Homeland Magazine June 2019

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Vol. 6 Number 6 • June 2019 www.HomelandMagazine.com

Veterans Magazine



The Face of PTSD

The Science of PTSD

Tour of Honor The Final Mission

WARRIOR CARE NETWORK Veterans Reclaim Their Lives

Self Employment & PTSD LEGAL EAGLE

Careers In Law Enforcement

Finding Help and Hope


Resources • Support • Transition • Inspiration / JUNE 2019 1 HomelandMagazine.com

Caring for our veterans

Veterans facing the challenges associated with a life-threatening illness can rely on The Elizabeth Hospice for the medical, emotional and spiritual support they need and deserve. Our skilled, compassionate caregivers are trained to address PTSD, depression, anxiety, survivor’s guilt, and soul injury. Complementary therapies, including physical therapy, music therapy, aromatherapy and pet visits, are used in combination with medical support to help alleviate pain. We celebrate and thank our patients for their service at bedside pinning ceremonies officiated by a veteran or active duty service member. Since 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice has touched the lives of more than 100,000 people in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County. To learn more about our hospice care, palliative care and grief support services for veterans, call 800.797.2050 or visit www.elizabethhospice.org.

The Elizabeth Hospice is proud to be a We Honor Veterans Level 5 Partner, the highest level of distinction.


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Make it easy to keep family and friends informed during a health journey. CaringBridge offers free websites to connect with the people who matter most. Share updates, receive emotional support, coordinate tasks, and even fundraise for medical expenses, all in one place.

Learn more and start a site today. Visit CaringBridge.org/military-service/

Just know that there are people out there who care about you. And who will help you.

KEVIN AMUNDSON, former Army National Guard member, whose family used CaringBridge for support through Kevin’s depression

It takes just 3 minutes to set up your personal, private and ad-free site. Start a site today and feel the power of your community.

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‘Thank you! Thank you!’ After 50 years, DAV past national commander meets Army medic who saved his life in Vietnam By M. Todd Hunter


ast National Commander Dennis Joyner doesn’t remember being lifted into the air by the explosion underneath him on June 26, 1969. He does, however, remember falling back to earth. Joyner, then 20, had stepped on a land mine in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. The blast took both of his legs above the knees and his left arm below the elbow. His sergeant was first to reach him, followed by platoon medic Dewey “Doc” Hayes. The sergeant kept Joyner from going into shock while Doc applied tourniquets to stop the bleeding. “Without Doc and the sergeant, I probably wouldn’t be here today,” Joyner explained. But while he never forgot the medic who saved his life, he also never had the chance to thank him. Joyner would go on to have a 30-year career in local government, first in his native Pennsylvania and later in Florida. He raised a family and served as DAV national commander from 1983 to 1984. Over the years, he kept in contact with several men he served with in Vietnam, but his efforts to find Doc Hayes were unsuccessful. “I knew he was from Tennessee, so I kept looking for a Dewey Hayes in Tennessee,” Joyner recalled. “But I could never find him.” That changed last November when fellow veteran Bill Lina located a Dewey Hayes in Cocoa, Fla., a mere 45-minute drive from Joyner’s home in the Orlando suburb of Longwood. With minimal information, Lina sent a letter to the address asking if it was the same Dewey Hayes who served with the Army’s 9th Infantry Division. It was. “I thought about him a lot through the years,” said Hayes, “wondered how he was doing and what he was doing and whether he had done anything other than just sitting in a wheelchair his whole life.” The two connected over the phone, and over the course of a few conversations, Joyner assured Hayes that he was able to live a full and successful life because of

Left: Dewey “Doc” Hayes (left) at Dennis Joyner’s bedside days after Joyner was injured in Vietnam. Right: Joyner (right) and Hayes 50 years later.

Hayes’ actions on the battlefield in Vietnam. The two also tried to find time in their schedules to meet up for lunch. “First, I want to thank him,” Joyner said. “Secondly, there’s just a part of me that kind of wants to apologize to him for what I put him through that day. And I know it wasn’t my fault, but that’s just something inside of me that I’m sure he’s had a vivid memory of me for a lot of years for as bad as I was wounded.” On March 15, the two men met—for the first time since Joyner was injured in Vietnam almost 50 years earlier. After backing his motorized wheelchair down the ramp of his adapted minivan, Joyner turned to a waiting Hayes and outstretched his arms, and the two embraced. “Hey brother,” Joyner said while fighting to control his emotions. “Fifty years. Thank you, thank you.” “You’re welcome,” Hayes replied. Over the next couple of hours, the two shared memories over local seafood—Dennis extending his apology and Hayes admitting his apprehension for meeting. “I was afraid I’d be reliving a lot of my experiences,” Hayes said, before encouraging other Vietnam veterans to reach out to those whom they lost touch with over the years. “I’m glad I did.”

Watch Video Online To see the touching reunion of these Vietnam War veterans, visit dav.la/yl. n

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www.HomelandMagazine.com Greetings and a warm welcome to HOMELAND Magazine! Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. Homeland Magazine focuses on real stories from real heroes; the service member, the veteran, the wounded and the families that keep it together. Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with service members, families, veterans and civilians. Homeland is about standing your ground, resilience, adaptation, inspiration and solidarity. HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; our focus is on veterans, military and civilians alike. I believe HOMELAND is where the heart is, and our publication covers a wide variety of topics, and issues about real life and real stories. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people.

Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller Contributing Writers CJ Machado Vicki Garcia - Enlisted Holly Shaffner - Honor Flight Joe Molina - VCCSD Lori Boody - VANC Shelter to Soldier Eva M. Stimson Boot Campaign Barry Smith Leigh Ann Ranslem Wounded Warrior Project Jennifer Silva DAV - Dan Clare American Warrior Jim Lorraine Operation Homefront Kelly Bagla. Esq. Billieka Boughton Shya Ellis-Flint Lara Ryan Daniel Chavarria National Women’s History Karen R. Price Fathers Joe’s Village Hart Dubois Public Relations CJ Machado Mike Miller Marketing/Sales Mike Miller Homeland Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved.

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

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

With warmest thanks, Mike Miller, Publisher

858.275-4281 Contact Homeland Magazine at:

info@homelandmagazine.com 6

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8 Operation Deep Dive

12 Finding Help & Hope 16 Warrior Care Network 22 The Face of PTSD 24 Veterans PTSD Treatment 28 The Science of PTSD 32 Tour Of Honor - Final Mission 36 PTSD - How Can We Help 38 VANC - Ease Your Mind 40 Self Employment & PTSD 44 Military Money Minute 45 Legal Eagle - Website 47 Careers in Law Enforcement

DIGITAL VERSION AVAILABLE www.HomelandMagazine.com

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Operation Deep Dive: Communities Collaborating Against Suicide By Leah Taylor, Program Manager of Operation Deep Dive at America’s Warrior Partnership

What gets me up every day in the morning is knowing

that all too often, those who served our country are not getting the services they deserve to lead their best lives. The worst outcome of this crisis is suicide, which is why I am grateful for the opportunity to help lead Operation Deep Dive at America’s Warrior Partnership. Operation Deep Dive is a first-of-its-kind research project that is examining the factors and potential causes involved in suicides and self-harm among veterans. In addition to our team at America’s Warrior Partnership, we are conducting the study alongside researchers from The University of Alabama with support from the BristolMyers Squibb Foundation. We are focused on identifying what we do not already know about suicide, namely the impact that a local community environment can have on individual veterans. Once the four-year duration of our study is complete, we will have developed a methodology that any community can implement to identify the unique risk factors of suicide within their area. Our ultimate goal is to empower communities with the insights they need to develop proactive outreach and support programs that will help eliminate veteran suicide. Since kicking off the project in December 2017, we have launched Community Action Teams (CAT) within 14 communities across the country. These local teams are made up of medical examiners, coroners, veteran-serving organizations, law enforcement officers, civic leaders, veterans and their families and caregivers. I have had the privilege of working with these local leaders and volunteers alongside the national research team. For many of the participants supporting Operation Deep Dive, suicide is more than a critical community issue, it is one that has affected them personally. Their stories have reinforced just how important it is for all of us to dedicate ourselves to resolving this crisis. During a recent site visit, a veteran spoke to Dr. Karl Hamner, Co-Principal Investigator for the study, and told him that last winter he had created a plan for suicide. Dr. Hamner asked him what made him change his mind. The veteran pointed to a local VA representative who was also at the meeting and said that he had seen her around at community veteran events.He shared that because of this, he felt safe to ask for help, and her support during his time of dire need is why he is still here. 8

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Similarly, at another community meeting, a CAT member shared that he had struggled with thoughts of suicide. His best friend intervened at a critical moment and saved his life. These stories demonstrate that community really can be the life or death difference for a struggling veteran. In both of these examples, these veterans who were once struggling are now thriving and active contributors to their community. When we empower veterans, everyone benefits. The hard work of our teams makes me hopeful for the future. We are working towards a world where every veteran is empowered and embraced by their community. No veteran should ever get to a point of desperation where they feel that they have no other option but to end their life. This is our goal for Operation Deep Dive – to empower communities and policy makers with the information they need to eliminate suicide among veterans. We will continue to share updates over the remaining two years of the project online at www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org/Deep-Dive Most importantly, if you are a service member or veteran seeking help, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. This is a free, 24/7 service that can provide support, information and direct you to local resources. About the Author Leah Taylor serves as the Program Manager of Operation Deep Dive at America’s Warrior Partnership, a national nonprofit with the mission of empowering communities to empower veterans.

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



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The Mission Development of an 18 bed Transitional Housing Facility for homeless Veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress. Provide a low stress environment that will enhance our Veterans skill sets for an independent future. Provide non-medical care and support but most of all, understanding and compassion for those in need. Help our homeless Veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress & read our story at:

www.jimmyshouse.org The James & Walter Cribben Center for Veterans Affairs Creating Transitional Housing for Veterans with PTSD




1441 Encinitas Blvd., #110 • 760-944-1534

DEL MAR (Across from the Fairgrounds) 15555 Jimmy Durante Blvd • 858-794-9676



1231 Camino Del Rio South • 619-298-9571


1066 W. Valley Pkwy • 760-741-0441



HomelandMagazine.com / JUNE 2019


HOMELANDMAGAZINE.COM Resources Support Inspiration

Homeland Veterans Magazine

Voted 2017 & 2018 BEST resource, support media for veterans, military families & military personnel.

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Finding Help and Hope through Give an Hour™ By Erin Timmermans, Director of Military and Family Programs

June is National PTSD Awareness Month, and marks an important time for us to recognize the complexities of trauma and how it can impact those around us, including ourselves. According to the VA National Center for PTSD, PostTraumatic Stress Disorder became a diagnosis as a result of a number of social movements, including advocacy by Veteran, feminist, and Holocaust survivor groups. Research about Veterans returning from combat was a critical piece of the creation of the diagnosis and treatment. The history of what is now known as PTSD often references combat history, although one does not have to experience combat to experience PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms may include avoidance behaviors, anger, sadness, upsetting memories, feeling of helplessness or trouble sleeping. These feelings are normal biological reactions to the experience of an event that feels life threatening, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is a condition that some people develop when the symptoms of PTS do not dissipate in a reasonable timeframe after experiencing or witnessing an event. The good news is there are effective treatments available for PTS, and PTSD.


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Give an Hour™ empowers a community of volunteer mental health professionals who provide no-cost mental health care to active duty, guard and reserve service members, veterans, and their families- including individuals who experience PTS or PTSD. This free, anonymous option is complementary to the existing government and community support programming. Providers offer one hour per week of pro bono in person, phone or video counseling to anyone who is/has served in the military or anyone who loves someone who has served in the military. To find a provider in our network, visit www.giveanhour.org/get-help and enter your location and a few preferences to connect to providers who are ready, and waiting, to help you.

Much like PTSD Awareness Month aims to change the misunderstanding surrounding the condition, Give an Hour’s Campaign to Change Direction aims to change the conversation surrounding mental health as a whole. The Campaign to Change Direction™ is a global public health effort focused on changing the culture of mental health so that all in need receive the care they deserve. The Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Guard Bureau and many Veteran Service Organizations are among the key partners in this effort. The Campaign encourages everyone to Know the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering including: personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care, and hopelessness. Those who see the signs of emotional suffering in themselves or someone they love, are encouraged to reach out and seek – or offer – help. Visit www.changedirection.org to join us or learn more about existing tools to promote mental health literacy. Sarah Bonner Giving support to service members and veterans. Sarah Bonner is a veteran and mental health advocate. After two years of college, Sarah joined the United States Air Force to utilize the job training and education benefits, travel, and challenge herself physically and mentally. Sarah had many reasons for joining the military, one of which was following her father’s legacy of service. Sarah’s father served in the United States Navy, Active Duty and Reserve. Sarah recalls the moment she decided to join the military: “The September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center’s, Pentagon, and Pennsylvania, hit home with me since I grew up in New Jersey and had visited several times. I remember coming home from school at 12 years old to learn of the first attack and deciding then to step up and do something purposeful to help” While stationed in Germany, Sarah assisted the injured troops who were medically evacuated. Sarah also volunteered with the local USO chapter. During this time, Sarah survived being sexually and physically assaulted. She also developed Lymphedema in both of her feet and legs. Sarah was medically discharged and returned to her family in the states. “The transition was very difficult and I felt very depressed. I also realized I needed to seek treatment for the trauma I endured while serving; which ultimately led to my PTSD diagnosis.” Sarah began treatment with her Give an Hour provider, and decided her next mission would be a continuation of support to service members and veterans.

Graduating with a degree in Social Work, she took her first steps towards her new goal. In addition, Sarah is a Peer Mentor with the Wounded Warrior Project, a fellow alumnus with The Mission Continues, a member of Team Red White & Blue, and involved with Ride 2 Recovery. Sarah credits her healing to the support she has gotten from these organizations, her family and friends, physical fitness, community service, and bike riding.

Sarah continues to experience symptoms of depression and PTSD, but remains committed to her recovery, with the help of her Give an Hour Provider. She plans to open her own nonprofit to assist military service members and veterans and families with making healthy transitions from the military to the civilian world. Sarah also hopes to join Give an Hour and give back once she becomes a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

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Go to a TOP college with the support of other veterans and FULL TUITION GUARANTEED. Posse is selecting veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces to attend:



POSSE IS LOOKING FOR VETERANS WHO: • Have not previously received a bachelor’s degree • Have served at least 90 consecutive days of active duty since September 11, 2001, and have received or will receive an honorable discharge by July 1, 2019 • Can commit to a one-month pre-collegiate training program in New York City in the summer of 2019 • Are leaders in their places of work, communities and/or families



WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE POSSE VETERANS PROGRAM? Visit our website at www.possefoundation.org/veterans or email the Posse Veterans Team at veterans@possefoundation.org. GET TO KNOW A POSSE VETERAN SCHOLAR...



COLLEGE DEGREE: Each cohort—a Posse—of 10 veterans attends college together to pursue bachelor’s degrees.

University of Virginia Navy Gallatin, TN

FUNDING: Vassar College, The University of Virginia, The University of Chicago, and Wesleyan University guarantee four years of full tuition funding after GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon benefits have been applied. SUPPORT: Comprehensive training from Posse prepares veterans for the college experience and support continues on campus through graduation. CAREER: Posse offers internship opportunities, career coaching and connections to a large professional network to prepare Posse Scholars for leadership positions in the workforce.


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

No Cost, Confidential Counseling In Person/Phone/Video www.giveanhour.org

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Warrior Care Network Helps Veterans Reclaim Their Lives By Mike Richardson – vice president of independence services and mental health, Wounded Warrior Project Post-traumatic stress is an invisible enemy. Army veteran Yolanda Poullard has fought this enemy face-to-face and is well acquainted with the wounds it can cause. “These are the wounds that don’t break the skin; they are hard to reach, hard to treat, and hard to heal,” she said. “These are the wounds that wake you up at night in a sweat, that leave you feeling helpless and alone. These wounds don’t break the skin, but break the heart, spirit, and mind of a soldier.” Like many other soldiers, her return home was a bumpy road because of the experiences she and her team lived through. Yolanda did not want to leave the military. She had joined right after college, and that was the only life she knew. But things had changed. “Once you return from war, you’re different,” Yolanda said. “You see the world differently and you see people differently. You’re angry and hurt. You’re traumatized.” Yolanda found herself struggling with daily life, and her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms interfered with her interactions with her spouse and her young daughter. Yolanda is not alone. In a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) survey (https://www.woundedwarriorproject. org/survey) of the wounded warriors it serves, nearly four in five veterans (78.2%) report living with the symptoms of PTSD.

WWP created Warrior Care Network® four years ago to provide lifesaving clinical mental health care for veterans managing PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and combat stress. WWP partnered with four top academic medical centers to create Warrior Care Network, then included VA in the process to ensure veterans can seamlessly transition into and out of treatment. “If it weren’t for Warrior Care Network, I would not be standing here today,” said Yolanda, who was on active duty for 18-and-a-half years and led 150 soldiers in a communications team in Iraq. The clinical treatment provided by Warrior Care Network partner Operation Mend at UCLA helped Yolanda carefully relive her traumas to find effective ways to cope with each issue. Cognitive treatment retrained the brain, while mindfulness efforts helped Yolanda address stress in her life. “After my treatment, it brought brightness back into my home, and we could all function as a family.” Yolanda also appreciated how Warrior Care Network stayed with her when she returned home. Clinicians used monthly calls to provide follow-up care with Yolanda. She felt empowered by the knowledge she gained during treatment, knowledge she used every day. “Warrior Care Network helped me in so many ways,” Yolanda said. “It taught me life skills that I use every day and are everlasting. It helped get out of the black tunnel and get back in society. It taught me to accept the new me – and to love the new me.” Bill Geiger: Empowered to Get Back to His Family As early as 2003, Bill Geiger knew he didn’t feel like himself. He was between deployments, and he caught himself having outbursts and panic attacks. His primary care physicians gave him medication. He wanted to look for additional help, but a new deployment came up, and he was off to Iraq. “There’s no time to be angry or depressed when you’re deployed,” Bill said. “The chaotic drive of deployment masks the issues. Hollering, being depressed, and


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isolating myself from my family became the standard.” By 2012, Bill knew he needed help. But like many other veterans, he considered himself undeserving of care. “I had all my limbs and didn’t have any bullet holes; I didn’t deserve the attention,” he recalled. He signed up for WWP connection events and sought out relief through WWP’s mental health workshops. His network of fellow veterans grew, and he started feeling that he had people to count on. By 2012, Bill knew he needed help. But like many other veterans, he considered himself undeserving of care.

“I had all my limbs and didn’t have any bullet holes; I didn’t deserve the attention,” he recalled. He signed up for WWP connection events and sought out relief through WWP’s mental health workshops. His network of fellow veterans grew, and he started feeling that he had people to count on. “The folks at Wounded Warrior Project to me are angels; they’re the most kind and caring people I have met anywhere. Through them, I was introduced to Warrior Care Network, one of the biggest sources of support I have found.” Bill successfully completed the Home Base program at Massachusetts General Hospital, part of WWP’s Warrior Care Network. He was in group and individual sessions; tried yoga, tai chi, and drawing; and discovered tools to help him manage real scenarios and feel more confident in social situations. He also received assistance finding the right people to support him after he returned home.

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“They connect you with someone who specializes in PTSD before you go back,” Bill said. “They gave me so many tools to cope. If I have a bad day, I catch myself, and I apologize to my kids. I’ve learned that it’s OK to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I practice resilience in my daily life.” Warrior Care Network provides a year’s worth of mental health care in intensive 2- to 3-week programs. Warrior Care Network partner programs are Operation Mend at UCLA Health; the Veterans Program at Emory Healthcare; Road Home at Rush University Medical Center; and Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program. WWP offers access to these services thanks to the selfless and generous support of people who want to give back to veterans who have given so much. More than 3 million brave men and women have been deployed. It is estimated more than 600,000 manage PTSD and 300,000 live with a TBI. Warrior Care Network was developed to fill gaps in services for returning service men and women. Traditional mental health care has its challenges: high drop-out rate, lack of satisfaction, barriers to care. Warriors needed a program that offered open and healthy dialogue, a true learning network, open sharing of data, and learning from each other. Warrior Care Network’s goal is not only to help warriors survive but thrive and become leaders. More than 1,500 warriors have completed the intensive outpatient program. More than 96% of these men and women would recommend

it to their fellow warriors. With a new extension of this treatment program, Warrior Care Network will treat and serve more than 16,000 warriors and families over the next five years. For warriors like Bill and Yolanda, knowing there are ways to get help brought hope of a new life. “What I know now is there is help for soldiers and veterans, whether you are active or retired,” Yolanda said. “If you do not know how to get help, just ask! The help I received from Warrior Care Network was lifechanging. You can overcome any mental illness such as PTSD and live a normal life with the right treatment.” WWP is committed to helping wounded veterans achieve their highest ambition. When they’re ready to start their next mission, WWP stands ready to serve. Learn about how WWP’s free programs and services in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care change lives, and how you can help at https://wwp.news/Donate.

About Wounded Warrior Project Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), top rated by Charity Navigator, and holding a GuideStar Platinum rating. To get involved and learn how WWP connects, serves, and empowers, visit http:// newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us. About the Author Mike Richardson is vice president of independence services and mental health at Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). He leads mental health and independence program teams that seek to meet warrior mental health care needs (including PTS and TBI treatment) in innovative and lifesaving ways. Mike’s position at WWP solidifies his passion to serve a population that he was and continues to be engaged with. Mike began his military service in 1981 as a 17-year-old private and retired 32 years later in 2013 as a medical service corps lieutenant colonel. He last served as the director of the disability evaluation system for Army Medicine as part of the Army staff. He also commanded the Warrior Transition Battalion for Europe from 2010 to 2012, where his relationship with WWP began. During his last 15-month deployment to Iraq, he served as the Iraq theatre medical regulating officer and was responsible for the coordination of all patient movement within and departing from Iraq.


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Wounded Warrior Project helped me reclaim my life.




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

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JUNE 28, 2019 11:30AM-1:30PM S H E R AT O N H O T E L A N D M A R I N A

Join us and special guest, Mary Jean Eisenhower, to honor our nation’s military and raise funds to support veterans experiencing homelessness.

T I C K E T S AVA I L A B L E A T M Y. N E I G H B O R . O R G/ E V E N T S

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: M ARY J E AN E ISE N H OW E R Mary Jean Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, will share lessons learned growing up in one of America’s most decorated military families. As a champion for service men and women worldwide, Ms. Eisenhower brings a unique perspective on the sacrifices of those who serve our country and its lasting impact on their lives.


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Why wait?


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A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain, LCSW

The Face of PTSD At least you’re not one of those ‘crazy veterans’!! Believe it or not this was not the first or last time I heard a statement like this. One time a primary care doctor was reviewing my file and said, “you are pretty high-functioning considering”. Considering what doc? Because I have been diagnosed with PTSD I should present differently? Does the fact I have a trauma history mean I should not find a way to regain control of my life?

• Experiences firsthand repeated or extreme exposure to adverse details of traumatic event (usually in the course of professional duties); (first responders, professionals repeatedly exposed to details of trauma/abuse).

PTSD TREATMENT Common symptoms of PTSD:


Symptoms can occur immediately after the trauma or in others it may cause symptoms years after the event/ trauma.

PTSD is a real thing. It is something that affects many but NOT all our fellow veterans.

• Repeatedly thinking about the trauma. (Can manifest as nightmares or flashbacks)

It is important we dispel some of the myths around PTSD ….and learn some basics of PTSD.

• Feeling on alert, on guard, easily startled or angered. Feeling irritable, anxious or pre-occupied with feeling unsafe are common.

Why wait?

So, what is PTSD? Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible that you see, hear or happens to you.


These can include combat exposure, terrorist attack, abuse of any kind, serious accidents, natural disasters and others. PTSD can affect anyone who: • Directly experiences the traumatic event • Witnesses a traumatic event


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• Difficulty sleeping or concentrating. • Feelings of mistrust. • Problems functioning at school, job, or social situations. • Feelings of intense fear: panic attacks.• Relationship challenges: Problems with intimacy, feeling detached from loved ones. • Physical symptoms such as digestive problems, rapid breathing, muscle tension and rapid heart rate.

It is important for anyone experiencing these symptoms to seek treatment. There are many amazing resources out there for our veterans to seek the help they need. It is important for family members, friends and loved ones to be supportive and encouraging of our fellow veterans as they work through the struggles of PTSD. PTSD does not go away we simple learn how to manage our symptoms. We learn what a new normal is and how we can find happiness again.

What can a family member or loved one do to support their veteran who is struggling from PTSD? • Encourage them to seek treatment ….in whatever what works for them. • Be willing to listen and understand they may not want to talk. • Encourage pro-social involvement (exercise clubs, hobby groups, religious organizations) • Offer to go to doctor; help track medications or other support as needed. • Learn more about PTSD. The more you know the better you can support your loved one. What not to do: • Ask a veteran how many people he/she killed. • Try to fix them. • Judge • Assume you know what they are going through • Tell them to ‘get over it’. • Tell them it is in their head. • Take your veteran’s anger or other feelings personally. • Ask for specifics to their combat experience.

What can a family member or loved one do to support their veteran who is struggling from PTSD? • Encourage them to seek treatment ….in whatever what works for them. • Be willing to listen and understand they may not want to talk. • Encourage pro-social involvement (exercise clubs, hobby groups, religious organizations) • Offer to go to doctor; help track medications or other support as needed. • Learn more about PTSD. The more you know the better you can support your loved one.

PTSD is a real struggle many of our returning veterans face every day. There are many resources that can help our veterans inside the VA and outside the VA. The first step to dealing with the struggles of PTSD is to seek help. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the Veteran’s Access and Crisis line at: 1 800 273 8255. Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veteran Affairs (many are veterans themselves). Please tune in next month as we discuss Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and some helpful tools to deal with it.

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Veterans who have turned their lives around with PTSD treatment


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What is PTSD? PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months. If it’s been longer than a few months and you’re still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time. If thoughts and feelings from a life-threatening event are upsetting you or causing problems in your life, you may have PTSD.

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Here’s the good news: you can get treatment for PTSD — and it works. For some people, treatment can get rid of PTSD altogether. For others, it can make symptoms less intense. Treatment also gives you the tools to manage symptoms so they don’t keep you from living your life. PTSD treatment can turn your life around — even if you’ve been struggling for years.

How do I know if I have PTSD? The only way to know for sure is to talk to a mental health care provider. He will ask you about your trauma, your symptoms, and any other problems you have. 26

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You’re not alone. Going through a traumatic event is not rare. At least half of Americans have had a traumatic event in their lives. Of people who have had trauma, about 1 in 10 men and 2 in 10 women will develop PTSD. There are some things that make it more likely you’ll develop PTSD — for example, having very intense or longlasting trauma, getting hurt, or having a strong reaction to the event (like shaking, throwing up, or feeling distant from your surroundings). It’s also more common to develop PTSD after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault. But there’s no way to know for sure who will develop PTSD. For more information and resources visit the National Center for PTSD website at: www.ptsd.va.gov

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The Science of PTSD

By Blythe Karow, President & COO, Evren Technologies, Inc. As part of PTSD Awareness month, we would like to discuss the science behind PTSD and some of the new technologies in development for treatment. The symptoms of PTSD can include anxiety & depression, nightmares & insomnia, social avoidance, and hypervigilance. Although the symptoms are many and varied, there are specific underlying causes of PTSD that are based on how the body has adapted to deal with fear and stress. Someone with PTSD has distinct differences in how their brain identifies and reacts to stressful situations, which is all connected to the brain’s limbic system. The limbic system is an important set of brain structures involved in emotions like fear and love and impacts how we make and retrieve memories. Parts of the limbic system include the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the hypothalamus; which are also the main areas of the brain that have shown functional differences when someone has PTSD as compared to someone without PTSD. The amygdala and hippocampus are the parts of the brain that deal with fear and how you store fearful memories. These structures in the brain are the source of many nightmares and flashbacks for those who suffer from PTSD. The hypothalamus is the subconscious part of the brain that tells the body how to respond to emotions or stressful situations, controls fight or flight responses during times of fear and aggression, and also has the ability to restore a calm state in the body once the stressful situation had abated. 28

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And all of these sections of the brain are in constant communication, deciding how to store memories, how to learn from them, and how to use that information to react to new situations, which is why many PTSD treatments are focused on the limbic system. The currently approved treatment options for PTSD are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which can include all forms of talk therapy and exposure therapy, and prescription drugs, such as anti-depressants (most often Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). Unfortunately, for those seeking treatment for PTSD, the results with current therapies can be quite varied. In one third of the population they have little to no effect on PTSD symptoms. Another third only sees a minimal reduction in symptoms. Additionally, when using anti-depressants, users sometimes have unwanted side effects. Luckily PTSD awareness and acceptance are growing, and with this growth is also an effort to develop new solutions to help those with PTSD reduce and/or eliminate their symptoms. One area of innovation for PTSD treatment is called neuromodulation, where electrical or magnetic stimulation is applied to parts of the brain or other parts of the nervous system. Proponents of neuromodulation believe in the positive effects of this directly targeted stimulation, as it not only goes to the source of PTSD by targeting parts of the limbic system, but also potentially reduces side effects associated with pharmaceuticals that have to disperse throughout the entire body in order to treat one area. Devices that target the storage and retrieval of traumatic memories include Deep Brain Stimulation and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is currently approved in the U.S. for the treatment of Parkinson’s, general movement disorders, and epilepsy and is now also being explored as a treatment for PTSD. DBS involves surgery to implant electrodes into the patient’s brain and directly stimulates the amygdala. Research has shown significant reduction in nightmares, better quality sleep, and an overall improvement in mood. However, we look forward to the results of a full human clinical trial, as previous clinical trials on depression treatments were cut short due to lower than expected results. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an in-office treatment for PTSD and other psychological disorders. During treatment users sit in a chair like the one at the dentists’ office and wear a device on their head that delivers magnetic stimulation while participating in Exposure Therapy sessions.

This form of treatment is currently approved in the EU for PTSD with an Israeli company called Brainsway and undergoing clinical trials in the US. Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) sends signals to the hypothalamus and limbic regions and can modulate fight or flight responses. VNS has traditionally been surgically implanted and is approved for the treatment of epilepsy and depression but has also been explored as an option for PTSD. There are multiple research groups studying the positive effects of VNS on PTSD symptoms in animal studies. One of the most interesting up-coming areas of neuromodulation is in the wearable technology space, where users may find relief from PTSD symptoms without an invasive surgery. Researchers at the University of Florida have been testing transcutaneous VNS for the treatment of PTSD symptoms with positive initial results and a Florida start-up is looking to develop this wearable technology in a way that will allow users to find relief from symptoms throughout the day while wearing a device that looks like a wireless earbud. This company, Evren Technologies, has yet to kick off their US clinical trial but hopes to do so starting in 2020.

None of the neuromodulation devices discussed in this article is yet to be approved in the US for the treatment of PTSD in humans, however, most have or will soon have clinical trials in the United States that are actively recruiting patients. Hopefully further research will prove some or all of these treatments effective and one day PTSD patients will have better options. Blythe Karow is a medical device professional with a passion for developing products that seamlessly fit into a patient’s life. She holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia. Evren Technologies, Inc. is an early-stage medical device start-up developing wearable neurostimulation therapies, in a discreet earbud design, for the treatment of PTSD. Evren Technologies hopes to be the first medical device approved in the Unites States for the treatment of PTSD.

Stimulating change. www.evrenvns.com

HomelandMagazine.com / JUNE 2019 29

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Tour of Honor – the final mission By Holly Shaffner There are few times in a person’s life when they can say an event was “life-changing” but that is how many guardians feel about their experience on Honor Flight San Diego. An able-bodied guardian is paired with a WWII or Korea War veteran to be their “battle buddy” for a threeday trip that is a weekend full of memories – for the guardian and the veteran. Honor Flight San Diego returned from their May 2019 trip after taking 83 veterans on their “final mission”. The Tour of Honor trip was provided by Honor Flight San Diego, a local non-profit organization that takes the most senior veterans and veterans who have terminal illnesses to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifice.

They are flown by charter aircraft to Baltimore, MD and on this leg of the trip they receive a big surprise – Mail Call. They are given letters, cards and pictures made by local scout troops, elementary schools and organizations. But the ones that are most special are those from their family. Each veteran receives a package of mail and they open every envelope and handle every letter and picture with great care.

The trip is more than just visiting memorials - it is also a time for these veterans to make new friends, share their stories and build that military camaraderie they may have missed for the last 75+ years. For three straight days, they are thanked and appreciated for their military service.

When the flight lands at BWI, the veterans are greeted by the airport’s fire department with a water salute that is normally reserved for retiring pilots. As they exit the plane, there is patriotic music playing and active duty, veterans and other travelers welcome them to Baltimore.

Prior ABC San Diego military reporter Bob Lawrence went on the trip as a guardian for Navy Korea War veteran Bill Ohler. “Seeing the memorials through their eyes was inspirational,” said Lawrence.

As the veterans get through a gauntlet of well-wishers, they say that they have never felt so special.

“But the impromptu thank you’s to the veterans for their service was the most memorable.”


It all starts at zero-dark-thirty when the veterans arrive to the airport and are greeted at the curb by Honor Flight volunteers to help them with their bags and push them in a wheelchair to check-in where they are greeted with a hug by their team leaders. And that starts the 72-hour whirlwind trip.

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Little do they know more is coming.

The next day the veterans and guardians board charter buses and head to Washington, D.C. where they are escorted by local motorcycle groups and park police who part the sea of traffic.

Joe Kalla

“Dear Hero, Thank you for helping us and protecting us. Thank you for serving the USA and doing your best to help us. You saved us and had the guts to fight for us”

Throughout the day they visit the National WWII Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, the U.S. Air Force Memorial and the U.S. Navy Yard Museum. One of the most impactful stops is at Arlington National Cemetery where they witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony. While the ceremony itself is silent, the guards salute the WWII vets who line the area by doing a quick scuff of their shoe heel on the pavement. The women veterans stop at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial where they are greeted by retired Air Force Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught and are presented with certificates and entered into the memorial’s database. Throughout the day, they are honored, thanked for the service, given hugs and kisses and they reminisce about their time in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. The final surprise of the trip is the San Diego homecoming. The doors open to the plane and they can already hear the crowd cheering for them – but they don’t know it is for them. They get to the top of the escalator or the elevator and it is a sea of red, white and blue, American flags and 1000 people chanting – USA! USA! USA! When they realize this is THEIR homecoming, it is hard to control the emotions, even for the most hardened of the military men and women.

Continued on next page >

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Frank Manchel

“My father’s passing was the ending to the most amazing weekend, surrounded by his newest best friends. It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful life.” - Bruce Manchel


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On this last trip there was one veteran who got a different kind of homecoming. His name was Frank Manchel and he was 95 years old and served as a Technical Sergeant in the U.S. Army. Frank had just spent the weekend with two of his sons, his nephew, and his 92 year old WWII vet brother from Michigan, all coordinated through Honor Flight San Diego. Approximately 90 minutes before the flight landed in San Diego, Frank collapsed and passed away. There were chaplain’s on the flight who said prayers for Frank and his family as everyone on the plane sang “God Bless America”. Frank’s WWII veteran ball cap was placed on his head and his body was draped in an American Flag. When he was removed from the plane, the firefighters, law enforcement and medical personnel assembled on the ground and delivered final salutes for this fallen hero. While other veterans were being cheered and hugged by their families, this was the homecoming Frank received. Franks son, Bruce, was his guardian on the flight and said, “My father’s passing was the ending to the most amazing weekend, surrounded by his newest best friends. It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful life.” Bruce remarked that his dad didn’t talk about the military very much this trip brought him out of his shell. His family believes that Frank was ready and that this was his final mission. They said that they could not have scripted a better ending for Frank. This story went viral throughout the United States and overseas in the television and print media as well as social media; everyone who heard of this story left condolences for the family. Our nation’s WWII veterans are all over 90 years old. The ending to this story makes one very important point - we need to honor the remaining WWII vets. Every September the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs updates the number of WWII veterans still living and the number who die each day. As of September 30, 2018, only 496,777 of the 16 million WWII veterans were still living and approximately 348 WWII veterans die each day. Honor Flight San Diego’s mission could not be more urgent – to get the remaining Southern California WWII veterans on their final mission before it is too late. The organization knows there are hundreds of WWII veterans living in Southern California who do not know about Honor Flight and who would enjoy this trip. The urgency is on to locate our WWII veterans and send them on the trip of a lifetime.

Due to generous donors, every veteran goes on the trip at no cost to them. If the organization can raise enough funding their next trip, it will be scheduled for October 2019. If you know a WWII veteran who has not been on their Tour of Honor, or if you would like to donate, please go to: www.honorflightsandiego.org. You can also follow the organization on Facebook @ HonorFlightSanDiego.

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PTSD What is it and how can we Help! Joseph Molina Veterans Chamber of Commerce www.vccsd.org

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may occur after a life-threatening even or situation. Military personnel have reported to suffer from this as a result of traumatic situations and as a result of war events. For the same reason, the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in the military is high. The effect is reflected in a different way each time but with negative life-impact every time. Although the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” was created in 1980, it was originally referred to as “the soldier’s heart syndrome” and later referred to as “combat fatigue” after manifestations of this type of trauma were collectively observed in military personal after the First World War. Triggers - Reactions triggered by remembering the event. This can be through reliving the events mentally, or reacting strongly to some reminder of the trauma. Nightmares related to the event fall into this category, as do flashbacks. Individuals might see a familiar location or person that brings back memories of their trauma and triggers flashbacks and anxiety. Triggers could originate from one or more of these three areas: (1) Thoughts, (2) Emotions, (3) Behaviors (or actions). (1) Thoughts: We must understand that we have two sets of thought-process, one that it is auto responsive, it creates thoughts that are independent of our regular thinking process and random in nature, these thoughts are usually not created by us but could Trigger emotions or feelings – The trick here is to learn to “Ignore” these random thoughts so we don’t follow the trail of the thought into an emotional stage. The other thought-process of our mind is the one that creates the thoughts we consciously decide to have; the understanding of this phenomenon is crucial to taking back control of the triggers.

36 HomelandMagazine.com / JUNE 2019 42 SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / JUNE 2019

(2) From Thoughts to triggering emotions; Emotions usually respond to the nature of the thought, if we identify with a negative thought the emotion will most likely follow. Dealing with emotions is probably the most difficult of all three areas to manage since emotions are responding to an already created thought, the trick here is to learn to prevent the thought from creating the emotion in the first place, but if the emotion is already expressing itself, learning to “Re-direct” our attention and or using breathing as a tool may help us gain back the control. (3) From emotions to Actions: These are the actions that represent the completed process and are the result of the combination of the thoughts & emotions. The trick here is to learn how to Identify the thoughts and emotions before the arrive to the Action stage, but in the event that an emotion has turned into an action, the best solution is to learn how to Not to react, It is suggested that one should go for a walk, do breathing exercises, change environments, etc this will allow for more time to process and regain control. Intensity – Individuals may experience these symptoms at different levels of intensity ie; high alertness; feeling agitated; hyperactivity, inability to relax or sleep. The release of adrenaline can make it difficult to sleep, work, or concentrate on some tasks. These symptoms can also make it difficult for the Individual to interact with other people or in certain situations.

Guilt – Individuals may feel guilt, whether justified or not, which presents additional problems. Survivor guilt is an example of an unjustified guilt where the individual feels guilty. This kind of guilt can complicate treatment and make it more difficult to switch from a guilt mid-set to a comfortable mind-set. One of the most difficult aspects of treating symptoms is the emotional side of the symptom as it is difficult to pin-point. Helping to overcome symptom with behavior therapy such as Sound Music which teaches the individual to recognize negative thoughts and emotions, and to accept their feelings rather than try to fight or flee from them. The challenge here is that each “style” is different and not one style fit everyone. Suggesting some possible solutions Battle Field Approach - Dealing with its effect and impact as it is been developed may give individuals the edge needed to prevent its full development in the first place. “Battle Field Therapy” may be able to help soldiers deal with traumatic situations right as they occur, this approach suggests that train counselors using systems such as sound music could be used at the battle site to help minimize the impact and improve the ability of the soldier to deal with the trauma. In Summary: Understand: Understanding that this is a process and that it may take time. What Fits: Everyone is different, not one solution fits everyone, each individual must find the solution that fits best. Must Avoid: Individuals should be aware that excessive alcohol or drug use, may cause depression, insomnia etc. which it could make overcoming the symptoms more difficult. Triggers: Learning to identify and select the thoughts we want to have will help us trigger more positive emotions and more self-control behaviors.

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

Ease your troubled mind One of the things we seem to struggle with is the issue of mental health. It is so difficult to understand what is going on in our own minds, let alone someone else’s mind. The struggle for our veterans with PTSD is to be understood, in terms of what is hurting them, and what is best, when interacting with them. There are a number of ideas and activities that intend to provide relief for our veterans with PTSD. There are scuba diving programs, arts, music and pet interaction programs that intend to help these men and women cope with the everyday challenges of PTSD.

This class is intended for those who work with veterans struggling with mental issues to be more effective at communicating and understanding the needs of our veterans with mental health issues including a presentation on suicide prevention. We hope that you will attend this program, hosted by VANC and featuring Dr. Pearman. By attending we hope that we all can be a little more helpful, more tolerant and more understanding of the special needs of our veterans with mental illness.

One of the programs we provide at VANC every week is our Vet to Vet program which meets every Wednesday at 4pm. This is a peer to peer program, not a program with mental health professionals in attendance.

If you have ever visited the Veterans Association of North County, in Oceanside, this may have been the first thing you would have heard from our volunteers at the front desk.

Our intent is to provide veterans with an opportunity to speak with other veterans about what they are struggling with, or even, what is going on in their world. The regulars that attend this group every week have a great time telling service stories, talking about sports, as well as working on problems with anything from VA services to mobility issues. All of it stays the personal business of the people in the room.

If you have not been to “VANC” perhaps it is because you are not aware of the depth of offerings and resources that VANC has to offer. So what is VANC?

There are also a number of medical professionals who devote their time and energies to shedding light on the issue of PTSD as well as the overall mental health of our veterans with their day to day life. Dr Clint Pearman, with the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, will be providing an educational Program on mental health and our veterans being held on June 19 at 4:30 pm.


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VANC is a non-profit resource center for our military families, and our veterans. It is a place for military and non-military to build relationships, and provide solutions, not only for our military members, but solutions to the community as well. So in short, if you are a veteran or an active duty military family member, there is a lot of things we can do for you at VANC. If you live in our community, we would love to see you at VANC. You can volunteer, you can donate, or just come and enjoy our events. If you are a member of the veteran service community, join us on the first Monday of each month at noon for an opportunity to network with others serving our veterans. And when you walk in the door, sign in to our guest book.

HomelandMagazine.com / JUNE 2019 39


Self-Employment and PTSD Rather than listing all the negatives that come with owning a business, and how they interface with PTSD, let’s look at the positives and ways you can make it work for you. Head Off Stress in Advance Owning a business can be ridiculously stressful. And the best way to handle stress is to prepare for it in advance. How do you do that? Exercise. The Mayo Clinic has a long list of what exercise can do for you (https://tinyurl.com/y92bc24f) “Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Discover the connection between exercise and stress relief — and why exercise should be part of your stress management plan.” Emphasis on the word plan. Freedom Entrepreneurs have something that employees usually don’t have. Freedom. Owing your own business means the ability to set your own hours, no limits on your income potential, and nobody to tell you what to do. One of the things the self-employed particularly like is the freedom to choose who to work with. As an employee you’re forced to work with the ratfink backstabber in the next cubicle, the incompetent founder’s son, or the addled know it all senior who is hitting on everyone. Goodbye to that. No more corporate games. If you don’t like someone, don’t buy from them, don’t hire them, and don’t contract with them. There are plenty of inane players in the small business world, but they tend to get quietly eliminated over time because nobody wants to do business with them. You could well retire in a tropical paradise working 20 hours a week and living on just under $2000 per month. This is the beauty of entrepreneurship and the times we live in. There is a price to pay for this freedom. Stress, competition and the anxiety that comes from not getting a regular paycheck. But that need not stop you. You can handle it. 40

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Mayo Clinic notes that exercise releases endorphins is meditation in motion, and improves your mood. It also helps you bounce back when inevitably something adverse shows up. Now that you own your own business, the “I’m too busy” excuse doesn’t work anymore. Keep a Stash of Cash There’s nothing more comforting than having an account with fall back funds. It’s not a good idea to spend down to your last dollar. It may not have to be much. Just keep it there as a fail-safe to CYA if needed. It’s amazing how much comfort you can receive from knowing your landing might not be that hard. The worst thing for an entrepreneur to do is to look hungry, so don’t project that vibe by running out of cash. You’re the Boss Running a business is a rollercoaster ride for anyone, with or without PTSD. The pressures of running a small business can pile up during the good times and the bad. When things are up, the stress of working long hours can be overwhelming. When things are down, you worry about making ends meet. That’s common to entrepreneurship. It’s your response to that which makes the difference.

Through the ups and downs, it’s essential to keep your mindset in check. Perhaps you can feel depression coming on. If so, nip it in the bud if you can and apply the brakes. When you start to feel down about your business, make a list of what’s going right.

Some people who might not understand an entrepreneur’s “mental illness” are investors, employees, or fellow founders. After all, when so much value is placed upon an entrepreneur’s reputation it causes great pressure to not appear “weak”.

How you decide to handle adversity is entirely in your own hands when you’re the boss. If you have employees, your ability to keep a stable shop is very important. If you have clients, your mental health is critical.

Media headlines sometimes imply that service members and veterans with PTSD are dangerous, or damaged, misinformation since most who suffer from the condition are not veterans.

Technology to The Rescue There is a wonderful little app called Headspace (ttps:// www.headspace.com/) that you can keep on your iPhone or computer. “Think of it as a gym membership for the mind,” they say in the intro. “A personal meditation guide, right in your pocket.” It’s fun to use and there’s a free “Take Ten” to try out before you subscribe.

Don’t Neglect Yourself Learning to set a limit on business hours…making time for your family and your own needs, is necessary to maintain good mental health as a business owner. Focus on basic self-care, including nutrition, sleep, massage, and exercise, so that you feel your best, have more energy to run your business, and are better able to handle stress.

Headspace gives you choices on what you want to meditate about: Health, Performance, and Relationships. Or, you can dip in and out for one-off sessions and SOS sessions in case of meltdowns. You can buddy up with friends, see your stats, and get rewarded with gifts when you’re consistent. Headspace and meditation, in general, can be part of proactively taking care of your own mental health. Talk it Out Having a friend or mentor who is also an entrepreneur can be indispensable. Talking it out with someone who understands can help, give you advice, and keep you out of your own head. Even if it’s a phone buddy it helps. Depression grows in isolation, so get up and get out. Consider joining a coworking space and you’ll be surrounded by the friendly faces and support of other entrepreneurs and freelancers. Connect with networking organizations where you get community and peer support from other business owners. Managing depression and PTSD is a challenge, and as a business owner, your challenges are a little different. Getting the support from others who have been in your shoes, and making sure you have the right resources, is key to staying on top of these challenges. Just remember that you aren’t in this alone, so long as you reach out and grab hold of these resources for help. Don’t Talk About It It’s fine to talk about your business experiences and concerns with other entrepreneurs, maybe to get a reality check or just bitch. On the other hand, it isn’t a great idea to talk about your PTSD with your business contacts and community.

Remember, the Turtle Always Wins Neither failure nor success is permanent. Focus on the journey, not the destination. You don’t have to be “on” and chase dollars 24/7. Don’t make your business about reaching 6 figures or more. Instead, pay attention and be mindful in each step along the way. There’s no question entrepreneurship is a challenging high wire endeavor. Entrepreneurs, who are risk takers, are at higher risk for depression and other mental health concerns. Ultimately, your mental health and well-being is up to you. Create a strong support system. Know your triggers. Use your tools. Always remember you’re not alone. Now Voyager… Yes, there are challenges to self-employment. But, when you build it, they can’t fire you. It’s your triumph. Business ownership is the backbone of America. It’s not just industry that makes our economy tick. It’s small business. Look around you. On every corner in every town small enterprises are working away making things better, and sometimes creating great new things, putting kids through college and retiring in the Bahamas. And, bunches of them are veterans with PTSD. Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 33+ -year- old marketing consulting firm. Apply NOW to join her Operation Vetrepreneur’s FREE Brainstorming Groups for veteran entrepreneurs at www.veteransinbiz.com and visit https://www.nvtsi. org/ov/ for more info. If you want support for starting up a business, email her at vicki@veteransinbiz.com.

HomelandMagazine.com / JUNE 2019 41

Starting a Business as a Veteran? The transition from military service to civilian life can be a difficult one, especially when it comes to your career. That’s why a growing number of veterans choose to forge their own path and become entrepreneurs after leaving the Armed Forces. While starting a business comes with numerous challenges, former service members do have one distinct advantage: the veteran community. “The strength and power of veteran entrepreneurs comes from other veteran entrepreneurs” Unlike most highly competitive entrepreneurial environments, veteran entrepreneurs share information much more easily. If you or someone you know is a veteran looking to start a business, please feel free to contact Vicki Garcia. Vicki is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 33+ -yearold marketing consulting firm. If you want support for starting up a business, email her at vicki@ veteransinbiz.com. For advice, tips and programs you can read Vicki’s monthly column at Homeland Magazine or visit

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Takes off where to the SBA’s Boots Business left off!

New Think Tank Group forming Now! Apply at www.veteransinbiz.com Questions? Call 619.660.6730 operation Vetrepreneur is a Project of the National Veterans Transition Services, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit

IN THE TRENCHES . . . What You Can Expect Certification & Supplier Diversity Concept Review for Startups Perfecting Your Pitch Speaker Training Brainstorming with Experts Publishing Knowhow Personal Branding Mind Mapping Crowdfunding Writing a Business Plan Branding, Graphics & Visuals Internet Marketing Social Media & SEO Legal Issues Budgeting Where & How to Get Money High Velocity Growth Strategies Employees & Contractors

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MILITARY MONEY MINUTE A Monthly Financial By Lara Ryan & Daniel Chavarria

“Congratulations on your enlistment or commission. We (DoD) promise to take care

• Service Member’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Are you aware that your military SGLI coverage expires at retirement or separation from the service? You have the option to enroll in Veteran Group Life Insurance (VGLI) and can do so without medical underwriting within 120 days of your last service date. Because it is “guaranteed issue,” it is really intended for those who can’t get other coverage. In other words, because it is available to all servicemembers, it is very expensive. If you’re healthy and have the option to get other insurance, the commercial market usually offers any number of options that cost considerably less.

Here’s an overview:

Work with a financial planner to review your financial situation and understand your military pay and benefits. You don’t know what you don’t know, and the more you know, the better off your finances will be!

of your financial needs: descent but moderate pay, health care needs, life insurance needs, housing needs, and investment needs. You give us 110%, and we will make sure you are covered.” This isn’t actually said to a service member, but it is implied. “Do your job, and we’ll worry about the rest.” It puts the service member at ease and gives them a sense of security. Unfortunately, that can lead to a false sense of security unless you are educated on those benefits and have the knowledge to fully leverage them.

• THRIFT SAVINGS PROGRAM (TSP): This is the military’s retirement plan, like a civilian 401k. Did you set up an account and is it Roth or traditional? Do you know the difference? Did you know can adjust the way the funds are allocated? Unless you manually adjust how your TSP is invested, the default option is known as the “G” Fund – “G” as in government securities investment fund. It is a “safe money” fund that has a low yield, which may be fine if you are aware of how slowly it will grow, but disappointing if you aren’t. Are you enrolled in Blended Retirement System, and if so, are you contributing enough to get the maximum matching contribution from the DOD – a possible 5%? Don’t leave money on the table.

Lara Ryan and Daniel Chavarria work with a team and run a comprehensive financial planning practice that specializes in working with active duty, retired, veteran and military-connected individuals, families, and businesses.

They are not fee-based planners and don’t charge for their time, but believe every servicemember needs and deserves a financial plan.

• GI BILL: Do you have the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) – the one you paid into at $100/month for a year) – or are you eligible for the Forever GI Bill (Post9/11)? Do you know the difference? Do you plan to use the education benefit or do you plan to transfer it to a dependent? A MGIB can’t be transferred to dependents, and a Forever can. If transferring the benefit is what you want to do, then you must understand that to transfer requires at least an additional 4 years of service, a realization many people have too late! And, an added consideration, use of the benefit for a full-time education is accompanied by an E-5 with dependents stipend (whether or not you’re and E-5 and whether or not you have dependents). 44

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Lara.ryan@nm.com (307) 690-9266

Daniel.Chavarria@nm.com (702) 497-3264

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

IS YOUR WEBSITE LEGAL? It doesn’t take much these days to start your own website. In just a few simple steps and without ever learning a single word of code you can use intuitive website builders to help you set up your online business within minutes. But creating a site comes with legal rules and regulations. Do you know your rights under copyright law? How about your responsibilities towards preventing plagiarism? And do you know all of the vast website legal requirements under information security and cyber law? BASIC RULES RELATED TO WEBSITE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS If you get caught breaking any of the rules around web ownership, you could be in big legal trouble that could cost you thousands. Make sure you follow the website requirements below to minimize your risk: 1.MINIMIZE RISK OF USER GENERATED CONTENT In today’s digital world, user generated content is king. It can add new levels of engagement, credibility and authority to almost any website. While you may decide to take advantage of it, hosting content that is created by others also opens you up to a myriad of risks. For example, who owns the content once it’s published on your site? What if the content isn’t original? To reduce the risk as a website owner of hosting user generated content develop clear and simple terms of use policy that tells others you forbid the use of any plagiarized content. 2. OBTAIN NECESSARY LICENSES It’s a known fact that images and graphics convert more traffic than text alone. Depending on the type of image you are displaying on your website, you may be required to apply for certain licenses. If you’re using photos and images that do not belong to you, you may need to pay for the use of a license from the supplier. Be sure to read the fine print as to how you can and cannot use the image. 3. DISPLAY TERMS AND CONDITIONS Depending on the nature of your site, you may want to include a listing of the terms and conditions of using your website.

The specifics of the terms and conditions you’ll want will depend entirely on the specifics of your site. For example, if you sell goods, you may want to list the terms of the sales including how you handle returns and refunds. If you provide advice, you’ll want to specify that such advice is general and for informational purposes only. 4. DISPLAY PRIVACY POLICY A privacy policy is one of the most important legal requirements for any website. This policy clearly defines how you are going to use your visitor’s data. Not only is it a significant part of legal requirements but a privacy policy limits your liability if any of the private information you have collected on your visitors is ever hacked by a third party. 5. DISPLAY DISCLAIMER Sometimes problems occur because websites may have caused harm to someone. As the owner, it is your responsibility to pay for such damages. However, if you have a disclaimer placed on your website stating you are not responsible for omissions or errors or the way people use your website, this could limit your liability. 6. DISPLAY COPYRIGHT NOTICE Your copyright notice makes your visitors aware that your content is legally yours and they do not have the right to use it without your permission. A copyright notice, though not required, is a good way to deter visitors from using, stealing or borrowing your materials from your site. You have already put in the hard work to get your business up and running, don’t let a simple and most often costly legal mistake cause you to lose it all. For more information on how to legally protect your business please pick up a copy of my bestselling book: ‘Go Legal Yourself’ on Amazon or visit my website at www.golegalyourself.com Disclaimer: This information is made available by Bagla Law Firm, APC for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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Careers In Law Enforcement Visit Today For Law Enforcement Profiles & Job Openings


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

Opportunities in Law Enforcement

You’ve served your country, now serve your community! The following agencies are actively hiring & proudly support our veterans, active military and the families that keep together.

We thank you for your service, to all the men and women in law enforcement around the world for your courage, your commitment & your sacrifice. - Homeland Magazine -

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Military Preference Given The task ahead of you is never as great as the Power behind you

ANNUAL SALARY NON-CERTIFIED $55,536 - $85,675 CERTIFIED $58,344 - $85,675 Contact us to learn how you can become part of the Premier law enforcement agency in South Florida

(719) 444-7437 cspd.coloradosprings.gov

WWW.FLPDJobs.com recruiter@fortlauderdale.gov Recruiting@ci.colospgs.co.us 954-828-FLPD (3573)

Facebook: Colorado Springs Police THE CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER twitter@cspd.pio

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geico.com/san-diego-north | 760-753-7907 | dagrant@geico.com 711 Center Drive | San Marcos Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. GEICO Gecko image Š 1999-2018. Š 2018 GEICO


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We are Proud to Salute the Men & Women Who Have Served in Our Armed Forces SeaWorld® San Diego invites any U.S. veteran to enjoy a one-time free Single-Day Admission, along with up to 3 guests.* Register online May 20–June 9, 2019. Visitation valid through July 15, 2019. For your service and sacrifice, we thank you.

Limited-time offer exclusively online at WavesofHonor.com *ONLINE ONLY — Tickets must be obtained in advance through the online registration process. Offer not available at the SeaWorld ticket windows. Excludes SeaWorld waterparks, Sesame Place® and Discovery Cove.® Ticket is non-transferable, non-refundable and not for sale. Not valid with any other discounts, offers and has no upgrade value. ™/© 2019 Sesame Workshop © 2019 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Wondering which PTSD treatment is right for you? Use the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid to learn about and compare treatments.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Watch Video Interviews with Providers Compare the Treatments You Like Best Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Get a Personalized Summary

WHO IS IT FOR? PATIENTS: The Decision Aid teaches you about your options and gets you ready to work with your provider to choose the best treatment for you. PROVIDERS: The Decision Aid educates your patients about evidence-based PTSD treatments. Review it together in session, or have your patients work through it at home.

There are effective treatments for PTSD. You have options. The choice is yours.

The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is an online tool to help you learn about effective treatments and think about which one might be best for you.

www.ptsd.va.gov/decisionaid 60

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