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Vol. 5 Number 6 • June 2018

Homeland Veterans Magazine

Pictures For Heroes

Life After Injury: An Odyssey Mental Health Research and Resources for Military Veterans and Families

AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY! Careers In Law Enforcement


U.S. Air Force pilot, retired Colonel Robert Thacker who turned 100 years old this year. During his service he earned two Silver Star Medals, three Distinguished Flying Cross Medals and ten Air Medals.

Awareness Month Transitioning To Civilian Life ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR Financial - Legal Section

Road to Recovery Digital, Spiritual and Cutting-Edge Medicine

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geico.com/san-diego-north | 760-753-7907 | dagrant@geico.com 711 Center Drive | San Marcos Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. GEICO Gecko image Š 1999-2018. Š 2018 GEICO


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HOMELANDMAGAZINE.COM Resources Support Inspiration

Homeland Veterans Magazine Voted 2017 Best Resource, Support Media for veterans, military families and transitioning military personnel.

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Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller Contributing Writers CJ Machado Vicki Garcia - Enlisted Joe Molina - VCCSD Holly Shaffner Honor Flight Shelter to Soldier Eva M. Stimson Boot Campaign Barry Smith Wounded Warrior Project Vesta Anderson John Roberts DAV - Steven Wilson USO - Sharon Smith Andrew McClure Operation Homefront Stephen Thomas Chris Martin Kelly Bagla. Esq. Public Relations CJ Machado Thomas McBrien

Greetings and a warm welcome to HOMELAND Magazine! Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. Homeland Magazine focuses on real stories from real heroes; the service member, the veteran, the wounded and the families that keep it together. Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with service members, families, veterans and civilians. Homeland is about standing your ground, resilience, adaptation, inspiration and solidarity. HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; our focus is on veterans, military and civilians alike. I believe HOMELAND is where the heart is, and our publication covers a wide variety of topics, and issues about real life and real stories. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people.

Marketing/Sales Mike Miller Gina Henderson Entertainment Media Bob Dietrich Calvin Goetz

Homeland Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved.

We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine.

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

With warmest thanks, Mike Miller, Publisher

858.275-4281 Contact Homeland Magazine at: info@homelandmagazine.com


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inside this issue 9 Two Generations, One New Alternative Y O U C A N M A K E A D I F F E R E N C E T O D AY Please visit www.ptsd.va.gov

10 Mental Health Research Veterans and Families 12 Life After Injury: An Odyssey 16 PTSD Treatment 17 Digital, Spiritual and Cutting-Edge Medicine 22 Pictures for Heroes 26 Airborne All The Way 30 US Army Veteran Overcomes Combat Afflictions 32 Enlisted To Entrepreneur 34 Basic Business Plans 36 Retirement Planning – it is never too late 37 Employee Handbooks - 10 Common Mistakes 38 Careers in Law Enforcement


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Support and Celebrate Our Military! Helping Military and Their Families

Give Back by Becoming a Player, Sponsor or a Donor 12th Annual Holes for Heroes Golf Tournament and Military Appreciation Event Friday, September 14, 2018

Lomas Santa Fe Country Club, Solana Beach

Veteran Recognition Dinner Follows the Golf Game $1.2 million raised since 2006 Sponsorship/Registration Info:

Brought to you by

www.holesforheroes.org psullivan@holesforheroes.org

San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club sdrotary.org

september 14-16, 2018


+ MANY MORE! kaaboodelmar.com



OFF YOUr HANG LOOSE 3-day passes

for active, retired + veteran members of the military

KAABOO salutes those who serve or have served. Verify your status to receive a promo code. *Limited number of military passes available. When purchasing, please ensure that you use your individual promo code and then select the discounted pass type. Discounts cannot be applied retroactively.


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We Salute Our Veterans SeaWorld® San Diego invites any U.S. veteran to enjoy a one-time free Single-Day Admission, along with up to 3 guests.*

Online only limited-time offer at WavesofHonor.com Register online May 25–July 4, 2018. Visitation valid through July 4, 2018. Tickets not available at the park. *ONLINE ONLY — Tickets must be obtained in advance through the online registration process. Offer not available at the SeaWorld ticket windows. Excludes SeaWorld waterparks, Sesame Place® and Discovery Cove.® Ticket is non-transferable, non-refundable and not for sale. Not valid with any other discounts, offers and has no upgrade value. © 2018 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Facebook.com/ASYSanDiego // Twitter.com/ASYSanDiego

www.darnishahunter.com 8

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introduced to him by fellow Iowan Jerry Yellin, a U.S. Army Air Forces veteran who flew on the last combat mission of World War II.

Two Generations, One New Alternative By M. Todd Hunter

As an Army investigator, Luke Jensen, a life member of DAV (Disabled American Veterans), was tasked with investigating various non-combat fatalities of fellow service members during his 2009 deployment to Afghanistan. Like many post-9/11 veterans, the Iowa native returned from the battlefield with some internal demons. “I came home and expected it to go away and it didn’t,” said Jensen. “And since I was home I was able to drink my sorrows away, and it didn’t help anything. It just got worse.” Self-medicating with alcohol or other drugs is not a rarity among veterans returning from war. In fact, according to the VA’s National Center for PTSD, more than 20 percent of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) abuse such substances. For Jensen, the destructive forces of substance abuse culminated the day he put a gun to his head in front of his wife and two young children. “I was ready to end it,” Jensen admitted. Thankfully he didn’t and later went to his local VA to seek professional help. Through nearly half a year of treatment, Jensen was prescribed five different kinds of depression medication, three types of anxiety medication and two different sleeping aids. But none of it provided the relief he was hoping for. “There’s a reason there’s ten different types of depression medication, because what works for you might not work for the next guy,” Jensen explained. “Everybody’s different. You need to find the right fit for you, and in order to do that you need to try new things.” For Jensen, the right treatment was a technique known as transcendental meditation (TM), which was

“I suffered thoughts about suicide and couldn’t work and had a terrible life,” Yellin reminisced. “And after I learned TM I became a real good person. I became quiet in my mind and quiet in my body, and I could do things I never dreamed of doing.” “Jerry connected with me and shared his experience and how it helped him, and I thought, ‘I have nothing to lose. Might as well give it a try,’” said Jensen. “And it was the first thing that gave me some relief and started helping me sleep and lower my anxiety.” Jensen said he started getting better right away after learning TM. Practicing the technique allowed him to tackle going to school full time while also balancing a full-time job. And, in May 2015, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and administration from William Penn University. “Transcendental meditation allows you twice a day, 20 minutes a day, to go from the surface level where everything is moving fast to down within yourself to a very quiet space,” said Yellin, who practiced TM every day from 1975 until his death in 2017. “It’s like a power nap where I do my meditation and have a more clear approach or outlook for the rest of the day,” added Jensen. “It got me out of despair and hopelessness and provided me with hope.” “There are other methodologies besides medications and expensive treatments that they can do themselves and have for the rest of their lives without spending a lot of time and money,” Yellin stated. “Learning TM is a one-time fee for a lifetime of help.” Yellin said techniques like TM that aren’t medically induced help veterans perform beyond their potential. For his part, Jensen said TM has helped him put his life back in focus – a life that will never again see him put a gun to his head. “My daughters remember that to this day, but they also understand that I’ve gotten a lot better and didn’t give up.”

More PTSD related resources are available at https://www.dav.org/veterans/resources/posttraumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/.

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Mental Health Research and Resources for Military Veterans and Families By Jim Lorraine, President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership

The month of May & June is recognized as Mental Health & PTSD Awareness Month, but it is important for military veteran communities to keep the conversation around mental health resources alive all year-round. There are many research projects that have recently been completed alongside the launch of new initiatives that are examining the causes and factors behind various mental health conditions ranging from post-traumatic stress to depression. More importantly, these projects are helping communities and veteranserving organizations identify beneficial forms of aid that they can offer to veterans, military families and caregivers who are in need. Our team at America’s Warrior Partnership is involved in several research projects related to mental health and wellness within veteran communities, and we hope the findings of these initiatives will inform service providers of the latest and most effective means of support that are available to veterans. Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reported in 2014 that an average of 20 veterans died from suicide every day. This is a serious issue that is made more complicated by the wide range of potential factors unique to each veteran that can potentially lead to suicide or self-harm. Most studies to date have generalized the potential indicators of suicide without focusing on the factors present at the local community level that may have an impact. A new research initiative launched earlier this year called Operation Deep Dive will examine this under-studied area and determine how the communities in which veterans work, live and receive support services can affect the potential for a suicide to occur. America’s Warrior Partnership launched Operation Deep Dive earlier this year in partnership with University of Alabama researchers and the BristolMyers Squibb Foundation. The four-year study aims 10

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to identify the risk factors that lead to suicide within veteran communities by using unique methodologies that have never before been applied to such research. In addition to investigating individual risk factors, such as mood disorders or substance abuse, the project will track how a community’s engagement with veterans can affect the prevention of suicides. The project will study veterans across the spectrum of service, gender and lifespan to evaluate how factors such as a less-than-honorable discharge or an inability to receive support services may impact veteran suicides. For the first half of the study, researchers will work within seven communities that are affiliated with America’s Warrior Partnership to conduct a five-year retrospective look at veteran suicides and suspected suicides. Community Advisory Boards will also be formed in each community to ensure local medical examiners, community leaders and veteran family members will be involved in the direction of the research. Through this partnership, researchers will geo-map veteran suicides and suspected suicides within each community to determine the geographical and cultural contexts that may impact the likelihood of suicide. Building on these findings, the second half of the study will incorporate input from the Community Advisory Boards to conduct a “social autopsy” that

identifies the common patterns that may be a precursor to a veteran taking his or her life. Qualitative interviews will also be conducted with veterans at higher risk for suicide, in addition to a quantitative statistical analysis drawing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and more, to determine the potential community and social factors related to veteran suicides. This same process will also be conducted with seven communities that are not affiliated with America’s Warrior Partnership to evaluate the impact that community engagement may have on veteran suicides. This will provide an unprecedented level of perspective and insight into veteran suicide risk factors. As the research is completed over the next four years, the team will publicize its findings to help veteran-serving organizations and community leaders create more effective programs to prevent and reduce suicide among veterans. Recreation-Based Therapy For two years in a row, the America’s Warrior Partnership Annual Community Integration Survey Report has found that recreation is the most sought-after resource by veterans, their families and caregivers. This finding has spurred many of our affiliate communities to focus on connecting veterans with recreational opportunities. We are also supporting research projects at Clemson University that are investigating the impact of recreation-based health and wellness programs for veterans. An initial study published by Clemson researchers in the Journal of Cogent Psychology found that veterans who participate in recreation-based health and wellness programs experience a positive impact on their mental health functioning. The study, titled “Preliminary Long-Term Health Outcomes Associated with Recreation-based Health & Wellness Programs for Injured Service Members,” is one of the first of its kind to examine the long-term duration of the benefits veterans experience through participating in these programs. Results showed that veterans maintained positive psychological health changes up to six months after participation. The Clemson research team that led this project is planning to conduct future studies that examine how recreation and leisure can affect the reintegration of military families who have experienced a combat deployment.

As we wait to learn the results of these future studies, America’s Warrior Partnership is working to provide veterans and their families with greater awareness of and access to recreation-based programs. As an example, the Four Star Alliance, which was formerly known as the R4 Alliance, is one of our newest membership programs that is made up of organizations that provide adaptive sports, therapeutic recreation and wellness services to military veterans. There are currently dozens of service providers participating in the Four Star Alliance, each working together so that when a veteran needs assistance in an area that is outside of their current capabilities they can turn to this extended network of support and connect that veteran with the right recreation-based program for his or her needs.

Mental health awareness should be a focus of the veteran community year-round, and we’re dedicated to continuing the conversation on a national and local level in the months to come. For those interested in learning more about upcoming research projects, visit www. AmericasWarriorPartnership.org/all-news to see the latest announcements. Organizations and veterans interested in the Four Star Alliance can learn more at www.FourStarAlliance.org. About the Author Jim Lorraine is President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership, a national non-profit that helps veteran service organizations connect with veterans, military members and families in need.

Learn more about the organization at www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org.

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Life After Injury: An Odyssey

By John Roberts – National Service Director, Wounded Warrior Project


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Chris Gordon is a wounded warrior who attended a Project Odyssey.

When I got out of the Marine Corps in the 1990s, I struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Back then, the only treatment option was through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It was either talk therapy or medication, and I wasn’t a big fan of either one. There wasn’t anything out there offering a peer-topeer connection. When I got far enough in my recovery to help the young warriors behind me, I knew I wanted them to have more options for treatment. So, in 2007, I worked with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) leadership to create a special PTSD-focused program. That was when Project Odyssey® was born. The name is derived from Homer’s epic poem about overcoming adversity and finding your way home. These themes mirror a veteran’s own odyssey to overcome the struggles associated with combat and transition to his or her new normal at home with family and friends. It wasn’t until midway through the first Project Odyssey in 2007 that I realized – wow – this works. My entire focus went to recreating the magic from that first workshop. And we did. For the past decade, WWP staff have been hosting Project Odyssey all over the country, providing peer-topeer connections and mental health support to as many warriors as possible. Each Project Odyssey is a multi-day, adventure-based mental health workshop. These teach warriors new tools to help on their journeys to recovery from combat stress, PTSD, and other invisible wounds. Though Project Odyssey is meant to help warriors find resiliency in their transitions from military to civilian life, it’s also designed to be fun. A typical Project Odyssey day starts with team-building exercises, followed by outdoor activities like whitewater rafting or climbing through a high-ropes course. These outdoor activities introduce coping strategies for issues warriors encounter in their everyday lives – such as anxiety. This recovery model allows warriors to be vulnerable to the unknown and to identify and work through stressors together. During regular group discussions, warriors break down their thought processes when confronted with stressors or triggers and then share what coping mechanism worked for them to complete the activity. Activities vary, as do locations. If you’re on a Project Odyssey in Florida, you may partake in beach activities like kayaking or surfing.

“Project Odyssey is special, because it presents challenges to you — things that you may never have experienced before,” says wounded warrior Chris Gordon. “You get to challenge yourself, conquer obstacles, and meet new veterans who could become lifelong friends.”

If you’re on a Project Odyssey in Utah or Colorado, you may end up skiing or hiking. Regardless, you’ll have a chance to try new things while comfortably surrounded by your fellow warriors. The activities at a Project Odyssey are designed to help warriors increase their self-confidence and teach them to think before reacting in difficult situations. By teaching warriors coping and resiliency skills adapted to their everyday lives, they increase their psychological well-being, which helps them face challenges presented at home, in relationships, in the workplace, and in their communities. Project Odyssey empowers wounded warriors like Chris to see that after military service, there is a new mission – recovery. To be their most successful selves post-injury. Warriors realize they can still accomplish great feats and take on challenges regardless of any physical or mental injuries. To be successful, they must have a balanced support structure. Continued on next page >

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Peer support is so essential to the recovery process that WWP created a specific program to support the effort. Peer support is found in every WWP program and service offered, but the goal of the Peer Support program is for every warrior being mentored to eventually mentor another warrior, thus embodying the WWP logo of one warrior carrying another. By becoming a peer mentor, warriors who once were being carried have the opportunity to become the warrior who carries others. The power of peer support is most evident in Project Odyssey, where one of the main emphases centers on team building. Project Odyssey is broken into all-female, all-male, and couples workshops to ensure environments are comfortable and promote healing.

Life After Injury: An Odyssey

For female warriors like Angie Peacock, this support structure was her first opportunity to build connections with other female veterans who have been through similar experiences. When she learned she was not alone in her injuries, she was able to start healing wounds she had been working on for a decade. Couples workshops allow warriors and their spouses to strengthen their relationships. Wounded warrior David Camacho and his wife were able to understand each other on a deeper level after meeting other couples and sharing ideas, opinions, and experiences. As a group, couples learned the emotional and life skills to manage the frustration, depression, and stress that comes from dealing with life after injury. Success at Project Odyssey varies from warrior to warrior. Isolation can negatively impact a positive recovery outcome. For some warriors, just walking through the door is the biggest win. For others, progress may come from talking to someone new or conquering a high ropes course. Warriors choose what challenges they’re willing to undertake, so they can get more comfortable doing a bit more every day, expanding their tolerance for uncomfortable situations or feelings. But by the end of the workshop, warriors are well outside their comfort zones and redefining their boundaries. The program ends with establishing goals that are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound. These are set with the intention of providing warriors something to work toward after returning home from Project Odyssey. WWP teammates who worked with warriors on Project Odyssey commit to a 90-day follow-up program to help warriors achieve their goals,


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“The couples Project Odyssey helped my wife and me understand each other,” says wounded warrior David Camacho. “We met other couples and shared ideas, opinions, and experiences. We got the emotional and life skills to manage the frustration, depression, and stress that comes from dealing with everything.”

“It was the first time I got to build a connection with female veterans who had been through similar experiences,” says wounded warrior Angie Peacock. “In four short days, Project Odyssey helped me heal some wounds I’d been working on for a decade.”

About Wounded Warrior Project We Connect, Serve, and Empower Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), top rated by Charity Navigator, and holding a GuideStar Platinum rating. To get involved and learn how WWP connects, serves, and empowers, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us. (Photos courtesy WWP) Are you struggling with PTSD, TBI, or other mental health issues? David Camacho Connecting them with additional resources as needed. With PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI) being the two most prevailing injuries from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, the need for increased resources for PTSD treatment is evident. We need to raise awareness and educate the public. PTSD is a normal reaction to a very bad situation, and no one should be ashamed of suffering and seeking help. Combat veterans need to know that PTSD does not have to be a lifelong sentence. It can be treated and managed. Life can be better. Goal-setting and accountability – along with connecting warriors with a myriad of additional WWP programs – are what separate Project Odyssey from other adventure-based mental health programs. It’s the magic that makes it special, and the impact of Project Odyssey speaks for itself. It changes lives.

WWP can help you at every stage of your mental health recovery:

• Inpatient Treatment – Immediate treatment for warriors with urgent needs • Outpatient Treatment – Ongoing therapy to cope with invisible wounds • Warrior Care Network® – Intensive outpatient treatment providing tools to overcome mental health challenges in partnership with four academic medical centers • WWP Talk – Weekly phone conversations with a warrior who understands • Project Odyssey – Three- to five-day mental health workshops June is PTSD Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is interested in support for PTSD or other mental health issues, please contact the WWP Resource Center at resourcecenter@woundedwarriorproject.org or 888.WWP.ALUM (997.2586)

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Is it ever too late to get treatment for PTSD? It’s never too late. Treatment

can help even if your trauma happened years ago. And treatment for PTSD has gotten much better over the years. If you tried treatment before and you’re still having symptoms, it’s a good idea to try again.

What if I don’t feel ready for treatment? It’s normal to feel like you’re

not ready for treatment, or to come up with reasons why now isn’t the right time — like you can’t afford it or you’re too busy. But not wanting to talk or think about the trauma can actually be a symptom of PTSD. You may never feel truly ready to get help for PTSD — but if you’re having symptoms, it’s better to get treatment now than to wait. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you can start to feel better. For more information and resources visit the National Center for PTSD website at: www.ptsd.va.gov








Y O U C A N M A K E A D I F F E R E N C E T O D AY Please visit www.ptsd.va.gov 16

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Digital, Spiritual and Cutting-Edge Medicine Has U.S. Army Veteran and Movie Star Back On The Road to Recovery By Barry Smith, Boot Campaign Life in the movies isn’t always the Hollywood dream most people assume, the one with limousines, private jets, talk shows, magazine covers, adoring fans, and infinite fame and fortune. Even with fancy red-carpet premieres and media hoopla, not every star is always thrilled to be part of the show. When the Strong Eagle Media feature film Citizen Soldier premiered in theatres to critical acclaim in August of 2016, the stars of the opening and final credits showed up in tuxedos, did the media interviews and celebrated the opening with the rest of the cast and crew. In this particular 90-minute, R-rated film however, the stars were American soldiers not actors and the scenes were not fiction, but rather actual, authentic war-time footage shot under live enemy fire by the helmet cameras of their comrades. Citizen Soldier featured film footage from a Sept. 14, 2011 battle in Saygal Valley, one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan. It was shot from the point of view of a group of soldiers in the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a group known since World War II as the “Thunderbirds,” who were engaged in a fire-fight during Operation BrassMonkey.

Because the operation was more of a nightmare and not everyone in their platoon survived the conflict, at least one of the film’s stars was not a big fan of that intimate and excruciating footage being shown on the big screen. “First of all, I think I was pretty much against this movie from the start,” confides U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class (Ret.) Martin Byrne, a native of Tucson, Ariz., in the movie’s behind-the-scenes promotional trailer. “But then there was a turning point, and I offered 100 percent support to this film. Being able to key in on the brotherhood of our men, being able to key in on how much we cared and loved each other. The way the production company put this together, it was just unbelievable. “This isn’t just another Hollywood film, we didn’t have embedded reporters, it’s none of that stuff,” Byrne clarifies. “These are just some men in my platoon who were authorized to wear helmet cameras. That’s it. It turned into some sort of flick, that is going to save someone’s life. I don’t know whose life it is going to save, but it’s going to save someone’s life and I’m telling you it’s probably already saved mine.” How could a real-life war film have an impact on saving someone’s life? According to David Salsberg in the film promo, some service members can find a film such as this one he directed with Christian Tureaud to be a worthwhile and powerful prescription for healing a variety of emotional wounds. “The films become a living, breathing thing that honor the fallen heroes, that bring closure to the folks that were there,” says Salsberg, “that they’ve branded digital medicine.” “Digital Medicine” is just one of several treatments Byrne has experienced since medically retiring from the U.S. Army National Guard in May 2014 after serving 16 and a half years in the military.

Continued on next page >

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While Byrne left the Army with a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and numerous meritorious service, commendation and achievement medals, he also accumulated life-altering physical injuries, as well as challenges related to TBI (traumatic brain injury) and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) issues.

Since returning to civilian life in Wichita, Kansas, with his wife Alma and 10-year-old son Austin, Byrne has been involved in an exhaustive search for more effective treatments to his numerous physical and emotional ailments. While the film’s digital medicine was mostly a welcome diversion, Byrne has found more positive and lasting results by combining “spiritual medicine” with the “cutting-edge medicine” that is customized by the revolutionary Health and Wellness Program of Texas-based military non-profit Boot Campaign.

Byrne enlisted in the Army in December of 1997 and stayed mostly out of harm’s way until moving to the National Guard in 2003 and undergoing multiple deployments to the Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. On Aug. 18, 2011, about one month before the film footage was shot in Operation Brass-Monkey, he suffered severe injuries when the vehicle he was the turret gunner on was blasted with a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). He was knocked unconscious, suffered multiple shrapnel wounds to his left side, broke his left arm and was medevaced out to a nearby combat trauma clinic in Jalalabad. Much like a football player injured in the Super Bowl, he put some tape on it and went back out into the fight. Actually, despite being targeted for transfer to Germany for more extensive medical care, he decided to stick with his platoon a while longer, hiding the knuckles-to-armpit cast on his left arm under his uniform so his injuries would go unnoticed by the enemy. He remained in Najil, Afghanistan for more than six months before his body began to break down. He was then transferred for more extensive medical treatment to Camp Shelby, Miss., and later to his final post in Fort Riley, Kansas.


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“Dealing with TBI and PTSD has been a hard path,” admits Byrne, who stopped his unsuccessful medical care with the VA to craft his own treatment plan. “I started to go down two paths, one of righteousness and the other of selfdestruction. I didn’t have emotional intelligence and, to top it off, I questioned my faith and pretty much turned my back to God.

“I was raised under two roofs, under two Gods,” explains Byrne, whose father Martin is a retired Air Force Master Sergeant and Catholic Irish Scot from Chicago and whose mother Chaubpit is a Buddhist from Thailand. “Instead of praying to God, Jesus and Buddha like I did before, I started to pray to the Holy Trinity, and Easter of 2017 was the first time I asked for Jesus to be in my life.” Byrne’s spiritual awakening also played into his fully funded Boot Campaign treatment program when he was admitted on Dec. 1, 2017. He spent nearly seven weeks in Virginia Beach, Va., at Virginia High Performance (VHP) for intense physical testing, training and strict nutritional requirements to get his body back in shape. He then reported to the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas for eight more weeks of treatment under the direction of neurologist Dr. John Hart, including a complete diagnostic workup of his body and brain. “I wanted to approach this program from the ground floor up,” explains Byrne. “I told them I wanted to set up my foundation with the Holy Spirit and the Gospel, and then from there I wanted work on my body and then my mind, and it turned out pretty well. I could feel the Holy Spirit working in this Boot Campaign program.”

To help other suffering military veterans avoid the delays and mistakes of his own experience, Byrne offers the following words of wisdom to speed up the process. “Stop wasting your time with these other programs and get in line with Boot Campaign,” suggests Byrne, regarding the intricate four-phase treatment program that provides access to the most innovative and holistic care for TBI, PTSD, chronic pain, self-medication and insomnia. “Set up something with them and get in line now to get yourself fixed. These people are genuine, they care and they are vested.” While Byrne feels he is finally headed down the right path, both medically and spiritually, he knows full well that his road to recovery has no shortcuts. “I know the body you’ve got to work on every day, the mind you’ve got to work on every day, and your soul you’ve got to work on every day, so that’s what I’m doing,” declares Byrne.

Byrne struggled mightily from 2011 to 2017 to find the right remedies for his war-torn body and mind, suffering through the highs and lows of countless unsuccessful treatments and medications, and wading through a myriad of potential programs that for one reason or another were not the answer for him.

“I think my wife Alma coined it the best,” he adds. “She says it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a bigger village to bring a combat veteran home, to really bring them home, because it is a long road and not an easy one.” Learn more about Boot Campaign and its Health and Wellness Program at www.BootCampaign.org.

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Research Opportunities

VETERANS: WE NEED YOU VA San Diego Healthcare System and Veterans Medical Research Foundation are looking for participants for human subject research studies on Veterans health issues. Findings will help provide better treatments for Veterans and the general population. • We are one of the largest VA research programs in the nation • We employ the most advanced research technologies • We employ some of the best, talented and world renowned researchers in the country • We conduct approximately 400 human subject studies annually

Sign up for a research study TODAY!  

Some studies provide medical care and/or reimbursement for participation.

Check out our current list of research opportunities.

Visit: www.sandiego.va.gov/studies.asp and www.vmrf.org/studies.html

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D-Day Doll and the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team thrill the crowd at the Planes Of Fame Air Show in Chino, California. What a sight to see! Tina Hargett sings the National Anthem as the C-53, “D-Day Doll” drops the WWII Airborne Demo Team. Massive green parachutes and paratroopers dressed in WWII gear, fill the skies in remembrance of those who served to preserve America’s freedom, re-enacting the invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944. 22

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“ Perfectly executed… As the Star-Spangled Banner was sung, the paratroopers exited the aircraft. Simultaneously, only slightly above the jumpers, the U.S. Army Air Force fighters flew the missing man formation. This was truly a spectacular, inspirational and patriotic event to witness. “ – Kevin Thompson Planes Of Fame Air Museum airshow announcer and historian. D-Day Doll, a Douglas C-53D, flew three missions on D-Day and the next day.

Ed’s first combat jump was with the 101st Airborne Division into Normandy on D-Day. He was in the Medical Attachment assigned to Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, where he helped the wounded at various aid stations. He teared up as Marine paratrooper, Armando Zepeda shook his hand in gratitude. At 95 years of age, he is not forgotten. He is remembered by the dedication and gratitude shown by the CAF and the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team. Amazing.

D-Day Doll’s mission was to tow gliders carrying reinforcements to the 101st Division Airborne Troops, who had been dropped earlier in the night, near Utah Beach. Today, D-Day Doll resides at the Inland Empire Wing, Commemorative Air Force hangar at the Riverside Airport in California. When D-Day Doll is not involved in public demonstrations, she enjoys basking on the flight line, entertaining visitors.

The WWII Airborne Demo Team takes great pride in actively engaging the crowd. For young aviation enthusiast Noah Comstock, meeting the WWII Demo Team was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. Noah just turned seven. He and his family traveled from Sahaurita, Arizona to visit the world renowned Planes Of Fame Air Show in Chino, California.

The WWII Airborne Demonstration Team, based out of Frederick, Oklahoma inspire the masses at air shows across the country. Their mission is to re-create memories of service, making certain the “Greatest Generation” is never forgotten.

Noah, dressed in full WWII paratrooper gear, watched in awe as these men and a woman, Kathleen “Kat” Healey, disguised as an Office of Strategic Services (OSS agent, prior to CIA), prepared for their next jump.

WWII U.S. Army veteran, Edwin “Ed” Pepping’s first priority was to stop by the WWII Airborne Demo Team tent before taking his seat as an honored guest with the “Veteran’s Project” at the Planes Of Fame 2018 airshow. He wanted to thank his younger comrades for honoring his service and those that fought and died beside him during WWII.

Commanding Officer Colonel Raymond Steeley, U.S. Army Special Forces, Retired, couldn’t help but notice Noah and his older sister Maddie, who just turned Eight. Colonel Steeley immediately included the impressionable youth in their Team’s jump preparation. One of the Team members challenged Maddie to pick up the heavy gear. She was all smiles struggling to pick up the over 30-lb main gear pack. Noah participated in the line-up with the rest of the troops as Major Rodney Roycroft indulged Noah by handing him a rifle (a non-functional M1 Carbine) to absorb the full experience. The other Team Members gave the Comstock family a tour inside the C-53, which is a “paratrooper specific” version of the C-47. Continued on next page >

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Noah, in full gear, seemed oblivious to the high temperatures of over 90 degrees in the aircraft’s cabin. He was very content in his surroundings and kept asking one of the Team Members, “When can I jump? When can I jump?” His enthusiasm filled the cabin with laughter. Although Maddie was not in full paratrooper gear, Colonel Steeley made certain she wasn’t left out. He gave her a memorable gift, a piece of his parachute, fondly recognized as a parachute scarf with his name written on it. It made such an impression on her that she has worn it ever since, accessorizing each of her outfits with it, including wearing it to church. Noah and Maddie’s experience is an affirmation of the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team’s mission; to “Remember, Honor, Serve”, by inspiring our children to continue the legacy, to preserve and honor our history. An exclusive interview with our future Airborne Paratrooper, seven year-old, Noah Comstock: Noah, what was your favorite part of seeing the paratroopers at the air show? “Watching them jump. I never saw World War II paratroopers jump out of an airplane before. I liked sitting in the C-53 too. I got to put on a parachute and sit with real paratroopers. I felt like I was getting ready

to jump out of a C-53.” What was your favorite airplane at the air show? “The C-47. (C-53) I like it because it carries paratroopers.” And because it was in D-Day.” Why do you find World War II so interesting? “D-Day. And my dad said his grandpa was in World War II.” Do you want to be a paratrooper some day? “If my sister lets me.” What was the most interesting thing the paratroopers talked to you about? “The parachutes and that they have a school and airplanes that fly in Oklahoma. I don’t know where that is, but I want to go there. And there was a paratrooper with a Hawkins mine.” When did you become interested in paratroopers? “I think when I was 5.”


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Why are you interested in paratroopers? “My family has paratroopers in it. And because paratroopers jump out of airplanes and fight Germans.” Noah and Maddie’s parents explained, “We try to take the kids to as many museums, air shows, and living history events as we can. They have learned so much talking with re-enactors and veterans and listening to their stories.” They also mentioned “Noah has always shown an interest in history.His favorite topics are the Titanic, the Hindenburg airship, and D-Day. He loves machines and airplanes, especially WWII airplanes. He loves the old World War II movies like “A Bridge Too Far” and “The Longest Day.” He has never been interested in super heroes, or Pokémon, or really even Star Wars. World War II is his main interest.” To celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Commemorative Air Force and the WWII Airborne Demo Team are coordinating the largest jump since Normandy next year on June 6, 2019.

If you would like to participate in the jump, please visit: https://wwiiadt.org/the-parachute-school If you would like to support the “Doll to Normandy 2019” project, please contact: https://www.inlandempirecaf.com/ddaydoll If we as people value our freedom, than we as Americans must actively support those who’ve risked their lives to preserve our freedoms, and to Honor, Remember and Serve. Please support the Normandy 2019 Re-enactment Jump, if not by monetary means, than by public awareness. I encourage everyone to forward the links above or this article to every museum, every military base, every veteran organization, churches, family members, every media outlet possible; Facebook, Twitter, radio, news, etc.


May God Bless the Commemorative Air Force, the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team, the Planes Of Fame Air Museum, and may God Bless America. Written by photo journalist & veteran advocate, CJ Machado

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Pictures for Heroes

Robert Thacker

By Holly Shaffner U.S. Air Force pilot, retired Colonel Robert Thacker who turned 100 years old this year. During his service he earned two Silver Star Medals, three Distinguished Flying Cross Medals and ten Air Medals.


Zach Coco knows something about heroes. He gets to interview them, photograph them and preserve their stories every week. Those heroes are the men and women who served in World War II and he has a big reason to do it voluntarily and to keep it going.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that just over 550,000 World War II veterans are still living from over 16 million who served. With World War II veterans dying at almost 400 per day, the urgency to get their stories told could not be more crucial.

He started his project three years ago after his grandfather passed away. Zach’s grandfather was Fireman Second Class Anthony Salvatore Coco and he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. “He was my hero growing up,” says Zach Coco and it was after his grandfather’s passing that he wished he had learned more about his hero’s service to our country.

Zach’s mission is to connect with World War II veterans and get their stories archived before time runs out. The service Zach provides to the veteran and his or her family is totally free to them – he figures it the least he can do for them and to thank them. In preparation to document their story, Zach spends up to five hours planning for their first meeting. He calls them and talks about their World War II story, researches their battle or background and arranges for a day to meet with them.

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This day is special for the World War II veteran as they are looking forward to Zach’s arrival. He travels to their house and sets up his gear, talks to the veteran, views his or her memorabilia and then goes to work. He takes stunning photographs of the veteran, goes home and records the pictures and story on a CD and mails it to the veteran and his or her family. For every veteran he meets, it takes Zach between eight to ten hours to document and preserve their story. His payment is usually a cup of coffee, cookies and a sandwich and a big hug. Since 2015 Zach has photographed over seventy WWII veterans, primarily from Southern California. Zach is working on this project outside of his full-time, paid job as a professional photographer and out of his own pocket. He never asks for the veteran or their family to pay for his time or supplies. It is his honor to do this for this grandfather’s brothers and sisters – and what a tribute it is. As Zach documents the stories, he adds each veteran to an upcoming book and when he gets to one hundred veterans, the book will go to print for the public to read.

Papa Coco

Stanley Troutman

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Every veteran he has spent time with has been very special and some veteran’s stories rise to the top. Zach has spent the day with and photographed the oldest living Pearl Harbor Survivor, Ray Chavez who is 106 years old. Ray and fellow U.S. Navy Pearl Harbor Survivor Stu Hedley live in San Diego, California along with U.S. Army veteran, Joe Reilly. Joe was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne during World War II and parachuted into Normandy on D-Day.

Ray Chavez

And then there’s U.S. Air Force pilot, retired Colonel Robert Thacker (Cover) who turned 100 years old this year. During his service he earned two Silver Star Medals, three Distinguished Flying Cross Medals and ten Air Medals.

Joseph Reilly

After spending years in the presence of the Greatest Generation and listening to their wartime stories, Zach has a newfound perspective…“There are no more bad days and the small things really aren’t that bad.”

Stuart Hedley


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So how does Zach meet all these amazing veterans? He is connected to hubs within the Honor Flight Network. He went on his first flight several years ago and was hooked. Since then he has been a guardian for veterans or been part of the media team to document the trip and has been on seventeen trips. The trip consists of a “once in a lifetime” experience for the most senior veterans across the country, typically World War II or Korea era. The Honor Flight goes to Washington, D.C. and veterans visit the memorials built for their service and sacrifice. For some of them it is the first time they have ever visited their memorials and for the majority of them it will be their last trip.

John Moran

Along the way, they meet new friends, share their stories that have been locked away for over seventy years and heal some of their war wounds. For seventy-two hours they are recognized and honored for their service. They come home to hundreds of cheering friends, family and well-wishers and for just a few moments in their life they truly feel like heroes. Robert Izumi

And that is Zach’s goal, to make each veteran he meets feel like a hero. After all they are our nation’s heroes and they are our Greatest Generation. Mr. Anthony Salvatore Coco is the inspiration behind this project and he would be proud what his grandson is doing to carry on the legacy of his brothers and sisters. Right now Zach’s project is local to Southern California and with funding he hopes to grow it nationally. The biggest challenge for Zach is time – time to get to the World War II veterans before their stories are gone. To learn more about Zach’s project, to help him fund more veterans or his book, or to connect with him for a special World War II veteran in your life, go to: www.PicturesforHeroes.com.

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US Army Veteran Overcomes Combat Afflictions Thanks to the Support of Shelter to Soldier by Eva M. Stimson Mason Crosslin, US Army (Ret.) is an OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) veteran who suffers from PTS (Post Traumatic Stress). To help cope with his symptoms, Mason sought the aid of Shelter to Soldier, a San Diego-based non-profit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from (PTS), Traumatic Brain (TBI) and/or other afflictions associated with traumatic combat experiences. As a result of his handler training with Shelter to Soldier, he successfully graduated from the program with his dedicated service dog Griffin.

Mason and Griffin

Griffin is a gentle, Pointer/Labrador mix rescue from the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services shelter in Bonita, CA. Griffin’s adoption, care, training and housing was sponsored by Griffin Funding, a San Diego-based mortgage banking company dedicated to giving back to San Diego veterans and shelter dogs in need. Mason and Griffin were celebrated at an intimate graduation ceremony at Poway Veteran’s Park and are now partners for life. After the graduation event, Mason remarked, “Griffin is so eager to learn and I’m really enjoying learning a lot about proper dog handling techniques, which I feel passionately about. I’m so blessed and grateful to have Shelter to Soldier staff and volunteers in my life! I was experiencing some gnarly nightmares, and having Griffin with me to put me back in reality after I wake up is a game changer.” In addition to his successful graduation from Shelter to Soldier, Mason joined the Shelter to Soldier team as a volunteer animal care technician. His responsibilities include the walking, feeding, bathing and care for the dogs in the STS program. He has also become an in-house photographer and dog trainer, dedicating countless hours working alongside the STS team, learning how to communicate with dogs and teach them the needed skills to become service dogs for fellow veterans in need. According to Founder and President of Shelter to Soldier, Graham Bloem, “Mason’s growth and unwavering dedication is highly admirable and a true testament to his strength and desire to continue to push forward. 30

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He’s an amazing example of the success of our program at Shelter to Soldier --- when I met Mason, he was in a very sad, dark place. He was particularly challenged by public interaction, but he immersed himself in our program and has since overcome astonishing obstacles and transformed his life. He smiles often, works incredibly hard and is proud of his contributions. One of the hidden talents we discovered is his ability to capture the relationship of dogs with their veteran-handlers through photography. We have utilized his work in our marketing outreach efforts with impactful results.” After a three-month cross-country trip this summer, Mason will join the Shelter to Soldier team as a paid staff member. He will assume the duties of Dog Trainer, Care Giver and part-time in-house photographer. The mission of Shelter to Soldier includes veterans helping veterans, so Mason is a true example of overcoming obstacles to assist his fellow veterans in need.

Every day on average, twenty (20) U.S. veterans and one (1) active duty service member commit suicide (Department of Veteran Affairs) and every day, 3200 dogs are euthanized in the U.S. The services Shelter to Soldier provides for free to veterans and their commitment to adopt dogs, fulfills the mission of this organization by “Saving Lives, Two at a Time”.

Shelter to Soldier President, Graham Bloem, is the recipient of the ABC 10News Leadership Award, The Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Real Heroes Award, the Honeywell Life Safety Award and the 2016 Waggy Award in the Animal Welfare category. Shelter to Soldier will be hosting their annual fundraising gala, “Be the Light” on Saturday, August 25th at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. Sponsorship opportunities are available and silent and live auction items are currently being accepted. Contact Kyrié Bloem, Shelter to Soldier Co-Founder and Director of Operations for additional information at kyrie@ sheltertosoldier.org. Shelter to Soldier is a gold participant of GuideStar and accredited by the Patriot’s Initiative. www.sheltertosoldier.org.


They recently relocated their headquarters to the Pacific Pet Resort and Dog Training Center located at 2909 San Luis Rey Road in Oceanside, CA, to better serve the increasing number of veterans in need of their services. To learn more about veteransupport services provided by STS, call (855) 287-8659 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility.

Photo’s by: Mason Lane Photography Ace

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GET CERTIFIED: Time to Take Your Biz to The Next Level!!! In my never-ending quest to find the most useful, practical info for you, dear reader, certification is at the top of my list. Michelle Burkart, a business associate and friend for over 30 years, is an expert on the topic. Read on... The process of becoming “certified” can be confusing, especially for the sole proprietor, or smaller business owner. However, the rewards can provide new avenues of revenue opportunities for business growth. The biggest comment I hear from business owners is that “I am too small to compete for government contracts”; or,” I am a one person show so do not have time to do the certification process.” Supplier diversity or government contracting are terms used in the procurement and contracting field where a “mandated spend” percentage of their budgets are set aside for veteran or minority owned businesses. It is a way to level the playing field so that procurement contracts do not just go to the larger company suppliers. Usually, the designations of minority or disadvantaged business means 51% owned and operated by women, veteran, service disable veteran, minority (Hispanic, African American, or Asian), or LGBT. There are also document 32

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requirements for certification so that the companies or government agencies can be assured that they are working with credible, and reliable vendors who can support the contracts execution. You can have more than one designation which can be more advantageous in the bidding process. So How to Begin? The first step is to decide and to commit that you want to take your business to this next level because it can seem like the document requirements are an enemy force to be reckoned with! The second step is to see if your business meets the general criteria to become a Veteran Owned Business (VOB) in addition to your having served in the military: • Majority (at least 51%) Veteran -owned, operated, managed, and controlled by a person or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. • Exercises independence from any business enterprise. •Has its principal place of business (headquarters) in the United States. • Has been formed as a legal entity in the United States.

• Note: Service Disabled Veteran status has a % requirement of disability. In the world of certifications there are two kinds: self-certifications, and third -party certifications. The former kind is usually free, informal and involves the time it takes a you to apply to the various agencies like the Small Business Administration (SBA) or the Veterans Adminstration (VA) for a type of certification like VOB, SDVOB, WBE, DBE, MBE. The latter “third-party” certification is provided by a diversity-oriented organization that usually charges an administration fee for a more formal certification. These organization then provide additional services, meet the buyer events, and networking to promote the businesses of their diversity certified members. Third Party Certifications: What Is the Difference? • More formal process by diversity -oriented organization where a fee for certification is charged. • Certification is valid for 1 to 2 years. • Organization usually produce or attend “Meet the Buyers” bid matching events to promote interaction with private companies and their supplier diversity procurement chains representatives. • Certified businesses do business with Companies such as: Toyota, Chevron, Disney, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, Fannie Mae, Lowe’s, JPL, Wells Fargo, US Bank, IBM, American Airlines.

The National Veteran Business Development Council is a third-party Veteran Owned Business Certification program in the United States and is organized as a 501c3 not for profit foundation. • The NVBDC was created for the purpose of providing a credible and reliable certifying authority that would ensure that valid documentation exists of a business’ Veteran ownership and control. • Many lucrative businesses opportunities are available to Veteran Owned Businesses through the Supplier Diversity programs offered at many companies and government agencies. In fact, the total mandated spend available to qualifying businesses is estimated to be in excess of $80 Billion annually. • With the NVBDC’s FASTRACK process, businesses that have already established existing Minority Status with the any of the following organizations can qualify for Veteran Owned Business Certification in as little as 30 days—Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) or National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) I hope this has helped to introduce you to the process of getting certified and taking that next step to expand your business opportunities. Trust me when I say, if you made it through basic training you can get certified VOB and its time to do it now! Michelle Burkart is the Principal at Diversity Supplier Alliance. If you need assistance, you can reach her at michelle@diversitysupplieralliance. com For more information on LGBTBE certification visit: www.diversitysupplieralliance.com

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Veteran Entrepreneurs Today (V.E.T.) & President of Marketing Impressions, a 30+ year old marketing consulting firm. Email her at vicki@veteranentrepreneurstoday.org for free help in starting and running your business. www.homelandmagazine.com

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Basic Business Plans By Joe Molina

WHAT IS A BUSINESS PLAN? The Business Plan is a Project Management Tool – and not a document since documents tend to be filed in a drawer somewhere, but a Project Management Tool is use throughout the project to help user navigate and make the necessary changes and modifications when needed. TYPES OF BUSINESS PLANS We have three basic types of business plans we can choose from, traditional, one page, and business canvas. Each option is dictated by who is going to be the reader. Take a look at your Lender or Investor and find out which style they prefer before you spend the time. Note: You want to focus on the right format based on what your Lender or Investor want to read.

Canvas or Store-Image Business Plan: These two are more visual in nature and with less description about the business. It is a great way for Investors to see if the business is Healthy or cash flow poor. Every Business Plan Starts with the executive Summary (but note that the executive summary is written last. The business plans have a few key factors that should be included and be part of the business plan. Key factors: • Keep it Simple, Keep it Clear. A busies plan should be written in a way that any reader will be able to follow along and be able to easily understand the concepts, even someone not familiar with your type of business. • Under the company description section, clearly show what the business does and clearly state why you are in business and the issue or problem your company/ product solves. • Clearly state who your primary customers are. Use these three questions to help you identify the most likely customer. 1) Where they are, 2) How much they make and 3) How many they are. • Product Description should be presented from the customers’ perspective, and it should show that customers are currently using the product and are currently willing to pay for it, and lastly that there is current demand for the product.

Traditional Business Plan: The traditional Business Plan is a document complete with full descriptions, a few graphs and excel documents for your budget. This has been traditionally the most common for lenders/banks. One page Business Plan: The one-page business plan is a compressed format of the traditional plan, it is great to present for Investors who just want to see if they may be interested in talking further. Community Angels (these are small Angel Investors who like to support local small businesses) – These types of funding are much simpler therefore do not require extensive documentation and/or a traditional business plan. 34

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• Connecting with the customer by means of marketing/ promotion – show in your plan that you understand how current customers are looking for the product. Some customers may respond better to online marketing while others may respond better to face to face interaction. In Summary: Writing a business plan could be the easiest document to write or it could be a difficult challenge. It all depends on the level of information we currently have about the business and Who is going to read the business plan. The easiest way to write a business plan is to start by writing ideas out of order just as they come in head. Getting the ideas out of our heads is many times the most challenging step in the process. Who can help? Always happy to help www.vccsd.org


Veterans Chamber of Commerce www.vccsd.org

We are the Voice and Action of our Veteran Community. Access a Network of Veterans, Service Providers and Resources to Help your business Grow! We support programs that Improve the quality of life of our Families and our Communities.

For more information please visit our website www.vccsd.org or send us an email veteransccsd@gmail.com

We encourage and Support New and Existing Entrepreneurs



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FINANCIAL Retirement Planning – it is never too late By Chris Martin

You should have an emergency fund set aside for these types of expenses. Having money set aside for these kinds of emergencies can actually reduce your stress when something happens. If I have to give one piece of advice that has worked for me, it is to live on less than what you make. This means not spending every dime you make, but putting some away. When you get a raise or a bonus, consider putting that additional money into your retirement account. Another consideration for retirement is to be debt free when you retire.

How old do you want to be when you retire? What kinds of things do you want to do in retirement? Will you have enough money to retire? These are all great questions and it is never too early or too late to start a retirement account. Many years ago I vowed never to have the “retirement” that my father had. Dad worked until he died, at the age 81, not because he wanted to work, but because he had to work as he had no retirement or savings and could not even pay for the property taxes on his house without having to work. I knew this kind of retirement was not what I was looking for. Let’s do the math….If you start saving just $10 a week, you will have $520 for the year and $5,200 after 10 years. Think about it, that is one meal out a week. If you save that small amount for 30 years you will have $156,000. That is just basic savings with no increase and no interest income. Imagine how much you would have if you put $20 a week, or $50 a week or more. Imagine if you started out with $10 a week, then went to $25, then to $50, and so on. Living paycheck to paycheck can be very stressful because if you have an emergency expense or if you get laid off, you have nothing to fall back on to help you survive. 36

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Being debt free is a great feeling and should be a goal long before retirement. This means paying off the credit cards, vehicles and even your home. Better yet, try to save up and pay cash for these items. When you retire, your income will drop, often dramatically. Which means you may not be able to live the same lifestyle that you were accustomed to when you were working. But if you plan for retirement, you could live a very comfortable retirement and not have to work into your 80s. There are many financial experts that can help you with budgeting and financial planning. There is even a popular radio host that has a great financial plan that is connected through your church. Do your research on these experts and firms prior to giving them any money. You want to check out their reputation as well as determining if the plan will work for you. If you have a family, you will need to do some budgeting and planning for schooling, activities, college and then later on there will be weddings and grandchildren. If you are loaded down with debt, paying for these things can be stressful. These are all great reasons to start a retirement plan early on in your life or career. These are all things that you want to think about and consider when planning for retirement.



5. Not being consistent with other company documents. Make sure all policies speak in one voice. 6. Overlooking an atwill disclaimer. Have employees sign a disclaimer acknowledging that the company can terminate their employment at any time and bypass discipline policies. It is also a good practice having your employees sign an employment agreement stating that their employment is an at-will employment.

By Kelly Bagla. Esq.

7. Sabotaging disclaimers by what you say, especially by reassuring employees their jobs are safe.

Your employee handbook can be the foundation of employee performance and a shield against lawsuits, or it can be a ticking time bomb that confuses employees and strips away your legal defenses. It depends on how well it’s written and put to use.

Here are the 10 most common handbook mistakes to avoid:

8. Not adapting the handbook to accommodate each state’s laws. 9. Failing to update the manual frequently for changing laws. 10. Setting unrealistic policies. If managers won’t enforce it, don’t put it in the handbook.

1. Adopting a “form” handbook, which includes promises you’ll never keep. 2. Including lots of detail on procedures, which confuses employees. Keep a separate procedures manual. 3. Mentioning an employee probationary period. That can erase at-will status by implying that once the period is over, employees can stay indefinitely. 4. Being too specific in your discipline policy. That five the idea that the list covers every infraction. Workers can easily claim inconsistency.

Contact Kelly at: (760) 784-9109 Kelly@baglalaw.com www.baglalaw.com Disclaimer: This information is made available by Bagla Law Firm, APC for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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Military, Firefighters, Teachers, Medical Field, Law Enforcment, Veterans

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Military service can be a perfect entrance into a law enforcement career. Military and law enforcement personnel have had a long-standing relationship with overlaps in training exercises, equipment, and, most important, personnel. It is not uncommon for a service member to make the jump from the military to law enforcement, as both professions look for the same characteristics; leadership, fidelity, chain of command, and teamwork are all common themes in both professions. Quite understandably, many American military veterans often gravitate to a career in law enforcement when the time comes to rejoin the civilian workforce. The two professions have many fundamental similarities; from the uniforms they wear with pride, to the firm command structure they serve under, to great personal risk they endure while protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

Opportunities in Law Enforcement

You’ve served your country, now serve your community! The following agencies are actively hiring & proudly support our veterans, active military and the families that keep together.

We thank you for your service, to all the men and women in law enforcement around the world for your courage, your commitment & your sacrifice. - Homeland Magazine -

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There’s a story behind every badge, and a person behind every story. There are For upcoming test dates as many reasons and motivations for and locations visit joining the Washington State Patrol as PublicSafetyTesting.com there are troopers themselves.


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• At Coconino County Sheriff’s Office our Service to the Community is accomplished by hiring the Best! • [Check out our agency and find a home where you can apply the skills you’ve learned in the military.] • Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing responsive and effective Service to Community.



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WWW.FLPDJobs.com recruiter@fortlauderdale.gov Recruiting@ci.colospgs.co.us 954-828-FLPD (3573)

Facebook: Colorado Springs Police THE CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER twitter@cspd.pio

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communities built to support those who serve.

. 24/7 Maintenance . No Security Deposit . Gas & Water Included Roadside Assistance . Average Electrical Use Included . Intrusion Alarms

Free Family Events

Call 866-779-5434 or visit www.lincolnmilitary.com


HOMELAND / June 2018

leading. Human. Kind. Pioneers in the hospice movement since 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice expertly guides families through life’s most difficult transition, providing support and counsel for every age, at every step.

our programs of Distinction Palliative Care

Counseling and Grief Support

Our palliative care experts focus on relief from symptoms,

The Center for Compassionate Care provides

pain, and stress in any phase of a diagnosis.

comprehensive counseling and grief support for all ages and is available to the entire community.

Veterans Program We are a proud partner in the national

Children’s Services

We Honor Veterans program, by the National Hospice

Our team of medical experts provide comprehensive

and Palliative Care Organization, supported by the VA,

programs and services to support children and

and received highest ranking as a Level 4 Partner.

infants impacted by illness, grief, and loss.

Join our Vet to Vet Volunteer Program Veteran volunteers are paired with hospice patients who also have military experience. Veteran volunteers can help recognize and thank a fellow veteran through veteran pinning ceremonies.

800.797.2050 | www.elizabethhospice.org

Serving San Diego anD inlanD empire aS a nonprofit HealtHcare leaDer Since 1978 The Elizabeth Hospice I.R.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit status number is 95-3275679.

HOMELAND / June 2018 51

Our Affordable Units Fit All Budgets San Diego’s Total Self Storage Solution 3 Months 1/2 OFF on a 6 month lease. 10% Discount for Military, Senior, and Students. Associated Storage Miramar 858-693-1717 Associated Storage Kearny 858-495-1717

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Tel: 858 - 549 - 538


HOMELAND / June 2018




HOMELAND / June 2018 53


HOMELAND / June 2018


HOMELAND / June 2018 55


Wondering which PTSD treatment is right for you? Use the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid to learn about and compare treatments.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Watch Video Interviews with Providers Compare the Treatments You Like Best Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Get a Personalized Summary

WHO IS IT FOR? PATIENTS: The Decision Aid teaches you about your options and gets you ready to work with your provider to choose the best treatment for you. PROVIDERS: The Decision Aid educates your patients about evidence-based PTSD treatments. Review it together in session, or have your patients work through it at home.

There are effective treatments for PTSD. You have options. The choice is yours.

The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is an online tool to help you learn about effective treatments and think about which one might be best for you.

www.ptsd.va.gov/decisionaid 56

HOMELAND / June 2018


Homeland Magazine June 2018  

Resources, Support & Inspiration (Veterans, Active Military & Military Families) www.homelandmagazine.com

Homeland Magazine June 2018  

Resources, Support & Inspiration (Veterans, Active Military & Military Families) www.homelandmagazine.com

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