Homeland Magazine February 2023

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MENTAL HEALTH VETERANS Vol. 10 • Number 2 • February 2023 fighting PTSD M A G A Z I N E Homeland Marine Veteran Reclaims His Life TRANSITION To Civilian Life Find Your Purpose American Workplace Successful Transitioning Stories Veteran Transition Handbook Law Enforcement Careers Resources & Support

US Navy (1987 – 1993) US Air Force (1993 – 2013)

PTSD treatment can turn your life around. For more information visit: www.ptsd.va.gov/aboutface

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“I’m happier with myself. Having been in therapy, period, has helped me be in a better place now.” Rogelio “Roger” Rodriguez, Jr
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Welcome to Homeland Magazine!

Homeland is a veteran-focused magazine throughout the country. It serves to assist all veterans, active military as well as their spouses and families.

It is the leading veteran magazine emphasizing resources & support and focusing on topics and issues facing today’s veteran community. Homeland focuses on resources, support, community, transition, mental health and inspiration for our veterans, & military personnel.

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 veteran organizations & members, resource centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people.

Despite all the challenges, our team has upheld their focus and let not one opportunity go to provide resources and support to our veterans & military personnel.

On behalf of our team, we wanted to take this moment to say THANK YOU to the readers and the military and veteran community for supporting our magazine. With that support we aim to make a difference and continuing to make a profound impact on the quality of life for our veterans, military personnel and their families.

If you want to catch up on the current and all past issues please visit: www.homelandmagazine.com/archives



Mike Miller

Monthly Columns

What’s Next Transition

Eve Nasby • Kristin Hennessy

Human Resources

Paul Falcone

Veterans in Business

Barbara Eldridge

Successful Transitioning Stories

Dr. Julie Ducharme

Risky Business

Hadley Wood

Franchise Frontline

Rhonda Sanderson

Real Talk: Mental Health

Hope Phifer

TLC Caregiving

Kie Copenhaver

Art & Healing

Amber Robinson

Legal Eagle

Kelly Bagla, Esq.

Family Law

Tana Landau, Esq.

Midway Magic

David Koontz

Veterans Chamber Commerce

Joe Molina

Contributing Writers

Wounded Warrior Project

Raquel G. Rivas, WWP

Disabled American Veterans

San Diego Veterans Coalition

Veteran Association North County Shelter to Soldier (STS)

Eva Stimson

(In-House) Correspondents

Holly Shaffner

CJ Machado



4 WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 San Diego Veterans Magazine 9528 Miramar Road, #41 San Diego, CA 92126 (858) 275-4281 mikemiller@homelandmagazine.com
Homeland Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved
WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 5
INSIDE THE ISSUE 7 Making the Transition: VA Claims 8 Marine Veteran Reclaims His Life 12 Liberty Station - 100th Anniversary 14 Facts surrounding Valentine’s Day 16 TLC Caregiving: Relationships 18 Arts & Healing - Power of Music 20 Real Talk: Third - Party Relationship 22 PTSD: Reclaiming Control - Why Me (Part 2) 24 Military Experience - Career Asset 26 What’s Next - Find Your Purpose 28 Business for Veterans - CRM 30 Human Resources - American Workplace 32 Successful Transitioning Stories 36 Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit 38 Franchise Frontline 40 Veteran Transition Handbook 42 NYU Veterans Future Lab 44 Risky Business: Toxic Love 45 #MeToo 46 Legal Eagle - Love your Business 48 Legally Speaking - Divorce & Support 50 Careers in Law Enforcement 52 Military to Police Office

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Making the transition

DAV benefits advocates help separating service members navigate, understand the VA claims process

As Jonna Barker prepared to retire from the Navy in 2001, she had to confront a lot of unknowns. But she had no one to turn to for help about what to expect once she was out or what Department of Veterans Affairs benefits she was eligible for.

“Everything I learned, I learned as a veteran,” she said. So that others don’t have a similar experience of “going it alone,” Barker became a DAV transition service officer— a benefits advocate for service members separating from the military.

Like DAV national service officers who are benefits advocates for veterans, she helps her clients navigate the VA disability claims process and understand what they earned based on their service and sacrifices.

Alan Worthy went to Barker when he decided to retire from the Navy in 2021. He said the service she provided was invaluable because she had expertise that other resources, like Navy career counselors, didn’t.

“They have all the information the Navy gives them, but they don’t have the information from the VA,” said Worthy, who had command of a unit when he transitioned.

His experience with military resources was a lot like Barker’s own experience two decades earlier. Her last assignment, as she looked around her command for help with veterans benefits, was as a career counselor.

DAV benefits advocates can help bridge the informational gap. There are 30 DAV specialists, including Barker, who handle claims for active-duty service members. The advocates work at military installations around the country, and the services they provide are free.

“Getting out of the military is a major life event. It forces veterans and families to face the unknown, and the overload of important decisions can be overwhelming,” said DAV National Service Director Jim Marszalek. “People need to know they aren’t alone. DAV is there to make sure no one falls through the cracks.”

Barker said part of her role is to educate service members about the importance of being properly prepared to leave the military so they can take advantage of the VA’s Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program, which allows transitioning service members to start their disability claims process between 180 and 90 days before their separation date. The goal of the program is to get veterans their VA disability rating as near as possible to the end of their service.

Filing a BDD claim is often faster than waiting until after service to file claims with the VA.

Barker’s office is at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego. She works with members of all branches, but because of her close proximity to Naval Base Coronado, California, she frequently meets with transitioning Navy SEALs.

“I have learned so much over the years working with them,” Barker said. “I probably know their bodies a lot better than they do.”

She said the stresses their bodies endure in training and while deployed are akin to those of a high-performance athlete.

Doctors say that, like other special operations forces, SEALs commonly exhibit symptoms of traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, endocrine system imbalances and a host of other medical issues related to their job’s stressful and intense nature.

“They’ve been through hell and back, especially those that have been in combat numerous times,” Barker said.

With everyone she meets, Barker is meticulous in her work as she reviews medical records, helps prepare VA forms, reminds them of filing deadlines and explains the nuances of VA policy that may affect their benefits.

“The first claim that you do is so important, because if you don’t do it right the first time, you will be spending a lot of time disagreeing with the VA’s findings,” she said.

For Barker, being a benefits advocate is about doing all she can to make someone changed by their service whole again.

“I want to make sure everybody gets the opportunity to file,” she said. “To see them get what they deserve is very satisfying.”

There’s no reason for anyone to feel overwhelmed by VA benefits and programs. DAV benefits advocates are a no-cost resource available to anyone who is transferring out of the military or who is already a veteran. DAV’s service office locator is at benefitsquestions.org. n

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Jonna Barker is a DAV benefits advocate for service members transitioning from the military, helping them navigate the VA claims process and understand the various programs and benefits available from the VA. She said she became a benefits advocate because she didn’t want others to experience the same challenges she faced when she retired from the Navy.

Marine Veteran Reclaims His Life After Combat Injuries

There was a moment, soon after realizing the extent of his burn wounds and combat injuries, when Anthony Villarreal didn’t expect anyone to stick by him, including his wife.

He would look at himself in the mirror and couldn’t see the strong and handsome Marine who went to war. He didn’t recognize himself.

“When I woke up from an induced coma, [the hospital staff] told me to brace myself,” Anthony said. “I went from being about 185 pounds and strong, lifting weights, to a 95-pound stick, with burns, missing fingers; I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was in a dream, and I would wake up soon.”

Where are we going to live? How am I going to make money? Am I going to survive?” Anthony recalled. Soon the mounting questions started to feel like a pile of bricks.

Anthony’s resilience and the love of his wife, Jessica, and other family members lifted him up. He also sought help for his mental health after he returned home from long hospital stays, multiple surgeries, and physical rehabilitation that included learning to walk again. But, at first, his natural tendency was to be left alone in the dark.

“I was so afraid of what I looked like to people around me,” Anthony said. “I didn’t want them judging me just by my looks.”

The fear of his image changed Anthony’s relationship with his family and his wife – and he kept his distance for a while. “I just didn’t like the way I looked, and I assumed that was all [Jessica] was thinking [about]. And I couldn’t get that out of my head. I couldn’t kick it for the longest time.”

Now, Anthony is able to go out in public on his own and with his family confidently. He shops at local stores, goes to veteran events, and openly shares his story of resilience with wisdom and an eagerness to support other veterans struggling.

Walking the Long Road Ahead – Together

Anthony’s wife, Jessica, is a fellow U.S. Marine and had broken her foot during the last two weeks of boot camp. She knew what it felt like to have dreams shattered by injuries, and she believed that, if the tables were turned, she would want Anthony by her side.

“He’s like my best friend,” she said, holding back tears. “The thought of leaving never crossed my mind,” Jessica said. At first, being a caregiver was overwhelming for Jessica. She admits to pushing others away and trying to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders.

“There were a lot of obstacles I had to face in learning to be a caregiver and making sure that he had everything he needed,” Jessica said. “I was young, and I hadn’t found my voice yet.”

A Flood of Questions

Questions flooded Anthony’s mind. “I couldn’t stop thinking about my wife, and how I was going to be able to work now that I’m injured. Where are we going to live? How am I going to make money?

In the hospital in San Antonio, both Jessica and Anthony met other veteran families and learned about Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) from a visitor who brought a WWP backpack.

Anthony remembers the visit from WWP felt like “someone out there was watching over me, helping me out.”

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Later down the road, the couple reached out to WWP and started participating in events and meeting other veterans and their families. WWP even sent them and a group of warriors on a trip with Vail Veterans Program, a WWP community partner that is focused on providing innovative outdoor programming that helps improve the lives of veterans and their families.

“I was still shy at that time because of the way I looked,” Anthony recalled. “I just went to see what [they] had to offer. I had the time of my life, met other veterans, some of whom were missing limbs, some who were burned, some that had PTSD and TBI, and they were out there having fun with their families.”

Anthony said he let his guard down and began feeling more comfortable with the group. He bonded with other veterans and went snowboarding for the first time – with Jessica by his side.

Letting the Light In

Spending time with other veterans was an eye-opener for Anthony. He learned there are others who struggle with PTSD, TBI, and physical injuries just like him.

He worked alongside these veterans to adopt tools he could use to counter his negative thoughts, stay positive and continue his mental health journey. He also reached out to WWP when things got tough with his marriage,

recognizing a referral to couple’s therapy may be helpful in continuing healthy conversations.

These days, Anthony and Jessica enjoy time with their two children and find joy in everyday chores and schoolwork. Jessica and the boys help Anthony with things like cooking, folding laundry, tying his shoes, and making time for family fun.

“I love to play video games and watch movies with the family,” Anthony said. “I’ve become involved in hunting and my oldest son wants to join me, so that’s really cool. I continue to learn more about being a mentor and help veterans who are still struggling.”

Anthony’s life inspires others to persevere and shines a light on the continuing needs of injured veterans.

Learn more about programs and services WWP provides at no cost to veterans and their families. https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has beenmeeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. To learn more, visit:


Continued on next page >

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About Anthony Villarreal

Marine veteran Anthony Villarreal, from Lubbock, Texas, was deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. During the final week of his last tour, his vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device (IED) whilebringing supplies to a base in Afghanistan. Anthony and two other Marines were severely injured in the explosion. The Navy corpsman who was riding with them died instantly.

Anthony spent the next two years in hospitals and rehab. With help from his family and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), the proud Marine has found opportunities to share his story with others.

“When 9/11 happened, it just made me want to join, just because I knew I had to serve a country that gave me so much,” he recalled. “I had read up on military branches, and I just thought the Marine Corps was just right for me.”

“What made me want to serve was knowing I could help people; I thought I could do more – especially after 9/11. My mom and dad taught me that it’s not just about me, it’s about people around me that I can help. I heard from my relatives who served; my aunts and uncles served in the military.

Anthony liked the camaraderie with other Marines. He felt that he could do anything for his battle buddies. As a corporal, he was boots on the ground and saw a great deal of fighting during his three deployments between 2004 and 2010. He was injured on June 20, 2008, in Afghanistan.

“The bomb hit right under our vehicle, exploded up and then it all went black once that happened.”

Anthony’s first encounter with WWP was during his second week in the hospital after he came out of a coma. Someone from WWP brought Anthony a backpack with clothes and toiletries. “He told us he knew what it was like to be in a hospital gown all the time,” Anthony said. “As soon as he left, I had my wife help me get into shorts and a T-shirt that came in the backpack.”

Anthony has continued participating in WWP programs that have helped him grow mentally and physically. He still finds purpose in serving others.

“I joined the military because I wanted to give back. What amazes me is how many have given back to me.”

Warrior Care Network® has helped countless veteran families take back their lives.

Facing physical and mental injuries after his deployment to Afghanistan, Jenna’s husband, Isaac, returned an unrecognizable man. “It was like war came to our house,” Jenna says. Overwhelmed by the weight of caring for her husband and three young children, she began to experience mental health challenges of her own. That’s when she reached out to Wounded Warrior Project® and the Warrior Care Network.

Jenna found the resources and support she needed to reclaim herself, her marriage, and her family. In partnership with four worldrenowned academic medical centers, Warrior Care Network provides first-class treatment tailored specifically for veterans living with the invisible wounds of war. The program features unique and specialized treatments and offerings tailored to helping participants manage the difficulties with their injuries.



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the treatments, connection, and support
need to heal. “


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

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

Resources. Support. Inspiration.

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

Resources & Articles available at:

E S O U R C E S homelandmagazine.com/category/fighting-ptsd


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Liberty Station, formerly San Diego’s Naval Training Center (NTC), is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2023 with curated programming and events rooted in naval tradition. The mission of Liberty Station’s Centennial celebration is to honor the property’s contributions to the San Diego community, preserve the unique history of the former NTC and share it with Liberty Station businesses, the wider community and the larger military network. Today, as one of the city’s top destinations for dining, arts and entertainment, Liberty Station provides a portal to the past, an experience for the present and a promise for the future

The property was originally dedicated as the Naval Training Station in 1923. In 1944, the Secretary of the Navy changed the facility’s name to Naval Training Center (NTC) following the addition of schools to the center. Through its 60 years of operation, the NTC served as home to 1.75 million graduating recruits and 1 million graduating A and C school sailors. In 1942, the property reached its wartime peak of 33,000 personnel during World War II and the following year, the first women joined the training center. While the NTC was originally 235 acres, it expanded in 1993 to 550 acres to house 300 buildings and approximately 3 million square feet of open space.

After the NTC’s closure in 1997, the historic portion of the property was registered by the National Park

Service and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This prestigious designation preserved 49 historic buildings constructed between 1921 and 1949. In 2001, the Corky McMillin Companies broke ground on Liberty Station as it’s known today. San Diego’s rich history made an impact on the development of new buildings and the adaptive reuse of the onsite historic naval buildings, with architectural influences of the 1920’s Spanish Colonial Revival style being seen throughout.

Today the property houses a variety of facilities and businesses including 51+ restaurants (majority locally owned), 30+ retail shops, 30+ resident artists, four hotels, eight schools, The Rock Church, 27 holes of golf (including miniature), 380,000 square feet of office space and a performing art center opening in 2024.

With the adaptive reuse of the buildings, some areas of the station were intentionally refurbished to serve a similar purpose in their modern-day revivals, like the Liberty Public Market which was once the Naval Dining Hall, or the 9-hole par three golf course developed from the Sail Ho Golf Course created to be a recreational activity for Naval recruits. A luxury movie theater, THE LOT, now occupies the NTC’s Luce Auditorium, which opened in 1942 for NTC recruits and their dates to watch live theater performances. THE LOT’s design preserves the building’s original oak stage and exposed concrete proscenium, where the curtains once hung.

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Liberty Station kicked off its Centennial celebration in early 2023 through the unveiling of billboards, banners and signs. This Centennial signage was developed with the intention to juxtapose historic photos with modern-day photos, capturing the success of the adaptive reuse project that transformed the grounds from the NTC to Liberty Station. Centennial artwork by Liberty Station resident artist, Joe Pisano, will also be on display in Liberty Station’s Command Center (2640 Historic Decatur Road, San Diego, 92106) featuring a sevenpanel piece, “The Art of Immortalizing Heroes.” Paying tribute to the Armed Forces of the USA from WWI to the Global War on Terror, the piece is comprised of seven Panels depicting World War I, World War II, The Korean War, Vietnam Conflict, The Global War on Terrorism, Unsung Heroes and Funeral Honors. The piece also features a corrugated wall highlighting The Freedom Wall and The Vietnam Wall and was created with 100,000 drywall screws, one thousand Dog Tags, 3,800 wooden stars and approximately 2,000 participants including Veterans, Active Duty and Reservists and nearly 1500 children and special needs adults.

Pisano enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves in September 1999. He is currently the Operations Chief for Regional Maintenance Command San Diego and has served for 22 ½ years of faithful and loyal service to the U.S. Navy Reserves. Accolades include The Don Diego Award and the People’s Choice Award and most importantly, Pisano is credited for his efforts in saving the lives of our Veterans struggling with PTSD and suicidal ideation.

To further commemorate the property’s rich military history and honor those who trained at the NTC, Liberty Station is gathering anecdotes and images from those who have served or family member(s) of those who served at the NTC to be featured on their social media channels as part of the Tell Us your NTC Story campaign. Should you or anyone you know have a story to share about their time at the NTC, please reach out to 100libertystation@crowepr.com!

To learn more about how Liberty Station will continue to honor the property’s historical roots, San Diego’s military community and showcase businesses during its Centennial year, please visit 100libertystation.com and follow along on Instagram at @libertystation for updates on Centennial events as they are announced.

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Valentine’s Day

Impress your Valentine’s Day sweetie with an encyclopedic knowledge of the facts surrounding this quintessential day of love that’s been around since Roman times.

Surely, someone so well versed in the day must also know a thing or two about actual amore.

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/ February 2023
Valentine’s Day - February 14

Dying for Love

Theories abound on the origin of Valentine’s Day, but the most popular dates back to 270 A.D and the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II. Seems Claudius didn’t want men marrying during wartime because he believed single men fought better. Bishop Valentine took exception and performed secret nuptials anyway.

Claudius found out, jailed Valentine and had him executed on Feb. 14. From jail the holy man wrote a love letter and signed it “From your Valentine” and greeting card industry cheered.

First Speed Dating

In the Middle Ages, young men and women picked names out of a box to see who would be their Valentine. Then they would wear the names pinned to their sleeves for a week. This lead to the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”

The Chocolate Connection

Doctors in the 1800s routinely advised patients pining for lost love to eat chocolate to calm themselves. Later in the century Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. Today, no fewer than 35 million boxes of chocolate are sold each Valentine’s Day.

More than $1 billion in chocolate is bought in the United States alone.

Not just a U.S. Holiday

Besides the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark and Italy.

Japan’s Take

Valentine’s Day was introduced here in 1936 and quickly became popular – with a twist. Because of a translation error, women buy men chocolates on this day to show interest. The men return the favor, if so inclined, on White Day, March 14.

It’s a Good Day for the Roses

Valentine’s Day – along with Christmas and Mothers Day – is huge day for florists. This single day generates sales of $14.7 billion, which is greater than the gross domestic product of several countries.

An estimated 189 million flowers are sold in the United States this day of which about 110 million are roses.

Feb. 14 in History ….

Capt. James Cook killed by natives in Hawaii (1779), Oregon and Arizona admitted to the Union (1859 and 1912, respectively), James Polk becomes first president photographed in office (1848), United Parcel Service formed (1919), the League of Women Voters established (1920), Aretha Franklin recorded “Respect” (1967), Richard Nixon installed a secret taping system in the White House (1971) and Voyager I photographs entire solar system (1990)

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Much has been written about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) within the military community; and there will likely be further research and new findings about this sometimes hard to pin down social, psychological, and biological condition. The veterans who deal with the challenges PTSD often presents may experience some if not all of the following: having more negative thoughts and feelings than before the triggering event, reliving the event(s) that may have triggered the PTSD (i.e., nightmares and flashbacks), feelings of being on edge or “on guard”, and avoiding people, places and things that remind them of the event or events that triggered the PTSD. These are certainly not the only symptoms, but they are, at present, the four main types of symptoms of PTSD.

Being in a relationship with anyone takes work – good communication skills, the ability for give and take, compassion, an endless supply of love and a good sense of humor. Being with someone who faces the challenges of having PTSD adds additional layers of complexity to a relationship and can often lead to confusion, frustration and anger from the partner. After doing some research, I came across a great resource called “Understanding PTSD: A Guide for Family and Friends” published by the National Center for PTSD. This little gem offers great insight and guidance for family members, friends and loved ones of a person with PTSD, starting with the one thing we, as human beings, often overlook when stressed and overwhelmed – Self-Care! Taking care of your own health – physical and mental – is vital when caring for or being in relationship with someone who has PTSD.

When you are physically and mentally strong, you become a better source of care and love for those around us. Continue doing the things in life that bring you joy. Set healthy boundaries for yourself – this could look like being realistic about how much you are able to do for others without completely depleting your energy. Talk to your friends and loved ones about the challenges you may be facing.

If you don’t feel comfortable sharing with friends or family, considering joining a support group or seeking counselling or therapy from a professional. And if you want an insider’s point of view, check out this website called www.raiderproject.org – the RP Blog contains a piece called “5 Tips for a Healthy Relationship with a Combat Veteran”. The author starts with, you guessed it, self-care. From there, she talks about not taking things too personally, being a safe communicator, remembering to be flexible, and finally, taking one day at a time. Her words are from the heart and may resonate with many partners of veterans, with or without PTSD.

If you are in a relationship with someone who is active military or a retired veteran, the information in this article may sound all too familiar. I urge you to look at this information with new eyes, see if there is something here you may have forgotten or neglected to do for yourself. Read the blog and scour the PTSD resource guide for anything that really speaks to you – and if it’s speaking to you in a rather loud voice, lean in and listen. And if you are just entering a relationship with a veteran, or anyone else for that matter, that may have PTSD, educate yourself so you can better navigate whatever may lie ahead.


“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

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RetirementWhat’s Next
WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 17 Whether your disability is obvious or invisible, Canine Support Teams can help you reclaim your independence. Canine Support Teams is proud to offer the PAWZ for Wounded Veterans program, which provides specially trained service dogs, at no charge , to the brave men and women who have faithfully served our country. caninesupportteams @k9supportteams Apply for a service dog today at www.caninesupportteams.org/pawz Or Call 951.301.3625

Arts & Healing Arts

for Military Veterans

The Power of Music and My Current Top 5 Jams for Grounding and Healing

The power of music. Few can deny the way listening to music can inspire and motivate. It has the double edged power to elate us and ground us at the same time. It is a time machine that can instantly transport us back to our most memorable or darkest moments with just a few familiar notes.

Music can undeniably put us in much closer touch with our emotions, opening spaces of thought or emotion within us that we could not reach without it. Thus, music can be a powerful healer, assisting us in accessing important, healing memories, deeper levels of self compassion and of self expression. Listening to relaxing music can lower cortisol levels, thus lowering stress, elevated heart rates and blood pressure.

Music and sound has been used for many things since the beginning of time. Even in the bible, it was the sound of God’s voice that spoke the light into being. The Hindus believe slowly chanting the sound “Om” during meditative practice aligns the mind with the breath in what they call “samadhi”. This is an elevated state they believe provides them the focus for spiritual realization.

The possibilities for music and sound in healing are endless. Ancient societies, musicians and even the world of science have discovered just how powerful music is in the way it affects our minds and bodies. Whether you are chanting om, exploring healing frequencies or just driving down the highway singing your face off to Miley Cyrus, music has always been there for us.

Therefore, I have compiled my five most elating, healing, grounding and soul nourishing songs of the moment and why. Enjoy!

1. You and Me, (feat. W. , Darling) by BassnectarThere’s really no other reason I love this song other than the fact that I am falling in love, for quite possibly the first time. My partner originally shared this song with me, he associating it with memories at Burning

Man, me associating it with a future I felt I could almost touch; full of road trips, camping excursions, lots of laughter and a deep feeling of desire and security. This song embodies that wholesome, healing energy of love. Because, from now on, I know it’s just he and I, against the world.

2 Flowers, by Miley Cyrus - Cyrus racked up a recordbreaking 96 million streams on Spottify the day she released her most recent song, “Flowers”. An empowering self-love anthem for the ages, Cyrus’ “Flowers” was inspired by her split from her exhusband, released on his birthday and the video was filmed in the home where he reportedly cheated on Cyrus several times. I’ve listened to it on repeat since its release and haven’t gotten tired of it yet. The song’s consensus is that no matter what, you’ve always got yourself to fall back on and yourself is always enough. In the video she dances wildly with oblivion in a home full of bad memories. If that’s not the epitome of healing, I don’t know what is.

3. It’s Called: Freefall, by Paris Paloma - I discovered Paris Paloma on Instagram reels. Her soft, lilting voice and demure self-harmonies instantly calmed my overstimulated ADHD brain and overwhelmed PTSD brain. It’s an easy song to listen to on repeat because of the inner calm and balance it seems to provide me. The simple, catchy tune and the even catchier and clever lyrics make this song one of my top five healers of the moment.

4. Red Line, Geordie Kieffer - This jam is all about the endorphins for me. From the fast-paced beat to the seemingly drug-laced lyrics, this song is the one I play if I need a right proper car or kitchen dance session. At first listen you may think Kieffer’s song is all about the “live hard, die fast” lifestyle that many American recording artists have glorified in the past. But, in an interview in SwitchBitch Noise Magazine, he recounts discovering the original synth bass line for the song and knew the lyrics had to “hard as f*ck” to keep up with it, “so I guess I just started screaming about the

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accolades and pitfalls of American society, [and] in essence, a macro look at my own micro character defects.” Sounds like therapy to me, Geordie.

5. Sleight Orchestra, Dawn Golden - This one is my end of day or idle weekend day song, It’s steady, lazy baseline and reverb lyrics give it a calming as well as a sort of trippy vibe. The album was released in 2014, but I believe that good music is timeless.

The lyrics are a sad poem, open for interpretation, which, as a poet, I find beautiful:

“Are there stars

That the gods don’t know about?

If there are

We’ll be digging through their pockets ‘til dawn.

Are there lights

Lights that shine for pretty fools like you and me? “

And that does it for this poet’s My Current Top 5 Jams for Grounding and Healing. All songs and artists listed can be found on Spotify, YouTube and in Apple Music

Give these a listen or make your own healing playlist. It can fulfill whatever emotional state you are in, whether you need to laugh, cry or just have a right proper dance session in the kitchen.

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 19 National Veteran Resources & Organizations available at: www.HomelandMagazine.com Homeland Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans Navigating the resources available to veterans can be confusing, but Homeland Magazine believes no veteran should have to go it alone. At Homeland Magazine you can find Veteran organizations and private nonprofits with resources for veterans that can help ease the process of attaining earned benefits, coping with the lasting effects of service-connected injuries and finding programs and services that meet your specific needs. HOMELAND Veteran Resources & Organizations

Real Talk: Mental Health

Is the Military the Third-Party in Your Relationship?

Relationships can be hard.

When you take two individuals who are already layered and complex, and try to blend their worlds together, it can feel impossible to navigate at times. But despite these challenges, it is something most of us choose to do anyway because the reward usually far outweighs the risk; there are few things that feel as fulfilling, safe, and grounding as being in those connecting moments with our significant other. But it can also feel like a lot of work to get there.

Then, there is an added layer of complexity with being a military couple. The military may be viewed as the “third party” in the relationship and many obstacles create hurdles in military relationships that you don’t typically find in civilian relationships: PCS moves, deployments, training exercises, and various other aspects of the military that some may find destabilizing. This can make many military couples feel lost when trying to understand how best to support their partner.

Even more so, the uncertainty of these hurdles causes stress and tension for many couples, which often manifests itself in other places. Similar conflicts are often heard on repeat: ‘They nag me, they don’t do the dishes, they aren’t helping me with the mental load of the house, I never get anything right, I’m always the bad guy...’ When a couple spends time discussing the correct and incorrect ways of cleaning the dishes, for example, it’s important to stop and get curious about why this is so important. It usually is not really about the dishes at all.

One partner may feel alone when taking on most of the responsibilities of the household, and they want their significant other to be on the same team with them and share the weight. Having someone hold that weight with us can be such a relief and make us feel closer, especially in the face of uncertainty. Or, maybe one partner is feeling that no matter how well they clean the dishes, they always get it wrong, and the criticism is painful, especially coming from the person they love the most.

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/ February 2023

Underneath it all, the tension could be caused by the fact that they both are trying to protect themselves from pain, loneliness or even guilt from the destabilization of military life. But when we can get curious and become vulnerable with one another, the tension can begin to melt away.

It is important to always remind yourself that many of your frustrations are shared by your partner. Likely, you both want to build and plan for your future, you both want to spend time together, and you both want to feel like you can support and be supported by the other.

We encourage you to self-explore and share more tender emotions with your partner, and when that happens, communication will begin to land differently. Externalize that “third-party” when you communicate, and remind each other that the two of you are on the same team. Saying “I get so frustrated with duty nights” feels different than saying “I get frustrated when you don’t come home.” Small language shifts can reduce isolation and guilt that often come with the destabilization of military service.

For those couples who are counting down to retirement or the end of service together, there may be connection in making plans that align with your values, such as family, fun and/or freedom. Revisit the values that remind you that this “third party” is not necessarily an added member of your relationship, but merely a passenger on the road to your future. In moments of stress, lean into each other, share your feelings, and remember you’re in this together.

Many of our staff members at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics at VVSD are veterans or military family members themselves and understand the pressures around the unique challenge’s military couples are faced with daily.

Couples therapy can help navigate the hurdles of military relationships, while also helping individuals maintain connectedness with their partner. Therapy can help us understand that our system is wired for connection and destigmatize the idea of being “needy” when what we’re asking for is absolutely crucial to our happiness and survival.

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 21 Therapy for Veterans, Service Members, and their Families Cohen Clinics provide therapy to post-9/11 veterans, service members, and their families, including National Guard / Reserves. LEARN MORE vvsd.net/cohenclinics 8885 Rio San Diego Dr. Suite 301 OUR LOCATIONS 3609 Ocean Ranch Blvd. Suite 120 CVN Telehealth, face-to-face video therapy available statewide. Coming Soon San Diego Oceanside Los Angeles

PTSD: Reclaiming Control

Why me?

(Part 2 of 2)

Shane is a hospital nurse who has treated COVID patients since 2020. Early in the pandemic, he frequently worked in challenging conditions where he didn’t always have access to the personal protective equipment he needed. He was exhausted, stressed, and very afraid he would bring the virus home to his family. Eventually, nightmares and exhaustion led him to leave the profession of nursing altogether.

We know this phenomenon as burnout, but it doesn’t really give us context to how his chronic stress developed into PTSD.

Shane was an effective, highly skilled nurse through out his career until this point. But these extraordinary circumstances tipped the balance, placing him in unprecedented and oftentimes, little-understood circumstances.

It’s important for us to understand that this is not his fault; his PTSD is due to the highly stressful environment he was exposed to on a daily basis, over a long period of time.

Post-traumatic stress has a long history, but it was recognized formally as a diagnosis only in 1980. Medical professionals began to understand that traumatic events are the core reason for PTSD, not someone’s own weakness.

It’s often thought of as a war-time, military phenomenon. But many more civilians are affected by PTSD than veterans. Sexual assault, witnessing a crime, experiencing violence, natural disasters and vehicle accidents are common sources of civilian trauma.

The COVID pandemic helped us better understand the impact of trauma, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says one quarter of Americans report symptoms of a trauma- or stressrelated condition, fueled by illness, death, uncertainty, isolation, financial insecurity, plus social and political upheaval. Medical personnel, law enforcement, and first responders have been experiencing exponentially higher levels of trauma that’s been piled on to their already stressful jobs.

There are two positives that came out of these troubled times: we now have much greater public awareness of the impact of trauma, and there’s less stigma surrounding it.

There’s recognition that someone with PTSD has a medical condition, not a personal failing. And it’s important to pay attention and take care of this just as we would diabetes or asthma.

Insurers and employers have responded with improved access to care. Telehealth care has made it possible to have mental health services in the home and in rural settings. The Veterans Administration announced in January that veterans in crisis can access emergency care without cost in any treatment center, not just VA facilities.

Within the last couple years, options for treating PTSD have also expanded, which is good news for those that live with it. In addition to medication and counseling, a third approach is to consider prescription digital therapeutics that can help you regulate breathing patterns associated with PTSD and panic attacks and gain relief and increased control over stress triggers.

Cuyler is chief clinical officer of Freespira, an FDA-cleared non-medication treatment that helps people with panic and PTSD manage their symptoms by learning how to regulate their breathing. - www.freespira.com

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



1 Million Military, Veterans and First Responders Impacted VOLUNTEERS


To forge strong bonds between Americans and their Military and First Responder heroes through volunteer service projects, acts of gratitude and meaningful engagements in communities Nationwide.


Actions speak louder than words

Saying “thank you for your service” is the start of a conversation that leads to a better understanding of service

Hands-on volunteerism, acts of gratitude and meaningful engagements are the best ways to bridge the civilian-service divide

We focus on empathy, resilience, service, and sacrifice rather than sympathy, challenges, needs, and pity

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 23
Deployed Troops
Recruit Graduates
Wounded Heroes and Caregivers First Responders
Military Families

How to Turn Your Military Experience into a Corporate Career Asset

As a veteran who experienced the transition from a military career to a role in corporate America, it’s my privilege and passion to work with fellow veterans currently facing the challenge this transition presents. Non-veteran corporate recruiters may not realize that U.S. service branches are so mission-focused that their role in preparing veterans for post-service life can seem like an afterthought. That’s where employee resource groups and other veteran-focused initiatives come in.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the government doesn’t do its part to address the difficulties veterans can face in their post-service work— there are initiatives like the Veterans Affairs’ Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge Program. But military branches are focused on the mission, and as servicemembers’ separation date approaches, they typically have a lot of information to take in over a short period of time, like drinking from a firehose. Many veterans subsequently struggle to connect with resources that are available.

I was in that position myself after exiting the service and was fortunate enough to land a job at a company that understands the value veterans bring to corporate positions, even if job candidates need help articulating their skills in a language civilians understand. Now it’s my vocation to help veterans make the transition, so in that spirit, let’s look at five steps to successfully make the jump from military service to corporate life.

1. Build a LinkedIn page: Many servicemembers think LinkedIn is just another social media platform, but in fact it is a professional network that is your gateway to postmilitary success. An effective LinkedIn page provides a summary of your skills and experience that’s similar to an online résumé. Perhaps even more important, LinkedIn is a networking site that can help you make important professional contacts. Networking is essential to find the right opportunities at the right time.

2. Find a mentor: The people who are best positioned to help you transition to civilian life are those who’ve been through it. Programs like Veterati and the K.E.Y. Mentor Group can connect you with veteran mentors who can help you navigate post-military professional life. These programs can also give you insight on how to create a LinkedIn page, put together a great résumé and ace your next interview for a civilian job.

3. Translate military experience into corporate skills: You’ll need to communicate the value you bring to the table as a veteran to land the right private sector job. This process will require translation skills as the military and civilian worlds speak different languages. Military jobs are highly structured and specific, but the lingo doesn’t readily convey the skills and experience you acquired during your active-duty career. A mentor program such as those mentioned above can provide further guidance.

4. Understand your management skill level: Serving in the military takes focus, discipline, and the ability to adapt quickly. That’s true if you served a single hitch or if you made the military your career. As a military engagement specialist, I’ve noticed that three to four years of service is great preparation for mid-level management roles, whereas someone who’s retiring with 20 years of service has excellent executive leadership skills, i.e., establishing procedures, leading large teams, developing leaders, etc.

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5. Find a company that values your experience: As every veteran knows, military and civilian culture are very different. In addition to adjusting to a new role in the civilian workforce, you have to adopt a different mindset. That’s easier at a company that appreciates the experience veterans bring to the job and makes a robust effort to support their veteran employees. Asking prospective employers about veteran-focused employee resource groups and veteran recruiting efforts can provide insight into their culture.

As a veteran who made the transition to a corporate job, I have a foot in both cultures and understand the challenges you’re facing as you seek a new career path in the private sector. My job is to help veterans navigate those changes. Making connections with fellow veterans in your workplace is also a great way to stay grounded as your post-military career gets underway.

If that’s not an option, link up with external veterans’ groups so you can discuss your experience with people who understand what it’s like and are willing to provide guidance along the way. There’s always room for improvement on how the military connects veterans with resources, but the right resources are available, and when you find them, you’ll be on your way to a successful new career chapter.

Nick Busse serves Leaf Home as Head of Military Engagement and brings over 13 years of military experience and proven expertise in recruitment, talent management, leadership, and public speaking. Since joining Leaf in 2020, Nick has developed military talent strategies and award-winning programs for transitioning military veterans, spouses, and family members across the United States. Since the inception of the military engagement program, Leaf Home has been a recommended employer to the veteran community and carries the Patriot Employer Award, MOAA Award, and Congressional Recognition. (www.leafhome.com)

Before Leaf, Nick served two years in combat as a Field Artillery Sergeant and eight years as the Director of Recruiting with the United States Army Recruiting Command, responsible for developing and operating successful military recruiting programs across Northern California. Nick’s education background is in Business from San Francisco City College, and he received further education from San Francisco State University.

Nick is passionate about helping veterans, hoping to decrease the stress of the military transition into corporate America.

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.

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

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out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce?


Transition to Civilian Life

The Secret to Happiness is Purpose

Consistency creates emotional stability. Transition creates change. These two concepts don’t go well together! It’s simple to see how transitioning does not easily lead to emotional stability, i.e., “happiness.”

Are you on a quest for happiness? There is a universe full of books, articles, podcasts, videos, and seminars on how to be happy. With so many endless resources, it’s almost laughably ironic. How can the human brain possibly consume this much information and come out ahead? Let’s rethink this.

Jimmy Rex, CEO of the “We Are The They” coaching program, host of the top-rated podcast “The Jimmy Rex Show,” and author of the best-selling book “You End Up Where You’re Heading,” recently interviewed a 21 year old father, Mason Sawyer, who lost everything.

Mason lost his wife, son, daughter, brother and nephew all at once in a car accident in July, 2021. A blinding dust storm caused a 20 car pileup on the interstate while he was waiting for them to return home from a trip. He recounts his conversation with his therapist, asking, “Do you think I’ll ever be happy again?”

Happiness isn’t the goal.

The therapists’ response was “I don’t think happiness is the goal. The goal is for you to find purpose. Purpose is more meaningful than happiness. If you can find purpose in all this, that’s what’s going to save you.”

Find Your Purpose

The host goes on to share what he’s learned in working with the military and helping ex-military find purpose. One main reason why people leave the military and then get depressed is because, in the military, they had purpose. Whether it’s the mission they’re on or the camaraderie of helping others, there’s a strong feeling of purpose.

Transitioning out of the military into the civilian work world can feel like you have experienced the death of a loved one. It may feel like a deep loss because something or someone is gone. Mason recalled that in dealing with loss, the thought of trying to be happy came with a lot of guilt. Losing your people, partners, friends, in battle will stay with you. Having a good day can actually feel terrible, because why should you feel good when others have suffered?

“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and Ninety percent how you respond to it.”

Focus on what you CAN do.

You are where you are. So what CAN you do? What is your purpose outside of the military? Where do you find happiness? Write it down. Are you struggling with creating this vision or purpose statement for your life? Reach out to a trusted friend or counselor to help you develop this.

As humans, we often focus on what we can’t control. That creates frustration. What is in your power of control?

Think of it as an exploration project, not a task. If you reframe this as something that’s enabling you, versus disabling you, it’ll be a much less overwhelming exploration.

The more you focus on what you can control, the more you realize what’s in your control, and life gets better for you. The human brain isn’t supposed to be worried about as many things as it is!

Adopt a no excuse mentality.

If you could do anything for the rest of your life and money was no object, what would you do? Write that out like it’s already happening. Make a list of what you would need for that goal. Resources, people, finances are all a part of the plan, so don’t be afraid to list those out. They’re the tickets to pursuing your passion. If this is truly what you want to pursue and feel is your passion and new purpose,

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Remember your worth, and be grateful for it. Former CEO of the WD-40 company, Garry Ridge, once commented on co-author Eve’s “America’s Finest” TV show, that he hired veterans because they were purpose driven. Purpose driven people passionately pursue their future.

You are the veteran! You demonstrated you were purpose driven, so you are still purpose driven. Now you’re equipped with a few more tools to hone in on what that purpose is - and not lost in a vortex of happiness books and seminars. Think of all the time you saved by pursuing your purpose first!

One of the ways Mason has found purpose and healing is through creating a podcast www.the10ninety.com that helps people turn life’s greatest obstacles into opportunities.

When you find purpose, you find happiness. You were created for a purpose. Find it. Develop it. Pursue it. Be humble. Don’t give up.

Need help with your transition? Have questions? Link up with Eve on Linked In today www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-hiring-expert eve@bandofhands.com


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Purpose Fuels Happiness


Customer Relationship Management

Over that last few weeks several articles and books have crossed my desk that deal with the relationships we develop with customers. Of all the ways to keep a business growing, increasing the frequency of interactions we have with clients is probably one of the most important. We would all love to boast a long list of loyal customers; when we increase the effectiveness of all of our business practices, the list increases.

Usually, the cause of challenges is a lack of clear agreement; agreement of the work to be done and the results to be achieved. In my experience I find small business owners are so eager to make the sale or get the work done, that they do not take time to do the due diligence. Important for creating relationships that work:

A. Decide what the Goal and end result will be.

B. Agree on When it is to be done.

C. Agree on How it will be done.

D. Be prepared to resolve any issues that arise

In addition to sustain profitability and customer loyalty, offering discounts or cutting prices may bring in new customers, but keeping them requires a different level of customer service. Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. It is all about bringing customers back, and about sending them away happy –happy enough to share their experience with others.

The relationship you want with customers takes “management” and there are long lists of tips you can find all over the internet as to what that means.

Here’s my suggested list:

1. Values provide a basis for how you want to show up to your customers. They are translated into behaviors that affect everything from how you answer the phone, to how you respond to customer requests to how you follow up with them. One friend shared how he and his wife stopped at a restaurant and asked the hostess if they could see a menu before they decided to enter. The Hostess’ response was to tell them to go look it up on the internet. Not a very good customer experience. Know what values and behaviors you want showing up in your business.

2. Organize your business around your customer. Design your organizational structure around positions and activities that are necessary to sustain good customer service, rather then product/service focused. Use your strengths in other areas that you can leverage to help your customers address a challenge unrelated to your product or service.

3. Take the time to build trust with your customers. Trust means doing what you say you will do, because you put customer needs into the relationship. Trust shows up in the reliability of your service, doing what you say you will do.

There are many ways to keep customers coming back, use technology to enhance the relationship, but look for ways to customize it. I read where Starbucks can serve their coffee 19,000 ways – that creates loyal customers.

Barbara Eldridge has built a solid reputation as a Results 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.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 29 Continue the Dream! Helping today's heroes achieve success by making it easier to run a small business. www.bandofhands.com Contact Eve Nasby, Band of Hands president and passionate military supporter to learn more. eve@bandofhands.com Medical benefits and 401K for your employees at no additional cost to you Compliance with employment Laws Unemployment claim handling Workers Comp claim handling D o M o r e . S t r e s s L e s s . If it's related to employment, we handle it for you. We also provide: LOVE your business! Helping today's heroes achieve success by making it easier to run a small business. A Veteran Owned Business proudly supporting Veterans, Military Spouses and active duty Military looking for work and employers needing great workers We do all this for you.


Transition to Business

The Status of Remote and Hybrid Work in the American Workplace

You’ve no doubt heard of the trend toward remote and hybrid working arrangements over the past three years since the Covid pandemic began. Last week, Disney announced that it expected all employees to return to their offices four days a week to foster a better sense of collaboration and creativity. Likewise, Apple is looking to bring its remote workers back into the office three days a week. Will these announcements by name-brand organizations like Disney and Apple create an avalanche of returns to work? That’s yet to be seen. But these announcements will not go unnoticed in corporate America.

Survey findings show that many remote workers believe that they are as or more productive than they were when working fully onsite prior to the pandemic. However, the findings are mixed when senior management is polled at those same organizations—the “higher productivity from remote work” math doesn’t necessarily add up in the eyes of C-level executives (CEOs, CFOs, and COOs). Productivity gains or performance drags continue to be seen and measured, but two things are for sure:

• Companies looking to return workers to the office or plant will likely cite Disney and Apple as “best practice organizations” already doing so and carving the path for others. (In other words, organizations won’t be doing so alone and can show they’re in good company.)

• The specter of an oncoming recession may change the game when it comes to remote work, as leaders shift into survival mode. Rather than continuing to experiment and innovate with their work cultures, corporate executives may opt to revert to “normal” by returning as many workers as quickly as possible to the physical plant, campus, or building.

Company and HR leaders would be best served to weigh the pros and cons of remote versus hybrid or fully inperson policies by listening to employee feedback. And many experts predict there will likely be a balance.

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Much of the research shows that remote work has been a success: In general, remote employees are satisfied with the arrangement, happier with their employer, and meeting or exceeding productivity standards. Further, many workers across the generational spectrum—Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials), and Gen Z—have committed to only working in companies that provide some form of remote work (i.e., which in turn allows for greater work-life-family balance). The risk of any employer moving too quickly to return everyone to full onsite work lies in the possibility of losing talented workers to other companies that are more in tune with the times and perceived as amenable to workers’ needs.

For active military and veterans looking to pursue work in the private sector, it would likely be safest to assume that some degree of remote (AKA hybrid) work will remain with us for the foreseeable future and for the long term. Covid isn’t going anywhere soon and will likely produce new strains that force social isolation. Many companies realize that they no longer need brick and mortar establishments to produce a viable product. And workers—now that they have found a more reasonable balance between work and their personal and family lives—will likely not back away from demanding some form of hybrid work moving forward. To underscore this point, surveys show that fully onsite and fully remote work will trend downward over time, while hybrid work (i.e., a few days in the office and a few days from home) is trending significantly upward.

Therefore, it’s reasonably safe for you to ask about the company’s expectations surrounding hybrid work during an interview, and it’s likewise wise to prepare for interviewing questions that address how well you work independently and plan to keep your remote boss involved in your work and in the loop. And while Disney and Apple are making moves to return people to work a minimum number of days per week, hybrid still wins for now. . . barring any sudden changes in plan due to the pending recession.


You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/paulfalcone1

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

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 31

Successful Transitioning Stories

Dean Wegner is a dynamic and fearless leader, Veteran, and entrepreneur. His journey to build an iconic American brand in Authentically American has captured the attention of national media outlets such as Fox & Friends, Forbes Magazine, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance, Newsmax TV, and SiriusXM Radio.

Dean graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Rotary Wing Flight School, and the Army’s Special Forces Ranger School. His education, training, and 7 years of active-duty service in the Army have personified Dean to be a passionate and valuedcentric servant leader. Post Army, Dean served in leadership roles in business development, marketing and strategy at Procter & Gamble and Mars, Inc.

Dean then created Authentically American which is a Veteran owned, American made, premium apparel brand. They are a company that celebrates patriotism, believes in the American worker, and honors our American heroes by intentionally donating 10% of profits to Veteran and First Responder charities.

Dean, how did you transition from a big role at these iconic companies to being an entrepreneur?

In 2017, Dean founded his current company from a blank sheet of paper. Dean said, “I have an insatiable

desire to know I am making a difference. So, I decided after having these big roles I would try to be an entrepreneur, but I could barely spell it, let alone know how to be one. In 2012 I bought my first business, a government contractor business that creates dress uniforms for the military. We had thousands of uniforms for every part of the military. I loved this, it connected me back to the military but also connected me to the history of the apparel industry and I found out it was a tragic history. When I graduated from West Point in 1993 over 50% of apparel was made in the U.S. Today it’s 3.5% that is made in the U.S. What I realized with this company is it was a government contract so it could change from my hands to another group quickly. I thought back to the days of working for Proctor & Gamble and Mars and I thought, what if instead of being a government contract we create a brand and what if we make the intentional choice to produce right here in the U.S. Think of the jobs we could create, think of the difference we could make and ultimately if we are successful to deliver this iconic American brand with the same visual recognition like a Nike or an Under Armor. We are a brand the celebrates patriotism, we believe in the American worker, and we are also a brand that honors our American Heroes.”

How have you applied what you learned in the military as a Ranger to your current business you have?

Let me tell you the parallel between Ranger school and being an entrepreneur. What Ranger school really is at its core is it’s a leadership school. What they do is deprive you of everything you think you need to survive, mostly food and sleep, and put you in incredibly stressful situations. You live on one meal a day and 2-3 hours of sleep for 72 days. This is literally the life I am living right now as an entrepreneur so what I learned in Ranger school is what I am using every day.

How did your leadership style in the military transfer into your leadership style with the big companies you worked for as well as your current entrepreneurship endeavors?

I am a big believer in leadership. When people ask me what is most important to me, I say God, Family, and country. My Christian faith is the foremost attribute of where my leadership style really resonates.

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Dean Wegner

If you think back to Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, that is the ultimate servant leadership. I was blessed with having an incredible amount of leadership training in the military which helped shape my leadership today and I have embraced servant leadership. I start every day the same way. I start my day with prayer and my first thought is what does my team need to be successful, if they are successful then I will be successful as well.

You have had great success in such a short time. What are some tips you can share for other veterans looking to transition into different industries or entrepreneurship?

To use military terminology of penetrate and infiltrate. We created a partnership with Pepsi, we did a great job for them, and others started to ask where they got the shirts, and they sent them to us. So, find your way to penetrate the market and infiltrate it.

My last question is if you could go back to your younger self and give your younger self advice, what would it be?

I would tell myself to be patient. And patience is a virtue, unfortunately, it’s just not one of mine. The ultimate dream and vision is to build this iconic American brand but I know I have to be patient as I build this.

Check out all of Dean’s products @ https://www.authenticallyamerican.us/

To see how we help and support veterans transitioning out of the military check out our school www.synergylearninginstitute.org

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.

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 / February 2023 33
VETERANS IN TRANSITION Transitioning out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce? www.HomelandMagazine.com
34 WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 Become a certified IT professional in 15 weeks with no prior experience necessary! Talk to our friendly veterans admissions counselor today! • GI Bill & MyCAA Approved • Flexible Schedule • Online & In-person Hybrid Classes • Small Class Size • Hands-on Training • Lifelong Job Placement and Career Counseling • Technical Support Specialist • IT Support Technician • Network Administrator • Network Analyst • Systems Administrator Why ICOHS College? Career Outcomes: The median IT job salary in the US was about $88,000 last year. READY TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR CAREER? admissions@icohs.edu (858)581-9460 www.icohs.edu
WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 35 sandiego.edu/business L E A R N M O R E Ready for your next career step? The Knauss School of Business at the University of San Diego offers flexible graduate programs to help you advance your career, bring your values to enterprise and prepare you for a lifetime of impact. And as a 100% Yellow Ribbon School, tuition is fully covered for most military-connected students Flexible programs, F O R M O S T M I L I T A R Y 1 0 0 % C O V E R E D www.sandiego.edu/business

Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit for Military and Civilian Life

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.

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.

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)

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 37
Our online training programs are approved for military education funding—all designed to help military members and their spouses build skills and thrive in careers that are portable, in-demand, and rewarding. Start training today so you can be prepared for meaningful work tomorrow. Healthcare Training For Your Next Phase of Life For more information, call (877) 201-3470 or visit www.careerstep.com/military

Franchise Frontline

Success Stories & Resources

Army Veteran Brings Wealth of Diverse Experience as He Joins Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® Network

36-year-old Matt Ruggieri, a Pittsburgh resident, served eight years as an active-duty infantryman in the United States Army where he was deployed to Iraq three times, and yes, jumped out of airplanes – before receiving an Honorable Discharge, then worked full-time while earning a bachelor’s degree in business and an MBA as he climbed the corporate ladder to become senior project manager for a commercial construction company.

Now Ruggieri recently launched a new career for which he couldn’t be better suited: he’s a new franchise owner with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, serving the Greater Pittsburgh area and surrounding communities. The company has 558 franchises throughout North America and plans to add several hundred more.

And as far as choosing home inspection as a new career, these are industry facts: The U.S. building inspector industry, measured by revenue, has a current market size of $4.9 billion and growing, according to global research firm IBISWorld.

Ruggieri is a perfect example of why so many military veterans make a perfect fit for franchise ownership. Veterans represent 14 percent of franchisees, and they prove a good fit for the franchise model because veterans possess strong leadership skills and a thorough understanding of being part of a team. Franchises also operate on proven systems and defined procedures and the military training that veterans go through allows them to easily adapt to a system and find success in franchising.

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Ruggieri brings a vast wealth of experience from his military and corporate careers. He gives fellow veterans this advice for following a similar path.

• Your military background will crack open some doors for you and get you into conversations but it’s up to you to capitalize. Get the education to match your competence. I lucked into jobs early that usually required 4-year degrees. Instead of waiting to NOT get the next job or the promotion, get the education to match your competence and ambition. This goes for formal education, trade schools, certifications, etc.

• You will probably get more opportunities or chances than you may deserve because of your service. Be grateful for those opportunities and don’t waste them or take them for granted.

• Civilian life is the same as the military in the sense that some days you will be the nail and some days you will be the hammer. Good nails don’t bend.

The civil/commercial construction company where Ruggieri previously worked specialized in governmentfunded construction projects. While he loved his work, his 60- to 70-hour workweeks took their toll and Ruggieri believed he was at the right time and place, given his experience and education, to spend those hours on his own business.

“Home inspection fit in well with my background and Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ commitment to technological progress and customer service impressed me. I felt comfortable with the culture and appreciated the support of an established franchisor to help me begin my own business,” Ruggieri said.

One of the many reasons Ruggieri chose Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the innovative technologies the company introduced in the past two years starting prior to the pandemic and then serving the network very well during it.

These advanced technologies, along with the business model, provide an exceptional home inspection with unique and innovative features that are all delivered within a seamless brand experience.

The package is now known as the Ultimate Home Inspection and it’s revolutionizing the home inspection industry. (pillartopost.com/ultimate-home-inspection)

For further information about the franchise: www.pillartopostfranchise.com

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.

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 / February 2023 39
VETERANS IN TRANSITION Transitioning out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce? www.HomelandMagazine.com

Your 2023 Veteran Transition Handbook with Dr. Rob Garcia

Veteran family, I’m Dr. Rob Garcia. As a transitioning veteran, there are more options than ever for post military service. When I left active-duty Air Force, the only job I could find was as a tow truck driver! This was after working as an Offensive Avionics Technician on B-52s AND with a degree in hand. I eventually became a successful entrepreneur and magazine owner/author after a decade as a technical writer.

My goal for this article is to illustrate the wide variety of options and the experts that can fast track you to success after service. The first three questions you need to ask are:

1. Do I currently have the skills for the career field I want?

2. What personality type am I? (likes solo work, likes being on a team, likes outdoor/indoor work, etc)

3. Am I more of a worker, a business owner, or an entrepreneur?

This third one requires some clarification. A worker will have a 9-5 job at an existing business. A business owner will create or buy a business and need to be versed in business plans, structure, income development, marketing and more. An entrepreneur is a lot more developed in creativity and might have multiple streams of income, several side hustles or even just do consulting. (I know several people that make thousands of dollars running Facebook groups they created. Seriously.)

The very first thing you need to do is join Vetpreneur Tribe. This free Facebook group has over 16,000 veterans of all career fields and can offer valuable networking, answers, and collabs.

So, once you start mapping out your dream career, here are some options that will help.

Federal Service – If you want to jump right into a career with government, you’ll need to optimize your resume and the best person to look up is Chief Ralph Ave. This former Air Force E-9 has a perfect record of placing people into federal jobs. He can help develop your resume for nongovernment jobs as well.

Franchise – Ready to own a business immediately? Talk to veteran Joel Stewart who is one of the top franchise experts in the country. Joel can walk you through different franchise models, pricing, loans and programs for veterans to fast track you to being a franchise owner.

Training – Need a high-speed cert like IT or PMP? What if I told you that you could get it for FREE? Tank Aponte runs a nonprofit that helps veterans complete their certs through Coursera and Skillbridge with NO COST to the veteran! You can get a cert in Cybersecurity, Digital Marketing, Software Development and more!

Direct Hire – Turn to Joshua Prado at Veterans Beer Club FB group to find job openings in Southern California. Josh specializes in tech and specialized job openings.

As you can see, there are many options available depending on the path you wish to take. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me. My own choice was entrepreneurship. I actually started my own consulting firm teaching business visibility and work for myself while running SHIFT Advanced Life Design Magazine. Perfect fit for my personality.

Wishing you all the best in your post service career!

Dr. Rob Garcia is the owner of SHIFT Advanced Life Design Magazine, an 8-time author and a MSgt in the 701st Combat Squadron in the Air Force Reserve. He resides in San Diego where he runs Warrior Strategist Consulting, an award-winning visibility firm. www.shiftlifedesign.com

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PREPARE FOR YOUR CALL TO SERVE { Become a military chaplain by earning a MASTER OF DIVINITY degree { Proven record of more than 200 chaplain graduates IN-PERSON OR ONLINE www.evangel.edu

NYU Veterans Future Lab: Dedicated to veteran entrepreneurs around the country

In November 2017, the Future Labs at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering turned its entrepreneurial expertise to a new community: Veterans. The 11-year-old start-up network, a partnership born out of the school of engineering and initially funded by the city to kickstart New York’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, launched a business incubator dedicated to the underserved group of veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs. In a few short years, the NYU Veterans Future Lab (VFL) has grown into a hub of innovation with a powerful network of founders building strong, sustainable companies. In fact, the greater New York City area is now the number one metro area for veteran entrepreneurs.

The VFL offers two programs, each designed to help entrepreneurs at different stages in their journey; Apex, a ninemonth incubator program for pre-seed ventures; and Veterans Entrepreneurship Training (VET), 12-week programs for early-stage or aspiring entrepreneurs. Both are offered at no cost to participants and provide access to resources, mentorship, and a community of driven individuals.

“One important component of entrepreneurship is building a strong network, whether it’s to get support from other founders, enable access to funding, meet potential clients, or identify critical resources,” says Grant Fox, VFL Director and a US Navy veteran. “Veteran entrepreneurs, while having a strong community from their time in service, may not have had the time or opportunity to build these kinds of connections that can lead to successful ventures. The VFL, part of a worldrenowned university and a network of entrepreneurship programs, is uniquely positioned to offer that, making a powerful transition to civilian life.”

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Throughout the program the VFL organizes guest speakers for participants to hear from a variety of industry experts.

That’s just one factor. With no equity taken, free desk space in the Brooklyn office, and access to NYU’s resources (such as faculty, a pipeline of talented student interns, prototyping facilities, and data sets), Apex empowers founders to take their pre-seed ventures to the next level. It also provides the ability to access one of the top startup ecosystems on the planet — New York. Select qualifying founders who intend to relocate to NYC to participate in Apex are offered an award to be used towards housing.

The success of the incubator is demonstrated by the success of its alumni. Behavioral health company TruGenomix (https://trugenomix.com) raised $1.8 million in seed funding, and cleantech startup Virimodo (https://virimodo.com), led by Marine Corps veteran Donna Sanders, is growing quickly.

The current cohort of 11 Apex ventures covers a wide range of industries, and the 13 founders hail from four branches of the military and eight states.

Currently Member Radish Health (www.radish.health), led by US Army veteran Viral Patel, is fighting the pandemic by providing healthcare for the future of work. By combining modern technology and medicine, they can give employees world-class healthcare when and where they want it.

“I joined the VFL at an interesting time for my company — a few months into the pandemic,” he says. “I had been in contact with the VFL since my first interview, though, and it’s been an impactful relationship. Since the program started, Radish Health has grown quickly.

We’re proud to work with a host of new clients looking to make their workplaces safer and healthier for employees, which is a critical part of reopening the economy. The VFL’s ability to offer access and introductions to financial experts and potential funders has been extremely helpful.”

Army veteran Natasha Standard’s Norie Shoes (www.norieshoes.com) creates made-in-Italy luxury footwear with an emphasis on comfort, after she studied design in Milan, and has taken advantage of Apex’s remote flexibility.

“My plan was to move to New York City to join Apex,” says Standard. “The pandemic changed that, but the program has offered NY’s resources virtually — goto-market strategic planning, brain-storming outlets, mentoring as a CEO and founder, and more. The level and support are excellent. We’re a few months into the program, and the future looks very promising.”

From the data analytics solutions of Jackpot Data Science, led by US Marine Corps veterans Benjamin Gaines and Collin Meyers, to the AI healthcare innovations of Blue Eye Soft (https://blueyesoft.com), founded by US Army veteran Sri Kodeboyina, these businesses continue to innovate amid a pandemic — but that’s not surprising. Veterans are built for this.

“Businesses in New York and around the country have been hard hit by the pandemic,” says Fox. “We’re proud of the way VFL companies have navigated it, whether it’s by streamlining operations, collaborating to address PPE shortages, or adding tools to tackle COVID-19. We’ve seen veterans continue to step up, be leaders, and create change for the better.”

Not everyone is ready to launch a company, though. With Veterans Entrepreneurship Training (which launched in 2015 and led to the creation of the VFL), veterans and military spouses find education and information to turn ideas into viable, sustainable businesses.

When the program went virtual in response to the pandemic, a unique opportunity presented itself: the ability to offer NYC and NYU resources to aspiring entrepreneurs across the country. “At a time when remote learning has become the norm for educational institutions, we have found a way to adapt our curriculum and offer it to those who qualify wherever they are,” says Fox.

VET is held virtually three times every year as: VET-I (spring and winter) for those looking to start their ventures, coming to the VFL with an idea and initial legwork; and VET-II (summer), the next step for launching a venture, with a focus on product-market fit. Several Apex founders joined the VFL through VET.

The NYU Tandon Veterans Future Lab might physically be located in the Big Apple but its resources are available to veteran entrepreneurs around the country. Applications are now open for the next Apex cohort, with a deadline of May 16. To apply, visit www.vfl.nyc

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Insurance Info & Risk Management Tips

Toxic Love

February is a great time to get cozy and share the love but keep that amorous itch far away from your place of business!

Each year, thousands of claims for sexual harassment are filed against businesses and business owners, by both women AND men. Sexual harassment carries a broader definition than most people think and includes both Quid-Pro-Quo (sexual favors for reward) and Hostile Work Environment (unwelcome sexual comments and/or actions) scenarios.

Sexual harassment includes verbal harassment, sexual comments, physical harassment, impeding movement/blocking, telling sexual jokes, sending sexual cartoons/drawings, passing along sexual joke emails, and conditional bonus/rewards for sexual favors.

• 38% of women and 12% of men have experienced sexual harassment in their place of business.

• Sexual harassment costs an estimated 2.6 billion in lost productivity annually.

• 55% of victims experience retaliation after speaking up or making a claim.

• The ‘Harasser’ can be anyone – an owner, manager, co-worker, vendor, subcontractor.

Let’s be real. This has always been a workplace problem but since the #MeToo Movement, more people are now confident to speak up and take action. So, what can a business owner do to protect the company?

1) Make sure your business is compliant with the current state law surrounding this. You can visit: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (ncsl.org) for more information about this. Annual manager and employee training is a must.

2) Be aware and act immediately if you suspect any wrongdoing. If an employee comes to you with even a hint of improper conduct activity – take it seriously, address the situation and document your actions. If you do nothing, you are liable too.

3) If you do not have an HR department, hire an outside HR consultant to help navigate employee relations and issues.

4) Monitor company-owned employee computers for any unlawful or unsavory usage.

5) Set up cameras around common areas to have a visual record of what is going on. This can prove or disprove the actions and conduct of your employees.

6) Understand that your current business insurance policy likely excludes coverage for this. The insurance for these claims falls under EPLI coverage – Employment Practices Liability Insurance and is generally purchased separately from your General or Professional Liability. EPLI coverage can cover claims arising from:

• Sexual Harassment

• Wrongful Termination

• Discrimination – age, race, religion, sexual identity, disability

• Unsafe/Hostile work environment

• Whistleblower retaliation

Look over your insurance policy and talk with your Broker to make sure this coverage is included. I suggest a minimum of 500,000 in coverage and premiums can be as low as $500 per year depending on the nature and size of your business. The average sexual harassment claim that makes it to court costs the defendant over $200,000. If your business does not have EPLI coverage, this will be coming out of your pocket. And that’s a love letter you do not want to receive!

***Claim of the Month: An employee at a distribution center complained to her manager that a co-worker was repeatedly sending leud email jokes to her and other co-workers. The manager did nothing about it and the victimized employee ended up getting fired for not showing up to work - due to the stress this harassment was causing her. She filed a wrongful termination claim AND sexual harassment claim against the company and was awarded over $350,000 in damages.

For more information about me and my company, please visit www.hlinwood-insurance.com

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#MeToo Movement

#MeToo is a social movement against sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and rape culture, in which people publicize their experiences of sexual abuse or sexual harassment. The phrase “Me Too” was initially used in this context on social media in 2006, on Myspace, by sexual assault survivor and activist Tarana Burke. The purpose of “Me Too”, as initially voiced by Burke as well as those who later adopted the tactic, is to empower sexually assaulted people (especially young and vulnerable women of color) through empathy, solidarity, and strength in numbers, by visibly demonstrating how many have experienced sexual

assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. After millions of people started using the phrase and hashtag in this manner in English, the expression began to spread to dozens of other languages. The scope has become somewhat broader with this expansion, however, and Burke has more recently referred to it as an international movement for justice for marginalized people.

For more information on the #MeToo movement and founder Tarana Burke visit https://metoomvmt.org

Reference: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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legal Eagle

Straight-forward legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners


With each new year, entrepreneurs look to turn their vision into a business. These startups are often overflowing with tremendous ideas, energy and optimism, but don’t always have a roadmap for the legal aspects involved in starting a business. In the flurry of drumming up new customers, getting ready for a website launch and building the first prototype, it’s all too easy to put off some of the less glamorous, more administrative aspects of running a company.

Company filings and regulations are not the most exciting parts of your startup, yet they are critical to the health of your business and personal finances. Here’s a list of administrative aspects you need to consider for your startup or small business:


Before you start printing our business cards, make sure the great new name you thought of is not infringing on the rights of an already existing business. Start with a simple google search, conduct a free trademark search and then conduct a search with the Secretary of State.


Forming a corporation is an essential step to protect your personal assets from any liabilities of the company. Each business structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your specific circumstances.


To distinguish your business as a separate legal entity, you will need to obtain a Federal Tax Identification Number, also referred to as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). The EIN is issued by the IRS and acts as a social security number for your business. This number will identify your business with the IRS and your clients.


When you rely on your personal credit to fund your business, your personal mortgage, auto loan and personal credit cards all affect your ability to qualify for a business loan. Using business credit separates your personal activities from that of the business. The begin building your business credit, you should open a bank account in the name of your company and the account should show a cash flow capable of taking on a business loan.


Your legal obligations as an employer begin as soon as you hire your first employee. You should spend time understanding what your obligations are according to the state you conduct business in. You should know federal and state payroll and withholding taxes, self-employment taxes, anti-discrimination laws, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation rules, and wage and hour requirements.

Obtain the necessary business permits and licenses

Depending on your business type and physical location, you may be required to have one or more business licenses or permits from the state, local or even federal level. Such licenses include, general business operation license, zoning and land use permit, sales tax license, or professional licenses.

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Using a name instantly gives you common law rights as an owner, even without formal registration. However, trademark law is complex and simply registering your company in your state does not automatically give you common-law rights. In order to claim first use, the name has to be trademarkable and in use in commerce. It’s always a great idea to protect your business name as it can become a valuable asset of your company.


No matter how busy things with your startup get, set aside some time to address these matters and take your legal obligations seriously. Getting your legal ducks in a row right from the start will help you avoid any pitfalls down the road, and will help you scale your business successfully as you grow.

I’m the CEO of www.GoLegalYourself.com where we help entrepreneurs start, run, and grow their business and I’m proud to provide a limited time offer of 10% discount on our Startup Essentials Package. Please use the code Veteran at checkout.

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.

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 47 Legal Pearls! PEARLS OF WISDOM for Avoiding Business Litigation Award-winning attorney, Kelly Bagla shows you how to avoid legal pitfalls FROM DAY ONE! Legal Pearls! - The quick and easy guide for avoiding business litigation. Award-winning Attorney Kelly Bagla distills the legal information every business owner needs to know to avoid costly lawsuits and protect personal assets. Now every entrepreneur can apply the same legal steps and strategies used by top attorneys. • AVOID COSTLY BUSINESS LITIGATION • PROTECT YOUR HARD-EARNED ASSETS • BE READY WHEN LEGAL ISSUES ARISE NEW FROM KELLY BAGLA! Get your copy at amazon today! www.tinyurl.com/Legal-Pearls

Legally Speaking

Military Focused Family Law Facts

Divorce and Spousal Support

In determining temporary spousal support, the courts in many California counties use a formula as a guideline. These guidelines vary

In San Diego the Court utilizes a Dissomaster calculator program to determine the temporary amount of support, although the Court is not bound by exactly what the calculator dictates. The calculator seeks to apportion net disposable income equally between the parties.

In determining permanent spousal support, the court will consider and weigh fourteen factors found in California Family Code Section 4320. Based on these fourteen factors, the court decides whether a permanent order of spousal support will be made in your case. The court also decides the amount of the spousal support and the length of time spousal support will be paid by one spouse to the other.

Spousal support, which some people call “alimony,” is paid by one divorcing or separating spouse (or domestic partner) to another. Spousal support is one of the more contested issues in family law cases, along with child custody matters. Most people do not like to pay spousal support to their soon to be ex-spouse. Spousal support in California may be awarded on a temporary basis during the divorce to ease the financial transition of the lower-earning spouse. The court will then consider whether to make spousal support permanent.

The Court treats temporary spousal support differently than permanent support. When considering whether a spouse needs temporary alimony, California courts have found that the amount of support should be based on what’s necessary to maintain the standard of living that the couple enjoyed during their marriage. In many cases, both spouses won’t be able to keep up their previous living standard as it is more expensive to maintain two homes rather than one. But the idea behind temporary spousal support is to maintain the status quo—as much as possible—until the divorce is final.

What Factors Does the Court Consider to Determine Permanent Spousal Support

In determining permanent spousal support, the factors the Court considers includes the following:

1) The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during marriage;

2) The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supported party;

3) The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the supporting party’s earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living;

4) The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage;

5) The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party;

6) The duration of the marriage;

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7) The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party;

8) The age and health of the parties;

9) Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence between the parties;

10) The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party;

11) The balance of the hardships to each party;

12) The goal that the supported party shall be selfsupporting within a “reasonable period of time” as defined by the Family Code;

13) The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse must be considered in making a reduction or elimination of spousal support;

14) Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.

What is the Length of Spousal Support?

Courts may order spousal support to be paid for a reasonable period of time. A general rule is that spousal support recipient can receive spousal support for up to one-half the length of the marriage if the marriage was less than 10 years. For example, if you were married for 5 years, the general rule would be that you can receive spousal support for up to 2.5 years if you are the lower income earning spouse. In a marriage 10 years or more, the Court will retain jurisdiction over spousal support. Thus, there is no durational limit on spousal support in long term marriage unless the parties agree to a termination date. The burden will be on the party paying spousal support to demonstrate to the Court in the future that the circumstances warrant a termination of spousal support.

Is Spousal Support Taxable?

Unlike child support, spousal support is considered taxable income to the recipient for state tax purpose in California. For state tax purposes in California, spousal support is tax deductible to the obligated spouse paying spousal support. Therefore, the recipient must claim it as income and the payor can deduct the spousal support payments on their state taxes. However, for federal tax purposes, since January 1, 2019, it is no longer tax deductible to the payor or considered taxable income to the recipient if your order was entered after said date.

For more information about co-parenting in your military divorce, check out our website: www.frfamilylaw.com or call (858) 720-8250 and ask to speak with military family law attorney Tana Landau

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

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 49 Legal Experts with Humanity Time for a Fresh Start. Call 858-720-8250 or visit www.frfamilylaw.com to schedule a free consultation. Flat-fee law packages available. Military Divorce and Retirement, 20/20/20 Spouse, Survivor Benefit Plans, Support Orders, and more. No nonsense. No hidden fees. Discounts for service members. Move forward without breaking the bank. Our military expert family law attorneys are ready to push your case to the finish line.

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.

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.

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www.HomelandMagazine.com JOBS FOR VETS Careers In Law Enforcement Visit Today For Law Enforcement Profiles & Job Openings JOBS FOR VETS LAW ENFORCEMENT www.homelandmagazine.com
As a military service member or veteran making the transition to a new career path, law enforcement can feel like a natural fit.
WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 51 You’ve served your country, now serve your community! Opportunities In Law Enforcement

From Military to Police Officer

Why choose a law enforcement career?

Transition and career changes can be difficult at any point in life, so why not take out some of the unknowns? In the military, you have camaraderie between your brothers and sisters, there’s a mission to accomplish every day, the work can be challenging and exciting, plus you get to serve your country.

Much of the military work and values parallel to law enforcement work as well. This month, we interviewed San Diego Police Officer Bob Thatcher about his transition from military service to police service, and why it was an ideal fit for him.

Officer Thatcher served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and today as a Gunnery Sergeant, he continues to serve as a drilling reservist. He is in the infantry field and has deployed on several overseas tours to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Japan. At the 10-year mark, he had to decide about re-enlisting or releasing from active duty. For him, the decision was guided primarily on one thing – continuing to serve others and work for a greater good.

“I have always been big into service of others,” said Officer Thatcher. “I wanted to give back to my country, my community, and those who sacrificed for me.” For Officer Thatcher, his transition was from military fatigues to police uniform. He had done his research and met the requirements and deadlines to be selected for the police academy as soon as he left active duty.

Police departments often actively recruit for people leaving the military. San Diego Police Department

Sergeant Jason Tsui said that in addition to important qualities such as work ethic, dedication, and integrity, military personnel also possess valuable life skills too. A good law enforcement candidate would be able to work in changing/fast-paced situations, in stressful conditions, can easily be part of a team, and be selfless. These are all attributes that most military men and women possess and learn during their military service.

When asked what the favorite part of his job was, Officer Thatcher said, “I like that my job is diverse. I am in the community every day, get to problem solve from call to call, and every day is different.”

Officer Thatcher’s advice to men and women looking to get into law enforcement:

• First, go on at least one ride along with law enforcement to see the different kind of calls and responses. Talk to the officers and ask questions.

• Be open and honest in your application and interviews.

• Keep at the process even if it takes a while to move along.

• Work hard each and every day to earn that spot.

• Go “all in” in everything you do.

• Academically, make the time to study.

• Physically, be able to run 5-6 miles at about an 8 minute/mile pace and do cross-fit exercise to build stamina.

Some of the benefits of working for the San Diego Police Department include:

A four-day work week, 11 paid holidays/year, 13-21 days of paid annual leave/year (depending on length of service), yearly uniform allowance, flexible benefits plan (Health, Dental, Vision), excellent retirement program, 401K/Deferred Compensation Plans, tuition reimbursement, and 30 days paid military leave/year.

For more information about applying to SDPD, go to: www.sandiego.gov/police or email: sdpdrecruiting@pd.sandiego.gov

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San Diego Police Officer Bob Thatcher
WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 53 www.joinSDPDnow.com SDPDrecruiting@pd.sandiego.gov
www.rva.gov/police/personnel www.joinlapd.com
WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 55 www.tdcj.texas.gov


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WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 57 www.dallaspolice.net
58 WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 www.c6securityacademy.com
WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / February 2023 59 Veterans! Join Our Team CHANGE Be the SFPD Salary $103,116 - $147,628 TEXT “JoinSFPD” to (415) 704-3688 www.SFPDcareers.com
Homeland Magazine www.HomelandMagazine.com Voted 2020, 2021 & 2022 BEST resource, support media for veterans, military personnel & their families Resources Support Transition HEALTH INSPIRATION A Veterans Magazine by Veterans for Veterans

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