Homeland Magazine December 2021

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Vol. 10 Number 12 • December 2021


Golden Eagle Takes Final Flight



What’s next


The Covers of 2021



Americans Give Back To Veterans

Holiday Health

Christmas Soldier


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NORAD Tracks Santa 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, NORAD tracks everything that flies in and around North America in defense of our homelands. On Dec. 24, we have the very special mission of also tracking Santa. NORAD has been tracking Santa since 1955 when a young child accidently dialed the unlisted phone number of the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, believing she was calling Santa Claus after seeing a promotion in a local newspaper.

Though the program began due to a misdialed number, NORAD Tracks Santa has flourished and is recognized as one of the Department of Defense’s largest community outreach programs. Each year, the NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site receives nearly fifteen million unique visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Volunteers receive more than 130,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline from children around the globe. This year, children and the young-at-heart are able to track Santa through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, the commander on duty that night, was quick to realize a mistake had been made, and assured the youngster that CONAD would guarantee Santa a safe journey from the North Pole. Thus a tradition was born that rolled over to NORAD when it was formed in 1958. Each year since, NORAD has dutifully reported Santa’s location on Dec. 24 to millions across the globe. Thanks to the services and resources generously provided by numerous corporate contributors and volunteers, NORAD Tracks Santa has persevered for more than 60 years.

For more information about NORAD Tracks Santa, please visit www.noradsanta.org For more information about NORAD, please visit www.norad.mil

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

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Jenny Lynne Stroup Real Talk: Mental Health

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

SD Vets & Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Tana Landau, Esq. Legally Speaking

Joe Molina

Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby


What’s Next - Transitioning

Amber Robinson Arts & Healing

Eva Stimson Greetings and a warm welcome to Homeland Magazine!

Veteran Advocate

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

Human Resources

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

Mike Miller

Publisher/Editor mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 4

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021

Paul Falcone

Money Matters VA Lending & Personal Finance

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

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

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

Happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful new year. - Homeland Magazine


INSIDE THIS ISSUE 3 NORAD Tracks Santa 8 Wreaths Across America 10 A Soldier’s Christmas 12 Americans Give Back To Veterans 14 Fighting Cybercrime 16 Forge A Brighter Future 18 Interview - Vietnam Vet 20 Golden Eagle Takes Final Flight 24 Homeland - The Covers of 2021 28 Holiday Health 30 Real Talk: Resolution Wagon 32 LENS - Healthy New Year 34 Treating Hearing Loss 36 What’s Next: The Young Maverick 38 Transitioning is a Process 40 HR - Leadership 42 Steps To Sustain Success 44 Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit 46 Legal Eagle - End of Year Checklist 48 Legally Speaking - Military & Divorce 50 Money Matters - Now or Later 56 Careers in Law Enforcement *Cover Photo by Air Force Senior Airman Matthew Gilmore Air Force, Operation Christmas Drop (DOD)

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


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Back to Better: Mental Health Care for Veterans, Service Members, & their Families

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The American Dream is Not Lost…It Is Remembered! By WAA Staff Sean Sullivan and Amber Caron Wreaths Across America (WAA) is a national nonprofit organization best known for remembering fallen veterans with wreaths placed each December at Arlington National Cemetery. However, the organization is much more. As of 2020, the nonprofit placed more than 1.7 million sponsored veterans’ wreaths at over 2557 participating locations nationwide while offering various year-long programs. These programs help live a mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. In the beginning, founder, Morrill Worcester, a 12-year-old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News, won a trip to Washington D.C., where Arlington National Cemetery became an inspirational location. His pilgrimage served as a consistent reminder, through career and life, that opportunities stemmed from the values and freedom afforded to us by our nation’s veterans. After years of hard work, Morrill founded Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine. In 1992, Worcester Wreath had a surplus. Morrill saw this as his opportunity to honor our veterans with hopes of returning to Arlington. With the aid of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe (ret.), the first 5,000 wreaths were placed that year at Arlington National Cemetery. As plans were underway, other individuals and organizations shared Morrill’s spirit and working together built an annual mission that went unnoticed for many years. In 2005, a photo surfaced of Arlington covered in snow, adorned with wreaths. This picture became a viral internet sensation before there was even such a marketing term. After, thousands of requests poured in, from people wanting to help emulate the Arlington success on the local level, prompting the official formation of Wreaths Across America the national nonprofit in 2007. The newly formed 501c3 began its national effort by sending seven ceremonial wreaths to every state (one for each branch of the military, and for POW/ MIAs). The ceremonies took place in nearly all of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., with a focus on family during the holidays. As the organization grew from volunteer support, a network of local groups and cemetery locations began to emerge. 8

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“To be killed in war is not

the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst that can happen…to be forgotten is the worst.” - Pierre Claeyssens, who was rescued by U.S. Forces in Belgium

Simultaneously, groups began to escort the wreaths to Arlington. This started an annual tradition called “The Veterans Honor Parade” which travels the east coast in early December. This part of the mission grew into a multi-mile long convoy which acts as an ambassador by stopping at schools, monuments, veterans’ homes and local communities as the mission of the organization is shared. In 2008, over 60,000 volunteers helped move the mission, placing 100,000 wreaths on veterans’ headstones. Recognizing the organizations impact, the United States Congress unanimously voted to declare “National Wreaths Across America Day” to be held annually, on the second or third Saturday of December. British street artist Bansky once wrote, “They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, when somebody says your name for the last time.” So, it wasn’t enough to say “we covered Arlington” because that’s a mission half completed. When a volunteer places a wreath on a veteran’s headstone, WAA encourages them to speak that veteran’s name aloud, thank them for their service and sacrifice, reflect on their life as person and member of a loving family and never let that service member die a second time, including all 226,525 at Arlington starting in 2014, and millions more at cemeteries nationwide. Presently a small, but dedicated staff and more than 7,000 core volunteers across the country, work tirelessly on year-long programs that help accomplish this ongoing mission. That number grows to more than 2 million, a third of whom are children, who participate in the annual wreath laying events nationwide! These programs are designed to help highlight the aweinspiring work of our volunteer groups and locations, civic groups, supporters, donors, and others that enable this mission to flourish regardless of challenges and changes. www.wreathsacrossamerica.org

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


The Night Before Christmas T’was the night before Christmas, he lived

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give, and to see just who in this home did live.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye; I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

all alone in a one bedroom house, made of plaster and stone.

I looked all about, a strange sight I did see: no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand; on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands. With medals and badges, awards of all kinds, a sober thought came through my mind. For this house was different, it was dark and dreary. I found the home of a soldier, at once I could see clearly. The soldier lay sleeping; silent, alone, curled up on the floor, in this one bedroom home. Not how I pictured a US soldier.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice, “Santa, don’t cry. This life is my choice. I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more; my life is my God, my country, my corps.” The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep; I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep. I kept watch for hours, so silent and still, and we both shivered from the cold night’s chill. I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night, this guardian of honor, so willing to fight.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read, curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure, whispered, “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”

I realized the families that I saw this night, owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

One look at my watch and I knew he was right, “Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.”

Soon ‘round the world, the children would play and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas Day. They all enjoyed freedom, each month of the year, because of the soldiers like the one lying here.


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021

Happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful new year. - Homeland Magazine

A Soldier’s christmas

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


Thankful Americans of All Ages Give Back to Veterans By Raquel Rivas The sacrifices service men and women make to protect us are increasingly front-of-mind for Americans of all ages. Everyday citizens are seeking the opportunity to say thank you and contribute to the well-being of veterans. Through Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), injured veterans never pay a penny for programs and services — because they paid their dues on the battlefield. WWP’s services in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care positively impact lives. “Wounded Warrior Project will be here for us a year from now, five years from now, 20 years from now,” Jason Ehrhart’s mom and caregiver, Pam Estes, observed. “They are not going away. The effects of war don’t stop a year from now or five years from now. We will be living with the effects of war for the rest of our lives.” Pam and her husband Mike care for their son Jason Ehrhart. Jason is an Army veteran whose vehicle was blown up by an anti-tank mine in Iraq. Jason required constant care when he returned home. The Estes family began their own recoveries with help from WWP’s Independence Program, which provided rehab, respite, and helped Jason turn the corner to a more normal life. Needed services are possible thanks to the generosity of everyday Americans, including children who advocate on behalf of our nation’s wounded warriors every year. Their letters and donations always humble and inspire those around them. Take for example these supporters: No Presents, Please Charlie Molito did not want presents for his birthday. Instead, the almost 7-year-old told his parents he wanted to ask for donations to give to a “wounded soldier.” 12

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His mom, Sarah, searched for a good way to channel a donation and make the experience memorable for Charlie. “One of my friends had been across from a Wounded Warrior Project booth at the state fair,” Sarah said. “Our family had donated to Wounded Warrior Project in the past. I wondered if they would allow my son to meet a representative.” Charlie soon shook hands with Dan Hanson, Marine veteran and WWP outreach specialist in Minneapolis, who connected Charlie and family to Military Appreciation Day at a Minnesota Twins game. “Charlie went crazy when he found out we were going to get to go to the Twins game,” Sarah said. “Baseball is his favorite sport. I cannot explain how excited he was.” Alongside his family and friends, Charlie presented a check to WWP during that Twins game. He collected more than $2,600 from his birthday celebration and Facebook fundraiser. Everyone shared the excitement of his accomplishment. “It was an amazing day,” Dan said. “Everyone was blown away by Charlie’s generosity.” A Recipe for Veteran Support Nothing says summertime like a lemonade stand. Twin siblings Grayson and Kennedy Koop doubled the fundraising fun while selling lemonade at the local Elks Lodge in Oregon. With help from their grandfather, and support from parents and friends, the 7-year-olds raised $1,200 to help veterans access mental and physical health services through WWP. “We believe the twins taught themselves the power of selecting a goal and bringing community and family together on this journey to help wounded warriors,” grandmother Bonnie Houlihan said. “The sheer joy of accomplishment on their faces when they filled in the dollar amounts on checks sent to Wounded Warrior Project was priceless to us as grandparents,” said grandfather Mike Houlihan. Mike, himself a veteran, rolled up his sleeves to help the

twins collect cans and turn them in for cash to pay for the permit for the twins’ lemonade stand.

He wants people to know WWP is based in Jacksonville, Florida, and learn about the variety of programs and services WWP brings to warriors and their families.

“They remind all of us that warriors come in all ages and sizes,” Mike said.

“For me, it’s life-changing,” George said about the impact WWP has on veterans and family support members. “It’s humbling to be a part of that, albeit a small part, and to give to the organization. One suicide is too many and we need to get that rate down as fast as we can.”

The parents received a gratitude package from WWP, which they read toGrayson and Kennedy in front of neighbors and community friends. Even the mayor of their town presented them with stars from a flag that wasflown over the U.S. Capitol.

The first TPC Sawgrass Charity Golf Tournament Benefitting Wounded Warrior Project took place on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2021, and brought together injured warriors and those who are committed to helping them make successful transitions to civilian life.

“You don’t often see such young kids see outside of themselves,” father Josh Koop said. “Watching our twins actually do this and put the effort into helping creates such pride in who they are becoming.” Teeing Off for Veterans in Recognition and Generosity George Eubank is a conscientious civilian who saw a need. He had been giving to veterans through WWP over the years and wanted to increase his giving. He inquired about a golf event where he could “buy a foursome” to help veterans. Hearing there were golf events for WWP around the country, but not in Northeast Florida where WWP headquarters are located, he decided to create one.

George had support from many people, including another event organizer in Arizona. Chuck McGould, a 31-year veteran of the Army and National Guard, hosts a WWP golf fundraiser in Sedona, Arizona. Chuck has raised thousands of dollars for programs that serve veterans and has built a network of veterans and corporate sponsors. He produces his own challenge coin for a special ceremony during the tournament and involves Sedona businesses in a charity weekend that includes an auction, Jeep tours, a chef-led cooking demo, and WWII and Korean veterans who drive from Phoenix to participate. “As a 31-year Army retiree with West Point, 82nd Airborne Division, North Carolina/Arizona Army National Guard, and Afghanistan deployment roots, I keenly appreciate our nation’s military and their extraordinary sacrifices,” Chuck said. “Things that you can’t purchase with money — your self-esteem, getting your life back — Wounded Warrior Project gives us,” veteran Lisa Crutch said. “They put your money toward programs that really help us regain our lives and get back to where we used to be. It took me many years to realize that I’m not going to be the Lisa I was before I left, but I believe I am a better Lisa today. Wounded Warrior Project has made me feel that I fit in again.” Find out about other ways to give back to veterans during the holidays and any time of the year.

He and his fiancée Kate Miller formed a nonprofit with a board of directors and got to work on a golf tournament at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. “Our goal was to raise funds and awareness for Wounded Warrior Project and its mission while connecting warriors to supporters in the community,” George said.

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. Learn more at : https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/ WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


FIGHTING CYBERCRIME DAV teams up to arm veterans, families against online criminals

the women of cash, valuables and their sense of security. Just as quickly as Palmer could get one fake profile taken down, she would see her husband’s photo appear on another site. By Tom Jenkins “There was nothing I could do,” said Palmer. “I didn’t even know I was a victim of cybercrime.” ith just two weeks left in Army Sgt. 1st Class Collin The cyberattack set Palmer down a path to help keep J. Bowen’s 2007–2008 deployment to Afghanistan, others from being victimized. Over a decade later, his patrol vehicle struck an improvised explosive device Palmer serves as executive director of Military and (IED). While he was hospitalized at Brooke Army Medical Veteran Programs for Cybercrime Support Network Center in San Antonio, Texas, (CSN), Partnership to his wife, Ursula Palmer, took to FightCybercrime initiative. the internet to update family and Palmer, a DAV HillVets friends on Bowen’s condition as Fellow, worked closely with he underwent multiple surgeries. DAV’s legislative team and Several months after the knew where she could turn explosion, Bowen died due to for help. complications from his injuries. In 2021, DAV became Soon after, the website became the first veterans service a permanent memorial to the organization to join late soldier—and a target for the Partnership to cybercriminals. FightCybercrime, which “That following year, four has grown to include different women contacted me,” other prominent military said Palmer. “They asked me, ‘Is and veterans service this person on this website real?’ organizations, corporations, They then asked if he indeed was foundations and federal —Kristin Judge, CSN CEO and founder a soldier who had died.” agencies. These four women had all been “DAV is proud to be contacted by an account using Bowen’s photo—the same partnering with a program like FightCybercrime,” said image used on the website just one year earlier. National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “We want to be there They were all victims of someone posing as Bowen for veterans as we educate ourselves on how to fight back on different dating sites. The scammer had defrauded against cybercrime, as we know our community is one


“We don’t have time to waste with cybercrime growing exponentially. Working with partners who have earned the trust of the veteran community will allow us to reach those who need help faster.”


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PROTECT YOURSELF Ways to safeguard against scams There are three golden rules that can help safeguard against potential scammers. 1. Slow it down. Scammers often create a sense of urgency so they can bypass our better instincts.

that is heavily targeted for this type of crime.” Many scammers will access online government records such as benefit programs and private information about veterans. These vulnerabilities are used for extortion, identity fraud, real estate frauds, charity fraud and personal data phishing. Reports made to the Federal Trade Commission show that U.S. military personnel, veterans and their families lost $822.1 million to cybercrime between 2017 and 2021, with a median financial loss due to fraud that is 44% higher for veterans than other civilians. According to the FBI, cybercrimes are one of the fastest-growing crimes in America, with synthetic identity theft—the same crime that Palmer found herself targeted by—being the highest. The initiative’s Military and Veteran Programs group educates and mobilizes the community to recognize, report and recover from cybercrime, through the help of organizations where these populations are already engaged. “The veteran community respects DAV,” said Kristin Judge, CSN CEO and founder. “The CSN team has expertise in cybercrime and cybersafety. We know that having partners who are experts in those we aim to serve will be the best messengers of our content. We don’t have time to waste with cybercrime growing exponentially. Working with partners who have earned the trust of the veteran community will allow us to reach those who need help faster.” n

Learn More Online For more information on cybercrimes and how to combat them, visit www.dav.org/veterans/resources/ veteran-scams.

2. Do your research. If someone claims to be calling from the bank or VA, then call them back on an official number. Do not call the number they used to contact you. 3. Stop. Do not send. Many scammers ask for money orders or gift cards. No reputable agency or company will take these forms of payment.

Common online scams Rental/Real Education/Scholarship Fake Family/Friend Charity Military Imposter Estate Job Imposter Scams Scams Scams Scams

Fraudulent People Scammers Many Someone job posing scams claiming charities will as impersonate seem landlords totarget be ideal from service will organizations forthe request in veterans military members, order calls money toorveterans take military andor advantage says ask family or for your their deposits members of loved families the GI Bill on nonexistent and who one asking needs other arefor constantly education financial money properties. immediately. support. moving. benefits.

Family/Friend Imposter Scams Someone claiming to be from the military calls and says your loved one needs money immediately.

Fake Military Job Scams

Many job scams seem ideal for veterans or military family members who are constantly moving.

Education/Scholarship Scams

Scammers will impersonate organizations in order to take advantage of the GI Bill and other education benefits.

Rental/Real Estate Scams

People posing as landlords will request money or ask for deposits on nonexistent properties.

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


Helping Veterans, Responders, and Their Supporters Forge a Brighter Future On any Wednesday night at Black Horse Forge, you’ll see the fire as you pull into the parking lot. Then you’ll hear the hammering and the metal grinders buzzing. It looks and feels like an industrial workshop. But what is forged here isn’t just metalwork. Each strike of a hammer represents a life reshaped, rebuilt, and sometimes even saved. Black Horse Forge instructs veterans, active-duty military, first responders, and their supporters in the art and craft of blacksmithing with the goal of providing a sense of accomplishment, mental and physical wellbeing, and the knowledge and experience to continue the craft in their own communities. “Blacksmithing is the ultimate art therapy for those who are mission-oriented,” said Steve Hotz, the retired Army Sergeant who founded Black Horse Forge. Steve is a combat veteran who struggles with his own PTSD. When he discovered how blacksmithing changed his life, he wanted to pay it forward by establishing Black Horse Forge in 2018. Since then, the 501(C)(3) non-profit has helped thousands of men and women find a productive way of coping with PTSD, TBI, and the everyday effects of high-stress jobs that keep our communities and our country safe.


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The act of working with hot metal doesn’t leave room for dwelling on negative thoughts that can spiral into depression and other issues, Steve explained. Participants focus on heating metal in a 2,300-degree forge, shaping it at first with large, aggressive blows, then refining their project with more calculated hits. The final touches, including heat treating, grinding, filing, and sanding, all work together to give the ‘smith a sense of mission, accomplishment, and pride. “It wears them out,” said Steve. “When they walk away at the end of the day, they are tired. They go home, think about what they’re going to do with their project tomorrow, and they sleep well. It just puts some of that other stuff out of their minds for a while and gives them something positive to look forward to.” Popular classes include basic blacksmithing, knife making, railroad spike knife making, tool making, hammer making, and decorative metalwork. All the benefits don’t happen at the anvil, though. Once a veteran or first responder completes a class, he or she is eligible to attend Open Forge nights each Wednesday where they can work on their own projects at their own speed, alone or with a cadre member; or they can just hang out with others who have had similar life experiences.

No one has to talk about why they’re there unless they want to. It is a simple veterans-helping-veterans approach. “A lot of students have formed really strong friendships here,” said Steve. “They do things together outside of the forge like hunting, fishing, just hanging out. They check on each other. Families have even bonded. The wives, kids, and everyone spends time together, they barbecue at the house. It’s great for everyone.” Over the years, Steve has noticed most veterans and first responders come to the forge because their spouse or another loved one signed them up. PTSD and other stresses affect everyone around, that’s why he made sure this program is different than other veterans’ programs in several ways. Often, people with anxieties, depression, or PTSD, are averse to trying new things with people they don’t know or trust. At Black Horse Forge, each student can bring one additional person. That person doesn’t have to be a veteran or first responder, it can be anyone who makes them feel more comfortable at the forge. Periodically, the forge also hosts parent-child classes, which is particularly helpful in reconnecting a veteran and his or her child after a long deployment. Valentines Day classes with spouses are also popular each year. Many veterans’ programs provide a class for a week, or they take a veteran out for a day’s activity or event, and then it’s over. The person goes back home, right back into the same environment they were in before. Black Horse Forge, though, encourages anyone who takes a class, to come back to Open Forge, or any other day by appointment, to keep the positive momentum going. “We’re looking for sponsors to help us purchase basic blacksmithing kits participants can take home with them – an anvil a couple of hammers, a simple forge, and some tongs,” Steve said. “I know that PTSD can hit at any time on any day, and if they have the resources at home, they can deal with it at the moment they really need it.” Also, unlike many other programs, Black Horse Forge’s classes are free for veterans, active-duty military, and first responders (and their “plus one”). The non-profit is run entirely on donations and because it is volunteer operated and managed, 100% of all proceeds go right back into the program. If you would like to donate or learn more about Black Horse Forge, please visit www.BlackHorseForge.com. Classes can be found on EventBrite.com. Or email info@blackhorseforge.com for more information.

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Homeland Magazine sits down with Vietnam Vet and artist, John Melillo

Melillo: Hostile until I learned that “to conguer the jungle, you don’t fight the jungle. You become Part of the jungle.” Trigering those inner animal instincts we all have, help me survive. Coping at that point actually became an adventure.

Homeland: Your story, growing up in the 50s and 60s, reflects a journey from an ideal boyhood on Long Island, New York, to an Ivy League university and then drafted to the jungles of Vietnam when life took a decidedly different turn. Tell us about your journey.

Homeland: You eventually became a patrol supervisor with responsibility for some 40,000 GIs and 60,000 Vietnamese in Long Bing, supervising all civil and combat incidences during 12-hour shifts, six days a week on days and six days on nights. What was that experience like?

Melillo: I grew up in a very loving family in Huntington, NY. Having family on the East End of L.I. afforded me a “Tom Sawyer” Adventure Childhood with cousinsfishing, hunting, exploring all the local Haunt Legends as well as working their farms. Family values gave me a great appreciation for this country. When I was drafted, there was no question but to answer the call. Homeland: What were the earliest days in Vietnam like?

Melillo: Extreme. My tour was at the end of the war when the Vietamese took over the fighting and all the GIs were drawn into my post. A lot of pent-up emotions were raging through the troops of this Unpopular War at the time. Unfortunately, being an MP represented the establishment to them. Also, any immediate off post enemy missions were my responsibilities as well. Homeland: What are some of things you experienced in Vietnam that had the greatest impact on you?

“The Caretaker”


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Melillo: I had a lot of free reign in my postion. I used it to save lives. Example, I made sure non-combat wounded Vietnamese were treated in US Hospitals instead of their own. Judgement situations and tight control of my men also avoided many a serious outcome- both Civil and Combat. Homeland: When did your service end and what came next? Melillo: I came back to a very ungrateful Nation at that time in history. You lost a war so the Army was unsympathetic. In my replacement center in Oakland, California “The Weathermen,” a local anti war group, tried to bomb my baracks. Last, was the call “Baby Killers” while in Uniform. Go Figure. I put it all behind me and in 6 weeks found a job and set a date to get married. Homeland: Describe your professional life in the concrete jungle of New York City? What industries were you in and how did your Vietnam experience shape your career? Melillo: Overseas when I thought I would never see home again a saying kept rolling in my head “rich men make the rules” and if I ever get home I want to make a difference. When I came out of the Jungle a piece of it came with me and a drive that lead me to New York City. One job offer hit home,” as I got a job selling financial printing to banks on wall street. You’ll feel like your back in Vietnam.” Then came the magic words, “If you can do it, we’ll pay accordingly.” I was in so fast all you could see was my dust trail. Homeland: After four and half decades working, you retired and then the Vietnam experience really kicked in. What happened and where and how did you seek help? Melillo: I didn’t realize running at a NYC pace all those years was masking my experiences in that land so far away so long ago. When I started to slow down, I started to not only have nightmares but daymares. I went to the VA. They looked at my record and tested my aptitude abilities. It turned out I had an extreme case of PSTD hidden all those years. The VA was great. They enrolled me in 3 cutting edge stress tolerance programs. To this day, I still have regular guidance treatments both outside and inside the VA. Homeland: Tell us about how you became an artist, your art and what painting has done for you? Melillo: On the aptitude Side I test 97% artistic. With the VA’s help, I enlisted in Christies and Sothery’s art business programs. They also sponsored me taking painting courses I studied with world renounce teachers.

“Remembrance of Chris”

On my own, I took additional classes at the Met, The ART Leagues of LI and NY as well as the SCC on LI. I became a Contemporary Realist Oil Painter. (Example: “Fishing with my daughter” painting. To realize this ability I never knew existed was like being “reborn.” Homeland: You have a whole series dedicated to your Vietnam experience. What are some of the images you have captured and what do you hope others take from those images? Melillo: Two examples of images, “Remembrance of Chris” a fallen comrade who took my place on a fatal patrol and “The Caretaker,” which is a woman in the jungle who cared for Orphans from both sides of the War. One very important lesson learned, ”Life Goes On.” Homeland: What message do you have for other veterans suffering from PTSD or any other disability? Melillo: Seek out your interests. If you like to fishthen fish; read-then read; write-write a book ; sing -join a choir; music-take lessons ; and so on. Emerge yourself in the positives for yourself.

Homeland: Where can we see more of your art and learn more about your journey? Melillo: Instagram; @artfeelimgsjm For Art inquiries: bethmproductions@gmail.com WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


Doniphan Shelton Rear Admiral USN, Retired May 22, 1921 - October 31st, 2021


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His favorite aircraft being the Corsair. In early 1951 he deployed with the first Night Fighter Detachment, flying the F4U-5N for combat duty. He flew night interdiction missions to then land on a straight deck carrier with only the illumination of flashlights reflecting off dust pans to guide him in. An incomprehensible feat in comparison to today’s aircraft carrier operations.

Golden Eagle Takes Final Flight By, CJ Machado – Photojournalist & Veteran Advocate Three war combat veteran, Rear Admiral Doniphan Shelton, USN, Retired, took his final flight at 100 years of age. On Sunday, October 31, 2021, Shelton passed away peacefully in his home of 42 years located in Del Mar, California overlooking the ocean and surrounded by his loving family under hospice care. He was very well respected and admired for his high-spirited and tenacious/determined personality. He lived every day to the fullest and was an icon in the naval community.

His most notable flying experiences included March 2, 1951 a successful pre-dawn dead-stick carrier landing in his stricken F4U on the first available deck, the USS Princeton, a sea story he always loved to share, and as a test pilot on February 1, 1956 he performed the first F3H Demon flame-out approach and landing during the F3H Indoctrination Program.

RADM Shelton served during WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. His career spanned for over 4 decades, precisely 40 years, 1 month, 27 days and 3 hours, Shelton would often joke then follow up with “And I’d do it again!” He flew over 40 different types of aircraft, many as a test pilot. His significant contributions to early naval aviation earned him the coveted Golden Eagle wings. Shelton was raised in the mid-west in Springfield, MO during the Great Depression. He graduated from Springfield High School and after just having turned 18 years old, he enlisted in the Navy on 06 August 1939. He completed Boot Camp at the Navy Training Center in San Diego, CA in October 1939, initially reporting as a Seaman aboard the battleship, USS New Mexico. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD as a midshipman and was commissioned an Ensign in June 1944 as a member of the accelerated class because of the U.S. involvement in WWII. In November 1944 aboard the U.S.S. St. Louis, Ensign Shelton witnessed four Kamikaze direct hits during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Shelton remembers having to carry a shipmate on his shoulders from the smoke-filled corridors and after nearly being sunk, he recalled “The ship took weeks to limp back to safety.” As the war ended, he successfully applied for flight training and received his Wings of Gold on February 7, 1947. Shelton quickly excelled as an all-weather/night fighter pilot flying both the Hellcat and the F4U-5N Corsair.

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At the end of the Vietnam War, April through July 1975, RADM Shelton supervised the initial planning and then coordinated the on-going operations for “Operation New Life,” the processing of 43,000 evacuees and refugees from South Vietnam through Subic Bay. He established facilities on Grande Island and personally directed every facet of operations, from induction, to boarding and feeding, through transportation to the final destination for these thousands of displaced families. He took great pride in that operation and would often emphatically state “To change the course of a person’s life for the better is a remarkable accomplishment. Everyone deserves Freedom, but it must be done legally with appropriate processing.” “Operation New Life” still remains the most wellconstructed processing of refugees into the United States of America. Shelton eventually retired to San Diego from active duty with his wife Peggy and up until his passing, U.S. citizens that were once Vietnamese refugees would come by his home, showering him with gifts and thanks for their freedom and the opportunity he gave them.

In June 1967 he became Commanding Officer of the ammunition ship, USS Paricutin and deployed to WESTPAC and the Tonkin Gulf for operations in support of carrier operations during the most intense carrier air strike operations of the war in Vietnam, matched only in 1972.

After retirement, Shelton remained an active ambassador for Naval Aviation and was an extremely proud member of the Golden Eagles for over 23 years. He was involved in several naval aviation film projects, such as the short film “The Forgotten Hero” based on fellow Golden Eagle, CAPT E. Royce Williams, USN (Ret.) Korean War MiG engagement. On that project, he served as the Korean War military advisor to aircraft carrier operations, in-air combat, and advised on the expected demeanor of an Admiral from that era. During rehearsal, he exclaimed “Hot Damn!” when his model F4U Corsair landed on the carrier deck he built out of a wooden plank and craft wire while demonstrating to the film team the correct way to make a successful landing.

CAPT Royce Williams with RADM Shelton Photo Courtesy Ranch and Coast Magazine 22

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Shelton was among the early members and life-long supporters of the Tailhook Association. He recently attended the reunion of Tailhook 2021 and received the “Most Straight Deck Night Traps” Aircraft Carrier Award. His service was so instrumental in shaping naval aviation of today, his stories were recently captured in the Tailhook Association’s “Legends of Carrier Aviation” documentary.

He was truly loved and respected by all of our veterans. The Post is formalizing a fitting lasting tribute within our building in his honor. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. He now has slipped the surly bonds of earth and has touched the face of God (High Flight). God steer thee well Admiral you touched us all with your life so well lived.” -Post 416 Commander, CAPT Peter-Rolf Ohnstad.

The Godfather of Top Gun, Dan Pedersen referred to the Admiral as “The Great Shelton” and said it best during the recent filming, “Let them see what it can really be like with great leadership like Shelton” when referring to our current administration. Admiral Shelton was also an active member of the American Legion Post 416 and was revered by their members. During his weekly Friday afternoon visits, the post rewarded his attendance by announcing his arrival and departure with traditional bells and applause of members standing at attention. In support of Shelton’s relentless effort to obtain the Medal of Honor for CAPT E. Royce Williams, the Post submitted his research as a doctoral thesis for which was granted his PhD by National University in the 99th year of his life.

Shelton was predeceased by Peggy in May 2019, and he is survived by daughter Donna and her husband Mike, and daughter Deborah and her husband Tom, three grandchildren, Megan Colburn, Robert Torpey III, and Tiffany Cunningham; four great-grandchildren, Marc Colburn, Camden Cunningham, Paige Torpey, Declan Torpey; and great-great grandchild, Ryker Colburn.

“American Legion Post 416 was gifted by Admiral Shelton’s membership and enthusiastic support of our Post activities.

Photo Courtesy Times of San Diego

RADM Don Shelton lived a courageous and fulfilling life of over 100 years. His lifetime of service, both in the military and the community has impacted all who’ve had the honor in knowing him. He will be greatly missed. Services for RADM Doniphan Shelton will be held on December 13th 11:00 a.m. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church 334 14th St. Del Mar, CA Masks are required. Parking is limited at the church. There is street parking and parking at the Del Mar Plaza across from the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the US Naval Academy Foundation, 274 Wood Road Annapolis, MD 21402 - https://www.usna.com/give

CJ Machado & RADM Shelton San Diego Veterans Magazine September 2020

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021



The Covers of 2021 All 2021 Issues available at:

www.homelandmagazine.com/archives/ 24

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021

January 2021

February 2021 Vol. 9 Number 1 • Janurary 2021






2020 DOD in Photos

Warrior Adapts to Hit His Targets

WWP 2021 Slow Cooker Recipes



Resources for Veterans

Military Tax Tips Personal Finance


What’s Next

What’s Next

NYU Veterans Future Lab

Transition to Civilian Life

Career Expectations

Family And Transition

Transition to Civilian Life

HEALTH & WELLNESS Mental Health Stigma of Addiction Human Trafficing Awareness Health & Wellness Accessible New Year, New You

Vol. 9 Number 2 • Februray 2021




Military Tax Tips

Cover Photo - DOD Photo By: Paolo Bovo, Army Cpl. Jackson Dukes

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021


Text Message Program to Boost


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / FEBRUARY 2021

March 2021


April 2021 Vol. 10 Number 3 • March 2021


Celebrating Women Trailblazers in the Military

Take Me Home Huey


ALL FOR DOLL Honoring Our Beloved Veterans


Vol. 10 Number 4 • April 2021


Month of the Military Child


Your Children Deserve the Best of You!



Transition to Civilian Life VetCaregiver Self Check-In


Women’s History Month

What’s Next

“Our History is our Strength” WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2021


Resources & Support

A LegAcy Left Behind

Transition to Civilian Life

Careers In Law Enforcement


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / APRIL 2021

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May 2021

June 2021


Vol. 10 Number 6 • June 2021



PTSD Living with Wounds After Service Post-Traumatic Growth

Saving Warriors

Gulf War Illness

What’s Next Finding the Light with PTSD

A Mentorship That Matters A Better, Simpler Way to Work Careers In Law Enforcement


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JUNE 2021

September 2021

October 2021


Vol. 10 Number 9 • September 2021




Transition What’s next

A Mentorship that Matters

ALWAYS REMEMBER Warriors Share Their Journeys to Help Others Heal from Invisible Wounds

Preventing Tragedy

Suicide Prevention - Your Not Alone

Healthcare Careers - A Perfect Fit Work Shops For Warriors

Invaluable Values

Master Your transition

Tips - Successful Military Transition

Careers In Law Enforcement WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / September 2021



Vol. 10 Number 10 • October 2021

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021

Careers In Law Enforcement 1

Partnership to Assist Afghan Evacuees Deployment Mode Battling Breat Cancer Employer’s Guide to COVID-19 Vaccination, Verifications, Exemptions

MENTAL HEALTH WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / October 2021


July 2021

August 2021 Vol. 10 Number 7 • JuLY 2021


Vol. 10 Number 8 • August 2021






What You Need To Know


Paws For Purple Hearts

Dog Days of Summer

What’s Next

Tribute to Working - Service Dogs

Freedom from Transition Stress


Benefits of Laughter in the Workplace

CAREER Resources



TO Civilian Life

Bonding Together for Independence

Turning Military Skills into Business Acumen



Careers In Law Enforcement

The Universal Healer

Careers In Law Enforcement

Painting Brings Joy to Severely Injured Warrior & His Wife WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / July 2021

Social Awkwardness Post COVID



Veteran Gives Wings to Aspiring Pilots Battling the

PCS Penalty WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / August 2021

November 2021


December 2021


Vol. 10 Number 11 • November 2021


Vol. 10 Number 12 • December 2021




Grateful Warriors Give Back

Golden Eagle Takes Final Flight

Unplanned loss, unexpected redemption



What’s next




What’s next

The Covers of 2021


Americans Give Back To Veterans

Holiday Health

Christmas Soldier



WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2021



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A Veterans’ Guide for Navigating Your Mental Health During the Holidays Homeland Magazine had a chance to sit down with Air Force Veteran Jay Russell. He is a fourth-generation military member in his family and a Veteran Liaison for American Addiction Centers.

It doesn’t mean I don’t struggle at times, but I’ve learned to still make it a joyous time of year. - What wisdom can you share from your journey? First, I learned that you have to put effort into your happiness. It doesn’t just happen. You have to fight for it. You can’t cave into the feelings of loneliness and wanting to isolate yourself. While it may be challenging, I can tell you it’s worth it. Here are five tips I recommend during the holidays to help boost your spirits. • Take yourself out to dinner - Even if you choose to eat alone, being in an environment where other people are can often boost your mood. It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant, just a place with an open dining room. I don’t care if it is McDonald’s as long as you are in contact with other humans. You have to take baby steps, and this is a great one that has worked for me. This has allowed me to get more comfortable socializing and develop the habit of being around other people. The more you do it, the easier it will become over time. Research has shown that socialization can improve your mental health and increase your confidence and selfesteem.

- Why are the holidays challenging for Veterans? Since leaving the military, some veterans struggle with personal relationships, and the holidays are when social gatherings are happening more often. During my first few years out of the military, I was a train wreck and felt like a fish out of water. Adjusting to civilian life was challenging, and it impacted my ability to nurture the relationships in my life. I dealt with depression and isolated myself from others. Many Veterans also battle PTSD, which leads them to further retreat from others. The holidays are also a reminder of the life you don’t have. You’ve sacrificed a lot, yet things didn’t turn out how you envisioned. At the same time, on social media, you are bombarded with images of seemingly happy people living their best lives, which only compounds your feelings of loneliness and sadness. However, over the years, I’ve learned to navigate the holidays. 28

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• Decorate your home - When I grew up, decorating for the holidays was a big deal. However, I got away from the tradition until I realized how much better it made me feel. Decorating my home allowed me to be a part of the holiday season still even if I was celebrating alone that year. I found coming home to a bland house when everyone else on the block was into the joy of the holiday season was depressing. Now, I put on my own light show. You might be amazed at the difference a few decorations can have on your state of mind. • Be of service to others - Whether it’s donating a toy to a child in need or volunteering at your local soup kitchen, being of service to others has its mental health benefits. When you give your time and resources to those who are less fortunate, it reminds you of how blessed you are despite how you feel at the moment. Positive psychology research has shown that gratitude can make you happier. Not to mention, volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and a mission again. In the military, we often say, “We got your six.” I believe that oath doesn’t have an expiration date and extends to the community at large.

• Honor your sacrifice - The holidays are often a time of life reflection as we prepare for a new year. As Veterans, this is a great time to remind yourself that what you sacrificed during your years of service made a difference. While you may not hear “thank you for your service” every day, it’s important to take time to take pride in yourself because it impacts how you feel about yourself and your self-worth.


Addiction Treatment For Veterans Proud Veterans Affair Community Care Provider & Partners

For more information, call


We have someone available 24/7 to answer your call

For veterans dealing with substance abuse, PTSD and other mental health disorders, our Salute to Recovery Program is designed specifically for you. Built on camaraderie, trust and evidence-based therapies, the program provides a place of healing among fellow veterans to get you on the path to recovery faster. Treatment includes:

• Seek professional help - In the military, it is ingrained in us to be strong and not show weakness. While it’s beneficial on the battlefield, this mentality has kept many Veterans from getting professional help when they need it. The truth is, it takes courage to seek help, and it’s a sign of strength to admit you can’t bear this alone anymore. Far too many Veterans are struggling in silence at a time when overdose deaths are at an all-time high, and suicide rates among Veterans are also on the rise. I’m a suicide survivor. My advice to any Veteran in the grips of addiction or a mental health crisis this holiday season is to reach out for help right away. I’m so grateful I did, and I’m alive today to share my story. To contact Jay Russell, email him at jrussell@contactaac.com.

• Trauma Groups

• Relapse Prevention

• Emotion Regulation

• Motivational Interviewing

• Grief & Loss

• Cognitive Processing

• Pain Management

• EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

• Coping Skills • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

• 12-Step

• Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

• Art & Music Therapy

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


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


Real Talk: Mental Health By Leslie McCaddon, Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD www.vvsd.net/cohenclinicsandiego

Jumping on the Resolution Wagon Dear reader, The holidays are upon us and if you’re like me your new journal and your new pen are already poised and in position to postulate a perfected new prototype of yourself (at least on paper) all before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. Though we all may pretend that we aren’t turning into pumpkins (not because of an end to a spell, but most likely because of Grandma’s homemade stuffing and Aunt Julia’s apple crumble pie), the truth is rather humblingly predictable. I’ve been every version of a new version of myself on January 1st. I’ve been the health enthusiast, the fad diet nutritionist, the kick the habit/build the habit optimist, the better wife/better life, never-to-yell-again mom and many other shiny new things I have dreamt up for my personality and personal growth. I jump on that bandwagon of the New Year resolutions, and I jump hard. If I’m honest, none of my well-meaning resolutions have amounted to much—at least not in the ways I expected. Like most well-meaning humans, I start out strong, hit a few road blocks, craft a few well-worded


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justifications, and fall off the wagon by March (at the latest) with a thud. One may ask, why then would I repeat this insanity every single New Year’s Eve year upon year? It isn’t so that I’ll finally lose the weight. Or lose the attitude. Or finally become the kind of writer who finishes more than a neat 1200-word column a month. It isn’t just because I’m an optimist and an idealist and that I truly believe in Disney Happily Ever After Endings (even if my life has teetered more often towards a fairy tale by Grimm). It is because if there is one thing I have learned in my life so far it is that we continue in the direction in which we mean to go. What we prioritize gets our attention. And what we neglect to remember, we neglect to do. So, even if I’m yet to achieve all my resolutions, I am confident that my overall trajectory (albeit a bit bumpy at times on the graph), is trending towards the things I want it to. Without resolutions, I’m afraid my life would become a life of only reactions. My priorities would be dictated by the furniture my dog chews, the messes my teenagers leave in the family room, and the never-ending (and I mean never-ending) piles of dishes and laundry a family provides for me to “manage.” There is a reason “no more yelling” makes the resolutions list most years!

If I didn’t take time to remember my own personal dreams, desires, and priorities, they wouldn’t stand a chance in this year or the next. Or even the year after that. To keep my own dreams and priorities on a steady climb that reflects growth, I at the very least need to take the time to remember them, to write them down, and to set the intention of making progress. Though my goals may be Olympic-like in December, and look unrecognizable by March, they are still there. They are still remembered. They are written down. They are tucked inside my heart to keep coming back to once my perfectionism and pride settle down. So, before you push away your pen too early this year, before you wonder if making those resolutions are simply a gimmick or a waste of time, I’d like to invite you to reframe the process for yourself. Instead of dreaming up new realities, take the time to acknowledge and remember long-standing hopes and dreams. Review how in the last year, after your recovered from the wind being knocked out of you last time you fell off the resolution wagon, you actually DID create a new habit, or achieved a new goal, or half a goal, or one step of a goal. And none of that could have happened if you hadn’t had a resolution to begin with. And this year, instead of beating yourself up for the inevitable fall from the resolution wagon, anticipate it with this new promise to yourself: to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go about the process of moving forward at whatever pace that ends up being for you. And unapologetically pull out your pen again next December—and record what a different place you are starting from after all.

Leslie McCaddon serves as part of the outreach team at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD. She is the Gold Star Widow of Army CPT Michael McCaddon, MD. To learn how therapy can help with mental health challenges, visit www.vvsd.net/cohenclinicsandiego

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain, LCSW

Healthy New Year! As I began to write this column, I have to admit, COVID is always on my mind. It is hard to stay positive at times when we are consistently told what we cannot do. Many of the things that are restricted are healthy for our mind and body. I.E physical workouts and social gatherings (mental connectedness). I never thought COVID would still have such an impact on our lives in December much less going into 2022. It does not look like we will be back to ‘normal’ anytime soon. In December most of us are thinking about the new year and resolutions we would like to set. This year I encourage you to think about these three things to incorporate or continue in your new year.

Activity It is so important to stay physically and mentally active. We may not be able to do the same workouts as before

but carving out a little time each day to be active will support a healthy body and mind. Moving your body and getting fresh air can help you stay happy and healthy. There are still outdoor activities that are free and can be socially distanced. • Hiking • Walking • Bicycling • Swimming If getting outside is a challenge for you at this time, there is a lot of ways to stay active while indoors. • Walking – consider pacing while on calls • Free online workout classes • Stretching • Stand up every 30 minutes In the beginning of COVID when we were in a stay at home order, I did virtual workouts with my girlfriends. We would pick out a video and stream it in our own homes while being on zoom. We actually completed a remote Spartan race (clearly not the same). This was a great way to be both active and stay connected with my friends. There are several benefits to staying active that include: • Reduced stress • Maintaining a healthy weight • Boost immune system • Mental clarity Being active is very important but also very important during this time is connectiveness.

Connected It is important to stay connected to family and friends. This connection can bring a feeling of closeness, provide emotional support and intellectual stimulation.


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A recent study showed the positive benefits of staying connected: • Improved memory/ cognitive skills • Happier • Stronger immune system • Decrease stress hormones There are lots of ways to stay connected while maintaining all COVID safety precautions: • Video Chats (zoom, MS Teams, Facetime etc…) • Social Media • Phone calls (old school) • Letters/Cards

Grace In 2021 ‘grace’ has been my motto. As a Christian and a girl born and raised in the south grace was always a familiar term to me. During the season of COVID, grace has taken on a new meaning for me. I embrace it as a form of meeting people where they are at. I had to take a step back and understand that this pandemic is truly effecting people in many ways and people are really struggling.

Veteran Resources & Organizations

I have learned to have grace with others when things are not done the way I expect them or the way I think they should be done. I have a whole new level of understanding and truly seeing people as individuals with distinct needs and challenges.

Navigating the resources available to veterans can be confusing, but Homeland Magazine believes no veteran should have to go it alone.

I have adopted grace with others …..but most importantly I have adopted grace with myself. I have found that every day does not have to be perfect. In fact-some of the best days are unplanned. I have learned to have grace with myself when I make mistakes and be more compassionate to my own situation and challenges.

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.

As you move into 2022, find the resolution that works for you! I encourage you to stay active, Have a safe and healthy holiday - see you in 2022!

Homeland Veteran Resources & Organizations available at:



Homeland Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


Treating Hearing Loss & Tinnitus Can Ease Transition to Civilian Life Don’t let hearing conditions hold you back. Solutions are readily available and can make all the difference for veterans in transition. By Hope Lanter, Au.D., lead audiologist, www.hear.com

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Millions of veterans suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus, which often create serious disruption and torment that impacts daily life. Given the constant service-related exposure to hazardous noise levels from loud machinery, gunfire, explosions, etc., it’s no wonder that over 1.3 million vets receive VA disability compensation for hearing loss and another 2.3 million for tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or clicking in the ears. But considering that more half of U.S. soldiers have hearing loss, it’s likely the number of veterans with hearing conditions far exceeds those who seek treatment and compensation. Even beyond the military, hearing loss impacts over 37 million Americans and tinnitus another 50 million more. While some veterans may feel embarrassed or ashamed by the thought of wearing a hearing aid, others who deal with significant disabilities, PTSD, etc. may see their hearing issues as a much lower priority—after all, it’s not a life-threatening condition. But hearing issues can create substantial stress, anxiety, depression and social withdrawal, all of which can compound PTSD and interfere with healing. Not to mention, left untreated, hearing problems can worsen over time, especially tinnitus, and there can be a point of diminishing returns: if you wait too long, treatment may be less effective.

Veterans face a number of obstacles in transitioning to civilian life. From adjusting to life with less structure to finding a new career, or even managing issues like PTSD, substance use disorder, injuries or disabilities, it can be a lot to handle. But if you’re also struggling to hear in normal conversations or avoiding quality time with friends or social situations because you can’t hear, or you’re tortured by a constant ringing or buzzing sound in your ears, it can only compound transition challenges, making it even more difficult to settle into a life you love. 34

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If you’re a veteran who’s suffering with hearing loss or tinnitus, you should know there are ample solutions available to help, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed or wait to seek treatment. Hearing issues could be a “low hanging fruit”—a situation that’s easily resolved so that you can concentrate on getting back to a life you love. For hearing loss, hearing aids are the obvious solution, and the technology has improved drastically from what you may remember. These are not your grandfather’s hearing aids. Modern options now include on-demand adjustability for different settings, Bluetooth connectivity that turns them into sleek earbuds, and even high-performance dirt- and sweatresistant models built for active individuals.

Not Just A Smaller Hearing Aid,

BUT A SMARTER ONE. While tinnitus is a bit more complex, hearing aids can also help. These work by amplifying sounds to correctly stimulate damaged nerves, or by simply masking the sound with white noise or a pitch that counteracts the tinnitus. In addition, relaxation, meditation and sound therapies can help you better cope with tinnitus to minimize its impact on your life. And, while there are some over-the-counter (OTC) remedies that claim to work miracles, many of these are “snake oil” treatments that do nothing more than waste your money. Unfortunately, nothing OTC is FDA approved yet.


PEOPLE ARE IN LOVE WITH THESE HEARING AIDS TINY DESIGN, BIG PERFORMANCE The most inconspicuous hearing aid ever, Horizon offers effortless hearing without anyone knowing you’re wearing them.

Fortunately, the VA offers ample resources and hearing loss benefits, including free hearing aids to those who qualify. And despite some skepticism, the hearing aids provided by the VA are premium technology, so certainly, you should start there in seeking treatment for service-related hearing loss and tinnitus. If you find you don’t qualify through the VA, visit an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist or audiologist for an evaluation. Many providers offer veterans’ discounts that can reduce the out-of-pocket cost for hearing loss treatment.

CLEARER, BETTER CONVERSATIONS Horizon hearing aids are the first to offer an innovative Speech Focus to help you hear every word clearly.

NOTHING BUT, NATURAL SOUND Horizon ensures you’ll hear the most natural 360-degree sound from the dinner table to the trails.

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The bottom line is that, for many veterans, hearing loss and tinnitus could be quite easily treated, so there’s no reason to suffer in silence. Resolving hearing-related issues could be an important piece of easing your transition to civilian life, and improving your career prospects, family life and overall physical and mental wellbeing.

If you and your ears aren’t happy, we’ll refund all of your money back — no questions asked. There’s absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain!

Here's how you can get started:

To find out more about how treating hearing loss can improve quality of life and the benefits available to U.S. service veterans, visit www.hear.com or call 786-520-2456 for a FREE consultation and to find a provider near you.

Visit: hear.com/veterans Call: (844) 4-HEARCOM or (844) 443-2726 www.hear.com/veterans

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


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

The Young Maverick

Working backwards works

He was 9 years old sitting in a New York city movie theater with his Dad watching what is arguably one of the greatest movies of all time, “Top Gun”. As the theme song played out its last stanza and the credits rolled up the screen, he thoughtfully placed his empty popcorn bowl aside and turned to his Dad and said, “THAT’s what I want to do. “ His Dad responded, “You’re a kid from Brooklyn. Is that what you really want to do?” Wisely, on the drive home his Dad continued the conversation and laid out a plan and a path for him to achieve his starry-eyed goal. “So, you want to be an aviator? Great! You may want to consider going into the Naval Academy. That means as of today you need to be thinking about being a good community leader and getting good grades. Do you really want to do that between now and your 18th Birthday?”

Jeremy took the lessons learned from his Dad’s conversation and his subsequent entry into the Academy and made it a life pattern, including his transition out of the military. Begin with the end in mind. Jeremy, though he is gainfully employed at a large company helping veterans, feels that he is still in transition. He notes, “I’m still developing my postmilitary life. My family is still adjusting to me coming home at night. I’m lucky that I’ve found my purpose through my company, helping veterans but I do miss my sense of purpose that I had in the military. “ What made the difference for you? “I began my transition interviewing 2-3 months before I actually separated. I joined veteran transition programs that had connections to companies that I wanted to work with. “


Jeremy literally took business classes just to learn the language of business so he could effectively communicate within this new culture called, the “Civilian Workplace”. He learned to stop speaking in acronyms, and began using the word “I” versus “we”. He notes that veterans lose their sense of self and need to learn to speak in the “I”. One of the programs that helped him the most was the Deloitte Core Leadership Program. The Program participants access Deloitte’s award-winning leadership development curriculum, and learn how to identify their unique edge and make a career choice based on their personal passions. Specifically, the CORE Leadership Program helps veterans and armed forces members: 1. Define their personal brand, identify their strengths, and be able tell their own story. 2. Learn innovative networking strategies and communication techniques, which include best practices in using social media, through personalized and repetitive employment simulations.


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3. Interact and network, from the start of the program, with Deloitte leaders as well as professionals from the public and private sectors.

They host a virtual month-long program designed to help you successfully land a role in tech and build your professional network.

4. Gain access to other alumni of the CORE Leadership Program. This program helped Jeremy realize the value of what he did and was exposed to in the military. It also made him more competitive in his interviews. Pulling out of a Flat Spin

A new cohort kicks off every week. During the program, you will attend 4 – 6 hours of programming a week alongside a cohort of peers. Sessions include hands-on workshops, in-depth discussions with industry leaders, and an inside look at top tech companies. Do over?

Every military family has stress. When you are in transition that stress increases 10 fold. The fear of the unknown can reign over every thought. Where will we live? What will our finances look like? Schools for the kids? Benefits? The list goes on. Add to that having a beautiful new baby born weighing 1 lb 11 ounces with a disability that commands more time and focus than most can understand. Jeremy and his wife were blessed to have the support of their Navy and natural family to help them and this is what he suggests every transitioning individual should pursue. A community.

Jeremy goes on to say that his biggest regret is not saving more money. He would have been in a better position to get a job out of the military and it would have afforded him more time to take off with his family in between his transition.

Zero 800 Where can you find a community that truly understands the 360 degree stress of transition? If you are in San Diego, Jeremy recommends www.Zero8hundred.org If you are a year out or a year into your post military career, Zero800 is for you. Anyone related to the military regardless of our discharge status can find assistance with food security, housing, work and much more.

Jeremy did not make it to Top Gun to train as an F-14 pilot, but he did fly helicopters and jet trainers. At 9 years old he had a goal in mind and worked backwards from there. What’s your goal? Need help defining it? Reach out to Jeremy who volunteers a few hours a week outside of his “day job” as the Military Program Manager for Amazon’s Workforce Staffing to help those in transition as well as spouses of those in the military define their path. www.linkedin.com/in/jvellon

He also recommends the San Diego Workforce Partnership. You are able to receive great training for a new career. He cites the example of “Coding Boot Camp”. Many transitioning people do not want to ‘do’ the same thing that they ‘did’ in the military. For instance, a Corpsman wants to join a tech company. Tech companies don’t hire EMT’s. He suggests that you think about a degree program or a coding boot camp. San Diego Workforce Partnership offers direct financial support for these programs. It’s a great opportunity to spread your wings and learn and try new things. Another great nationally recognized resource that he heralds is BreakLine, an organization that “prepares top performers for careers in tech”.

www.bandofhands.com Band of Hands For more information or help transitioning, contact Eve Nasby at eve@bandofhands.com, or call 619-244-3000

BreakLine provides education and coaching for exceptional, high-performing veterans who are interested in pivoting into the tech industry.

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


Transitioning is a Process – Take it Slow and Share it with Others By: Dr. Keita Franklin Whether a veteran has served in the military for 4 years or 25, transitioning into civilian life is often a difficult and stressful process. For a veteran, civilian transition is so much more than a change in vocation…it’s a change in identity. So much of a veteran’s identity is invested in their role as a soldier, sailor, airman marine, or guardian. Leaving the military can cause veterans to lose a sense of connection with this familiar identity. Who am I if I’m not a Colonel in the United States Army? What is my utility if I’m not putting my life on the line in defense of this Nation? Veterans often struggle with these and other existential questions during their transition to civilian life. This is why, it is important that we ensure veterans are prepared for such feeling and emotions well in advance of their transition. We need every veteran to understand that while we will remain eternally grateful for their service to this Nation, we also value and honor their many other roles. Their roles as a community member, a father, a son, a wife, sister, and so many others offer countless opportunities for veterans to continue their service while leveraging their unique skills, impeccable values, and unwavering commitment. The challenges veterans face when transitioning from military service to civilian life are many. Often for veterans who have worked in high-tempo operational environments for extended periods of time, can find it extremely difficult to “slow down” to the normal pace of civilian life. These veterans may interpret this slower pace as indicating they are not adding value to their new mission, or they may feel the activities involving these slower processes must not be important because it is not infused with wartime urgency, which they are accustomed. Other veterans may suppress their emotions tied to traumatic experiences while serving on active duty, mainly because they perceived the stigma of weakness when asking for help while on active duty. In many cases, the transition to civilian life will trigger debilitating emotions and there can be a delayed onset of symptoms related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) surfacing all at once – making it overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable to overcome. In addition to triggering suppressed emotions, finding employment outside of the military can be a significant stressor – particularly when a veteran is asked to start at an entry level position. Some veterans question how well their skills acquired on active duty will transition to 38

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the private sector, but they do not expect to start at the bottom. In some cases, veterans take a job because they need one, however, they are not happy or are left feeling unfulfilled by the work they do because they believe they are starting from scratch. In other cases, veterans crave the high-tempo operational work environments. The intensity of the military environment can cause a constant state of adrenaline for people – and service members often report not being able to find that same intensity in their civilian jobs, making them feel sluggish and unmotivated by their jobs.

Another issue veterans confront when transitioning from service is finding a new sense of mission. While on active duty, service members have a very strong sense of mission and belongingness, and as they prepare for transitioning, it is important to make sure they understand and appreciate their new mission in life. This means finding a meaningful job that brings them purpose, as well as a strong circle of friends or colleagues who they can rely on when civilian life becomes difficult to navigate. To make transitioning easier, service members need to take that sense of mission while on active duty and adjust it to their mission in civilian life. Veterans must understand that while their mission has changed, who they are, their personality, skills, values, and dedication, has not. Put simply, what made these veterans successful in the military, makes them equally valuable in their civilian roles. Finally, we must recognize that civilian transition is difficult not just for the transitioning member, but for the whole family. Spouses and kids of transitioning

veterans require time and guidance to adjust as well. Working with kids before this major life event occurs is essential, as well as ensuring spouses are prepared to adjust to civilian life. We must assist these families in obtaining suitable employment, adjusting to a new community, accessing services outside of the military community, and so much more. Transitioning is a difficult part of a service member’s life, however, there are ways to make it easier. Connecting with friends and family to aid in returning to civilian life, as well as communication with other service members who have similar experiences allows emotions to be shared and a solid team to rely on for support. Transitioning into civilian life is a process and not something that happens overnight. Taking it slow and being kind to yourself during the process can make it seem a little less daunting.


About the Author Dr. Keita Franklin serves as the Chief Clinical Officer at Loyal Source Government Services where she leads the company’s Behavior Health line of practice. Expanding Loyal Source’s already impressive service portfolio, she is responsible for designing, implementing, and overseeing contract mental health programs focused on prevention and treatment services for at-risk individuals. A nationally renowned suicide prevention expert, Dr. Franklin also serves as the Co-Director of the Columbia Lighthouse Project, a Columbia University NY State Psychiatric Institute initiative focused on reducing suicide risk.

Transitioning out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce? Finding a job in the civilian world may seem easy at first. After all, you have learned skills, practiced leadership and demonstrated initiative that will make you successful wherever you go. The reality, though, is that it can be difficult. In fact, it can be downright depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned. Veterans In Transition is dedicated to you and to helping you succeed in your transition.

Prior to joining Loyal Source, Dr. Franklin worked extensively with military and Veteran populations serving in several senior positions within Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In her role as Senior Executive Director, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Department of Veteran Affairs, she led a U.S.-wide team of subject matter experts in the development and execution of a national public health program targeted toward advancing care for 20 million Veterans. Dr. Franklin is widely credited with implementing an innovative public health approach to suicide prevention in both the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs. www.loyalsource.com

For editorial & monthly columns regarding transitioning to business, career advice, tips, workshops, transition to education, entrepreneurship, straight-forward legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners and more visit Veterans In Transition at www.tinyurl.com/Veterans-In-Transition


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


HUMAN RESOURCES Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

Inspirational Leadership and Workplace Wisdom: Some Thoughts to Close Out the Year

“Change your perspective and you’ll change your perception”

2021, like 2020, turned out to be a time we all prepared for but hoped we would never have to face, thanks to COVID. Combined with the rapid changes in technology and globalization, divisive politics, and so much “noise” emanating from TV and radio shock jocks, it’s time to calm the room. We all need to see ourselves in a quieter light, recognizing that evolutionary change at revolutionary speed is simply part of our species’ challenge at the present moment. Yet we control the reality we wish to experience, if only by changing our perspective to alter our perception of global events. It’s time for us to end the year by going within so that we don’t end up going without. Inspirational leadership is within your reach. It’s not a far-off, idealistic fantasy. Yet, inspirational leadership reveals itself in many quiet ways, not only by what we do but, more importantly, by who we are. A key leadership wisdom is that beingness trumps doingness, meaning that people respect you and are motivated and inspired by you primarily because of who you are as a leader, as a listener, and as a caring human being, not because of what you’re doing at any given time. There’s no need to try to figure out what to do, when in reality, the simplest things, done in kindness and selflessness, help us stand out among our peers. Coaching Leadership Books on management offer myriad ways of motivating employees, but the truth is that workers motivate themselves. Your job is simply to create an environment where they can do so. Discussions about change and transformation are typically called for in times of crisis. But wouldn’t it be easier to come from the wisdom that says that creating the right work environment from the outset is all that’s really needed? Simply make the space for others to motivate themselves and offer a guiding hand when they feel stuck. That’s what coaching leadership is all about.


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Servant Leadership “What you want for yourself, give to another” is an additional workplace wisdom that makes life in leadership amazingly simple and rewarding. Selfless leadership, also known as servant leadership, places others’ needs before your own, expecting them to respond in kind. It can be practiced regularly in your office or on your shop floor. No matter where you work or what you do, you can be the best boss that your staffers have ever had. You can be that person who influenced and supported them to become better people and stronger contributors. You can be that caring person who encourages, that experienced mentor who guides, and that engaged leader who motivates.

“Change your perspective and you’ll change your perception”. Look at the world through a different

lens and, while the objective outcomes of the reality surrounding you may not change, your experience of them can actually change immensely. This doesn’t mean sticking your head in the sand and refusing to recognize reality. It does mean, however, that despite the pressures you experience personally, you can shield your subordinates or coworkers from those complexities. You can reason that the buck stops with you. You’re the line of demarcation between the drama

above you and what your team members get to experience under your leadership. Most important, you can teach them the values of selflessness, ethics, and gratitude. You can practice the kind of role model leadership that they can strive to achieve throughout the rest of their careers. Transformational Leadership It all stems from simply changing your sponsoring thought about who you are as a leader, a motivator, and talent developer. Make it your goal to bring out the best in each of your subordinates—not to fix all their shortcomings but to harvest the best of the strengths that they have to offer. You know intuitively that successful leadership focuses on building on strengths rather than shoring up weaknesses, so find new ways of bringing out those strengths and inspiring employee engagement. Have fun. Consider lightening up just a bit. Understand that life is a gift, and for a significant portion of your lifetime, working will make up a major part of it. Know that at the end of it all, however, nothing will stick with you more than the people you’ve helped, the careers you’ve developed, and the team members along the way who thanked you for all you did to help them excel and reach their personal best. That’s why leadership is the greatest gift that the workplace offers—because of its innate ability to help you touch others’ lives and make the work world a better place. That’s the secret to all of this. That’s the secret sauce of great leaders and inspirational leadership. It’s not the end state—it’s your trip along the way. Make the most of your career and your work life through people, not despite them. Teach what you choose to learn. Encourage others to take healthy risks. Be there when they make mistakes and offer support when they feel vulnerable. Understand that no one does anything wrong given their model of the world and, when in doubt, err on the side of compassion. Become the kind of leader you choose to be—the kind that can change people’s lives and careers along the way. So go ahead and reinvent yourself. The world is waiting to see—and receive—that gift of leadership, of personal and career development, and of selflessness that you’re about to display. Happy Holidays to you all, and here’s to a happy and healthy new year for all of us. You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/paulfalcone1 Paul Falcone (www.PaulFalconeHR.com) is a human resources executive and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development.


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


BUSINESS FOR VETERANS By Barbara Eldridge ww.mindmasters.com

It’s Time to Celebrate: Steps to Sustain Success

As the year winds down are you excited for what is ahead in 2022? Research has proven over and over that the more you consciously acknowledge your achievements, accomplishments, victories and completions the more of a foundation you have for ongoing success. Just like workers creating the foundation for a new building site by laying out cinder blocks, they must then place cement between them before they can proceed to add others to build up to another level. We too need build on our successes, achievements and things we have learned in order to lay a foundation for on-going success. Jack Canfield says “the more you acknowledge your past successes, the

more confident you become in taking on and successfully accomplishing new ones”. Too often we go straight from the finish line to the starting line without pausing to acknowledge what actually happened and what we learned from it. Yes it is a busy time, working to finish the year on top of the goals you set, while enjoying all the holiday celebrations. This is your time to stop and reflect because it is so easy to under appreciate the things that have been accomplished. Yet many can only recall all the mistakes and failures that occurred. This is especially important now, with so much chatter about what’s good and bad in the economy. If you only remember what hasn’t been accomplished, then the foundation to take on new risks will be shaky indeed.

Confidence and expectations in your abilities comes with building on the images of success. It isn’t enough to just think about what you have accomplished; it is important to write down your accomplishments. When reading some one’s’ resume it is amazing how little they remember about the results and accomplishments they brought to a company. They list out job descriptions, rather than the outcomes of their work. The same is true for you, as a business owner you must keep your mind focused and filled with images of your achievements, which only happens when you take the time to write them down. One of the best sources of encouragement is to record your achievements. Reviewing them as you plan each month helps to maintain a high level of motivation and an ever-increasing keenness for achievement. Consider all areas of your life, they add to your belief in your potential and your motivation to achieve even more. Just remembering the mistakes and failures won’t prepare you to take risks that will lead to your ongoing success. Build yourself-esteem by recalling ALL the ways you have succeeded, and your brain will be filled with images of you making your achievements happen again and again. Then surround yourself with reminders of your success. Put up pictures, articles, trophies, awards, and other pieces that bring attention to your success. Make your environment speak to you about your achievements. Be proud of them! People like to be around those who have a healthy selfesteem and who are achieving their goals. Commit to acknowledging your achievements and your brain will begin to tell you the truth...that you can do ANYTHING! Barbara Eldridge has built a solid reputation as a Success strategies specialist, within industry and business over the past 40 years. Her unique message, since starting Mind Masters 30 years ago for entrepreneurs and small business owners, continually stresses vision, purpose and values as the key elements of business philosophy. www.mindmasters.com


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www.Courage2Call.org Career Resources Available Now Hiring Management and Direct Service Positions - www.mhsinc.org/career-resources

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


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

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


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

Healthcare Training For Your Next Phase of Life Our online training programs are approved for military education funding—all designed to help military members and their spouses build skills and thrive in careers that are portable,

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

in-demand, and rewarding. Start training today so you can be prepared for meaningful work tomorrow.

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

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

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


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


At this meeting, you’ll also reappoint the directors and the directors reappoint the officer. To stay compliant with corporate law, it’s important that you treat your corporation separately from yourself and holding annual minutes is one way of complying with the law.

The year is quickly coming to an end and as a small business owner, you’re probably already thinking about the new year and all of the exciting projects you have lined up. But before you get in too deep with future plans, be sure that your business is currently in good standing before the year ends. Here are some important steps to complete on your end of year legal checklist: ANNUAL MEETING: If you’re a corporation, it’s important that you hold an annual meeting before the year ends, if you have not done so already. This is where you make important decisions for the year and make sure the shareholders and board members are all on the same page. An important part of holding annual meetings is recordkeeping through corporate minutes. These minutes summarize what’s been decided and what’s been discussed at these meetings. Each state has its own code sections for your business to comply with so make sure you are listing the right code section in your corporate minutes.



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STATEMENT OF INFORMATION: A Statement of Information is usually required from all business entities in most states. The Statement of Information is filed with your state’s Secretary of State and contains updates on important information about your business, including the names of your directors, members, and registered agent. If your state requires you to file a Statement of Information, there is usually a specific due date (usually the anniversary of your business’s incorporate date). If you miss this filing, you can be subject to penalties and late fees. OWNERSHIP: With the global pandemic we all have experienced, no doubt your business has been affected too where you may have undergone a number of internal changes, such as co-owners leaving, retiring or simply took a reduced salary. Your company’s governing documents should be updated to accurately memorialize any changes in ownership, including any new or revised agreements between owners.

Go Legal Yourself ®

CONTRACTS: The end of the year is an ideal time to review all of the company’s outstanding contracts and current relationship with vendors. All outstanding contracts should be reviewed to determine whether their stated term expires in the upcoming calendar year, so you can determine whether or not to seek a renewal or look for another vendor. This is also a perfect time to renegotiate some terms to be more favorable for your company.

Know Your Business Legal Lifecycle

2nd Edition NOW AVAILABLE!

INSURANCE POLICIES: As your business operations grow and otherwise change from year to year, it is likely that your company’s insurance needs will likewise evolve. You should take some time to reevaluate the coverage and to determine whether your current insurance polices are sufficient for your growth and expansion. In addition to the business insurance coverage, you should also look into getting some ‘key man’ insurance that will help the company financially if one of the owners or a ‘key person’ leaves or dies. With this insurance, your company could continue without any interruptions and will provide you time to fill that ‘key person’ role. While the end of each calendar year is a busy time for everyone, especially business owners, taking some time to review your legal checklist will save you both time and money. We are always available to answer any questions that you may have and to assist you in conducting the annual legal review of your business. Becoming a business owner, you control your own destiny, choose the people you work with, reap big rewards, challenge yourself, give back to the community, and you follow your passion.

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

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very Prosperous New Year!

For more information on how to legally start and grow your business please visit my website at www.BaglaLaw.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

• • • •

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

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


Get your copy at amazon today! WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


Legally Speaking Military Focused Family Law Facts By Tana Landau, Esq.

HOLIDAY VISITATION AND COPARENTING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS It’s that time of year again - the holidays are approaching. For some, it is the most magical time of the year, but for others it can be stressful when faced with coparenting issues. If you are divorced or separated and have children, there are ways to make the holidays less stressful and more memorable for everyone despite your situation. You may find these coparenting tips particularly helpful if your family is transitioning from a one to two household family as the holidays are approaching. Tip #1: Create a Holiday Visitation Schedule Every family and former partner or spouse have different dynamics. Some people find that they are capable of effectively coparenting as best friends. Other find themselves in a high conflict situation with their former partner. Some parents live close together while other lives across states. Making sure you have a specific holiday schedule creates certainty for you, your children, and your former partner. It also helps prevent any on-going conflict over who your children will be with for each holiday. Creating a well thought out holiday visitation schedule that maintains a certain level of flexibility can help both you, your children, and your former partner or spouse enjoy the holidays without any added stress. You may consider alternating the holidays in odd and even numbered years, splitting each holiday evenly, or sharing some holidays together. Of course, depending on your dynamics with the other parent and your circumstances you could consider alternating some holidays while splitting or sharing others. 48

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Tip #2: Let Your Children Develop and Experience Holiday Traditions with Both Parents and Extended Families It is imperative to remember that no matter what situation you find yourself in, it is important for your children to develop and experience holiday traditions with both of their parents and their extended families. Encourage holiday traditions in both your home and the other partner’s home. Let the other parent share their own holiday traditions they may have with your children, but also be willing to share your traditions if they are something they would like to continue to do in their home despite no longer sharing the same household. Don’t speak negatively about the other parent’s traditions. Don’t discourage traditions in the other parent’s home. It is important to alternate or share holidays so your children can develop and experience holiday traditions in both homes. Tip #3: Don’t Make it a Competition Do not make the holidays a competition between you and the other parent. You want your children to equally enjoy the holidays with both of you. Trying to outdo the other parent does more harm than good to your children’s well-being. Instead work with the other parent to make the holidays memorable no matter which parent they are with. Remember your children love you both equally. For example, if you are sharing the Christmas holiday, be willing to share with the other parent what your children have put on their Christmas list. Work together in buying them things. Let them bring those gifts freely back and forth between both homes during the holiday. If they receive something from “Santa” they really loved in your home and they are spending the other half of the day with the other parent, don’t tell them it has to stay at mommy or daddy’s house. Tip #4: Stay Flexible Stay flexible. Be willing to make accommodations. The more you and the other parent are willing to work together, the more likely you will have a successful

coparenting relationship and the less difficult holidays will be for you and your children transitioning between two households. Tip #5: Communicate Keep the door to communication open. If you don’t have a holiday visitation schedule in place, then it is important that you plan ahead and communicate with the other parent. If you have plans to travel when it is your holiday with the children, share your travel information with the other parent sooner rather than later. If the other parent shows interest in what holiday traditions you are doing in your home, share them freely with the other parent. If you and the other parent disagree on any issue regarding the holidays, be considerate in your communications with the other parent. It benefits everyone when you can work through something by open, considerate, and respectful communications. As you head into the holidays, be mindful of fostering the other parent’s relationship with your child even if it is your holiday. Let them Facetime or Skype with the other parent. Work together when you can. It benefits both you and your children. Happy Holidays and Happy Coparenting!

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This article is intended only for informational purposes and should not be taken as legal advice.

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

Now or Later: Determining the Right Time to Buy Question: The housing market seems so crazy, is now the right time to buy or should I wait until later in 2022? Answer: This is a great question and while the answer varies somewhat depending on your personal financial picture, there are three important things to consider when you make the decision for your family. #1 Mortgage Rates: What are mortgage rates and where are they projected to go in the new year? In January 2021 the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the United States was 2.65%, making it the lowest rate in 50 years. As you might expect, it can’t stay that way. Analysts from both Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association expect home loan interest rates to go up in 2022. The MBA’s quarterly mortgage rate forecast projects the following increases: • Q4, 2021 — 3.7% • Q1, 2022 — 3.9% • Q2, 2022 — 4.1% • Q3, 2022 — 4.3% • Q4, 2022 — 4.4% While these are only projections, analysts agree an increase is on the way. For consumers, these seemingly small percentage increases equate to an increase in monthly mortgage payments, depending on the price of the home. The good news is, compared to mortgage trends over the last decade, these are still historically low rates even as they increase in 2022. The rates you see right now won’t last; they will stay low but remember — as they rise so does your mortgage payment. 50

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021

#2 Home Values: Will the price of homes rise? Will it be more advantageous to rent or own? While rates have dropped, home sales have soared and so have home values. The raging housing market may make some potential buyers shy away from entering the ring in hopes that the market will cool off and create more favorable buying conditions. It’s understandable to be cautious and a real estate agent who specializes in supporting military families can help simplify the process if you do decide to consider it. But because it’s still a seller’s market, it’s unreasonable to expect competition to decrease and home prices to dip. According to CoreLogic, real estate will still appreciate at a faster-than-average rate through late 2021. Home prices nationwide from 2020 to 2021 increased by 18.1%, marking the largest annual gain in home prices in 45 years. A recent report from Zillow suggests more of the same, with home values projected to climb by double digits by summer 2022. That presents an opportunity for homebuyers to benefit from this surge and gain value from their investment faster when combined with low interest rates if they can make a move sooner rather than later.

Likewise, renters should consider rental projections in their area to see if it makes more financial sense to buy. Rent growth in 2021 so far is outpacing prepandemic averages in 98 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, with most seeing double digit increases. When comparing rental payments to mortgage payments at the low interest rates and the projected increases in home values, renters may be surprised that they can own a home for the cost of renting. This is particularly true when using a VA loan, which includes these benefits: • May not need a down payment • No maximum loan limit *county/city loan limits do apply • Typically provides lower interest rates than Conventional or FHA financing • Lower closing costs • Qualify with lower credit scores and higher debt to income ratios than other loan types • No monthly mortgage insurance • Use your VA loan multiple times #3 BAH Allowance: The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is set based on a servicemember’s duty location. Each year that BAH is adjusted to reflect housing costs and align with the market. The 2021 BAH average increase was 2.9% and the projected increase for 2022 is set to 2.7%. Historically, the BAH increase over the last several years has ranged from less than 1% to 2.5%. These healthy BAH increases can help give military families the best opportunity to buy.

Change Your Financial Outlook in 2022 Put Your VA Loan Benefit to Work! Are you taking advantage of all your VA benefits? Our team of experts is here to share advice and guide you down the path toward financial stability. One conversation can set you on the best financial path.

Phil Jawny is a professional lender with 20 years of experience in the business and the founder of GoVA Loans. His industry knowledge is extensive, spanning from loan reorganization to selling and managing VA Loans. Phil has a passion for serving military families. His goal is simple — to help make the loan process easier for families so they can get the loans they deserve and build wealth through real estate without the hassle.

So what are you waiting for? Contact us today!

To get ongoing advice or to submit a question for the “Money Matters” column, visit www.facebook.com/Govaloans or follow @ GoVALoans on Instagram & Twitter.

Source: MilitaryBenefits.com, HomeBuyingInstitute.com, The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)’s Rent Payment Tracker

www.GoVALoans.com @GoVALoans

info@govaloans.com (833) 825-6261

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021


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

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

Military and law enforcement have had a longstanding relationship with overlaps in training exercises, equipment, and, most important, personnel. It is not uncommon for a service member to make the jump from the military to law enforcement as both professions look for the same characteristics; leadership, fidelity, chain of command, and teamwork are all common themes in both professions. Quite understandably, many American military veterans often gravitate to a career in law enforcement when the time comes to rejoin the civilian workforce.


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / DECEMBER 2021

The two professions have many fundamental similarities; from the uniforms they wear with pride, to the firm command structure they serve under, to great personal risk they endure while protecting those who cannot protect themselves. The following agencies are actively hiring & proudly support our veterans, active military and the families that keep together.

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

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Resources Support Transition HEALTH INSPIRATION

Homeland Magazine www.HomelandMagazine.com

Voted 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020 BEST resource, support media for veterans, military families & military personnel. 64

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Articles inside

Money Matters - Now or Later article cover image

Money Matters - Now or Later

pages 50-55
Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit article cover image

Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit

pages 44-45
Legal Eagle - End of Year Checklist article cover image

Legal Eagle - End of Year Checklist

pages 46-47
Steps To Sustain Success article cover image

Steps To Sustain Success

pages 42-43
What’s Next: The Young Maverick article cover image

What’s Next: The Young Maverick

pages 36-37
HR - Leadership article cover image

HR - Leadership

pages 40-41
Transitioning is a Process article cover image

Transitioning is a Process

pages 38-39
LENS - Healthy New Year article cover image

LENS - Healthy New Year

pages 32-33
Real Talk: Resolution Wagon article cover image

Real Talk: Resolution Wagon

pages 30-31
Wreaths Across America article cover image

Wreaths Across America

pages 8-9
Americans Give Back To Veterans article cover image

Americans Give Back To Veterans

pages 12-13
Holiday Health article cover image

Holiday Health

pages 28-29
Interview - Vietnam Vet article cover image

Interview - Vietnam Vet

pages 18-19
A Soldier’s Christmas article cover image

A Soldier’s Christmas

pages 10-11
Golden Eagle Takes Final Flight article cover image

Golden Eagle Takes Final Flight

pages 20-23
Forge A Brighter Future article cover image

Forge A Brighter Future

pages 16-17
Fighting Cybercrime article cover image

Fighting Cybercrime

pages 14-15
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