Homeland Magazine May 2022

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Vol. 9 Number 5 • MAY 2022

Homeland MAGAZINE

Marines Reconnect Knock Down Mental Health Barriers

MONTH OF THE MILITARY CAREGIVER FATHER AND SON

Aviation’s Most Exclusive Club

Off-Base Transition Training

TRANSITION

Strategies & Expectations

MENTAL HEALTH WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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Resources Support Transition HEALTH INSPIRATION

Homeland Magazine A Veterans Magazine by Veterans for Veterans

www.HomelandMagazine.com Voted 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021 BEST resource, support media for veterans, military families & military personnel. 2

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EDITOR’S

LETTER

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

www.HomelandMagazine.com

What’s Next - Transitioning

Amber Robinson Arts & Healing

Eva Stimson Greetings and a warm welcome to Homeland Magazine!

Veteran Advocate

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

Human Resources

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

Mike Miller

Publisher/Editor mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 4

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Paul Falcone

Money Matters VA Lending & Personal Finance

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

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

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


MAY

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 6 Memorial Day - Honoring All Who Served 8 Father & Son Stand Alone 10 WWP - Marines Reconnect 14 GI Film Festival - Military film festival 18 War Widow of Green Beret 20 Real Talk: Mental Health Therapy Stigma 22 Medium for Healing 24 Craft & Honor 26 Cohen Veterans Network 28 Ukraine Conflict Awakens PTSD 30 Military Caregiver 32 Shelter to Soldier - Purple Heart Recipient 35 Guide Dogs of America 36 What’s Next: Remember who you are 38 HR: Perception Management 40 Off-Base Transition Training 42 Successful Transitioning Stories 44 Veterans in Business: CRM 46 Apps That Make Life Easier 48 Legal Eagle: Non-Compete Agreement 50 Legally Speaking: Coparenting Apps 54 Careers in Law Enforcement 60 Inside the Monthly Columns WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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The first declaration of Decoration Day occurred on May 30, 1868, when Major Gen. John Logan declared the day would be a time to recognize those who lost their lives in the Civil War. Several cities currently claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Macon and Columbus, Georgia, Richmond, Virginia, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, Waterloo, New York and Carbondale, Illinois.

Memorial Day has become the traditional kick off of summer, but the holiday has a much more significant purpose.

Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the military. Among its traditions are ceremonies to honor those who lost their lives in service, with many people visiting cemeteries to place American flags on grave sites. A national moment of remembrance takes place across the country at 3 p.m. local time. The purpose of Memorial Day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day - commemorated on Nov. 11 each year - honors all those who have served in the U.S. military during times of war and peace. Armed Forces Day, which falls on May 20 each year, recognizes those who are currently serving in the military. History of Memorial Day Memorial Day traces its roots to the tradition of Decoration Day, a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.

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The first large Decoration Day was held at Arlington National Cemetery that year. The ceremonies included mourning draping around the Arlington mansion of former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant presided over the ceremonies, which included speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the Granddaughters of the American Revolution placing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves. The Arlington tradition was built on longstanding ceremonies held throughout the South. Once of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss. on April 15, 1866, when a group of women decorated the graves of Confederate soldiers who died at the battle of Shiloh. Upon seeing the undecorated graves of Union soldiers who died in the battle, the women placed flowers at those headstones as well. Memorial Day continued to be celebrated at local events until after World War I, which it was expanded to honor those who died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays. In 2000, Congress passed “The National Remembrance Act,” which encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.


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Father and Son Stand Alone in Military Aviation’s Most Exclusive Club By David Koontz He and his flight lead went supersonic in a high-g dive and pulled in behind two enemy MiGs as they lifted off from the runway at Kép Air Base 40 miles northeast of Hanoi. The MiGs broke hard left on takeoff, but the Navy F-4 Phantoms remained in close pursuit flying at tree-top level at more than 700 miles per hour. He fired a Sidewinder at the right-hand wingman, but it malfunctioned. He launched a second sidewinder. This one exploded in the MiG’s tailpipe. The plane destroyed. Its pilot killed.

Retired Navy Capt. Bob Dosé became a naval aviator 35 years earlier in 1937, and flew combat missions in the South Pacific from 1943 to 1944. From Rabaul to Bougainville and Tarawa to the Gilbert Islands, Bob was no stranger at dueling with enemy fighters as allied forces move westward towards Japan. During one of his many combat flights, he shot down a Japanese Zero.

Lt. Curt Dosé had just shot down a MiG-21 flow by Nguyen VanNgai. His aerial kill turned out to be the start of the bloodiest day of air combat during the Vietnam War. On May 10, 1972, U.S. Navy and Air Force pilots shot down 11 MiGs in the skies over North Vietnam. Low on fuel and out of missiles, Dosé and his flight lead headed home to their aircraft carrier on Dixie Station in the South China Sea. “We went back and did the traditional victory roll entering the break on the USS Constellation and came around and landed,” said Dosé, a Phantom pilot with Fighter Squadron 92 (VF-92). “The ship was pretty excited.” The shoot-down of an enemy aircraft in combat is the highest achievement for any military fighter pilot, but for Dosé, his MiG kill put him into the most exclusive club he shares with no others. “A friend of my dad, who was watching the Navy message traffic, saw my MiG kill announced and immediately called him at home in the middle of the night,” said Dosé, a 1967 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. “Such a phone call with a son in combat would have scared me to death. Instead the caller said, ‘Your son Curt just bagged a MiG-21!’” On that day in May 1972, Dosé and his dad became the only father and son to both record aerial enemy kills in combat as fighter pilots. 8

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Lt. Cmdr. Bob Dose

For Bob, being a Navy pilot was the best job he ever had, but like so many World War II veterans, he rarely spoke of his combat experiences. “Dad was very proud of his fighter squadron, Fighter Squadron 12 (VF-12), never losing a plane to enemy fighters,” said Dosé, reflecting on his father’s career. “Interestingly enough, my Vietnam squadron, VF-92, also didn’t lose any attack planes to the MiGs. But we actually never talked much about his Zero kill. He was quiet about World War II.” Bob Dosé served another 23 years following the end of the Second World War. One of his career highlights was becoming the 20th commanding officer of the USS Midway in 1961.


“My father was a legendary naval aviator, with many important commands,” said Dosé, who ultimately became a Navy test pilot. “He loved the USS Midway. I remember him talking about how he brought the Midway to right off the Solana Beach kelp beds one day. We lived on the cliffs above Solana Beach.” Dosé retired from the Navy in 1979 ending more than 40 years of combined naval service by him and his father. His combat missions became quiet memories until 2016 when he was asked, along with several other Vietnam War veterans, to return to Hanoi to meet some of the pilots they had flown against more than four decades earlier. “I was invited to go back to Vietnam with several Navy pilot friends, so this was comfortable,” said Dosé. “Hey, we’d been there before.” Introductions to former North Vietnamese pilots, tour of the war museum, great food and reliving old memories. All was going well.

“It was special meeting Ngai’s sister,” remembered Dosé. “She was very kind and understanding. The family uncle said, ‘we were proud of Ngai flying MiG-21s, but now we have a new fighter pilot – Curt Dosé. We hope he will come back and stay with us.’” Before he left Vietnam, Dosé was told that the road to the Ngai house would be renamed Dosé -Ngai Way. “Vietnam is a beautiful place, especially the south,” said Dosé. “They have no memory of the war. It’s young and moving fast. I feel like I had a hand in this.” Now retired, Dosé often reflects on his and his father’s naval aviation careers. “It is so interesting to see the progress from dad’s first biplane torpedo bomber to my F-4 and F-14,” said Dosé, who flew more than 20 different aircraft while in the Navy. “It is fascinating to review our flight logbooks and see the difference between World War II and Vietnam flying.”

“It went as expected until the TV interview,” said Dosé, who flew for FedEx for nearly 30 years. “I was told that some of Ngai’s family wanted to meet me.” For Dosé, being introduced to the family of the pilot of the MiG he shot down was an emotional moment. The television crew took him to Ngai’s home where he met his entire family. He also visited Ngai’s grave and later ate dinner with his family complete with vodka toasts.

Curt Dosé joined the Naval Reserve while in high school in 1962. He is sworn in by his father, Navy Capt. Bob Dosé.

Bob and Curt Dosé enjoying an outing in San Diego after both had retired from the Navy. WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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Pair of Marines Reconnect Through Wounded Warrior Project and Knock Down Mental Health Barriers By Raquel Rivas, Wounded Warrior Project

Marine veterans Nick Bennett and Dan Miller held a box of shrapnel in their hands. It’s not the sort of thing that helps most people bond. But the jagged metal pieces were surgically removed from Nick’s body after a rocket attack in Iraq – an injury that Dan felt guilty about for years. This is the story of how the pieces that tore them apart in combat, later brought two warriors together. Nick Bennett always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfathers. He grew up hearing his grandfathers’ WWII survival stories and developed a strong urge to take his place in their legacy. He enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school and served in the early 1990s. He came home after he was honorably discharged and built a family. After 9/11, Nick thought about how fortunate he was to have a family and to enjoy watching his children grow up. “When the children were old enough, I reenlisted,” Nick said. “I arrived in Iraq close to my 35th birthday, and some of the younger recruits seemed like kids to me. I had already experienced being a dad and got to enjoy my children so if something were to happen to me at this point, I’d been OK with it.” 10

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Nick was put in charge of the internet café, where he had the chance to get to know fellow brothers and sisters in arms. He liked what he was doing but aspired to be on the front lines. He asked to be moved closer to combat. “These were my guys, and I wanted to be there to protect them; I wanted to be out there with them,” Nick said. He pled his case and eventually was assigned to base security. He helped run gate security, checking all vehicles that came into the base. With support and training from Gunnery Sgt. Dan Miller, Nick eventually worked his way into missions beyond the gate. On one occasion, he joined a unit sent to apprehend someone suspected of attacking U.S. troops. The mission went as planned and the person was apprehended. Shortly after, the base was attacked in retribution. “The week of Nov. 11, 2004 (Veterans Day) was our worst week in Iraq,” Nick said. “We lost half our guys that week.” Nick remembers the day he barely survived a rocket attack – in blurry details. As the unit prepared to go out


on another mission, someone asked for an item and Nick stepped near the Humvee to retrieve it. It was then he heard an incoming rocket whistle toward him. “I knew what it was; I knew I was going to be hit and I might not be coming home.” One Rocket Attack, Two Perspectives Within five days, Nick would land stateside to be treated for multiple injuries. In the aftermath of surgeries to remove shrapnel, fighting infections, and trying new procedures to save his left hand, some memories turned hazy. But one thing was certain: Nick never regretted his request to be put on the front lines and was always grateful to the sergeant who believed in him and gave him the opportunity to put his life on the line for his country. As months and years passed, Nick recovered physically, went through personal trials that included a divorce, and rebuilt his life. He always thought kindly of the sergeant who helped him live out his purpose and survive. However, his gunnery sergeant had a different and anguished perspective.

“Moments after the attack, I remember me picking up chunks of Nick,” Dan said. “I thought he might die. It broke my spirit. We lost 14 other guys in that deployment. Many other people I know got hurt.” Dan carried that guilt with him for years. He served five years of active duty and 24 years as a reservist. He also worked as a police officer. He struggled to reenter civilian life, went through a divorce, had suicidal ideations, and preferred to avoid others. Eventually, Dan found his way to mental wellness and a job with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). While on WWP training in Jacksonville, Florida, he received a surprise. Nick was there, too, as a fellow wounded warrior who had found hope and purpose through WWP. “To have Nick in front of me like that and to be able to talk with him after so many years…,” Dan trails off, looking for the words to describe the emotional reunion. “Nick was one of mine, and I felt and still feel responsible for him. He did heal up well, he has a great life, and I even got to meet his kids. He knows how I’ve struggled with PTSD, divorce, TBI symptoms. We’re brothers; we’re brothers for life.”

“I didn’t talk to Nick for a while, not because I didn’t want to talk with him, but out of guilt – it was a survivor’s guilt thing for me,” Dan said. Dan thought while performing first-aid efforts to save Nick, he might have accidentally broken Nick’s jaw. That was not the case. But that did not stop Dan’s memory of that day – and many other combat-related events – from playing like a symphony of guilt and pain over and over. As his Sergeant, Dan felt responsible for allowing Nick to be in harm’s way and suffer injuries, and his guilt made him isolate. While they were downrange, Dan had initially pushed back on Nick’s request to move up front. Dan recalled Nick’s persistence. “He’s short in stature,” Dan said. “I’m 6-foot-3 and he might be 5-nothing – but he’s got the heart of a lion and he kept at it. So, eventually I said, ‘fine.’ He jumped in with both feet and took a lot of responsibility that I needed someone to assume.” It was an important mission in the middle of a chaotic time in Iraq. They were still looking for those responsible for hurting Marines and Navy personnel.

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Connections that Knock Down Walls and Combat Stigma According to WWP’s Annual Warrior Survey, almost 20% of warriors served by WWP reported difficulty or delays in receiving or continuing mental health care after separating from the military. Of those, nearly 4 in 5 warriors (78.4%) said they would prefer to solve the problem on their own, 2 in 3 (66.2%) feel embarrassed or ashamed to get care, and nearly 3 in 5 (59.4%) are unsure where to find mental health care. “When I first separated from the military, I felt like I was broken,” Nick said. After the visible injuries were accounted for, the invisible injuries took over his interactions. Nick’s family ties unraveled. One Easter weekend, Nick found himself at a VA psychiatric facility because his family feared he might harm himself. “I didn’t attempt suicide because I didn’t want to end up back in the hospital like I was after injury,” Nick said. “That was the reality of my life at the time.” Nick attended WWP’s Project Odyssey as a warrior and as a mentor and made connections through peer support groups. “There were many things in my life that I just couldn’t explain until I connected with other warriors,” Nick said. “You see similar issues and you start to connect the dots.”

Dan and Nick were able to share their recollection of their time downrange and bond over the bumpy roads they each traveled after leaving the military. Later, they met at Nick’s home and pieced together what happened during and after the rocket attack in Iraq. The box of shrapnel and a few photos helped them connect with each other – and with that time in their lives. “When you see the destruction, the lives lost, the sacrifices, and the suffering, it changes you,” Dan said. “But when it was happening, I didn’t have time to process it. So, I buried it. I had to because there was always the next mission, the next rocket or improvised explosive device, the next danger to prevent or avoid.” Dan stays active helping other veterans through his work at WWP. Nick has built a new family, in addition to reconnecting with his older children. The moment that tore apart the two Marines has transformed into an opportunity to shine a light for others – like a beacon in the darkness. “When I’m having a bad day, I think about that moment in combat, and it reminds me that just a split second in time can change everything,” Dan said. “I was able to go back and help Nick. He’s younger than me, so he’s my little brother. For life. I heal a little bit more every time we see each other.”

Reuniting with Dan brought his healing process full circle “I didn’t know until recently that Dan felt guilty about putting me on guard duty,” Nick said. “I had left him a couple of messages on his phone at work. I was worried about him. I wanted to tell him I loved him, and I was all right. I wanted to tell him ‘I owe you everything for what you did that day.’ I had no clue what he was dealing with.” A reunion became a reality when WWP staff intervened to bring them together. “I’ll never forget Dan walking into the room and me just being able to say, ‘You allowed me the opportunity to be a Marine, you allowed me to follow in my family’s footsteps. This is the legacy that you allowed to happen. And it’s because of you that another chapter is written in our family. And because of you, this is how my life has turned out. You saved a lot of lives that day, and it wasn’t because of you that I got hurt.’” 12

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Connect with other veteransand start your healing journey: www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/alumni 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. https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/


www.Courage2Call.org Career Resources Available Now Hiring Management and Direct Service Positions - www.mhsinc.org/career-resources WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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Military film festival back in-person and breaking the silence around mental health Tickets are on sale now for the 2022 GI Film Festival San Diego, scheduled for May 17-21 with all screenings happening in-person at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park The GI Film Festival San Diego returns to the big screen as an in-person event this year, and the beloved film fest is putting military mental health front and center. Established in 2006 and brought to San Diego in 2015, the GI Film Festival San Diego is a multi-day militarythemed event featuring underrepresented voices in films by, for and about active-duty military members and veterans. May is Mental Health Awareness Month—and after two years of renewed focus on mental health amid the COVID-19 pandemic, event organizers felt it was more important than ever to use the festival’s return to in-person screenings to break the silence, stigma and stereotypes once again, and focus on complex, beautiful stories of military members facing mental health challenges. “In our country, but especially among veterans and U.S. military members, there is still so much stigma around discussing mental health and post-traumatic stress,” says GI Film Festival San Diego Advisory Committee member, U.S. Marine Corps and Iraq war veteran, Nico Marcolongo. “The unprecedented strain of the pandemic forced all of us to think more about the importance of our mental health, and how we need to make it equal to our physical health. Through many of the films we are showing this year, we want to convey the stark need for a shift in conversation and policy thinking about mental health among military leaders. Now is the time.” Since its inception, the GI Film Festival San Diego has presented more than 210 films from national, international and San Diego County filmmakers, and has attracted thousands of attendees from various backgrounds. Over the years, the festival has also hosted several celebrities whose films had been presented at festival events, including documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Ric Burns; actor and activist George Takei; actor Matthew Marsden; actor/producer/director Jeffrey Wright; and actor/director Brenda Strong. 14

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The GI Film Festival San Diego is dedicated to bridging the military-civilian divide with each film selected telling a compelling and unique story. Every film challenges the notions about what it means to serve, going beyond one-dimensional depictions of veterans, service members, their caregivers and families; and provides a platform for service members-turned-filmmakers to showcase their creative stories on the big screen. Hope and Solutions One of the impactful stories making its San Diego premiere at this year’s GI Film Festival San Diego is “STRANGER AT HOME: The Untold Story of Military Mental Health.” https://strangerathome.org/ “STRANGER AT HOME” weaves together the lifealtering stories of the Navy psychologist forced into whistleblowing, the Army Ranger involved in the killing of Pat Tillman, and the Vietnam war veteran Marine turned world-renowned trauma expert, as they work tirelessly to deliver their urgent call-to-action for radical military mental health transformation. (NOTE: This film contains difficult subject matter and mature themes. Viewer discretion advised.) “One thing that’s great about ‘STRANGER AT HOME’ is that it’s not just a film about the tragedy of mental health issues affecting military members and veterans,” says Marcolongo. “It’s a beautiful story filled with love and hope that also shows what’s behind the crisis and offers solutions to finally help ensure that our service women and men get the help they need always.”

Photo Stranger At Home


The GI Film Festival San Diego is proud to present this and other stories focused on mental health in the military, thanks in part to a grant from the California Health Care Foundation. Check out the full GI Film Festival San Diego film lineup here. Coming Back Home Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, event organizers moved the festival online with a Virtual Showcase in October 2020 and the annual festival in May 2021. Now, the organization is looking forward to coming back together with new and longtime festival-goers, filmmakers, film subjects and military supporters at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park. In addition to the San Diego premiere of “STRANGER AT HOME,” this year’s five-day in-person event will feature an array of film screenings, including documentaries, narratives, feature-lengths, and shorts. Attendees can also enjoy captivating post-screening discussions with filmmakers, film subjects, actors, and subject-matter experts. The festival culminates with the GI Film Festival San Diego Awards Celebration, taking place at MOPA on Saturday, May 21 with Los Angeles-based standup comedian, musician, radio broadcaster, and U.S. military veteran and advocate Thom Tran returning as the event host.

Photo Stranger At Home

Military Voices Every Step of the Way Members of the GI Film Festival San Diego Advisory Committee help review films for final selection. These members represent prominent militaryrelated organizations and come from various military backgrounds, including veterans of the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, as well as Air Force Reserves, and several military or veteran spouses. All committee members volunteer their time, talent, and expertise to ensure the festival provides an authentic view of the military experience and engages its audience through post-screening discussions.

Photo Stranger At Home

The GI Film Festival San Diego also has active support from several military and veteran-related organizations, such as Project Recover, Workshops for Warriors, Travis Manion Foundation, Elizabeth Hospice, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Blue Star Families San Diego, Wounded Warrior Project, San Diego Military Family Collaborative, Armed Services YMCA, Southern Caregiver Resource Center, and Courage to Call. The box office is now open at: www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org Buy your tickets now and enjoy an unforgettable experience at a film festival like no other.

Photo GIFF

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R E S O U

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

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San Diego Veterans Magazine works with nonprofit veteran organizations that help more than one million veterans in lifechanging ways each year.

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Resources.

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Support. Inspiration.

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At San Diego Veterans 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:

www.HomelandMagazine.com

The colors of gratitude

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FIGHTING PTSD


American Hero

Walk With Frank

We All Die Alone

Into Flight Once More

LOCAL | NATIONAL | INTERNATIONAL | PREMIERES | PANEL DISCUSSIONS | AWARDS CELEBRATION

May 17-21, 2022 Catch a film. Be inspired. Build community. Discover the experience of service members and veterans through film and events. Military, veterans, allies, and civilians welcome.

GIFilmFestivalSD.org PRESENTED BY

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

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War Widow of Green Beret Finds the Truth When four Green Berets were killed in an ambush in Niger in 2017, media and the American public largely focused on President Trump’s ham-fisted condolence call to one widow. But for Michelle Black, whose husband Bryan was one of the men killed in the attack, this shattering ordeal was made indescribably worse by vague and conflicting reports from the Army about what happened that day along the Niger-Mali border. A widow struggling to raise two sons alone, Black was determined to discover the facts about how and why her husband and his comrades died. In SACRIFICE: The Green Berets, A Fateful Ambush, and A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth (G.P. Putnam’s Sons; May 10, 2022), Michelle Black gives readers a meticulously researched and uncompromising account of the circumstances behind Bryan’s and his fellow soldiers’ deaths.

Upon their return trip the following morning, they were set upon by ISIS militants outside the remote village of Tongo Tongo. The hours long firefight left four Americans and five Nigeriens dead and all but two of the survivors wounded. Homeland When did you first decide to write SACRIFICE, and to investigate the circumstances of the ambush in Niger?

We sat down with Michelle to discuss her book about the incident. Homeland This is the story of a flawed mission that senior military leaders never fully took responsibility for. Explain to us what this mission was. Michelle The Niger Ambush was the largest loss of American life on the continent of Africa since the battle of Mogadishu, also known as Black Hawk Down. My husband’s team, ODA 3212, (a Special Forces A-Team) were sent out on a routine one-day patrol. While headed back from a successful patrol higher headquarters contacted them ordering the team to turn around and go on another mission. Despite a major lack of assets, they were forced ahead to the dangerous Mali border alone. 18

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Michelle In April 2018 I was stunned to find I had more questions than answers as I left my family brief. I felt I’d been lied to by the investigators of the ambush who’d made it clear that those lowest down the chain of command were being blamed and would be punished, while the officers who ordered the mission and forced the team ahead would not be held to account. A week later the commander of Africom held a press briefing and stated that my husband’s team was not indicative of special operators. This statement dishonored all who had fought and died alongside my husband and was the tipping point for me. Homeland How did you go about your research? Michelle I interviewed the Green Berets that survived the ambush one at a time. I also spoke with the commander of a heliborne unit involved in the mission, men who were running communications at the AOB (Advanced Operating Base) during the ambush, the AOB commander, and a former SocAfrica Commander.


I compared the information I gathered with the information and reports given to me by investigators and used those to pull apart the lies my family was told. Homeland After talking with the surviving members of Bryan’s team, what was the most shocking thing you discovered? Michelle Multiple events leading up to and during the ambush were twisted by investigators to purposely make the Team Captain, Mike Perozeni, look bad so they could pin the majority of the blame on him. One surprising discovery I made was that a collision had occurred when two Nigerien trucks backed into the lead American truck causing the convoy to come to a halt. Investigators claimed the team had slowly come to a halt because Captain Perozeni wanted to conduct a bold flanking maneuver. Homeland Following the death of your husband and the lies officials told what are your feelings towards the US military? Michelle I grew up as far from the military as one could and didn’t know anyone who’d served until I met Bryan’s dad who was a marine. As you can imagine my feelings toward

Michelle Black

Book Tour June 2022

the military have significantly changed over time. Ironically, my experiences with the military have not soured my view but rather drawn me in. I love the military and what it stands for. I love the community of special operators that my husband and I were a part of. I love the ideals of serving, sacrifice, honor, and respect for everyone that can be found throughout our military community. Ideals that are what make America such a great nation. My dislike is not for the military but rather injustice and this book was born out of the injustice that a few individuals are responsible for. Homeland What do you hope readers will take away from your story? Michelle I hope that readers will leave with a sense of how important it is for leaders of our armed forces to lead with integrity. I hope they will understand that the men on the team were truly heroic despite the false accusations and blame they had to endure in the aftermath. www.warwicks.com/black-2022-reserved-seat www.MichelleBlackSacrifice.com

June 2 - San Diego, CA Warwick's Bookstore

June 9 - Arlington, TX Barnes & Noble The Parks At Arlington

June 11 - Arlington, TX Celebrity So�ball Classic Globe Life Field

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Real Talk: Mental Health By Hope Phifer The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD www.vvsd.net/cohenclinics

Debunking Mental Health Therapy Stigma For example: • MYTH: Anyone experiencing mental health problems should be able to snap out of it. - FALSE: Mental health challenges have nothing to do with being weak and most people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including biological factors, life experiences and family history. Here are a few other mental health myths within the veteran and military community: This month’s Mental Health Awareness Month comes at a time when many of us are faced with new mental and emotional challenges. In a recent blog post from Cohen Veterans Network, Clinical Practice & Training Manager Ava Weiss, provided clinical insight on how current world events such as the Russian war in Ukraine may bring stress and uncertainty for everyone, but perhaps especially those who are connected to the military. “People may be in a constant state of uncertainty these days, thinking things like ‘Am I going to get deployed? Will my partner get deployed?’” Weiss said. “For people with past combat experience, they may be closely attuned to things like this (Ukraine). They may be wondering: will we get into another global conflict?” That uncertainty is part of the human condition, part of a reality we all contend with. And experiencing some worry and stress related to uncertainty is totally normal. Let me say it again: normal. That perception of what is normal and what isn’t normal provides a foundation to talk more about and understand the difference between mental health myth vs mental health fact.

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• MYTH: PTSD is a “veteran only” issue - FALSE: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone who experiences or witnesses a life-threatening or traumatizing event. About eight million people currently experience PTSD in the United States, and this includes adults, children, veterans, and civilians alike. • MYTH: Couples Therapy is a last resort to save your relationship - FALSE: To some couples, therapy may seem too drastic, but it’s never too soon to get help when you need it. Anyone could benefit from additional work on their relationship. • MYTH: Therapy and self-care are useless - FALSE: Treatment works. There are many evidencebased treatment options for challenges like PTSD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, relationship problems and more. The most important step is to reach out for help if you need it. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you can get back to better. And, once you start therapy, keep at it! Therapy is a progression. It doesn’t matter what type of treatment you are invested in each session offers opportunities to change, heal, and grow.


General mental health tips: • It’s important to set time today to take care of yourself and check in on a loved one. When things get stressful or challenging, self-care is the first thing that gets compromised. Focusing on maintaining diet, exercise, and therapy even during challenges can have a huge impact on resiliency and coping. • If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, focus on taking deep breaths and the things you can control. The continued uncertainty of the things happening around us may bring feelings of loss or distress. It’s normal to experience ups and downs, but sometimes we all need additional support. Look into groups and support systems in your local area. • Why is it that we will talk to ourselves the way we would never talk to others? Bringing intentional awareness to the way we think, by practicing mindfulness, is one of the most powerful ways to impact our experience. Additionally, here are few additional steps Weiss suggests taking when facing uncertainty: • Notice and acknowledge anxious thoughts and feelings and allow them to exist. • Recognize that our thoughts are just thoughts; it doesn’t mean it’s accurate or helpful. • Identify what helps you feel calm and actively engage in those things. • If there are actions that you can take to help reduce or manage the uncertainty, then take them. • If what you are worried about is a realistic possibility, then identify what you would need in order to cope. The most important thing, she says, is to give yourself grace and compassion as you make space for ambiguity and discomfort. Treat yourself as if you were a friend and take good care of yourself, because managing uncertainty is hard work, and it’s also a fact of life.

For more information about the Cohen Clinic at VVSD, visit www.vvsd.net/cohenclinics

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A Medium for Healing: Five Ways Art Heals By Amber Robinson As a disabled combat veteran raised by artists, I soon discovered the cathartic link between my personal healing and art. My living room is covered in abstract art, pieces done after each of my respective deployments then into the years after service as a way to deal with PTSD and physical ailments. Each brush stroke is an emotion that had to be expressed, a story my heart and mind needed to tell in color, shape and form, so I could feel whole again. I used paint, but you can also use writing, music, dance or sculpting as your special creative “language for healing”. What do you think your medium, or language, for healing would be? Below are five ways art can heal you, too. 1. Art Lowers Cortisol Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands that helps us handle stress. When we are over stressed, cortisol saturates our system and can become problematic, making us very sick. According to a study published in Art Therapy Magazine, 39 healthy people were tested for cortisol before and after 45 minutes of art making. According to the study, cortisol levels were notably lower after participants spent time creating art. 2. Art Connects Us More Fully to Ourselves According to that same study, participants reported that art helped them “explore different aspects of themselves.” Thomas Merton, who was a trappist monk and Roman Catholic Priest wrote about social issues, art included. He once said “art is where you can lose yourself and find yourself at the same time.” Through the carefree act of art making, you are creating new pathways in your brain by which you can discover abilities and insights that you didn’t know you had. 3. Art Promotes a Sense of Wholeness According to a thoughtful blog on the Henry Ford Health System website, art is the only activity that forces us to forge a connection between body and mind. Through those connections back to dormant parts of self, we find healing, or wholeness. 22

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As mentioned, art helps to lower cortisol levels, but according to a blog by Oil Pixel, it also releases feel-good hormones called endorphins which help you combat stress and pain. Through that sense of contentment and fulfillment, you are transformed into a more positive, wellrounded human being. 4. Art Connects us to our Inner Child According to a thoughtful blog on the Henry Ford Health System website, through art and creativity we are able to connect to our “inner child”, usually the part of ourselves that is most pure and unscarred. Mental and emotional trauma can change a person, leaving them with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress, like depression, anxiety and anger issues. The unscarred version of self is always inside of us. Art is like a magical key that opens the door to that person again. Art allows us to be new again. 5. Art Helps Us Express Damaging Emotions Studies show that whenever we repress, deny, or disallow an emotion to be what it needs to be, our network pathways get blocked. According to a blog on the Arts Academy in the Woods website, sometimes stating how we feel about something isn’t enough for us to properly process it. For emotions to move through us freely they must be accepted and expressed. Art provides a myriad of ways for us to express ourselves when words may fail us. Dance, writing, painting and music are all mediums that can be used to express yourself, when words may not seem like enough.


A Medium for Healing

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Craft, Honor, and Remember this Memorial Day For most of us, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. It’s a weekend to relax with friends and family, but it is also a solemn occasion in which we honor and remember the fallen. Each year, Help Heal Veterans (Heal Vets), an organization that provides free therapeutic arts and crafts kits to active duty military and veterans, holds a special event in May leading up to Memorial Day.

Q: What separates this year’s event from the past? And can you tell us more about the #VigilForValor craft kits? A: We are happy to be able to return to in-person events this year. We will continue to share the stories on social media and our website of loved ones lost, but we will also hold four events at local craft centers, where people can get together to build candleholders to honor those lost. Heal Vets will provide customizable craft kits, and crafters can incorporate a photograph, drawing, patch, or other item that they feel best represents the individual they are remembering.

#VigilForValor, is a candlelight vigil to remember veterans and serving military lost to war and suicide. The United States has suffered more than 100,000 military casualties of war since 1950, and in the last 10 years, we’ve lost more than 65,000 veterans to suicide. #VigilForValor will shine a light on the remarkable lives of those who have been lost.

Q: If someone is not able to attend a community craft event, but still wants to be involved, how can they be a part of this initiative?

We caught up with Help Heal Veterans’ CEO and retired Navy Captain Joe McClain to learn more about #VigilForValor and their hopes for the initiative this year.

Q: What are you hoping will be accomplished with this year’s #VigilForValor?

Q: Hi Joe, can you tell us where this idea of a #VigilForValor came from? A: We came up with the idea three years ago as a way we can honor our brave servicemembers and veterans who’ve tragically lost their lives in battle or to suicide. Heal Vets has been helping veterans and active servicemembers recover from the invisible and physical wounds of war for 50 years through therapeutic crafting. This year, we wanted to give them and their community an opportunity to craft and remember loved ones in the days leading up to Memorial Day.

A: Everyone can participate in a meaningful way by sharing a photo of the individual they are remembering and share why they are remembering them on social media. When sharing on social media, please be sure to include #VigilForValor and tag @HHVets. Those who do not use social media should send their stories and photo to remember@healvets.org, so we can share them on our website and social media platforms.

A: Our hope is to shine a light on the remarkable lives of those who have been lost. This year, we want to not only give people a chance to gather in person in honor of the fallen, but to give people an opportunity to tell us who these heroes were by sharing the stories of those who have paid the ultimate price for this country.

To learn more about Heal Vets and how to get involved with #VigilForValor, visit: www.healvets.org/get-involved 24

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“I’m happier with myself. Having been in therapy, period, has helped me be in a better place now.” Rogelio “Roger” Rodriguez, Jr US Navy (1987 – 1993) US Air Force (1993 – 2013)

PTSD treatment can turn your life around. For more information visit: https://go.usa.gov/xe9CK

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Cohen Veterans Network’s Mental Health Services to be Available to More Veterans, Active-Duty Service Members and Military Families in California “There’s no shame in asking for help.” – Laura, Iraq War Veteran “My hopes for the future are very high.” – Darcel, Army National Guard “I am better equipped to cope.” – Matt, Air National Guard Veteran “I am happier.” – Rebecca, Military Spouse and Caregiver Cohen Veterans Network’s (CVN) mission is to help veterans, active-duty service members and their families through their unique challenges, including transitioning from active military service back to civilian life, and beyond. With high-quality, accessible care available, regardless of discharge status or role in service, CVN’s Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics provide specialized therapy for depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other challenges. They also provide relationship counseling and help with children’s behavioral issues to support the entire military family. To meet the increasing mental health needs of the veteran and military community, CVN will open two additional clinics in California, one in Oceanside and another in Los Angeles. These will be the second and third Cohen Clinics in the state; a San Diego clinic opened in 2019. This effort is another step toward CVN meeting the $275M commitment set forth by financier philanthropist Steven A. Cohen to help reduce veteran suicide and increase care for active-duty service members and military families throughout the country. More than 33,000 post-9/11 veterans, nearly 40,000 active-duty service members, and more than 31,000 military family members will be eligible for care at the Cohen Clinic in Oceanside. Greater than 52,000 post-9/11 veterans, 6,000 active-duty service members, and 10,000 military family members will be eligible for care at the Cohen Clinic in Los Angeles. CVN’s partner for these clinics is Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), which is its current partner at the Cohen Clinic in San Diego, located in Mission Valley. 26

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VVSD has served veterans since 1981 and is dedicated to “Leave No One Behind.” Each year, VVSD provides services to more than 3,000 military veterans throughout San Diego County. “There are many factors in play these days which are negatively impacting our mental health, including the continued challenges of COVID-19 and the possibilities of future deployments. We are here to serve veterans, active duty and families throughout the entire state of California,” said Dr. Anthony Hassan, President & CEO of CVN. “We are expanding on our proven success in San Diego and scaling up to the meet the additional need.” In addition to providing care to those within reach of the Oceanside and Los Angeles locations, the new Cohen Clinics will also offer telehealth services statewide to more than 655,000 potential clients. CVN Telehealth is face-to-face video therapy where the client can receive treatment from the privacy and comfort of their own home. “The ability to provide telehealth services is critical and a game changer, especially in southern California


where we have seen the number of COVID-19 cases rise significantly in recent months,” said Akilah Templeton, CEO of VVSD. “Telehealth provides a great option for veterans, service members and their families who want to stay connected to a trusted provider, regardless of location. Our partnership with CVN has helped to expand our reach and build out VVSD’s continuum of care so that the entire military family has access to high-quality outpatient mental health services and supports for years to come.” The Oceanside Cohen Clinic is located at: 3609 Ocean Ranch Blvd, Suite 120, while the Los Angeles location will be unveiled in the coming months. Each location has begun hiring staff members, with open positions available. www.cohenveteransnetwork.org/our-team/careers Since its inception in April 2016, CVN has built 21 Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics across the country and has treated more than 30,000 clients.

Therapy for Veterans, Service Members, and their Families Cohen Clinics provide therapy to post-9/11 veterans, service members, and their families, including National Guard / Reserves. CVN Telehealth, face-to-face video therapy available statewide.

LEARN MORE vvsd.net/cohenclinics

Your generous tax-deductible donation to the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD enables our mental health clinics to make the lives of veterans and military families better. Your support will sustain and advance our Cohen Clinics now and into the future, and as we reach additional clients in rural areas via CVN Telehealth. www.cohenveteransnetwork.org/telehealth Here are some examples of what your gift will allow us to do: • Family or Couple Therapy Session: $500 • Individual Therapy Session: $250 • Local Referral Support: $100 • Youth Therapy Supplies: $50 • Providing Childcare: $25 To donate, visit www.vvsd.net/cohenclinics

OUR LOCATIONS San Diego 8885 Rio San Diego Dr. Suite 301 Oceanside 3609 Ocean Ranch Blvd. Suite 120 Los Angeles Coming Soon

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Ukraine Conflict Awakens PTSD and can Trigger Relapse in Recovering Veterans At Confidential Recovery, an outpatient substance abuse treatment center in San Diego, Veterans meet several times a week in a group setting to strengthen their recovery from alcohol or other substances. These men and women have formed a bond with each other in this safe space to discuss their experiences and ongoing recovery. For these Veterans, exposure to the recent events in the Ukraine can be difficult to process. As every news outlet constantly displays imagery of conflict and injury, Veterans can re-experience vivid memories and traumatic experiences from their own service. Along with these painful memories, comes the temptation to relapse on drugs or alcohol. “Trauma gets buried deep in our subconscious, and even after years of counseling or therapy, can be triggered,” says Jay Wylie, a Veteran himself, and Operations Manager at Confidential Recovery. “When you see burned-out cars and smoldering buildings on the news, it can awaken feelings of fear and helplessness. One excellent step toward overcoming these negative emotions is to limit your exposure to the media coverage.” The End of the Afghanistan Conflict Was Difficult for Many U.S. Veterans U.S. Veterans are even more closely connected to the conflict in Afghanistan than the War in the Ukraine. Before it ended in 2021, as more than 775,000 U.S. troops participated in the Afghanistan conflict. According to The Brookings Institute, Afghanistan Veterans are angry about the withdrawal, with 73% of them reporting that they feel betrayed, and 67% reporting feelings of humiliation. Beyond those participants, many other Veterans who did not participate in the conflicted were also negatively affected by the decision to have the military leave Afghanistan. Veterans of the U.S. military can experience a sense of shame and guilt when they hear the arguments and commentary about both the Afghanistan conflict or Ukraine war, as many feel disappointed or betrayed by the country they were willing to put their lives at risk to defend.

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How Confidential Recovery Manages These Symptoms The counselors at Confidential Recovery recommend staying connected to friends, family, and your recovery support system. At the outpatient rehab, that happens daily in the form of group counseling sessions. Then, there are self-care routines and processes that have proven helpful for Veterans who re-experience stress as a result of these triggers. “First of all, it’s helpful to acknowledge these feelings and speak out to the other Veterans, because there is relief in knowing that you are not alone in these types of feelings,” says Jay Wylie. “Then, beyond the group counseling setting, mindfulness activities and experiential therapy can be great to help our Veterans maintain a sense of well-being.” How You Can Support a Veteran in Your Life Veterans are at higher risk for suicide, depression, PTSD, anxiety, and substance addiction. Check in with any Veteran in your life to see how they are doing, and listen to what they say. Be sure to maintain a non-judgmental attitude, and give them your full attention.


Encourage a Veteran to Get Help Before They Need It Make sure that any Veteran in your life is aware that there is help available if they are struggling with emotions of any kind. It can also be helpful to get involved in a support group even if they feel like they are doing okay, as they can help others, and have an established support lifeline if their PTSD (or anxiety, or depression) starts to present itself. The VA offers an around the clock Veterans Crisis Line that provides help and crisis support - even for veterans not enrolled in its health care network. (The phone number is 800-273-8255.) San Diego based Veterans and family can get in contact with Confidential Recovery at (619) 452–1200. About Confidential Recovery: Scott H. Silverman was addicted to alcohol and illegal drugs when he “hit bottom,” and pursued treatment in 1984. He’s been helping others recover from addiction ever since. In 2014, he founded Confidential Recovery, a drug treatment program in San Diego that specializes in helping Veterans, first responders, and executives overcome substance abuse. You can reach them at (619) 452-1200, or by visiting the Confidential Recovery website.

About the Author Scott H. Silverman was addicted to alcohol and illegal drugs when he “hit bottom”and pursued treatment in 1984. He’s been helping others recover from addiction ever since. In 2014, he founded Confidential Recovery, a drug treatment program in San Diego that specializes in helping Veterans overcome substance abuse. You can reach them at (619) 452-1200, or by visiting the Confidential Recovery website. www.confidentialrecovery.com

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The Month of the Military Caregiver

is observed in May each year to honor millions of caregivers in the United States. Paying tribute to the people who care for veterans is an important part of supporting troops and military families. But for some, it is also about recognizing the work they do that qualifies them as caregivers even if they do not think of themselves that way.

Caregivers are spouses, parents, children, and relatives of the wounded veteran, but many coworkers, neighbors, and friends also take on responsibilities. They provide care and assistance, promoting faster recovery for their loved ones and thus saving our nation millions of dollars in health care costs. It is an observance that primarily acts to raise awareness of both veterans and the people who care for them. If you want to participate in the care of a veteran, no matter what level of training, available time, and awareness of the level of need in your community, it’s a very good idea to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs via the nearest field office or medical center near you to learn what volunteer opportunities may be available.

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CAREGIVER

Caregiver Self Check-In So often as caregivers, we are running so hard, putting ourselves last, and not realizing we are burnt out until we fall ill. Or we know we’re over-whelmed, but we accept it without question. What happens when the caregiver is down for the count – the wheels have a tendency to come off, don’t they? Make a promise to yourself to Check-In at least weekly. Better yet, do the same with a trusted caregiver or friend as an “accountability partner” so you don’t neglect to consider your own health.

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Shelter to Soldier Success Story Highlights Accomplished Female Veteran Purple Heart Recipient By Eva Stimson

Kristine M. Wunder, Major, US Army, (MS, CHST, LEED BD + C, CESSWI, QSP, STSC) dedicated 21 years to the US Army, beginning in 1985 as an E1 (Military Police) stationed in Honduras and served as a combat MP specializing in Processing Prisoners. Kristine transitioned her Military Occupational Specialty to become a Helicopter Mechanic/Repairer, crew chief and door gunner. Kristine was then promoted to the rank of E-6 Staff Sergeant. During her enlisted career, Kristine obtained an AA degree from Golden West College and a BS from California State University Long Beach in Engineering. Upon completion of her BS, Kristine was accepted in the Officer Candidate School (OCS) program and graduated in the top of her OCS class. Kristine was in the Aviation branch and attended flight training at Ft. Rucker in Alabama. She was rated to fly aircraft in the UH-1, OH-58, TH-67 and in UH-60, then in 2003 Kristine was deployed to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) as a UH-60 Pilot and Battalion Staff Officer. Kristine served four tours in support of OIF at FOB (Forward Operating Base) Speicher, Iraq, where she 32

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was awarded a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Air Medal. While there, she was promoted to the rank of Major (O4) and served as the Battalion S4, XO and CO. Kristine retired in 2007 as a Major in Army Aviation (UH-60 Pilot). During her tenure in the US Army, Kristine experienced extreme trauma that detrimentally affected her work capabilities while transitioning into civilian life after retirement from the military. She reached out to Shelter to Soldier (STS) who was able to pair her with a dual psychiatric and mobility service dog (Dutch Shepherd mix) named Scout, and they graduated together through the STS program in May of 2021. Scout was fully trained by STS to accompany Kristine in the field on the construction site at the San Diego International Airport Terminal One (T1) project where Kristine currently serves as the Environmental Health and Safety Manager, Arrive Alliance (Turner-Flatiron Joint Venture). “Scout has been fully trained by STS to go out in the field [with me] on the construction site at the airport T1 project. [He] is my lifesaver and enhances my life and career. Scout has enabled me to travel to other destinations such as Alaska, Oklahoma, San Francisco and Arizona, as well as enjoy Disneyland.”


Kristine earned her Masters of Science in Engineering Construction Management in June 2016 from the New School of Architecture and Design in San Diego, CA. She is the proud Mother of two children; her daughter attends San Francisco State University and her son is deployed with the US Army. She has served as a Commissioner to the Chula Vista Veterans Advisory Commission and was selected as the 2014 Chula Vista Veterans of the Year, 2014-2015 Congressional District 51 Veteran of the Year, and a finalist for the 2014 and 2015 San Diego County Veteran of the Year. Kristine is a lifetime member of the VFW, American Legion, and honorary member of the Marine Corp League Detachment. Kristine is grateful to STS for helping her achieve her post-military career aspirations. She elaborates, “Shelter to Soldier was introduced to me from a fellow comrade who was in the process of training with his service animal at a WWP [Wounded Warrior Project] event. He inspired me and gave me the courage to submit an application. This in itself was a monumental feat for me at the time. I was welcomed by the entire STS team and quickly became part of the STS family.”

Veteran Resources & Organizations Navigating the resources available to veterans can be confusing, but Homeland Magazine believes no veteran should have to go it alone. At Homeland Magazine you can find Veteran organizations and private nonprofits with resources for veterans that can help ease the process of attaining earned benefits, coping with the lasting effects of service-connected injuries and finding programs and services that meet your specific needs.

Photo’s by Monica Hoover Photography & Shelter to Soldier Shelter to Soldier is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other psychological injuries. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS visit our website at www.sheltertosoldier.org call 760-870-5338

Homeland Veteran Resources & Organizations available at:

www.MiramarPostalPlus.com

www.HomelandMagazine.com

Homeland Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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Whether your disability is obvious or invisible, Canine Support Teams can help you reclaim your independence. Canine Support Teams is proud to offer the PAWZ for Wounded Veterans program, which provides specially trained service dogs, at no charge, to the brave men and women who have faithfully served our country. Apply for a service dog today at www.caninesupportteams.org/pawz Or Call 951.301.3625 34

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caninesupportteams @k9supportteams


Guide Dogs of America At Guide Dogs of America, we transform lives through partnerships with service dogs. We breed, raise, and train guide dogs for individuals who are blind/ visually impaired and service dogs for veterans and children with autism. We also place facility dogs with professionals in hospitals, schools, and courtrooms. Our highly skilled canines become trusted companions that increase people’s confidence, mobility, and independence. All programs and services, including transportation, personalized training, room/board, and postgraduate support, are provided at no cost to the recipient.

This heartfelt note is from US combat Vietnam Veteran. Jim served with the 173rd Airborne for 18 months. He was exposed to Agent Orange and suffers from PTSD. “My name’s Jim Reed, and this is my friend Triton. It’s been a long time since I had a friend, and even longer since I wanted one. When I first got here, I was real nervous. Which I am now. But, I’ve felt the feeling of easiness and calmness that I thought I left somewhere in the past.

RAISE A PUPPY... CHANGE A LIFE! Open your home and your heart, to a future service dog in-training Like I said, I have PTSD and a few things that agent orange had to offer. At night when the dark dreams come, and 1968 comes looking for me just like it always does, now Triton will be there to wake me up and bring me home. And for that, I’d like to thank everyone involved in this program from the bottom of my heart. I’ve been told a few times since I’ve been here that Triton is a tool to help me navigate through life, which he is, but I like to think of him as my guardian angel.” Volunteers Needed www.guidedogsofamerica.org All photos courtesy of Shelter to Soldier

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Text “PUPPY” to 51555 Or Call: (818) 362-5834 www.guidedogsofamerica.org WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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

What to Remember in your Transition to Civilian Life Memory is a funny thing. We tend to remember things we’d like to forget, and we forget those things we thought we’d always remember. As you transition out, it’s important to remember the accomplishments, experiences and friendships that will help you in this next chapter. When you’re focused on the “what-if’s” of transition, it moves your focus to the future instead of the past. By remembering all you have done in the past, you can be prepared for a new future that is satisfying and rewarding.

Use this acronym to “REMEMBER” your experiences in a way that sets you up for success in transition.

Embrace the fear of change. FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. When you have the natural fears of transition, where is that fear rooted? Not making enough money? Not speaking the right ‘civilian’ language? Not being groomed enough for civilian employment? Fear not. Write out a list of the raw fears that you are facing in transition. Find a mentor who is experienced in helping those in transition and discuss these. You will be surprised how much ‘False Evidence” you have in your mind that appears real.

Make a plan. Start planning 12-18 months out. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Do your research. Do some soul searching. Where do you want to be location-wise? How important is the salary number? Do you have a certain work culture in mind? Write these down clearly and specifically. Then you have a guide to help narrow your choices to those that fit what you really want.

Engage your network. After you write out your plan, tell others about it. Want to work for Subaru in Lafayette, Indiana? Jump on LinkedIn and find the head of HR. Ask for an informational interview. See who else knows people who work at Subaru and engage them for ideas of what it’s like to work there and the best way to land a job.

Remember who you are and why you decided to serve.

Your training, your ability to complete a task, to be on time and be a part of a team are all things that will add value to any organization. Remember why you decided to serve. Maybe it was to be a part of something better than yourself, or perhaps to escape from a fear of what you thought you’d be stuck with. Maybe you wanted a way to get an education or see the world. Whatever the case, you were decisive and did it. You experienced change and can embrace challenges. You became part of something bigger than yourself. Remember that.

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Move. The paralysis of analysis can be…paralyzing. With so many companies, jobs and choices make it easy to freeze up with indecision. But you have a plan! So, start moving towards what that says. If a choice doesn’t align with your plan, forget it! Keep moving while making decisions that align with what you said you want. That will get you to the job/career you want and love.

Be accountable. Transition is not successful if you go it alone. Be accountable to your mentor. If you are struggling with interviews or networking, be honest with yourself and with your mentors and friends.


People love to help but it is often difficult to ask for help. Just ASK. Do what you say you’ll do. Do what they suggest you do.

Elevate your mind. Look up. Literally. You’ll probably get rejected at some point in the process. Everyone does. Maybe you don’t hear back from a company after a great interview. Don’t assume rejection, but be okay if it is. Keep your head up. Elevate your mind. Follow up if you don’t hear back about a job you want. Remember, you’ve made it through boot camp and far worse. How’d you get through that? Your network, resources, friends, books, and faith will keep you elevated if you allow them to! It’s not trite to say that when one door closes, another one opens. Elevate your mind to really believe that.

Reframe your thoughts. It’s common to think you don’t have the skills and experience necessary for civilian jobs. That’s not the case. If you think it is, you haven’t reframed your experiences and accomplishments in a relatable way to civilian employers. Your mentor and network can help you reword your skills and accomplishments in the military into a story that’s incredibly valuable to employers. Reframe how you see yourself. Ok, so the dress code and language is different in the civilian work world. No problem. Start small. Get used to removing “Yes Ma’am” or “Yes Sir” from your daily lingo. Avoid using acronyms that only the military understands. Start practicing interviews with your peers. Get feedback, and keep reframing until you get comfortable. Remember, you have what it takes! Remember these tips and put them into practice to help navigate your best path in transition.

www.bandofhands.com WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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HUMAN RESOURCES Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

The Most Important Decisions About Your Career are Made When You’re Not in the Room This headline isn’t meant to shock you: it’s meant to enlighten you. For you and me and everyone else, the most important decisions that impact our careers are often made by executives and superiors when we’re not present. As a seasoned HR executive, I can’t tell you how many times conversations have occurred that sound something like this. . .

“With Sara now leaving us, we should really scour our own internal talent to see if anyone’s ready to step up and into her role. I’d much rather backfill this with internal talent rather have to look outside the organization. The first person that comes to mind is [YOUR NAME]. Do you think he’s ready to step up to this level of responsibility at this point?” Responses typically sound anything like, “Yeah, I was thinking of Paul as well and feel like this would be the perfect move for him, and that’ll keep him with us for a good long time” or “No, I don’t think Paul’s got the leadership abilities or credibility to move that department forward or keep their performance momentum going.” 38

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While it may not seem fair that you have no say over or even a physical presence in such discussions, this all-too-common scenario is a reality in everyone’s career. The more important questions is, How do you influence conversations that occur when you’re not present? How can you increase the chances that you’ll get a favorable nod when big stakes are in play? • Perception Management Wisdom #1: The first wisdom is that perception is reality until proven otherwise. You’re responsible for your own perception management, regardless of what your intentions may be in any given instance.


How would you (or others) respond to questions like these?

Oh, I know [YOUR NAME]. She’s. . . How that sentence gets finished has more to do with your career progression and potential than just about anything else. Speaking of perception, how would you answer the following similar questions:

If you had to describe [YOUR NAME] using three adjectives, what would they be? Would you want to work for you? If the whole company followed your lead, would you be happy with where you took it? Such are the “executive coaching” questions that help leaders at all levels of corporate America raise their selfawareness of their impact on their organization and, yes, their ultimate career potential.

T H E PAUL FALCONE LEADERSHIP SERIES WORKPLACE ETHICS EFFECTIVE HIRING NEW MANAGERS LEADERSHIP OFFENSE LEADERSHIP DEFENSE

• Selfless Leadership Wisdom #2: Putting others’ needs ahead of your own and expecting them to respond in kind is a healthy workplace success formula. It’s not enough to be a top performer; you’re equally responsible for nurturing relationships with others that help them excel. You’re responsible for creating a friendly and inclusive work environment. And you need to focus on how to ensure that others feel comfortable coming to you for help. Remember, the greatest leaders aren’t the ones with the most followers; they’re the ones who create the most leaders in turn. •Character Trumps All Wisdom #3: Leadership, communication, and teambuilding are your three pillars of success. Who you choose to be relative to these three concepts dictates your character and reputation more than just about anything. The “secret sauce” to career success doesn’t lie in your ability to instill fear in others: it lies in your ability to make others better human beings. Remember poet Maya Angelou’s famous saying: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Make this your career mantra going forward where your success feeds others’ accomplishments and their achievements feed yours. You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/paulfalcone1 Paul Falcone (www.PaulFalconeHR.com) is a leadership consultant, trainer, and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development.

www.HarperCollinsLeadership.com

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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Employment Focused Workshops to Help You Reach Your Goals Author: Tim Winter, Director, Transition Assistance Program, Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service Perhaps you’re trudging back and forth to the same office or signing on for a day of work in a job that shows no sign of changing or improving: the long hours, the ongoing meetings, the lack of fulfillment. The job itself is mind-numbing; your talents forgotten and the potential you had in abundance when you first transitioned out of the military feels like it has been sucked out of you. If you’re reading this and thinking, yeah, that is me, then the Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) has just the thing for you. DOL VETS has a new pilot program to help veterans, veterans currently serving in the National Guard and Reserve, and their spouses to take control of their careers. The Off-Base Transition Training (OBTT) pilot program consists of ten two-hour workshops designed to help you to prepare to meet your employment goals. These no-cost workshops, both in-person and virtual offerings, will fit any schedule and can give you an advantage over your civilian counterparts.

The Workshops Your Next Move: Your Next Move is designed to help anyone unsure of what they want to do next with their career. This workshop explores interest profiling, skills matching and general labor market information. It is designed to introduce the basic tools needed for career exploration and identification of high-demand occupations. 40

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Marketing Yourself and Other Job Search Tactics: Marketing Yourself and Other Job Search Tactics explains how essential it is to present skills, knowledge and abilities that meet the employer’s needs. This workshop provides proven tactics to help job seekers get noticed and hired. Understanding Resume Essentials: Understanding Resume Essentials explains the importance of a wellstructured resume that highlights relevant skills and experience to potential employers. This workshop covers the elements of a resume and provides job seekers with techniques to create an effective document that employers will notice. Creating Your Resume – Writing Workshop: Creating Your Resume – Writing Workshop builds on the Understanding Resume Essentials. During this workshop attendees will have time to craft an initial resume or revise a current one. Interview Skills (virtual only): Interview Skills aims to provide attendees with the tools and confidence they need to ace a job interview. Learning how to prepare for an interview and practice answering questions will give attendees an advantage in landing a job. During this workshop, interview basics, potential questions and interview techniques are presented. Federal Hiring (virtual only): Federal Hiring covers the basics of gaining federal employment. Veterans have a distinct advantage when applying for federal positions with veterans’ preference. During this workshop, the basics of civil service, USAJobs, special hiring authorities and other resources for attendees’ federal job search are discussed.


LinkedIn Profiles (virtual only): This workshop walks attendees through how to create a compelling LinkedIn profile that can be used to build a professional brand and highlight experience. LinkedIn Job Search (virtual only): This workshop explains how to proactively use LinkedIn for job searches and pulls back the curtain to show how recruiters use LinkedIn to find potential employees, which you can use in your employment opportunities. Salary Negotiations (virtual only): Salary Negotiations explores the tools and techniques to handle salary negotiations. This workshop is designed to take the mystery out of salary negotiation and walks attendees through how to conduct salary research to position yourself effectively during negotiation.

Employment Rights (virtual only): Employment Rights cover basic employment protections as well as those protections specific to veterans. It provides essential information on the American Disabilities Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act. Information on reasonable accommodations and selfadvocacy will also be presented. Thinking about changing careers? It’s time to find your passion and make that your priority. OBTT will help you reach your employment and career goals. You served, you earned it; find your next victory with OBTT. Explore and register for OBTT in-person or virtual workshops online at: www.dol.gov/obttworkshops

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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Successful

Transitioning Stories By Dr. Julie Ducharme www.synergylearninginstitute.org This month I am excited to talk with Dr. Karen Walker. Dr. Walker is a well decorated retired United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, with 21 years in the Marine core. Dr. Walker is an expert in organizational psychology, and she is an advocate for diversity and change. She has her Ph.D. in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. Dr. Walker has an extensive background in government and corporate industries as well as academia as she has worked with: the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Justice, University of New Mexico, University of Arizona Global Campus, Forbes School of Business and Technology, and Synergy Learning Institute. I asked Dr. Walker what it was like her first year transitioning out of the military…

Dr Walker said, “Every one told me because I was an officer and had my doctorate it would be a piece of cake, but I was unemployed for nearly a year when I left active duty. It was the toughest time of my life and I really struggled to find my way. I was deeply depressed and I really felt like a failure after months of not being able to find my niche in civilian life. What I found is that I kept applying for jobs that I did in the military and that actually is the wrong thing to do.” I thought that would be a good job search approach too, so I asked Dr. Walker to tell me more about her challenges with that approach. What did you find out about yourself by applying for the same jobs that you did in the military?

Dr. Walker answered, “Most military transition programs focus on your skill sets and what you have always done in order to predict what you will be good at in the future. That is a common approach. However, they forget to consider what your passions are and how they can certainly change over time as well. The military morphs us. We all come into the military and leave the 42

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military at different times. Some people enter at 18 years old and some leave after 4 years while some stay for 10, 20 or even 25 years. Whenever a person does decide to make that transition it is important to consider their skillsets and their passions. So, one day, I had a real epiphany, when my sister was helping me prep for a job interview and just as I had for hundreds of others she read the requirements and asked me if I could do each one on the list: travel to multiple locations in the same day—YES; lead hundreds of employees—YES; work 1215 hour days—YES, of course, I’m a Marine I told her confidently. Then my sister turned to me and said, ‘this job sounds awful!’ And I sat back and said, you’re right, it does sound terrible because I had already been doing this job for years in the Marine Corps. It was just like every Operations Officer job I ever held before and it was no longer my passion. I no longer needed to prove that I could do any of these things. That was the last day I applied for any of those jobs and I started living for my passion. So when you left the Marines, how did you know what your passion was?

Dr Walker added, “Well, I had to give myself permission to dream again. I had to switch gears. My passion was now Organizational Psychology. I realized I needed to start applying for what I really wanted to be doing and once I started focusing on that I really haven’t looked back. I quickly found a career I love. If I could give any tips in this area it would be to really focus on what you want to do when you get out that matches your skillsets. Don’t let what everyone else says is a good job for a veteran deter you from your actual passion. Once I went after my passion my life took off in an amazing direction. Not too long after that I also explored many other areas of my life that I wanted to do like adopting my son, Cayleb who is graduating high school this year! They grow up so fast. He is going to be making his own life decisions soon. To get education from Dr. Tiffany click link below https://drtiffanytajiri.com/meet-dr-tiffany/ To watch the Dr. Tiffany live interview click the link below https://youtu.be/oeWm4Oa3keA For more help on active duty transition, education, and more click the link below www.synergylearninginstitute.org


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BUSINESS FOR VETERANS By Barbara Eldridge www.mindmasters.com

Customer Relationship Management

It is all about bringing customers back, and about sending them away happy – happy enough to share their experience with others. The relationship you want with customers takes “management” and there are long lists of tips you can find all over the internet as to what that means. Here’s my suggested list: 1. Values provide a basis for how you want to show up to your customers. They are translated into behaviors that affect everything from how you answer the phone, to how you respond to customer requests to how you follow up with them. One friend shared how he and his wife stopped at a restaurant and asked the hostess if they could see a menu before they decided to enter. The Hostess’ response was to tell them to go look it up on the internet. Not a very good customer experience. Know what values and behaviors you want showing up in your business.

Business is about relationships. In the rush to get something done, small businesses owners often find themselves with less than perfect outcomes. In all our business relationships, as business owners hire people or are hired to perform a service or deliver a finished product. Usually the cause of a challenge is a lack of a clear agreement of the work to be done or results to be achieved. So how do you create relationships that work? Over that last few weeks several articles and books have crossed my desk that deal with the relationships we develop with customers. Of all the ways to keep a business growing, increasing the frequency of interactions we have with clients is probably one of the most important. We would all love to boast a long list of loyal customers; when we increase the effectiveness of all of our business practices, the list increases. To sustain profitability and customer loyalty, offering discounts or cutting prices may bring in new customers, but keeping them requires a different level of customer service. Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. 44

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2. Organize your business around your customer. Design your organizational structure around positions and activities that are necessary to sustain good customer service, rather then product/service focused. Use your strengths in other areas that you can leverage to help your customers address a challenge perhaps unrelated to your product or service. 3. Take the time to build trust with your customers. Trust means doing what you say you will do, because you put customer needs into the relationship. Trust shows up in the reliability of your service, doing what you say you will do. There are many ways to keep customers coming back, use technology to enhance the relationship, but look for ways to customize it. I read where Starbucks can serve their coffee 19,000 ways – that obviously has created loyal customers! Barbara Eldridge has built a solid reputation as a Success strategies specialist, within industry and business over the past 40 years. Her unique message, since starting Mind Masters 30 years ago for entrepreneurs and small business owners, continually stresses vision, purpose and values as the key elements of business philosophy. www.mindmasters.com


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We handle it all for only $10/week per employee. Contact Eve Nasby, Band of Hands president and passionate military supporter to get started today. eve@bandofhands.com WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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Apps That Make Life Easier By: Joseph Molina National Veterans Chamber of Commerce veteransccsd@gmail.com Time-saving techniques are crucial when you’re running a veteran-owned business, and recent technology has allowed more access to apps and other online resources that make life easier for the individual on the go. Not only will using this apps will help you run things smoothly, they’ll help you free up some time so you can do the things you enjoy while maintaining a successful business. The National Veterans Chamber of Commerce explains that these tools can do much more. Keep up with your paperwork As a veteran and an entrepreneur, you already know how big a role important documents play in your daily operations. Staying organized is crucial for both the wellbeing of your business and your customers’ peace of mind, so look for apps, online services, and other technology that will help you stay on top of those necessary docs. If you travel a lot or just want to simplify things for yourself, look for a mobile scanning app that allows you to scan and send paperwork right from your phone, without the need for bulky equipment. Make communication easier Staying in touch with your customers is crucial, but it’s just as important to keep communication open with your employees. Whether you’re working on a big project together or just need to make sure everyone can contact you when you’re away from the business, it’s a good idea to look for apps that will allow you to get in touch easily. Video chat services, shared channels, and conferencing tools are perfect for small businesses. Organize your workflow Staying in touch with your employees is one great way to remain organized, but if you travel a lot or have a full plate you might need a little assistance with keeping your schedule from becoming overloaded. Fortunately, there are several apps that can assist with that, from project management tools to digital helpers that keep track of your to-do list. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to manage your time at work. Share with ease Getting organized should extend to your company’s files, as well. There are lots of great apps available for sharing documents within a business or creating customer 46

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proposals, and some will integrate with one another to make the process even easier. Some are free, while others offer different services with an upgrade fee, so RingCentral suggests doing a little research to find the right one for your business’s needs. Keep up with your finances As all small business owners know, time is money, so when you’re looking for ways to be more productive and organized you can also search for the best apps for tracking your finances. You may need something that helps you keep up with travel expenses, invoices, payroll, and/or monthly income, and many apps available these days can help with most of those at once. Keep it secure No matter how hard you try to keep things secure, you’ll likely still need help from a professional service when it comes to anti-virus software. There are different types available depending on the size of your business and the type of tech you use, including security for computers, mobile devices, and file servers. Look for a system that’s easy to use and within your budget. Boost your social media presence Once your data is secure, think about boosting your business’s social media presence without worry. Maintaining accounts on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter requires daily updates with valuable content, including videos and photos that draw in potential customers. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure you have a Team of professionals ready to help you. The Military Spouses social media Team can help you keep up with your followers in social media, create and post articles and videos for you. Send your request to veteransccsd@ gmail.com Finding the right apps for your veteran-owned small business can take some time, so do some research before committing to one. Talk to your employees about their needs and get some insight into the kind of software that will be most beneficial to them, especially if they work remotely or are often working on projects together. The National Veterans Chamber would like to provide as much support as possible to those seeking employment by helping you connect with VeteranFriendly Employers. The National Veterans Chamber Resume-Video Project may give you the advantage you need to land an interview. Let us know how we may be able to support you!


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

NON-COMPETES IN CALIFORNIA ENFORCEABLE OR NOT?

Many people have heard of a non-compete agreement, but may not completely understand what it means. In fact, some people sign non-compete agreements as terms of their employment without even realizing it. A singed non-compete is not only important for employees to understand, it’s very important for those employees to understand who decide to start their own business at a later date. A non-compete is a type of legal agreement that forbids an employee from going to work with a competitor of their current employer or starting a competing business. These agreements exist to protect company secrets, however, it is important for employees and those who later want to start their own business to know whether or not a non-compete is enforceable in California. A non-compete is a restrictive covenant that is used to restrict an employee’s actions once they are no longer 48

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working for a company. Namely, they restrict where and how a former employee will work, effectively keeping them from working for a competitor. Usually, these agreements are in place for only a limited amount of time and not utilized as a permanent restriction. Non-compete agreements are controversial, as they are very restrictive and prevent employees from certain actions if they want to avoid legal trouble. However, these agreements are very difficult to uphold in court because the employer must show that the employee caused damages as a result of breaching the noncompete agreement. An employer would need to prove that the non-compete agreement protects a legitimate business interest, though courts have generally held an unfavorable view of non-compete agreements that infringe on a former employee’s right to earn an income.


According to the California Business and Professions Code Section 16600, “every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.” In other words, non-compete agreements are not enforceable in California. However, that does not mean that an employee will not be wrongfully presented with one or told that they have to sign one as a condition to their employment. Employers may try to say that there are extenuating circumstances in place for them to enforce a non-compete agreement, but these arguments are usually rejected by California courts.

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As of January 1, 2017, non-compete agreements in California must operate under these rules: • Employees can void any non-competes that require a court outside of California to decide disputes. In other words, the company cannot enforce an employee’s non-compete agreement in a state that allows these agreements. • Employees are able to void contract with illegal non compete terms. • Only California courts are able to rule on noncompete issues within the state, and the courts can only do so using California law. • Employees are able to receive compensation for their attorneys’ fees if they have to go to court to defend themselves in a non-compete dispute. Employers cannot seek attorneys’ fees from the employee, even if the employer wins. Becoming a business owner, you control your own destiny, choose the people you work with, reap big rewards, challenge yourself, give back to the community, and you get to follow your passion. Knowing what you’re getting into is smart business because the responsibility of protecting your family and yourself falls on you. For more information on how to legally start and grow your business please visit my website at www.golegalyourself.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.

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

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Get your copy at amazon today! WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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

Coparenting Apps as a Valuable Tool One of the biggest challenges parents often face is learning how to communicate effectively after a divorce. There are a variety of coparenting apps available that can help aid in communication so that you can focus on the kids rather than creating more conflict through miscommunications. Here are some of the coparenting apps that could assist you and your ex in sharing information and establishing a healthier coparenting relationship. coParenter This app was designed by a former Judge and family law educator. It has all the features most coparenting apps have including a shared calendar, documented messaging, expense tracking and reimbursements, sharing documents, and check-in records. However, it seeks to be more comprehensive than other apps and is unique in its capabilities. • coParenter has a team of licensed professionals on hand, ready to provide conflict resolution help in real-time. These professionals include typically family law attorneys, therapists, social workers or other retired bench officers with strong conflict resolution backgrounds. You can utilize it for co-parenting coaching with any issues and tips on effective coparenting communication. • coParenter also offers a “solo mode” where you can use the app even if the other co-parent refuses to do the same. • It will flag curse words, inflammatory phrases and offensive names to keep a heated conversation from escalating. The app will pop up a warning message that asks the parent if they’re sure they want to use that term, allowing them time to pause and think. • Additional features which include a journal, creating and sharing agreements, and the ability to add multiple coparents. • A monthly subscription is $12.99 per month or $119.99 per year. Both parents can subscribe for $199.99 per year.

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Our Family Wizard This is app is one of the first coparenting apps. It is often recommended by family law attorneys or utilized by parties per court order, particularly in high conflict parenting cases. • It has a calendar which can be color coded, expense tracker, personal journal for notes, and message board. • It saves messages between coparents and allows you to add on an unlimited number of people including attorneys and mediators. • It allows for easy tracking of communications which can be printed and utilized if necessary, to display which parent is properly coparenting if you end up in Court. • It also has an optional innovative “tone meter” feature that assists in keeping communications civil by pointing out emotional charged phrases. • It costs $12-17/month. Kids accounts are free. They also offer discounts for military families and low-income families. Talking Parents Talking Parents, like Our Family Wizard is designed to track communications between parents to increase accountability. It is another app often used during divorce and custody cases particularly where there is high conflict. • Similar to Our Family Wizard, it creates a system-ofrecord for your communications if you need to supply proof of correspondence to the courts. It has a shared calendar and personal journal.


• It hosts all your information in the cloud, so nothing gets lost or altered no matter what happens to your phone. • There is a free online website version but the app costs $9.99 per month or $24.99 per month for premium features including accountable calling, transcripts, and recordings. The paid app also has features like file storage and unlimited downloads for conversations and journal records. This feature may be useful if need records for court appearances or mediation with your attorney.

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Custody X Change This app is designed for both parents and legal professionals. Some of its features include communication tools, expense tracking, a time stamped log of journal entries, and the ability to print reports and invoices. • Unique in that it offers custody plan templates. • It can be a useful tool for legal professional as it can track each parent’s actual time with the children, perform advanced calculations, and create court ready reports. • It also provides legal professionals with an easy way to visually show clients multiple custody plan options and print clear and concise calendars for both parties. • You can try the app for free. There are two levels of membership for parents, Silver ($17/month or $97/year) and Gold ($27/month or $147/year) which provides additional features. For legal professionals, there is a Pro Silver ($47/month or $297/year) or Pro Gold membership ($67/month or $297/year). AppClose This is the only completely free coparenting app mentioned herein. There are no monthly charges or subscription fees. It has several of the typical features such as a shared calendar, the ability to send requests, expense tracker, documented messaging, and shared documents. AppClose does have a unique feature, “ipayou”, which is a built-in payment platform with an integrated expense tracker. You can also create different “circles” which is the way you connect to groups of people in the app including coparents, children, third parties or your attorney. Another exclusive feature is AppClose Solo which allows you to send requests or events to non-connected co-parents, third parties, or other family members via text, email, or social media.

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

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Legal Experts with Humanity WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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BEFORE SERVED HONORABLY.

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

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

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


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

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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www.rva.gov/police/personnel

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WE DON’T JUST THANK

VETERANS,

WE HIRE

THEM.

PGHJOBS.NET CITY OF PITTSBURGH - E/O/E 58

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INSIDE THE MONTHLY COLUMNS Homeland Magazine features monthly columns & articles on topics of interest for today’s veterans, transitioning military personnel, active military, and the families that keep it together. • Real Talk: Mental Health • A Different LENS Mental Health Monthly • Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans

Homeland Magazine

• What’s Next Transition to Civilian Life • Human Resources Transition to Business • Business for Veterans • Legal Eagle Legal Business Tips • Legally Speaking Military Family Focused Law • National Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Feel free to review & bookmark our supportive & resourceful monthly columns:

---------------------------------------------------------------Real Talk: Mental Health By Outreach and Clinical experts from the Cohen Clinic at VVSD Deployment, transition, reintegration – as a veteran, service member or military family member, you’ve likely had to face all three. The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD, part of Cohen Veterans Network, provides high-quality, evidence-based mental health care to the military community. Our Mental Health Column provides advice on various topics related to these challenges.

Learn more: www.cohenveteransnetwork.org 60

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A Different LENS Mental Health Monthly By Randee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens reflects on RanDee’s personal experiences as former law enforcement, Veteran, military spouse, and clinician. A Different Lens explores all things mental health related and the struggles our veterans and their families may face.

Connect with Randee at www.linkedin.com/in/randee-mclain-lcsw-8335a493 -------------------------------------------------------------Arts & Healing

Arts for Military Veterans By Amber Robinson Arts & Healing is a reflection of Amber’s personal experiences in healing through the arts as a disabled combat veteran as well as a reflection of our San Diego veteran artists and how they are using art to transform and heal, too.

You can read Amber’s columns at www.tinyurl.com/SDVM-Art


What’s Next

LEGAL EAGLE

Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby & Kristin Hennessy

Legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners By Kelly Bagla, Esq.

Transitioning from the military into the civilian work world can be anxiety-producing, depressing, and demoralizing without being prepped with the right mindset and tools for success. What’s Next shares stories, insights, tips, and resources from those who have transitioned, so those in the process (or thinking of starting the process) are armed and ready to find rewarding opportunities, ace the interview, and embark on a successful career journey.

Business Formation and Asset Protection Expertise. An all-inclusive comprehensive overview, of common expensive pitfalls business owners are subjected to, that YOU need to know about. Asset protection musthaves and unparalleled guidance through the Shark infested waters of Business Formation. Kelly Bagla, Esq. is an international award-winning corporate attorney who has been in the business of turning passion projects into profits for more than two decades. Trust an Expert.

You can connect with Eve at

www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-hiring-expert/ or eve@bandofhands.com ----------------------------------------------------------------

Contact Kelly at www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-bagla-esq Websites: www.BaglaLaw.com www.GoLegalYourself.com

Human Resources

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Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

National Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Moving from the military into the private sector isn’t going to be seamless. The transition process can be difficult, particularly because the job search, interview, and onboarding processes are relatively new territory for many veterans. The HR Column offers a unique perspective on hot topics and relevant issues in corporate leadership and management today.

You can connect with Paul at www.linkedin.com/in/paulfalcone1 or via his website at www.PaulFalconeHR.com ----------------------------------------------------------------

By Joseph Molina The National Veterans Chamber (NVCC) helps connect Military/Veterans Community by housing organizations that serve the Veteran Community. We write about Entrepreneurship, Employment, Education, Wellness, Family and Faith. The NVCC was founded in 2017 with the simple goal of Empowering Individuals and Organizations that offer programs that will have a positive impact on the Veteran Community.

Business for Veterans

You can connect with Joe at josephmolina@nationalveterans.org or visit www.nationalveterans.org

By Barbara Eldridge

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The Business for Veterans column is by Barbara Eldridge who has built a solid reputation as a Success strategies specialist, within industry and business over the past 40 years. Her unique message, since starting Mind Masters 30 years ago for entrepreneurs and small business owners, continually stresses vision, purpose and values as the key elements of business philosophy.

Lean more at www.mindmasters.com -------------------------------------------------------------Legally Speaking Military Family Law By Tana Landau

SanLegal Experts with Humanity. For more information visit our website: www.frfamilylaw.com or call (858) 720-8250 and ask to speak with military family law attorney Tana Landau.

Homeland Magazine Current & Past Issues are available at: www.homelandmagazine.com/archives/ WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022

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Counseling

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WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MAY 2022


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