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Vol. 10 Number 6 • June 2021

Homeland M A G A Z I NE

FIGHTING

PTSD

What’s Next Finding the Light with PTSD

Living with Wounds After Service Post-Traumatic

A Mentorship That Matters A Better, Simpler Way to Work

Growth

Saving Warriors

Careers In Law Enforcement

Gulf War Illness

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It’s Our Turn to

SERVE YOU Proudly Serving Veterans From Every Military Branch Join a credit union that knows what it means to serve. On average, our members earn and save $352* per year by banking with us. Visit navyfederal.org to join. Insured by NCUA. *Dollar value shown represents the results of the 2020 Navy Federal Member Giveback Study. The Member Giveback Study is an internal comparative market analysis of Navy Federal’s loan and deposit account rates as compared to the national average for similar products. © 2021 Navy Federal NFCU 13971-F (4-21)

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EDITOR’S

LETTER

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

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Jenny Lynne Stroup Real Talk: Mental Health

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

SD Vets & Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Tana Landau, Esq. Legally Speaking

Joe Molina

Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby

www.HomelandMagazine.com

What’s Next - Transitioning

Amber Robinson Arts & Healing

Eva Stimson Greetings and a warm welcome to Homeland Magazine!

Veteran Advocate

Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. The Magazine focuses on national resources, support, community, and inspiration for our veterans and the military families that keep it together.

Human Resources

Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with our veterans, service members, military families, and civilians. The magazine is supported by a distinguishing list of national veteran organizations, resource centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. Homeland Magazine is a veterans magazine for veterans by veterans. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of Homeland Magazine.

Mike Miller

Publisher/Editor mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 4

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Paul Falcone

Money Matters VA Lending & Personal Finance

Collaborative Organizations Wounded Warrior Project Rachel Bolles Disabled American Veterans American’s Warrior Partnership * Including National Veteran Organizations, Advocates & Guest Writers

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

(858) 275-4281 Contact Homeland Magazine at: info@homelandmagazine.com


JUNE

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 8 Money: Booming Housing Market 14 Living with Wounds After Service 16 Saving Warriors 20 Real Talk: Post-Traumatic Growth 22 PTSD/Pandemic/Recovery 24 PTSD: Loved Ones Suffer, Too 26 Healing Power of Sangha 28 LENS: PTSD 30 Gulf War Illness 32 PTS/Service Dog 34 A Better, Simpler Way to Work 36 A Mentorship that Matters 38 What’s Next: Finding the Light with PTSD 40 HR - The Best Leaders 44 Healthcare Careers 46 What’s Your Endgame 48 Must Have Checklist for Start-Ups 52 Law Enforcement

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Resources Support Transition HEALTH INSPIRATION

Homeland Magazine www.HomelandMagazine.com

Voted 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020 BEST resource, support media for veterans, military families & military personnel. 6

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P R O U D LY S E RV I N G T H O S E

WHO SERVE WHO WE ARE Serving since 2003, Operation Gratitude is the largest and most impactful nonprofit in the country for hands-on volunteerism in support of Military, Veterans, and First Responders.

Deployed Troops

First Responders

3,000,000

Military, Veterans and First Responders Impacted

OVER

1 Million VOLUNTEERS

OUR MISSION To forge strong bonds between Americans and their Military and First Responder heroes through volunteer service projects, acts of Veterans

Recruit Graduates

gratitude and meaningful engagements in communities Nationwide.

WE BELIEVE Actions speak louder than words Saying “thank you for your service” is the start of a conversation that leads to a better understanding of service Hands-on volunteerism, acts of gratitude and meaningful engageWounded Heroes and Caregivers

Military Families

ments are the best ways to bridge the civilian-service divide We focus on empathy, resilience, service, and sacrifice rather than sympathy, challenges, needs, and pity

operationgratitude.com

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Money Matters

Expert Advice on VA Lending & Personal Finance By Phil Jawny, MIRM, CMP, CSP

Booming Housing Market Gives Military Families New Options Question: How Can Military Families Benefit from the Booming Housing Market? Answer: The U.S housing market gained close to $2.5 trillion in value in 2020 — the most significant increase since 2005. Some states saw an increase of nearly 8%, and 2021 is projecting an even higher increase. What does that mean for you as a homeowner? This increase in equity is possibly one of your most valuable assets. This year many homeowners used their equity asset by doing a refinance that allowed for cash to be taken out of the home. For those that haven’t gotten into the “Refi Boom,” rates are still extremely low and the potential savings per month on average are close to $250. That’s $3,000 a year and $90,000 over the 30-year lifetime of the mortgage – this sum of savings could fund your home repairs, vacations, investment portfolio or college savings. Owning a home allows for secure savings, especially as home values continue to increase and monthly savings compound by reducing your interest rate with a refinance. The 411 on VA Mortgage Financing Current or former military members have the opportunity to take advantage of a full suite of benefits through a VA Mortgage. With low interest rates and flexible lending guidelines, the VA Loan was specifically created to benefit the military community. Who is Eligible for a VA Loan? To be eligible, you must meet one of the conditions below: • Active duty or honorably discharged veteran • Served over six years in the National Guard or Selected Reserve • Surviving spouse of a service member who passed in active duty and spouse has not remarried

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Benefits of Using Your VA Loan Qualifying for a VA mortgage provides a host of benefits and working with a VA loan expert who understands the unique conditions around a VA loan will ensure you get the most out of your loan. The benefits are many: • May not need a down payment • No maximum loan limit *county/city loan limits do apply • Typically provides lower interest rates than Conventional or FHA financing • Lower closing costs • Qualify with lower credit scores and higher debt to income ratios than other loan types • No monthly mortgage insurance • Use your VA loan multiple times Like other traditional mortgage programs, a VA mortgage requires an underwriter to review and evaluate your income, debts, and financial and related documents. This review ensures program eligibility and protects your financial wellbeing.


What About Refinancing Your Current VA Loan? The “Streamline” Loan Makes it Easier A VA mortgage allows you to maximize your equity or take advantage of a lower interest rate to reduce your payments. Also known as an “IRRL” interest rate reduction loan, the “Streamline” is a popular refinance option among current VA borrowers. When current interest rates are lower than the rate you secured on your mortgage, your VA loan expert can help you take advantage of a VA IRRL to lower your rate and save on your monthly payment. In many cases, your term will not change. For example, if you have been paying your 30-year fixedrate mortgage for ten years, you could streamline it into a 20-year mortgage. With the lower rate, you could possibly have the same or lower payments and still pay off your mortgage in the same amount of time. “Cash-Out” Options If you’ve considered renovating your home and building that home office that you desperately need or allowing your home equity to pay off any high-interest credit cards, the refinance is the way to leverage your equity for those needs. Because home values have increased dramatically, the equity in your property can provide the buying power you need.

Change Your Financial Outlook in 2021

What GoVALoans.com will do for you: As VA mortgage experts, GoVALoans.com has a team of originators and mortgage support staff to help you achieve your mortgage goals no matter where you are around the world. These experts will:

Put Your VA Loan Benefit to Work! Are you taking advantage of all your VA benefits? Our team of experts is here to share advice and guide you down the path toward financial stability. One conversation can set you on the best financial path.

• Guide you through every step of the process • Provide education to empower you and your decisions • Leverage real estate relationships to help with contract negotiation • Secure the lowest rates possible

So what are you waiting for? Contact us today!

• Provide a seamless closing You have earned the benefits of the VA Mortgage. Still have questions? Our experts are here to serve you with free credit counseling or refinance support to get the most of out your home investment.

www.GoVALoans.com

Contact us at info@govaloans.com.

@GoVALoans

info@govaloans.com (833) 825-6261

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S:7.625"

Choose a Medicare plan that serves those who served You deserve a Medicare plan that always has your back. That’s why UnitedHealthcare® has a wide range of Medicare Advantage plans designed to complement the health benefits you already receive for your service. The UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Patriot plan includes the freedom to visit doctors and hospitals in our large network for a $0 monthly premium.

It’s time to take advantage.

Learn more about Medicare Advantage plans designed to complement your VA or TRICARE For Life benefits.

1-855-322-1158, TTY 711 UHCPatriotPlan.com You do not have to be a veteran to be eligible for this plan. Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. Benefits, features and/or devices vary by plan/area. Limitations and exclusions apply. Network size varies by market. ©2020 United HealthCare Services, Inc. All rights reserved. Y0066_200911_104349_M SRPJ59083

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R E S O U

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

R

San Diego Veterans Magazine works with nonprofit veteran organizations that help more than one million veterans in lifechanging ways each year.

C

Resources.

E

Support. Inspiration.

S

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

Resources & Articles available at:

www.HomelandMagazine.com

The colors of gratitude

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FIGHTING PTSD


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Living with Wounds After Service By Rachel Bolles

Brave men and women responded swiftly to the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Some didn’t care what it took, and others had no idea what impact their service would have on their lives. With the advancements in medicine, many servicemembers have survived wounds that previously would have been a death sentence. These trailblazers had to learn to live again — because there was no plan. As of August 2020, 40% of post-9/11 veterans had a service-connected disability, compared with 26% of all veterans, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Every day, 44 of those veterans register with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) for programs and services to help them cope withv visible and invisible injuries. The wounds veterans can return home with are countless. Many are physical — lost limbs and burns. Others are less apparent — hearing loss, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or military sexual trauma (MST). When interacting with a veteran, don’t make assumptions about their experiences just because of how they look. Army veteran Michael Carrasquillo was looking to help his unit capture a high-value Al Qaeda official when he jumped to the ground from a hovering helicopter in Afghanistan. But when his team was ambushed and one of his soldiers was injured, Michael ran to help — despite not having anywhere to hide from incoming bullets. He was shot five times and spent the next two years in hospitals learning how to walk and use his hands again. Unfortunately, his injuries were so severe that 100% of his medical care was geared toward physical healing. He was never tested for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or TBI. A year after he medically retired, he and his wife began to realize something was seriously wrong. 14

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Managing PTSD “My mental injuries stemming from PTSD are heavily rooted in crippling depression, extreme anxiety, and periods of feeling helpless and hopeless,” Michael said. In a WWP survey of the wounded warriors it serves, 83% report living with the symptoms of PTSD. That is tens of thousands of lives impacted by nightmares, negative thoughts, feelings of guilt, and avoiding anything that is a reminder of trauma. Exposure to traumatic combat and operational experiences affects service members and veterans spiritually, psychologically, biologically, and socially. Seeking treatment is not as easy as it may seem. Many veterans avoid treatment due to the stigmas associated with mental health conditions. Those coping with PTSD may not seek help or treatment for fear of retribution (loss of employment, parental rights, freedom, or respect). Judgment and labels add to injured veterans’ struggles to not only survive but thrive in life. “Because my physical wounds can be covered for the most part, it’s rare that someone in the public notices them,” Michael said. “But I go out of my way to avoid times and places where my skin would be exposed, like the pool or beach, because I notice each and every time when people start to stare. It’s incredibly uncomfortable when they start to whisper to each other, nodding at my direction, thinking I’m not aware, when the opposite couldn’t be more true.”


It’s a different, yet equally challenging, experience when the wounds are invisible. “On the flip side, I can be at home, where someone like my wife, who has known me more than 16 years, can look past my scars and physical injuries, but also completely miss when I’m having an episode,” Michael said. “I go through bouts of depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues, and often feel that while I can shrug it off and smile my way through the day, it hurts knowing that sometimes even the closest people to you can miss the signs that you are struggling.” Facing a New Reality This reality for Michael and other veterans is different than what they might have expected after the military. For someone who planned to spend their whole life serving their country until retirement, the shock of having to figure out new plans before even turning 30 years old can be overwhelming. “I always intended to serve until I could retire,” Michael said. “From the moment I put on the uniform, I knew I never wanted to take it off. Because of that, I rarely thought of life ‘on the outside.’ On the rare occasion I would, it was always with the thought of me as an old man, retired and sitting on a beach somewhere.

“I have noticed that as I’ve aged, my body has seemed to break down more frequently and at a faster rate than almost everyone I know who hasn’t served,” Michael said. “While I’m still able to grin and bear it now, it also makes me constantly aware that I need to make the most of each and every day I have. To not put off to tomorrow what I can do today.”

“The reality, in truth, was soul crushing — at first. I had the uniform literally stripped from my body and I was forced into a medical retirement at the age of 22. While I was taken care of for the most part financially, and the idea that I could now ‘enjoy’ early retirement, the reality of sitting around with nothing to do just drove me deeper into myself and away from everything and everyone I loved.”

It is our responsibility to not only meet veterans where they are on their journeys to recovery but meet them where they’re going. A veteran’s sacrifices don’t stop when they return home. They are forever sacrificing life as they knew it when they come home wounded. WWP meets these warriors where they are today and where they will be years from now. We remain ready to serve.

But Michael started taking advantage of the free programs and services WWP provides. Warriors to Work helped him craft a resume and land a job he loves. Not only has Michael found a civilian career through WWP, he has also found a renewed purpose, helping other veterans in their transitions. Michael serves as a peer mentor to other veterans in different stages of their recoveries — bringing veterans together to help one another heal. And the need for healing for these veterans is still great.

If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to WWP’s Resource Center at 888.997.2586. Although our programs and services are for post-9/11 veterans, we do have connections with many veterans service organizations that focus on the needs of other generations of service members. About Wounded Warrior Project

20 Years Later

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition.

It’s been nearly 20 years since 9/11, and wounded warriors are facing increasing problems as they age. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report noted two-thirds of post9/11 veterans are between ages 25 and 44. Their injuries are compounded with other health problems and needs, and they are constantly readjusting to a new normal as new issues surface.

Learn more at https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us

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SAVING

WARRIORS DAV funds new Save A Warrior’s facility to address suicide epidemic By Rob Lewis

I

magine being a soldier serving in the United States Army. You’re well-trained, well-equipped and ready to defend the nation. But after combat deployments and years of honorable service, an insidious enemy inside your own body—muscular dystrophy—forces you out on medical retirement. In an instant, you have lost your health, your career and your sense of purpose. Wheelchair-bound, alone, isolated and disconnected, you begin contemplating some of the worst, most devastating options—including ending your own life. However, this true story has an ending that isn’t a tragic addition to the ever-growing list of veteran suicides plaguing our nation. That’s because the soldier found hope in a program called Save A Warrior. And now, thanks to a grant from the

Top: A group hug during a Save A Warrior Integrated Intensive Retreat. (Courtesy of Save A Warrior). Bottom left: (From left) DAV’s National Headquarters Executive Director Barry Jesinoski and National Adjutant Marc Burgess join Save A Warrior’s Executive Director Adam Carr and President/Founder Jake Clark in ceremonially breaking ground on the new center. Bottom right: National Center of Excellence for Complex Post Traumatic Stress. (Courtesy of Keiser Design Group)

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DAV Charitable Service Trust and a new partnership, many more veterans who feel lost will receive cuttingedge, lifesaving treatment. Founded in 2012, Save A Warrior is a “warrior-led solution” committed to ending the staggering suicide rate plaguing our veterans, active-duty military and first responders. The organization uses Integrated Intensive Retreat (IIR) programs to provide counseling services to veterans for issues including mental health and wellness, suicide prevention and post-traumatic stress. Retreats combine best practices from neurobiology, psychology, biology, anthropology, mythology, ontology, psychiatry, sociology, equine therapy, art therapy, film study and a variety of other disciplines to create a transformative experience. “We have shown more than 1,300 warriors what we call the ‘Hero’s Journey Home’ by offering alternative, holistic services that equip our heroes with a community of support and effective techniques to overcome the symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress and suicidal ideations,” said Adam Carr, Save A Warrior’s executive director. “Now, so many more veterans will be able to take this journey because of DAV’s critical support.” Photo Credit: Reid Joyce Late last year, the DAV Charitable Service Trust announced a $1 million grant to fund the National Center of Excellence for Complex Post Traumatic Stress, sponsored by DAV at Save A Warrior’s new facility in Hillsboro, Ohio. Construction began for the center in April. When it opens in 2022, it will allow Save A Warrior to scale

up its healing process for veterans who are struggling under the weight of suicidal ideation. “We are honored to support the creation of this new facility and could not be more impressed with the work Save A Warrior has done to address veteran suicide and mental health,” said Trust President Richard Marbes. “We look forward to the day when we can look back on the tens of thousands of lives saved through this investment in a proven program.” The team at Save A Warrior is partnering with DAV not only for financial assistance but also as a source of

Save A Warrior provides an alternative, warrior-led, holistic service that equips veterans, military personnel, police, firefighters and other first responders with a community of support and effective techniques to overcome the symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress and suicidal ideations. (Photos courtesy of Save A Warrior)

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“We look forward to the day when we can look back on the tens of thousands of lives saved through this investment in a proven program.” —Richard E. Marbes, DAV Charitable Service Trust President

the guidance and wisdom that comes from 100 years of serving veterans. “Save A Warrior feels such a strong connection with DAV, as it has always been their highest priority to go above and beyond in serving our nation’s veterans,” said Carr, a DAV member and combat veteran who served in the Army Special Forces in the early 2000s. “DAV has gone to bat time and time again for our veterans in Washington, D.C., to ensure we are afforded the protections, rights and life that we all deserve. It’s the ‘whatever it takes’ mentality that we identify with the most, as our team feels the same passion for our lifesaving mission.” Carr said DAV’s core services, including benefits assistance and employment support, will be ingrained features in Save A Warrior’s recovery model. “DAV will also serve as a powerful entity in our continuum of care, as so many veterans have had a tough time transitioning, still lack the resources and care they need, and could benefit from the multitude of opportunities DAV provides in the veteran space,” he said. “We are focused on our participants ultimately ending up working through recovery and going on to a rich, fulfilling life.” As for the Army veteran who found Save A Warrior after his muscular dystrophy diagnosis and subsequent struggle against thoughts of suicide, Carr said the veteran’s doctors called his transformation a miracle. “He credits Save A Warrior for not only saving his life but instilling a sense of hope in his heart. We have

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COURTESY OF SAVE A WARRIOR

thousands of inspiring stories of veterans reaching the last house on the block and feeling like they have no place else to go,” Carr said. “This is where we meet them, and 80 hours is just enough time to hold up a mirror and evoke a powerful, novel, transformative experience— inspiring one to take a different path in life, the path to joy, love, empathy, compassion and community. “And it’s a path many more veterans will walk thanks to support from DAV.” n




      

  

 

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Real Talk: Mental Health By Jenny Lynne Stroup, Outreach Coordinator for the Cohen Clinic at VVSD

Post-Traumatic Growth The words below are garnered from my journals during the height of my family’s experience with untreated PTSD. They are not direct quotes. They represent the themes I saw over and over again when I reread my daily journal entries. June is PTSD Awareness Month. And for me that awareness extends beyond knowing it exists. Awareness means putting a name and face to what we’ve heard about PTSD. Once PTSD is humanized, it’s much harder to villainize, or regard as something that only happens to “those people,” or “others.” As I’ve dug into the research and learned things from my job, I’ve also begun to realize that the feelings expressed in my journal entries are not singular to me. They’re not anomalies. They are pretty common for people who experience the effects of trauma, and I want to normalize that too.

I need something, anything, to dull the constant noise in my head and anxiety surrounding my heart. Life is insane and I am I at my wit’s end on how to handle it. No scratch that-control it. I want control. I want a crystal ball. I literally want anything other than what I have right now. If my kids were older, if my husband were home more, if I found the right mentor, study, or had the right amount of time, I would no longer feel crummy. I am convinced these things, and more are the answer to all that ails me. I am convinced that if I could just do life a little better with a few more tools, I would not feel like crap. I would want to get off my couch and do the laundry. I would be able to do something creative like start a blog or an Etsy site. If only all of the tools would magically appear, and time would stretch to my liking. Then, then I would do all the things and life wouldn’t feel so hard. 20

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Despite the desperate search for new tools to motivate and change me, these things remain the same, the crumbling state of my marriage and the deteriorating relationships within my household. I cannot hold it all together. I cannot bend and twist and grasp and claw to make these two things better. At every turn my efforts appear for naught and I am left crying into my journal once more. The pain, fear, and self-loathing that leap off the pages are hard to read. I have so much compassion for that girl today. Man, she really tried her best and day after day even though her best didn’t look like it was good enough. It didn’t look as if it were making any difference at all. This is the twisty world of a family living in posttraumatic stress. Only one of us went to war, yet all four of us wear the cloak the heaviness that comes from living constantly on edge. Constant fear. Constant high alert. Hypervigilance. Interrupted sleep. Binging on ice cream. No energy to do anything necessary yet all the energy to do something fun, therefore avoiding feeling any pain. Panic. Chest pain. Tight shoulders. General irritability with everyone and everything. This is the twisty world of living in post-traumatic stress. It stole my joy. My ability to connect with my husband. It stole the tender moments of first steps and first words. My spark of creativity. My partner. It led us into steady and constant valley-for years. Oh, PTSD how I loathe thee and all you stole from me. And I never want to hear your name again. I never want another family to suffer. I never want someone to come home from war and feel alone in his own house. I never want a family to continue to live in fear long after the Homecoming pictures are posted because everything about their loved one is different.


I never want you to affect someone’s career. I never want to hear that you took someone’s life because they didn’t have the support to learn how to quiet your pervasive symptoms. I hate you. And in the words of Eric Church, “If I could only kill a word…” you would be it. Yet, you taught me so much. You taught me courage. You taught me vulnerability. You taught me to let people in past the façade. You taught me that I need a Higher Power. You taught me to ask for help. You taught me to stand up for myself. You taught me how to do hard things. Eventually you taught me that I can only heal myself and that healing is journey. You taught me compassion. You taught me how to see the hurt in others and how to reach out a hand. You taught me the importance of community and how to create it. You taught me that a broken heart is where the light gets in and that the cracks are how other people connect with me. You taught me so much. You taught me to grow. And to grow is to erase the “D” and turn from disorder into new opportunity: Post-traumatic Growth.

Jenny Lynne Stroup serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the ​Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Veterans Village of San Diego​. www.vvsd.net/cohenclinicsandiego The Cohen Clinic at VVSD is one of 19 mental health clinics nationwide under nonprofit Cohen Veterans Network​(CVN) which focuses on providing targeted treatments​for a variety of mental health challenges facing post-9/11 veterans and military families, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, transition challenges, and more. To learn how therapy can help with mental health challenges, visit www.cohenvetransnetwork.org

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New Movie Highlights Challenges Faced by Veterans with PTSD That Have Worsened Due to the Pandemic By Andy Ansola, Salute to Recovery Group Facilitator, Recovery First Treatment Center www.recoveryfirst.org Cherry, a new film released on March 12, focuses on a veteran Army medic suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and his drug use to cope with the trauma he developed while deployed in Iraq. The release of the film is timely, as recent studies at www.tinyurl.com/WoundedW show the negative impact COVID-19 is having on veteran’s overall quality of life, often including increased substance use. The film accurately depicts trauma from the veteran’s standpoint and spreads awareness of PTSD and its associated behaviors when left untreated, such as violent and erratic responses, disassociation, trouble sleeping, and addiction, to name a few. Far too often, U.S. military veterans do not receive the level of care needed to treat PTSD—not because treatment isn’t available to them—but because asking for help can be the most challenging part. Lack of trust, being viewed as weak, and fear of judgment are a few common contributors that hold veterans back from asking for help and receiving the treatment they desperately need. Now, after one year of living throughthe COVID-19 pandemic, U.S military veterans living with PTSD, substance use disorders (SUD), or other co-occurring mental health conditions, have been especially impacted. The pandemic, coupled with attitudes about receiving professional care and the perceived stigma from others, has left veterans in an extremely vulnerable place, resulting in many selfmedicating as a coping mechanism.

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Overcoming PTSD is no simple task, and I know this from personal experience. One of the reasons I am able to gain the trust of my patients, aside from being in recovery myself, is that our PTSD developed from the same circumstances. I know exactly what they went through. PTSD and substance use disorder are typically cooccurring conditions, particularly with veterans, and this past year has shined a light on the many ways COVID-19 restrictions have impacted their treatment. For example, at Recovery First Treatment Center, we’ve had to transition from one-to-one in-person treatment sessions to virtual Zoom meetings. As a result, many veterans have become more apprehensive when sharing due to their lack of trust and not knowing who may be able to hear them divulge closely-kept information. For those who have contracted COVID-19, the requirement of quarantining alone has contributed to an increase in relapse among veterans—many don’t intend on reverting to old problematic behaviors such as drinking, but isolation can be difficult to deal with. In addition, after facing extreme traumatic experiences, veterans spend years relearning safety and trust in order to feel comfortable again in public spaces—and the pandemic is challenging this progress. Adhering to COVID-19 restrictions in order to limit interaction with others has caused veterans to regress back to questioning their safety in public. All of these contributors make it that much more important for veterans suffering from PTSD to have a treatment program in place and a community of support.


But for those who currently do not, I leave you with this: Ask for help. My biggest goal is for veterans is to ask for help. They must know that they are not alone, and the suffering they’re experiencing will only persist if they continue to do this on their own. Asking for help does not equal weakness; it requires courage and shows strength. Seeking help is the most difficult thing to do when trying to manage something that is completely out of your control. And that is exactly what PTSD is—totally and completely out of your control, especially when it’s going untreated. Understanding this is the first step in the journey to healing.

VETERANS PROGRAM

Education is key. Many veterans are not aware of their resources, which is why education is so important in getting from point A to point B. If veterans are unable to recognize PTSD symptoms and that effective treatments exist, they may not realize they are suffering from the disorder and are unlikely to seek care. According to a recent national survey at www.tinyurl.com/PTSDSymp, people with greater knowledge about PTSD have more positive beliefs about the disorder and mental health treatment. This leads many to view PTSD as less stigmatizing and makes them more willing to ask for help and engage in treatment.

Proud Veterans Affairs Community Care Provider & Partner For more information, call

866.605.3022

Quarantine the triggers. I know from personal experience that treatment is anything but easy, especially considering the impact COVID-19 is having on recovery. Unfortunately, premature termination among inpatient programs is common. A recent study at www.tinyurl.com/PrematureTreatment examined the predictors of premature termination from an inpatient addiction treatment service, with results showing that illicit drug severity and psychiatric severity—particularly PTSD—were associated with premature termination. Just as we’ve quarantined for COVID-19, quarantining the triggers associated with addiction will result in a better chance of being open-minded toward sharing our innermost feelings – the feelings that would normally push patients into wanting a drug or a drink in order to cope with any emotions and unresolved issues that they’re dealing with.

Our treatment team understands that life in service can put individuals at high risk for developing substance use and mental health disorders. The Salute to Recovery program was created with these unique challenges in mind and is dedicated to military veterans and first responders whose lives have changed and become unmanageable due to a substance use disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. Through our program, they develop solid strategies to promote positive decision-making and permanent healthy lifestyle changes.

If you’re a military veteran struggling with PTSD or know someone who is, you can reach out to facilities around the U.S that cater to specific needs—like Recovery First at www.recoveryfirst.org for treatment.

AdCare, Desert Hope, Recovery First, River Oaks, Sunrise House, Oxford, and Greenhouse are part of American Addiction Centers Nation Network of Treatment Centers.

The VA also offers several different programs for veterans suffering from PTSD and SUD at www.tinyurl.com/SUDprogram

www.americanaddictioncenters.org

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PTSD: Loved Ones Suffer, Too. By Hope Phifer Clinic Communications Manager Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) is a common, normal, and often adaptive response to experiencing a traumatic or stressful event. However, for some individuals, including veterans and service members, witnessing life-threatening events like military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adulthood or childhood could have serious, long-term impacts. Those experiencing flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, uncontrollable intrusive thoughts, and emotional numbing are often clinically diagnosed with PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Did you know? • 3.7% of Americans ages 13 years of age and older have a diagnosis of PTSD every year. • 5.7% of Americans 13 years and older develop PTSD during their lifetime. • Women are more than twice as likely as men to develop PTSD during their lifetime, and three times as likely to develop the disorder annually.

(Cohen Veterans Bioscience)

While it is incredibly difficult for the individual, it can be more challenging for those in their immediate circle of relationships, including caretakers, family members and friends.

“Women are more than twice as likely as men to develop PTSD during their lifetime”

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It is important to recognize that they need help, too. Shari Finney, Clinic Director at The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), says any moderate to severe illness, both physical and mental health illnesses, can have a ripple effect on the entire family system. Finney speaks from both clinical and personal experiences. “When I decided to set up hospice care for my dad who had cancer, people thought I was a saint. When I took care of another family member through severe depression and PTSD, people avoided talking about it altogether. These stressors increase feelings of isolation and elevate risks of depression for those surrounding the individual with the illness.” As the nation recognizes PTSD Awareness Month, Finney provides the following advice for loved ones caring for those experiencing post-traumatic stress: • First and foremost, get educated. There are many online resources, such as NAMI.org (National Institute of Mental Health), that can help provide information on the symptoms of PTSD. • Don’t personalize loved one’s behaviors, think of them as symptoms. You wouldn’t personalize a sneeze if someone has a cold, or hair loss from someone going through chemotherapy.


• Acknowledge ambivalent feelings. For example, when a spouse seems more like a patient or a child than a partner, it is normal to feel uncomfortable emotions such as resentment, anger, and loss. • Keep safety first. If symptoms are out of control, have a back-up plan or call 9-1-1. Note: a clinician

can help you make a back-up plan. What does treatment look like?

According to Finney, PTSD has the biggest dropout rate by diagnosis. It may be due to the fact that it requires more commitment and work. “It is not just about ‘talking to a therapist,’ there is frequent homework, sometimes every day, and the work can leave a patient feeling raw in the middle, especially during these challenging times.”

WOUNDS WE CANNOT SEE

She added, “Even still, it’s important to remember that treatment is worth it. Don’t give up. There is hope for symptom reduction if treatment is completed. Families and relationships can be saved by the reduction of symptoms, as well as psycho-education around the disorder and external support.”

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

“Cohen Veterans Network has Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics across the nation staffed with culturally competent professionals who provide therapy in a confidential setting, which helps make recovery possible for many,” Finney added.

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

The Cohen Clinic at VVSD is part of Cohen Veterans Network, a national network of clinics staffed with trained clinicians who treat a variety of mental health challenges including depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, adjustment issues, anger, grief and loss, family issues, transition challenges, relationship problems, and children’s behavioral problems.

Resources. Support. Inspiration.

The Cohen Clinics provides confidential, high-quality therapy, and referrals to local support services around housing, employment and education to post-9/11 veterans, service members (TRICARE referral needed for active duty), National Guard and Reserves, and their family members, including spouse or partner, children, parents, siblings, caregivers, and others.

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

Care is available regardless of discharge status, role while in uniform, or combat experience. Insurance or ability to pay is never a barrier to care.

Resources & Articles available at: www.HomelandMagazine.com

For more information, visit www.cohenveteransnetwork.org

FIGHTING PTSD

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Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans By Amber Robinson

The Healing Power of Sangha This morning during my now daily meditation practice I was asked by the meditation guide to reflect on the Hindi word “sangha”. The meditation was meant to focus on the concept of community, which sanga refers to. English synonyms for this word are ones like fellowship, friendship and company. As I breathed slowly in and out I pushed away thoughts of what I would write this article about along with thoughts of everything else I needed to do for the day. But, before I finally settled into the buzzing silence of my body, I realized I would write this month’s column on sanga. Why would I write about an old Hindi word that means community this month? As you know, June is PTSD awareness month. If you are familiar with the symptoms of PTSD you know that isolation, anxiety and depression are three of the most common. Meditation has been a true gift for me lately, helping me calm my usual anxiety and reigning in my bouts of depression. And now, today, it has allowed me to gently ruminate on easing my isolation as I think of my own community and its importance in my healing. It was the sangha of fellow veterans who initially spotted my PTSD and brought it to my attention. It was the sangha from the therapy group of fellow women vets I have communed with each Saturday at the Chula Vista Vet Center for the last three years who have helped me to work through my issues, reflecting them back to me through their own. During the time I have written for the magazine I have developed a new sangha, one made of fellow veteran artists.

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The unique ways their art has helped them to heal from combat PTSD or PTSD from Military Sexual Trauma have inspired me in my own art. But, they have also inspired me in the way I create my own path to healing as well as life path in general. That path can be dismal, or it can be inspired. Through art and my fellow veteran artists, it continues to become the latter. Two weeks ago I received a text message in the wee hours of the morning from “Fran”, a Coast Guard veteran and artist I recently interviewed for the column. She uses LSD and finger painting in glowin-the-dark paint as a way to access and heal her wounded inner child. Up late, working on a homework assignment I was tired and agitated. Included in her text was a video of all her latest pieces, hung or propped up along her walls, glowing beautifully in the fluorescent light of her apartment. She wanted to merely share the beauty of what she was creating and experiencing. “Look at these beauties!,” she exclaimed, as she panned the camera over her art. In that happy moment of her shared glee I was infused with some much needed childlike creative energy. This weekend I’ll join my most recently interviewed artist, Marine vet and poet Zach Love, now newly graduated Dr. Love, for drinks at his and his girlfriend’s place. We’ll share poetry and he’s even promised me I can type on his special typewriter that types cursive.


Given he’s a known surfer and surfboard shaper, I’ll ask him if he can help me improve my practically non-existent surfing skills.

Their paths have now become intertwined with mine, helping me to create my own respective mosaic of new friends and acquaintances. The energy of our interactions and crossing paths are fluorescent and glowing like Fran’s paintings, all of us lighting up brighter and becoming more colorful together like firing synapses criss-crossing in the brain.

I’ve been inspired by veteran artist Luz Helena Thompson’s many Facebook posts about surfing. I interviewed her a year ago about how mosaic art and time in the ocean on her board helped her heal from MST sustained as a young Marine.

The isolation, depression and anxiety from PTSD I used to feel continue to be replaced with something new, something I am learning to sustain more and more through my community, my tribe, my sangha. Thank you.

“Meditation has been a true gift for me lately, helping me calm my usual anxiety and reigning in my bouts of depression.” - Amber Robinson

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A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain

San Diego is home to over 240,000 veterans and many Active Duty and military families. After almost 20 years of conflicts overseas, we see a lot of PTS and PTSD amongst those we serve. 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 • 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). Common symptoms of PTSD: Symptoms can occur immediately after the trauma or in others it may cause symptoms years after the event/trauma. • Repeatedly thinking about the trauma. (Can manifest as nightmares or flashbacks) • Feeling on alert, on guard, easily startled or angered. Feeling irritable, anxious or pre-occupied with feeling unsafe are common. • 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. 2020 was the year of COVID19- the global pandemic. It was a year of separation, loss, isolation, 28

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anxiety, and uncertainty. Everyone handles these experiences differently. Not all survivors of COVID19 will develop PTSD but many could carry the emotional scars for months or years. COVID 19 Specific symptoms (those that previously had COVID): • Fear of dying • Social isolation • Anxiety of getting sick again • Guilt over infecting others Additionally, many people experienced additional triggers due to COVID. The experiences of COVID may have resurfaced old feelings and emotions tied to previous traumas. It is important for anyone experiencing these symptoms to seek treatment. There are many amazing resources out there for our veterans/ citizens to seek the help they need. It is important for family members, friends and loved ones to be supportive and encouraging to those experiencing PTSD as they work through the challenges of treatment. 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.

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).


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Gulf War Illness: Military Chemical Injury By Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD Gulf War veterans consider themselves the “forgotten veterans.” A third of the 700,000 US personnel deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1990-1991 developed chronic multi-symptom health problems. These health problems have come to be known as “Gulf War illness” (GWI). What is Gulf War Illness? Symptoms vary from veteran to veteran, but can include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, cognitive problems, sleep problems, gastrointestinal problems, neurological problems, shortness of breath, skin symptoms, and many others. Although some other people also get these symptoms, in Gulf War veterans, these symptoms are typically more numerous, and they are more severe. Veterans with GWI have symptoms from a larger number of “domains,” such as “neurological,” “gastroenterological,” or “respiratory,” and their symptoms are on average are more severe than in those who were not deployed to the Persian Gulf. Do Gulf War Veterans Have Higher Rates of Other Health Problems? Veterans of the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War have higher rates of a number of health problems. These include more hypertension, increased rates of heart disease and stroke, more sleep apnea, and have shown higher rates of infectious diseases – among other conditions. Some conceptualize GWI as akin to accelerated aging, in that many aging-related health conditions arise at a younger age. Are Any Tests “Abnormal” in Affected Gulf War Veterans? Routine laboratory tests are usually normal. However, many studies have now shown that a wide range of less common tests are often askew in veterans with GWI. They have impairments in the functions of “mitochondria” – the energy powerhouses of cells. Affected veterans have modestly increased levels of inflammation (compared to healthy “controls”— inflammation levels are often, nonetheless, in the normal range), and higher levels of markers that signal coagulation. They have increased rates of autoantibodies (that is, autoimmune-type problems), and alternations of so-called autonomic function—the type of neurologic function that regulates heart rate, and the ability to regulate heart rate and blood pressure with standing up. 30

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Many other alterations have been shown, and more are continuing to be identified. Brain imaging studies show more loss of “grey matter” and more abnormalities in “white matter” – the myelin sheaths that insulate the nerve processes involved in brain communication. (Note that these show up as group findings. Not every affected veteran has every one of these findings.) What Caused Gulf War Illness? Evidence implicates the complex environmental/ chemical and medication milieu, that was unprecedented at the time of, and has not been matched since the time of the Gulf War. Some of the exposures were relatively unique to the Gulf War. For instance, botulinum toxoid vaccine, oil fires, sarin/ cyclosarin nerve gas (from demolition of chemical munition depots), and pyridostigmine bromide (given as a nerve agent pretreatment adjunct). That latter pill has been passed out to personnel since the 1991 Gulf War, but the order to take it has not been given in subsequent deployments. Other exposures were not unique but occurred first in the 1990-1 Gulf War. These include depleted uranium (to gird tanks and munitions), anthrax vaccine, a particularly high number of multiple vaccines, and permethrin impregnated uniforms. Other exposures, though not new or unique, were excessive. Examples include, pesticides, burn pits, jet fuel, and others.


Is Gulf War Illness the Same as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Gulf War illness is distinct from PTSD. We conceptualize recent signature illnesses of deployed veterans in three categories. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be viewed as representing psychological injury. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents mechanical injury to the brain. Gulf War illness represents

chemical injury.

In fact, combat stress is not an independent predictor (or “risk factor”) for Gulf War illness. Many veterans with Gulf War illness have felt frustrated that physicians do not understand the distinct nature of their condition, and often presume that it is psychological in origin. Some of the problems, and research, related to GWI is relevant to other military personnel too – as well as some in the civilian sector – because some of the exposures have been shared by members of these other groups. UCSD’s GRG (Golomb Research Group) has been dedicated to better understanding Gulf War illness, identifying critical exposure relationships, mechanisms of GWI (the first to propose, then the first to show damage in GWI to “mitochondria,” the energy-producing part of cells), objective markers in GWI, and treatment of GWI – including a treatment that significantly improved the symptoms and physical function in affected veterans.

& Organizations Navigating the resources available to veterans can be confusing, but San Diego Veterans Magazine believes no veteran should have to go it alone. At Homeland Magazine you can find Veteran organizations and private nonprofits with resources for veterans that can help ease the process of attaining earned benefits, coping with the lasting effects of service-connected injuries and finding programs and services that meet your specific needs.

If you are a Gulf War veteran (affected or healthy), or a veteran from another conflict with Gulf War illnesslike health problems, there are studies in which your involvement could help. Ongoing studies, and those soon to be launched, address impairment in muscle energy, cell membrane integrity, and gene expression (how avidly different genes are active and converted to their respective proteins). There are also treatment studies underway as well as a study on veterans’ healthcare experience.

Homeland Veteran Resources & Organizations available at: www.MiramarPostalPlus.com

If you wish to learn more about any of the studies, contact us at: golombresearch@ucsd.edu.

www.HomelandMagazine.com

Homeland Magazine

Help us to help these valorous veterans, who were affected, through their service to our country.

A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans

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A Veteran’s Words of Hope to Fellow Veterans Suffering from PTS After Receiving the Gift of a Psychiatric Service Dog By Kyrié Bloem & Eva Stimson For US veterans struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), anxiety, hyper vigilance, environmental triggers, depression and difficulty sleeping, (among other challenges) the support of a loving, trained service dog can provide a lasting impact in daily life, post-combat. Shelter to Soldier service dog recipient, Shawn Brown, USMC, recommends to other veterans who are struggling with PTS, “My best advice to other veterans is… get the help, and not to have too much pride that stops you from getting help.

A lot of us get our identity in what we’ve done and not actually in who we are. So, get the help and figure out who you are. That’s going to help you in the end.

Don’t be scared to get the help.”

Shawn Brown, USMC was paired with his service dog named Wilson in January 2021. Brown served in the United States Marine Corps for 16 years and was deployed for two tours in Iraq in 2003-2004. According to Shawn, “I realized I was struggling with PTS when I got back, and I thought I was okay. But then 5 years ago, I had a real nervous breakdown and was having suicidal thoughts. That’s when I went to the hospital to get some help. I really realized I needed some help. I did not like crowds, I still don’t, but I would avoid going anywhere. If I did go somewhere, it would be very early or very late. For example, the night crew knew me very well because I would go in the last hour that they were open. It would take me forever to make a purchase of just two items. I was so hypervigilant that I was looking around all the time checking everyone out.”

Shawn had a service dog before Wilson and says of the time between his previous service dog’s passing and finding Shelter to Soldier “it was really rough.”

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I felt immediately like I was part of the [STS] family. Once I graduated, I was excited to bring him home, but at the same time, it felt bittersweet like I was missing out on time with my family.”

After learning of the Shelter to Soldier service dog program, his subsequent acceptance into the program, and then meeting available dogs, he began to bond with the team and found his new, most important teammate, Wilson. “My first meeting with Wilson was in the Shelter to Soldier yard…he ran straight towards me and he was all over me. It wasn’t overwhelming, it was just right. He picked me like ‘Hey Dad, what’s up?’ and it was a great feeling.”

Shelter to Soldier Co-Founder and Vice President, Kyrié Bloem, remarks of Wilson and Shawn “This May, we celebrated Wilson’s one year ‘Adoptiversary’ – the day he was adopted into our program from partner California Labradors, Retrievers and More rescue, under the generous Red Star Sponsorship of The Fish Market, to begin his psychiatric service dog training program. We just feel so honored to have been a small part of Wilson’s big journey, and we are thrilled to see Wilson and Shawn thriving together today.”

Shawn elaborates of his STS training program, “It was a good experienceworking with Shelter to Soldier. I see them as a family. STS is a very tight-knit group, so even though I drove an hour to get there, it felt like home to me.

Since graduating the Shelter to Soldier program, it is clear that Wilson has made a positive impact in Shawn’s life. “With [Wilson], I’m still hesitant [in public] sometimes, but when I look at it, I see I’ve gone back out to live. I go out now; I go into areas where there are crowds, which is something I wouldn’t have done before. I get a lot of anxiety even while driving in traffic and he picks up on that. He licks my neck and my ear and there’s no way you can have anxiety with that. I’m too busy trying to dry my ear out!” The STS team has also shared some more comical times together, furthering their bond as service dog and handler. “I laugh a lot more now. One minute he’s laying on the floor and then he gets the zoomies! At night before bed, he gets this energy and he’s ready to run. No matter what, we sit there and we play; he brings the excitement back. It’s like my house has kids, and all my children are grown! He brings me his toys and leaves them all over the place.” With gratitude, Shawn remarks “[Wilson] really senses and picks up on everything. He’s wonderful.” Shelter to Soldier is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) for veterans suffering from PostTraumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other injuries associated with traumatic service experiences. The team encourages any veteran who needs support to reach out for help to a mental health care provider, or by calling Shelter to Soldier at 760-870-5338 to inquire about eligibility and/or resources. www.sheltertosoldier.org

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A Better, Simpler Way to Work By Eve Nasby & Kristin Hennessy The concept of employment seems simple. Businesses need employees. People need work. Businesses post jobs to get the right employee. People submit resumes to jobs they might want, and hope it’s a match. What’s in a Match? Overall, it’s mutual satisfaction. In a way, it’s like dating. If timing, location, and attraction all align, and remain aligned, this could lead to marriage. But, hiring and starting a new job is more like an arranged marriage that skips the critical “get to really know you” stage. Fate is largely contingent on a piece of paper known as a resume, a piece of digital space, known as a LinkedIn profile, a job posting, and a few brief conversations. Finding Your Match A good match is more probable when you know exactly what you want. But, if you’ve spent a good chunk of time in the military, it can be difficult to know exactly what “relationship” you want to be in next. Those in active duty don’t have to think about what they want to do now or next, because they’re doing what they are told to do, trusting it’s for the greater good of our country. When in the military, you’re not looking for a job. The mindset is, “I’m never leaving this job.” But, once you’re out in the workforce, it’s an entirely new world. There’s a good chance that maybe that employer/employee relationship sparks at first, but after a year, you might find you hate that job. Now what?

Let’s add in one more wrinkle. There are a lot of corporations and organizations that know veterans make great employees. They’re driven, hard working, have experience unparalleled to the average civilian, and have a strong work ethic when it comes to being on time and performing duties. 34

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Many businesses want veterans and seek them out. But, if uninformed or inexperienced in understanding these benefits firsthand, some could view hiring veterans as a liability. What if they act like a sergeant and not an employee? What if they have PTSD and crumble on the job? How’s this going to affect my workers comp and unemployment claims if they’re not the right fit? Band of Hands, a veteran-owned San Diego startup, gets this, and aims to optimize the relationships (and mitigate risks) between employees and employers. “Our goal is to get America back to work and help small businesses succeed. We’ve created a way for veterans to find their mission and passion in the workplace, and optimize their potential,” says Band of Hands CEO Aziz Badra. No Risks and All the Rewards! Hiring is a risk for any company. It’s expensive and time consuming to recruit, conduct interviews and background checks, onboard, and set up their timesheets and payroll. Then comes the additional risks and costs of having them, like unemployment and workers comp taxes, potential claims and compliance regulations. If an employee quits or files a claim, that business is smacked with a ton of burdens. Yes, one employee can ruin a small business. Suddenly that serendipitous relationship dream shatters. And then there’s the employee perspective. Your resume and networking pays off, you accept a job, are gainfully employed, excited for a lasting relationship…. but there’s a few wrinkles here, too. If you’re a shift worker, you’re probably not aren’t getting benefits or social security, you’re limited to one employer, and aren’t optimizing your potential. If the work environment or role changes, (or your interests change), you may come to hate it. Then what? Start over and hope the next time is a match made in heaven?


Band of Hands is proud to provide a solution that solves these very real problems that both businesses and workers face. If you’re a small business on the Band of Hands platform, you alleviate all of the risk and burdens of hiring, payroll, HR, compliance, claims, and more. You also have access to a pre-screened marketplace of quality employees. Businesses can try out workers at no risk to make sure it’s the right fit and fill last minute shifts with one-click hiring.

No Limits Employment If you’re looking for a job, you can accept multiple jobs that fit your schedule on the Band of Hands platform. If you have a full time job, you can still take on other shifts if you want. You can try a career out first with no risk. “We want veterans to continue to fulfill their mission. Our platform allows veterans to connect the dots between experiences and build a solid resume. By giving them the opportunity to work multiple jobs and try out different careers, they can discover what really motivates and excites them,” says Band of Hands President and passionate military supporter, Eve Nasby. “If someone in active duty goes on missions to Guam, San Diego, and Afghanistan, the loyalty remains to one source. We provide that same sense of loyalty within the Band of Hands family of companies and workers.” While the concept of employment seems simple, the probability of success is much more complex. Band of Hands simplifies these complexities, helping small businesses succeed, and most importantly, helping veterans continue to fulfill their mission of choice. Learn more at www.bandofhands.com

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American Corporate Partners (ACP) A Mentorship that Matters By Amy Meehan Mission American Corporate Partners (ACP) is a national nonprofit organization focused on helping returning veterans, veterans who have transitioned out of the military and active-duty spouses find their next careers through one-onone mentoring, networking and online career advice. According to the Department of Labor, approximately 200,000 men and women leave U.S. military service every year. ACP believes the biggest issue facing those transitioning service members is not unemployment – it’s underemployment. ACP focuses on helping veterans and active-duty spouses find meaningful employment opportunities and develop long-term careers and professional goals. To date, ACP has helped more than 20,000 veterans and active duty spouses through its mentoring program. Post-9/11 veterans, active-duty spouses and eligible military spouses are referred to as Protégés, and the professionals that participate through their organization’s partnership with ACP are known as Mentors. Program Guidelines ACP focuses primarily on three groups: Post 9/11 veterans, women veterans and active duty spouses. An ACP mentorship is a yearlong commitment, which encourages Mentors and Protégés to connect for monthly discussions. ACP staff support the program with customized resources, training and suggestions, and helps the pair build a successful mentorship. It begins through a pairing process where ACP’s staff carefully selects a Mentor for each Protégé based on career compatibility, experience level, location and personal interests. Every Mentor and Protégé has a phone call with an ACP staff member to communicate and consider preferences. Most mentoring pairs are long-distance and communicate primarily through phone, videoconference and email exchanges.

Post-9/11 Veteran Mentoring Program ACP’s Veteran Protégés are post-9/11 service members and veterans at various stages of the transition process: • Service members who are still serving on active duty and planning for an upcoming transition or retirement • Recently separated veterans in the midst of a transition • Veterans who separated years ago and are currently employed, but are looking to advance in a current civilian career • Student veterans who are seeking advice from successful business leaders in the private sector ACP Veteran Protégé Alum and JP Morgan Chase Software Engineer, Yang Zhou, said “ACP definitely helped me get the job I have now. I was lost and confused on how to start and didn’t have any prior experience in IT.

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www.acp-usa.org

My Mentor really encouraged me and gave me detailed steps on how to get started and approach people with similar backgrounds. His personal experiences in the corporate world made a difference and I also appreciated my ACP contact who stayed on top of our partnership, always sending me resources and touching base with me.” Whether a veteran is actively searching for a new career or newly employed and looking for advice about how to be successful in their new role and advance, ACP’s customized program is designed to assist a veteran or active duty spouse on their path toward rewarding, meaningful employment. Typical mentorship topics include: • Résumé review and interview preparation • Career exploration • Work-life balance • Networking • Small business development • Leadership and professional communication With eight months to go before his official retirement, Army Sergeant Major (E-9) Bryan B applied to ACP in August of 2020. Soon after, he was paired with ACP Mentor James Wise, PMP from Amentum. After getting to know one another, Jim and Bryan rolled up their sleeves and got to work. They explored careers in project management, discussed best PMP study practices, conducted countless mock interviews, overhauled Bryan’s resumé, and so much more. Their hard work paid off when Bryan accepted his “dream position” at Airbus Defence and Space and Bryan and Jim continue to meet and conquer workplace challenges as they arise. ACP has more than 20,000 success stories like the ones Yang and Bryan experienced in their mentorships. You can see the impact be visiting www.acp-usa.org For more information, please visit us at www.acp-usa.org facebook.com/AmericanCorporatePartners linkedin.com/company/american-corporate-partners Instagram.com/acp_usa

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WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby & Kristin Hennessy

Finding the Light with PTSD Imagine transitioning from the military into the civilian workforce while battling visceral responses to loud noises, sights and smells. This was the case for Urban Miyares after he was honorably discharged after serving in Vietnam. Fortunately, he was offered a job at a Wall Street firmvia a family friend and eagerly accepted, anticipating a life of hard work with rewarding payoffs. Unfortunately, his term at the firm was quickly put to an end when the leadership found out he had served in Vietnam, as this came with an extremely negative stigma back then. He was fired and left to find a job in an economy where he was labeled a “baby killer”. Rebounding from Darkness Undeterred, Urban started his own company to support his wife and new born child. And then he started another.

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A few years after starting his first company, Urban became blind due to medical issues. That didn’t stop him, as he went on to start 22 more companies. Urban became a sought after keynote speaker, author, radio personality and trusted advisor in the disabled community. Urban also was part of the crew first to sail with a small all-disabled crew from San Diego to Hawaii and became a competitive downhill skier, blindly skiing at over 60mph. Urban has PTSD. He tells his comrades that it can be a blessing. Being diagnosed with PTSD is no excuse for not becoming remarkably successful in the civilian work world. Urban encourages companies to hire individuals with PTSD, as they enjoy project work and know how to get things done.


Disclosing Disabilities is Not Required!

If you’re interviewing, practice answering commonly asked questions with your friends and family. The more rehearsed you are in your answers the more able you will be to stay focused in the interview even in the light of a surprise distraction.

Did you know that you don’t have to disclose that you have a disability on your job application unless you need an accommodation to perform a specific duty on your job? You do not need to give your future employer a copy of your medical exam or answer any medical questions until you are conditionally offered a job.

Another tip is to write out your answers word for word and have them accessible during your interview. Phone interviews are still common and they won’t know you are reading or glancing at your notes. If it is Zoom, simply you can use tape or sticky notes with your answers around your monitor. If it’s in person, take a notepad to read from and also take notes on. This will help keep you from wandering as you answer.

The employer may ask for a medical examination if it is consistent with their business needs and is job related. If you have a challenge on the job that was related to your diagnosis of PTSD, they may ask for a medical exam to determine if you are able to return to work, perform your job and if or what kind of an accommodation you will need to return.

Once you are hired, know that companies are happy to have you aboard and can provide accommodations for you to help you succeed.

But, look at this as a solution-oriented attempt to make your work environment as productive as possible. Simple accommodations for those with PTSD, like putting a mirror on your desk, giving you a workspace with natural lighting and/or minimal noise are all possible to help you feel safe and succeed.

If working as an employee is not your cup of tea, explore entrepreneurship! Urban MIyares is a great example of how physical and mental disabilities don’t need to hold you back from realizing more success than you thought possible. Even if you can’t see, you have the tools, resources and support to find your way out of the dark, and into a career you love.

Real Struggles, Real On the Job Solutions Avoiding relationships, avoiding places, feeling tense, anxious, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and living in a state of being at the ready can be incapacitating for those with PTSD looking for jobs and starting jobs. But these feelings are normal, and companies can and will make accommodations to mitigate your struggles. If you’re having challenges with your peers, you can practice breathing techniques, or even try walking away for a few minutes. You can also request to work remotely if the work can be done from home. Remote work has become the new norm.

Want more information? Need help with hiring or getting hired? Contact Eve Nasby: eve@bandofhands.com Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-hiring-expert

If you’re having a hard time concentrating, try noisecancelling headsets, or white noise sound devices. Many apps provide white noise or calming frequencies free of cost. If you’re finding yourself feeling forgetful or disorganized, don’t be afraid to ask for help! For example, you can ask your employer to give you instructions in writing, use your computer’s calendar, or desk calendars, make a checklist to stay productive and meet deadlines. Job Searching and Interviewing? If you’re searching for a job, create a list or spreadsheet with the companies you are applying for and keep track of your follow-ups, status, dates and phone interviews. I Update it regularly so you have all of the information in one place.

www.bandofhands.com Eve Nasby: eve@bandofhands.com

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HUMAN RESOURCES Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

The Best Leaders Aren’t Necessarily the Ones with the Most Followers In fact, the paradigm works like this: the best leaders are the ones who create the most leaders in turn. The “coaching” mindset will help you create the most leaders in turn, so let’s discuss how that works. You’ll hear a lot about coaching leadership in the private sector and for good reason: looking at the needs of the newest generations in the workforce—Gen Y Millennials and Gen Z Zoomers—the desire for career and professional development ranks high. And why shouldn’t it? Isn’t it reasonable for a younger generation of high-tech and knowledge workers to look for higher levels of career satisfaction than previous generations? Is it too much to ask that workers look beyond physiological and safety needs to those of motivation and belonging, esteem, and career actualization? This isn’t meant to be a utopian vision of the future: it’s very real and “on topic” for many organizations in corporate America right now. The strongest leaders are coaches, not disciplinarians. They are selfless teachers who take personal interest in their employees’ and peers’ professional growth and career development. They see leadership as a gift and as the greatest privilege the workplace has to offer. After all, what other endeavors in the business world, beyond compensation, are as significant as hearing that you’re someone’s favorite boss, the person who influenced and shaped them to become the best leaders they could become in their own right, and their role models and greatest influencers in their careers? Further, this isn’t only the realm of managers and executives: individual contributors can stand out as excellent leaders as well, even if they have no subordinates reporting directly to them. The question you have to ask yourself is whether being known as an outstanding leader is important to you at this point in your career as you prepare to transition into the private sector. 40

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Here are some general rules to follow, whether you see yourself as a team leader or an individual contributor leader. First, great leadership is about sincerity and selflessness. The old paradigm of the “boss” dictating what to do and how to get it done—that is, the traditional role of management—has been replaced by the leadership concept. Management is about oversight, control, and order, leaving little discretion to the individual laborer. Leadership is different, though. It has a different focus and feel. And it tends to get much greater results than traditional top-down management. For example, leadership favors the collective over individual decision making.


It looks for inspiration, imagination, creativity, and ethical behavior in piercing workers’ hearts as well as their minds. It thrives on respect, inclusiveness, and a culture of otherness that permits and rewards individual and group achievement. The optimal result is that selfless leaders gain discretionary effort from their team members and peers—a willingness to go above and beyond 100% because of the love and trust they have in their leader or fellow associate. Next, understand that the best team leaders ask questions of their employees even when they already know the answers. The questioning process is used to teach. And yes—it may take longer than simply giving the right answer—but it’s important for your team members’ professional development. You’ve probably heard of managers who say, “Whenever you have a question, bring me to two to three possible solutions that you’ve thought through so we can discuss them together.” This forces employees to think things through on their own, and more often than not, you’ll find that their answers and recommendations are fairly close to what you would have recommended initially. At that point, you can ask a few follow up questions to tease the correct answer out of them or help them course-correct to reach the answer on their own with your guided help. (This technique works great with kids as well—but no so well with spouses!) Finally, strong “coaching leaders” meet with their employees at least quarterly to spend one-on-one time reviewing performance goals, removing roadblocks, pivoting in light of unforeseen changes, and asking questions about professional growth and development. The leader-as-coach model looks to draw wisdom, insight, and creativity from the people being coached. It focuses on teaching people to fish rather than simply giving them a fish. It encourages them to resolve problems with the underlying assumption that the answer is in them already and simply needs to be guided out. Coaching others to high performance is a noble goal and will likely catapult your own reputation as a people leader and talent developer to new heights. Never underestimate the power of being a strong team developer or trusted associate: the particular “soft skills” of trust and selflessness could open more opportunities for you career-wise than you might otherwise imagine and help so many others reach their personal best. You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/paulfalcone1

Paul Falcone (www.PaulFalconeHR.com) is a human resources executive and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development.

www.HarperCollinsLeadership.com

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READY TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR CAREER? Talk to our friendly veterans admissions counselor today! admissions@icohs.edu (858)581-9460 www.icohs.edu Become a certified IT professional in 15 weeks with no prior experience necessary!

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Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit for Military and Civilian Life By Stephanie Lee, Air Force Veteran & Enrollment Manager, CareerStep Sometimes, the sense of division between life in the military and life as a civilian feels like a vast chasm. In fact, for military families, this sense of division joins a long list of challenges that specifically impact the men and women who sacrifice so much for the country. These challenges couldn’t be more apparent than when it comes to finding a post-military career or one that is flexible enough to align with military spouses’ unique needs—a career that checks all the right boxes: satisfaction, security, and stability. Finding industries and employers that understand the skills of veterans and their families can seem like an uphill climb at times, and it shows. For example, the unemployment rate for veterans rose to 6.5% in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Reasons for this vary, but one contributing factor could be that lessons learned under the harsh conditions of combat don’t always translate to private-sector jobs. And for military spouses—60% of which say they’re looking for full- or part-time work—finding a profession that’s both portable and in-demand is increasingly difficult.

However, there is hope and there are opportunities. First, it’s important to consider key reasons why a career in healthcare—the fastest-growing sector in the U.S. economy according to BLS data—might just be what bridges that expansive gap between military and civilian life. 1. Meaningful Work Most who enter the military are looking for fulfilling work—an opportunity to make a difference. A real difference. But few civilian careers allow veterans to make as much of a difference as those found in healthcare. That’s because working in this particular field, regardless of the role, provides the opportunity to impact peoples’ lives in profound ways. From mending wounds and healing minds to saving lives, the difference healthcare workers make is undeniable. 2. Transferable Skills There’s a reason healthcare is an overwhelmingly popular career choice for veterans and their spouses: it’s an industry in which military-specific skills are undeniably relevant. Creative problem solving, adaptability, and effective communication—they’re all valuable skills that healthcare organizations can’t ignore if they want to provide the best possible service and care to their patients. And they’re all skills that veterans and their spouses already possess. 3. In-Demand Careers People need healthcare. In turn, the industry needs people willing to step up to the proverbial plate.

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Healthcare Training For Your Next Phase of Life

Economic and labor experts believe we need to hire 2.3 million new healthcare workers by 2025 if we’re going to keep pace with the needs of our aging population. But a persistent shortage of skilled workers with exceptional knowledge and training means hundreds of thousands of positions will remain unfilled. Home health aides, medical assistants, lab technicians, and more are all in high demand. 4. Portable Jobs For a working military spouse, it can be difficult to cultivate a strong professional network, and when the time comes to pack up and move to a new city, the wrong vocation can leave even the most talented pro scrambling to start over. That’s why job portability is so important. Healthcare training provides the skills and certifications that employers are looking for in highgrowth, high-demand fields in virtually every city in the entire world. Supportive Training for Success These days, there are multiple training options for learners to pave their road to success. These organizations often have hiring network relationships, so it’s important to keep in contact and inform them when certification is achieved. It’s especially important for members of the healthcare sector to be fully qualified and properly trained. An early step is to start by choosing a specific discipline and then find a provider that can help learners develop the concrete job skills employers are looking for.

Our online training programs are approved for military education funding—all designed to help military members and their spouses build skills and thrive in careers that are portable, in-demand, and rewarding.

The good news is that there’s a significant amount of trusted providers who specialize in transforming entrylevel learners into high-performing, certified healthcare professionals. And they all do this with expansive catalogs of fully online career training programs that are fast, portable, and eligible for military education grants—often covering up to 100% of the cost.

Start training today so you can be prepared for meaningful work tomorrow.

Finding the right fit takes a little time and it is important to explore the possibilities. Doing the research is crucial as it can improve the learning experience—and potentially lead to faster employment. Deciding to pursue a career in healthcare is a fulfilling and viable option for veterans and their spouses. About the Author: Stephanie Lee served in the Air Force for 11 years as a Munitions Systems Craftsman. She now serves as an Enrollment Manager for CareerStep, (www.careerstep.com/military/), the Allied Health training division of Carrus. (www.carruslearn.com)

For more information, call (877) 201-3470 or visit www.careerstep.com/military

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ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR By Vicki Garcia

What’s Your Endgame?

“Alice asked the grinning Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?” The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the Cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Words to live by. If you don’t know where you want to end up, it’s difficult to choose the right path. Smart small business owners know in advance what they want to get out of their business when the time comes to retire. Some cagy founders start and launch a business with the express purpose of selling it at a specific point in the not too far distant future. Do all small business owners have an “Exit Strategy?” No. The UBS (NYSE: UBS) Q1 Investor Watch Report, “Who’s the boss?” reveals 48 percent of business owners don’t have a formal exit strategy at all. Warning! Closing up shop is riddled with legalities and hoops you have to jump through. Let’s look at a few of the most popular strategies. 1. Liquidate. For some small businesses, especially those that are dependent on a single individual, simply closing the doors may be the only option. When the founder is the main asset, there’s nothing else to sell. If you’re in this position, you may want to spend some time retooling your business so that

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it could be operated by someone else – making it a business someone might want to buy. It can take months to close a business properly. A closing plan will offer the most protection possible to your personal assets, your credit, and your reputation. In fact, you can choose to liquidate slowly over time, taking out large salary draws or dividends over several years before eventually pulling up stakes. If you wish to maximize your current lifestyle rather than aggressively expand your business, a slow wind-down could be your best option. The order in which you notify people of your intention to eventually quit can greatly affect your ability to make the most of the time you have left. You will need to collect outstanding accounts receivable, sell off inventory and notify your creditors. Notify your customers, terminate your lease, give any employees adequate notice, take care of any tax responsibilities and close your business bank accounts. And you thought it simply involved closing the doors. 2. Leave it to the Kids. Keeping it in the family is a dream of many owners. You hope to make it a smooth transition and even retain a role in the business. Of course, this depends on someone in your family who wants to take the wheel. And, how about your customers. They may not take to the transition. This is another case of taking it slowly, plan carefully and keep your ear to the ground. 3. Sell it. This is the most popular option, especially for a profitable business that is attractive to buyers. If you want to sell your business, start preparing several years in advance. Keep excellent records and look marketable. Assets and goodwill can be incorporated when valuing the business for sale, maximizing the return to the owner(s). In the report, UBS points out the majority of business owners don’t have a full understanding of what takes place in the selling of a business. It identifies a knowledge gap for the 75 percent of owners who believe they can sell their business in a year or less.


2021

GOALS www.HomnelandMagazine.com

Transitioning out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce?

Businesses are difficult to value, and the selling price may be less than you would like. Several different business valuation methods ranging from asset-based to future earnings approaches are available.

Finding a job in the civilian world may seem easy at first. After all, you have learned skills, practiced leadership and demonstrated initiative that will make you successful wherever you go.

Whatever you do, don’t cook the books to look more profitable. You would be well served by working with a reputable professional business broker as well as an experienced attorney. * The takeaway - Plan early with different exit strategies in mind. This will allow you the flexibility you need to get the most out of your business, whether you sell it, pass it on to your family, or move on.

The reality, though, is that it can be difficult. In fact, it can be downright depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned.

*This information is made available 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. It should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Veterans In Transition is dedicated to you and to helping you succeed in your transition. For editorial & monthly columns regarding transitioning to business, career advice, tips, workshops, transition to education, entrepreneurship, straight-forward legal tips for military and veteran business owners and more, Visit our website at: www.tinyurl.com/Veterans-In-Transition

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & the owner of a marketing firm for over 30 years. Email her at www.veteransinbiz@gmail.com and register for free coaching at www.veteransinbiz.com

VETERANS

If you have a business, join the California Veterans Chamber of Commerce for free at www.caveteranschamber.com/join

IN TRANSITION

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

MUST HAVE CHECKLIST FOR STARTUPS Starting your own business can be a difficult task and complying with all of the legal requirements can be overwhelming. The following list includes the most important elements any startup should meet to avoid a list of potential legal issues. 1) Form the proper business entity Choosing the proper business entity for your startup is crucial because it affects your personal liability, how much you and the entity pay in taxes, and your ability to raise funding. It’s a good idea to first decide whether you want to raise capital from any outside investors. If so, it’s usually best to form a C-corporation. A C-corporation’s structure could result in double taxation, but investors are usually more open to investing in this type of structure and startups that raise venture capital are unlikely to distribute dividends. For that reason, double taxation usually is not as large an issue. An S-corporation would be the best structure for a business that intends to stay small with only a few owners who are all U.S. citizens or residents. 2) Incorporate in Delaware You should incorporate your startup in Delaware no matter where you are located, but you should also look into incorporating in your home state. Delaware’s court system is known to provide maximum flexibility in business entity structures with its well-developed case law. Corporate attorneys are more familiar with Delaware law mainly because more than 80% of U.S. publicly traded companies have their legal home in Delaware. Your startup will reflect credibility as a Delaware incorporated business when approaching outside investors as well, since most require it. 3) Create a written agreement between your business owners If you are working with multiple business owners, it’s important to make sure that each person knows and understands his/her rights and responsibilities. If you are forming a corporation, this means creating a shareholder agreement and the Articles of Incorporation. The Articles must contain the number of authorized shares, state the purpose of the company, identify the incorporators and the agent authorized to receive service of process, and provide the name of the corporation. 48

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4) Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) In order to open a corporate bank account and to properly file your business tax returns, you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You must request one from the IRS and may apply over the phone or by using an online application on the IRS website. You will need the social security number of the person completing the form for the company (usually the President or CEO). Include information on your business entity and date of incorporation. Make sure to keep a signed copy of this application in your files – ask for one if you apply over the phone. 5) Perform due diligence on your investors Venture capitalists and angel investors are certainly doing an abundant amount of research on your startup; therefore, as a founder you should do the same. You want to make sure that your investors are just as committed as you are to your brand because they will be your long-term partners. You also want to make sure you know enough about their background and industry expertise. Conduct LinkedIn searches, learn about their expectations, and even get to know them on a personal level to make sure they are the right fit for you. 6) Create a vesting schedule for the founders A common issue among founders is the level of commitment each person brings to the table. Upon incorporation, founders should create a vesting schedule that states that stock ownership will vest over time. This is important not only because it prevents one founder from quitting and being able to keep all of his/ her stock, but it is also usually required from investors before the first round of financing. You want to have a vesting schedule created before negotiations with investors take place or else, they may want to impose a certain schedule. If you already have an existing system, they are more likely to follow what you have implemented. 7) Protect your Intellectual Property The road to success requires that you maintain a strong intellectual property (IP) portfolio. Remember that IP not only includes patents but copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets as well.


File any patents as soon as possible, for the process to issue a patent can take more than 5 years. Investors are more likely to invest in a company that has protected its IP. Make sure you have the exclusive right to reproduce and display your work. Pick a name for your company that is specific to the products/services you provide and prevent others from using a similar mark. Decide what is considered a trade secret and keep that information secure against unauthorized access.

Go Legal Yourself ® Know Your Business Legal Lifecycle

2nd Edition NOW AVAILABLE!

Since IP can entail a vast array of legal to-do’s, you should consult an experienced IP attorney who can help you through the process and provide you the utmost protection. 8) Know how your employees are classified A very common mistake when startups first hire employees is misclassifying them. Know the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. The main difference between the two boils down to control, regardless of what the worker may be called in any sort of agreement. If the startup requires that the worker show up at a certain time, work a certain number of hours, and be under a great deal of supervision, it is unlikely that he/she is an independent contractor. More control over the worker means it is more likely that a court will deem the worker an employee. 9) Comply with Securities Laws Founders and investors of LLC’s, corporations, and partnerships are subject to federal and state securities laws. These laws were made to require companies to provide reliable and accurate information about their businesses to enable a fair market. They also protect from insider trading and trading fraud. Failure to comply with these laws can result in the startup having to repurchase all of its shares at the issuance price, even if the company has lost all of its money.

Award-winning attorney, Kelly Bagla shows you how to avoid legal pitfalls FROM DAY ONE! The last thing an entrepreneur wants is to spend valuable time and resources on legal issues, which is why they often drop to the bottom of the pile. But this can be a COSTLY MISTAKE—and Go Legal Yourself is here to make sure it’s one you avoid.

10) Hire competent legal counsel Startups are usually concerned about expenses, but should not be as concerned when it comes to having the right attorneys on your side. Startups should retain experienced legal counsel who have expertise in employment law, contract law, securities law, and intellectual property law, to name a few. The work may be spread out between different firms and attorneys, and the cost is worth avoiding any legal trouble.

• • • •

Gather the right documentation Protect your brand Avoid expensive legal pitfalls Plan and manage growth competatively

Rest assured that no nasty legal surprises will stand between you and your success.

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.

www.GoLegalYourself.com

Get your copy at amazon today!

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BEFORE SERVED HONORABLY.

Workshops for Warriors is a nonprofit school that provides veterans and transitioning service members with hands-on training and nationallyrecognized credentials in CNC machining, CAD/CAM programming, and welding. Our students earn credentials that open doors to jobs anywhere in the U.S. Call us at (619) 550-1620.

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AFTER EARNED A CAREER IN JUST 4 MONTHS. ENROLL NOW AT WFW.ORG CAD/CAM Programming CNC Machining Welding DoD SkillBridge Organization


WHAT’S NEXT?

BECOME A CRANE OPERATOR Skillbridge Approved

Discover an exciting new career opportunity after serving your country. Heavy Equipment Colleges of America proudly supports and honors the brave women and men who fight for our country. • VA education benefits and Career Skills Program (CSP) • Job placement help and hands-on, classroom interaction • Get certified in as little as three weeks

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Joint Base Lewis McChord in Lakewood, WA | Ft. Irwin, CA (active duty, too) Phone: 760-383-1030 | Email: ftirwin@hecofa.com

TRAIN TO BECOME A CRANE OPERATOR TODAY. Visit: www.heavyequipmentcollege.com No Official US Government or DOD endorsement is implied

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Opportunities in Law Enforcement You’ve served your country, now serve your community!

Military and law enforcement have had a longstanding 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.

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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. The following agencies are actively hiring & proudly support our veterans, active military and the families that keep together.


Military service can be a perfect entrance into a law enforcement career.

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WE DON’T JUST THANK

VETERANS,

WE HIRE

THEM.

PGHJOBS.NET CITY OF PITTSBURGH - E/O/E

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

Download PTSD Coach to:

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

bit.ly/PTSDTreatmentWorksHomeland

PTSD Coach is not meant to replace professional care.

Search “PTSD Coach”

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Profile for HOMELAND MAGAZINE

Homeland Magazine June 2021  

Homeland Magazine - Resources, Support, PTSD, Transition, GI Bill, Veterans, Active Military, Military Families

Homeland Magazine June 2021  

Homeland Magazine - Resources, Support, PTSD, Transition, GI Bill, Veterans, Active Military, Military Families

Profile for adminhlm

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