Vol. 7 Number 8 • AUGUST 2019 www.HomelandMagazine.com
Homeland Veterans Magazine
PURPLE HEARTS Are Giving Hearts
DOG DAYS OF SUMMER Tribute to Service Dogs Guiding Veterans Toward Empowerment
A Different Lens Mental Health
WHAT’S NEXT - TRANSITION
Enlisted To Entrepreneur
LEGAL EAGLE Careers In Law Enforcement
GI Film Festival Breaking Stereotypes of the Military Experience
Resources • Support • Transition • Inspiration
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HOMELANDMAGAZINE.COM Resources Support Inspiration
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Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com
Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Honor Flight
RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens
Enlisted to Entrepreneur
Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle
Joe Molina Veterans Chamber of Commerce
What’s Next - Transition
www.HomelandMagazine.com Greetings and a warm welcome to HOMELAND Magazine! Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. Homeland Magazine focuses on real stories from real heroes; the service member, the veteran, the wounded and the families that keep it together. Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with service members, families, veterans and civilians. Homeland is about standing your ground, resilience, adaptation, inspiration and solidarity. HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; our focus is on veterans, military and civilians alike. I believe HOMELAND is where the heart is, and our publication covers a wide variety of topics, and issues about real life and real stories. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine. With warmest thanks, Mike Miller Publisher/Editor mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 4
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Collaborative Organizations Wounded Warrior Project DAV • American Warrior Partnership Shelter To Soldier Father Joe’s Village Flying Leathernecks Give An Hour Courage To Call Boot Campaign National Women’s History Operation Homefront National Veteran Advocates & Guest Writers Homeland Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE Dog Days of Summer
6 Beauty and the Beat - Music Unites Us 8 GI Film Festival - Breaking Stereotypes 12 Purple Hearts are Giving Hearts 17 Veterans Toward Empowerment 19 Dog Days of Summer 20 One Team. Two Heroes. 22 Purpose Only a Service Dog Can Give 24 Veteran Finds Solace with Service Dog 27 James’s Best Friend 30 A Different Lens - Mental Health 32 What’s Next - Transition 34 8 Second Resume 35 Interview Tips 36 Dream Job 38 Business Ideas for Pet Lovers 40 Summertime at VANC 42 Military Money 44 Legal Eagle 46 Cybersecurity 49 Careers In Law Enforcement
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Beauty and the Beat: How Music Unites Us By Rolando Kahn KAABOO
“Everybody JUMP!” Australian singer Betty Who’s command to the audience echoes through the Summit Music Hall as the beat drops. Hands go up and the crowd immediately begins bouncing up and down as Betty twirls around the stage. I can feel the energy filling the space around me as everyone loses themselves in the sound of “Somebody Loves You”. It’s so moving, and somehow, I manage to hold it together. My friends and I spin, sway and groove our way through the crowd, allowing the music to take us wherever it wants, our smiles widening with every strum of the guitar and each beat of the drum. By the end of the show we’re all exhausted, our voices are gone, but our hearts are soaring with love and good vibes.
No matter what mood we’re in, music has the uncanny ability to amplify how we feel. Whether we want to dance it out, need an extra push to get through the last five minutes of a workout, or if we’re trying to expel a wave of emotion, music makes it easier to let it all out.
One of the best examples of music bringing people together is through festivals. Typically lasting two to three days, these events transform strangers into lifelong friends, and sometimes even lifelong partners. The opportunity to bond with others is increased in this fun and electric environment. Although music festivals are a fun-filled experience, sometimes we simply don’t want to sacrifice comfort for the sake of our favorite band. We may have undying love for the lead singer, but at the same time, we might not be willing to brave the port-a-potty. For those who desire a quality festival experience without the potential pitfalls like the port-a-potty scenario, KAABOO Del Mar is the perfect choice. Located along the shores of the Pacific Ocean in gorgeous San Diego, California, KAABOO Del Mar brings together bucket list musical acts, top-notch comedians, culinary masters and exquisite artwork, topped off with some true SoCal class. Because of the diverse (and clean) elements contained within this three-day adventure, there’s a way for everyone to “KAABOO” comfortably. Whether we’re at KAABOO Del Mar, attending another type of festival, or just blasting music in the privacy of our home, music has a deep and valuable impact on us as individuals and as groups of people. It enables us to feel emotion on a deeper level, motivates us in almost any kind of challenge and unites us when we experience it live. Music is so much more than getting the chance to move around to your favorite song. It’s a chance to self-reflect, giving us the opportunity to connect with likeminded people and join a community we might not have otherwise been able to discover.
The beats and lyrics come together to inspire, comfort and even push us past our limit when we think we can’t keep going. The remarkable power music has and the energy it spreads is contagious. On top of its ability to help us internally, music is at its mightiest when bringing us together. As with the Betty Who show and other concerts, there isn’t much else that creates exponentially good energy and a fun environment for people to enjoy than live music. It’s a chance to see your favorite musician and meet other people who enjoy the same tunes - not to mention you get to dance your legs off! No matter what genre of music we all come together to hear, making bonds with people we might not have met outside of the show is part of the fun! Great music is the bonus that comes with making new friends and opening new (figurative) doors. It’s all about human connection and enjoying each other’s energy. 6
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“USAA and KAABOO proudly support our armed forces servicemen and women. As a token of our appreciation, we offer passes at a special discounted rate to all military personnel. Starting July 15, USAA is also offering a special 72 hour pre-sale on single day passes to military members before they are available to the public. Head to kaaboodelmar.com/homeland to grab your passes.”
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San Diego’s military film festival through the years In its five year history, the GI Film Festival San Diego has presented nearly 100 films and attracted thousands of attendees. Each film tells a unique story that may challenge your notions about what it means to serve and goes beyond one-dimensional depictions of veterans, service members, their caregivers, and families.
GI Film Festival San Diego Breaks Stereotypes of the Military Experience San Diego’s military film festival celebrates five years; returns to the big screen Sept. 24-29, 2019 San Diego County is one of the most military-connected regions in the United States. We have seven major military bases and more than one-third of our population is associated with the military. We’re home to one of the largest veteran populations in the U.S. with more than 241,000 military veterans who live, work, and play here. The GI Film Festival San Diego, organized by KPBS, San Diego’s public media station, is one of the only film festivals in the entire country to exclusively feature stories by, for, and about military service members and veterans. The stories of these veterans and active duty personnel are countless. And as our population ages, these stories can be lost forever. That’s why the GI Film Festival San Diego is so important in the role of preserving our military history and creating community among military and civilians. “Six years ago we noticed there needed to be a stronger link between our local military community and public media,” says Nancy Worlie, associate general manager of content and communications at KPBS. “What could we bring to the community, that would be unique and impactful? We wanted to do what we do best, and that’s tell great stories. We are excited to see what was once a dream become a reality and thrive. The GI Film Festival San Diego gives active duty military, veterans and allies, a place to congregate, share stories of their own experiences, and learn more about military heroes, current issues, conflicts, and events they may have had to rush through in history class.” 8
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Powerful films like “We Are Not Done Yet” (the 2018 Best Documentary Short), featuring 10 U.S. veterans who come together at a poetry workshop to combat their traumatic military experience through the art of the written word; “After Fire” (2017 Official Selection), a documentary on the challenges faced by the fastestgrowing group of American veterans: women; and “Never Forget” (2018 Local Film Showcase – Best Documentary Short), a documentary short filmed at The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park that paints an intimate portrait of the few remaining World War II Japanese-American veterans of the 100th/442nd Regiment, U.S. Army, and their families. Intergenerational relationships are also prevalent in films selected for the festival, including “Thud Pilots” (2018 Local Film Showcase – Best Film Made By or Starring Veterans or Military), a documentary that focuses on the untold story of the men who flew the F-105 THUD over the deadly skies of North Vietnam, directed by Mark Vizcarra about his father Vic Vizcarra; and “Code of Honor: One Soldier’s Stand for Equality” (2018 Local Film Showcase – Best Student Film), a documentary short by a local high school student about a veteran’s experience participating in the integration of African-Americans into the U.S. Marine Corps. Each year, the festival continues to grow. In addition to filmmakers, actors, and actresses from around the globe, the GI Film Festival San Diego has hosted several celebrities that took part in films selected for the festival, including documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Ric Burns; actor and activist George Takei; actor Matthew Marsden; and actor/producer/director Jeffrey Wright. After each film block, in-depth panel discussions are held to give attendees the opportunity to have candid conversations with filmmakers, subjects, and local experts about what they watched on the screen. “One of the most surprising reveals in producing this festival is that it’s not just about watching movies,” says Worlie. “We’ve been able to create a community and a comfortable space for dialogue, camaraderie, and listening. Our events aim to reduce the military-civilian divide, and also affirm to veterans and families that they are not alone in their journey. Everyone involved feels a sense of belonging and empowerment.”
“We Are Not Done Yet” - Sareen Hairabedian and Jeffrey Wright Photo credit Spark Photography. Provided by KPBS.
“Thud Pilots” - Victor Vizcarra and Mark Vizcarra Photo credit Spark Photography. Provided by KPBS.
“After Fire” - Roberta Castaneda Photo courtesy “After Fire” filmmakers.
“Code of Honor: One Soldier’s Stand for Equality” - Aiden Keltner and Thomas Edward Johnson Jr. - Photo credit Spark Photography. Provided by KPBS.
“Never Forget” - Lane Nishikawa - Photo credit Spark Photography. Provided by KPBS.
“American” - Richie Adams and George Takei - Photo credit Spark Photography. Provided by KPBS.
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Not only does the festival have committed and engaged audience members and participants, but also a dedicated advisory committee with representatives from some of San Diego’s most trusted veteran and military support organizations, including Elizabeth Hospice, Challenged Athletes Foundation, The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park, Courage to Call, and Armed Services YMCA San Diego. Military veterans who also work in film, theatre, and television production also participate on the committee. Each committee member volunteers their time and effort to help select films, ensuring authenticity and providing guidance on how the festival can better serve the military community. GI Film Festival San Diego gives filmmakers, active duty military and veterans a voice One of the festival’s goals is to share stories made by or feature military-connected talent, as well as share films that focus on topics outside of a military plotline. The festival provides these military-connected filmmakers, actors, writers, and directors with a platform to showcase their creative works on the big screen to share their passion and immense talents with festival-goers. In addition to the several national films selected for the festival, the Local Film Showcase features films made by San Diegans, top-line talent from San Diego, or may also include films that feature a storyline that is specific to San Diego’s people, places, or events. The showcase also features films that were filmed in our region. Over the years, the festival has become a catalyst for filmmakers from different backgrounds and skill levels to network and collaborate with each other on new projects. The Local Film Showcase is done in partnership with the Film Consortium San Diego, a social venture that stimulates film and television production in the region. The Consortium also increases networking, employment, education, funding and distribution opportunities in film, television, and new media. “Since its inception in 2015, the festival has featured the talents of local filmmakers from different backgrounds, ages, and cultures,” says Worlie. “We’ve had films made by elementary students to high school students to films that cover the untold stories of WWII veterans that we wouldn’t otherwise see on the big screen or read in a book.” Catch the GI Film Festival San Diego in September The fifth annual GI Film Festival San Diego is a six-day event from Tuesday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 29 with films being screened at two locations—the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park and UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.
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The popular Opening Night Screening will take place at MOPA where the festivities will continue through Friday, Sept. 27. The film festival will then move to UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center on Saturday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 29. Many of the events have discounted opportunities for active duty personnel and veterans. Partner organizations will have complimentary tickets available to local military and their families, including Elizabeth Hospice, Challenged Athletes Foundation, SAY San Diego, Armed Services YMCA of San Diego, Courage to Call, and more. Can’t wait for festival week? The GI Film Festival San Diego will also host its annual Family Movie Night on Friday, Sept. 6 aboard the USS Midway Museum in the San Diego Harbor. This year’s film is the Marvel Studios action-packed “Captain Marvel.” Guests who attend Family Movie Night will have a chance to meet U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, who was the first female fighter pilot in 1993 and was the first woman to command a USAF combat fighter wing. She helped prepare actress Brie Larson for the demanding role of Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel and taught her about what it takes to be a F-15 fighter pilot in a male-dominated squadron. In collaboration with Courage to Call, GI Film Festival San Diego organizers will also collect new socks at Family Movie Night for local homeless veterans and military families in need. All access passes and individual tickets to the GI Film Festival San Diego are now available at www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org. The GI Film Festival San Diego is organized by KPBS in partnership with the Film Official sponsors of the 2019 GI Film Festival San Diego include Kaminskiy Design & Remodeling, The Super Dentists, BAE Systems, SAG-AFTRA, and Scatena Daniels Communications.
The GI Film Festival San Diego is a proud member of the San Diego Veterans Coalition and the San Diego Military Family Collaborative. For complete details on the fifth annual festival, visit www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org.
Catch a film. Be inspired. Build community.
September 24-29, 2019 JOIN US FOR FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 USS MIDWAY MUSEUM
Full lineup, venues, and showtimes available at
GIFilmFestivalSD.org GIFilmFestivalSanDiego |
@GIFilmFestSD | #GIFilmFestSD
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
KPBS is a public service of San Diego State University.
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Purple Hearts are Giving Hearts: Injured Veterans Serve in New Ways The Purple Heart Medal is presented to service men and women who have been injured in combat, or to the survivors of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. At Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), we acknowledge the sacrifices of men and women who stood bravely for our country. Receiving the honor and recognition of a Purple Heart award is, thankfully, not the end of the story for most recipients. Wounded warriors from all walks of life show us how to live fully as they transform their desire to serve into new careers and renewed commitment to their loved ones and their communities. Many wounded warriors exemplify the WWP logo, being the warrior carrying an injured brother or sister. Here we highlight three Purple Heart recipients who have inspired others to reimagine their lives and continue serving. Michael Carrasquillo: On September 9, 2005, Michael Carrasquillo jumped to the ground from a hovering helicopter in Afghanistan, looking to help his Army unit capture a high value Al Qaeda official. 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. Michael was shot five times, two of which caught his vest, breaking his ribs and collapsing one of his lungs. One bullet hit his weapon and sheared off his right middle finger. One hit him in the bicep. While on the ground from the first four, a bullet hit near his armpit. WWP has since helped Michael find a purpose: helping other veterans. WWP helped him secure a job at the VA, through which he can help veterans while using his extensive IT skills. He’s also a Peer Group Leader in Maryland, making himself available to chat with warriors one-one-one as well as taking the lead in support group meetings – and is extremely passionate about working with other veterans. In addition to WWP, his support team now includes wife Jenny, baby Logan, and service dog Ojai (pronounced OH-hi). He’s a video gamer and performs stand-up comedy. 12
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“In my life now, I feel like I’m in a very blessed position, and what I’d like to do is give back as much as I can,” Michael said. “WWP helped me become the best possible version of myself.” Recently, the Manhattan native was honored with the Courage Award, WWP’s recognition to a warrior who exemplifies bravery, courage, and strength. New York Giants defensive end B.J. Hill presented Michael – a lifelong Giants fan – with the award.
Mike Heller: Marine Corps Reserve veteran Mike Heller talks openly with his three daughters about fellow Marines he lost in Iraq. “I want them to grow up knowing that it’s very important to remember these guys who’ve given so much for what we have.” His oldest daughter once asked why he always wears a memorial bracelet with Joe Goodrich’s name. “It reminds me when I have bad days that my life’s not that bad. I have a lot of things to be positive for, and it helps me get through the days when things just feel like they’re imploding, and I remember that Joey’s with me and he’s always on my wrist.” Joey is bound to Mike’s toughest day in Iraq in 2005. A landmine explosion scattered the squad he led across a dusty road. Mike had blood gushing from a cut above his eyebrow, but he regained consciousness and was able to crawl out of a ravine. Joe had a broken pelvis and a severed artery. A rescue helicopter was not able to land because of a sandstorm. They drove three and half hours to a hospital, where Joe was stabilized and prepared for air transport. He died during the flight.
“I have moments where it just hits me hard and I can’t figure out why. And you replay the day over and over and over, and there are choices. And no matter how much you talk through it, you realize that it’s out of your control, and there’s nothing you could have or would have done differently. “But still to this day I remember stepping in the back of that Humvee and looking at both seats: the one Joey sat in and the one I sat in. Why am I here today and he’s not?” Mike finished his active duty service despite back injuries that eventually required surgery. He returned home to Pittsburg, married his fiancee, and started a family. He also went back to school, finishing his bachelor’s degree and starting his master’s. When his second daughter was six months old, things caught up with him. With support from the Quantico Wounded Warrior Battalion (through Veterans Affairs), Mike started working on PTSD issues. He later found WWP and received support updating his resume. He now works for a national company and shares parenting time with his three girls. His next goal is self-evaluation and growth. “A lot of things have changed over the past few years after a divorce and working out a parenting schedule with my girls. I really need to work on me.”
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Shane Parsons: Army veteran Shane Parsons enlisted a month after graduating high school, mostly because of the events of 9/11. The day he was injured, he could have stayed inside a U.N. compound in Baghdad, Iraq, but he volunteered to go out with a small group to secure nearby areas. “We were tasked to go and check areas, anything suspicious, just day-to-day stuff. But on our way back to get food, we got hit.” “I only could hear ringing, and Sergeant is trying to say something to me,” Shane said. “As the ringing is going away in my one ear, I hear my brother screaming. I look over and I see my best friend with his left leg up sitting next to him on his lap.” Shane was driving and his battle buddy, Chris Melendez, was a passenger. Shane reacted defensively to protect
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his friend and did not realize his own injuries immediately. He was put in an induced coma and woke up at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center weeks later. In addition to having bilateral above-the-knee amputations, Shane had traumatic brain injury. He had to relearn to speak, read, and write. He went through months of rehab, aided by his mom, Cindy, a registered nurse who put her career on hold to care for him. After 15 surgeries and with Cindy’s help, Shane made it through speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
Because of her experience with Shane, Cindy became a strong advocate for wounded service members. She participated in the WWP Caregiver Summit in Washington, DC, in 2009, where she lobbied Congress for the passage of the Caregiver and Veteran Omnibus Health Service Act of 2010 – a bill providing assistance and support for caregivers of injured servicemen and women returning from war. Shane and his mom Cindy started participating in WWP events, including Soldier Ride®. Shane met his wife, Jennifer, at a veterans’ event. They made a fresh start when they moved northwest and started a family. “My time right now is to better myself and to better my wife’s and my young son’s lives,” Shane said. “I want to make sure that he doesn’t have the ripples of how things are these days.”
HOMELAND Veteran Resources & Organizations
Navigating the resources available to veterans can be confusing, but Homeland 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.
To learn more about how WWP helps veterans find their next mission, visit https://wwp.news/GetConnected. About Wounded Warrior Project Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), top rated by Charity Navigator, and holding a GuideStar Platinum rating. Learn more about how WWP connects, serves, and empowers. https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us
Visit Homeland today at
www.HomelandMagazine.com Homeland Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans
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Guiding Veterans Toward Empowerment By Jim Lorraine, President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership One of our goals at America’s Warrior Partnership in hosting the annual Warrior Community Integration Symposium is to empower those who serve veterans to learn from some of the most renowned leaders within our communities. These individuals have incredible stories that not only educate us on the most effective ways to support veterans, but also inspire us to embody those ideals within our own lives. Among the speakers we are honored to have at this year’s events are Scotty Smiley and Bonnie Carroll. Their stories highlight the theme of this year’s event, which centers on “Empowered Veterans” and how we can help veterans, their families and caregivers to achieve the quality of life they have earned through their service. Scotty Smiley was serving in the Iraq War when a confrontation with a suicide car bomber blinded him in 2005. With the support of his family and his faith, he was able to overcome this obstacle and was eventually cleared to continue serving, after which he became the Army’s first blind active-duty officer. His incredible career includes earning a Master of Business Administration from Duke University and commanding the Warrior Transition unit at West Point’s Keller Army Medical Center. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, Scotty continued to pursue his hobby even after his injury with remarkable accomplishments such as climbing Mt. Rainer in Washington. Today, Scotty works as an investment banker while traveling the world to share his story. He and his wife, Tiffany, will provide the keynote at our Symposium with a message of encouraging others to find their own strength and perseverance to overcome their unique adversities.
The Smileys have an incredible story of how an empowered military service member and their family can overcome a traumatic experience.
In addition to veterans themselves, it is also critical to consider how we can empower military spouses, family members and caregivers. Bonnie Carroll has dedicated to this mission by serving as her life the President and Founder of the Tragedy Assistance Program or Survivors (TAPS). Bonnie is the 2019 recipient of our Leo K. Thorsness Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals for their leadership in serving veterans. She served in the Air Force Reserve for 30 years and is a trusted voice on processing grief, trauma and military loss. After her husband died in an Army C-12 plane crash, Bonnie founded TAPS to provide care, assistance and emotional support to those who have been impacted by the death of a military loved one. TAPS provides peerbased emotional support for bereaved survivors, which enables those who have experienced a loss to connect with others who have shared in a similar experience. This approach empowers grieving military families to find hope and healing as they process their grief. An essential aspect of the stories of these veterans is that empowerment is often reliant on strong community support. That support can take a wide range of forms, from friends and families to peer groups and community programs. What matters is that this support ensures veterans understand they are not alone in finding the resources they need to improve their quality of life. For those who want to learn more about what we can do to empower communities to empower veterans, we invite you to stay tuned to our 2019 event, the Sixth Annual Warrior Community Integration Symposium, which will take place in Atlanta from September 4 – 6. More details, registration information and ticket pricing for the Symposium are all available online at www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org/2019-Symposium
About the Author Jim Lorraine is President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership, a national nonprofit that helps veteranserving organizations connect with veterans, military members and families in need. Learn more about the organization at www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org.
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Perfect pairings DAV Charitable Service Trust grant program gives veterans—and shelter dogs—new purpose.
DAV member and Army veteran Mark Mills credits his service dog, Georgi—a rescue trained through American Humane’s Pups4Patriots program—with bringing back a sense of normalcy. (Courtesy photo)
By Ashleigh Byrnes
ark Mills spends a good portion of his week volunteering to help veterans in the Baltimore area. He’s an active veterans advocate, sits on the board of representatives for mental health for the Vet Centers in the state of Maryland and is the commander of DAV Chapter 18 in Baltimore. The Army veteran suffered two traumatic brain injuries on deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, but despite his disabilities, he’s able to do all this and more, thanks to a four-legged, wet-nosed friend name Georgi. “At first I resisted because a dog would bring attention to my disabilities, which I tried to hide,” said Mills. Eventually, Mills sought help through American Humane’s Pups4Patriots program, whose mission of pairing veterans with rescued service dogs is supported by a grant through the DAV Charitable Service Trust. “We take dogs who are in need of a forever home and train them to become lifesaving service dogs for veterans coping with post-traumatic stress
and traumatic brain injury,” said Marjorie Tharp, spokesperson for American Humane. “It is a program that truly is saving lives on both ends of the leash.” But programs like this don’t run cheap. Waiting lists are long, and training is both time-consuming and expensive—upward of $30,000 per dog. “With DAV’s grant, for which we are tremendously grateful, and other grants and donations, we will continue to help as many veterans and dogs as possible,” said Tharp. Georgi, a black lab from a Colorado shelter, turned out to be exactly what Mills needed—and in return, she got a new lease on life. Most importantly, Mills said, Georgi helps him pay it forward to other veterans after he received claims assistance from DAV. “[Without Georgi] it would be much more difficult, because I would not leave the house as much as I do and be as active with the DAV and the veteran community,” he said. “DAV and Georgi have given me purpose.” Veterans wanting more information about the Pups4Patriots program or to submit a service dog request application can visit dav.la/120. ■
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‘Dog Days’ of Summer Why is this time of year, approximately forty days from early July to early September, referred to as the ‘Dog Days’ of Summer? Many people believe the phrase “dog days of summer” stems from the fact that dogs tend to be a bit on the lazy side during the hottest days of summer. Of course, who can blame them? With that much fur, dogs that exercise during the hot days of summer can overheat easily.
The term Dog Days was coined in ancient Rome, and was named after the star Sirius, the Dog Star, which is the brightest star besides the sun. It was thought that due to the rising and setting of Sirius at around the same time of the sun each day this time of year, that Sirius added its heat to the sun’s heat, thereby making the days hotter. Hence the term Dogs Days. Our modern day usage of the term has little to do with Sirius or his alleged wrath. We use the term Dog Days to refer to anything that is slow, lazy or Miracles happen languishing. every day at
We have all heard the myths about Dog Days, most of which focus around our canine friends, which is why the old folks say this time of year is called Dog Days. Some of the myths are: Hunting dogs will not hunt, dogs go mad and foam at the mouth for no apparent reason, snakes go blind at strike at anything that comes near them, (dogs in particular), no use in going fishing because the fish will not bite, wounds and sores will not heal, if it rains on the first day of Dog Days, it will rain every day for the next 40 days, or the opposite-if it does not rain on the first day of Dog Days then it will not rain for 40 days, and the list of myths goes on. The above-mentioned myths are just that, myths. Handed down from generation to generation, but the real origination of this time of year being dubbed Dog Days, is based on a partial myth also.
I think the best way to appease the wrath of Sirius is to gather up my canine friends and go stagnate on the couch in front of the air-conditioning or hit the beach and enjoy the cool ocean breeze.
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One Team. Two Heroes.
By Canine Companions for Independence Retired Captain Jay Huston, of San Diego, California, spent 20 years in the United States Army. He served 13 years as an enlisted soldier and seven years as an officer. His many military specialties included being an Interrogator and Linguist fluent in the Russian and Polish languages. Even after his retirement, Jay continues to serve his country as a Department of Defense Civilian employee. His venerable career has given him a few stories to tell and a couple of scars, as well. Jay’s spine was fractured in four places during an Airborne Operation. Subsequent testing revealed he also had a spine disorder. Twelve years and 22 surgeries later, 22 of Jay’s 24 vertebrae are now fused - stabilized by rods, screws and plates. Not only is Jay’s mobility impaired, but he struggles with chronic pain. A nurse referred Jay to Canine Companions for Independence®, a national nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities
by providing expertly-trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Jay was matched with his first Service Dog Timo II, a Labrador/ Golden Retriever cross, in 2008. He was matched with his second Service Dog Hurley III, a Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, in August of 2017. When it came time for his second service dog to retire from service, Jay knew he wanted to apply for his third dog and continue the independence he receives from having a four-legged helper by his side. “Canine Companions to me is a godsend, I cannot imagine trying to do all of this alone, and the independence and dedication I have and the relationships I have built with each one of these dogs is amazing,” states Jay. Flurry is his third service dog and she helps Jay with everyday tasks like picking up dropped items and opening doors. She also alerts people if Jay is in danger. Best of all, she provides Jay with constant companionship! Not only is his pain lessened because Flurry saves him from movements that would aggravate his spine, but Jay is a happier person thanks to his talented, exuberant dog with a wagging tail. Jay’s focus is now on his work, family and raising awareness of Canine Companions in the military and veteran communities. Canine Companions has a program called the Veterans Initiative, through which veterans and active duty service members with physical disabilities like spinal cord injuries, limb amputations and hearing loss are served. The organization, which was founded in 1975, has placed more than 6,000 assistance dogs with people with disabilities, including veterans like Jay. The organization relies on volunteer puppy raisers to help train basic obedience and crucial socialization to Canine Companions puppies – one of many volunteer opportunities.
You can apply for a free service dog, donate or learn how you can help Give a Dog a Job® at www.cci.org. 20
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FREE ASSISTANCE DOGS FOR VETERANS Our assistance dogs master more than 40 commands to assist veterans with disabilities with daily tasks. DONATE. APPLY. VOLUNTEER. cci.org/veterans firstname.lastname@example.org 800.572.BARK
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A Purpose Only a Service Dog Can Give - www.K9sForWarriors.org
There’s a good chance that any veteran, or anyone involved with the military and veteran communities, has heard of service dogs. There’s near certainty they’ve heard of PTSD. There’s a growing movement to make those topics become synonymous with one another – the idea that service dogs help PTSD. James Rutland knows both so well that it can be said he lives them both. Rutland is an Army veteran who served for 12 years, from 2002-2014. His career included a deployment to Baghdad, Iraq in support of OIF phases II and III. He was there from January ’04 - ’05, assigned to a combat support hospital as a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic. He also deployed to Korea two different times, from ’06 ’07 and ’09 - ‘12. Rutland remembers the day when his life dramatically altered. “On April 10th, 2004, I got blown-up. Then my whole world turned upside down. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t want to sleep anymore. I wanted to do everything that you’re supposed to do, but not stop. That’s how I knew something I was wrong.”
during his darker days. After being discharged fromthe Army, he isolated himself in an area of his parents’ home, and, as he put, “lived by the bottle – whether it be a pill or a liquor bottle. I had everything there that I needed. I wouldn’t leave for days.” During those dark, isolated days, he even went so far as to do the unthinkable: Rutland made a plan to take his own life by suicide. Those who cared about Rutland weren’t standing for losing him. They kept encouraging him to get help the best way they knew how. Rutland said their words resonated in his head and heart, and he began listening. “Something had to change. I had enough people who loved me to force the change. They wanted me back.” In early 2015, Rutland’s mother contacted Jeannie Blaylock, a Northeast Florida news anchorwoman and avid supporter of the national veterans’ service organization, K9s For Warriors.
What Rutland is describing is the onset of his battle with PTSD, which started taking over his life, both in the Army and at home. “I was afraid to take leave because I felt if I took leave, somebody would die, and who would take care of things if I were gone? That’s where my head space was. I knew it wasn’t true, but that’s how your brain works over there. I didn’t even want to go home because by that point, my home life was wrecked. In any situation, I was an aggressive leader. I wasn’t compassionate. Whenever I was present, I took charge no matter who was there. I felt like if I wasn’t running the show, it wasn’t going to happen right. I was focusing so hard on work to try to hide all the hurt.” Rutland’s life continued like this for the rest of his time in service. When he was medically retired, he retreated to a world of isolation, unsure of how to navigate the return to a civilian role. As often happens with service members who go through such trials, Rutland also struggled with substance abuse 22
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K9s For Warriors is a nonprofit that has been saving veterans by pairing them with service dogs since 2011. The organization’s mission is to rescue shelter dogs and turn them into highly trained service dogs to help post9/11 veterans suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Sexual Trauma, and the thought that those traumas often lead to: suicide.
The service dog organization trains a new class of veterans each month in a peer-to-peer setting that gives veterans back the sense of camaraderie they used to have on active duty, something they miss greatly when they make the transition back to civilian life. Not only do they go through the training with fellow veterans, but those who train the classes are also military veterans and graduates of K9s For Warriors themselves. Blaylock took Rutland for a tour of Camp K9, being sure a service dog was what James needed. She was right. After speaking with multiple K9s staff members and seeing the training facility, Rutland applied. In April 2016, Rutland arrived for class, ready to meet his new prescription on four legs: a large, shelter-turned-service dog named Dunkin. “As we spent time together, Dunkin became part of my daily routine. He helped me get me up every day. I started to put my trust in him, that he knew what was best for me in the moment. If he pawed at me or nuzzled me, I paid attention.” After graduating and returning home with Dunkin, Rutland was improving, but still wanted more for his life. As his bond with Dunkin grew, so did his aspirations.
“I called K9s and asked if there was anything I could do to be involved. They brought me back for an interview and told me they were looking to hire more warrior trainers. I immediately said, ‘I’ll do it’.” So, Rutland returned to Camp K9 in 2017 to enter the Warrior Trainer Apprenticeship program. After six months of in-depth instruction on all warrior training, service dog training and kennel procedures, he graduated once again, but this time, as a warrior trainer. Now, like the program graduates who once led him through the program, Rutland gives guidance and hope to fellow veterans with PTSD who, like himself, used to feel hopeless. “Taking the focus off myself and putting it on someone else – Dunkin included – is what really helped my own healing. Helping other veterans by training them with their service dogs helps me. If you’re helping others start a new path in their life, you’re too busy to regress in your own life. “Dunkin provides me a sense of purpose and is a silent sounding board. He listens to all my crap and doesn’t judge me. I can look him in the face and tell him everything I’m thinking, and then I’m over it, and he won’t tell anyone what I said. He also gives me unconditional love. I receive so much from him. I feel like he’s smarter than I am.” Rutland continues to help other veterans find the same healing from PTSD with a service dog as a warrior trainer with K9s For Warriors at its two Florida training locations. “This program gives me a daily purpose, to have a positive impact on others. With every warrior that is helped, that’s one more off the [suicide] list. I can train warriors and help give the dogs a purpose. That is what’s most important to me.” To find out more about K9s For Warriors, including how to apply for a service dog, or how to become a Guard Dog by donating, visit www.K9sForWarriors.org. As of August 2019, K9s For Warriors has graduated 558 warriors and rescued over 1,000 dogs. K9s For Warriors helps both veterans and their service canines find a new “leash” on life: we save the dog, and the dog saves the veteran.
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Marine Corps Veteran Finds Solace from PTSD Symptoms with Shelter to Soldier Service Dog “Duke” By Eva Stimson Joel Brambila is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served four years as a Machine Gunner (MOS 0331) in a heavy weapons company. He deployed in early 2003 to Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, Weapons Company, Counter Mechanized Platoon in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was Honorably relieved of active duty service in September of 2003, soon after his return to the United States from Iraq. Upon his re-entry into civilian life and from 2003 to 2011, Joel confidentially concealed his constant anxiety, and focused on trying to work. He experienced difficulty holding employment for more than one year at a time. He discovered that he could easily obtain employment, but always felt the need to leave at some point due to his inability to suppress feelings of depression, apprehension, flashbacks, and sleep disruptions until 2011; that’s when he became suicidal, lost his job and was as he describes, “in a downward spiral”.
He contributes his life being saved to the work of the West Los Angeles VA. He indicates they diagnosed him with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and facilitated his enrollment in an outpatient treatment program. He completed the program and went back to work in 2013, learning to manage his symptoms associated with his PTSD. Up until 2011, Joel chose not to identify himself as a “veteran”, and specifically noted occasions where he would purposefully not raise his hand when an educator asked if there were veterans in an audience or class. This was also when Joel realized that other veterans were most likely having similar issues, leading him to find comfort in the veteran community. Beginning in September of 2017, Joel’s PTSD symptoms were no longer manageable, prohibiting him from obtaining work, and so he once again reached out to the West Los Angeles VA.
Photo credit to Nicky Moore 24
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The VA was able to help Joel with outpatient and group therapies. He also completed a 12-week Cognitive Processing Therapy Class, which he claims was difficult to participate in. It was in these classes at the West Los Angeles VA that he met veterans with service dogs, which led him to research service dogs as a viable tool to assist him. Joel applied and was accepted into the Shelter to Soldier service dog program in February of 2019 and has since been matched with a service dog-in-training, named “Duke”. Duke is a 3-year-old Cattle Dog mix that was adopted by Shelter to Soldier from long-time partner, Thrive Animal Rescue. Duke wholeheartedly embraces having a job and a new-found purpose, and it’s evident from his enthusiasm that he was destined to become a service dog for his veteran-handler, Joel. Through the benevolent Red Star Sponsorship of The La Mesa Rotary Club, Duke and Joel have closely bonded and they both look forward to their formal graduation ceremony in the summer of 2019, where Joel will officially adopt Duke as his companion for life. While in training with Duke, Joel shared, “Thank you for everything Shelter to Soldier does for the local veteran community. The entire team at this non-profit organization is amazing. Every week when I arrive or depart for training with Duke, the staff always makes me feel welcomed. I can’t remember the last time that I smiled and laughed so much in the same day. Additionally, the program has helped lower my depression and anxiety episodes since day one that I have been coming to the Shelter to Soldier facility to train with Duke.”
www.HomelandMagazine.com What’s Happening? • Events • National Resources • Press Releases • Entertainment & more... Military & Veteran Organizations • Post Your Events • Upcoming Programs • Resources - Donations - Inspirations
Save the date for the 2019 Shelter to Soldier 7th Annual “Be the Light” charity gala on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency at La Jolla, in La Jolla, CA. The event includes dinner, silent and live auctions, entertainment and opportunities to meet and mingle with Shelter to Soldier veterans with their service dogs. Individual tickets and tables of ten to attend the fundraising event are available for online purchase at www.sheltertosoldier.org. Click on the “Events” page to navigate options. About Shelter to Soldier Shelter to Soldier Co Founder, Graham Bloem is the recipient of the American Red Cross Real Heroes Award, 10News Leadership Award, CBS8 News Change It Up Award, Honeywell Life Safety Award, and the 2016 Waggy Award. Additionally, Shelter to Soldier is a gold participant of GuideStar and accredited by the Patriot’s Initiative. www.sheltertosoldier.org. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call (855) 287-8659 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility.
GET CONNECTED! A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans Visit HOMELAND today at www.HomelandMagazine.com Homeland Veterans Magazine Your best source for veteran resources, news, press releases, community events, media, entertainment and more…
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THIS IS OUR CALL OF DUTY.
For nearly 70 years, Father Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Villages has been taking care of the immediate needs of homeless Veterans, while also helping end their homelessness for good. Call 1-619-HOMELESS or visit NEIGHBOR.ORG to learn more.
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James’s Best Friend By Hart DuBois The partnership between humans and dogs dates back to the first domestication of canines as long as 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. Dogs have been our best friends ever since, but they have never provided such dedicated help to humans as they do today in the form of trained service to people with disabilities. Service dogs help those living with disabilities accomplish tasks that would otherwise be difficult. Not only that, but service dogs can provide emotional support for humans suffering with anxiety or depression. That is why many of our nation’s veterans benefit immensely from living with service dogs. James, a disabled Army veteran suffering from PTSD, can attest to the importance of these animals. He and his service dog, Vanessa, have been together for 7 years. James raised Vanessa from a puppy and trained her as a service dog through Paws for Purple Hearts, an organization for wounded services members and veterans that provides canine assisted therapeutic programs. Vanessa, devoted and attentive, watches everything James does. She is incredibly calm and intuitive, always aware of James’ physical and emotional health. “She gives me something to be responsible for and a reason to leave my house,” says James. The two often go on walks together, enjoying the beautiful scenery around San Diego. When James was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Vanessa would comfort him through chemotherapy sessions. She eventually even recognized when James needed to check his blood sugar— a trick she learned on her own. “She wakes me up when my blood sugar is off. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but soon I realized what she was doing,” James explained. “When I wake up, I’ll know exactly what’s wrong with me. If she is nudging me awake, I know my blood sugar is low and I need to eat something. If her head is on top of me, that means my blood sugar is high and I need my insulin.” At the same time James was battling cancer, the property owner of the apartment he was renting decided to sell the property. When the building was sold, James was in the hospital and had no time to make other living arrangements. After being released from the hospital, James found himself homeless. He had no other choice but to leave Vanessa with a friend while he lived out of his car. Battling cancer and losing his home was unbearable, but living without Vanessa by his side made the situation feel even worse.
James & Vanessa
One day, James suffered a life-threatening reaction to his radiation therapy and ended up being hospitalized. Through the VA’s hospital to housing program for homeless veterans, James was connected to Father Joe’s Villages, where he was welcomed into one of the organization’s housing programs. Father Joe’s Villages understands the distinct issues facing homeless veterans and offers services and programs tailored to the veteran experience which includes allowing veterans to be housed with their service animals. James was elated that he would finally be off the streets, and that his loyal pup would be able to join him. He now has a roof over his head, daily meals, immediate access to medical care and grief counseling and a safe space to heal with Vanessa at his side. The veterans’ services at Father Joe’s Villages ensure that our nation’s heroes are able to enjoy the freedoms they fought to preserve. Father Joe’s Villages takes in veterans like James and helps them gain self-sufficiency. Now that James has security, he can focus on saving money for a home of his own— maybe even one with a yard where Vanessa has plenty of room to play.
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No Cost, Confidential Counseling In Person/Phone/Video www.giveanhour.org 28
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Make it easy to keep family and friends informed during a health journey. CaringBridge offers free websites to connect with the people who matter most. Share updates, receive emotional support, coordinate tasks, and even fundraise for medical expenses, all in one place.
Learn more and start a site today. Visit CaringBridge.org/military-service/
Just know that there are people out there who care about you. And who will help you.
KEVIN AMUNDSON, former Army National Guard member, whose family used CaringBridge for support through Kevin’s depression
It takes just 3 minutes to set up your personal, private and ad-free site. Start a site today and feel the power of your community.
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A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly
By RanDee McLain, LCSW
When I first began my journey as a social worker, I naively thought I could ‘fix’ everyone. As a veteran myself I naturally thought I could easily relate to any vet and could help them with any challenge. As life has a way of doing…I was quickly thrown a curve ball. One of my first clients was an older Vietnam era veteran. He came to me with housing insecurities, minimal income and numerous physical medical issues. This was all compounded by significant mental health issues and criminal justice involvement. I immediately started working with him on his most urgent need of housing. Over the next few months we were able to stabilize his housing, get him connected to the Veterans Administration and secure him additional income. Though life was looking up we had not touched his underlying mental health issues. Back to my naive save the world mentality, I assumed the PTSD must be related to his time in Vietnam. This older male veteran must have PTSD from the war right? Anytime I met a female client, I automatically did a screener to assess for Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Why had I not asked my male client after 3 months of working together? Why had I not done this with this client or any of my male veteran clients? Well, I think we know where this is going. My male Vietnam veteran client disclosed he had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by a superior while in training. He had never disclosed to anyone in over 30 years and routinely self-medicated with drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. Luckily, we were able to get this veteran connected to appropriate treatment and help him on the road to healing. WHY? Why do we have assumptions of what Military Sexual Trauma is? Is it rape? Is it male on female assaults? Is it female on male? Is it female on female? Male on male? Is it harassment? The answer is any and all of these can be considered MST. 30
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MST includes any sexual activity where a Service Member is pressured into sexual activities that include: • Threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied better treatment in exchange for sex • Inability to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated) • Physical force used to induce into sexual activities. • Unwanted sexual touching or grabbing • Threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities • Threatening and unwelcome sexual advances MST can affect a person’s mental and physical health, even many years later. Some of the difficulties both female and male survivors of MST may include: • Disturbing memories or nightmares • Difficulty sleeping • Difficulty feeling safe • Feelings of depression or numbness (emotionally flat) • Problems with alcohol or other drugs • Feeling isolated and disconnected from other people • Problems with anger or irritability • Feelings of shame and guilt • Physical health problems • Difficulty with concentration, memory, focus • Avoidance of people, places, things that are reminders of the sexual trauma • Feeling on edge or jumpy • Sexual difficulties • Chronic pain • Excessive weight loss or gain • Eating and gastrointestinal problems • Suicidal thoughts
What is Unique about MST • MST often occurs in a setting where the victim lives and works • Victims many times have to continue to live and work closely with their perpetrators • MST may disrupt career goals because perpetrators may be responsible for work related evaluations and promotions. • Fear of reprisal from fellow Service Members and betrayal of unit cohesion. Seek medical and psychological assistance from a trained professional. In addition, there are many things you can do on your own to heal and recover after MST. Some basic lifestyle practices can have a positive impact on your overall well-being. There is help for those who have experienced MST. Contact your local Veterans Administration or Vet Center for additional resources and specialized treatment.
Fact Sheets Below are down-loadable brochures for Veterans, educational tools for providers, and articles that help survivors and providers learn more about MST and VA’s free MST-related services. Down-loadable brochures available at: www.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome/resources.asp Military Sexual Trauma Fact Sheet Background information about MST, including what it is, how it can affect Veterans, and help available through VA. MST Brochure for Veterans (English / Spanish) An overview of issues related to MST and how to access VA services. Men and MST — Educational Brochure (English / Spanish) and Infographic (English / Spanish) Information on men’s recovery from MST. Women and MST — Infographic (English/Spanish) Information on women’s recovery from MST. Help for Veterans Affected by Recent Public Discussions About Sexual Abuse - Information, coping suggestions, and resources for connecting with care, for Veterans who may be feeling distressed by recent public discussions about sexual assault and harassment. Top 10 Facts About VA Services for MST Quick reference information for non-VA service providers about VA’s MST-related offerings.
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WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby
3.5 Steps to a Successful Transition Excited and nervous your adrenaline is pumping as you sit at the exit door. The postage stamp sized earth below continues to shrink. The wind buffets through the door and in an instant the jump master gives you the signal. As you free fall, your pack securely attached, you begin to try to remember all that your instructor taught you many months ago in preparation for your first jump. You rapidly try to recall the brochures on skydiving that they gave you at the 8-hour training that you attended at the time. When do you pull the cord? What altitude? Where did they put the cord? How do you steer your body in free fall? You thought you would just remember after you jumped? Sounds ridiculous, but this is exactly what hundreds of thousands of veterans have gone through before, during and after separation. You received a class or two of transition a few months before you transitioned where speakers and experts alike threw up all over your desk and then walked away but not before leaving you mounds of flyers, a plethora of phone numbers to call if you need help, and little follow up. You were meaning to get to a transition plan, but your current call of duty kept you focused on the “here and now”, not the “when you get out”. In this column we will focus on real world steps to success in transitioning. Know this. Companies want to hire you. In an interview I conducted with the CEO of WD-40 Company Garry Ridge on the TV show Operation American Dream I asked, “Why is it important to WD-40 Company to seek out and hire veterans?” To note, 40% of their hires that year were veterans. “It’s simple.”, he quickly and confidently replied. “There are two things in life you need to be successful in life. Passion and purpose. And veterans are passion driven and inspired by purpose.” This is the truth. So, why don’t more companies hire you? Great question. 32
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Oddly enough, they don’t know where to find you. And if they find you, they don’t know how to read your resume. And if you get an interview, they don’t know how to interview you well enough to understand who you are and what you can do for them. Who is to blame? It can be argued that the company needs to put forth effort to find you and to understand your resume and to understand how to interview you. However, you need to do the same. Position yourself in the marketplace to be found, write your resume in corporate lingo and learn to communicate in the interview in a way that they can understand the value you bring to them. Most recruiters in America have never been in the military. Therefore, no company can expect their Talent Acquisition team to know what they are looking at when a Veteran resume passes by their desk. Most of us with a recruitment background will agree that we are looking for reasons to screen out the hundreds of non-qualified resumes we get daily. If we can’t decipher military acronyms, the resume is usually placed in the “No” pile. But in this great talent shortage, that is obviously a dangerous loss of potential talent. How valuable are you? A Fortune 100 company did a two-year study in which they compared the activity and productivity of their non-Veteran MBA Managers with the activity and productivity of Veteran non MBA grads. Guess what? The study concluded that the Veteran leaders outperformed their MBA manager counterparts 2:1. As a previous host of Veteran centric radio and TV shows I’ve interviewed dozens of Executives and business owners who include Veteran hiring into their short- and long-term business strategies. These individuals understand that Veterans uphold a high level of teamwork, remain calm under pressure, are punctual and produce results while maintaining a positive attitude. You are wanted.
Let’s get you to where you want to be.
Follow Up or Fall Away Paul Falcone, a Nationally recognized Human Resources Executive and author of the bestselling book, “96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire,” always recommends sending a thank-you note. It can be in email format sent hours after your meeting. Emphasize your interest in joining the company, highlight the skills and talents you bring based on your understanding of the role, and reconfirm your commitment to making the same contribution to the organization that you’ve made to the U.S. military. Take the opportunity to share your genuine interest and excitement. Passing on it is a miss. Always give them a reason to hire you, and a well written thank-you note may be something they can pass around to others to justify their determination to bring you aboard. Just make sure you spell-check your note before hitting Send!
Be found. The secret sauce is your network. One of the ways recruiters find you is by doing searches on LinkedIn. If you are not there you may not be found. Many recruiters immediately go to LinkedIn when they receive your resume to see what other information may be listed. Both profiles need to match. Ask friends, coworkers, and neighbors to connect with you. Your dream job Hiring Manager may be in the connections they have. Most people get their jobs from referrals, not putting resumes and applications in bottomless databases. Step Two Resume Renovation A high-level candidate lost the opportunity to interview for his dream job because the VP of HR found a typo on the resume. Companies are inundated with resumes and a type-o may weigh against you and potentially even knock you out of consideration as recruiters are seeking reasons to screen you out. Have several sets of eyes on your resume before you send it out. Translate your skills into civilian speak. You don’t need to pay for a great resume either. There are enough of us who will help you for free.
Got questions? Need help? Don’t jump with out connecting with experts who will help you. Eve Nasby is a hiring expert with almost three decades invested in these topics. Join her on LinkedIn today. www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-0050452
Step Three Interview Intelligently It’s been said you are judged more on the questions you ask than the ones you answer. So, have a list of great questions to ask after your interview, but don’t ramble during it. It’s understandable that you may be nervous and having your questions ready in advance will give you a distinct advantage at this important stage of any interview. Use the STAR method. When you are asked a question, answer using the following: “Situation, Task, Action and Result”. We will give real examples of this in next month’s column. Finally, remember to be yourself. Hiring managers may be a bit nervous about interviewing veterans, so make them feel comfortable. Ask questions that are respectful and sincere like, “How long have you been with the organization, and what initially attracted you to the company?” Everyone likes to talk about themselves and giving interviewers an opportunity to share some of their own experiences is a step forward.
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The 8 Second Resume By, Janis Whitaker, VetCTAP Executive Director
Job seekers spend multiple hours creating the “perfect resume”. Ever wonder how important that resume is in catching the eye of a company or hiring manager? In our workshop series, our facilitators and coaches emphasize the following tips.
Did you know there are “pet peeves” in the hiring industry?
Will your resume make it to the “yes pile” or the “no pile”?
Here are a few that are on the top of the list. One or more of these could land your resume in the “no pile”.
Recruiters spend an average of 8 - 10 seconds looking at each resume initially!
• A resume that is generic (customize each resume precisely for the job you are seeking),
And, most of that time may be on the top portion of your first page. They will skim the pages looking for key information (particular skills, degrees, certifications, and experience) and if these key words or important information doesn’t catch their attention, they will move to the next resume without a second thought.
• Military jargon that is not explained (best to leave military jargon out and use equivalent corporate language), • Inconsistent formatting (keep headers, indenting, bullets, and sub-headings consistent),
Oops, your resume goes into the “no pile”. Imagine, eight seconds! If you do capture their interest, they will then spend an additional 1-2 minutes looking for other important aspects about your job history such as significant accomplishments and career progression. If you make it that far, you have passed the 8 second resume test! Hurray, the “yes pile”.
• Font size too small (12 pt. type minimum)
Most Human Resources professionals, hiring managers, and recruiters will not read a resume over two pages long, no matter how good it looks at first glance. They just don’t have time to read all that information. Instantly, it goes into the “no pile”. These experts have hundreds of resumes to review and limited time to do so.
Recruiters spend much of their day looking at resumes whether it is on the computer or on paper. Make your 8-second resume stand out by developing a document that is easy to scan, simple to read, and includes bullets to highlight your significant accomplishments. Good luck and we hope to see you in the “yes pile”.
Resume screeners love bullet points and short phrases describing what you have achieved in your professional positions. Spend a lot of time developing this area and highlight significant accomplishments in your positions, not just the tasks you performed.
• Spelling or grammar errors (double check and/or have someone else review it),
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• Work dates that don’t make sense (chronological resumes should show dates in order with no gapsmost recent first), • Not enough ‘white space’ on the page (margins and spacing make a resume easier to read).
Find out more about our Veteran Career Transition Workshop Series at www.vetctap.org
FOR GREAT JOB INTERVIEWS
Starting a Business as a Veteran?
1. Bring a copy of your resume to every interview. Have a copy of your resume with you when you go to every interview. If the interviewer has misplaced his or her copy, you’ll save a lot of time (and embarrassment on the interviewer’s part) if you can just pull your extra copy out and hand it over. 2. Research the industry and company. 3. Clarify your “selling points” and the reasons you want the job. Prepare to go into every interview with three to five key selling points in mind, such as what makes you the best candidate for the position. 4. Prepare for common interview questions. 5. Make your selling points clear. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound? More important, if you communicate your selling points during a job interview and the interviewer doesn’t get it, did you score? On this question, the answer is clear: No! So don’t bury your selling points in long-winded stories. Instead, tell the interviewer what your selling point is first, then give the example. 6. Think positive. 7. Make the most of the “Tell me about yourself” question. 8. Speak the right body language. Dress appropriately, make eye contact, give a firm handshake, have good posture, speak clearly 9. Practice, practice, practice. It’s one thing to come prepared with a mental answer to a question like, “Why should we hire you?” It’s another challenge entirely to say it out loud in a confident and convincing way. 10. Be assertive and take responsibility for the interview. Perhaps out of the effort to be polite, some usually assertive candidates become overly passive during job interviews. But politeness doesn’t equal passivity. An interview is like any other conversation – it’s a dance in which you and a partner move together, both responding to the other. Don’t make the mistake of just sitting there waiting for the interviewer to ask you about that Nobel Prize you won. It’s your responsibility to make sure he walks away knowing your key selling
The transition from military service to civilian life can be a difficult one, especially when it comes to your career. That’s why a growing number of veterans choose to forge their own path and become entrepreneurs after leaving the Armed Forces. While starting a business comes with numerous challenges, former service members do have one distinct advantage: the veteran community. “The strength and power of veteran entrepreneurs comes from other veteran entrepreneurs” Unlike most highly competitive entrepreneurial environments, veteran entrepreneurs share information much more easily. If you or someone you know is a veteran looking to start a business, please feel free to contact Vicki Garcia. Vicki is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 33+ -yearold marketing consulting firm. If you want support for starting up a business, email her at vicki@ veteransinbiz.com. For advice, tips and programs you can read Vicki’s monthly column at Homeland Magazine or visit www.HomelandMagazine.com and click on the banner:
ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR
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Veterans Chamber of Commerce By Joseph Molina www.vccsd.org
My Dream Job! After Military Trаnѕitiоning
• Fосuѕ оn whаt уоu did аt уоur рrеviоuѕ jоbѕ nоt what уоur jоb was. • Stаrt with one оr twо tор linе job dеѕсriрtiоnѕ thеn liѕt the benefits or outcomes you achived. • Yоur ассоmрliѕhmеntѕ ѕhоuld bе uniquе tо уоu, not just a liѕt оf what is nесеѕѕаrу to соmрlеtе thе job. • Nеvеr uѕе gеnеriс dеѕсriрtiоnѕ оf the jоb posting, but mimic the job description as it relates to your accomplishments, for example if the job is project management and the job description states that a project manager will work with teams, You then show in your resume accomplishments you have made while Leading a Team. Remember, аlwауѕ fосuѕ on what you did in thе job, nоt what your job wаѕ, BIG difference! When to start applying fоr jоbѕ:
Thе military hаѕ molded many of us veterans into ѕtrоng аnd ѕkillеd individuаlѕ. Mоѕt vеtеrаns hаvе ѕtrоng lеаdеrѕhiр quаlitiеѕ, a strong workethic аnd demonstrate a ѕtrоng sense for accomplishing the task. Thеrе iѕ no wonder why most vеtеrаns аrе often hirеd right away. However, it is аlѕо truе thаt some employers don’t understand the value that a veteran brings to the workplace, making it difficult for some fellow veterans to land a good job. Many veteran serving organizations have implemented HR traiing sessions to help HR professionals understand the mindset of a veteran and these sdame organizations are also training veterans to understand the Mindset of HR professsionals. It is critical to undersytand that it takes both parties to work in sync. Here are ѕоmе Steps To Help secure that Dream Job Showcase уоur Accomplishments: Hiring mаnаgеrѕ wаnt саndidаtеѕ thаt саn hеlр them ѕоlvе a ѕресifiс рrоblеm оr satisfy a nееd within thеir соmраnу. Start by showing how уоu solved ѕimilаr problems in оthеr соmраniеѕ and showcase the positive outcomes, for example:
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Vеtеrаnѕ always hаvе questions about whеn thеу ѕhоuld start applying fоr jоbѕ. If thеу apply tоо еаrlу, еmрlоуеrѕ who оffеr jоbѕ might rеgаrd thе wait as a dеаl-brеаkеr. But if thеу apply tоо lаtе, thеу mау have a period оf unemployment between thе militаrу and their firѕt сiviliаn jоb. How dо уоu strike thе perfect bаlаnсе? The answer is mоѕt оftеn, уоu can’t. The advantage of аррlуing еаrlу tо jobs iѕ that уоu саn get рrасtiсе tаilоring уоur rеѕumе to specific роѕitiоnѕ аnd уоu саn еxреriеnсе the intеrviеw process bеfоrе it’s сrunсh timе. This will also give you a chance to “practice” resume feedback, interview feedback and the negotiation process before you really have to, besides, if you are offered a job thаt уоu саn’t tаkе bесаuѕе you’re ѕtill active there is that chance thаt whеn you call bасk thеу may have a ѕроt fоr you. Tаrgеt уоur Rеѕumе: There iѕ nо gеnеrаl rеѕumе that will соvеr all the bаѕеѕ fоr every роѕitiоn. Each job hаѕ ѕресifiс requirements thаt need to bе аddrеѕѕеd in уоur ассоmрliѕhmеntѕ.
If thе jоb you аrе аррlуing for iѕ in thе customer ѕеrviсе industry аnd уоu hаvе сuѕtоmеr ѕеrviсе experience, highlight those ѕkillѕ first in уоur ассоmрliѕhmеntѕ. Giving сrеdеnсе to thоѕе accomplishments in уоur rеѕumе thаt most effectively dеmоnѕtrаtе уоur ability to excel in thе роѕitiоn уоu are applying for is a great wау to set you aside аѕ ѕоmеоnе who iѕ able tо fulfill nееdѕ. I would recommend to “focus” the resume to the specific job (industry) you are applying for, if you have multiple industry skills, I would advice to have one resume for each industry that highlights the accomplishments you made in that field, for example if you are a Forklift driver during active duty, but you also have a degree in accounting, it will be best to have two seperat resumes as each industry is different and unrelated. Final word on this, don’t try to “please” everyone, just show your skills and accomplishments, have the best attitude and the rest will follow! Uѕе Your Rеѕоurсеѕ Frоm Othеr Vets: Many companies аrе very willing tо hire veterans аnd ѕоmе are extremely pro-veteran. Connect with fellow veterans through networking groups and or social media and find fellow veterans who are working at these companies where you are seeking employment. It is always helpful to have the support from our fellow brothers and sisters. In Summary 1. Show case your accomplishments, 2. Be strategical in your search, find three to five compaies you would like to apply to and conduct company research, this will make you look prepared and interested on what the company has to offer. 3. Mimic the language of the job offer (don’t copy, but use key words) this helps HR professionals see that you meet the minimum criteria 4. Practice, practice, practice, Way before you are ready to start a job, send your resume to employers and ask for feedback also schedule interviews with employers and ask for feedback on how you performed during the interview. Practice will help you feel more confortable when you are actually having the interview for your “Dream Job”. 5. Be strategical and intentional: Plan your approach, start your search early 6 to 12 months and hire a job coach to help you through this process. Great success doesn’t happened by accident! 6. If we can help, let us know! www.vccsd.org
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. Homeland Magazine works with nonprofit veteran organizations that help more than 1 million veterans in life-changing ways each year.
Resources. Support. Inspiration. 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:
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ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR By Vicki Garcia
22 Business Ideas for Pet Lovers Yes, you really are seeing more dogs everywhere. According to United States Pet Population and Ownership Trends Report 2017, dog ownership is up 29% in the last 10 years. Families increasingly have more than one dog or cat. It’s the wild west when it comes to pet-centric businesses. Last year pet owners spent more on their furry friends than they did on alcohol, handing over at least $450 each. This means opportunity for small business! Here Are A Few Unusual Ideas for Your Own Pet-Centric Business 1. Organic Treat Maker More and more, pet owners are concerning themselves with the ingredients of their pet food and treats. By baking and selling organic treats for pets, you can gain the attention of pet owners who are concerned about things like health and the environment. 2. Yard Cleaner Anyone with a dog knows the difficulty of cleaning up after them — particularly when it comes to the yard. That means that a lot of customers are willing to pay for someone to come to their yard and provide pooper scooper services. 4. Animal Toy Maker Most pet owners purchase some kind of toys for their animals to play with. If you like sewing or fabricating small toy type items, you could sell them as dog or cat toys. 5. Bed/Housing Designer Some pet owners even purchase large beds, pillows, playhouses or other furniture for their animals to use. Woodworkers or builders create fancy dog houses and sell them to pet owners or stores. Don’t forget to include little staircases to get Tippy up on the bed. 6. Cat Café Operator Cat cafés, or coffee shops that let customers hang out with cats while enjoying their beverages, have gained popularity over the past few years. If you love cats and cafes, this might be a fun business idea for you. 38
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7. Doggie Boot Camp One-third to one-half of all pets are overweight. If you enjoy being active, start a dog running or workout program. Why isn’t there a dog gym anywhere? For dog owners who want their pets to get a bit more exercise, you can take them for runs regularly. Add a coaching routine for pet parents who need support to slim down Fido. 8. Pet Travel Service Provider When people travel or move with their pets, it can be a stressful experience. If you have a method of transportation or even just some tips to share with pet owners, you can offer a service that helps pet owners transport their pets. 9. Unique Pet Store Owner Not everyone wants to shop in the big box stores. All over the country small pet boutiques that feature unusual outfits, collars, toys, and treats are popping up. The exceptional Muttropolis in La Jolla, California is a great example. https://www.muttropolis.com/ 10. Pet Bakery Owner Whether you make your own dog treats or just want to source them from other bakers, opening a bakery that specializes in pet food and treats can be a lucrative business. 11. YouTube Training Expert If you don’t want to share your knowledge or expertise about pet training or behavior with clients in person, you could start a YouTube channel to inform pet owners about different methods. Monetize it with advertising. 12. Make or Sell Breath Mints for Dogs If you’ve ever been close to a dog’s face, then you know all about dog breath. That’s why some pet owners purchase pet safe breath mints or other treats that are made to improve their pets’ breath and oral health. 13. Custom Pet Portrait Artist For pet lovers with artistic talent, you can offer your services as a custom portrait artist. Customers can send you photos of their pets or tell you about their breed, then you can draw or paint their animal for a fee.
14. Custom Collar Designer You can add designs, colors or even personalized details to pet collars or leashes and sell them at stores, events or on-line. 15. Pet Photographer Make a deal with a mom and pop pet shop to set up a little photo studio, charge and share the profits. 16. Dog Whisperer Pet owners who are dealing with a particularly difficult dog may be interested in the services of a dog whisperer. If you specialize in dog behavior, you may be able to help some of those dogs and dog owners get to the root of those issues. 17. Pet Jewelry Designer High end bejeweled and beaded necklaces for snooty fur babies are all the rage in certain circles. If you’re into beading, let your talent go to the dogs (and kitties too). 18. Pet Clothing Designer People go nuts for funny, weird or holiday-themed outfits for their pets. Use your creative talents to design and sew clothing items for dogs, cats, and other animals. Halloween and Christmas are boom times. 19. At-Home Boarding Service Provider Some pet owners might feel more comfortable leaving their pets in a real home when they travel. There have even been some websites and other services that have opened up in the last few years that connect pet owners with people who will care for them in their homes. 20. Animal Blogger If you love sharing photos of your pets or tips with other pet owners, you could consider starting a blog about your pet adventures or expertise, and then monetize it with advertisers.
21. Doggie Day Care Operator Aside from just needing someone to watch their animals while they’re traveling, some pet owners just want somewhere for their pets to go on a more regular basis. You can open a doggie day care to serve that need. 22. Homemade Pet Food Creator Make your own brand of dog or cat food and sell it to local pet stores, restaurants or even on your own website. People are more health conscious and want the same for kitty. 22. Helping to Say Goodbye An astonishing 700 funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries in the nation cater primarily to pets, according to a 2012 estimate from Businessweek. Pet parents gave their pet the best care in life, and they want to do the same in death. They want a safe place for visitation without shame. They know it’s not ‘just a dog.’” There is actually an association called Pet Loss Professional Alliance https://iccfa.com/membership/plpa/ Whatever you choose to do, do it with passion and excitement. Owning a business is not only to make money, it’s to give you freedom and independence. If you make it about pets, it’s sure to be fun as well. Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 33+ -year- old marketing consulting firm. Apply NOW to join Operation Vetrepreneur’s FREE Brainstorming Groups for veteran entrepreneurs at www.veteransinbiz.com and visit https://www.nvtsi.org/ov/ for more info. We welcome your feedback on https://twitter.com/VeteransinBiz
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“The men and women who serve our Nation deserve our support — Today, Tomorrow, Always —” www.vancnorthcounty.org
Summertime at VANC As the weather warms up, California seems to slow down, just enough. School is out and traffic patterns change. But things are hopping at the Veterans Association of North County (VANC). The Military Order of World Wars completed their San Diego Youth Leadership Conference with a focus on Leadership, American Heritage and Free Enterprise. I am always impressed when I find another Veterans Organization working with our kids in the community to build an appreciation for what our country offers its citizens. We had our first CA Hunter Education Classes with more scheduled for August 17-18. This is the state approved class that culminates in the presentation of your hunter safety card; good in all states. Special Thanks to American Legion 760 for providing the in house burger lunch during the class. The two day classes teach weapons familiarization, weapons safety and hunter ethics. For more information look to www. vanc.me But it is not all work and no play at VANC! We are really looking forward to our Tap Takeover with Legacy Brewing. The opportunity to try a selection of craft beers at our full service bar with treats from our kitchen also available. We put on these events to help raise the funds needed to provide programs for our veterans and our community. So come enjoy some craft beer and some fun on August 16th starting at 5:30pm. Our regular programs and activities run throughout the summer as well. Our Vet to Vet meeting every Wednesday at 4pm provides veterans to talk with other veterans. The group is there to support the veteran community to discuss problems or have a great discussion on what’s happening in the community. 40
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Our Connected Warriors yoga classes run from 5pm to 6pm every Thursday evening. Military Transition Services runs its 4 week 8 class schedule in August starting on the 6th of August. This is an amazing cast of hiring professionals, experienced entrepeneurs both veteran and non-veteran to help you figure out what your strengths are through an assessment, developing resumes, teaching interview skills, with professional speakers teaching networking skills. Before you graduate this course you will have determined what you want to do, how to approach gatekeepers in those industries, armed with a powerful resume and trained to give a knockout interview. Come see all that VANC has to offer at 1617 Mission Ave in Oceanside, CA, right off the 5. We look forward to seeing you before Summer is over.
Always a lot going on at VANC. You can see for yourself the upcoming events at VANC on www.vanc.me. In the mean time, thank you to all those who support our organization with your attendance, your financial support and your participation. We will continue to offer free programs and services that our relevant in our community while supporting our active duty military, our veterans and their families. If you are a member of the veteran service community, join us on the first Monday of each month at noon for an opportunity to network with others serving our veterans. And when you walk in the door, sign in to our guest book.
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geico.com/san-diego-north | 760-753-7907 | email@example.com 711 Center Drive | San Marcos Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. GEICO Gecko image ÂŠ 1999-2018. ÂŠ 2018 GEICO
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MILITARY MONEY MINUTE A Monthly Financial
By Lara Ryan, Daniel Chavarria & Michael Biemiller
SDP – THE HIDDEN GEM What would you say to a financial advisor if they told you they could guarantee you a 10% annual rate of return on your money, compounded quarterly? You’d probably check their credentials and then maybe report them to FINRA or at least walk out the door. Well, we’re telling you there is such a deal. So, how do I get in on this you may ask? All you have to do is deploy to a combat zone! Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) administers the Savings Deposit Program (SDP). SDP offers a guaranteed annual return of 10%, compounded quarterly, on up to $10,000 contributed to the program. This far exceeds the return on any traditional savings account out there. In fact, it’s a good return compared to most any other investment. Sure, you may be able to beat that rate of return by putting your money in the stock market when the market is having a good year, but how can you predict a good year? Even Warren Buffett doesn’t have a lock on that gouge. The truth is, you can’t time the market, and you most certainly won’t find a stock, bond, fund, or ETF in the marketplace that will guarantee you a 10% annual rate of return.
HOW IT WORKS You can participate in SDP if you are serving in a designated combat zone, qualified hazardous duty area or certain contingency operations outside the United States for more than 30 consecutive days or for at least one day for each of three consecutive months. Contact your Admin department or the finance office at your deployment location. They will let you know if you or your unit are eligible, will provide assistance with the necessary paperwork and will explain when you can begin making deposits. A total of $10,000 may be deposited during each deployment and will earn up to 10% interest annually.
You cannot close your account until you have left the combat zone, although your money will continue to draw interest for 90 days once you’ve returned home or to your permanent duty station. Interest earned in your Savings Deposit Program is taxable, even though your income while deployed is not taxable. Uncle Sam always gets his cut. Deposits may be made in cash, by check or through allotment. Once started, allotments may be increased or decreased as your financial situation changes. Your allotment will stop upon your departure from the combat zone. Once you make your initial deposit, interest accrues on the account at an annual rate of 10% while compounding quarterly. Let’s take an example. You leave for a known nine month deployment to the fun zone and you want to immediately deposit that $10,000 you have lying around. Interest earned on $10,000 deposited into the SDP for nine months would total $768.91. The last day to make a deposit into the fund is the date of departure from the assignment, and interest will accrue at the 10 percent rate up to 90 days after return from deployment. That said, wait 3 months after you get back and interest earned would total $1038.13! That’s not a bad gig for just letting your money sit around. Not like you have anything to spend it on over there anyway… Well, those Persian rugs are pretty nice! Lara, Dan & Michael work with a team and run a comprehensive financial planning practice that specializes in working with active duty, retired, veteran and military-connected individuals, families, and businesses. They are not fee-based planners and don’t charge for their time, but believe every servicemember needs and deserves a financial plan. Lara.firstname.lastname@example.org (307) 690-9266 Daniel.Chavarria@nm.com (702) 497-3264 Michael.email@example.com (858) 663-4296
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legal Eagle Straight-forward legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners By Kelly Bagla, Esq.
FUNDING YOUR STARTUP CREATE A DETAILED BUSINESS PLAN Before you do anything, you will need to have a clear understanding of how you plan to operate your business. A business plan will increase your chances of securing funding. Companies that have a business plan also have higher growth rates because investors want to see financial projections and that your business has a clear path of where it is going, before they consider giving you any money. CREATE RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR LOCAL BANK Create relationships with the banks you use for your personal banking by setting up appointments with the local loan officers. Explain to the loan officer how much money you need and what it will be used for. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for loans for certain aspect of your business, such as equipment. You could also try a personal line of credit. Contrary to popular belief, money does not grow on trees. If you want to start your own business but do not have the funding, you can still get it off the ground in a number of ways. As a business attorney and an entrepreneur, I admire anyone who wants to create a company. It’s not easy, in fact, only half of small businesses in the United States will survive through their third year of operations. Furthermore, just 22% of those businesses make it through ten years. I’m hitting my tenth year in October 2019. Based on this information, it’s clear that failure is more frequent than success when it comes to starting a business. While running a startup may be difficult, it is also extremely rewarding, but getting your startup off the ground is the first step and in order to do this you will need money. Below, I have outlined some ways for you to get your startup funding.
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PERSONAL SAVINGS You could consider funding your startup with your own funds. If you have some money saved up, you could use it to launch your business. It could be risky but if you are willing to bet on yourself, there are some positive factors to this route: you keep all the equity, you keep all the profits, and now you have just become an attractive prospect for others to give you funding. SEEK HELP FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY Usually, friends and family are second on the list for top startup funding sources. These are the people who trust you and believe in you and are more willing to loan you money. This funding can be secured by stock in your company or repayment with some sort of interest. This way you are not taking advantage of your friends or family but are willing to work hard to repay the loan with some gains.
Venture capitalists, also known as VC firms, in vest in the early stages of startups in exchange for equity or stock. If you decide to take this route, be prepared to give away a portion of your business. That’s not always a bad thing. A VC firm can provide you with other resources that can contribute to the success of the company. ANGEL INVESTORS Although these terms are often used interchangeably, angel investors differ from VC firms. While angel investors can take an equity share of your startup in exchange for their investment, their funding can also be exchanged for convertible debt. Usually, angel investors are entrepreneurs themselves and if you find the right one, you may benefit from their expert advice and management skills. It is more common for angel investors to supply funding to your business when you are still in the early states, whereas, VC firms typically look to get involved a little bit later.
NOTHING COMPARES at this price to Go Legal Yourself ® Startup Essentials Package. This specialized, customizable package of legal contracts and documents includes everything a startup company needs to protect its assets from the beginning. You won't find these contracts online anywhere but here.
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CROWDFUNDING Take advantage of the resources available to you online. You can use crowdfunding websites to raise capital. If your project is promoted properly, you can raise a lot of money. While most people think of Kickstarter when it comes to crowdfunding platforms, there are some alternative websites you can consider, such as, AngelList, CircleUp, CrowdFunder or Fundable.
STRATEGIC PARTNERS Getting a strategic partner for your startup can help accelerate the development of your business. Between the two of you, you might have enough money saved to get your startup off the ground. While strategic partners may be able to bring new ideas and solutions to your startup, they can also help you succeed faster in attracting bigger funding sources.
-4 E m ployer Identification N um ber
Starting a business is exciting but it’s not cheap
For more information on how to legally protect your business please pick up a copy of my bestselling book: ‘Go Legal Yourself’ on Amazon or visit my website at www.golegalyourself.com
Disclaimer: This information is made available by Bagla Law Firm, APC for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
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CYBERSECURITY Credit Monitoring, Identity Theft Protection, and Data Breach Management
By Scott Hermann, CEO and identity theft protection expert www.identityiq.com
EVERYONE is at risk for identity theft, even the nation’s oldest veteran I remember reading a news story last year about Richard Overton, who was 112 at the time and the United States’ oldest living veteran, having survived Pearl Harbor, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima while in the Army. But he wasn’t in the news for those tremendous accomplishments – he was in the news because he was the victim of identity theft. While everyone is at risk for identity theft, do you know veterans are twice as likely to become victims, according to a study by the AARP? Many cumulative factors make veterans’ personal information – such as your name, Social Security number (SSN), and birthday – some of the most vulnerable. To start with, the military uses your SSN to identify you. For some veterans, your SSN showed up on everything from dog tags to mailing labels to appointment letters, in plain view of others to see and possibly steal. While the Department of Veterans Affairs has initiated protocols to help protect veterans’ SSNs, there are new risks. Stories on military personnel being individually targeted by foreign cybercriminals – from Russia to China to Iran – have filled the headlines. Some cybercriminals have used social media and other platforms in attempts to gain access to personal information as well as classified information. Another top risk comes from personal information exposed during data breaches – and the government has had its share. The Pentagon experienced a data breach last year that exposed 30,000 personnel’s travel and other personal information. The Office of Personnel Management has been hit by cyberattacks twice – the first time in 2006 affecting 26.5 million records and a second time in 2014 with 21.5 million people compromised. Veterans Affairs also has fallen victim to hackers with the Tricare health care system experiencing a data breach of 4.9 million military hospital and clinic patients’ records in 2011. What happens to your stolen information? It can be bought and sold on the dark web to the highest bidder. Identity thieves can then take your personal information 46
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and attempt to take out loans, open new credit cards, clone debit cards, change a billing address, acquire a new driver’s license, and use your identity when questioned by police. How can you protect yourself? Start by protecting your personal information. Don’t carry around your SSN card or military discharge papers (DD Form 214) in your wallet or purse. Keep these documents secure at home in a lockbox or safe. Other important documents that have your SSN or other personal information should be stored in that secure location as well. If you have old documents you want to discard, shred them instead of just throwing them in the trash. Also, be cautious when giving out your SSN or other personal information. Don’t be afraid to ask a business or organization if your SSN or other information is required. If it is required, ask them how they store your personal information. Never give your SSN out over the phone or through email. Another essential part of protecting yourself is credit monitoring, which includes active delivery of your credit report. Check your credit report and verify all the information included is yours. With credit monitoring, you also can receive alerts for suspicious activity, such as a new account that’s opened using your SSN. This is important so you can act quickly if there is fraud, possibly saving you thousands of dollars. In the case of Mr. Overton, an identity thief was able to gain access to his SSN and personal checking account number and use the nation’s oldest veteran’s personal information to open a fake bank account to drain the real account. The news article said the money in the drained account was meant to go toward the cost of around-the-clock care for Mr. Overton, who passed away in December. He was a supercentenarian, honored World War II veteran, and, unfortunately, a victim of identity theft. Today, everyone is at risk for identity theft, especially veterans. Protect yourself so you don’t become a victim. ©2019 IDIQ provider of IdentityIQ
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JOBS FOR VETS
Careers In Law Enforcement Visit Today For Law Enforcement Profiles & Job Openings
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Military service can be a perfect entrance into a law enforcement career. Military and law enforcement personnel have had a 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. The two professions have many fundamental similarities; from the uniforms they wear with pride, to the firm command structure they serve under, to great personal risk they endure while protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
Opportunities in Law Enforcement Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve served your country, now serve your community! The following agencies are actively hiring & proudly support our veterans, active military and the families that keep together.
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WE DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T JUST THANK
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Sworn to Serve Live to Protect Be FLPD FORT LAUDERDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Military Preference Given The task ahead of you is never as great as the Power behind you
ANNUAL SALARY NON-CERTIFIED $55,536 - $85,675 CERTIFIED $58,344 - $85,675 Contact us to learn how you can become part of the Premier law enforcement agency in South Florida
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WWW.FLPDJobs.com firstname.lastname@example.org Recruiting@ci.colospgs.co.us 954-828-FLPD (3573)
Facebook: Colorado Springs Police THE CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER email@example.com
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calling all Vets & Military startups! growing business owners!
Free helP is here!
r u e n e r p e r
building a Foundation For your success. one-on-one coaching | certiFication suPPort | think tank grouPs Veterans make great entrepreneurs. Building a company is tough & requires lots of work. It can be lonely. The vets & active military we work with, from start-up to experienced owners, polish their business smarts the same way they learned skills in the military.
Need A Coach? We’ll Match You with A Mentor
Think Tank Groups 13-Weeks, 1 Night A Week, Accelerates Business Growth
THE BASICS Management / Marketing / Money Presented by Recognized Local Experts in San Diego
DoN’T GET LEfT ouT!
Takes off where to the SBA’s Boots Business left off!
New Think Tank Group forming Now! Apply at www.veteransinbiz.com Questions? Call 619.660.6730 operation Vetrepreneur is a Project of the National Veterans Transition Services, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit
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IN THE TRENCHES . . . What You Can Expect Certification & Supplier Diversity Concept Review for Startups Perfecting Your Pitch Speaker Training Brainstorming with Experts Publishing Knowhow Personal Branding Mind Mapping Crowdfunding Writing a Business Plan Branding, Graphics & Visuals Internet Marketing Social Media & SEO Legal Issues Budgeting Where & How to Get Money High Velocity Growth Strategies Employees & Contractors
E E R F S N VETERA +3 GUESTS FREE Now–Nov. 11
We are Proud to Salute the Men & Women Who Have Served in Our Armed Forces SeaWorld® San Diego invites any U.S. veteran to enjoy a one-time free Single-Day Admission, along with up to 3 guests.* Register online now–Nov. 11, 2019. Visitation valid through Nov. 11, 2019. For your service and sacrifice, we thank you.
Limited-time offer exclusively online at WavesofHonor.com *ONLINE ONLY — Tickets must be obtained in advance through the online registration process. Offer not available at the SeaWorld ticket windows. Excludes SeaWorld waterparks, Sesame Place® and Discovery Cove.® Ticket is non-transferable, non-refundable and not for sale. Not valid with any other discounts, offers and has no upgrade value. ™/© 2019 Sesame Workshop © 2019 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.
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PTSD TREATMENT DECISION AID: THE CHOICE IS YOURS
Wondering which PTSD treatment is right for you? Use the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid to learn about and compare treatments.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Watch Video Interviews with Providers Compare the Treatments You Like Best Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Get a Personalized Summary
WHO IS IT FOR? PATIENTS: The Decision Aid teaches you about your options and gets you ready to work with your provider to choose the best treatment for you. PROVIDERS: The Decision Aid educates your patients about evidence-based PTSD treatments. Review it together in session, or have your patients work through it at home.
There are effective treatments for PTSD. You have options. The choice is yours.
The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is an online tool to help you learn about effective treatments and think about which one might be best for you.
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