Resources Support Inspiration
Vol. 3 Number 1• January 2016
The Forgotten Hero of the Forgotten War
ROYCE WILLIAMS Celebrating an American Artist – SCOTT LOBAIDO Wreaths Across America Wounded Veteran Helping Catch Predators
HOMELAND / January 2016 1
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HOMELAND /January 2016
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Homeland Publisher Michael J. Miller Contributing Writers CJ Machado Vicki Garcia Linda Kreter Vesta Anderson Keith Angelin Rick Rogers Paul Loisel Christopher W. Diem John Knight Rob Louis Sarah Luken Public Relations Linda Kreter CJ Machado
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.
Graphic Design Trevor Watson
Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with service members, families, veterans and civilians. Homeland is about standing your ground, resilience, adaptation, inspiration and solidarity. HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; our focus is on family, military and civilians alike. I believe HOMELAND is where the heart is, and our publication covers a wide variety of topics, and issues about real life and real stories. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. They say San Diego is a military town, I find that San Diego is a HOMELAND town, where military and civilians work and live together. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine. With warmest thanks, Michael J. Miller, Publisher 4
HOMELAND /January 2016
Homeland Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved. Homeland Magazine 9750 Miramar Road, Suite 315 San Diego, CA 92126
858.240.0333 Contact Homeland Magazine at: email@example.com
8 Homeland A Year In Review Inside This Issue 26 10 The Forgotten Hero Of the Forgotten War - Royce Williams 16 VetCaregiver Self Check-In 20 18 Military Wishes 20 NJROTC Best Jobs In America 22 Military-Style Into Your Career 24 Depart Of Defense Helps Service Members Vote 26 Wreaths Across America 30 Wounded Veteran Helping Catch Child Predators
An American Artist Scott Lobaido
HOMELAND / January 2016 5
Celebrating an American Artist
SCOTT LOBAIDO Honoring the rich symbolism of this beautiful country and saluting the valiant efforts of our veterans.
cott LoBaido is an American artist with over 25 years of painting experience, largely focusing on the intricate tapestry of American culture, freedom, patriotism, service, and nostalgia. The mission of his art is simple; to honor the rich symbolism of this beautiful country and to salute the valiant efforts of our veterans. And to show the extraordinary in the most seemingly ordinary places. From February to September of this year, nationally-recognized artist Scott LoBaido painted a waving threedimensional American flag design on a veteran’s post in 49 states. He drove through all 48 of the continental states and took a ferry to complete Alaska’s piece. But he chose to wait out Hawaii, the 50th mural, until Dec. 7, in honor of Pearl Harbor Day. The 50-year-old Grasmere resident and conservative activist doesn›t fly, and since there were no container ships traveling to Hawaii for the holiday deadline, he painted the state›s mural on 25 wood siding panels in Staten Island and shipped them to Hawaii. A team from Home Depot placed the panels on the facade of an American Legion Post. All told, the patriotic artist’s trip spanned over 24,000 road miles and required 1,100 gallons of paint, 500 paint rollers and 25 pairs of blue jeans.
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Lobaido set out on his first national tour in 2006, painting a flag on a rooftop in every state. The concept was designed to show a sign of support for military men and women being deployed or returning from deployment. “I’ve always had a soft spot for veterans and helping them, and not only raising funds, but celebrating them and thanking them for bringing us the freedom we enjoy,”
A letter from Scott Throughout my 50 years, people have often said I was born in the wrong era. Long fascinated by post World War II America, glamour girls, the Rat Pack,
“I’ve always had a soft spot for veterans and helping them, and not only raising funds, but celebrating them and thanking them for bringing us the freedom we enjoy”
big band music, and all things classic Americana, I’ve always loved strong cultural symbolism. Time though, especially for an artist, is an interesting thing. Art for us exists in and long past neatly defined eras.
For ten straight months during my last Fifty States Tour, my artwork promoted patriotism without the use of political rhetoric deliberately. As I trekked solo on an incredible grassroots journey, l eagerly soaked in veterans, families, passer-bys and our collective stories mile by mile. By the end of it, I had painted a U.S. flag rooftop mural in every single state. Artistically I left a small token of preserved American symbolism behind, but the veterans I saluted left even more with me. Never once on did we mention the labeling words of Republican or Democrat. It was bigger than labels. It was about “We the People”. It was about pride, honor, and appreciation for all Americans who served our nation. Patriotism is about all of us. And it can’t be hijacked by rhetoric, politicians, differences, or warring ideologies.
Brushes and strokes can transcend time and wind effortlessly through the past, present, and future. For me, art is the greatest time traveler. It is also the simplest and most universal of statements - I am here. We are here. And it is our greatest hope to preserve our work for future generations - that will be here.
The great thing about America is the fact that it can always be better, and our gift is that “we the people” have the freedom to make it better. Anyone who knows me knows I passionately advocate for the First Amendment. I encourage us all to passionately question, protest, express, assemble, and petition - but always, always be grateful that you can.
With my art, I’ve sought to make a difference in the world as a man and as an American. Whether a Boomer, Gen-Xer, or Millennial, it’s easy in modern times to forget the origins of our prosperity and freedom. The wondrous and instant nature of our technology and culture can make it easy to forget how we got here. And so I became fascinated with preserving the symbols of the countless brave Americans who stood, fought, marched, and sacrificed so much for our livelihood. I am no history scholar but I sense in the basics of my being, preserving our past is the truest way to honor our future.
As Americans, our past and future are intrinsically intertwined. While traveling from state to state and painting American art, some saw a crazy man coloring rooftops in their community, others saw an artist with a singular red, white, and blue obsession. But this simple man is on a mission; greater than myself and past my own era, and the decades before. While sitting in a quiet campsite, with soft Idaho soil caked underneath my boots, I realized who I am: just one of the electricians, in a long line of creative light bearers, connecting one wire to the next, and keeping the lights on.
Get the latest on Scotts work at scottlobaido.com To commission the artist for original canvas paintings or murals, please contact Scott directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOMELAND / January 2016 7
A Year In Review
Inside The Issues
4 Our Wish For Military Families 8 San Diego VA - Evolving Treatments as Traumatic Stress Rises 12 Transitioning Warriors to the Civilian Workforce 14 Department of Defense Helps Service Members 16 Louis Zamperini: A Hero Like No Other
6 America’s Symbol of Living Freedom 8 Scholarships for Military Children 10 American Sniper: A Movie with Issues 16 From PTSD and Sniper Fire, to Dogs That Heal 18 Caring for a Service Member/Veteran with PTSD 20 Military Veterans to First Responders 26 Top Gun Guru Pulls The Trigger 28 The Best Superbowl Commercials
March 6 New Midway Exhibit: 6 Minutes That Changed The War 8 Meet The ‘Hug’ Lady 10 A Fight For Independence 16 Veteran Entrepreneurs Today (V.E.T.) 18 Moving And Deployment Tips 20 Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls 24 Abe’s Hearse Draws Crowd 26 Eight Signs Of Terrorism
7 Midway To Celebrate Legacy Of Sacrifice & Freedom In Vietnam 8 To Hell & Back - Service Dog Helps One Veteran Survive 12 Helen Woodward: AniMeals Aids Wounded Warriors 16 SDPD K9 Unit - Going To The Dogs 20 Do Something Revolutionary 22 The Deepest Wound: A Moral Conscience 24 Wounded Warrior Project Alumni
6 Why Celebrate Memorial Day 7 It’s Summer: A Time To Honor & Reflect 9 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 10 San Diego Ride For Vets 18 Canine Companions For Independence 23 Smiles For Heroes 26 Memorial Day - A Time For Heroes 32 Casting Light On The Invisible Wounds Of War
June 6 Save The Date: WWII Celebration 8 Bigs Military Mentoring Program 12 Caring for a Service Member/Veteran with PTSD 14 VetCaregiver Self Check-In 17 Enlisted To Entrepreneur 21 United We Stand, United We Sew 22 A Combat Veteran’s Struggle 24 Drugs & Alcohol: Are the “Good Times” Behind You?
Homeland: Inside The Issues The stories, newsmakers and community events of 2015 Explore the most talked about stories of the year, both current and past at
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July 6 70th Anniversary Of The End Of World War II 8 A Declaration Of Independence 16 Leadership Lessons Through Recovery: One Marine’s Story 18 US Military Marriages 20 Life After The Military: Are You Ready? 22 How To Prepare For A Job Fair 24 Education Revolution 32 There is A Solution
October 8 The Warrior Ball 16 Katie Higgins: A Bolt To Blue 12 Meet Col Dean Caswell 18 Mentoring: Unspoken Secrets To Landing A Career After Military Service 20 San Diego City Mayor Faulconer’s NOT SO SECRET Weapon To Help Veterans 22 REBOOT Workshop 24 Top Gun: “Taking Flight” California Miramar University 26 California’s Citizens Soldiers
6 A Living Symbol Of Freedom 8 Jobs After Military Service 12 The Benefits Of Education 16 Women Veterans In Justice System 19 One Marine’s Story 20 Hogan’s Hero 24 Shelter To Soldier 26 Faithful Service To Mankind 30 Orphan Pets Raise Patriotic Paws 32 Spice: Fact VS Fiction
6 Cost Of War 8 9/11 Changed Our Reality 10 Thomas McBrien, A Memorial Journey 14 September 11 Remembered 16 SDFD Reflections Of 911 20 9/11: 14 Years Later 22 Military Transitioning 24 REBOOT Your Life After The Military 31 Veterans Museum 70th Anniversary WII 32 How Do You Love Someone Addicted
6 The Disappearing Greatest Generation 10 Defying The Odds Together 12 REBOOT Workshop 14 Project Management: How Service Members Get It Done. 20 Gary Sinise: Honor. Gratitude. Rock n’ Roll. 22 San Diego Celebrates Greatest Generation Parade 24 Keeping The Wall Refreshed 28 Appreciating Military Families 30 Helping Substance Abuser
6 8 10 12 14 18 21
A Year In Review: Inside The Issues San Diego Veteran Of The Year Flying Leathernecks Shedding Burdens The Invincible Spirit Skin In The Game: Educational Benefits Going Back To School As A Military Spouse 24 Eating For The Holidays 26 A Soldier’s Christmas 28 Brain Drain
Homeland October Issue, 2015
HOMELAND / January 2016 9
The Forgotten Hero of the Forgotten War
Lieutenant E. Royce Williams Aboard U.S.S. Oriskany (CV-34), F9F-5 Panther, VF-781
HOMELAND /January 2016
he Korean War has become a footnote in history, the forgotten war between WWII and Vietnam. The involvement of U.S. forces was limited to a NATO “Police Action” to stop the communist expansion into Asia. Still, for the tens of thousands that served and lost their lives in the Korean War, it is anything but forgotten. U.S. Congress never declared war against Korea and the Soviets never officially entered the war. Nevertheless, the United States provided 88% of the United Nation’s (UN) military personnel while the Soviet Union secretly supported the North Korean communist intention to overthrow their southern countrymen. The memories of the Korean War still linger in the hearts of those who have served, including Naval Aviator, Captain E. Royce Williams, USN, Retired. For the first time in history, Soviet pilots secretly flew against NATO and U.S. forces. In an exhausting 35 minute dogfight against 7 Soviet MiGs, LT Williams became the only American Aviator to single-handedly shoot down 4 Russian MiGs in a single sortie. A record that most likely will never be broken. His heroic actions were kept classified for nearly fifty years. Post- Cold War, the Russian government confirmed the loss of the 4 MiG-15s and disclosed the names of the four pilots he shot down: Captain Belyakov, Captain Vandalov, Lieutenant Pakhomkin and Lieutenant Tarshinov. This is the account of LT Williams’s heroic actions that are yet to be reviewed for the full honor and recognition he earned so many years ago. On November 18th, 1952, the U.S.S. Oriskany launched a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) into the blustery skies above the Sea of Japan. The Patrol was in the midst of a blizzard, where the cloud cover was at 400 feet and the visibility was terribly low. Division Leader, Lieutenant Claire Elwood and his wingman LTJG John Middletown with Section Leader, LT Royce Williams and his wingman LTJG David Rowlands served as CAP that day. Soon after the CAP was launched, the Combat Information Center (CIC) reported multiple bogies approaching inbound, 80 miles north of Task Force 77.
In an exhausting 35 minute dogfight against 7 Soviet MiGs, LT Williams became the only American Aviator to single-handedly shoot down 4 Russian MiGs in a single sortie. A record that most likely will never be broken.
The Combat Air Patrol finally broke through the clouds of the howling snowstorm at around 12,000 feet. As they advanced upward, Section Leader, LT Williams spotted seven contrails well above 50,000 feet. The Bogies were quickly identified and reported as MiG-15s. Moments later, the Flight Leader, reported a fuel pump warning light. The CIC ordered LT Elwood and his wingman, LTJG Middleton to return to CAP duty directly above the U.S.S. Oriskany. The defense of Task Force 77 was in the hands of LT Williams who took the Lead and LTJG Rowlands as his wingman. Although, the two F9F-5 Panthers were outnumbered and out classed on maneuverability and acceleration, they boldly continued the pursuit against the 7 MiGs. As the MiGs came over them, they reversed, presumably heading back to their base at Vladivostok. LT Williams continued to track and climb to 26,000 feet, when suddenly, the MiGs split into two groups to corner the F9Fs. One group of four MiGs came straight in firing from the 10 o’clock position, as the other 3 MiGs circled around to bracket them. LT Williams turned sharply into the enemy and the 4 MiGs over shot, missing their targets. When they passed, LT Williams pulled a hard left turn and kicked in the rudder to get his sight on the number four MiG. After a short burst of fire, the MiG went down. His wingman, LTJG Rowlands, followed the plane as it dropped out of formation, leaving Continued On Page 12
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LT Williams alone against 6 Soviet adversaries. Complete Chaos ensued… LT Williams was in the fight of his life, working at every moment to keep the MiGs off his tail. He utilized every Guns Defense possible as he reversed, jinked and rolled against the far superior aircraft, attempting to stay clear and keep the MiGs from locking down on his six o’clock position. 1 Down, 6 to Go! LT Williams immediately chased after the three remaining MiGs from the group, trying to maneuver with them. His Panther was no match to the Soviet MiGs far superior speed and rate of climb as they easily zoomed away. One MiG turned around, pointing back at him and quickly disappeared into the bright sun. Williams immediately noticed the other two MiGs had already made their turn and they were coming right at him in a diving attack. LT Williams swiftly turned into them as they fired out of range. As the lead MiG approached 2,000 feet, he quickly broke away to avoid the opposing fire. The other MiG followed right behind the lead, which gave Williams the opportunity to get him into his sights. He fired at the enemy until he disappeared underneath his wings. It was a presumed hit, since Williams didn’t have the luxury to follow for confirmation. 5 Left! “Then the Fight was on. They were no longer in formation. They were flying to position themselves to attack me one at a time,” Williams recalls. The opposing MiGs were determined to down the sole Grumman Panther. One of the MiGs came back around and LT Williams reversed to put his gun sights on him. As the MiG turned, he was able to fire at him. The blast was so abrupt, Lt. Williams had to maneuver violently to avoid swallowing the exploding MiG parts.
Captain E. Royce Williams, USN, Retired
3 Down! “There was a lot of maneuvering, some shooting and mostly dodging going on,” remembers Williams. During the 35 minute dog-fight, the MiGs would over shoot and occasionly they did not climb, which gave Williams the opportunity to track and fire at them. While LT Williams was tracking a smoking MiG to finish him off, he looked back and saw another MiG coming in. He put in a lot of rudder and kicked the airplane over to give the opposition a tough shot. LT Williams’s luck was finally running out and the MiG hit him with a burst of fire from his 37mm cannon. He was hit in the wing section and accessory section of the Pratt and Whitney Jet engine. The relentless MiG came back around and settled on his tail to ensure the kill. LT Williams had to use both hands on the stick to maneuver
properly, because he had lost two of his 3 controls, the ailerons and the rudder. The elevator still worked perfectly, so he could only porpoise using his elevator to pull up and push over hard, similar to a pitch and tuck maneuver. He could see the bullets fly by him as the attacker shot away at him. Out of ammo and riddled with holes, LT Williams headed back home as he took to the cloud cover and they lost sight of each other in the snow storm. Carrier Bound, Crash Course: LT Williams came out of the clouds at about 400 feet. At that point, he was flying too low to eject safely and the freezing waters of the Sea of Japan would have taken him within 15 minutes in his immersion suit. As the Panther drew closer for a troubled landing, the destroyers escorting Task Force 77, opened friendly fire on LT Williams mistaking him for an enemy aircraft. “Fortunately, I was low enough that they didn’t have a chance to really
During the 35 minute dog-fight, the MiGs would over shoot and occasionly they did not climb, which gave Williams the opportunity to track and fire at them. 12
HOMELAND /January 2016
“Good Hunting” By Stan Stokes
LT Williams was able to land without crashing, which was much attributed to the sturdy construction of the Grumman aircraft. Miraculously, LT Williams was unscathed and confided, “I had God on my side.”
the tension grew higher due to pressure from Washington, awaiting a full report on the incident. “They already knew there was some sort of rumble with the Soviets and they wanted the answers, right now!” Williams affirmed. The Intelligence Officer caved to Washington and sent out a “phony” report based upon the very limited information he received and the lack of details and understanding of the engagement. Williams was credited with a kill and a probabledamaged, LTJG Middleton was credited with a kill and William’s wingman, Dave Rowlands was given a probable.
aim, so nobody hit me,” Williams explained. His Panther would stall below 170 knots, so he was forced to come in at 200 miles an hour for an inevitable crash landing. His immediate focus was to keep control of the aircraft and use alternate backup systems to lower the landing gear and tail hook. The U.S.S. Oriskany’s Commanding Officer, Captain Courtney Shands was alerted and adjusted the carrier away from the wind to try and compensate for the F9F’s out-of-control speed and inability to maneuver properly. Incredibly, LT Williams was able to land without crashing, which was much attributed to the sturdy construction of the Grumman aircraft. Miraculously, LT Williams was unscathed and confided, “I had God on my side.”
A week later, the U.S.S. Oriskany arrived in Yokosuka, Japan where LT Williams was ordered to see Senior Admiral Robert P. Briscoe, Commander Naval Forces Far East. Admiral Briscoe informed the Lieutenant that the United States has a new capability called the NSA, National Security Agency. They were covertly aboard the U.S.S. Helena, right off Vladivostok on their first mission. The NSA told Admiral Briscoe to tell that young man that he got at least three. They were able to follow LT Williams from take-off until the remnant MiGs came back. Admiral Briscoe warned Williams to never speak of the incident for fear of escalating the Korean conflict into World War III. Continued On Page 14
On the flight deck, the plane captain rushed to congratulate the Lieutenant and the badly damaged aircraft became an immediate specimen of interest. 263 perforations were circled and counted, ranging from a foot wide to minor cuts in the fuselage. The Grumman F9F-5 Panther that fought so valiantly was irrevocably damaged and they pushed it over the side into the ocean, to it’s final resting place. LT Williams headed to the Ready Room for debriefing, however the Intelligence Officer delayed the investigation, because he wanted to wait for the Flight Leader. In the meantime,
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A month later, Admiral J.J. Clark and LT Williams met with Presidentelect Eisenhower in Seoul, Korea. Eisenhower specifically requested a debriefing with LT Williams to discuss “our planes versus theirs.” The bold pilot found himself surrounded by Generals Omar Bradley and Mark Clark, Admiral Arthur Radford, the Secretary of Defense and many other dignitaries. Eisenhower took Williams by the elbow and led him to a nice, comfortable, over-stuffed chair. Then he sat at the edge of the chair and wrapped his arm around the young hero. “Well, young man, before we get down to business, don’t you think we ought to have drink? Don’t you think?” Eisenhower encouraged. “Yes, Sir,” Williams agreed. “Well, we have bourbon and scotch, water and soda. My son John is the bartender. What would you like?” I said, “Bourbon and water, please.” The President nudged, “We have awfully good scotch son.” “Well Sir, I prefer bourbon and water.” The President insisted, “Young man, we have great, great scotch.” “Well Sir, the truth is I prefer bourbon and water.” “Lieutenant! We’ve got the world’s finest scotch,” the President demanded. Williams said, “Mr. President, I drink bourbon and water.” The President reluctantly conceded and turned to his son, “John, give him a bourbon and
water.” “Needless to say, I learned quickly from my experience. I should have taken the scotch. So, in honor of Ike, the next time I had the opportunity, I ordered scotch and it prevails to this day,” Williams admitted with a great big grin. Captain E. Royce Williams, USN Retired, flew over 220 missions mainly in Korea and Vietnam. He served our country for over thirty years and retired in 1980. Williams has not yet received the full recognition for his acts of valor that he gave in defense of our great nation over 63 years ago. We encourage all readers to reach out to our local politicians for support and join our plea for Captain Williams to be re-reviewed for recognition for his heroic acts that were above and beyond the call of duty on November 18th, 1952. 90 year old, Captain Royce Williams is featured in the upcoming series ‘Heroes in History,’ a collection of veteran stories, told by the heroes who lived through them…before they are lost forever. Please enjoy Captain Williams’s amazing story at: www. loveamazinglyproductions.com/heroes.html
Join us this May 14th for the annual San Diego Ride for Vets and the kick-off for the Run/Ride to the Wall that will include a nationwide campaign to petition for E. Royce Williams to receive the Medal of Honor. We have the opportunity to ensure that Captain E. Royce Williams will not be “The Forgotten Hero of The Forgotten War.” We are in need of sponsorships and support. For more information, please visit: www.loveamazinglyproductions.com/sd-ride-for-vets.html
By CJ Machado - Photojournalist, Homeland Magazine
HOMELAND /January 2016
The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park Open Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 2115 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Besides the exhibits and ceremonies, the museum has several events. Here’s a quick look at what’s happening at Veterans Museum in January 2016: • Every fourth Saturday of the month is our memorial service for all veterans who have passed away during the month • The second Tuesday of every month is free admission to the museum • Art For Vets is during Free Tuesday, which includes literary, performing and visual arts with Tony LoBue. To register callTony at 619-806-2075 or email email@example.com • Two movie days this month: Jan. 12 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Jan. 27 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. • Swing Performance Classes every Monday except Jan. 25 from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. and every Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. RSVP to Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org
619.239.2300 www.veteranmuseum.org www.homelandmagazine.com
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VetCaregiver Self Check-In 16
HOMELAND /January 2016
VetCaregiver Self Check-In By Linda Kreter
So often as caregivers, we are running so hard, putting ourselves last, and not realizing we are burnt out until we fall ill. Or, we know we’re overwhelmed, but we accept it without question. What happens when the caregiver is down for the count - the wheels have a tendency to come off, don’t they? Make a promise to yourself to Check-In at least weekly. Better yet, do the same with a trusted caregiver or friend as an “accountability partner” so you don’t neglect to consider your own health. Ask these questions to start: · Am I eating well? Skipping meals, snacking too much? · Do I laugh each day? Red flag if you don’t find something amusing each day, even if you don’t laugh out loud. How many times do we text LOL, but not DO it? · Am I drinking enough water? Do I exist on coffee and soda instead? · Do I spend quiet time, reflective time, prayer, or meditation each day? · Am I sleeping well or enough? · Do I get exercise each day? · Do I interact with others each day? In-person is preferable, but at least by phone to hear a voice or online if all else fails. If you’re aware that you’re not checking in, or struggling when you do, we urge you to talk to someone professionally. Many physicians are only now realizing the strain caregivers carry and how to assist you, but it’s growing. Seek community resources such as faith-based counseling, or call Give An Hour (www.GiveAnHour.org) for costfree help. Life is so precious and perhaps you cannot change your situation, but you can change aspects of taking care of you. Caregivers are the heartbeat of the family, and make the active choice to care for you. Linda Kreter is CEO of WiseHealth Inc., and founder of VeteranCaregiver.com. Find more information, videos, and resources at www.VeteranCaregiver.com.
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OUR WISH FOR MILITARY FAMILIES To ring in the New Year, the staff of Homeland Magazine reflects on what military families may wish for 2016. While we all wish for health, prosperity, and good friendsâ€” military families see the greater picture: the world their service members defend. We offer this list on behalf of the military families we serve and we promise to make these wishes a lasting reality. We wish for sustained support of the programs and services that military families have come to rely on when faced with the uncertainties of military operations and separations. We wish for access to quality health care for service members and families, for both mind and body, no matter what uniform they wear or where they live. We hope our military children can have access to quality schools in a safe and caring environment wherever they are stationed. We wish for military spouses to find fulfillment through educational opportunities and rewarding careers. We hope military families, whatever their definition of family may be, can support and care for each other. We hope our wounded service members can receive the care they need, and their caregivers the aid to help them heal. We hope the families of the fallen will be consoled and receive some
HOMELAND /January 2016
comfort from the benefits they are provided on behalf of a grateful Nation. We wish the Nation would understand veteransâ€™ families have limited resources on which to rely, and when honoring the veteran we should also remember the family that supports them.Â We wish communities would reach out, take time to appreciate the contributions of service members and families, and realize we are all neighbors who should care for each other. We wish lawmakers could come together and pass thoughtful legislation to ensure service members have the resources they require to do their jobs, and provide military families with the programs and services they need to support their service members. And we wish for peace in the world and in our families, for this year and the years to come. - Homeland
Mentorship for children in military families who deserve our thanks and support. Enroll a child or become a Big Brother or Big Sister. Call (858) 746.9173 SDBigs.org/OperationBigs
HOMELAND / January 2016 19
By: John Knight
One of the best jobs in America? According to many, the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) program is considered one of the finest youth programs in America (Taylor, Jr., 1999). However, to many instructors, the program may also be one of the best jobs in America. As a current NJROTC instructor with over 10 yearsâ€™ experience, let me explain. First, if you are a retired officer or enlisted member of the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or medically retired, you may be eligible to be an NJROTC instructor. (Yes, the Army and Air Force have equivalent programs, but since this is being written from a naval perspective, the focus will be on NJROTC). Please visit the NSTC NJROTC web site (http://www.njrotc.navy.mil) for specific information, eligibility requirements, and geographic locations available for an instructor. Second, letâ€™s focus on why NJROTC is such a wonderful opportunity for instructors (much has been written and studied as to the student benefits of NJROTC). Instructor job satisfaction is nearly unsurpassed for a myriad of reasons. As an NJROTC instructor, your main objective is to teach and mold high school students to become productive citizens and patriots. Many students may decide to directly enter the military, a few will directly enter the work force, and hopefully the majority will continue their education in community or major colleges (including through
ROTC scholarships). Like the military service, high school cadets (students) are taught to develop themselves academically, physically, and socially. The NJROTC program offers an almost limitless opportunity for this type of development (more on that later). For those of you who have often wondered if all the sacrifice that you endure throughout a military career is worth it, besides the constant knowledge that you have served your country, your retired service also qualifies you as an NJROTC instructor. Now you can begin a second career where all the experience, the trials, the challenges, the failures, the lessons learned, the travel, experience with other cultures, and your education can be passed on to another generation. In some cases, you will be working with youngsters who are searching for a role model, for someone to take an interest in their life, for someone to help guide them into their future. The challenges of working with a couple hundred cadets (each program has a minimum of 10% of the student body or 100 cadets) can be very time consuming, but the joy of sending these graduating seniors to successful careers is most rewarding. Besides teaching and developing their students, NJROTC instructors have ample time to stay physically fit. There are numerous physical activity opportunities in which instructors can participate, lead exercises, or run with their cadets. For some NJROTC units, a high school physical education credit may be awarded. Teaching our youth of America is not a oneway street. In working with cadets, instructors meet a much diversified student body in which gender is almost split. The students themselves bring young ideas and a different generational culture that older instructors can only learn from. It is pleasure and honor to work with young people and it can be very instructional when needing technical advice! NJROTC instructor work hours can also be quite flexible. Although NJROTC instructors work substantially more hours than a normal teacher that includes after school drill practice and an average of 2 Saturdays a month, there is still significant time off for school holidays and partial summer breaks. The instructors are also free to decide if they can rotate who works what weekend and who takes an evening obligation. Instructor pay is usually sufficient; instructors will receive as a minimum their full military pay, in that the school district will pay the difference
California Miramar University, in San Diego, CA is committed to supporting our military and veteran students. The university is VA Approved and Accredited by Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools (ACICS). The university is committed to offering very affordable tuition. At California Miramar University faculty are known both for their excellence in their chosen field and passion for teaching. Students may complete their courses 100% online from anywhere in the world or attend hybrid classes on our San Diego campus. Visit: www.calmu.edu or call 858-653-3000 for more information.
HOMELAND /January 2016
between military retirement and full active duty pay. This so called “delta” ensures that the instructor continues to receive the same pay that they were accustomed to during their military career. There may also be stipends and bonuses available from the school district for extra duties performed. Full health benefits are also available, which results in a solid pay package. As mentioned earlier, the opportunities to develop students in this program are almost endless and perhaps only limited by one’s imagination. A professional curriculum is available through the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) where text books, lesson plans, and various classroom materials are provided at no cost to the cadets. The curriculum guidance saves instructors a substantial amount of time so that they can focus on students. Subjects include naval science, history, leadership, oceanography, meteorology, current events, first aid, and physical education. The NJROTC instructor has significant freedom to deviate amongst the subject matter in both presentation and schedule. The added teaching of patriotism, discipline, drill, and leadership are unique in a high school environment.
at least two instructors assigned so that you can rotate activities). In addition to these types of activities, there are enough drill meet and athletic competitions to satisfy even the most demanding of competitors. The point is, NJROTC instructors have the opportunity to expose, to train, to educate, and to develop youngsters during their most formative years. It is almost impossible to define in writing how one feels when one of their graduating students returns to the NJROTC unit as a successful individual to personally thank you. Knowing that you had a part (even if it is a small one) in their personal development is most satisfying. Of course all teachers can experience this since of pride and satisfaction to help their students succeed, however what sets an NJROTC teacher apart is the many different facets that are available to our unique profession. We are not just teaching students to learn math or English. Instead, we are helping develop students academically, physically, and morally to be more productive citizens. How many jobs are better than that? References: Taylor, Jr., W. J., http://flashmedia.glynn.k12.ga.us/ webpages/jholder/files/jrotc%20csis%20report.pdf, 1999.
In addition to the formal curriculum that includes both academics and physical instruction, instructors also have the freedom to schedule orientation and field trips that avail students to real world events. Again, the possibilities are almost limitless. Here are a list of just a few extracurricular activities and field trip visits: Observatories, Presidential Libraries, city parades, Red Cross Blood drives, ship and aircraft visits, military base visits, private small plane flights, damage control training, aquarium visits, various city projects, countless color guards for civic events, and of course annual formal Military Balls. Again, the NJROTC instructor can taylor which events to attend in helping to expose their cadets to these countless activities (Don’t worry, each program has
Please visit the NSTC NJROTC web site (http://www.njrotc.navy.mil) for specific information, eligibility requirements, and geographic locations available for an instructor.
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PUT MILITARY-STYLE PURPOSE BACK INTO YOUR CAREER
BY CHAD STORLIE USAA Going Civilian Blog
Military veterans often feel they have lost their sense of purpose when they leave the military and begin new careers, jobs and lives outside of the military. A common point of discussion with military veterans is that they miss and struggle with how to replace the sense of mission and sense of purpose they possessed when they were in the military. Military organizations are ideal at finding and relaying purpose and a sense of mission. You have great people, solid equipment, a shared sense of commitment, a shared sense of overcoming (or sacrifice, especially on deployments) and common training that all work toward establishing, maintaining and creating a shared sense of military purpose. Then, when you leave the military, sometimes there is suddenly ... nothing. The point that military veterans are forgetting is that all the positive elements of their character, their military experience and their great value to civilian society are still there. Veterans have to take additional steps to recapture that sense of purpose and sense of value in civilian society.
HOMELAND /January 2016
1. Don’t expect your job to be everything. In the military, our job was often everything to us and we self-identified with what it meant to be a pilot, an infantryman or an armored-vehicle driver. That is great for the military, but it is rare for someone of any profession to get 100% of their selfidentification from their job. Military veterans need to let their job be their job and not hate their new career because it does not fulfill 100% of their self-identification needs. 2. Go “all in” with your employer. I remember one of my first days at Ranger School. It was 3 a.m., a cold driving rain, and we were running around in a massive sawdust pit practicing hand-to-hand combat. I thought, “How can I make 9 weeks, if I’m not sure I can make it to breakfast?” The next moment, I decided to go “all in” and give my best to every moment, to make a 100% commitment to be the best that I could be. It worked. Don’t worry about what your employer isn’t; find ways to give 100% to your employer and discover how you can make the company better. 3. Find other ways to lead. Schools, little league teams, not-for-profits and other organizations desperately need people who can organize, lead and make a great difference for society. Leading a squad for a night raid is an amazing experience, but so is tutoring a group of children after school to improve their math skills. The country needs your leadership in the smallest areas of society. You will feel incredible value and reward by leading and helping others.
and what they are leading us toward, we are engaged. Write it down to ensure it gets done. 4. Find something hard to do and achieve it. Make a really hard personal goal for yourself and achieve it. Make a pledge to develop and teach a class, go back to school and complete a degree, compete in an adventure race, run a half marathon or become rock solid in the gym. Achieving greatness through struggle is a hallmark of the military experience, and often you have to go out of your way to find it in civilian society. So go find it. The key is to find and daily make yourself embrace this decision to endure and grow. And, when this is done, go find the next challenge. As military veterans, our time with the military may be done. As veterans, we want to retain and grow our sense of purpose and sense of mission to meet all the challenges of the future.
Create a written path to the future with a daily plan. A daily, written guiding schedule is vital to the military. When to wake, what you will be doing, with whom and why were vital on a daily basis to establish your purpose and to make you feel engaged. Create your own daily schedule to wake early, exercise, set tasks to meet your goals, make daily steps to meet your career goals and build a future. When we know the daily purpose of our activities
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HOMELAND / January 2016 23
Department of Defense Helps Service Members Vote from Anywhere in the World 3. Address and mail the FPCA to your local election official. Contact information can be found at FVAP.gov. Be sure to include your return address, and affix postage if using a foreign postal service. Return Your Voted Ballot. Ballots are sent out by the states 45 days prior to the election. Once you receive your official ballot, follow the enclosed instructions provided by your local election official.
Make sure you know the absentee voting process and the resources that help make it easy. Voting is one of our most fundamental rights as U.S. citizens, and as a military Service member, you and your family members are eligible to vote absentee. This means you can cast your ballots from wherever you are stationed. It’s easy, and the Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website has everything you need. it’s important you register to vote and request your absentee ballot again this year. In fact, FVAP recommends you do it every January to make sure your information is updated and your absentee ballot application remains active. Go to FVAP.gov to fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), which serves as both a voter registration and absentee ballot request form. Rules may differ from state-to-state, but are broken down into just a few basic steps: • Complete an FPCA from FVAP.gov to register and request your absentee ballot. • Sign and send the request to your election office. • Receive your absentee ballot. • Vote and return the ballot to your election office. Get Started! Send in Your Registration and Ballot Request. Using the Federal Post Card Application available at FVAP.gov will maximize your eligibility to vote in each upcoming federal election. In many instances, you may receive ballots for all upcoming elections. To ensure you meet your state’s requirements, just do the following: 1. Complete and sign the FPCA using your state’s instructions. Find your state’s instructions at FVAP.gov by selecting your home state from the dropdown menu. If using the online FPCA, print and sign the form. 2. Fold and seal your FPCA. If using the online FPCA, the PDF package includes a template for a postage-paid envelope.
HOMELAND /January 2016
Have a Backup Plan. If you have not received the ballot you requested from your state at least 30 days before the election, you may use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB is a write-in backup ballot that can be completed for any federal election or for State and local elections depending on your state of residence. The FWAB can be easily completed by using the online tools at FVAP.gov. You can also complete the PDF version of the form or pick up a hardcopy version from your unit Voting Assistance Officer. Stay Informed. Sign up for your state’s voting alerts at FVAP.gov to keep updated on election dates, important deadlines and changes to state laws that affect how you vote absentee. If you experience any issues or have questions, FVAP’s call center is available at 1-800-438-VOTE (8683), DSN 425-1584, or at vote@fvap. gov. Toll-free phone numbers from 67 countries are listed at FVAP.gov. Find us on Facebook at /DoDFVAP and follow @FVAP on Twitter
enlisted to entrepreneur By Vicki Garcia
Grow Your Business With Other People’s Money Money Moves to Make in Your First Few Years of Military Service by JJ Montanaro, ®CFP
§ Build a budget. If you don’t have one, you’re not alone. Too
In case you haven’t been following this, the Securities and Exchange Commission has published the final rules for Title III of the JOBS Act. It means small businesses (like you) can get small angel investors (as in real people) to invest in your business without the heavy burdens of appealing to only accredited investors (read: “rich” people) and the previously expensive financial requirements to reach them (read: audits). In 180 days, around June 2016, the floodgates will open and small businesses can start finding angels. NOW is the Time to Get Ahead of This Curve People with money are looking for businesses to invest in. It may as well be you. According to www.fundwisdom.com “This law will enhance entrepreneurs’ chances of success, improve economies and increase jobs. This increase in capital will allow for more individuals to bring big ideas to market and make strategic vision into a reality. The start-up businesses will surely benefit from this rule, as it provides an opportunity for longterm success and ongoing development by bringing entrepreneurs closer to future investors. Title 3 is sure to disrupt the capital market by bringing a huge change in the world of investment that was previously reserved for venture capitalists and angel investors. It will be possible for every individual, and not just the wealthy and rich, to invest in the start-ups. Everyday citizens will also be able to participate in the investment or the fundraising process, regardless of their bank balances. The technological breakthrough has already begun the process of automating and streamlining costs, and opened up further avenues for start-up and private businesses to raise capital.” We think this is a great opportunity for veteran entrepreneurs. You’re invited to attend “Grow with Other People’s Money: What Title III JOBS Act Means for Your Biz” on January 26 at 5:30 where we will discuss Title III JOBS act with two experts. Go to http://www.meetup.com/sdmarketing/ to RSVP. Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Veteran Entrepreneurs Today and the Owner of the marketing firm, Marketing Impressions, with 30 years helping small business owners succeed. Learn about and apply for V.E.T. at http:// veteranentrepreneurstoday.org or fill out an application at https://www. surveymonkey.com/r/veteran-entrepreneur
many people fail to map out where their money goes, so I’ve placed this first on my list. Developing a detailed list of what comes in and a plan for what goes out is the first step to taking charge of your money.
§ Save for emergencies. Having money set aside in a savings
account for the unexpected is a must. Start with an achievable goal, say $1,000, and then build until you can cover three to six months of expenses. Set up an allotment on the Defense Department’s myPay website or arrange an automatic transfer to move money into your savings account each payday. Start small, if you must — even $25 to $50 a paycheck will get the ball rolling.
§ Sign up for the TSP. The military’s version of a 401(k) is
called the Thrift Savings Plan, and it’s a great way to save for your future. You can sign up to contribute a portion of each paycheck to this tax-advantaged account on myPay.
§ Guard your credit. Your credit report and accompanying score are important — and fragile.
§ Use pay increases to your advantage. No, I’m not saying
go out on a shopping spree — exactly the opposite. If you commit to using half of each pay raise to boost your savings instead of your spending, you’ll be headed in the right direction.
§ Read up on the SCRA. Yep, another acronym. The
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is a law with which you should become familiar. Did you have some debt (credit card, student loans, etc.) before you joined the military? The SCRA can put a 6% interest rate cap on pre-service debts, and it offers a host of other protections.
§ Visit a financial counselor. Counseling isn’t just for people
struggling with money. Actually, it can be a great help to anyone — especially when it’s free and offers you the chance to understand and take charge of your own finances.
Before you›re too far into your military career, take the time to build a foundation that will last a lifetime. It›s the first step toward financial security and a solid choice as you embark on your service to our nation.
HOMELAND / January 2016 25
By Sarah Luken
The Saturday morning was crisp, with mounds of cookies and gallons of free coffee for the hundreds of people gathered at Miramar National Cemetery, Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Greenwood Cemetery to remember, honor and teach during the 2015 Wreaths Across America ceremony.
wreaths in an older section of Arlington National Cemetery, which wasn’t receiving as much attention as the newer sections. The project continued to grow and became Wreaths Across America, which has over 800 participating locations.
“We enjoy all these freedoms, not because someone says you’re free, somebody had to do something”
at Miramar National Cemetery and Captain, U.S. Navy (retired). “As a family member with a loved one interred at MNC I feel really bad when I have to explain to a family why there is no wreath on their loved one’s gravesite. There simply were not enough wreaths donated.” Last year 716,000 wreaths were placed nationally, but in most locations there aren’t enough for every headstone to have one. The wreaths are made Maine and volunteers truck the wreaths nationwide, with a $15 donation equaling one wreath. Anyone and any business can sponsor a wreath and make the wreaths in honor or in memory of a loved one. “There may not be a lot of people that come
“We have a very large veteran community in San Diego, with 240,000 veterans, we are all part of this large family,” said Ed Berger, San Diego County veteran of the year.
In San Diego, Wreaths Across America was at Miramar National Cemetery, Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and for the first time Greenwood Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Wreaths Across America is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2007 as an extension of the Arlington Wreath Project. The project was started in 1992 when the owner of the Worchester Wreath Company, Morrill Worcester, had extra wreaths. Worchester, with some help, decided to place the extra
In San Diego approximately 8,500 wreaths were distributed, which wasn’t enough to cover every headstone and honor every veteran.
HOMELAND /January 2016
“When I see gravesites without wreaths I am very sad,” said Kathy Bruyere, a volunteer
America “It was all these people. All these who are interred here” out to visit these national cemeteries, but this national wreath day is a day that draws attention to the men and women who are interred at these memorial cemeteries and the scarifies that have made,” said Berger. During the ceremony Berger laid a wreath remembering and honoring the fallen during 9/11. “We enjoy all these freedoms, not because someone says you’re free, somebody had to do something. Who did it?” As Berger gestures to the thousands of graves, he said, “It was all these people. All these who are interred here. They stood up and said ‘I’ll take the job. It will be my job. I’ll make the pledge to give up whatever I need to do to preserve the safety and freedoms of the country.’” Berger points to the gravestones, with their unique religious symbols, some with the Star of David and some with a cross, some with nothing. “Everyone who is right here are our brothers and sisters. We haven’t met them, but we know we are all part of the same family. We all took the same oath. We made the choice to stand up for freedom and to stand up for our way of life.” www.homelandmagazine.com
HOMELAND / January 2016 27
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Wounded Veteran Helping Catch Child Predators
Department of Homeland Security Internship Prepares Injured Service Members for New Careers By Rob Louis It may seem like tedious work, sitting in front of a computer screen for hours, but for the men and women involved in the Human Exploitation Rescue Operative Child-Rescue Corps (HERO Corps), the mission is what matters. HERO Corps is a year-long program to prepare wounded veterans to work with Homeland Security to help stop child predators, and keep kids safe. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) partners with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help find the right candidates ii injured veterans registered with WWP that have a jumpstart on their computer education through the Transition Training Academy (TTA). TTA provides hands-on computer education to wounded veterans. It is one of 20 life-saving programs and services offered, free of charge. TTA offers different skill levels of computer courses leading participants towards careers in information technology (IT). Wounded veterans can earn certifications as they pass each level of IT proficiency. This training also makes the injured service members ideal candidates for HERO Corps. Dominic Malgieri, an Army veteran, knew about TTA and HERO Corps when he first registered with WWP. “I thought it would be a good idea to get my IT certification before I applied to HERO Corps,” Dominic said. He served just shy of three years in the Army before a training accident left him with injuries to his lower body. Through HERO Corps, wounded veterans are trained to track down potential child predators lurking on the Internet. Injured service members are trained in the program initially, and then deployed to a ten-month internship at a DHS office located nationally across the country. During that internship, participants work side-by-side with federal agents to track down potentially harmful individuals. They are then involved in the process to acquire warrants used in the arrest and later prosecution of the individual. These internships not only help provide the skills, but
HOMELAND /January 2016
TTA provides hands-on computer education to wounded veterans. It is one of 20 life-saving programs and services offered, free of charge.
Through HERO Corps, wounded veterans are trained to track down potential child predators lurking on the Internet.
also an opportunity for the wounded veteran to show they are worthy of a full-time position. Dominic says in this program, persistence is key. “Currently, I am helping with search warrants on suspects and analyzing computers and other devices we take from a suspect’s home.” Dominic has just a few more months of his unpaid internship left, but he has a goal through the program. “I’m hoping to catch on with Homeland Security Investigations after my internship, for a full-time job” Dominic said. WWP listens to the needs of all our more than 81,000 registered Alumni. Through the 2015 annual WWP Alumni Survey, WWP can adjust programs and services to meet the needs of wounded veterans. See the results or download the executive summary at woundedwarriorproject.org/survey.
About Wounded Warrior Project The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s 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 the PH&W program, visit woundedwarriorproject.org. (Photos courtesy WWP)
HOMELAND / January 2016 31
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