rubicon’s Clay Hunt Fellows program – a 12-month program that provides extensive experience and development in emergency management and leadership. Over the course of the program, participants complete 100+ hours of training, deploy on field operations, and submit a capstone project that will improve an aspect of Team Rubicon.


While the fellows program represents a serious commitment, there are other ways to serve and support through Team Rubicon. Volunteers with military experience like Jonathan Pruden and civilian professional first responders can deploy to domestic and international disaster areas in crisis. Anyone can volunteer for the Team Rubicon Street Team that advocates for the organization’s efforts and helps spread educational messages about disaster preparedness and relief. Veterans or any member of the public can also help with fundraising efforts to ensure Team Rubicon volunteers will be ready to deploy when a crisis occurs.

You can learn more by visiting: www.woundedwarriorproject.org and www.teamrubiconusa.org.

HOMELAND / February 2015 23


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Special thanks to www.sandiego.org

DISCOVER san diego

This months featured spotlight – Norh County Coastal

What to Love Spending a day along the beach anywhere in North County. Splurging on dinner at Addison, San Diego’s only five-star restaurant. The excitement of Del Mar thoroughbred racing season.

North County Coastal North County Coastal beach communities embrace the quintessential San Diego beach lifestyle. With a laid back vibe and hang-ten spirit, visitors seeking an iconic Southern California experience can find local beaches and veritable surf towns along the coast. As you take the scenic drive up Coast Highway 101, from La Jolla to Oceanside, stop into each unique community rich with history, natural beauty, and gorgeous beachfront views. Have fun year around in Del Mar with a county fair, horse races and holiday activities. Bring the whole family for a day at Birch Aquarium in La Jolla or LEGOLAND and SEALIFE aquarium in Carlsbad. From breathtaking golf courses, historic missions and high-quality antique shops, to flower fields and world famous surf spots, the North County San Diego coastal are a “don’t miss” area of San Diego.

Shopping at the Cedros Design District, UTC or the Carlsbad outlet mall. Driving historic Highway 101 and stopping at each beach community along the way. Hiking at Torrey Pines State Reserve, with beautiful views of the ocean and occasional dolphin or whale sightings.

What to Know From Downtown, Del Mar is a 15 minute drive, and Carlsbad/ Oceanside is a little over 30 minutes The Coaster train runs from Oceanside all the way to downtown San Diego Many of San Diego’s great breweries and wineries are located in North County.

HOMELAND / February 2015 25


Top Gun guru pulls the trigger on memory By Logan Jenkins

I’d forgotten how good, how backlit and sexy, “Top Gun” made San Diego look. You can have your “Almost Famous,” “Traffic,” “Some Like It Hot,” “Anchorman” or “Stunt Man.” As a celluloid postcard to San Diego, nothing touches the 1986 movie originally pitched to Paramount as “Star Wars on Earth.” Pete Pettigrew, a Vietnam MiG killer (more than 325 combat missions) and Top Gun instructor, was hired to be the film’s technical adviser. It was his job to keep the scriptwriters grounded in reality. In that respect, he failed, but spectacularly so. The rear admiral, by then retired from active duty, was paid $35,000 to work on the project. Separately, he was asked to play a cameo role as the boss of Charlie (Kelly McGillis). You can spot him seated at a table in the early “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” scene at Miramar’s WOXOF Bar. In December, Pettigrew lectured at MiraCosta College, sharing war stories about his failed campaign to keep director Tony Scott’s film from flying into space. Pettigrew soon realized that, though the filmmakers did want to capture the essence of Fightertown, what they really wanted was the thrust of supersonic myth, pinning “mom and pop and Oklahoma” into their seats with maximum G-force. All the things “Top Gun” famously got wrong — the Maverick vs. Iceman competition for an individual trophy, dogfighting close to the ground, the mixing of desert and ocean footage — heightened dramatic impact.

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HOMELAND / February 2015

But all the things the movie got right — the cool throwaway language (“If I told you, I’d have to kill you”),


the choreography of the dogfights (no computer simulations) and the logistics of the crash that killed Goose, well, that’s pretty much Pettigrew. At 72, he lives in La Jolla, up near UC San Diego. He stopped flying Gulfstreams for hire a year ago. With a body like Beowulf’s, he’s a fiercely competitive rough-water swimmer. Teamed up with five other guys over 70, he recently swam in a relay (one-hour legs) across the Catalina Channel in 10 hours and 57 minutes, setting a record. He plays age-division water polo, recently competing in Montreal. To keep his hand in military history, he serves as a docent on the Midway. Four times a year, Pettigrew receives royalty checks for his bit role that add up to maybe 50 bucks, periodic reminders of his tour of duty with a make-believe squadron hooked on the romance of modern aerial combat. In addition to the technical advice, he helped the location director find, among other San Diego spots, Charlie’s bungalow, ideal because it was next to an oceanfront street where Maverick (star Tom Cruise, then 23 years old) could ride his motorcycle.

In addition to the technical advice, he helped the location director find, among other San Diego spots, Charlie’s bungalow, ideal because it was next to an oceanfront street where Maverick (star Tom Cruise, then 23 years old) could ride his motorcycle.

Over lunch at Harry’s Coffee Shop, the admiral takes me on a Cook’s Tour of Top Gun locations:

• The long-gone Windsock, a bar beside Lindbergh Field, where Charlie asks the despondent Maverick if he’s drinking hemlock.

Kansas City BBQ burned in a fire (but not Goose’s “Great Balls of Fire” piano). Charlie’s house is a historic landmark in Oceanside.

• The late-afternoon shoot on the Enterprise when Scott needed the ship to turn around to capture the best light. The skipper said no way, it would cost $25,000 to defray the cost. Scott wrote a check (that was never cashed) and the ship turned, an example of how the Navy partnered with Paramount to make arguably the most powerful recruiting film in history.

Somewhere, Charlie’s black Porsche rag top, the one in which she raced up Laurel in pursuit of Maverick, is in a garage, gathering dust and value.

In time, Top Gun flew off to Nevada, a sore point for nostalgic Navy fighter pilots. Memorabilia at

Top down.

• The Kansas City Barbeque, a totemic provider of down-home cooking and the comfort food of romantic love.

After lunch, the old fighter pilot said goodbye and drove off. In a Porsche convertible.

• The Coast Guard houses at the tip of Point Loma where the CO named Viper (Pettigrew’s call sign) told Maverick, grieving over Goose, how Maverick’s dad died in a Vietnam dogfight that turned into a furball. • The locker room where Iceman (Val Kilmer) and Maverick square off in all their six-packed youth. Pettigrew says the scene was filmed at The Plunge in Mission Bay, a short distance from the Bahia where the cast partied like the hellbent flyboys they played. (Cruise, however, kept to himself in La Jolla Shores.) • The WOXOF Bar wasn’t the real one but a gay watering hole that had a U-shaped bar perfect for shooting what Scott had in mind.

HOMELAND / February 2015 27


In the spirit of Super Bowl XLIX

The Best Super Bowl commercials ever made

Just like football teams need to bring their A-game on the field during the Super Bowl, advertisers need to bring their A-game for the commercial breaks — especially now, considering how costly the ads are this year. There have certainly been plenty of lousy ads over the years, but there have also been dozens and dozens of creative and entertaining commercials from brands big and small. In some cases, the ads have lived longer in our cultural memory than any single play or outcome from the game itself. Who could forget the iconic Coke ad when Mean Joe Green tossed his jersey to a fan that gave him a coke to the Star Warsthemed Volkswagen ad from 2011 that quickly became a viral sensation? It remains to be seen whether any ads from this year’s big game will rank among these classics, but there’s always the promise of the next big commercial.

Coke, “Hey, Kid! Catch,” 1979

Even though this commercial aired prior to Super Bowl XIV, it became an iconic spot during the battle between the Steelers and Rams. Of course, we all know all about this ad. ‘Mean’ Joe Greene has his heart warmed by a young fan. This ad has been replicated and spoofed ever since.

Apple, “1984,” 1984

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HOMELAND / February 2015

On January 22, 1984, the first-ever Macintosh was introduced in this groundbreaking commercial. This legendary Ridley Scott directed ad featured a woman taking out “Big Brother” (IBM) in a node to George Orwell’s 1984.

Pepsi, “New Can,” Cindy Crawford, 1991 Cindy Crawford 1991, what else is there to say?

Budweiser: Bud Bowl (1989)

This was the first annual match-up between rivals Budweiser and Bud Light. Throughout the broadcast, updates from the Bud Bowl were provided in a series of commercials. Why was this so successful? Because it was beer bottles playing football. What else do you need in life?

McDonald’s, “The Showdown,” 1993

How far would two of the greatest basketball players go for a Big Mac? That’s what McDonald’s tried to answer with this classic ad starring Michael Jordan


and Larry Bird. The NBA legends tried to outdo each other in a ridiculous game of H-O-R-S-E. The ad remains popular

E-Trade: Baby (2008)

It’s still debatable if the talking E-Trade baby is adorable or entertaining. Regardless, this ad from Super Bowl XLII had everyone talking the next morning. And, the campaign is still running years later.

Budweiser, “Frogs,” 1995

A very simple, yet brilliant, ad by one of the best companies to keep an eye during the Super Bowl. During this commercial, we catch frogs beginning to croak out

Snickers, “Playing Like Betty White,” 2010

Nothing against Betty White and Abe Vigoda, but seeing them get tackled during a football game was surprising hysterical. It turns out that the elderly

“Bud.” “Weissssss.” “Errrrrr.” “Buuuuud.” “Weeeeiiiiissss.” “Er.” Despite the simplicity, the spot is one of Budweiser’s greatest.

Monster, “What Do You Want To Be,” 1999

actors were really some young men who needed a Snickers because they were hungry. The campaign is still running, and hasn’t gotten boring since new actors are rotated into the ads.

Budweiser, “Respect,” 2002 There was a time when Super Bowl ads were dominated by dot-coms from the tech bubble of the late ’90s. The one that really stood out was this commercial from Monster.com, which starred children sharing their dreams of the future. Instead of the usual and optimistic responses, the kids dreams included “When I grow up, I want to be in middle management.” It was funny, yet kinda depressing.

Budweiser: “Wazzzzup?” (2000)

Sure. This got old. Real fast. But this unforgettable ad from 1999 ran for another year and sparked an irresistible catch phrase that can still be heard today if you’re trying to be funny, or just outdated.

Some called it cynical, but we dare you not to tear up at the sight of Budweiser’s majestic Clydesdales bowing their heads at the empty spot in the New York skyline.

Volkswagen, “The Force,” 2011

This Volkswagen commercial was the big hit of the 2011 Super Bowl and the year overall. The ad shows a child in a Darth Vader costume trying (unsuccessfully) to use the force on a range of objects in his house. It finally “works” on the Pasat, thanks to a handy remote in the father’s hand.

HOMELAND / February 2015 29


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SHANE PARSONS, WOUNDED WARRIOR

SOMETIMES THE HARDEST FIGHT COMES AFTER THE BATTLE. Wounded Warrior Project速 long-term support programs provide these brave men and women whatever they need to continue their fight for independence. At no cost. For life. Help us help more of these warriors in their new life-long battle. Find out what you can do at findWWP.org. 32

HOMELAND / February 2015

Homeland February 2015  

Real stories from real heroes; service members, civilians, veterans, the wounded and the families that keep it together.

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