Homeland Veterans Magazine January 2020

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Vol. 8 Number 1 • January 2020 www.HomelandMagazine.com


A Warrior Finds New Purpose in Yoga WHAT’S NEXT Transitioning to Civilian Life

Art & Healing Enlisted To Entrepreneur




Mental Health A Year In Review

2020 MONEY

Financial Planning USS Arizona Memorial Calendar - January

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Jeff Edwards 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army Sheriff’s Deputy SWAT-Team Marksman

Share, Connect and Rally Support CaringBridge is a nonprofit social network that helps patients and caregivers connect with family and friends during a health journey. Our online platform offers simple tools for sharing health updates and mobilizing a community of support. Learn more and start a site today. CaringBridge.org/military

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

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Honor Flight

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Joe Molina Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby

What’s Next - Transition

Scott Hermann Cybersecurity

Collaborative Organizations

www.HomelandMagazine.com Greetings and a warm welcome to Homeland Magazine! Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. The Magazine focuses on national resources, support, community, and inspiration for our veterans and the military families that keep it together. Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with our veterans, service members, military families, and civilians. The magazine is supported by a distinguishing list of national veteran organizations, resource centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. Homeland Magazine is a veterans magazine for veterans by veterans. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of Homeland Magazine.

Mike Miller

Publisher/Editor mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 4

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night out A night out

6 A Warrior Finds New Purpose in Yoga 14 The Path of a Warrior 16 A Long Overdue Thank You 18 A Night Out 20 Resolution Solutions 22 Arts & Healing 24 What’s Next - 2020 By Ashleigh Byrnes 26 Enlisted to Entrepreneur - 2020 28 Legal Eagle - Vets To Business 30 Transitioning Veterans - Leadership 32 Military Money - 2020 Money 34 Cybersecurity - Personal Information 36 A Different Lens - Year In Review 38 VA San Diego - Pain Research 42 Careers In Law Enforcement


* Cover - Photo by Mark Cubbedge www.markacubbedge.com


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Host this National Memorial in your Community

Please contact us to add a Fallen loved one, host the memorial, or make a donation at: info@RememberingOurFallen.org

www.RememberingOurFallen.org www.PatrioticProductions.org

Tribute Towers

Remembering Our Fallen is a national memorial unlike any other -with military & personal photos of 5,000 military Fallen since 9/11/2001

“If the purpose of a war memorial is to help us remember the sacrifices of the Heroes, and to help us heal from our sorrow, then your mission has been accomplished. Thank you for this tremendous gift.”

Unveiled at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2017, it has since traveled the nation coastto-coast.

- 1LT Daniel P. Riordan’s Mother

This memorial also includes those who returned from war, but lost their inner battle to suicide, and those who died from non-war zone injuries while serving in their military capacity.

“There is a ‘disconnect’ between those we ask to serve our military objectives and our society at large. This memorial made that connection very dramatically and helped us understand the magnitude of their sacrifices.

Please contact us to add a Fallen loved one, host the memorial, or make a donation at: info@RememberingOurFallen.org

- Ed Malloy, Mayor of Fairfield, Iowa

Artist - Saul Hansen

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Vol. 8 Number 1 • January 2020 www.HomelandMagazine.com


A Warrior Finds New Purpose in Yoga WHAT’S NEXT Transitioning to Civilian Life

Art & Healing

Join Us In 2020

Enlisted To Entrepreneur




Mental Health A Year In Review

2020 MONEY

Financial Planning USS Arizona Memorial Calendar - January

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Homeland Magazine Voted 2017, 2018 & 2019 Best resource, support magazine for veterans, transitioning military personnel, active military, military families & veteran organizations


night out A night out

6 A Warrior Finds New Purpose in Yoga 14 The Path of a Warrior 16 A Long Overdue Thank You 18 A Night Out 20 Resolution Solutions 22 Arts & Healing 24 What’s Next - 2020 By Ashleigh Byrnes 26 Enlisted to Entrepreneur - 2020 28 Legal Eagle - Vets To Business 30 Transitioning Veterans - Leadership 32 Military Money - 2020 Money 34 Cybersecurity - Personal Information 36 A Different Lens - Year In Review 38 VA San Diego - Pain Research 42 Careers In Law Enforcement

GET CONNECTED! A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans


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“root down, to rise up”

Photo by Robert Sturman www.robertsturmanstudio.com 10

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A Warrior Finds New Purpose in Yoga

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Rooting Down to Rise Up: A Warrior Finds New Purpose in Yoga Dan Nevins was severely injured in 2004 when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated beneath his vehicle in Iraq. He lost both legs below the knee and lives with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress. Things turned around for Dan when he found yoga – and a new life as a yoga teacher. What was your experience with finding a mind-body connection through yoga? Dan: It wasn’t until I adopted a yoga practice that I really began to understand the vital connection of mind and body and how poorly equipped I was to handle both physical and mental challenges. I started to discover how the best, most efficient way to combat the residual mental health issues from my experience in combat was by integrating body and mind and getting my complete “self” enrolled in the fight toward healing completely.


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What was your a-ha moment? How did that moment bring mind and body together? Dan: It was the moment when I removed my prosthetics for the first time in my yoga practice. I discovered an acute awareness that I had been disconnected. I was disconnected from the Earth and just walking around above it on prosthetic legs, unaware and basically apathetic that a lack of connection to our planet was even remotely significant. In the moment that I took off my legs and visualized what my yoga teacher had been saying, “root down, to rise up,” imagining roots growing from what was left of my lower body and then coming into Warrior One pose; that’s when the sense of connection to the earth that was missing for almost a decade came rushing back and filled my body with an energy and vitality that changed everything for me.

It was like the Earth was speaking directly into me, saying “Dan, where have you been for the last ten years?”

I know that he’d receive the same benefits that I had, but I still didn’t want to teach. That all changed when the same friend called me almost a month later to say, “thank you.”

When did you know you wanted to teach yoga? Dan: I knew that I wanted to teach yoga when a military buddy of mine who was struggling with the invisible wounds of war, confessed to me that he was considering suicide and had even attempted and was discovered in the attempt by his wife and daughter. When my friend made this confession to me, the only thing I could muster from my lips was, “You need some yoga in your life.” Much to my amazement, he said. “Teach me.” I was in disbelief in that moment, then wound up teaching my first yoga class to one man in my living room. Following that, I set him up at a yoga studio and he was going!

I thought he was thanking me for setting him up with a yoga mat and a month at his local studio, but it turns out that he was thanking me for saving his life. I didn’t understand or even believe fully until he went on to say, “Yesterday was a bad day.” It happened to be the anniversary of the day a group of his brothers were killed in Afghanistan. He continued, “I went to go get my gun… but, I grabbed my yoga mat instead.” That was all I needed to hear to realize that teaching yoga was indeed what I was called to do. Immediately after that call, I enrolled in my next two consecutive teacher trainings, this time not to deepen my practice, but to actually learn to teach. It’s the greatest decision I’ve ever made. http://www.dannevins.com/

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The Path of the Warrior: Healing Body and Mind Through Yoga By Tracy Farrell – Engagement and Physical Health & Wellness Vice President, Wounded Warrior Project Yoga’s emphasis on physical, mental, and spiritual connections can empower veterans to reclaim their feelings and reduce anxiety, depression, and stress after traumatic events. New takes on this ancient practice include traumainformed yoga and combat-conscious yoga – methods that focus on living with combat stress and PTSD. Recognizing that every healing journey is different, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) offers a variety of physical and mental wellness sessions that bring healing experiences to injured veterans. Yoga is one of many options available to veterans seeking relief from the physical and mental aftermath of combat stress. Pain Relief, Clarity of Mind Army combat medic Bridgett Hardin didn’t realize the risks she assumed while she was on convoys from Tikrit to Baghdad, Iraq. After retiring from the Army and while managing traumatic brain injury, she developed chronic back pain. “I started doing yoga almost by accident,” Bridgett said. “My doctor recommended water aerobics for my back injury. I had done physical therapy, and it used to put me in more pain.” Bridgett bought a gym membership so she could do water aerobics, and soon noticed they also offered yoga classes. She gave it a try. Five months later, Bridgett was attending yoga classes several times per week. She started practicing yoga at home on her own and trying meditation as a healing technique. “Yoga has changed my life,” Bridgett said. “I have a lot less pain. I feel less stressed when I do yoga, and my mind is a lot clearer. I’ve found something I can enjoy for life.” She attended a WWP yoga session taught by fellow veteran Dan Nevins in Coronado, California, recently. She identified with Dan, who was in some of the same places in Iraq. Dan shared his story of how his unit ran over an improvised explosive device, causing the amputation of both of his legs. 14

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Bridgett Hardin & Dan Nevins

Hearing Dan’s story and following his cues as he led the yoga session while walking on his prosthetic legs brought it home to Bridgett. “It hit me how much danger me and my friends were in. I’ve had a long journey since I left the military nine years ago. To see how a fellow veteran defies the odds to become an inspiring yoga teacher is incredible,” Bridgett said. Dan’s teaching style is informed by the trauma he went through. His connection to fellow veterans is immediate and unavoidable. Eyes Open and Hands Off Trauma-informed yoga practices can help alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress, including intrusive thoughts and emotional detachment. A trauma-informed yoga instructor is mindful of participants’ experiences. The teaching style focuses on accessibility for all – including English-language names for poses, and no hands-on adjustments. Participants also are welcomed to keep their eyes open during class if that makes them more comfortable. Trauma-informed yoga instructors are also prepared to help participants with modifications for combat-related wounds, traumatic injuries, and other health conditions that benefit from adaptive yoga practices.

Studies at several medical centers, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), show that yoga can change the way people respond to situations that trigger a fight-orflight response. One study showed a decrease in veterans’ PSTD symptoms after six weeks of trauma-informed yoga practice. Injured veterans are discovering yoga as one of many ways to access the mind-body connection and allow true healing to unfold. In a WWP survey of the wounded warriors it serves, 83% report living with the symptoms of PTSD. And 90% report physical health or emotional problems interfered with their normal social activities with family, friends, neighbors, or groups.

“Yoga has helped me come to terms with this new body,” Richard said. “This is the body I’m in now, and yoga helped me accept myself. It was good to try yoga early on in my recovery and let yoga help me figure out what my body can still do and what are the obstacles I need to clear. Yoga helped me work through the anxiety of being in groups and performing physically in a notso-functioning body. I’m still not 100%, but I can move enough.” Richard shares his experience eloquently, and even finds ways to use humor to share his story. He said yoga stands for “Your Own Great Abilities.”

Finding “Your Own Great Abilities” Some experts attribute yoga’s positive effect to intentional breathing exercises (pranayama), while others credit yoga postures (asanas), while still others note the sense of community a room full of yogis provides. Kerianne and Brent Snipes (Marine Corps veterans) tried yoga at a Project Odyssey® mental health workshop that helps couples deal with combat stress. Project Odyssey gives individuals and couples space to work through mental health issues by participating in various activities. Afterward, the couple took part in WWP-led yoga classes near Phoenix, as well as WWP online yoga classes. “Yoga has been an amazing addition to our lives,” Kerianne said. “It helps bring balance and alignment with mind, body, and spirit. In our experience, it helps all parts of the body to feel ignited and acknowledged. It helps you feel stretched, expands flexibility, and just brings overall peace. It’s helped my husband feel less tense and more lighthearted. We’ve discovered many benefits of yoga in our lives.” Improving relationships and social interactions are priorities for some injured veterans. Army veteran Richard Ottum has found important social benefits to his yoga practice. “Yoga has not only helped the physical aspects of my recovery, but also my socialization,” Richard said. “After my brain injury, I had to relearn to read cues and communicate without interrupting others. I had to relearn to give someone else a turn.” Richard was injured in a car accident after returning home from his deployment. The impact crushed his skull and caused hearing and vision loss. The traumatic brain injury (TBI) reduced movement on the left side of his body. He’s relearned to use the left side by staying active and trying yoga, among other forms of therapy.

The changes in physical well-being spur emotional and spiritual awareness. “I don’t know if it’s the heart or the soul,” Richard said. “Maybe it’s a gray space where my mind is telling my leg to do this. At some point, the movements take over and the yoga poses start working by themselves. I realize that’s the mind-body connection.” Learn more about how programs like this help warriors manage mental health through physical activity and connecting with others. About the Author As vice president of engagement and physical health & wellness for Wounded Warrior Project, Tracy Farrell develops and oversees programs designed to improve connections, reduce stress, relieve depression, and promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Through these programs, WWP helps warriors reach their goals and enjoy improved health. Tracy also practices yoga and is a 200-hour Kripalu Yoga certified instructor. Prior to joining WWP, Tracy served for more than 22 years in the U.S. Army as a crisis and personnel manager and trainer – primarily in the military police. In her last assignment, she was chief of the congressional operations division in the Army’s legislative liaison office at the Pentagon. About Wounded Warrior Project Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), top rated by Charity Navigator, and holding a GuideStar Platinum rating. To get involved and learn how WWP connects, serves, and empowers, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us. WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2020


A Long Overdue Thank You By Jeffrey J. Antonucci As children, my brother Ronald and I spent hours playing with those green, plastic “Army Men.” The “bad guys” were either tan or blueish gray. Whichever color, we always made sure the green guys won the battles played out on the carpet of our den floor because they were the “good guys,” the American troops! Another great pastime for my “brother-in-arms” and I was playing “Army” on the empty lot up the street with the kids in the neighborhood. We’d simulate the action scenes from the TV show “Combat” or the movies, “Sands of Iwo Jima” starring John Wayne and “Bataan” starring Robert Taylor. To us, the sound effects we made mimicking that one telltale shot ricocheting off a rock, machine-gun fire or grenades (pineapples) exploding around us, matched exactly as they sounded in those shows. We even made sure the kid playing the medic or corpsman patched up the kid pretending to be hit in the leg well enough so he could limp (Ronald was great at this) or at least drag himself around but still remain in the fight. Here again, whether the engagements with our imagined enemy took place among the hedgerows of Europe or the far-flung reaches of the Pacific, we were the American Troops, the “good guys” and the good guys always won! Ronald and I, in the walnut-paneled protection of our den, took turns taking potshots with rubber bands at the plastic, enemy mine-detector guy and the harder to hit because of his prone position machine-gunner guy. Then, and while wearing PF Flyers turned imaginary combat boots, we scaled piles of bulldozed dirt that represented the gritty, volcanic sands of Mount Suribachi, meanwhile half a world away a real war was raging. There “Army Men” made of flesh and blood, hearts, minds and souls, none of which, plastic, were fighting and dying. I recall sitting with company around the picnic table in our backyard. The conversation was about the war taking place way-far-away. A friend of my oldest brother Thomas was saying that we needed to stop the communists (the enemy) “over there” before they came over here. I remember gazing into the woods beyond where we sat and wondered if the enemy might be hiding out there already. If so, I knew it would take more than rubber bands and mimicking the sounds of exploding “pineapples” to win that battle. It was a scary thought. 16

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There was a chair in our kitchen we used when we talked on the phone. I can still see my mother sitting in that chair, crying her eyes out because my brother Louis, who was serving in the Air Force, and on the other end of that phone, had just informed her he received his orders to deploy to Vietnam. By the grace of God, while on his thirty-day leave, Louis’ orders were changed. He was to be deployed to Thailand instead. My mother was ecstatic. Not long after, that chair and my mother’s eyes received the same workout. My brother John, who was serving in the Army, received his orders to deploy to Vietnam. By the grace of God, while on his thirtyday leave, John’s orders were changed. He was to be deployed to Korea instead. My mother’s faithful prayers to the statue of the Blessed Mother and the candles she kept lit by Her side at the shrine our stone-mason grandfather built for us, were answered. Two of her five sons in service at the time wouldn’t be going to Vietnam. Those two sons felt the same way about my mother’s prayers. Suddenly that way-far-away war came from half a world away, to the woods beyond our backyard, and right into our kitchen. Ronald joined the Marines and served at the time of the Beirut barracks bombing. Like all Marines, he remains faithful to his Corps and I believe way down deep inside, faithful to the days when a nylon carpet was a far-flung battleground and a pretend limp earned him a Purple Heart. I never served. I never thanked my brothers who did. I thank them now, along with all those who served and are serving.

My mother’s miracle manufacturing shrine.

My career in construction followed the path forged by my grandfather, father, and uncle, working as a mason until a random slideshow before my eyes changed that path and I became the author of a magical realism novel titled, “Deep Within a Blueberry Sky.” That led me to become an advocate for love and peace via an initiative titled, “Love and Peace, A Sign for Our Times.” It’s about spreading love and peace to all people and all things, symbolized by a three-finger hand sign I created. “2020 and Beyond, Perfect Vision” is the name given to this initiative’s concept for a love and peace-filled world. In this world, mothers wouldn’t cry fearing their sons and daughters are headed off to war, nor would they cry if their children didn’t return. No war, no mothers crying. Maybe being called to deploy to the front lines of the conflicts between love and hate and peace and desperation are where I’m meant to serve. In these conflicts, I know I’m on the side of the “good guys” and as we all know, the good guys always win! But mom, it’s okay to pray for me if you’d like please and while you’re at it, pray for us all.

HOMELAND Veteran Resources & Organizations

I offer you all my love and peace.

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.

Visit Homeland today at

www.HomelandMagazine.com Learn more about the author on his website www.InspiredWorks.net and social media platforms www.Facebook.com/InspiredWorksLLC and www.Facebook.com/LoveAndPeaceTime

Homeland Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans

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night out A night out In 2003, two Vietnam veterans began hosting dinners for wounded military members at Walter Reed. Now, they are passing the torch to DAV. By Ashleigh Byrnes


ach Herrick, an Army veteran, was shot in the face when his platoon was ambushed in Afghanistan in 2011. Herrick’s injuries were extensive—the gunshot severely damaged his lower jaw, teeth and tongue, requiring more than 20 reconstructive surgeries. He spent from 2011 to 2016 recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “You’re treated as a patient but still part of the military, which can be tiresome and draining on one’s recovery,” said Herrick. In 2003, Vietnam veterans and DAV life members Hal Koster and Jim Mayer recognized this truth as a growing need among returning troops wounded overseas. Koster—then a co-owner of Fran O’Brien’s Stadium Steakhouse in Washington, D.C.—had pushed much of his wartime experience out of his mind, but many of his regular customers were Vietnam veterans and VA employees. “When the war injured starting showing up at Walter Reed Hospital, [Jim] convinced me that a night away from the hospital for a patient or a family member could be very therapeutic,” said Koster. They soon began sponsoring a free weekly steak dinner for the patients and their families. Eventually, Koster started the nonprofit Aleethia Foundation, and what came to be known as the Aleethia Friday Night Dinners began rotating between different venues throughout the D.C. area, all fully funded by generous donors. “It was a good way to get out of my room and meet other people,” recalled Herrick, who started attending the dinners in 2014. “The occupational therapy department works with the service members to teach them to become accustomed to their new norm,” said Koster. “The dinners give them a chance to practice some of this training they have


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Mag_2020_JanFeb.indd 28

DAV National Commander Butch Whitehead greets patients from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as they arrive to the Capitol Hill Club for a dinner out.

received and do it in a safe environment.” “Friday night dinner was the only thing that I looked forward to doing, even if it was once a week,” said Herrick. “It helped give me that lifeline that I needed. There was no pressure, no obligation, no worries. Just come, eat, drink, have a relaxing time with friends. “Hal and Jim helped give us that normality back with our families and friends,” Herrick added. After 16 years of hosting the weekly dinners, Koster and Mayer are officially turning the event over to DAV to manage and operate, as the organization has been a long-time supporter of the Aleethia dinner program. “These dinners have become an institution for our wounded military members and their families, and DAV is honored to be taking the reins on such a meaningful event that has impacted so many lives,” said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “Hal and Jim have been the heart of this program, and we look forward to continuing their vision of serving and honoring the nation’s veterans.” The event will now be called DAV Night Out but will feature a nearly identical lineup of hosts. “The legacy I would like to see continued is working closely with the medical staff to not just provide a dinner to honor the patients but a dinner that supports the healing process,” said Koster. “This is a great program being taken over by a great organization. I look forward to continuing to be a part of the dinners but as a volunteer for DAV.” ■

Learn More Online www.dav.org/help-dav/dav-night-out

12/23/19 11:45 AM

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

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The holidays are over, but the New Year’s resolutions have just begun, and Homeland Magazine is here to help you keep yours. If you’ve chosen to change your life this year, you’re not alone. Nearly half the United States – a stunning 150 million people – did the same. Many of these aren’t plastic or paper decisions either but life-affirming, soul-quenching, I’m-the-captain-ofmy-destiny-and-I’m-finally-going-do-this variety.

If this sounds familiar, good for you! Recognition that change is necessary is the first step. Desire makes all things possible. Work well begun is half done.

High on most lists, losing weight or getting fit with many deciding the time to act is now.

You’re off and running, maybe literally.


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Now the bad news. Statistically speaking, most of you are doomed. Nearly 90 percent who make New Year’s resolutions fail. That’s a crazy high bust rate. Who would ever bet those odds? You would and you do. Let me explain. At the start of every year -- without fail -- people flock to gyms. They’re recognizable by their new sneakers, stylish water bottles and eager looks. You can practically see their new gym bodies in the bubble dreams above their heads. Memberships are bought. Trainers hired. Classes enrolled. And so begins the brief lifecycle of the Resolution Set, a specimen of gym member whose chief function is giving money away for no apparent reason. All gym vets know their ways well. They start January like shooting stars, their resolution glow bright and vibe positive and contagious. February finds them making strides. Cracks start showing in March as they realize that working out can be, well, work, and that maybe the miraculous transformations they envisioned might’ve been a skosh unrealistic.

1. Set realistic goals. Losing a pound or two a month – and keeping it off -- is a reasonable. Anything more is, hmm, gravy. 2. Start slow. Take it easy as you learn what your body can do. Hurting yourself or being too sore to workout defeats the purpose. 3. Then, ramp it up. You’re at the gym to work, so work. Push weights around, stretch, walk, peddle or paddle. Sweat a little so you can live a lot. 4. Just go. Just as possession is nine-tenths of the law, so too is getting to the gym is nine-tenths of the battle. Get there and you’ll figure out the rest. 5. No excuses. If you have five free minutes a day, you have time to workout. How? Do all the pushups and sit ups you can in one-minute increments. Follow that up with running as far you can for another minute – it will take you two minutes to walk back. Done. 6. Find what works for you. Yoga, pilates, kettle ball, boxing, surfing, mixed martial arts, weights, running, kendo, fencing, crossfit, judo, swimming, biking, walking, whatever. There are a lot of choices. Find one or three that work for you. 7. Remember the big picture. Attaining your fitness goals takes effort and means pushing through adversity.

Then the wheels fly completely off.

8. Find your motivation. Whether you’re doing this for yourself, your family or some other reason, keep that reason in mind when you feel like quitting.

This typically happens by May, exactly when the neophytes should be prepping for the big beach season reveal.

9. Have fun. It’s hard to succeed at anything unless you enjoy it and make it part of your life.

They were so close to getting somewhere and then puff. Gone. Another statistic.

10. Forgive yourself. No one is 100 percent all the time. The best baseball hitters fail 70 percent of the time. The greatest quarterbacks throw interceptions. The most powerful tycoons make bad deals. When you backslide, pick yourself up and keep going.

But you can break this cycle of boom and bust, and here are some tips to do just that.

“Nearly 90 percent who make New Year’s resolutions fail.”

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Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans

By Amber Robinson

New Year’s Artistic Resolutions

Creative Intentions

Goals Resolutions Intentions 22

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Now we have entered 2020, people around the globe are settling on their New Year’s resolutions and goals. Unfortunately, studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them. This year, instead, I posit we set a list of thoughtful intentions, using creativity and art to reflect on our innermost values and desires.

This year, my intentions are to develop myself academically, professionally and artistically. Your intentions can be just as broad, or more precise. Your intent for the year may be to work on your marriage, find a new job or foster a better relationship with your kids or friends Once you have identified your intentions, it is up to you to focus on them daily and open your heart to accept the change. There are many ways to initiate new intentions into your life. Many create meaningful rituals that mark the beginning of a new intentional mindset. You can also create a mantra to use daily, which states your intentions. You can keep a journal, writing out the intentions routinely or share them with a friend.

I know you may be wondering what the difference is between a goal or resolution and an intention. Goals are a destination or specific achievement. A goal resides in the future. Intentions, on the other hand, are lived each day within the present moment, independent of achieving the goal or destination. Goals are external accomplishments. Intentions are about your relationship with yourself, the world around you and others. Being intentional allows you to focus on how you want to be in the moment.

Any way you can bring focus and meaningful energy to your intentions will bolster the probability of them manifesting. It is also important to maintain a daily mindset of gratitude as if your intentions are already reality. Your mind, body and spirit will naturally begin to respond to and gravitate toward opportunities that support your intent.

Artistic intention in drama refers to the decisions, made by theatre makers, to communicate deeper meaning through their work. Without an artistic intention a piece of drama lacks a purpose or a message for its intended audience. Much like artistic intention, the motive for setting personal life intentions is to bring greater purpose and meaning into your life.

This year, believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to get creative with self growth. So, get out there and fearlessly sketch out a new path, paint yourself a more colorful year or write out your heart’s deepest desires in a poem. However you wish to listen, heal or grow, art is here to help.

So, how do you decide on what your yearly intentions will be? To find out, take a moment and really reflect on your values, relationships, goals and truest desires. These should not be what you think they SHOULD be according to friends, social media, magazines, TV and the public at large. True intentions will encourage selfgrowth, balance and joy whether you meet a certain goal or not. If “going within” to connect with your truest desires is difficult, art can help. According to New York City Art Therapist, Sara Roizen, “Art taps into our innate role as creators and provides a direct visual outlet for our inner worlds, hopes, dreams, and desires. Art accesses our inner wisdom and can coax material from the unconscious.” If you are having a hard time settling down and listening to your inner self, simply sit down with a sketch book or piece of newsprint and begin to doodle. Or, make a collage, a vision board or begin a free-write in an “intention journal”. Do anything that will get the creative juices flowing. Creating art brings you to the present moment, which is also where your intentions will be exercised. The colors of gratitude

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2020


WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby


Language School

Transition is tough. Doing it well is tough. You’ve worked hard to succeed in the military and now the rules have changed. The view is different. Your expectations will be challenged. You may be blindsided. In some areas you will maintain your expectations. In some you will need to lower your expectations and see things through different lenses.

Create your Grid

The New Year is here. 2020, many are saying, will be a year of new vision and perspective. Let’s, then, take a look at your transition through a different lens.

Kevin Panet shoots from the hip and is an accomplished HR professional. As a veteran who has made mistakes of his own in his transition, he offers these 5 insights for those who want to transition well.

Levels Set

Veterans assume civilian employees care as much about the organization as they did on active duty. The vast majority of people working in the private sector just want to do their jobs and get on with their lives. The “commitment to excellence” is rare. It’s kind of a letdown when vets figure this out. Lessons learned: Be prepared to adjust your expectations, while continuing to execute at your level of excellence. You may be surprised how quickly you are promoted. Veterans get frustrated that they are not trusted nearly as much in the private sector. Many veterans are responsible for millions of dollars of equipment and personnel. When they get out, it’s often like they are starting again from square one. The trust levels just aren’t there and everything is a “Mother may I?” Lessons learned: It will take time to learn new skills and earn trust with co workers in your civilian career as it was in your military career.


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Kevin continues to explain, “When veterans are looking for work, they need to learn the language of the career path they hope to take. I did human resources in the Air Force. We were governed primarily by Air Force regulations and the Uniformed Military Code of Justice. Now, I need to know all federal laws, as well as applicable state laws. It was quite a learning curve, but fortunately I started a couple years before I transitioned and I feel that helped me. It also helped that I did numerous informational interviews, giving me a much better sense of where I was going.”

Networking. I find a lot of veterans don’t know how to network, how to leverage LinkedIn, or disregard their network of acquaintances in the military. As a result, veterans can become isolated and frustrated. I think it’s important for veterans to stay connected with fellow vets to get support and encouragement as they make their transition. That’s why I am a strong supporter of organizations like Team Red, White and Blue (www.TeamRWB.org).

Hang It Up

Hanging up the uniform. Yes, veterans should be proud of their service, but they should also learn to be humble. When transitioning to a new civilian job the structure and assumptions vets had in the military goes out the window. Veterans can’t expect others to automatically follow their orders without question. Civilian life just doesn’t work that way. Veterans need to be respectful of their new environment, learn how the new organization gets things done, then look for ways they can make contributions that matter. Stay focused in 2020. Keep your vision. Stay true to your goals and if you need help transitioning? Need help with interviewing? Resume writing? Networking? Connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d love to meet you and help you get to where you want to be. Eve Nasby is a hiring expert with almost three decades invested in these topics. Join her on LinkedIn today. www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-0050452








(858) 284-3700 hello@bandofhands.com

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• Will you turn the plan into action? • Do you have the guts to take your business in new directions?


I would like to lay out a road map that will get you to view your business through a lens that eliminates the distortions of everyday business. Let me warn you, you may not like what you see. But if you are going to meet the year head on it is a necessary process. Let’s look at what a strategic plan could do for you. 1. Develop A Statement of Purpose. Why does your business exist? Sometimes why we started the business is not the same as why we continue to work it. Dr. Maxwell Malts, from Psycho-Cybernetics says “Begin to imagine what the desired outcome would be like. Go over these mental pictures and delineate details and refinements. Play them over and over to yourself.”

Eight Steps to Meet 2020 Head On I write Enlisted to Entrepreneur every month tapping into my own experience in the small business world. My know-how is primarily in marketing. So, occasionally you should hear a different voice. Barbara Eldridge is a voice who is a Small Business Expert specializing in planning. Barbara Eldridge and I have worked together for over 20 years to provide entrepreneurs with a wellrounded kit of info you can trust and lean on. So, here’s Barbara’s approach to planning. Her clients swear by her

insights. – Vicki Garcia

Are you keeping up with the pace of change? The pace of technology? The pace of your marketplace? The pace of your competition? The Yearly Dilemma is how much do you and your business have to change to keep pace? As a business owner, you need to have information at your fingertips that help you make the best decisions. Planning each year is a hands-on process. You might start by asking some tough questions. • Do you recognize the need for change • Are you prepared to look reality in the face? • Are you willing to change the way you do business – and change yourself?


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Remember the Why isn’t to make money, that is a result. When your WHY is in balance, what you do is simply a tangible way you find to breathe life into that cause. Begin to create the framework to grow your business on. 2. Conduct A SWOT Analysis. This will help you evaluate your businesses’ internal strengths, the internal, positive attributes of your business and weaknesses, internal, negative attributes of your business along with the opportunities and threats you face in the marketplace. It will give you a basis for developing a plan; it helps assess the company’s strengths, weaknesses, and critical assets. It looks at outside factors that are analyzed including government regulations and new technologies that may affect growth in 3 to 5 years. 3. Crystallize Your Thinking. Determine what specific long-range goals you want for your business. It is never enough to just want more money. They should cover all aspects of the business. Pull together and identify the most important goals to focus on for this year – those goals that are high leverage, that will deeply impact your life and create real momentum moving forward. This is a critical key to creating goals that matter, goals that will transform you and create the most impact for your market efforts.

4. Create Benchmarks. Include specific results for meeting those goals. It is easier to adjust along the way without losing sight of the long-range goals. What are the milestones, landmarks, and rough timeline you will follow when you execute on your strategy? 5. Brainstorm Strategies. How are you going to reach each of the results? There is more than one way to achieve a result, ask others for ideas. You are often faced with making decisions and would like to have the insight of other professionals but fear the expense of hiring outside consultants. This is where a Board of Advisors or your “master mind” group can be invaluable. Large companies have used this form of accumulated knowledge and experience for years to address employee, technical, sales, financial and marketing issues. 6. Develop A Plan of Action. Take your One-Year Plan, and break it down into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily actions that keep you on track. Plan the progressive steps, along with who will do what when. Nothing ever happens without action, but there is a world of difference between mere action and constructive action. A worthwhile plan is more than a to-do list, it is a design. A blueprint. Action steps implement the chosen strategy and tactics to realize the chosen goals and results. Engineer your big goals into your everyday actions and strategies that will lead you inevitably toward achieving your best year ever. Action step planning is tedious, but a critical part of the planning process. It is a matter of spelling out step by step each of the accountability steps that must be completed. It requires careful thinking about the timing involved and the manpower requirements. Small action steps increase the mastery of the game, which adds to the passion, and creativity needed to sustain the motivation for winning.

7. Be Confident in Yourself and Your Abilities. Be committed to follow through on your plan, because without determination the plan will deteriorate. Your conditions don’t determine your destiny, your character does. Your character is made up of your core habits. When you create habits that align with your highest vision, you ultimately put your success on autopilot. Habits of success are the foundation of confident progress. Confucius said that all men are alike, but it is their habits that separate them. You want to fulfill your destiny – and create the best year ever – you need to create habits that match that.

8. Track Your Progress. Write out your numbers (yes, I said write), know your sales number, gross profit, cost of goods/time. It is a sure way of staying focused. Determine EXACTLY what it is you want to track. Then set up your Scoreboard. When you don’t keep score, you can’t possibly win! The best controls/measurements help you see how effective and efficient a process or the ingredients of a process are, in creating a specific result. The most powerful ones give you a clear numeric way of making effectiveness visible. Barbara Eldridge has built a solid reputation as a Success strategies specialist, coach and speaker within industry and business over the past 35 years. Her unique message since starting Mind Masters 25+ years ago for entrepreneurs and small business owners, continually stresses vision, purpose and values as the key elements of business philosophy. Her undying compassion for the entrepreneur’s journey, her tireless capacity to listen, and her sincere enthusiasm for other’s success have insured her growing influence and her mastery with MIND MASTERS. www.mindmasters.com

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

FROM VETERAN TO BUSINESS OWNER Did you know out of the 27.9 million businesses in the Untied States, 2.45 million of them are owned by Veterans? 70% of American consumers are more likely to buy from a veteran owned business than from a business not owned by a veteran. Starting or running a business takes courage, discipline and dedication. It also takes knowing the legal aspects that could safe guard your hard work. Before starting, running or buying a business consider the following: HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN. A complete, thoughtful business plan is one of the most valuable tools in helping you reach your long-term goals. It gives your business direction, defines your objectives, maps out strategies to achieve your goals and helps you to manage possible bumps in the road. OBTAIN FINANCING. Whether you are starting a new business or buying an existing one, small businesses need money. If you or your spouse served in the military and would like to fund your small business, you can take advantage of a few different favorable loan options geared towards veterans. INCORPORATE YOUR BUSINESS. Many small business owners launch their companies as sole proprietorships in which they and their businesses are essentially one and the same. However, changing the format of a small business to a corporation or a limited liability company can offer a range of advantages for entrepreneurs. The advantages of incorporating a small business include:

partnerships just end if an owner dies or leave the business. • Deductible expenses. Both corporations and limited liability companies may deduct normal business expenses, including salaries. • Compete for more contracts. Some businesses require vendors and contracting companies to be incorporated before they can compete for contracts. • Entice and hold employees with stock options. A corporation has an advantage in attracting talented employees by offering employees partial ownership in the business through stock options.

Becoming a business owner, you control your own destiny, choose the people you work with, reap big rewards, challenge yourself, give back to the community, and you get to follow your passion.

• Personal asset protection. Both corporations and limited liability companies allow owners to separate and protect their personal assets. • Additional credibility and name protection. Adding “Inc.” or “LLC” after your business name can add instant legitimacy and authority. Consumers, vendors and partners frequently prefer to do business with an incorporated company.

Knowing what you’re getting into is smart business because the responsibility of protecting your family and yourself falls on you.

• Perpetual existence. Corporations and limited liability companies can continue to exist even if ownership or management changes. Sole proprietorships and

For more information on how to legally protect your business please pick up a copy of my book: ‘Go Legal Yourself’ on Amazon or visit my website at www.baglalaw.com


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2020

Starting a Business as a Veteran?


NOTHING COMPARES at this price to Go Legal Yourself ® Startup Essentials Package. This specialized, customizable package of legal contracts and documents includes everything a startup company needs to protect its assets from the beginning. You won't find these contracts online anywhere but here. The transition from military service to civilian life can be a difficult one, especially when it comes to your career.

Compare Go Legal Yourself ® Startup Essentials Package against the rest:

That’s why a growing number of veterans choose to forge their own path and become entrepreneurs after leaving the Armed Forces. While starting a business comes with numerous challenges, former service members do have one distinct advantage: the veteran community.


“The strength and power of veteran entrepreneurs comes from other veteran entrepreneurs” Unlike most highly competitive entrepreneurial environments, veteran entrepreneurs share information much more easily.

-4 E m ployer Identification N um ber


If you or someone you know is a veteran looking to start a business, please feel free to contact Vicki Garcia.


Vicki is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 33+ -year- old marketing consulting firm. If you want support for starting up a business, email her at vicki@veteransinbiz.com.


For advice, tips and programs you can read Vicki’s monthly column at Homeland Magazine or visit www.HomelandMagazine.com and click on the banner:


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THE LEADERSHIP SKILLS VETERANS BRING TO ORGANIZATIONS Joseph Molina Veterans Chamber of Commerce www.vccsd.org

Over the years, veterans have learned nontechnical skills like; leadership, decision-making, being dependable and attention to details, which they can offer to civilian employers. It is indeed difficult to find any military role that doesn’t translate in the civilian workplace. This article focuses on some of the skills these veterans can bring to the table and how they can be effectively put to good use in a civilian workplace.


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1. Discipline: Veterans, in general, are used to a mission-critical mindset. Something veterans have learned over years of being trained with the responsibility to solve problems and follow through until the job is done. Aside from being known to be focused on specific tasks, veterans also have a great attention to detail. Most civilian employers appreciate the level of discipline veterans bring to the civilian workplace.

2. Loyalty:

6. Working under pressure:

One of the key traits required for a successful service in the military is loyalty. People who have served in the military have loyalty ingrained in them, which is sure to be an asset to any company. Veterans understand the critical importance loyalty has in everyday life. Loyalty is that bond that keeps veterans united.

Veterans are used to stressful conditions and have learned to work through these difficult situations. Are able to effectively function under pressure and have the ability to quickly adapt when necessary to meet the demands required by a situation. Working under pressure is also an excellent skill employers’ value. Having the ability to remain calm under stressful situations allows for veterans to be excellent leaders as others depend on them to solve difficult tasks on helping improve employee productivity and increase morale in the workplace.

3. Accountability: Employers often state that it has become more difficult to find employees willing and ready to embrace accountability in the workplace. Veterans understand accountability extremely well. Veterans have a mindset that embraces and fulfills each task with complete sense of accountability. 4. Organizational skills: Veterans have the training and have a full and complete understanding of what organizational skills are and the way to implement them. These skills are key to completing the mission and achieving every task. Employers look for employees who understand and are able to use this important skill. Veterans know how policies and procedures enable a business to succeed. Veterans are no strangers to systemic planning, which is of utmost importance to any form of business. 5. Teamwork:

7. Leadership based on trust: Military Leaders know that money is not the main motivating factor for people. Veterans understand that maintaining a team who has strong loyalty to the group, clear focus and is able to understand and clearly communicate the stated objective is key to the successful working environment. Veterans who lead make sure each team member feels valued, respected and able to trust the team, these are key elements to forming strong bonds between each team member. A civilian organization will greatly benefit by employing a veteran as a business manager because most employees are often far better motivated by a leader who they fully trust than by someone who just offer rewards and/or punishments. IN SUMMARY:

Working in groups is no new thing for veterans. They know how to employ the strength of individuals and rely on their teammates. Veterans work well in teams and learn to rely on each other, support each other. Veterans bring a team mentality to the workplace, with great understanding on how to establish bonds of collaboration and support to the team and to each member within the team. Veterans who enter the workforce are already many steps ahead by having a team mentality that today’s businesses look for.

Veterans bring a can-do attitude and a mind-set of leadership, loyalty, collaboration and a sense of comradery to the workplace. Employers who value these principles will most definitely benefit from having a veteran in their organization.

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By Lara Ryan, Daniel Chavarria & Michael Biemiller Lara.ryan@nm.com / Daniel.Chavarria@nm.com / Michael.biemiller@nm.com

2020 MONEY

Your Financial Planning Calendar January • Use the fresh, new, blank slate opportunity to find a financial advisor. Everyone should have a financial plan and understand their status, their goals, and how to bridge any gap from one to the other. An advisor should consider offensive strategies fro how to build and grow your wealth, and defensive strategies for how to protect and “put a fence around” that wealth and manage risk. • Map out a budget – that means understanding and having a plan for income, spending, savings and investing. Budgeting may seem like a chore, especially as the winter doldrums set in. Rather than think of it as a financial equivalent to dieting, realize that a budget is your way of controlling where your money goes, rather than having your money tell you where it went! View it as a way to ensure that you have enough money for what you truly value and enjoy—say, a secure retirement and a vacation or two every year. With income in mind – consider whether there will be any changes, either up or down? Will those changes affect your eligibility to contribute to a ROTH IRA? Will those changes mean you want to bump up TSP contributions? Have you included contributions to your emergency fund? With spending in mind – remember to include regular, recurring monthly expenses. Also include extra items like subscriptions: Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple music and storage, Sirius, Spotify. Do you get supplements by mail? Have a monthly Stich Fix box or Bark Box for your dog? And for all of those irregular expenses – vacations and gifts (Christmas, birthday, anniversary) and things like oil changes and vehicle registrations, consider what you spend on them per occurrence, multiply that by how many times a year that expense occurs and then divide by 12 (for 12 months a year) to get a monthly place holder amount. Include that monthly amount in the budget!


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Be honest about groceries and dining out! A budget should be realistic, as a budget that has no bearing on what you’re actually spending doesn’t do you any good. This is the first layer in your financial foundation, and – without it – it becomes hard to know what you have to invest or dedicate to financial goals and opportunities beyond monthly expenses. Use your past statements to help gauge your accuracy. Take the time to get it right. Plenty of tools are available to keep you on target. Mint is a go-to app for creating a customized budget, including charts to visualize your cash flow. With Goodbudget, you set limits by designating virtual envelopes of cash for each budget category. • Understand the 2020 military pay dates, calendar them and plan accordingly. • Consider any major 2020 expenses – those things that fall outside of regular budgeting. Do you plan to buy or finance a new car? Major travel? Special gifts or milestones? Are you buying a home? Sending a child to college? Talk to your advisor about incorporating these items into your plan, considering how you need to budget for them in the near- and long-term and what financial vehicles and military resources might be applicable and relevant. • Set up retirement account contributions. Once you’ve decided how much you can afford to direct to retirement savings, tweak your monthly contributions to your TSP, 401(k) or IRA. You can contribute up to $19,500 to a TSP/401(k) in 2020 (plus $6,500 in catch up contributions if you’re age 50 or older). The IRA contribution limit is $6,000 (plus $1,000 in catch-up contributions for those 50 and older). Make this decision based on your budget and then add it in as a “retirement savings” line item. • Make this a year that you pay down debt. Understand SCRA and public service loan forgiveness to know if either will affect any credit card or student loan debt that you or a spouse may have. If high-interest debt is weighing on your balance sheet, make a plan to wipe it out. Include payments to reduce debt in your budget!

If you have credit card debt, which carries an average rate of about 17%, reducing that quickly should be a priority. Transferring the balance to a card with an introductory 0% rate or a low ongoing rate may be a good move. Check out www.nerdwallet.com or www.bankrate.com for balance transfer or 0% cards. Perhaps even consider paying it off with a personal loan or home-equity line of credit, which likely comes with a lower rate than your credit card (talk this through with your financial advisor). If you have high-rate private student loans, you may benefit from refinancing them. Variable rates from online lenders recently ran as low as about 2% for borrowers with great credit and a healthy debt-toincome ratio. Call Larry Morrison at www.collegeloanfreedom.com and set up a free consultation! You may be able to lower your federal loan rate by refinancing, too, but you’d lose key protections. • Ask yourself… - If you’re separating or retiring from military service this year, remember to map out your transition including key taskers like your VA BDD window, deadlines to address VGLI, SPB, and TSP – do you have any outstanding loans and what you’re your plans for TSP post-service? Do you have a transition fund – consider the costs of new business clothes, required travel for interview, and spanning the gap between end of military service and start of civilian career? (If you’re not sure what any of that means, give us a call!)

WOUNDS WE CANNOT SEE Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not always allow the affected to seek help. Lend a hand and provide them with methods of help, listen and be a friend. Homeland Magazine works with nonprofit veteran organizations that help more than 1 million veterans in life-changing ways each year.


- If you’re deploying in this calendar year, have you considered Savings Deposit Plan (SDP)? Have you reviewed and planned for extra/tax free income?


- If you’re PCSing this year, have you considered costs that will/won’t be covered by the military? Do you have an emergency/reserve fund that can be used between required payment dates and reimbursement?


• Plan to see the JAG at some point in first quarter (and certainly before deployment and after marriage, birth of a child or purchase of a home to update will/medical directive/power of attorney? • Keep an eye out for interest statements due to be sent by end of the month from employers, banks, mortgage lenders, etc. and compile them to use in 2019 tax preparation. • Act by key dates – 1 JAN – 14 FEB is the time frame for switching from Medicare Advantage to original Medicare.

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

Resources & Articles available at:



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“If your personal information is stolen, the thief can go to the car dealership and open up an auto loan in your name,” he said. “If you aren’t monitoring your credit information you won’t know about that loan. You won’t be paying on that loan – because you don’t know about it – and your credit will be negatively affected. “If you are actively monitoring your credit and identity information, you will be alerted to the new auto loan and be able to report it as fraud.”

Recent cyberattacks targeting military members may lead to theft of personal information Cyberattacks are on the rise. These attacks not only compromise our national security but our personal and financial security as well. Cyberspies from Russia to China to Iran have recently targeted individual active duty and veteran military members, using false personas on social media networks as well as other tactics to obtain sensitive information. Military branches and the Pentagon also have experienced data breaches in the last few years. These events have put military members and veterans especially at risk, said Scott Hermann, IDIQ℠ co-owner and CEO and one of the nation’s leading experts in credit monitoring, identity theft protection, and data breaches. Hermann said military members and recently retired veterans are doubly vulnerable because of the low number of transactions on their accounts, making them attractive to identity thieves. “Thieves tend to target people who don’t make a lot of transactions,” he said. “If you are in the military or just came out of the military, often you haven’t been making a lot of credit or financial transactions. Identity thieves see this as an easy target who typically won’t be monitoring his or her accounts.” Hermann said actively monitoring credit and identity information is important so you can receive alerts for suspicious activity and act quickly before identity thieves can strike.


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Along with attempting to take out loans with stolen personal and financial information, identity thieves can attempt to open new credit cards, clone ATM or debit cards, change a billing address, obtain a new driver’s license or other

forms of ID, and use that false identity when questioned by police.

“It’s important for everyone to have credit monitoring, but especially for someone in the military or a military veteran,” he said. “When an identity theft occurs, it may have a significant negative impact on credit. “Credit monitoring is the most important thing you can do. If you aren’t monitoring, you aren’t paying attention to your personal information.” Hermann said education also is an important part of identity theft protection. He said, along with regularly updating passwords, be aware that methods a thief uses don’t always include hacking. Phishing scams and other tactics are used to gather personal information over the phone, text, and emails. For more information and education on credit monitoring and protection against identity theft, visit identityiq.com. Based in Southern California, IDIQ is recognized as one of the fastest-growing industry leaders in credit and identity theft monitoring and data breach management. IDIQ operates the flagship IdentityIQ℠ brand for active delivery of credit and identity monitoring and protection. IDIQ and its IdentityIQ brand are a proud supporter of active duty and veteran military members and their families. ©2019 IDIQ provider of IdentityIQ

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A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain

A Year In Review!! As we look back over 2019, a few may say it was a rough year; others may say it was a great year. As we take a mental scan of the entire year, are there things that brought us joy? Are there things that challenged us? Life is rarely 100% positive or 100% challenging, but we can take small steps to bring more balance. How do we foster and encourage those positive things that bring us joy and also deal with the more challenging aspects? First, we must identify these things. I say “we”…. because this is an exercise I recently did myself and it has made a significant impact on my life and my overall wellbeing. You start this exercise by listing three things that bring you joy in your life. Do not overthink this. These should come easily to you and should bring a smile to your face as you write them. My list was easy……family/friends, outdoors/nature, and helping my fellow veterans. The next thing we need to do is list the top three things that brought us stress or challenged us this year. The first one was easy for me and then finding two more involved a little more thought. My top stressor this year was my commute to work. I was spending several hours on the road each day. This included the drive to work, a second office and then travel back and forth. To say it was exhausting and not the best use of resources was an understatement. The commute had to go. What else? What caused me to stress this year? Control…better yet lack of control. I felt very overwhelmed by trying to be in control of things that weren’t mine to control. Ouch, even saying that one out loud stings a little. Yes, I realized that I could only control so much and needed to revert to my Semper Gumby days and be a little more flexible. So now we have our lists. We know some things that make us happy and a few that bring us stress…. now what?


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How do we support and encourage more of the good things? How to we continue to grow in the areas that bring us joy? Equally as important is how do we deal with the more challenging aspects? How do we tip the scales and find more balance? I started on the happy note- things that brought me joy. The first thing I had listed was my family. My family sometimes drive me a little silly but overall are a true place of happiness for me. I booked a trip to visit my extended family including cousins and grandparents. This was the first time I spent Thanksgiving with this much family since I was a child. It really was an amazing trip filled with love and memories. It truly brought me joy. You do not have to spend a lot of money to support your happiness. I made a commitment to myself that weekly I would do one small thing to support my areas of happiness. This week I took a hike with a dear friend and supported two of my areas of happiness…..friends/ family and outdoors. I also had to examine those areas of challenge and see how I could better handle them. The first thing I did was have a very candid conversation with my employer to discuss my challenges with the commute and competing demands for my time. I now commute 10 minutes versus 45-60 minutes one way. You will be surprised who will step up to help when they actual know your struggles. You do not have to make drastic changes or spend a lot of money to bring more balance in your life. Start small and stay committed. Listing 3 positives and 3 challenges really puts everything in perspective but you must follow through and make a commitment to change. Make a goal of weekly supporting the things that bring you joy and finding helpful ways to reduce stress. Remember YOU need to take care of YOU! You can not give from an empty jug…..fill yourself up first! Have a positive, healthy and happy 2020!!

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Exciting Research Conducted at the VA San Diego Healthcare System Center for Pain and Headache Research (CPHR)

Chronic pain and/or headaches are some of the most common debilitating symptoms affecting over 90% of the Veterans. The VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) Anesthesia Pain Service provides multidisciplinary multimodal pain management for all Veterans in the region. The Center for Pain and Headache Research (CPHR) is dedicated to conducting innovative research involving pain and headaches. The research facility is located at Building 23, which is just outside the west entrance of the main hospital at the VASDHS. The Center can accommodate multiple ongoing research studies with access to both assessment and treatment rooms, several magnetic stimulator units with interchanging coils, brain imaging based neuronavigation software and computer network access through the surrounding institutions and universities. The research lab is associated with nearby military healthcare facilities including Naval Medical Center San Diego and Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and collaborated with a variety of experts in the fields of pain management, neuroimaging, data analysis and neuropsychology.


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Currently the Center is leading several VA and DOD funded multicenter studies for headaches related to traumatic brain injury and chronic pain conditions related to Gulf War Illnesses. The Center is founded and directed by Dr. Albert Leung, who is a board-certified anesthesiologist specializing in pain management. Dr. Leung has served the VASDHS for over two decades. He is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and a Research Scientist affiliated with the Veterans Medical Research Foundation. His research focuses on the mechanisms and effectiveness of non-invasive brain and peripheral stimulation for nerve function restoration and headache/pain relief. He founded the first Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) clinical unit for pain and headachetreatment in VASDHS a decade ago. He now directs the Center for TMS at the VASDHS, which has the capability to provide up to 3000 TMS treatment sessions per year for the Veterans.

For pain treatment, several international expert review panels have recently determined conclusively that the treatment has definitive pain relief benefit for several neuropathic pain conditions and mild traumatic brain injury related headaches while more studies should be conducted to fully assess its longterm efficacy in various pain or headache conditions.

TMS non-invasively stimulates the brain by utilizing electromagnetic principles to produce small focal electrical currents in the cortex. The device usually consists of an insulated electric coil, which with the passing of electrical current generates a dynamic magnetic field through the scalp and skull, and into the first few millimeters of the cortex without attenuation. A figure-of-eight coil is commonly used because it gives a precise localization. Studies in animals demonstrate that TMS can alter neural plasticity by affecting the amount of beta-adrenergic receptor in rat cortex consistent with the response to all clinically effective antidepressants and electroconvulsive shock.

Veterans who are interested in learning more about participating in our studies, please contact the study coordinator at 858-210-8908. For clinical treatment, patients can have their primary care providers submit a TMS consult to the Anesthesia TMS Consult.

Other published studies concur that TMS influences neuron-transmitters, receptors and associated second messenger systems, which are important in pain and mood regulation. TMS also has the ability to increase gene activity in neural and supportive elements which are important for conditions such as pain and depression. Repetitive TMS (rTMS) is currently FDA approved for treating major depression and single pulse TMS is approved for treating migraine headaches.

If you would like to learn more about TMS, check out our YouTube video titled “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Overview� at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ttfgMYU96k

To learn more about our research, check out our Facebook Page: The Center for Pain and Headache Research or see our interview with 10 News: https://tinyurl.com/rh9n9an


Do you suffer from chronic headache, muscle, and joint pain?


Do you have headaches due your traumatic brain injury?

The Center for Pain and Headache Research at the VA San Diego is recruiting for studies using a non-invasive treatment, transcranial magnetic stimulation, to relieve different types of pain. If interested in participating or learning more about either study, please contact the study coordinator at

(858) 210-8908

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2020


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

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

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