Homeland Magazine January 2021

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Vol. 9 Number 1 • Janurary 2021

Homeland M A G A Z I NE

2020 DOD in Photos WWP 2021 Slow Cooker Recipes

MONEY MATTERS Military Tax Tips Personal Finance


Career Expectations

What’s Next Transition to Civilian Life

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

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

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Resources Support Transition HEALTH INSPIRATION

Homeland Magazine www.HomelandMagazine.com

Voted 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020 BEST resource, support media for veterans, military families & military personnel. 2

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

Deployed Troops

First Responders


Military, Veterans and First Responders Impacted



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

Recruit Graduates

gratitude and meaningful engagements in communities Nationwide.

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

Military Families

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


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

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Jenny Lynne Stroup Real Talk: Mental Health

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

SD Vets & Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Tana Landau, Esq. Legally Speaking

Joe Molina

Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby


What’s Next - Transitioning

Amber Robinson Arts & Healing

Eva Stimson Greetings and a warm welcome to Homeland Magazine! 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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Veteran Advocate

Paul Falcone

Human Resources

Money Matters VA Lending & Personal Finance

David Koontz Midway Magic

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

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

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


INSIDE THIS ISSUE 7 A Chance Encounter 8 2021 Slow Cooker Recipes 10 Making Health & Wellness Accessible 12 Shelter To Soldier 13 DOD Photos 2020 24 Real Talk: New Year - New You 26 LENS: Out With The Old, In With The New 28 Arts & Healing: Vision Board 2021 30 HOPE PYX: Human Trafficking 32 The Stigma of Addiction 36 Military Tax Tips 38 Money Matters: Back On Track 40 What’s Next: Prime Advice Amazon 44 VOUCH4VETS 48 Human Resources: 2021 Expectations 50 Enlisted to Entrepreneur: Write A Book 52 Legal Eagle: Register Your Business 2021 54 Legally Speaking: 2021 Let’s Get Started 56 Veterans Chamber: 2021 Goals

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

Download PTSD Coach to:

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


PTSD Coach is not meant to replace professional care.

Search “PTSD Coach�


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Past national commander reunites after 50 years with Army medic who helped save his life

By Tom Jenkins


n the morning of July 15, 1969, Ron Hope, a 21-year-old Army helicopter pilot, had flown in a successful combat assault and thought he was nearing the end of another mission in Vietnam. “We had just went in and refueled when our flight leader came on the radio and said we’re not going home,” said Hope. “We’re going back to Sông Bé, and you could hear the collective language pretty much throughout; this wasn’t a good place to be.” Sông Bé had served as a battleground for the Viet Cong, who had gained control of much of the area in 1965. It also served as a staging area for the People’s Army of Vietnam (or North Vietnamese Army, NVA). The NVA would bring in supplies through the particular area Hope would be flying into, making it a constant target for enemy forces. “We were probably a mile, maybe 2 miles away from the landing zone, when everything just started going wrong with the aircraft,” said Hope. As Hope began to approach the landing zone, the helicopter began to lose rotor speed. He had lost control. “We heard this noise, and we look up, and here’s this chopper coming down through the tree,” said Army medic David Chaffin. “And when it hit the ground, with all the aviation fuel, the tanks just burst into flames.” Chaffin and several others in his company rushed over to the blazing helicopter, pulling Hope out and stabilizing him until he could get to the medical unit. Two of the men onboard that day died from their injuries, including Hope’s crew chief. Hope’s left brachial plexus—the network of nerves that sends signals from the spinal cord to the arm and hand—had been totally crushed. He’d also broken both legs, suffered compound fractures in six vertebrae and had third-degree burns covering 55% of his body. Hope survived and went on to serve veterans for 40 years with DAV, eventually being elected national commander. And 50 years later, Chaffin would read about Hope’s story in DAV Magazine.

Vietnam veteran and Army medic David Chaffin (left) reunites for the first time in 50 years with DAV Past National Commander and Vietnam veteran Ron Hope. Chaffin pulled Hope out of his helicopter after it had crashed in Sông Bé, Vietnam, saving Hope’s life.

“I thought, gosh that sounds familiar” said Chaffin, a life member of Chapter 147, in Grayson, Kentucky. “So I called down to DAV headquarters and I told them, ‘I think I witnessed that crash. I think I was there.’” After the message was relayed to Hope, Chaffin would receive a call just hours later. “Over the years, I have run into people that I knew in Vietnam,” said Hope, “so it wasn’t that I hadn’t expected phone calls or meeting people. But to actually have somebody who was on-site that day—other than the people who were in my company—to actually talk to somebody like David, who was actually there, it hit pretty hard.” A little over a year later, Hope flew his plane from North Carolina to Cincinnati to reunite with the man who helped save his life. They reminisced on their experiences in Vietnam and the volatile, divided country they returned to after the war. “Well, I kind of teared up a little bit,” said Chaffin, “seeing somebody you haven’t seen for over 50 years and knowing that you had a part in them being here today.” “I’ve told him if it hadn’t been for him, I probably wouldn’t have made it,” said Hope. “It was just being stabilized for that 30 to 45 minutes before they could get you to a MASH unit. That made all the difference in the world.” For Hope, the experience left him with a feeling of closure and fulfillment that he encourages others to have. “Never give up,” he said. “There’s always somebody out there, and there’s always somebody looking for you.” n WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021


Saunter into 2021 with Some Slow Cooker Recipes By Rachel Bolles As we move forward from the frenzy of the holidays, we find time to refresh and reset. This includes pausing to consider how we’re fueling our bodies. With many of us spending extra time at home, it’s the perfect chance to try out some slow cooker recipes. Slow cooker meals can be a simple way to incorporate healthy foods in your diet. Another benefit is that there’s usually enough food for more than one meal. Leftovers make it easier to eat healthier because the food is already available, and you don’t have to opt for fast food if you’re tired. Slow cooker meals also have easy cleanup, allowing you time to focus your energy elsewhere. Can’t find a recipe you really like? Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) offers the following tips for creating your own health-conscious slow cooker recipes: • Focus on using broth bases instead of cream bases. • Use lean meats such as chicken or turkey instead of beef or pork. • Add loads of veggies, herbs, and spices. “One of the best things about slow cooker meals is that you can usually substitute healthier ingredients in any recipe you find,” said WWP registered dietitian Jill Kontz. Jill suggests celebrating National Slow Cooking Month in January with the recipes below.

Custom Lasagna 15 oz ricotta cheese 1 C shredded mozzarella cheese 1 C shredded parmesan cheese 1 T Italian seasoning 2 T olive oil 1 medium finely diced white onion (or shallot) 1 T minced garlic 2 large finely diced carrots (or sweet peppers, zucchini, squash, or eggplant) 2 large finely diced celery stalks (or sweet peppers, zucchini, squash, or eggplant) 1 lb ground turkey (or chicken, veggies, beef, or pork) 1 24 oz jar marinara sauce 1 15 oz can tomato sauce 12 oz uncooked lasagna noodles 1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese (for topping) 8

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1. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. You can substitute vegan cheese or dairy-free cottage cheese here. Mix well. 2. In a large pot or saucepan over medium/high heat, warm olive oil until fragrant. Add onions, carrot, and celery to the pan. Sauté on medium/high for 5 minutes. 3. Add ground turkey (or other meat or veggies) to the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes until it is almost cooked fully. 4. Add marinara sauce and tomato sauce to the pan and mix until all ingredients are combined. Bring to a boil and then immediately remove from the heat. 5. Grease the slow cooker with olive oil or cooking spray. 6. Scoop 1/3 C of the meat sauce onto the bottom of the slow cooker. Spread sauce around evenly. 7. Place two lasagna noodles onto the bottom of the slow cooker, lengthwise. Break a separate lasagna noodle into fourths and place 1/4 of a noodle at each end of the long lasagna noodles. 8. Spoon 1/4 C of the cheese mixture over the top of the noodles and spread it out evenly over the noodles using a spoon or spatula. 9. Add 2/3 C of meat sauce over the cheese. Spread sauce evenly over the cheese and noodles. 10. Repeat this process until all the sauce, cheese, and noodles are gone. Be sure the last layer is a layer of sauce and that the noodles are fully coated so they cook completely. 11. Cook on high for two hours. With 30 minutes left, add the last 1/2 C of mozzarella cheese to the top of the lasagna. 12. Enjoy! Once cooled, the lasagna can be cut into pieces and frozen up to three months.

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew 3 T olive oil 1 large sweet potato, cut into small cubes (or white potato or cauliflower) 2 large sliced carrots 4 medium stalks sliced celery 2 cups chopped mushrooms 1/2 large chopped yellow onion 4 cloves minced garlic 1/4 t salt 2 T chili powder 2 t ground cumin 2 t curry powder 1 t ground or dried oregano

1/2 t ground pepper 1/8 t smoked paprika 1 cup red lentils (or other lentils, but will need longer cook time) 1 4 oz can green chiles 1 15 oz can tomato sauce 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes 2 T tomato paste 4 C vegetable broth 1 C water 2 t apple cider vinegar 1 15 oz can drained and rinsed white northern beans 4 C chopped kale

1. Dump all ingredients into your slow cooker and cook on low for six to eight hours or high for three to four hours. That’s it! 5-Ingredient Honey Garlic Chicken 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast 3 T minced garlic 1/2 C honey 1/2 C soy sauce 2 t sriracha 1/2 T cornstarch (optional)

About Wounded Warrior Project Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more at: www.newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us

1. Whisk together minced garlic, honey, soy sauce, and sriracha until honey has fully dissolved. 2. Place chicken breast on the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour the sauce over the chicken. 3. Cook on low for six to eight hours or high for two to four hours. 4. Once your chicken is fully cooked and tender, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. 5. Optional: Thicken sauce by adding in 1/2 T of cornstarch and whisk until dissolved. 6. Add chicken back into the crockpot and stir with the sauce. Cover and let cook for 10 more minutes so that the sauce can fully thicken. 7. Serve with a grain such as brown rice or cauliflower rice and a veggie such as green beans or broccoli. Enjoy!

David Guzman

Sean Sanders

Tim McDonough

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Four Star Alliance | Making Health & Wellness Accessible in 2021 By Jim Lorraine, President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership Recreational programs are an excellent way for veterans to improve their health and wellness. They offer a way to stay active while socializing through sports, games, and other fun activities. The America’s Warrior Partnership Community Integration Annual Survey has found that services centered on recreation are the most sought-after community programs among veterans for several years. The challenge can be finding a recreational opportunity accessible to injured veterans or staffed by professionals who understand the military and the unique challenges veterans face. To help veterans find the right recreational program to meet their health and wellness needs, America’s Warrior Partnership manages the Four Star Alliance, a program of 50 organizations that offer therapeutic recreational activities, wellness programs, and adaptive sports specifically for veterans and their families. Each member organization passes a vetting process to ensure they are financially sound and offer reliable services tailored for veterans. While some may assume that recreational programs are limited to outdoor hikes, Four Star Alliance organizations show that recreation can range from organized sports to enthusiast hobbies. Most importantly, these activities can be designed to help veterans strengthen their physical, emotional, and mental health. As an example, here is a look at two of the newest Four Star Alliance members. On Course Foundation The On Course Foundation supports the ongoing recovery, social inclusion, and development of injured veterans through golf. The organization’s programs incorporate instruction, competitive play, education, and even industry seminars to assist veterans seeking employment within the golf industry. More than just a simple trip to the golf course, the organization uses the sport to help injured veterans progress through their mental and physical recovery regimens. “Our confidence-building events are perfect for any injured veteran looking to start golf or improve their game, but our work goes far beyond this,” said John Dodds, Executive Director of the On Course Foundation. “The ultimate aim of our program is to provide employment opportunities in the golf industry and, through our contacts, we’re able to open many doors.” 10

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Operation Motorsport For veterans seeking a more uptempo health and wellness offering, Operation Motorsport engages former service members through both physical sportscar racing and virtual simulations. The organization uses motorsports to provide therapeutic assistance and increase veterans’ mental resiliency. Like professional sports, these programs use racing to create a team atmosphere that empowers veterans to build a sense of community and purpose. “A great way to stay engaged is to make it exciting and empowering,” said Tiffany Lodder, Founder and Executive Director of Operation Motorsport. “Offering a veteran a program that aligns with their passions, such as the way we do with motorsports, can make a world of difference in spurring a healthy recovery.” Health and Wellness Resolutions As 2021 begins, improving health and wellness will be at the top of many veterans lists of New Year’s resolutions. Whether they desire to hit the golf course or the racetrack, there is a way to fulfill these resolutions with fun and accessible experiences.

Veteran Resources & Organizations

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

Researching local programs and service providers can unearth opportunities to stay fit, connect with fellow veterans and the community, and build a healthier mental outlook for the year ahead. More information about the Four Star Alliance, its member organizations and ways to connect with them are available online at www.fourstaralliance.org. About the Author Jim Lorraine is President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership, a national nonprofit that empowers communities to empower veterans. The organization’s mission starts with connecting community groups with local veterans to understand their unique situations. With this knowledge in mind, America’s Warrior Partnership connects local groups with the appropriate resources to proactively and holistically support veterans at every stage of their lives.

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 Magazine Resources & Organizations available at


Homeland Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans



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Shelter to Soldier Launches Canine Ambassadors Program by Eva M. Stimson Shelter to Soldier Canine Ambassadors is the most recent Shelter to Soldier Therapy Team program that delivers cost-free visits of love and affection throughout the Southern California region to military members/ veterans and their families. Each therapy team (dog and handler) serves a variety of purposes, including visits with active duty military personnel, veterans working through trauma, military families while their loved ones are deployed or after a loved one has passed while in service,In addition, Shelter to Soldier Canine Ambassadors provide outreach to their community partners. Shelter to Soldier (STS) is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other psychological injuries. The Canine Ambassadors Program is an extension of their veteranrelated services. The Shelter to Soldier Canine Ambassador Therapy Team is a group of certified Therapy Dogs and their dedicated handlers. These teams work in a variety of capacities to provide comfort and love solace to members of the veteran and active duty military community. STS Canine Ambassadors attend each STS veteran applicant interview, work with STS veteran-recipients to strengthen their handling prior to placement with a service dog, attend Shelter to Soldier events, visit with active duty military and their families, assist active duty service members and veterans during trauma recovery therapy, and participate in veteran group therapies and events in the community. Scientific research indicates that animal-assisted therapy lowers anxiety and blood pressure in participants, can act as an “ice-breaker” and reduce the initial resistance to therapy, and releases mood-elevating hormones serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin. (Excerpted article credit: “Health benefits of animal-assisted interventions”, Complementary Health Practice Review, 2007).


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Moose was the first member of the Canine Ambassadors Team. He was sponsored by the Petco Foundation, through their Helping Heroes grant program to become trained as a psychiatric service dog for a veteran in need. Moose graduated the program in 2019 with his veteran handler and helped him thrive and heal for several months.

Due to a change in his handler’s life and his need to become the primary caregiver for a special needs child, it became difficult to care for a service dog, despite the amazing support he felt Moose brought to his life. He returned Moose to the STS program so that he could help more veterans in need. An active duty US Navy sailor, Chief Petty Officer Select, Thomas Moore, adopted Moose. Moose regularly accompanies his handler, Tommy, to his assigned helicopter squadron to visit with active duty sailors, to STS training and events, and as a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) victim advocate for service members throughout San Diego. According to Nicky Moore, Shelter to Soldier Director of Operations and dog trainer, “The Canine Ambassador Team is a unique way for the Shelter to Soldier program to make a wider impact on the veteran and active duty military community through outreach and providing comfort to our amazing service members and their families. Therapy dogs are another way to demonstrate the incredible role that dogs play in the mental and physical health of the people they meet. We are so excited to be able to touch even more hearts in the military community with open paws and wet doggie kisses!”

Join Us In 2021 Homeland Magazine

It is estimated that an average of 20 veterans lose their lives to suicide every day in the United States, and in 2018 alone, 6317 veterans took their lives. Shelter to Soldier is committed to making an impact on these devastating statistics by providing hope through the companionship of a psychiatric service dog who provides non-judgmental, 24/7 support and motivation to veterans otherwise debilitated by mental illness. Shelter to Soldier Co Founder, Graham Bloem is the recipient of the American Red Cross Real Heroes Award, 10News Leadership Award, CBS8 News Change It Up Award, Honeywell Life Safety Award, and the 2016 Waggy Award. Additionally, Shelter to Soldier is accredited by the Patriot’s Initiative. www.sheltertosoldier.org. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call 760-870-5338 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility. To contribute to Shelter to Soldier’s mission, visit sheltertosoldier.org to make a tax-deductible donation. Shelter to Soldier courtesy photos of STS Canine Ambassador “Moose”

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Jungle Journey Marines cross a rope bridge during training at the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Okinawa, Japan, March 20, 2020. Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jackson Dukes

DOD in Photos: 2020 This collection showcases the work of military photographers in 2020, when U.S. service members continued to conduct around-the-clock training and operations worldwide to ensure the nation’s security, even while responding to the coronavirus pandemic. DOD in Photos: 2020 - Collection avaliable at www.defense.gov/Experience/DOD-in-Photos-2020 14

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“The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.�

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Mountain Hornet A Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet soars above the clouds while conducting flight operations near Atsugi, Japan, Jan. 29, 2020. Photo By: Navy Lt. Alex Grammar

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Big Buoy Underwater Construction Team 2 conducting inspections as part of a maritime infrastructure assessment of the harbor and surrounding waterfront facilities. Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Cole C.


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Flightline Friends Dean “Diz” Laird, left, and Clarence “Bud” Anderson, both World War II ace pilots, watch as a KC-10 Extender taxis at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Nov. 10, 2020. At 99 and 98 respectively, Laird and Anderson were high school students together in Auburn, Calif. Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman Christian Conrad


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Space Photo Op NASA astronaut pauses for a photo at the International Space Station’s Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer work site, Jan. 25, 2020. Photo By: Luca Parmitano, European Space Agency

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Crucible Carry

Marine Corps recruits participate in a Crucible event at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., Jan. 10, 2020. The Crucible is a 54-hour field training exercise that presents continuous physical and mental challenges. Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Christopher McMurry

Unflappable Feco

Feco, a single-purpose bomb dog assigned to a Coast Guard maritime safety and security team, wears protective eye and ear gear and a hoisting vest for hoist operation training at Moffett Air National Guard Base, Calif., June 15, 2020. - Photo By: Air National Guard Master Sgt. Ray Aquino 22

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Drop Zone Descent

U.S. and Italian army paratroopers conduct an airborne operation at the Juliet drop zone in Pordenone, Italy, Dec. 10, 2020. Photo By: Paolo Bovo, Army

Marine Mettle

Marines participate in a motivational run at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Oct. 1, 2020. Photo By: Marine Corps Cpl. Jesula Jeanlouis

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

“Whatever 2021 may bring, I am confident

that meeting its challenges and its joys will be much easier when I am gentle with myself while also holding myself accountable to a list that feels attainable.”

New Year, new you? It’s the annual question that starts bouncing around our brains come the end of December. For me it starts somewhere between the gingerbread house decorating and the frantically wrapping presents at all hours of the night. Even as I expectantly await all the joy and thrill of the holidays my mind is already in the new year both wondering and worrying about what me I will be in the upcoming year. What are my goals? What do I want to accomplish? The answers to these questions do not come easily for me. It is difficult for me to articulate what it is I want. It is far easier for me to write all the things I decidedly don’t want.

Planning and direction is better for my own health than being run by the whims and wills of others. So, this year I plan to approach my new year, new you resolutions, goals, and now or never plans with a few priorities that put my health and well-being at the top of the list: My penned list includes: • Focusing on the things I can control. For me these are things like my morning routine, meal planning, and working out. • Creating a daily rhythm that helps me keep a consistent schedule.

I’ve spent many years wishing I were more like my husband with his posterboard, yes posterboard, and markers writing his goals in big and bold print for all to see.

• Scheduling regular check-ins with my best cheerleaders, whether they be close friends, former battle buddies, family, or a combination of all of the above.

When I couple my difficulty of penning goals and 2020 making me feel like I wanted to chuck my planners in the trash, the second question on my mind, is do I even bother making that list this year?

• Expanding upon or beginning a hobby that puts my body and mind at ease. Yoga, knitting, crocheting, sewing, coloring are all good options to keep your hands busy and your mind calm.

As someone who would rather curl up on the couch and wait for hard things to pass rather than meet challenge and change head on, I’ve weighed my options for goal setting this year more than once and I’ve come to this: 24

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• Finding a coach or mentor with similar life experiences to help hold me accountable to my goals and to offer me encouragement along the way.

• Attending to my mental and physical health needs- I am my top priority. Make those appointments-yes even dental! • Treating myself! Taking a bath, watching my favorite show, reading a magazine that reminds me of home, and grabbing a to-go cup of my favorite cup of coffee are a few of my favorite ways to treat myself that are both inexpensive and fulfilling. When I look at these “resolutions” as priorities that are for me rather than set in stone have-tos that require something of me the pressure is off. I am less likely to avoid working at these because they are flexible and provide me plenty of room to grow. Whatever 2021 may bring, I am confident that meeting its challenges and its joys will be much easier when I am gentle with myself while also holding myself accountable to a list that feels attainable. My hope in sharing this list is that it resonates with you and helps you craft your own set of priorities that bring out the best in you. Happy New Year. May your goals be attainable, may your resolutions be flexible, and may your mindset be gentle.

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

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A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain, LCSW

Out with the old in with the new As 2020 was coming to an end I began to think what I wanted 2021 to look like. What were my goals for the new year? I think there are three main parts of starting the year off right and setting yourself up for a great year! The first step is letting go! Many years ago, I started a tradition of ‘letting go’ at the end of each year. Before I make long list of ambitious resolutions or goals - I needed to review my current status. Is there anything in my life to day I need to let go of? Anything we need to leave in 2020? Some people choose to let go of clutter or bad habits. I.e Smoking or bitting nails. Another option for letting go is relationships that no longer serve you. The obvious is relationships that are in anyway toxic, but this also includes relationships that you have outgrown or no longer serve a purpose in your life. I like to make a list of items that I am letting go of and say them aloud on the 31st. This year, I chose to declutter. Like most women….I do not need sizes 6 to 16 in my closet. The likelihood I will wear a 6 or 16 ever again is slim. So, I truly cleaned out the closet. Next was shoes. I will just say I had too many! Ok way too many! Another thing I left in 2020 is negative self-talk. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. I truly want to leave all negative self-talk in 2020 and be proud of where I am and be in the moment. Clutter and negative self-talk are on my list to leave in 2020. 26

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Next, we need to figure out what is important- what brings us joy? As I have mentioned in Lens before- Faith, Family/Friends, and being active outdoors are all things I love and want in my life. It is important to reevaluate these items at least yearly as they may change. What was super important to you last year may not be at the top of the list this year. Lastly, develop realistic and achievable goals. Now, that you have made a list of what is important to you it should inform how you develop your goals for the year. Last year was an eye opener for me when I did this exercise. I say my faith and family are two of my top priorities in my life. I have not been to church in over a year and only see family two times a year. My job is nowhere in top 5, but I spend 80% of my life devoted to it. This year, my goals are to put more energy into the things that bring me joy. To be intentional in my faith and relationships. It is important to make sure our goals are achievable and realistic. Working out 7 days a week/365 days a year might not be realistic but being active 4 out of 7 days may be more attainable. My family lives out of state so a goal of visiting family once a month is not realistic, but a goal of weekly video chats is more attainable. There are things that can be left in 2020….like COVID please. Leave the things that no longer have a purpose in your life, list the things that matter most to you and build goals from there. I wish you all a healthy, safe and most of all Happy New Year!! - Peace out 2020!!

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Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans By Amber Robinson

Taking the vision board to the next level for 2021 Welcome to 2021! As a nation I know we are all communally excited to wave goodbye to the year 2020. As we move forward into this brand new year, I know there is a lot on everyone’s mind and getting organized and inspired to make things happen is part of it. There are plenty of ways to do this. Make lists, write out inspiring quotes on the fridge or make a vision board.

But, 2021 is a BIG year. It’s our COMEBACK year as a nation so we need BIG visions. Therefore, I say do what I do and take the vision board a step further and create a vision WALL. I created my first vision wall at the end of 2018 going into 2019. I was going through a big breakup and a nervous breakdown as I tried to make headway into new mindsets past those of my trauma. So I grabbed a roll of newsprint from my art supplies and I rolled large swaths of paper out onto an empty bedroom wall and taped it up. I dragged out pastels and markers and colored pencils and I scrawled “Breathe, Moon Child” in 2 foot letters in the middle of the paper. That would be my main message for the year. That theme reminded me to become mindful, to stop and breathe and become more still. Around that “theme” I drew small symbols and pictures, quotes, reminders. I worked on the wall all year, adding to it all the way up until New Year the next year.


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I woke up each morning to “Breathe Moon Child”, along with all the other many messages I eventually collected that year to motivate me towards a happier, healthier and more confident me. The pictures were of a flaming phoenix woman to remind me to rise from the ashes, a full moon that reminded me to look to earth’s beauty when I was down. I drew a large eye and reminded myself to cultivate my “third eye” of intuition, then drew roots and branches from it encouraging me to let that concept take root within myself and grow.

I first called it my “processing wall” because I used it to creatively process trauma. But now, as I roll out the newsprint for the third year in a row, I have taken to calling it my vision wall. Last year’s theme for the wall was “Listen”. It encouraged me to take 2020 and listen more than I talked. It also encouraged me to listen more deeply to myself and what my personal needs were.

If you started a vision wall in 2021, what would your theme be? What quotes or pictures would you choose? You can cut out magazine pictures if you are not the best artist, but for artists who want to put their skills to work, get out the supplies!

This year my theme will be “Flight”. I think this year many of us are looking to fly the coop after months upon months of quarantine! But, the goal behind my theme this year is to encourage me to take flight into my own potential, self-love and loving others. I’m already thinking of what my first quotes and pictures will be to inspire me each morning of 2021 as soon as I wake up.

You can add to the wall all year long, building off the imagery or adding more information to concepts.

Given the vision “board” is actually a wall helps my thoughts get bigger. Using pictures as well as quotes and words helps me because I can focus on what the drawing stands for as I create it. It helps the ideas become more lodged into my psyche initially, then I reinforce them as I wake up to them each day. Making the concept creative and beautiful makes it even more motivating for me.

The ceiling is the limit with this creative way to help ring in the New Year.

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January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. This crime occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will. Every year $150 billion is made from the trade.

Homeland Magazine had a chance to sit down with Spokesperson Eileen Dong and learn more about Hope Pyx Global Hope and its mission is to assist people from all backgrounds who are victims and survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault. Q: Can you tell me more about Hope Pyx Global? A: Hope Pyx Global is a Houston-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the awareness and prevention of Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, and Sexual Assault nationwide. We bridge the gap between Asian and international communities and service providers by educating providers about cultural stigmas, providing language assistance, bringing awareness to break the silence, and providing resources for victims and survivors to obtain help. The organization advocates for the safety of victims and survivors, promotes accountability for abusers, and fosters a community response to abuse. We deliver our mission by providing diverse services through community partnerships. Q: Eileen, How did you become the spokesperson for the non-profit organization, Hope Pyx Global? 30

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A: I have been an advocate and volunteer for many years, and I sit on various boards, advisory boards, committees and coalitions throughout Texas, California and nationally. One day at a meeting, a judge came to me and said, “It’s not that the Asian community in Houston, Texas is underrepresented, it’s that there is no representation at all.” In the Asian culture, female victims are often afraid to speak up due to the honor and shame system. I became the voice for Asians as well as the international community to bridge the gap and address cultural stigmas. Q: As an advocate, what information do you provide? A: My YouTube channel, “The Ms Texas Show”, highlights survivors of traumatic events, such as family violence, sex trafficking, sexual assault, and wartime related traumas. We invite community leaders to share community resources. Under our “Military-Time” segment, we collaborate with the National Veterans Chamber of Commerce and invite military and veterans to share their experiences during and after their military service. Under our “Beauty” segment, we invite pageant winners and contestants, as well as artists (musicians, actors, models, and dancers) who are ambassadors for their causes to share their lives, platforms, and the impact they have made in their communities.

I also conduct virtual and in-person training and speeches to law enforcement, service providers, advocates, and survivors on topics including, but not limited to, Culture Stigma, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Sex Trafficking, and Hope and Healing. Q: What is the relationship between domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking? A: Statistics shows that victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault are more likely to be trafficked. Crime rates of human trafficking and domestic violence went up almost 50% during COVID. Anyone can be a victim regardless of age, race, gender, religion, nationality, social or economic status, or educational levels. This is happening in our backyard. Q: What is human trafficking? A: Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. This crime occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud, or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will. Q: What is domestic violence? A: Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used by one partner to maintain power and control over the other partner in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm their victim, arouse fear in them, restrict their freedoms, or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical violence and sexual assault, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse, and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of domestic violence can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship. A: What is sexual assault? Q: Sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include attempted rape; fondling or unwanted sexual touching; forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body; penetration of the victim’s body, Q: How is this related to the military or veterans? A: Sexual assault in the United States military is an ongoing issue. Rates of sexual assault and harassment reports in the military have increased since last year, according to a Pentagon report released on April 30th, 2020. Q: January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, what resources do you provide? A: We have been doing virtual events since before COVID. This year there will be virtual educational events and interviews about this topic.

A few events are as follows: 1/6/2021 8:45PM CST/9:45PM EST/6:45PM PST Human Trafficking 101 1/13/2021 8:45PM CST/9:45PM EST/6:45PM PST Child Trafficking - Grooming, Recruitment Tactics on Social Media 1/15/2021 3:00PM CST/4:00PM EST/1:00PM PST Veterans Against Human Trafficking 1/19/2021 8:45PM CST/9:45PM EST/6:45PM PST Meet Kate - The Story Of A Victim of Military Sexual Assault and Sex Trafficking For additional events or information, go to: Non-profit: Hope Pyx Global www.HopePyxGlobal.org www.facebook.com/HopePyxGlobal www.instagram.com/HopePyxGlobal YouTube: “The Ms Texas Show” www.youtube.com/c/TheMsTexasShow Q: How can our readers help? A: Join our team of advocates by sharing the social media posts and the interviews on the show to help bring awareness and prevention. Volunteer locally or remotely. We need graphic designers, photographers, videographers, film directors, models, actors, voice talent, community leaders, influencers, social media and SEO experts, and more.Donate to help making a difference for victims and survivors. Hope Pyx Global is a 100% volunteer organization without a single paid employee. This means donations go to victims and survivors. Eileen Dong is Ms. California2021. By trade, Ms. Dong is an international business consultant, a cross-cultural communications expert, and a linguist. As an artist, she is a model, dancer, actor, songwriter, and show host of “The Ms Texas Show” on YouTube. As a community leader, a public speaker, a philanthropist, and an advocate, Ms. Dong is the spokesperson for Hope Pyx Global and a board member of the National Veterans Chamber of Commerce. WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021


The Stigma of Addiction / Misunderstandings about Recovery By Jay Wylie

While medical science has made great strides in diagnosing Substance Use Disorder (SUD), or what in the past was referred to as Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, proving that SUD is an identifiable disease every much as real as cancer or diabetes, public opinions concerning those with SUD have lagged far behind. Many feel that those suffering from SUD simply lack the moral character or willpower to stop using or drinking. This negative attitude has hindered sufferers from risking public scorn in order to get treatment for their disease.

This stigma has wrapped what is available in recovery from SUD in mystery – unless you have a personal recovery experience it is unlikely that you would know much about it. Based on this reality, it may be quite difficult for a SUD sufferer to know what recovery might look like or what options are available. It is important that the general public have some idea of what recovery treatment is in order to reduce fear of treatment and the stigma associated with it.


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Levels of Care Inpatient Treatment, commonly referred to as “Rehab” is when a SUD sufferer goes into a 24-hour facility that provides housing, meals as well as constant treatment support, such as education, exercise, and therapy sessions. Programs vary in content but all have a regimented approach to helping develop coping skills/tools to help patients be successful in recovery after discharge.

Most residential programs is medical supervised Detoxification, or “DETOX”, to help the patient get through withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. This assistance keeps the patient medically safe; stopping use of substances “Cold Turkey” is not recommended as it can have life-threatening consequences as the body reacts to not getting the substances it has become dependent on.

The disadvantage of outpatient treatment is that detox may still be required prior to starting and that it does not provide living facilities. However, the great advantage is the client is still dealing with life issues and is able to employ the skills they are learning in real time…and they get to stay employed and with family while recovering. This real time coping experience can be very helpful in preventing relapses in the future.

The advantage of residential treatment is that it allows the patient to t completely focus on their recovery without outside distractions. The disadvantage is that not everyone has the luxury of being able to take such a break from family or employment responsibilities. Additionally, when a person emerges from rehab they must again face life and all its problems; only this time they must do so without the safe rehab environment, which can lead to relapse.

Community based programs can be effective during all stages of recovery. Perhaps the best-known of these are 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). AA and similar 12-Step programs have helped countless people to achieve sobriety. An 2020 USA Today article indicates that AA is nearly 60% more effective than other treatment programs, and in fact many other treatment programs use 12-Step methodology as part of their treatment. Another option is Self Management and Recovery Training, or SMART recovery, which is a rational thinking vice spiritual approach than 12-step programs. Finally, there are many faith-based recovery programs, many of which are based on 12-Step programs but are aligned with a particular faith. All of these programs are readily available and largely free of charge. However, they do not offer detox services or the deeper focus of formal treatment programs.

Outpatient treatment is where a person goes to a treatment facility during the day but is able to come home or to a sober living facility at night. The amount of time per day spent in treatment varies based on the program – it can vary from a couple of hours of treatment a week to up to 5-8 hours a day based on need. Outpatient treatment normally follows inpatient treatment to keep a person in recovery on the right path, or it can be a first stop for someone who is exploring options.

Medically Assisted Treatment or MAT is a relatively new treatment that prescribes medications to help those using heroin, fentanyl, or other drugs to safely stop using more harmful substances. MAT has helped many safely detox from harmful drugs; however, critics claim that MAT users are merely substituting one drug for another. Most recovery practitioners agree that MAT by itself is only good for short-term harm reduction and must be combined with other treatment s to achieve long-term recovery. The most effective recovery method is normally a coordinated combination of these programs tailored for the individual. The key is to find a recovery professional who can help you or your loved ones navigate which treatment options are best for you. Confidential Recovery is an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program that is helping working adults, first responders, and veterans to overcome substance use disorder and achieve sustainable sobriety and longterm recovery. If you or someone you care about is suffering from substance abuse, call us at 619-452-1200 EXT 3 or visit our website www.confidentialrecovery.com.

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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.




Support. Inspiration.


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

Resources & Articles available at:



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Finally, military members serving in a combat zone have the tax season days plus 180 days after their last day in the combat zone to file their taxes. This means no penalty or interest if they owe money and don’t file by April 15. When they are in a combat zone the payment and penalty and interest on back taxes are suspended. Military-Specific Nontaxable Income

Military Tax Tips Before You File Your 2020 Tax Return By Mark Steber, Chief Tax Information Officer at Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, www.jacksonhewitt.com While we’re officially excited and looking ahead into the new year, don’t forget about your 2020 tax return that needs to be filed by April 15, 2021. If you haven’t started already, use the motivation of a fresh New Year to start preparing to file your taxes by gathering your documents and follow the below tips to get a head start.

It is essential to know what part of your income is non-taxable, and generally referred to as allowance or assistance, which includes: • Pay for active service in a combat zone or qualified Hazardous Duty Area • Living allowances, like BAH, BAS, and OHA • Disability and medical benefits • Educational assistance • Legal assistance • Family separation allowances • Temporary lodging • Uniform allowances

The biggest call outs for military service members to know is there is military-specific nontaxable income, as well as different and complex tax rules compared to civilians, which may affect their 2020 tax return.

It’s worth noting some of the nontaxable items listed above might need to be used to calculate certain tax benefits – for example, excluded combat pay is included in your gross income amount when calculating the allowed IRA contributions, and for the Child Tax Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit, EITC, and the Credit for Child and Dependent Care expenses.

Different Tax Rules

Complex State Tax Rules

According to the IRS, you do not have to report nontaxable pay you receive as a member of the Armed Forces as earned income for purposes of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Examples of nontaxable military pay are combat pay, the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), and the Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). However, each active duty taxpayer can choose to have their nontaxable combat pay included in their earned income for purposes of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Including it as earned income may mean a larger refund.

State taxes can be complicated for military service members and their spouses. Military service members home state, for tax purposes, is generally the state they lived in when they first enlisted. This is often the same for their non-military spouse. Generally, the spouse will owe taxes only to their home state. However, they could owe taxes to the state they live in and their home state – another reason to get all of their documents together before they see a Tax Pro.

Calculate your taxes both with the nontaxable combat pay as earned income and without the nontaxable combat pay as earned income to find out what’s best for you. Military service members in a combat zone also have different rules when it comes to child and daycare tax credits.


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At the end of the day, it is valuable for you to seek a trusted and knowledgeable Tax Pro to help you prepare your 2020 tax return. Jackson Hewitt Tax Pros are here for the hardest working, especially our service members and their families, and we want to prepare everyone with the tools to maneuver this challenging year. www.jacksonhewitt.com



Make a plan to do away with high-interest credit card debt by transferring your balance to a Navy Federal Credit Union Credit Card. With a low intro APR and no balance transfer fees, you can pick the right card to help you take back control.*

Learn More at navyfederal.org/balancetransfer Insured by NCUA. *For all Navy Federal Credit Cards: As of 5/1/2020, rates range from 5.99% APR to 18.00% APR, are based on product type and creditworthiness, and will vary with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate. ATM cash advance fees: None if performed at a Navy Federal branch or ATM. Otherwise, $0.50 per domestic transaction or $1.00 per foreign transaction. $49 annual fee for Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards. © 2020 Navy Federal NFCU 13931 (12-20)

Foundation for Women Warriors H O N O R H E R S E RV I C E | E M P O W E R H E R F U T U R E

When you think of veterans, do you think of women? We do... “Foundation for Women Warriors has been there for me when I needed it most. Last Spring, I was in my final semester of my bachelor’s degree at Cal State. I was working and taking a full load of classes while raising my son by myself. I was having trouble paying for extended care hours at my child’s daycare and was only weeks away from being completed with my degree program. I knew that I could not quit school and wanted to graduate on time. Foundation for Women Warriors provided me childcare assistance, mentorship, and so much more. If it were not for this amazing foundation, I would not be a college graduate today. I recently accepted a new job and am now enrolled in a master’s program.” - Rebecca O., USMC Veteran

Would you like to support women veterans?

Visit our website to learn about our mission and how you can help: foundationforwomenwarriors.org


Foundation for Women Warriors is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization Tax ID no. 20-5523954, contributions are fully tax-deductible.

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Money Matters

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

Getting Back on Track after Incurring Unsecured Debt Question: I’ve gotten into more debt over the last few years and I want to improve my situation. Is there a way to use my VA benefit to pay off debts and feel more stable? Answer: This is a common question and a good one to think about for gaining financial security. You are not alone in battling with debt. According to Ascent, in 2020, on average, American consumers had four credit cards and 61% had at least one. Credit card balances in the United States totaled $893 billion. This doesn’t account for medical bills, personal loans and other unsecured debts. Fortunately, because of your service, you can use your VA benefit for debt consolidation. Debt Consolidation Debt consolidation is a method to simplify how you pay back debt to creditors that ideally gives you a lower interest rate so you can pay it back faster. Credit cards are unsecured debt with some of the highest interest rates (up to 29%) and no tangible benefit for your overall financial picture. How Your VA Loan Can Improve Your Picture If you own your home, you may be able to use your VA loan benefit to consolidate high interest credit card and other unsecured debts into a fixed, low interest rate mortgage loan.


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Consolidating debt can immediately improve your cash flow and reduce the amount of interest you pay over time. Also, since VA mortgage loans are secured installment debts, the interest rates are dramatically lower and can offer a tax benefit. Additionally, whether you are a veteran or an active-duty service member, you are offered more favorable terms and fewer restrictions for mortgage qualifying when using your VA benefit. The VA cash-out refinance loan allows you to cash out up to 100% of your home’s equity (not value) to pay debts. Overall benefits of using the VA loan program include: • Fixed Terms • Lower Fixed Rates • Tax Deductions • Ability to Lower Overall Monthly Bills • Flexible Guidelines • Exclusive Discounts to Qualified Service Members How Much You Can Borrow The amount you can borrow with the VA cash out loan depends on two factors: 1. What equity do you have in your home? Equity is the difference between the value of your home and what you owe against it (current mortgage balance). You may be surprised by how much equity you have in your home that you can borrow against using your VA benefit. Home values increase by 3-5% per year on average.

2. What is your ability to pay this refinance? In order to use a VA cash out loan for debt consolidation, there are specific requirements that must be met: • Credit score of at least 620 • Adequate disposable income based on your area and family size • Debt ratio no higher than 41% • On-time mortgage payment history • No collections within the last 12 months Do the Math If you have a credit card with a $5,000 balance at 29.99% interest, and you pay the minimum due each month, it could take 21 years to pay it in full and you could end up paying over $21,000! Think about it: the $5,000 you spent could cost an additional $16,000 or more of your hard-earned money. If you take out a new mortgage to consolidate your high interest debts, the rate is much lower and, instead of paying the interest with no benefit to you, the mortgage interest may qualify as a tax deduction which could benefit you even more. How To Get Started It can be overwhelming to figure out how to pay off debts, but there are many advantages of using your VA benefit. The best place to start is with a knowledgeable VA lender that understands the ins and outs of VA loans and can provide insight into your personal situation. In a brief conversation, you can establish what steps you need to take and how quickly you can take action. Most people are surprised at how easy the process is and by how far-reaching the benefits can be! Advantages of using your VA benefit. www.govaloans.com/5-myths-about-va-loans

Phil Jawny is a professional lender with nearly 20 years of experience in the business and the founder of GoVA Loans. His industry knowledge is extensive, spanning from loan reorganization to commercial mortgages to, most importantly, selling and managing VA Loans.

Change Your Financial Outlook in 2021 Put Your VA Loan Benefit to Work! Are you taking advantage of all your VA benefits? Our team of experts is here to share advice and guide you down the path toward financial stability. Start the new year off right with a conversation that will set you on the best financial path! So what are you waiting for? Contact us today!

Phil has a passion for serving military families. His goal is simple — to help make the loan process simpler for families so they can get the loans they deserve and build wealth through real estate without the hassle. To get ongoing advice or to submit a question for the “Money Matters” column, visit facebook.com/Govaloans or follow @GoVALoans on Instagram & Twitter.

www.GoVALoans.com @GoVALoans

info@govaloans.com (833) 825-6261

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WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby

Prime Advice to Getting Hired - Delivered by Amazon While the unemployment rate has dropped since the March 2020 high, there are still over 10 million unemployed Americans. There’s a good chance that you unfortunately know someone (or are someone) who’s been looking for a job for months with no success. Struggling to make ends meet has become all too commonplace. The longer the job search goes on, the harder it is to stay motivated and positive. Beau Higgins, former Commanding Officer, USMC now Senior Manager, Military Talent Acquisition, Amazon, has a great story, and some well-packaged advice and information for those looking to get hired. Some Good News! First, here’s some good news: Amazon has over 30,000 open positions! Which prompts the next question of, “how do I get hired there?” Four years ago, Beau had the same question. After transitioning out of the military, he faced the tough reality of figuring out what he wanted to do next. He also realized that even more importantly than figuring out what he wanted to do, was recognizing what he didn’t want to do. Beau knew he didn’t want to stay in DOD as a GS employee. He also knew he didn’t want to be a contractor. These steps led him to realizing he wanted a business or operations role in Tampa, FL. Suddenly, a laser-focused approach to find a business-related role in Tampa became a tangible, achievable goal. So, that’s what he did. The Power of Your Network Yes, the dreaded word “network.” Sounds overwhelming. But, Beau made it simple. He talked to his friends in Tampa and said “I’m looking for a business or operations role here.” It worked. He was hired for a role at a midsized custom cable company because of a referral in his network. The company manufactured and installed fiber 40

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optic cable, which wasn’t something Beau knew much about, but he got in the door, learned the ropes and got experience doing various roles there, including assembly line work, operations, marketing and sales. Now, how this ties to Amazon. The cable company did installation work for Amazon in Tampa. Beau was in sales at the time, and reached out to his friends who worked at Amazon to sell the fiber optic cable. One of these friends told him that Amazon was bulking up their military network and creating a new position to lead it. And, that Beau seemed like he’d be a perfect candidate for the role. One call led to one referral, and Beau landed the job at Amazon. Onwards and Upwards Beau’s work was cut out for him. Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced at the White House that their goal was to hire 25,000 veterans in the next 5 years. To date, Amazon has hired almost 45,000 veterans and military spouses. Sounds like hiring Beau was the right guy to spearhead the program! After almost 4 years since starting at Amazon, Beau is honored to be able to share valuable advice to help veterans, spouses and active-duty military. His tips relate both to transitioning out of the military and how to get hired at Amazon. 1. Focus, Fire, Repeat. Invest time in determining what you DON’T want to do. This also means, don’t say “I’ll do anything.” That’s not focused, has no end goal, and is just randomly firing shots into the air. Finding your focus isn’t as hard as it sounds. There are resources to help you figure out where you’d best excel. For example, Korn Ferry offers personality assessment tests, including a free trial. Many of the roles at Amazon fall into maintenance and IT. So, you can determine in these tests if you have an aptitude in those areas. Or once you know where your aptitude is strongest, you can focus on those areas. Dave Grundies

Once you whittle down a sharper idea of what you want to do, be persistent. Beau’s friend applied to Amazon 13 times, and finally got the job he wanted. Any company’s hiring process can be very competitive. Companies frequently bring in 3-5 candidates for interview, whittled down from the original 100 applicants. Do your research into what a company is really looking for in a candidate. Understand that your hard skills of turning a wrench or answering a phone well is only a fraction of a company’s hiring equation. How you fit the culture, or your soft skills, are sometimes the bigger question. Amazon makes it easy to know what their cultural DNA looks like as they list their 14 leadership principles.

Getting a Job at Amazon www.amazonmilitarywebinarseries.splashthat.com This weekly free webinar is the first step to understand how hiring is done at Amazon. This is a webinar that affords you a unique opportunity to network with the recruiters responsible for hiring within the various divisions. From IT to Maintenance you will be able to put names with faces of those who have the ability to help you get the job you want at Amazon.

“Amazon interviews on leadership experience. So, the better you can tell the story of how you led a team or a project successfully, and clearly communicate how your actions drove outcomes, the better your chances of landing the job.”, advises Beau. Diversity of Thought Companies die at the hands of “group think”. Employers love that veterans bring a unique world experience and value their diversity of thought. Veterans are able to think about challenges and solutions completely differently than their civilian counterparts. Diversity of thought is important in looking at how teams address problems and engage in problem solving. In the military, you’re put in situations where you are under duress and are often called on to make good decisions quickly. When you voice your opinion and look at things differently, you bring incredible value to your employer and your team.

Good luck and let us know how it goes! We wish you a very happy and healthy New Year.

Transition to Civilian Life 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 down right depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned. The What’s Next column is dedicated to you and to helping you succeed in your transition. If you need help with your career transition, you can connect with Eve at LinkedIn. www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-0050452 For advice, tips and programs you can read Eve’s monthly column at San Diego Veterans Magazine. What’s Next – Transition columns available at: www.tinyurl.com/y69btxe3

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Using What Brings Us Together

In the past 30 years, amidst all the technological advances to come our way, including iterations of the Internet and incredible software advances making our lives easier and society more accessible, very little has changed when it comes to getting a job. Corporations understand hiring Veterans and transitioning Service Members is even more challenging. Job seekers all use a resume and scroll down endless pages of open jobs in order to apply, whether they’re Vets or not. Vouch4Vets began building software for Veterans and their Spouses in 2017 to address these challenges and more. Never before has an organization delivered enterprise-level software to the job seeker, moreover Veterans or transitioning Service Members and their Spouses.

Vouch4Vets is made up of HR industry experts, Veterans and technologists who understand how companies, large and small, hire talent and navigate staffing challenges. They recognize references typically are asked at the end of a very long hiring, just before sending an offer letter. If references are so important, why don’t they come first – and as Referrals? Vouch4Vets creates software platforms for Veterans and Spouses, seeking employment, to collect and store Video Referrals from their Advocates. These job seekers then share the Referrals with recruiters, hiring managers and other important influencers along their journey to get that next great job. Benefits to Job Seekers Veteran job seekers and their Spouses control distribution of the Video Referrals, these referrals are created by Advocates who understand that, via their recording, they are speaking directly to the audience who will be assessing their fitment inside the organization and this short video will influence them whether or not they’ve started interviewing.

Vouch4Vets has only one focus: to introduce great jobs to Vets and their Spouses. 44

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The alternative is the status-quo: Complicated-looking resumes which often don’t get the consideration they should. Benefits to Companies The current Head of Military Hiring for a Fortune 100 company recently commented to Vouch4Vets, that his own team are the advocates for all of these transitioning Service Members and Veterans. If they had Video Referrals to show hiring managers, sent in by these Veteran job seekers, it could scale their efforts and free up all the time they spend trying to convince hiring managers to hire more/specific Veterans applying for jobs.

The Future of Veteran Hiring Vouch4Vets is partnering with huge, publicly traded corporations and small business alike. Our goal is to build a better bridge, a digital one, between Vets, Spouses and hiring managers. We’ll continue to utilize Advocates’ positive messages about these job seekers’ skills to get them interviews and great jobs!


Our Mission Vouch4Vets has only one focus: to introduce great jobs to Vets and their Spouses. We do this on the same platform by driving real jobs to Vets and Spouses who are viewing their Advocates talk about how valuable they are at what they do. Pure Positivity Social Media has degraded into a pool of negativity. Vouch4Vets recognizes no one sits down to record themselves giving a negative review of a job seeker who’s asked them for help. Advocates frequently mention things which job seekers realize they should be mentioning during phone interviews or their “Onsite” interviews. Vouch4Vets is the first and only software platform that delivers a reference-check straight to the Job Seeker, as a referral. The Future of Veteran Hiring Vouch4Vets is partnering with huge, publicly traded corporations and small business alike. Our goal is to build a better bridge, a digital one, between Vets, Spouses and hiring managers. We’ll continue to utilize Advocates’ positive messages about these job seekers’ skills to get them interviews and great jobs!

Please Donate


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021


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WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021


HUMAN RESOURCES Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

Setting Career Expectations for 2021 Happy New Year, and welcome to 2021! 2020 was a challenging year for so many of us for so many reasons, and part of HR’s job is to serve as a bit of a “corporate futurist” in discussing expectations for the following year with employees and team members.


In the December ’20 issue last month, I chose to write about macro trends coming our way on so many different fronts—the promise of new technology, trends and patterns in demographics, and how to adopt those guideposts in launching your own career trajectory, either into the private sector or within the military. After all, demographics is destiny, artificial intelligence and other forms of innovation will create more job opportunities than we can likely imagine, and studying those trends makes for smart career sense so you can maximize career opportunities that come your way. New Year - New You Mindset


For the January issue, we now have to consider some of the micro issues that will likely show themselves this year. As the saying goes, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Unfortunately, the most likely projection for 2021 will be more of 2020. I practice human resources in healthcare at a residential care facility for the elderly. Fighting the COVID virus has been front and center on my and our leadership team’s minds for the past year. Day in and day out, our goal was to protect our residents and patients from infection, knowing that citizens living in retirement homes make up only 0.4% of the U.S. population but account for 40% of COVID-related deaths. We exited 2020 with the release of COVID vaccinations from Pfizer and Moderna, which bring with them the promise for an end to this pandemic and a return to normalcy. But setting your expectations appropriately is important as we launch into 2021: masking and social distancing will still be necessary for the foreseeable future. After all, we’re still not sure how long the new vaccine will last and what the reinfection rate might look like. Further, you should brace yourself for much controversy over the vaccine itself. Politicians who have argued against it now stand first in line to receive it. U.S. workers want it desperately, except for those who fear its “warp speed” creation timeline and therefore doubt its safety. Factor in antivaxxers and those who refuse to take the vaccine on political grounds, and simply know that the logistical rollout of the vaccine might take longer than otherwise expected. There’s no judgment here: simply an objective observation of what lies ahead. Now do the math: 330 million Americans theoretically require two doses of the vaccine. We’re talking over a half billion doses, and the logistics surrounding a number that large— even if everything goes without a hitch—will take the good part of a year. So, take a deep breath and relax. Understand that this is a two-year process all in, not a one-year process, and find your peace of mind in knowing that we’ll get through this as a nation, as we’ve done before through wars and stock market crashes and other exigencies.


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Next, understand that once COVID subsides, there will be a “scattering” and workplace diaspora unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. First, anyone even remotely thinking of retiring will surely hang up their career cleats, as COVID was absolutely exhausting for so many for so long. That will open up significant numbers of positions and opportunities at myriad organizations. Next, workers in so many industries are feeling frustrated at having had to “tread water” career-wise throughout the pandemic and may be looking for new and broader opportunities for career growth. The result? Again, a scattering of job openings and career searches that might bewilder the imagination for companies looking to stabilize their ranks, while affording new opportunities for talented and hardworking professionals looking to grow their careers (especially if you’re planning on transitioning from the military into the private sector). Finally, remember that when it comes to forecasting future events, it’s important to contemplate future changes that may impact you. . . unless they don’t happen. The post-COVID era will pose challenges for small restaurants, large box retailers, airlines and hotels, sports complexes, and so many other business lines. While we all would prefer to think of the positive upside of a vanquished virus and a renewed and stimulated economy, its reciprocal is also possible: a down economy spiraling through the processing of losses of tens of thousands of organizations, both well-known and lesser known. In short, when exiting a “black swan” event, which this pandemic surely represents, be flexible and open to a wide range of possibilities. Truth be told, we’ll experience both—a significant upswing in certain areas of the economy in addition to significant losses in others. Whatever the outcome and however it reveals itself to you, just know that we’ll get through this together. We’ve survived worse. What we honor and cherish in our forefathers and prior generations was their ability to bounce back, their fortitude, and their commitment to and hope in the future. It’s now our turn to sacrifice as a society and as a nation, this time in a way that no one living has experienced before. Study future trends and demographics. Be prepared always to pivot in your career and pursue opportunities that may not have existed just a few years ago. And build your future career goals with flexibility and surprises in mind. Starting in 2021, that mindset will go a long way in helping you make the most of the challenges that lie ahead.

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

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021


ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR By Vicki Garcia veteransinbiz@gmail.com

Be Outstanding in Your Field: Write a Book Write a Book

Did you know that every Presidential candidate since the beginning of time has written a book? We hardly trust anyone these days, but we seem to trust authors. Writing a book gives you credibility and respect in your field. It’s a big calling card. Sound intimidating to you? You don’t think you’re a writer? No worries. That’s no impediment. Many things have changed in the publishing world. Forget about submitting this to some big publishing house, hoping for acceptance (aka Traditional Publishing). Today the game is all about self-publishing. We’re not talking about the novel you’ve promised yourself. We’re talking about non-fiction, particularly if it relates to something you do as a professional. Start by thinking about the expertise you have in your head. Write about what you know. If you pick a topic you know nothing about, this will be much harder. The Publishing Industry Has Undergone a Seismic Shift Amazon is considered to be the largest publisher of self-published e-books. Amazon’s CreateSpace division dominates the print self-publishing market, with 1.4 million self-published print titles in 2018, up from 929,290 in 2017. 50

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Amazon is not your only option. Since they take a higher fee when you sell a book, you should consider other ways of marketing it. Self-published books have a much, much higher payoff than traditional publishers because you get to keep anywhere from 50-70% of your book’s profits. With selfpublishing, you can produce and publish your content as quickly as you want. You’re Not Alone Self-publishing requires that you find your own editor, cover designer, formatter, and launch team members. As always fiverr.com is filled with inexpensive ways to do this for you costing anywhere from $5 to $50. Self-published authors gather on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. Before the pandemic, there were really fun conferences for selfpublishing authors. Hopefully, they will return. The Self-Publishing School says “Most people looking to write a book want to earn more money, gain more freedom or have a platform to share their ideas. When you self-publish and have complete ownership over your ideas, you also have complete ownership over your future.” You might want to listen to Chandler Bolt’s podcast at www.self-publishingschool.com/podcast/ If you’re serious and want tons of expensive hand-holding, this is the place for you.

Starting a Business as a Veteran?

Think Big There is no one saying you can’t sell a supplementary online course that includes material from your book. Or you can launch a speaking career with your book. Many authors use their self-published book as a hook pointing toward webinars, consulting, or selling more books. I’m particularly intrigued by Attention Getting Marketing’s books and planners on selling on Etsy. Brilliant. They have taken one simple book and revised it over and over for everything from selling home goods to photography. Then they sell it…where else? Etsy, where you easily bump into it. But there are hundreds of other examples. You have probably run into them yourself. Think of your book as a lead generator - “Sign in to Order My Free Book,” then they have your email and the opportunity to upsell you something. Think Small If you want to think smaller consider using www.simplebooklet.com. Using this app, you can easily create a book or smaller “booklet.” it gets its own mini website and SEO. You can post to every social media platform, email it, embed it in your website, download and print it. There’s a way to create a video with it using screenshots, attach a get-in-touch form, and much more. Their support sets a gold standard, and they will not only answer your questions, but they will also do some of it for you if you ask. There may be other sites like this, but I like this one too much to go look for another one. Of Course, There is Always a Short Cut Don’t want to write a word? You have the option of purchasing or licensing a pre-written book. www.123LeadMagnets.com has hundreds of books in a wide variety of categories, with the covers already designed. This is called “Buy or License, White Label Books Through PLR (Private Label Rights)” The website www.buyqualityplr.com has a long, long list of already written books that you can put your author’s stamp on and sell as your own. An alternative is idplr.com with fresh-looking graphics and another long list of topics with resell rights. There are others which you can find by searching Google.

The transition from military service to civilian life can be a difficult one, especially when it comes to your career. That’s why a growing number of veterans choose to forge their own path and become entrepreneurs after leaving the Armed Forces. While starting a business comes with numerous challenges, former service members do have one distinct advantage: the veteran community. “The strength and power of veteran entrepreneurs comes from other veteran entrepreneurs” Unlike most highly competitive entrepreneurial environments, veteran entrepreneurs share information much more easily. If you or someone you know is a veteran looking to start a business, please feel free to contact Vicki Garcia. Enlisted To Entrepreneur Column available at https://tinyurl.com/y5wedv63 Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 30+ -year- old marketing consulting firm. Apply to join Operation Vetrepreneur’s FREE one-on-one mentoring at www.veteransinbiz.com. Join the California Veterans Chamber of Commerce for FREE at www.caveteranschamber.com Email Vicki with column ideas at veteransinbiz@gmail.com

So, what are you waiting for? Nothing happens until you take a first step.

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021


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

CHOOSING THE RIGHT STATE TO REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS IN 2021 The real question is: “Which State do you want to get sued in?”

Each state varies in terms of fees and taxes, meaning the best option for a large public company may be completely different for a small business. Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming may be considered businessfriendly states, but none present a one-size-fits-all solution to choosing the right state of incorporation for your business. Below is a brief examination of each state that can help you select the state of incorporation that is right for your business. DELAWARE Many corporations register in Delaware because of the state’s lucrative tax codes and corporate-friendly laws. Investment bankers often require publicly traded companies to incorporate in Delaware to comply with some securities law requirements. Most Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware, largely because of the state’s premium justice system.

Embarking on a new business venture can be both challenging and rewarding. One of the biggest challenges a new business owner faces is choosing a state of incorporation or the state in which their business will be registered. Choosing the state of incorporation is a largely misunderstood aspect of starting a new business, creating confusion for even the brightest of business owners. A business owner can opt to register their business in the same state the business operates in, or they can register the business in a different state. States with lower corporate income tax rates like Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming are attractive options for many new business owners seeking to limit tax exposure of their new ventures. If the goals and needs of the business are not taken into consideration, however, incorporating the business out of state can have the exact opposite result. Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming may be considered business-friendly states, but none present a one-size-fitsall solution to choosing the right state of incorporation for your business. 52

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Delaware’s separate Court of Chancery provides businesses with faster resolutions and more predictable outcomes to business disputes. The Court of Chancery appoints judges with business backgrounds to rule on these cases involving commercial transactions without a jury. Delaware attracts both large and small corporations because of the well-developed body of case law for corporations, reaching back over hundred years and covering a wide breadth of matters regarding shareholders, management, mergers and acquisitions, and more. The state has no income tax and additionally, Delaware does not charge corporate taxes from corporations which are incorporated in Delaware but do not conduct business in the state. NEVADA Nevada is also a popular state of incorporation. It is important to remember that small-business owners must register as a foreign registrant in their own state when they incorporate their businesses out of state. These duplicate filings can result in increased one-time formation fees and an annual compliance burden. With the high cost to file in Nevada, this can cause large expenditures for small businesses.

Nevada makes up for its high administrative costs by being a tax haven for corporations. Nevada does not levy a franchise or income tax on businesses in the state.

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WYOMING Many companies incorporate in Wyoming because the administrative costs are generally lower than in Delaware or Nevada. Unlike many states, Wyoming does not require licensing or filing fees to be paid to complete the process of incorporation. Wyoming also has personal asset protection laws in place to protect business owners and company officers from losing assets like cars and houses in the event of litigation. The state also takes data protection laws seriously, requiring registered agents to maintain private data for businesses rather than have sensitive data entered into a public database. To conclude, forming a corporation in a different state won’t necessarily save a business any money in the long run. Incorporating out of state will usually do little for a business unless it conducts its operations in that state. It may sometimes be more beneficial for a business to incorporate out of state; however, it will always cost more upfront to do so. Incorporating in a tax-friendly state is not an effective strategy for reducing taxes unless the business plans to operate in that state. In general, a business will be subject to the tax laws of whatever state it operates in. Taking all of this into consideration, Delaware, Nevada or Wyoming may not necessarily be the best place to incorporate your business. Choosing where you incorporate may depend more on the structure of your business and your long-term goals. You can incorporate your business, find contracts, and download a FREE COVID-19 liability waiver form from www.GoLegalYourself.com For more information on how to legally start and grow your business please visit my website at www.golegalyourself.com

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www.GoLegalYourself.com WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021


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

“Let’s Get Started”

Does the firm specialize in family law?

Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Attorney

areas of law versus firms that focus only on one area.

2021 It’s a new year, and for many that means it’s time for new beginnings. You may be one of those people. Have you decided to file for divorce and move on in your life? If so, you will likely find yourself in need of an experienced attorney to help you through the process and assist in custody and visitation, support, or division of marital property issues. But how do you choose the right attorney for you? At your initial consultation, there are several important questions to ask.

Family Law


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It is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in family law. There are several firms that practice in many

A firm that only handles family law matters may not only have more experienced attorneys to handle your divorce, but they may also have a better reputation within the family law community. As such, they may have relationships established with other family law attorneys which could aid in settling any disputed issues in your case. How many years has the attorney been practicing? It is important to know how long an attorney you are considering hiring has been practicing family law. Knowing which attorney has more experience can be very important for your case, especially if your divorce involves high conflict issues or if you have a high asset case, both of which require more expertise.

What is the retainer and how does billing work? You will want to know what the initial retainer is and what it covers. Make sure that you ask what the billable rates are for the attorneys working on your matter as well as any paralegal or support staff. Different staff often bill at different rates based on position or experience. Another question to consider is whether or at what point the firm would require a replenishment of that retainer. You also want to consider how a firm bills. Some attorneys bill in 6-minute increments while others bill in quarter hour increments. Additionally, some attorneys or firms bill for each phone call, email or letter with a minimum charge.

Time for a Fresh Start.

Move forward without breaking the bank. Our military expert family law attorneys are ready to push your case to the finish line.

Who will be working on my case and how involved will the attorney be? Most family law attorneys have a team of people to assist on a matter which can include various paralegals and other associate attorneys. If you are seeking to hire a specific attorney based on reputation or referral, you will want to ask how involved they will be and who else will be assisting on your case. Also ask about the experience of other attorneys that may work on your matter. How familiar is the attorney with local judges? If you cannot settle your matter out of court and your divorce is litigated, you want an attorney that is not only comfortable taking your case to trial but who is also familiar with the local judges. This type of experience can help provide insight as to what issues you are likely to succeed on in court and possible outcomes should an issue be litigated at a hearing. It can also help decide those matters that you should seek to settle. No matter what, keep in mind that a consultation is not just for an attorney to get to know you, but for you to get to know them. Keep this list of questions (and any others you may have) handy and try to remember that divorce can be a new beginning even when it feels hard.


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For more information about a 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.

Legal Experts with Humanity

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021


Veterans Chamber of Commerce By Joseph Molina www.vccsd.org

Setting up goals in 2021 New Year New Path New years are special times for everyone. Whether you make it a big deal - standing under the lights in a warm embrace with the one you love, gathered around the new year cake with your family waiting, drafting a new year message you want to send to all your loved ones first - or just roll over like a new day, they are unique because just like birthdays they present a feeling of a new beginning.

Therefore, many new year resolutions fail, because people try to take on too much at once. Prioritize and breakdown the main Goal into small segments and try to just focus on one at a time. Take for instance, you want to change your money spending habits, your eating habits, your sleeping habits, yet you don’t know how these habits will improve your life. Habits take time to form and are lodged in our subconscious, meaning that we do not think about some of the mini-actions we take.

New years are mostly famous because of the new year resolutions. January 1st gives us a feeling of new beginnings and most everyone makes decisions and choices either mentally or by writing notes about changes or goals to be achieved in this new chapter. However, for most people it doesn’t take long before the enthusiasm dies down and people revert silently to their old selves.

Tip: Characterize the goal by placing it under a category, this will give you more clarity. Or set one goal in each category and break it down into mini-actions needed to successfully reach the goal. Create a timeline and actionable and measurable items on each step to clearly show you the progress. This removes ambiguity and vagueness.

Why do new year’s resolutions fail? Why do we find it difficult to stick to that decision or change of habit we decided with so much willpower? The old habit is harmful to our wellbeing, and the new one is great, and improves our life, yet we can’t stick to the new one – the weight loss program, the saving program, the self-care goal, etc, etc, etc.

Example of different categories you can place your goals include: Relationship goals work goals, spiritual goals, health and fitness goals and finance goals, etc.

Below are some practical and helpful tips that will help you have less disappointments and increase your chances of achieving your new year resolutions. 1. Define and characterise your goal We find that the major problem people experience is that they set new goals without “Clearly” deciding what they Really want the newly set goal to change. What aspect of their lives they want to change? Before you set a goal for the new year, characterise that goal by deciding what aspect of your life the set goal will help improve. This will help avoid complications and help you to measure your progress easily. TIP: To avoid being overwhelmed, it helps to focus on one area of your life instead of trying to change every aspect of your life at once. 56

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2. Manage your time wisely The reason the first step of characterizing a goal is very important is that it makes measurements and monitoring of progress easier. New Year goals may fail if they are not time-based and/or measurable (keeping track at each step of the progress). It is critical to have realistic and attainable goals. Transforming your life completely doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but you must set goals that you can attain within 12 months and in a way that it can be easily monitor for outcomes. When setting goals, it is important to select goals that can easily be measured over a short period. For example, rather than stating that you will develop a stronger bond with your employees, you can say: I will schedule a Monthly .15 minute meeting with each of my employees to discuss professional development opportunities. This goal makes sense, it is short term and can be easily measured.


GOALS 3. Prioritise your goals Not all goals are important. You must prioritise your goals to avoid any clashes. Goals set ordinarily without arranging them in order of priority are likely to fail. This may lead you to get carried with less effective goals while rejecting the goals with the big payoffs. Tip: 1) Write down all your goals (make a list), 2) Assign each goal a “priority number (1 – 10) based on what aspect of your life they help 3) Arrange them in order of importance and select 3 4) Repeat the process with the 3 goals. Select the one you feel will provide you with the highest satisfaction once completed. 4. Keep yourself accountable Incorporate a system of accountability that checks your progress and rewards you when you succeed, but also corrects you when you don’t. This will help keep you in line and decrease your chances of failing. Tip: Ask someone to be your accountability partner. Having an accountability partner is a very effective way. Generally, people are more motivated to do things when they feel supported. A partner can also help you keep you in line and motivate you when you start to slip back to your old routine. 5. Reward yourself Set goals that give you short and small rewards. Waiting a full year to see the outcome is discouraging and ineffective. Practice celebration at each small goal achievement! We all enjoy recognition and celebrations.

Tip: Set a celebration plan for each milestone. Keep it small and simple. This also boosts the levels of motivation and increases the levels of encouragement as we see experience the progress. Don’t reward yourself with an activity or a gift that is contentious to the goal. For instance, you don’t reward yourself with an expensive trip when you are trying to improve your savings and or improve your financial habit. In summary: Keeping New Year’s Resolutions is about Clarity of Objective and Self-Commitment. It is also important to recognize that we may not want to have a New Year’s resolution or that we decide to commit to a time frame rather than to an outcome. Some of my clients choose to commit to a three-month savings plan, and that is all they want. Remember this is your choice and it should be enjoyable to pursue. Have fun and enjoy your success!!!

The Veterans Chamber of Commerce Radio Show • Would you like to Nominate a Hero in your Community? Let us know and we will announce it on the show. • Would you like to share your story? Be our guest on the show. Here’s our REQUEST FORM for you to fill out and send back to us. If you have any ideas or project that you would like to see Developed by the Veterans Chamber send your idea to: veteransccsd@gmail.com Request Form - www.vccsd.org/radioshow.html

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021



WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021

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

It’s time to take advantage.

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

1-855-322-1158, TTY 711 UHCPatriotPlan.com You do not have to be a veteran to be eligible for this plan. Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. Benefits, features and/or devices vary by plan/area. Limitations and exclusions apply. Network size varies by market. ©2020 United HealthCare Services, Inc. All rights reserved. Y0066_200911_104349_M SRPJ59083 60 WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / JANUARY 2021

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