Homeland Magazine Oct 2020

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www.HomelandMagazine.com Vol. 8 Number 10 • October 2020


TRANSITION to Civilian Life

Developed for Success


Who’s Watching The Children?

MENTAL HEALTH Mental Fatigue

Dog Tag History: How the Tradition & Nickname Started


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Breast Cancer:

What You Need to Know Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the breast, it is called breast cancer. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. Breast cancer screening means checking a woman’s breasts for cancer before she has any symptoms. A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. Most women who are 50 to 74 years old should have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, or think you may have a higher risk of breast cancer, ask your doctor when to have a screening mammogram.

Some things may increase your risk The main factors that influence your breast cancer risk are being a woman and getting older. Other risk factors include— • • • • • • • • • •

Changes in breast cancer-related genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2). Having your first menstrual period before age 12. Never giving birth, or being older when your first child is born. Starting menopause after age 55. Taking hormones to replace missing estrogen and progesterone in menopause for more than five years. Taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills). A personal history of breast cancer, dense breasts, or some other breast problems. A family history of breast cancer (parent, sibling, or child). Getting radiation therapy to the breast or chest. Being overweight, especially after menopause.

Symptoms Some warning signs of breast cancer are— • • • • • • • •

New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit). Thickening or swelling of part of the breast. Irritation or dimpling of breast skin. Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast. Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area. Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood. Any change in the size or the shape of the breast. Pain in the breast.

Can’t afford a mammogram? If you have a low income or do not have insurance and are between the ages of 40 and 64, you may qualify for a free or low-cost mammogram through CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. To learn more, call (800) CDC-INFO.

Other conditions can cause these symptoms. If you have any signs that worry you, call your doctor right away. More Information www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/ • (800) CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) • TTY: (888) 232-6348

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division of Cancer Prevention and Control

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

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Joe Molina Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby

What’s Next - Transition

Eva Stimson

Veteran Advocate

Collaborative Organizations

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

Mike Miller

Publisher/Editor mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 4

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Wounded Warrior Project Raquel Rivas Disabled American Veterans American’s Warrior Partnership Shelter To Soldier Father Joe’s Village Flying Leathernecks Give An Hour Courage To Call Operation Homefront With National Veteran Advocates & Guest Writers Homeland Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 7 Out of the Ashes 8 I AM A GREYSHIRT 10 Dog Tag History 14 Transitioning To Civilian Life 18 What’s Next - Against All Odds 20 Post-Military Career Path 24 Enlisted to Entrepreneur - Gig Trouble 26 LinkedIn Tips 28 Developed for Success 30 Real Talk: Mental Health Awareness 32 LENS: Mental Fatigue 34 Arts & Healing: Humanities 38 Veterans Overcome Isolation 40 Legal Eagle: COVID-19 Liability Waivers 42 Who’s Watching The Children 44 Legally Speaking: Insurance & Divorce 46 Potential Jobs 48 Veteran Silversmith 51 K9S For Warriors 52 Navy SEAL pays Homage to Native American Ancestors

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I had a complete meltdown with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder). I thought I was losing my mind. I’d never been out of control before, and it was hard to admit I needed help, but I wanted my old self back. I’ve gotten that and more. I’m strong. I’m healthy. I have tools, I have knowledge, and I have strength and courage to deal with it. I’m doing just fine. RON WHITCOMB SGT US ARMY 1968 - 1969 SQUAD LEADER, VIETNAM




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By Bryan Prest

I AM A GREYSHIRT I am a Greyshirt. I keep a packed bugout bag by the door fitted with at least a week’s worth of clothes, tactical gear, a utility knife, boots, a loaded first aid pack, and sleeping bag. I call this my ‘Go Bag’. This is what I travel with.

I am a Greyshirt. At home, I spend time with my own family. I work a fulfilling job and enjoy my life with leisure time. I keep prepared and wait, not in hope but anticipate. I make sure I am secure so I may deploy again with peace of mind.

I am a Greyshirt. I travel within my backyard, a county over, across the country, or internationally to assist those in need. I leave the safety of my own home to help my community. I feel like it is my humanitarian duty.

I am a Greyshirt. I train with some of my spare time. I keep up to date with my emergency plan. I stay in touch with my local community. I attend courses virtually and in a classroom to learn new skills. I use my time to engage with my Greyshirt family, a group of volunteers just like me, similar reasons for getting involved yet each with their own unique backgrounds. I learn their stories, socialize with them, introduce them to my own family. I accept them as they accept me.

I am a Greyshirt. I help people on their worst days, their lives devastated by the turmoil of flood, destruction of fire, devastation of a hurricane, splitting of an earthquake, and other natural disasters. I volunteer to feed those who are hungry. I volunteer to clear routes to allow emergency vehicles to render aid. I volunteer to prevent and treat illness, provide medical support, and triage to a primary care facility to tend to injuries. I volunteer to sift through properties torn to shreds by fire. I volunteer to those who have lost everything in their homestead. I am a Greyshirt. I understand that I am there for the people I serve, not just as an assistant but as a friend. Homeowner’s invite me into their circle to share stories, remanence, complain, cry, laugh, share sorrow, smile, and develop. This is a circle regardless of race, gender, or view. This is a circle built around trust and good faith. I am a Greyshirt. After a week, working tireless hours underneath water-soaked floorboards, hidden in crawlspaces ripping out electrical wiring actively supplying power to a hollowed-out home, and clearing 200-pound stacks of fresh-cut lumber preventing a family from entering their house safely, I drop my soiled grey shirts in the laundry and place my red cap down. I clean my bag, restock my med kit, and place all of it by the door, neatly packed. This is where it shall wait until I’m needed again. 8

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I am a Greyshirt. I remain vigilant, always forward thinking. Upon being called, I grab my Go Bag and head out, leaving my family behind to know they will have to give some of our time up to those who need it more at that moment. Upon arriving at the rally point, I witness my fellow volunteers erect a forward camp in the middle of an open parking lot, equipped with a vehicle compound, command center, sleeping quarters, kitchen, and logistics station. I see the bustle around me, Greyshirts operating at complete efficiency long into the night as I retire after a day of travel. I know tomorrow, I’ll be utilized. I am proudly a Greyshirt.

GREYSHIRT QUOTES: “For me, working for Team Rubicon has been a transformative experience. I want to express my gratitude to my comrades-in-arms, fellow Greyshirts (especially Kevin Kothlow and Erin O’Rourke, who convinced me to get more involved) as well as to the medical teams, for showing me that what makes this country so unique isn’t the infrastructure, the apple pie (delicious, by the way), the fireworks on the Fourth of July or Superbowl. It is the solidarity, the fortitude, and the sense of duty towards the community that make the American people do the right thing when needed. Always” - Badr Bakhat (Greyshirt) “I got started with Team Rubicon back in 2017. I was living in Houston and Hurricane Harvey came through. I wanted to get involved in some way… Team Rubicon is an organization that utilizes skill Veterans have, as well as first responders and civilians, to help our community…”

“We try to challenge our entire team to become the example an entire generation of citizens can admire. To become American ideals in action, the manifestation of our aspirations for this country” – Jake Wood (Co-Founder)

– Derek Michaelson (Greyshirt)

“There’s hard work and there’s heart work. Team Rubicon offers the opportunity to do both, and that’s what it’s all about.” – Randy René


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Dog Tag History: How the Tradition & Nickname Started By Katie Lange, DOD News

We all know what dog tags are — those little oval disks on a chain that service members wear to identify themselves in combat. But have you ever wondered how and when that tradition started, and why they’re called dog tags? We did some research to find the answers. Origins of the “Dog Tag” Nickname According to the Army Historical Foundation, the term “dog tag” was first coined by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. In 1936, Hearst wanted to undermine support for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. He had heard the newly formed Social Security Administration was considering giving out nameplates for personal identification. According to the SSA, Hearst referred to them as “dog tags” similar to those used in the military.

Other rumored origins of the nickname include World War II draftees calling them dog tags because they claimed they were treated like dogs. Another rumor said it was because the tags looked similar to the metal tag on a dog’s collar. Regardless of where the nickname started, the concept of an identification tag originated long before that. Civil War Concerns Unofficially, identification tags came about during the Civil War because soldiers were afraid no one would be able to identify them if they died. They were terrified of being buried in unmarked graves, so they found various ways to prevent that. Some marked their clothing with stencils or pinned-on paper tags. Others used old coins or bits of round lead or copper. According to the Marine Corps, some men carved their names into chunks of wood strung around their necks.

This dog tag belonged to Union Army Cpl. Alvin B. Williams of Company F, 11th Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers. Hailing from New London, N.H., Williams enlisted on Aug. 11, 1862 at the age of 18. He was killed May 12, 1864, near Spotsylvania Court House in Virginia. Photo By: Library of Congress Replica dog tags for Medal of Honor recipient and pilot Air Force Capt. Steven L. Bennett rest on a workstation at Hurlburt Field, Fla, Aug. 29, 2019. Bennett received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions while flying an artillery adjustment mission in Vietnam in June 1972. Newly printed dog tags were presented to Bennett’s daughter, Angela Bennett-Engele, after the original dog tags disappeared. Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Lynette Rolen


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Those who could afford it bought engraved metal tags from nongovernment sellers and sutlers — vendors who followed the armies during the war. Historical resources show that in 1862, a New Yorker named John Kennedy offered to make thousands of engraved disks for soldiers, but the War Department declined.

The order was modified in July 1916, when a second disc was required to be suspended from the first by a short string or chain. The first tag was to remain with the body, while the second was for burial service record keeping. The tags were given to enlisted men, but officers had to buy them.

By the end of the Civil War, more than 40% of the Union Army’s dead were unidentified. To bring that into perspective, consider this: Of the more than 17,000 troops buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery, the largest Union cemetery in the U.S., nearly 13,000 of those graves are marked as unknown.

The Navy didn’t require ID tags until May 1917. By then, all U.S. combat troops were required to wear them. Exact size specifications were put in place, and the tags also included each man’s Army-issued serial number. Toward the end of World War I, American Expeditionary Forces in Europe added religious symbols to the tags — C for Catholic, H for Hebrew and P for Protestant — but those markings didn’t remain after the war.

The outcome of the war showed that concerns about identification were valid, and the practice of making identification disks caught on. Making It Official The first official request to outfit service members with ID tags came in 1899 at the end of the SpanishAmerican war. Army Chaplain Charles C. Pierce — who was in charge of the Army Morgue and Office of Identification in the Philippines — recommended the Army outfit all soldiers with the circular disks to identify those who were severely injured or killed in action.

Slight Differences During World War I, Navy tags were a bit different than Army’s. Made of monel — a group of nickel alloys — they had the letters “U.S.N.” etched on them using a specific process involving printer’s ink, heat and nitric acid. If you were enlisted, the etching included your date of birth and enlistment, while officers’ included their date of appointment. The biggest difference was the etched print of each sailor’s right index finger on the back, which was meant to safeguard against fraud, an accident or misuse.

It took a few years, but in December 1906, the Army put out a general order requiring aluminum disc-shaped ID tags be worn by soldiers. The half-dollar size tags were stamped with a soldier’s name, rank, company and regiment or corps, and they were attached to a cord or chain that went around the neck. The tags were worn under the field uniform.

During World War I, Navy identification tags contained a fingerprint. Photo By: Navy

According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, the ID tags weren’t used in between World War I and World War II. They were reinstated in May 1941, but by then, the etching process was replaced with mechanical stamping. Meanwhile, the Marines had been required to wear ID tags since late 1916. Theirs were a mix of the Army and Navy styles.

These original World War I dog tags belonged to Navy and Army veteran Thomas R. Darden. The tags are tied with twill rope or tape. Darden served in the Navy from 1903-1908 and in the Army as an officer from 1917 through the end of the Great War. Photo By: North Carolina Museum of History

World War II By World War II, military ID tags were considered an official part of the uniform and had evolved into the uniform size and shape they are today — a rounded rectangle made of nickel-copper alloy. Continued on next page 17

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Host this National Memorial in your Community

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

www.RememberingOurFallen.org www.PatrioticProductions.org

Tribute Towers

Remembering Our Fallen is a national memorial unlike any other -with military & personal photos of 5,000 military Fallen since 9/11/2001 Unveiled at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2017, it has since traveled the nation coastto-coast. This memorial also includes those who returned from war, but lost their inner battle to suicide, and those who died from non-war zone injuries while serving in their military capacity. Please contact us to add a Fallen loved one, host the memorial, or make a donation at: info@RememberingOurFallen.org Artist - Elizabeth Moug Artist - Saul Hansen 12

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“If the purpose of a war memorial is to help us remember the sacrifices of the Heroes, and to help us heal from our sorrow, then your mission has been accomplished. Thank you for this tremendous gift.” - 1LT Daniel P. Riordan’s Mother

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

By 1969, the Army began to transition from serial numbers to Social Security numbers. That lasted about 45 years until 2015, when the Army began removing Social Security numbers from the tags and replacing them with each soldier’s Defense Department identification number. The move safeguarded soldiers’ personally identifiable information and helped protect against identity theft.

A pair of World War II U.S. military identification tags were discovered along prominent trails in Germany in July 2020. Through extensive research, the man who found the tags discovered that Army Pvt. Sammie Lee Williams enlisted on March 14, 1944, at the age of 22. He deployed from Fort Benning, Ga., to Germany during the war. Williams survived, returned to the U.S. and lived to be 81.

-Photo By: Courtesy photo

Considerable technological advances have come along since Vietnam, including the ability to use DNA to identify remains. But despite these advancements, dog tags are still issued to service members today. They’re a reminder of America’s efforts to honor all those who have served — especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Each was mechanically stamped with your name, rank, service number, blood type and religion, if desired. An emergency notification name and address were initially included on these, but they were removed by the end of the war. They also included a “T” for those who had a tetanus vaccination, but by the 1950s that, too, was eliminated. During World War II, Navy tags no longer included the fingerprint. By the war’s end, they also included the second chain that the Army had implemented decades before. At this time, all military tags included a notch in one end. Historians say the notch was there due to the type of machine used to stamp the tags. By the 1970s, those machines were replaced, so the tags issued today are now smooth on both sides. Dog Tags Today Regulations have gone back and forth regarding whether the two tags should stay together or be separated. In 1959, procedure was changed to keep both dog tags with the service member if they died. But by Vietnam, it was changed back to the original regulation of taking one tag and leaving the other. For Marines, a person’s gas mask size was eventually included on the tags.

Dog tags hang from the Iraq/Afghanistan Dog Tag Memorial at the Museum of the Forgotten Warrior outside of Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Nov. 10, 2011. The memorial was built to honor all of the men and women who have been killed during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as of Oct. 30, 2011. The memorial contains 6,296 individual dog tags. Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan Fowler

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Transitioning to a Civilian Career When military service ends, veterans face a major transition to civilian life. It’s a time to find a new group of peers and friends. It’s a time to learn to function within a new framework that isn’t quite as structured as the military’s. On top of that, veterans bear the weight of trying to find a job in this unfamiliar environment. These challenges are exacerbated for veterans managing visible and invisible wounds of war. According to a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) survey of the warriors it serves, the warrior unemployment rate is 16%, up from 12% in 2019. In comparison, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the overall civilian unemployment rate was 8% in August 2020. The WWP survey also found that in addition to transitional issues, warriors report they deal with other For some, to it’semployment, a reminder of what happened in battle: barriers including mental health struggles, difficulty being around others, and being physically incapable. “Getting out of your comfort zone is a big step toward finding a civilian career,” said Kevin Rasch, regional director for WWP’s career counseling program. “But every path is unique and based on where you’re coming from and where you want to go. Keeping an open mind and being open to different opportunities can help.” Army veterans Chenita Hickman and Victor Gonzalez shared their thoughts and advice on successfully transitioning to civilian life and civilian careers, and how WWP helped.


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What were your expectations, if any, about what the transition to civilian life would be like?

How did WWP empower you during your transition?

Chenita: At the time of my transition, I began to realize things around me would move slower in comparison to the time crunches I experienced in the military. I had to realize it was no longer my job to save the world, as I once felt I had to do in the military when taking care of my soldiers. I expected the transition going into a civilian career would be easy, but later I found out I wasn’t as prepared as I once thought when it came to interviewing for various positions.

Chenita: Wounded Warrior Project set me up with a Deloitte career bootcamp that assisted me in learning interview techniques to secure my current employment. Wounded Warrior Project went another step further to assist me in purchasing my dress suit to wear for my interview, and for that, I’m forever grateful. At the time of the transition, I didn’t have anything to wear for the interview, and I didn’t have the funds due to waiting on my disability to start, so this provided me with the necessary resources to begin.

Victor: To be honest, I thought I was going to be ready for it. I went into the military at 26 years old, and I already had experience in the civilian world and corporate America. However, now looking back on it, I was not ready for any of it. I found myself struggling to adjust to a new way of civilian life. I had to realize I was not the same person I was before I went into service. Also, I had to come to terms with the fact that I would never be the same — something I believe I struggle with even to this day. However, I did know, like most service members, I wanted to finish my college education, and I went back to college. What did you experience during the transition that was unexpected or complicated? Chenita: I began to see that in the civilian workforce, a lot of job positions were filled based off of networking and who you know. I found it better to get out and go to veteran-organized job fairs to network. Victor: I believe having to come back home from my military service to help my family was unique, as I had to make quick choices and arrangements to go back home to Texas. But looking back, I now know it was the best decision. I had to help them, but they helped me as I struggled with mental issues. I did not know at the time how much I would need them and how much it would keep me going.

Victor: I came into Wounded Warrior Project during my time as the President of the Student Veteran Association at University of Texas at San Antonio as a networking opportunity for the organization and its members. As I learned in the middle of my presidency, the stresses of school, leading an organization, and family would begin to crack the mask I was wearing for everyone. During my transition, I tried to put on a show to hide my issues and struggles from everyone and anyone, including my family. If not for Wounded Warrior Project seeing this and offering me the support through its programs, I’m not sure if I could have made it even to today. My PTSD and depression are decisive mental struggles for me; I did not know how defeated I truly felt inside. My therapy and programs like Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, for example, showed me though I may have physical and mental health issues, I can still live my life and do anything I put my mind to. My life was not over because I could never be the Victor I was before my military service. I just needed to find who I was now and rediscover myself again. I needed to accept my life has changed because of my military service, but I still have many more chapters to write. Continued on nex page 17

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What advice would you give other veterans who are set to transition out of the military? Chenita: I would say to make connections with Wounded Warrior Project as well as other organizations that are there to make this transition smooth and relieve stress. Take the advice given, and think positive in everything you do. Networking is going to be the key to a successful transition into the civilian workforce. And most of all, know that you are not alone. Victor: Transitioning from military service is not easy at all. However, you can do it! We have been through some tough times in our service to this great nation, but asking for help is vital. Plan for your future and what you want to accomplish next. Make sure you ask for help; asking for help is not a weakness. There are so many amazing organizations out there today that will help you in every step of your transition back to civilian life. It’s a process so try to be patient with it. Remember that you deserve every service, program, or assistance there is for you and your family. My final advice is a veteran never stops his/ her service just because we no longer don this nation’s uniform and flag each day. We must always remember to be of service to our community, family, friends, and fellow veterans. The only way we can make this nation and this world a better place is if we admit our shortfalls, face our fears, and support each other. I will always be of service -- now and forever!


WWP knows every veteran’s journey is different. But a transition to civilian life doesn’t have to be a series of burdens. Know that others are going through it with you, and you are not alone.

The reality, though, is that it can be difficult. In fact, it can be down right depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned.

WWP’s career counseling program, Warriors to Work®, has helped place over 800 warriors and family members in new careers between April 1 and Aug. 31, with combined first-year salaries totaling over $38 million. Warriors to Work helps warriors and their families by providing interview coaching, teaching networking skills, and providing networking opportunities. The program also partners with employers across the country by connecting them with qualified candidates and providing information about combat-related injuries.

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

Transitioning Out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce? Finding a job in the civilian world may seem easy at first. After all, you have learned skills, practiced leadership and demonstrated initiative that will make you successful wherever you go.

The What’s Next column is dedicated to you and to helping you succeed in your transition. Eve is a seasoned recruiting executive and business owner. She is driven to help people find the right job for and to help companies find the right talent. She is especially passionate about helping military professionals transition into the civilian workforce. If you need help with your career transition, connect with her on LinkedIn. www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-0050452/ For advice, tips and programs you can read Eve’s monthly column at Homeland Magazine or visit www.homelandmagazine.com

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WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby

A Uniform Transition: Hero to Homeless to Hero Again Kalani Creutzburg is no stranger to the spotlight in Southern California. His impressive story and ongoing accomplishments have won awards and well-deserved recognition from all those who know him. Proving Himself Kalani Creutzburg had noble reasons for joining the Marines. The first was gratitude. His grandparents came to the United States with only a suitcase. Serving in the Military was Kalani’s way of saying “thank you” for all that this country had given his family. The second was to honor his father, who retired as a Marine Master Sergeant, by making him proud. He later realized that this honor was actually his attempt to prove himself to his father. Nothing Left to Prove Kalani did prove himself both to his family and to his country. He was promoted to Major, but felt he had proved all that he could. He was farther removed from the young Marines he wanted to serve with and had less of an impact on the things that truly mattered to him. “I never wanted to be that guy who stayed for 20 years just because I was comfortable with the military benefits, such as steady pay checks.” Kalani felt that he was ignoring his secret calling, and needed to prove that he could also be successful in the civilian world. Knowing that transition is difficult, he decided on a softer landing by joining the Reserves. He said “every day I put on the uniform is because I want to wear it, not because I have to.” Joining the Reserves was the best decision he could have made at the time, and he highly recommends this to any Marine contemplating transitioning out of active duty. After many years, Reserve duty had run his course. He wanted more time with his family, and felt his calling for success in the civilian world was stifled by his time commitment in the Reserves. He thought he was ready to take the real plunge out of military life.

Hero to Homeless While Kalani was deployed in the Reserves, serving as the Headquarters Company Commander for the 23rd Marine Regiment, he found himself homeless. He returned from deployment faced with a second divorce. He said, “I struggled to reconcile how I was leading Marines but could not lead my own household.” This overwhelming feeling of failure prevented him from talking to anyone. Internalizing all of this alone took a major emotional toll. “I hated myself for leaving the active duty Marines Corps, and regretted every decision I had made thereafter. I secretly went to the bar every single day trying to make sense of my issues. My world at the time was upside down. With nowhere to live, nobody to talk to, I became suicidal,” he recalls with sadness. Master the Mindset “When I was homeless and felt my life had fallen apart, I had the victim mentality. The more I was stuck feeling like a victim, the more I acted like one. For every second I believed I was a victim, I was wasting time and blocking space in my universe to be a victor! It wasn’t until I shifted my thinking and started to own all the consequences of my decisions, that my mindset also shifted. This ultimately pushed me to stay disciplined and keep the mindset to want to do more than I feel I’m doing,” Kalani says. The mind is powerful, and the mindset you have when faced with such adversity can either jumpstart motivations, or it can propel you down a path of depression and destruction. Destruction was not an option for this hero. He said “After 8 weeks of homelessness, I finally spoke up and raised my hand asking for help. That’s when my life really started to turn around for the better. ” Boredom is the New Homeless Kalani’s vision of success seemed to be finally moving in the right direction, as he landed his first civilian job. He transitioned out of his role as the Company Commander role on a Friday. The following Monday, he was sitting in a cubicle with zero responsibility, reporting to a “new college graduate who I didn’t even think was old enough to drink a beer.” Suddenly, boredom was the new homeless. Dave Grundies


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There was a short period of relief in not having to make decisions, be in charge, nor provide all of the answers. That relief proved to be short-lived and quickly started to eat him alive inside. He said “ I struggled not being able to connect with my new peers. I’m used to the camaraderie of winding down a long work day with a few beers with my fellow Marines.” Civilian work life was different. People just showed up, did their job, and went home. Rinse and repeat. He started to resent his decision to leave. Hero Mindset The transition to civilian, corporate life can feel unfulfilling and boring. It’s a mental challenge to go from leading hundreds of Marines, owning the responsibility of hundreds of thousands of dollars in military assets, and honoring your country to sitting mindlessly at a desk where no one gets where you came from or what you’re capable of doing.

Reminding your new colleagues of your military life by continuing to dress as so, it creates a divide in your new environment and can hinder connections by creating an “us vs. them” mentality. 4) Have a deep conviction about what your purpose in life is. In the military, your mission, your purpose, and your tasks were prescribed for you. This will no longer be the case. I believe that the majority of the transition struggle is due to no longer having a purpose. You must create your own. Embrace the Change Kalani admits with a hint of good humor, that knowing what he knows now, which is that he DOES have what it takes to survive and be a huge success in the civilian world, that he would have stayed in Active Duty.

But a transition is just that - a temporary period leading to the next success. The mindset transition is just as important in achieving that secret calling. Kalani was able to embrace the transition, appreciate his weekends with his Reserve peers, and use his disciplinary background to his advantage and achieve just that.

But in all seriousness, Kalani recognizes his struggles with transition were directly linked to the fact he hadn’t “taken off his uniform.” He was stuck in the “they’re the outsiders” mindset. He even caught himself introducing himself as a “Marine Veteran” years after his transition. He hadn’t accepted transition. Today, Kalani quietly honors his military successes, and feels great pride each time someone says to him, “oh wow, I had no idea you’re a Marine!”

Transition Tips Kalani shares his first hand advice to help others transitioning: 1) Use your resume to position your military experience to your advantage, particularly that you’re a team player, disciplined, and learn quickly. An experienced Commander’s resume could come off as threatening.. You don’t want others to think you’re going to come in, bulldoze, and take their jobs. 2) Set realistic expectations and don’t expect a huge salary right away. Whereas you have more real-world experience than most other candidates, you need to accept you may lack the technical skill requirements of the job. Expecting a six-figure job offer straight in your first civilian job is not realistic. This isn’t meant to discourage you, but rather to set your expectations so you can transition with clarity and set your new foundation. Transitioning out of the military is a challenge, especially as it is a mindset transition. Kalani’s advice to accept the transition, apply your military discipline to succeed in your next endeavor, and focus on your true purpose will help you in your journey.

3) Honor your military experience by living with the rigid discipline you’re accustomed to. But, avoid honoring it by physically wearing your uniform or uniform elements into the office.

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HUMAN RESOURCES as a Post-Military Career Path By Paul Falcone When I began writing for Homeland Magazine and San Diego Veterans Magazine earlier this year, editor-in-chief Mike Miller was kind enough to include a full-page ad profiling some of my books, published by HarperCollins Leadership and the American Management Association. I’m a career-long human resources executive, and I write about leadership in all its facets: effective interviewing and hiring, motivation and development, progressive discipline and termination, and workplace ethics. I’ve been fortunate to work for high -profile companies, serving, for example, as head of HR for Nickelodeon, head of international HR for Paramount Pictures, and in senior HR leadership roles in healthcare/biotech and financial services.

and in across-the-table contract negotiations. And yes, in case you were wondering—employee relations deals with progressive discipline, terminations for cause, and layoffs (i.e., the not-so-fun side of the business). In comparison, if teaching is in your blood, training and development may have a strong appeal. You can work on instructional design and platform delivery for everything from soft skills to technical content and anything in between.

In many ways, I’ve touched most of the HR landscape: Fortune 500, start-up, union, non-profit, and global environments. All have informed my writing over the years. Which made me think. . . An article on HR—a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what the discipline is all about—might benefit readers as they consider transitioning from the military to the private sector at some point. So, feel free to join me to gain some insider’s secrets as to whether an HR career path might be worth considering for you in terms of your own career and professional development.

On the analytical side, compensation is fascinating but very subject to market fluctuations, depending on the current status of the economy: merit increases, promotions, and sales, executive, and international comp may all come into play. On the benefits side, the business can likewise be complex and challenging: healthcare benefits, Medi-Care, and voluntary benefits will keep you dealing constantly with vendors who will help you manage annual renewals, open enrollment, and so much more. Finally, HRIS is for computer lovers through and through. As an HRIS analyst, you’re the rudder that steers the ship because you provide the data intelligence on tenure, turnover, retention, and the trends and patterns in employee behaviors that drive future growth. You’ll also work hand-in-hand with payroll to coordinate and deliver paychecks.

The Structure and Appeal of the HR Discipline HR comes in two basic flavors: the people side of the business and the analytical side of the business. Here’s how the sub-disciplines generally fall out: The People Side of HR - Recruitment - Employee/Labor Relations - Training and Talent Development These sub-disciplines are fairly easy to explain: Recruitment and selection has to do with identifying, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding new talent. Employee relations has to do with managing and enforcing policies and procedures, the company’s code of conduct, and the employment laws affecting everything from discrimination and harassment to wage and hour compliance to COVID-related leaves of absence. On the “labor” side, you’d be working closely with unions in interpreting collective bargaining agreement provisions, responding to grievances, 20

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The Analytical Side of HR - Compensation - Benefits - HR Information Systems (HRIS)

The 10-Year Growth Trajectory But where do you start? If you haven’t worked in Personnel in the military, learn more about an HR career path by visiting the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook at www.bls.gov/ooh. Further, you’ll find out a lot more about the 10-year growth trajectory by logging onto the HR page under the “Business and Financial” category here: https://bit.ly/2REMzGZ Click on the “Job Outlook” tab, and you’ll find that the HR profession, in general, is expected to grow 7% per year between 2019 and 2029. In comparison, “business operations” jobs will grow 6%, and all jobs within the economy will grow at 4% over this same time period. Good info!

More significant, though, you’ll find a table on the Job Outlook tab that reads: “Employment Projections Data for Human Resources Specialists, 2019-29.” This is the biggie: Click on the “Get Data” link in the table and you’ll be redirected to a spreadsheet that shows the growth of the HR discipline by industry. You’ll quickly find that the “Employment Percentage Change, 2019-29” shows that certain industries will explode with HR jobs (relative to the 7% average), while others will be destined for particularly hard times.

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For example, HR in the field of scientific and technical consulting will grow by 41%; colleges, universities, and technical schools will experience 17% HR job growth; casinos and hotels, 14%; the motion picture business, 11%; the postal service, -15%, and newspaper publishers, -41%. Phew—now that’s thorough market due diligence that can help you aim your sights for maximum return! Specialty Areas of Interest As the workplace and society get more complicated, HR is likewise rising to the occasion. Specialty areas include artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), mergers and acquisitions HR, and international HR. These more sophisticated and niche roles tend to be found in larger, multi-national companies. However, all the roles mentioned above—the six traditional disciplines plus these relative newcomers into the HR space—have the potential to carry director or VP-level titles and commensurate compensation. In larger companies, SVP (senior vice president) and EVP (executive vice president) HR titles are likewise available. The head of global HR is typically titled the CHRO, or Chief Human Resources Officer.

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For more information on the ins and outs of a career in human resources, visit the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) website at www.shrm.org. There are local SHRM branches throughout all 50 states, and most HR specialty areas have their own professional trade associations as well focusing, for example, on compensation, benefits, training, and recruitment. Professional certifications are likewise available in most HR disciplines.


Hope you found this quick overview helpful. It may be worth exploring whether the diverse, complex, and ever-changing world of “people leadership” is worth considering. No matter what leadership career path you choose, however, you’ll always have an “HR hat” that you’ll need and want to wear from time to time.

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ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR By Vicki Garcia veteransinbiz@gmail.com

Gig Workers in TROUBLE The Feds have been after independent contractors to make them employees for decades. Why? The total freelancing income is almost $1 trillion! California estimates that the state loses about $7 billion a year in payroll taxes due to company misclassification. Squeezing as much in taxes out of freelance workers is tantalizing to lawmakers. Considering many of the people who read this column specifically DO NOT want to be an employees, this should be particularly disconcerting.

If independent contracting as the main job, researchers estimate that the rate of gig work as the worker’s main job was 8.5 percent of the workforce in California in 2016, higher than for the whole US. But 2016 is ancient history now. If you have nothing else to do and want to dig into what we sort of know, go to www.tinyurl.com/y29krwfv or www.gigeconomydata.org. Uber and Lyft have mounted a fierce resistance, of course. Statewide fares are expected to increase by about 25 percent.

Just when we didn’t need any more stress on independent contractors, along comes California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), known as the “gig worker bill,” which went into effect in January this year. It requires companies that hire independent contractors to reclassify them as employees, with a few exceptions. So, like the nursery rhyme … all around the mulberry bush the monkey (that would be California) chased the weasel. The monkey thought it was all in fun… Pop Goes the Weasel What did they expect? AB5 launched a firestorm of protest. Thanks to a California Superior Court, Judge Ethan Schulman ruled that companies must reclassify their contractors as employees in order to give them the same protections and goodies such as workers comp, unemployment, family leave and health insurance as staffers. Looks great on paper Your Honor, but in the real world the consequences should have been predictable. Chaos. Many industries that were eligible lobbied hard for exemptions. California News Publishers worry the potential of AB5 could gut the print news business by reclassifying newspaper carriers. The trucking industry carved out a few amendments making sure “owneroperators” won’t be subject to the ruling. Who knew there were so many app-based workers?

Gig Work Requires New Ways of Measuring Work If the government has its way - bye-bye freedom. Adios flexibility. There goes your side hustle. We don’t have an accurate picture of who are gig workers, and what functions do they fill. So, we don’t know what the impact of stomping this kind of labor out will actually be.

To date, a surplus of studies that have used different definitions and methods to estimate the incidence of freelance workers; the result is a wide range of estimates of how common gig work is nationally.

It’s complicated. And when the state gets involved it’s sure to be draconian. A lot of gig workers don’t want to be employees. They don’t want a boss, with all that implies. The price is too high for their benefits…loss of independence.


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There is a three-pronged test to determine if you’re an employee or an independent contractor. It is now a tougher bar to climb over. It’s too boring and complicated to go into in this column, but you can easily Google it. Things are currently unsettled, but the state is sure to settle this as quickly as possible to prevent the loss of all those tax dollars.

Starting a Business as a Veteran?

News Flash! New Law AB2257 Exempts Many Workers from AB5. But Not Enough. The controversies surrounding AB5 became so intense that, on Sept. 4, 2020, the California legislature passed—and Governor Gavin Newsom signed—Assembly Bill 2257, which went into effect immediately and rewrote a number of the requirements of AB5.4 Exempted from the new rules are still and video photographers and editors, freelance writers, content contributors, editors, translators, fine artists, and musicians. It also removed caps for categories of freelancers that had limited the number of contributions they could make “to an outlet, such as a website,” without having to be reclassified as employees. Left out: workers for gig-economy companies such as Lyft and Uber. Sounds like a mess typically mopped up by…guess who? A gig worker. A detailed blog post from the law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP notes that the “new law broadens the business-to-business exemption of AB5, creates an exemption for individual business people who contract with each other, exempts more referral agencies, increases the number of professional exemptions to AB5 (including special provisions for the music industry, whoo-hoo!), and provides broader enforcement powers for district attorneys.” What? The DA? What does that mean? Uber has made it clear that the company would not comply with AB5, despite not being technically exempt from the ABC test.

The transition from military service to civilian life can be a difficult one, especially when it comes to your career. That’s why a growing number of veterans choose to forge their own path and become entrepreneurs after leaving the Armed Forces. While starting a business comes with numerous challenges, former service members do have one distinct advantage: the veteran community. “The strength and power of veteran entrepreneurs comes from other veteran entrepreneurs” Unlike most highly competitive entrepreneurial environments, veteran entrepreneurs share information much more easily. If you or someone you know is a veteran looking to start a business, please feel free to contact Vicki Garcia. Enlisted To Entrepreneur Column available at www.HomelandMagazine.com

Here comes the cavalry. Maybe. Proposition 22 is a November ballot measure that aims to exempt ridesharing and food-delivery firms from AB5. What about the rest of us? This whole thing sounds like quicksand where common sense goes to die. If people need it, and buyers want it, they will find a way. Stay tuned.

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 30+ -year- old marketing consulting firm. Apply to join Operation Vetrepreneur’s FREE one-on-one mentoring at www.veteransinbiz.com. Join the California Veterans Chamber of Commerce for FREE at www.caveteranschamber.com Email Vicki with column ideas at veteransinbiz@gmail.com

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


Five LinkedIn Tips for Transitioning Military Veterans:

Five LinkedIn Tips By Sam Falcone

For veterans transitioning into the private sector workforce, the task of building an online and social presence can seem daunting. It’s easy to hesitate at the thought of building a digital portfolio through websites such as LinkedIn, but the truth is, those who are not taking full advantage of LinkedIn’s services are missing out on an incredibly powerful tool to advance their careers. As a LinkedIn and digital marketing strategist, I’ve seen outstanding LinkedIn profiles and not-so-memorable ones, but one thing’s for sure: LinkedIn represents your online resume and business card, your professional “best self.” Unlike other social media websites, LinkedIn is strictly business, and it’s the first place that prospective employers look once they’ve received your resume and are considering you for an interview. So, let’s take a few simple steps together to transition into the digital marketing and social media world, highlighting your greatest strengths and putting your experience in the best light. Whether you’re constructing a LinkedIn profile from scratch or dusting the cobwebs off of a previously inactive account, here are five easy steps to help enhance your LinkedIn profile and catch the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers. Step 1: Upload a Professional Photo LinkedIn automatically applies a generic avatar icon to newly established profiles, but profiles without your smiley (but professional) face have far fewer hits. You don’t have to spend money on a professional photographer for a formal headshot—instead, take a snapshot of yourself in professional business attire 26

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Establishing Your Online Presence is Easier Than You Think

(neck up only!) using your smart phone and upload it to your LinkedIn page. This one step alone will catapult the views you get and interest in the content that follows. Oh, and while you’re there, be sure to complete your “Contact Info” with as much information as possible—cell phone and email, primarily—to make it easy for prospective employers to contact you. Step 2: Customize Your LinkedIn URL Once you establish your account, LinkedIn will automatically assign an address (AKA “Universal Resource Locator,” or URL) to you. However, it will look like a scramble of letters and numbers that reflect random computer code. You’ll want to create what’s known as a “vanity URL” so that it closely matches your name and can easily be added to the top of your resume. For example, my vanity URL is linkedin.com/in/ samfalcone1, which makes it easy enough to find me and has a much cleaner and more professional look. (Feel free to send me an invite once you’re logged in to your LinkedIn account!) To learn how to customize your URL quickly and easily, click here: https://bit.ly/2HbgULi. Step 3: Headline Just below your headshot is your LinkedIn headline, where you can use a call-to-action to catch a recruiter’s attention. Try something like this: “Military veteran transitioning into the private sector and looking for full-time employment” or equivalent. You can be more specific, for example, by writing: “Navy commander looking to transition into a private sector position in technical operations or engineering leadership.”

Whatever you decide, make sure you emphasize your goal of transitioning into a private sector career path. Likewise, let recruiters know you’re actively looking for work by following the steps in the attached LinkedIn article titled, “How to Flag Your LinkedIn Profile to Notify Recruiters you are OPEN to new Opportunities,” which you can find here: https://bit.ly/2EgCNHY. Step 4: The About and Experience Sections Think of the “About” section as your 60-second elevator pitch. Who are you and what’s important to you in finding your next employer? What leadership, communication, and technical skills will easily transfer to the private sector? What achievements and accommodations have you received that demonstrate how you stand out as a rarity among your peers? Likewise, in the “Experience” section, display your previous titles, reporting relationships, primary and secondary responsibilities, and the resulting achievements (unless they are classified or restricted, of course). In both sections, be sure to translate your military achievements into their civilian equivalents using a military translator tool like the one found at Military.com (https://bit.ly/3ksXcsO) and similar sites. Step 5: Skills / Endorsements and Recommendations Finally, select the skills that you believe you’re best known for and encourage your peers and contacts to endorse you (and which you should, in turn, do for them). Categories include Industry Knowledge, Tools and Technologies, Interpersonal Skills, Foreign Languages, and others. Likewise, in the Recommendations section, ask others to write about how you’ve solved problems, led effectively, communicated through difficult times, and the like. If possible, ask your prior leaders, managers, and supervisors to endorse you here for the equivalent of an “online letter of recommendation.” Note that once you reach “500+ connections,” LinkedIn stops advertising the number of connections you have. So, whether you have 501 or 50,001, LinkedIn will only show “500+.” Therefore, make it your goal to reach the 500-connection mark over the next year or few years. Along with your personal contacts, your connections could include professionals in your industry or particular discipline, such as Human Resources, Finance, or Marketing, as well as like-minded veterans and connections made at external events. Look to LinkedIn to establish your online presence and serve as your job search calling card. It’s easier than you think, more fun that you might otherwise imagine, and well worth the effort. Sam Falcone is a Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategist in Chicago.

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“Leadership is all about people. It is not about organizations. It is not about plans. It is not about strategies. It is all about peoplemotivating people to get the job done. You have to be peoplecentered.” - Colin Powell

Developed for Success An Examination of Military Leadership Experience and Its Equivalency to Formal Education Requirements for Civilian Leadership Roles By Brianne Houck The need for leadership to obtain success within any organization is undeniable. If an organization lacks leaders, it will most certainly fail at all levels. After all, leadership entails having the ability to motivate and inspire people to work toward accomplishing common goals or objectives. To be able to do this effectively, a leader has to know (as one may venture a guess): people. As Colin Powell has been quoted saying, “Leadership is all about people. It is not about organizations. It is not about plans. It is not about strategies. It is all about people-motivating people to get the job done. You have to be people-centered.” So with that in mind, what qualifies a person to be a leader? If we know that a leader has to be “people-centered”, what is the criteria for indicating that a potential leader is so? Specifically, what are the needed criteria for a Veteran transitioning to a civilian career who may be interested in a leadership role? Many companies continue to increase the prerequisites for what is required to hold a leadership position, particularly with education. While it was possible to advance in the past just through experience, a certain level of education is now required throughout many organizations to even be considered for a novice leadership role. A bachelor’s degree has become almost “standard” as an educational requirement, with some positions even having more preferential (and advanced) qualifications. Yet, does a degree equate to leadership ability? Some college graduates who are placed in leadership roles do not always have the training and/or experience to be adequately prepared to lead. 28

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And while some collegiate institutions are transitioning to place more emphasis on leadership development as part of the curricula; a gap still exists between traditional education and preparation for assuming a leadership role upon degree conferment. Core skills that can be honed with regard to leadership, to include refinement of the people-centered soft skills, require further mentorship and application to lead successfully and overcome viridity in position. With that being said, where does that leave Veterans who have served in the Armed Forces yet do not hold a degree? Unspecific to one particular branch, “Most first-term enlistments require a commitment to four years active…” (Joining the Military: Know What You Are Committing To, 2020). That tenure, in terms of an overall service length, is most likely on the low-conservative side – with the average time of service being much more than that of four years in totality. Within this four-year initial service period, enlisted military service members can very feasibly achieve NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) grade, which propels them into a leadership role within their own ranks. Furthermore, they are arguably some of the most influential leaders within the military; as they are directly responsible for overseeing, developing, and inspiring Junior Enlisted Personnel who are under their tutelage. As NCOs advance in rank, their level of responsibility increases in direct correlation. If they are not successful in leading their subordinates, the direct consequences, in this context, can be calamitous to say the least.

Unquestionably, effective military leaders must know how to build trust and know how to render the highest level of performance – they have to know people. Given, what can be, an inordinate amount of responsibility throughout a progressive military career; is it reasonable to waive a degree prerequisite in lieu of practical, military leadership experience for transitioning Veterans who are interested in assuming civilian leadership roles? I believe that answer is “yes”. This is not to derogate the value of formal education, as education, in any form, is worthwhile and is what helps to drive us (humanity) forward. However, the intent is to draw focus to the invaluable leadership skills that our Veterans bring with them following military service. Every leader, whether military or civilian, will (and should) always have development goals – it’s how we achieve our greatest potential in perpetually pushing ourselves forward. Earning a degree may be a development goal for a transitioning Veteran; yet, companies owe it to our Veterans to really examine and consider the leadership experience they’ve already gained while in service and the mutual benefit that belies them: leaders helping Veteran leaders and incoming leaders who know people and will undoubtedly enhance the organization. Brianne Houck is an entrepreneur, U.S. Army Veteran, and business leader with over ten years of experience in various leadership roles. She earned her MBA from Tiffin University and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Leadership at University of the Cumberlands. In 2019, she began her own coaching and consulting business, with specific focus on leadership growth and development. Brianne is passionate about helping Veterans and also serves as a mentor for Veterans transitioning to civilian careers. Please direct any inquiries for Brianne to the following address: brianne.houck@hotmail.com.

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

Mental Health Awareness Month Confession: It took me a long time to say these words out loud. To get past the façade of fine. I have an appointment today with both my psychiatrist and psychologist. One, to check on medication effectiveness and the other to talk about the thoughts in my head and how to appropriately manage, release, and make peace with them.

As life in a pandemic continues to challenge us and our coping skills, implementing good mental health practices is imperative. Good mental health practices may include: • Acknowledging that you are sad, stressed, scared, confused, or angry and then letting someone else know you are feeling this way.

I sought mental health help for anxiety and depression a few years ago, but when I moved to San Diego that level of care was not enough. I had to add more mental health appointments to my already-full schedule. It was so overwhelming, yet now it’s a weekly thing for me, and I can see the results-less time lying on my couch, less drowning my uncomfortableness in a tub of ice cream, more laughing, better sleeping.

• Slowing down feelings of anxiousness and overwhelm with deep breaths.

And I didn’t do it alone.

• Going to therapy and remembering that therapy is a progression. Each session offers an opportunity to change, heal, and grow.

I hate making phone calls, so I went to a friend’s house and sat at her table with a cup of coffee and made my calls while she held my hand and encouraged me. It is seriously ok to do it scared and with a friend--I did. I write these words not only as a confession, but also as an encouragement to anyone feeling like the pressure of life, especially during a pandemic, is sometimes a little too much. Help is available.


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• Focusing on what you can control, including maintaining self-care routines like eating well, exercising, and resting. • Setting realistic goals. • Spending time in the community.

These practices are part of the reason the first full week of October is designated as M ​ ental Illness Awareness Week. The week is designed to promote education on mental illness, fight the stigma associated with mental illness, and provide support for those who are experiencing the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

I’m not rid of my anxiety and depression. Some days it still lurks in the shadows of my mind waiting for the right trigger to bring it front and center in my thoughts. Similar to a physical injury, these mental illnesses don’t have a one-time fix. For me, the process of healing involves lots of people, appointments, and even a few medications. But what I know to be true is I have an arsenal of tools at my disposal for healing. I see a counselor and a medical doctor for treatment. I journal almost every morning, pouring out my worries onto the paper. I read inspirational texts. I surround myself with community. And I’ve given myself time. There is no quick fix, but with these recovery tools, I am able to fight the stigma, provide support to others, and get back to better. Sources: ​CVN Telehealth​social media campaign (www.cohenveteransnetwork.org/telehealth/) and N ​ ational Institute of Mental Health Website​. (www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml)

Jenny Lynne Stroup serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Veterans Village of San Diego. www.vvsd.net/cohenclinicsandiego The Cohen Clinic at VVSD is one of 16 mental health clinics nationwide under Stamford-based nonprofit Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) which focuses on providing targeted treatments for a variety of mental health challenges facing post-9/11 veterans and military families, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, transition challenges, and more. • The Cohen Clinic at VVSD www.cohenveteransnetwork.org • Targeted Treatments www.cohenveteransnetwork.org/clinics-resources/ebps/

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A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain, LCSW

Mental Fatigue Recently, I had a day when I was literally in back to back zoom/TEAMS meetings from 0730 to after 1800. I had to shut off my camera so I could escape for a moment to use the restroom. We never envisioned a world where we would not be able to meet in person and now everything is virtual. Pre-COVID we could stroll into the office, get off cup of coffee and settle into our day. Now, I rush to my desk to jump on my first zoom of the day…..and I don’t know when I can come up for a break again. I had a great friend give me some advice today. He asked if I did a zoom buffer? No, this is not a joke. What is a zoom buffer? When we had meeting pre-COVID we accounted for commute time into our schedules- to and from offices or off-site locations. It gave many of us that small breather we needed before heading into the next task. Since many of us never leave the space of our computers these days we often forget to give ourselves little breaks. This little reprieve between zoom meetings is now being referred to as a zoom buffer.

Those little breaks are super important to our overall well-being. It is important to take a physical break. You can take a walk or stretch between meetings. A mental break is just as important as the physical break. The lack of breaks or time to decompress can lead to mental fatigue. What is mental fatigue? Mental fatigue is prolonged cognitive activity. Mental fatigue is when the brain is in overdrive and exhausted. Not addressing mental fatigue can lead to decreased productivity, poor job performance and impaired physical functioning. Symptoms of mental fatigue: • Lack of motivation • Feeling of being overwhelmed • Irritability • Stress eating • Mentally/Emotionally drained • Mental block/Brain fog • Long term health concerns- anxiety and/or burnout Ways to help combat mental fatigue:


• Do not start day immediately with meetings if possible • Take a break (schedule zoom buffers) • Practice relaxation techniques • Proper sleep • Self care • Exercise • Step away • Go outside/get fresh air • Change up routine We all have a lot to juggle in this new reality we are living in but remember to be kind to yourself and prevent mental fatigue.

Buffer 32

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Take a break and model for others what healthy breaks and self-care can look like. Stay healthy and safe and enjoy those zoom buffers!!

How to Help

Someone with Suicidal Thoughts Approaching someone who is struggling can be difficult, but it’s worth the discomfort to help save a life.

ASK Ask the person if they think about dying or killing themselves. Don’t hesitate to do this - asking will not put the idea in their head, nor will it make them more likely to attempt suicide.

LISTEN Start a conversation with the person and listen without judging to show you care. Create a safe space for them to share their feelings and vent. DO NOT swear to secrecy.

STAY Don’t leave the person alone. Stay with them or make sure they are in a private, secure place with another caring person until you can get further help.

SECURE If you suspect the person could be a harm to themselves, take them seriously. Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.

CALL Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and follow their guidance. If danger for self-harm seems immediate, call 911.

ndbh.com/suicide Sources: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services; Centers for Disease Control

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans By Amber Robinson

Healing through the Humanities This month we’re taking a break from Veteran Artist Spotlight to spotlight a different topic, the humanities and their relationship to art, creativity and healing. Art in general is included within the humanities sphere, which is the study of humanity and its culture through five different branches; languages, the arts, literature, philosophy, religion and history. The actual occurrence of art is more about the creation process, whereas the humanities approach is more to do academics and analysis. Through studying these disciplines one can find a wealth of inspiration to learn, create and heal. Humanities scholars help to preserve important aspects of our culture from the past, bring these forms to our present and help us imagine a better future. Billiekai Boughton, Army veteran, San Diego Women Veterans Network founder and president and teacher of the humanities has worked with many veterans within this realm, with a focus on literature and writing. According to Boughton, the act of writing can have a profound effect on veterans who may be struggling through various traumas. “Many Veterans are trapped inside of themselves, holding onto their memories and feelings, and therefore trapped in their trauma.” Boughton said. “Writing helps pull these things out, like sucking the venom out of a wound so we can heal.”

The use of writing to face trauma and externalize it as part of healing is common, as well as the study of and creation of visual art. But, how can other aspects of the humanities help us to heal? How could history, for instance, help us understand and connect with ourselves more deeply? The very act of imagining a time and place outside of the present is an exercise in creativity. According to a publication put out by The Higher Education Academy, historical imagination is a key ingredient in being a historian and in learning about history. Therefore, just thinking about and studying history begins to unlock creativity. History also helps us to understand the immense complexity of our world and therefore enables us to cope with the problems and possibilities of the present and future. That sounds like a recipe for healing to me. Once we have our creative juices flowing and an understanding of our personal and collective past, we can better assess our own present and begin to envision a more healed and whole future. But, don’t take myself and Boughton’s word for it. Sign up for a poetry workshop, take a humanities course in history, ancient literature or philosophy. You never know where your next step towards healing will arise, so why not give the humanities a chance?

Boughton has studied, teaches and uses writing herself, especially poetry. She has been in charge of the veterans section of the San Diego Poetry Annual for several years, and has taught poetry at San Diego State University and through veteran poetry workshops. She says the act of writing poetry is especially powerful in how it allows veterans to connect to the parts of themselves that need the most self-expression. “Poetry creates an internal conversation with the parts we try to ignore and repress,” Boughton said. “Poetry gives veterans a medium to reconnect to all parts of ourselves, thereby helping us once again become whole.”


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WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


How Veterans Can Overcome Isolation and Other Mental Health Challenges By Jim Lorraine, President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership The transition from military service to civilian life can be stressful for veterans as they navigate challenges such as finding a new job, moving to a new home, or applying for GI Bill benefits. This process can place a considerable strain on even the toughest of veterans, particularly if they feel alone or isolated in the experience, so it is critical to be aware of mental health best practices, resources, and services that are accessible within your community. Here are a few of the takeaways and tips shared by veterans who spoke at our Seventh Annual Warrior Community Integration Symposium about their own experiences overcoming feelings of isolation and other mental health challenges both during and after their transition out of the military. Build your network Sarah Roberts, a veteran of the U.S. Army who currently serves as Head of Military and Veteran Programs at LinkedIn, shared the benefits of networking with fellow veterans during the transition to civilian life. This can be particularly valuable when starting a new job. When you meet a new co-worker who is also a veteran, they may be more likely to understand the questions you have in settling into your new role. Connecting with fellow veterans is also a great way to learn about resources or programs within the community. As Sarah put it during her panel discussion: “you don’t have to do it alone.” Your fellow service members supported you during active duty, and your fellow veterans are ready to do the same as civilians.

Be open to vulnerable conversations There is a challenge overcoming what can be called the “tiny hearts syndrome” in some warrior communities, where veterans put down their feelings and drive on to accomplish their mission. However, veterans must learn how to be more open and vulnerable about their hopes and concerns. Bottling up emotions for too long can lead to an increased strain that takes a toll on mental health. 38

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Flo Groberg, a veteran of the U.S. Army and Medal of Honor recipient, expressed his thoughts on this challenge and found that long conversations are often the most effective way to change hearts and minds.

Voicing your thoughts and concerns with close friends, family members, support groups, and co-workers – as well as listening to their voices, in return – can help in figuring out the best way to move forward in your transition.

Understand that even the smallest actions matter Social isolation can take a drastic toll on anyone’s mental health, but this can significantly affect veterans who are accustomed to the close camaraderie of military service. Nate Boyer, a U.S. Army veteran, former player in the National Football League (NFL) and co-founder of Merging Vets & Players, discussed how he finds it is often “regular” veterans, rather than “high-profile” veterans in the news, who have the most impact addressing the effects of isolation. This is especially the case during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many quarantined alone without a connection to their community. Many veterans have made it their duty to connect with a fellow veteran every day through a phone call or text message to ensure they are doing well. Even small actions can make a difference, such as a simple one-to-one interaction to help a lonely veteran improve their mental outlook.

A common thread through many of the insights shared during the Symposium was the importance of connections. Whether it’s talking with a fellow veteran to feel less isolated or signing up for a support program to address a challenge, these connections are often the first step towards ensuring a mental health concern does not escalate into a crisis. For veterans unsure of how to form connections of their own, America’s Warrior Partnership offers The Network, a free online platform that connects veterans with local and national service providers. When local resources either do not exist or have been exhausted, organizations can also consult the Network to find vetted, quality national partners. Information about The Network is available at www.americaswarriorpartnership.org/the-network or by calling 1.866.AWPVETS for 24/7 support. This an ideal time to take stock of the resources available within your community and form connections with your fellow veterans to ensure we are all empowered to overcome mental health challenges.

About the Author Jim Lorraine is President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership, a national nonprofit that empowers communities to empower veterans. The organization’s mission starts with connecting community groups with local veterans to understand their unique situations. With this knowledge in mind, America’s Warrior Partnership connects local groups with the appropriate resources to proactively and holistically support veterans at every stage of their lives. www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org @AWPpartnership

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


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

COVID-19 LIABILITY WAIVERS As we are nearing the holiday session, there is no clear date for businesses and activities to fully reopen across the United States and California. More and more attention has been given to what protections businesses have from COVID-19 related lawsuits. Many businesses find it a necessity to reopen during this time of uncertainty in order to simply avoid going out of business, they must do something to pay their rent, insurance, and other financial obligations. With the pressure of reopening, businesses are rightfully concerned that they will be named a defendant by an employee or a customer who contracts COVID-19 and claims that the virus was contracted while working at or visiting the business establishment. Here are five issues California businesses must understand regarding the legislative environment of COVID-19 liability, and the potential to have employees or customers waive liability related to contracting COVID-19.

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“present The longer the virus is and absent any federal

law granting businesses a liability shield, liability waivers may become more common. 1. LEGAL LIABILITY SHIELD ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL A new federal law is being proposed to create a safe harbor for businesses, including colleges and universities, that follow federal or state guidelines for COVID-19 to protect them against lawsuits. This legislation may be included in the next coronavirus economic relief bill and it is proposed that the law be retroactive to December 2019 and terminate in October 2024. 2. CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION CREATING PRESUMPTION THAT EMPLOYEE CONTRACTED COVID-19 AT WORK In direct opposition to proposals on the federal level to protect employers, California has implemented and is looking to continue presumptions that an employee contracted COVID-19 at work if they are infected. Governor Gavin Newsom plans to work with the legislature to expand workplace protections, including guaranteeing COVID-19 related sick leave, easing workers’ compensation claim requirements, enforcing labor laws and ensuring employers are reporting outbreaks. SB 1159 would add coronavirus related illness or death to the list of on the job injuries covered under the state’s workers’ compensation program while removing a requirement that workers prove they contracted the virus on the job. Instead, employers would have to prove that COVID-19 wasn’t contracted in the workplace.

3. LIABILITY WAIVERS In response to a lack of a federal liability shield and California’s potential extension of a presumption that an employee contracted COVID-19 at work, many employers are seeking some type of potential protection and have asked if a liability waiver by employees is a viable option. Private parties may enter into agreements to limit liability for either party’s negligence and these agreements are generally enforceable. In the employment context the waiver’s enforceability may be more limited. For example, the California Labor Code requires employers to indemnify employees for losses caused by the employers’ “want of due care” and prohibits any waiver of this right. 4. LIMITS OF LIABILITY WAIVERS IN CALIFORNIA California law is clear that workers compensation claims cannot be released as a matter of law. Failure to comply with mandatory safety requirements and guidelines could also impact the enforceability of liability waivers. If a company does not follow health and safety guidelines, it could be argued that the actions were grossly negligent actions, which cannot be subject to be released or waived. Generally, California law does not favor waivers and will be strictly construed against the party drafting them. 5. LIABILITY WAIVERS FOR CUSTOMERS Outside of the employment context, liability waivers are likely to be more enforceable, but companies must remember that California law does not favor waivers and a court will scrutinize any contract that seeks to waive liability, and no case law has yet addressed whether some unique aspect of COVID-19 would remove it from the general category of risks for which liability can be waived. The longer the virus is present and absent any federal law granting businesses a liability shield, liability waivers may become more common. You may download a free liability waiver form from www.GoLegalYourself.com For more information on how to legally start and grow your business please visit my website at www.golegalyourself.com

Disclaimer: This information is made available by Bagla Law Firm, APC for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


Who’s watching the children? By Lori Noonan Our nation is doing a better job of highlighting and working to resolve the plethora of issues that afflict service members and veterans. Finally, more awareness and alarms have been raised to the many challenges that military spouses are facing in their personal and professional lives. Surprisingly though, the issues that commonly affect military-connected children, especially those whose parent is a wounded or fallen warrior, do not receive the same level of sirens and service offerings. Living a military life is difficult for the adults, but the children all too often experience side-effects and trauma as a result of their parent’s service, deployments and related wounds. With approximately two million military children having experienced a parental deployment since 2001, the repeated and extended separations along with the increased hazards of deployment have proven to compound stressors in the lives of military children. 42

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The Journal of Behavioral Health and Pediatrics reported that one-third of school-age military children show psychosocial behaviors such as being anxious, worrying often, and crying more frequently. Finding current data relative to military children is difficult as most information is nearly a decade old or older. Camp Corral has worked with 24,000 militaryconnected children where data to help identify common issues and solutions has been collected. Camp Corral is now armed with concrete information to better understand the issues and find new and unique ways to serve the whole veteran family. A common thread throughout the military and veteran community is the need for connections and a solid support system. The same is true for the children. Military kids need the opportunity to find their tribe. Just like their veteran parents, military children are in search of their collective group of people who accept and support them.

This becomes especially important after a family separates from service. Surrounded by the civilian community, military kids may struggle to find peers who understand what it is like to live with a service member especially a wounded one. Community and national services that offer opportunities for children to engage with others who understand the military lifestyle are vital. Programs like Camp Corral, help facilitate those relationships and offer the opportunities to build peersupport systems. One parent shared how important it is for their child to have a group of friends that are not afraid of the wounded parent and do not ask, “what’s wrong with your dad.” Many children of wounded, ill, injured or fallen military heroes often assume a caregiver role in the household. Military kids are a huge help in their home taking on jobs that go beyond typical chores. While their peers may have to clean their room and help with the basics around the house, children who step up as caregivers assume adult responsibilities for a variety of reasons. They help their parent move around the house and accomplish basic tasks, manage younger siblings, accompany their parent to VA and medical appointments, help with medications, and so much more. Children may not be the first group that comes to mind when referring to ‘caregiver,’ but military kids who attend Camp Corral programs identify as caregivers and take this role seriously.

It is said that the whole family serves including the children who are also impacted during and after military service. A collaborative of programs that help military children better integrate into their community, build strong peer support-systems, and empower them to live their best lives possible are essential. About Camp Corral Camp Corral is a national nonprofit that transforms the lives of children of wounded, ill, injured and fallen military heroes by providing camp experiences and other recreational programs. To learn more about how you can help bring awareness to military children and their service, please visit www.campcorral.org

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


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

HEALTH INSURANCE AND DIVORCE Are You Still Covered? If your spouse does remove you, you can seek a remedy in Court. If you are the party covering your spouse on your health insurance plan, you should not remove them from the policy while your divorce is still pending a final judgment, absent a written agreement to do so or Court order. What Happens to Health Insurance Once the Divorce is Final? After your divorce is finalized by the Court, an ex-spouse is no longer a “family member” in the eyes of the law. This means the spouse will not qualify to exist on the other spouse’s health insurance benefits. While going through a divorce it’s natural to think about property division, support, and custody and visitation issues. What you may forget to consider are the ramifications a divorce can have on shared health insurance policies. Losing health insurance can result in the lack of ability to seek medical treatment and an overall decrease your well-being. If you’re battling breast cancer (or any other long-term illness) it’s particularly important to know how your divorce will affect your coverage.

If you were being covered by your spouse, you cannot stay on their health insurance once your divorce has been finalized.

What Happens Once a Divorce Proceeding is Filed?

If you qualify based on income, the Affordable Care Act also specifies that a person who has divorced becomes eligible to buy health insurance coverage on the state exchange even if he or she is outside of the normal enrollment period. Another way to retain your health insurance is to opt for filing for legal separation rather than for dissolution of marriage, although this may not be an option for you depending on your spouse’s position.

There are immediate and automatic temporary restraining orders that can be issued which affect both parties’ abilities to cancel coverage or change the beneficiaries of any insurance policies, including health insurance policies. This means that if you are on your spouses’ health insurance plan, they are precluded from removing you. You have the legal right to remain on the insurance policy while your divorce is pending. 44

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At this point, you will lose your health insurance and will need to obtain your own coverage.You may be able to temporarily retain coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). This can give you enough time to secure your own plan separate from your spouse’s without suffering a gap in insurance.

What About Coverage for Our Children? Health insurance must be obtained for a child by either or both parents if the insurance is available either at no cost or at a reasonable cost to the parent. The automatic temporary restraining orders do prevent a party from removing the children from their health insurance coverage while the divorce is pending. Who Pays for Health Insurance? Once your divorce is finalized, each party is responsible for their own health insurance premiums. Your former spouse will not be required to automatically fund a new medical insurance policy regardless of your employment status unless otherwise negotiated in the settlement agreement.

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What About Medicare? Medicare is available to all at age 65 as long as you or your spouse (or ex-spouse) have contributed via earned income. Your spouse/ex-spouse must be at least 62-years old for you to collect on their Medicare benefits and you would have needed to be married for at least 10-years to be eligible. Health insurance is never straightforward, but if you’re going through a divorce it can get even more complicated. If you’re also battling cancer, the last thing you need to be worried about is whether you’re still covered on your ex-spouse’s insurance plan. Know that the law is on your side, and a good family law attorney can help you navigate the legal system with efficiency. For more information about health insurance 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 / OCTOBER 2020


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

Potential jobs and the job interview Job research goes beyond learning about a vacancy and the location and time of the interview. It also includes learning all the other aspects on how you will appear and how to answer questions from the hiring manager, keep in mind that researching potential job is just the starting point. What do I want? That is the most important question when starting to search for a job. 1. Identify the type of Job you want. 2. Decide if you want a job or a career. 3. Set up boundaries based on what is Important to you. What we suggest is for applicates to create a Simple “Job-Criteria Chart that will include criteria that will make it a good fit for you at all levels! There are a number of examples online on decision making, the most important “take-away” from this is the fact that you should find one to help you in the decision-making process. Not all is about just the pay, there are also other characteristics that you should consider, and the most important one is “Which Position will be most likely to give you the highest satisfaction with the highest quality of life. *Company’s Culture is also another aspect to consider specially if we plan on staying in the organization for a long time. Research before you apply: It is entails to learn as much as possible about the job vacancy and about the company. The purpose of a potential job research is to ensure the role you apply for and the company is the right fit for you. Researching for potential jobs extensively is part of your preparation for a job interview and it plays a huge role in determining how well you fair in the screening process. The extent of your research about your potential job is what will make you stand out as the best candidate for the job.


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Questions during the Interview: You must have heard how important it is to ask hiring manager(s) some questions. That could be true, but before you do, make sure the hiring manager (s) are giving you an indication that they welcome questions. Keep in mind that hiring managers interview many people, so they can clearly see when an applicant is just following some “Book suggestion”. Keep it real and be honest with your answers. Visit the company’s website: The first thing you want to do when researching a potential is to look up the company’s website. The company’s website provides relevant information you need about the organization’s mission statement, their products and services, management style, and most importantly the company’s culture. Note: Over Forty percent of HR professionals have noted that a good cultural fit is the most important quality being considered in a job seeker. This is why it is important for you to learn about the company’s culture. On the company’s website, look out for recurrent keywords. These words will give you an idea of the what the company’s values are. Are they family oriented, do they promote casual dress codes, are they open to entrepreneurship ideas, etc. Search social media In today’s world where most people check their phones many times a day, practically every company has a social media platform. Social media accounts provide pertinent information about the company. This information is easy to obtain. * Pay attention to how the company wants consumers to view them, whether or not the company is responsive and how much they engage with their customers. This approach will help you identify red flags abut the company.

Use LinkedIn LinkedIn is another important platform that makes your potential job research relatively easy. You can obtain useful information by just glancing at the company’s profile. You see your connections at the company if any, job posted, new hires, and so on. Consider reaching out to any of your connections at the company. They may put in a word for you or share perspectives and tips that will improve your chances of performing well during the interview.

• Follow up with a thank you note or email You must have heard that job interviews start before the actual meeting with your interviewers and continues even after the meeting. It is true! *** One of the best ways to stand out after the meeting is to follow up your interviewers with a thank you note/ letter or an email. Second opportunity to stop by and say Hi to the front desk person! It really creates a great impression about you! :-) In Summary:

How to prepare for a job interview As mentioned earlier, an extensive job research is the best way most important way to prepare for a job interview, however, you should take extra steps to help you stand out. Below are some tips that will help you prepare for a job interview.

There is no “Magic” approach to finding the “next best job” but having a plan and knowing what we want will definitely make the job search more focused and more effective.

• Appearance Most people dress up for interviews, but some companies may have particular preferences on how they prefer candidates to be dressed (This is information that could be obtain for a Linked In contact). If you cannot find specific details, go with the tradition of wearing professional attire.

The Veterans Chamber of Commerce Radio Show

As much as you keep your cloths sharp for the occasion, pay equal attention to your hair and nails. Yep, Nails :-) • Stop by, when possible You want to give off a good first impression to your interviewers and best way to do this is by arriving on time. Get directions from your place to the company and take a drive (if possible) some days before the interview. Find an excuse to say hi to the front desk person. Some HR managers, especially in small size companies relay on the impression from the front desk and take that under consideration when making a hiring decision.

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

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


Meet a Silversmith Who Can Make You Some Killer Earrings or Fix Your SeaHawk Helicopter By Thea Fiore-Bloom, PhD Meet Lindsay Zike; a talented silversmith who also happens to be able to fix your helicopter. Zike became a silversmith after working as an Aviation Structural Mechanic (Airframer) on SH-60 Seahawk helicopters for the United States Navy.

“Most civilians (other than artists) assume that if you’re an artist you’re a hippy type,” said Zike. “Most civilians also mistakenly assume service members are war-loving, aggressive, even violent kinds of people.” Veterans Aren’t All “Full Metal Jacket” “I think these beliefs about military personnel are more informed by movies like “Full Metal Jacket” than by actual encounters with people who’ve served,” said Zike. Zike was stationed in Japan for 3 years and spent much of her leave time there breathing in the details of Shinto shrines, appreciating guardian sculptures of lion dogs and observing the majesty of ancient temple trees. “Civilians don’t get to see we’re not all about blood and guts and that people in the military can have unique gifts, unique personalities, and that we can be true creative artists.” Zike suggests both veterans and civilians fight quick, easy stereotypes. For example: “That girl in the foxhole next to you,” said Zike, “might dye and weave fabric during liberty.” “And that guy throwing an intricate porcelain vase in a ceramics studio may have been repairing a broken aircraft in the middle of an ocean this time last year.”


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How Being An Artist Helped Zike as a Veteran Being a creative allowed Zike to more easily put her service in context after she got out and faced a new, awkward reality. “I don’t know too many vets that like to be thanked for their service, or would willingly accept any praise or hero-worship,” said Zike. Any personal hardship you might experience, especially when you know others had it worse or suffered more. “It can be a hard mentality to break afterward,” said Zike. “Having a place to express the things you’re dealing with or indulge a passion is incredibly beneficial to vets on a personal level.” Without some sort of outlet like the arts, Zike believes people develop baggage they carry with them throughout the rest of their lives, “slowly bleeding it out, with always more there.” How Being a Veteran Helped Zike as an Artist In the Navy Zike learned the value of military precision. “Slight contamination of things like hydraulic fluid can not only damage or wear out a helicopter’s parts,” it can down a bird.” Zike transferred that precision to her art practice. “When you electroplate jewelry, if you don’t follow each step precisely you won’t get the end result you want and you won’t know why,” said Zike. Inward Strength & Stability, Courtesy of the Navy “I’m aware that military bravado might border on toxic masculinity at times,” said Zike, “but I think my time in the military gave me a sense of stability and inward strength under pressure that other artists might also benefit from.”

Learning to Listen for The Whole Story By interviewing Zike I got the privilege of being reminded not to make assumptions about any veteran or artist I meet.

As scientist and writer, Issac Asimov instructed: “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.” - Isaac Asimov

“Just by being a veteran

artist, you’re changing the way people are able to view veterans. All art is autobiographical. Take a minute to read someone else’s story.” - Lindsay Zike

This article is by guest contributing author Thea Fiore-Bloom, PhD. Thea is a humor-loving, award-winning journalist, artist and children’s literacy volunteer. Come check out her new blog TheCharmedStudio. Her dream is to help artists like you feel better, write better and sell better--by being yourself. www.thecharmedstudio.com www.zikestudios.com

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


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Supporting Veteran Service Dogs - K9s For Warriors You’re walking through the airport, and you see a little dog (it’s almost always a little dog) with a red vest, and its jumping all over the place and the owner has no control and, seemingly, no interested in trying to assert control over their dog. Yet, they’ve got that magic vest on so no one will challenge whether that out-of-control dog should really be flying. They should. Fake and poorly trained “service dogs” are a growing national problem with a real victim—disabled Americans who truly need their Service Dogs in order to leave their homes and travel on planes like the rest of us. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that U.S. airlines transported over 2 million animals on planes last year. Airline industry trade group Airlines For America reports exponential growth in the number of alleged “service dogs” on planes. The problem became so bad that earlier this year, DOT issued new guidelines removing “emotional support animals” from planes. Nonetheless, the number of people who lie about their pet to get on plane continues unabated. At first glance, it seems harmless. What does it matter if a few people have their pets on a plane? We all love dogs, and a lot of the time its fun to watch them at the airport. Moreover, it’s very expensive to pay for a small dog to travel in cabin (currently $125 each way on Delta Airlines). And, flying a bigger dog as cargo is also expensive, perceived to be dangerous, and often difficult or impossible due to weather and dog health and size requirements. Thus, why not just go online, buy a “service dog” vest and bring your dog on the plane for free? Because, there is a real victim.

Today, tens of thousands of disabled Americans with psychological disabilities like Post-traumatic Stress are finally able to fly with the assistance of their real Service Dogs. For these travelers, getting on plane, being surrounded by people, and having no ability to exit or escape is a nightmare. Yet, if they focus on their dog, pet their dog, they can push through and fly like the rest of us. That already difficult experience is made much more difficult, if not impossible, when there are fake or poorly trained “service dogs” on a plane. Dogs, no matter how well trained, are not robots, and they will respond if another dog lunges, bites, or growls at them. Instead of focusing on their handler, the real Service Dog is focused on the other dog (with no fault to the other dog either). At K9s For Warriors, the nation’s largest provider of Service Dogs for disabled veterans, we specifically train our warriors how to handle the stress of flying and, in particular, how to handle a fake or poorly trained “service dog.” The way federal law governing animals on planes is currently written, it is far too easy to simply lie about your pet and pass it off as a “service dog.” Moreover, the standards for the real Service Dogs are, generally, nonexistent to ignored. Airlines live in constant fear of legal and public relations liability related to challenging what appear to be fake or poorly trained “service dogs.” Thus, the most logical path forward is to put forward criminal penalties for passing off a pet as a Service Dog and to implement real standards for real Service Dogs and even a real Service Dog registry akin to handicap parking placards. Moreover, those knowingly selling these vests online and otherwise, encouraging their customers to break the laws, should be held to account.

Supporting Veteran Service Dogs

Until such changes can be made, please take this into account.

Rory Diamond is the CEO of K9s For Warriors www.k9sforwarriors.org

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


Navy SEAL pays Homage to Native American Ancestors Retracing “Trail of Tears” By Peter Cass As a former Navy SEAL, who has served to protect this great country for over 22 years, I felt it necessary to tell of my Native American lineage. My grandfather, Pete Cass was a World War I veteran and a full-blooded Choctaw Chief. My personal saga began being born into a family with a Choctaw father and Scottish mother. As an adult I learned more about my heritage and the terrible sufferings endured by my tribe. In my midlife I navigated the most northern Trail of Tears route known as the Taylor route. The more I traveled along the Taylor route the more I was cut to the bone with the distance, the cold, and the suffering my tribe endured as I saw the treacherous route through mountains and river crossings with snow and ice. I read the epitaphs, the land markers, cemetery gravestones, statues, and the emotional journals of the young and old Indians who traveled on the “Trail of Tears and Death” Trail of Tears was the name given by a Choctaw leader to describe the horrific and tragic journey forced on approximately 100,000 Native American Indians to migrate marching from as far south as Florida, through Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Arkansas and finally to Oklahoma. Taking place in the 1830s, the Trail of Tears was the forced and brutal relocation of approximately 100,000 indigenous people (belonging to Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole, among other nations) living between Michigan, Louisiana, and Florida to land west of the Mississippi River. Motivated by gold and land, Congress (under President Andrew Jackson) passed the Indian Removal Act by a slim and controversial margin in 1830. During the infamous march the Choctaw nation lost as many as 10,000 Indians, the Cherokee may have lost as many as 8,000 of their tribe, as well as many Chickasaw and Seminole Indians and numerous other tribes succumbing to extreme cold temperatures, disease and starvation. I knew I had to make the intolerable treatment and brutal suffering of all Native American Indians known that has been suppressed for centuries. I don’t speak only of the sufferings we endured on the Trail of Tears, but also before and after that period of time that are shameful, intolerable and unacceptable. 52

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I want to bring to light the plight of all my Native American brothers and sisters. We have the highest unemployment, the highest alcoholism and the highest suicide for both adult and teenage age groups of any minority group. There are even more disturbing statistics that Native Americans more than any other ethnic group fight daily to survive with mental and physical health issues, alcohol related homicide and fetal alcohol syndrome. This must end! I am merely the messenger. But, I do bring hope and want others throughout the world to know, to assist and to help my brothers and sisters to climb out of this tragic hole of despair. Thus, I climb for them!!!

So, with that being said, I will journey to some of the coldest areas of North America. I want to truly feel the suffering of my Choctaw tribe. I want to know and feel personally what they endured in the harsh cold and bitter winters along the forced march and to honor the tens of thousands of Native Americans of all tribes who died needlessly. In the fall of 2018, I climbed Mount Whitney the highest mountain in the lower 48 states, then during the early spring of 2019 I climbed Mount Rainier in preparation for a Denali expedition.

Veteran Resources & Organizations

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

Currently, I am preparing for climbing Denali this upcoming May, one of the most treacherously cold places on earth and successfully summited less than Mount Everest! In 2022 all of this will culminate with a marathon bike ride along the Taylor’s route of the Trail of Tears. I will be riding my bicycle 1,200 miles nonstop from Fort Cass (Charleston) Tennessee to Tahlequah, Oklahoma possibly with other Native American Special Forces from the US Navy SEALS and US Army Green Beret. If you’d like to support, visit Three Arrows Foundation on Facebook.

At Homeland Magazine you can find Veteran organizations and private nonprofits with resources for veterans that can help ease the process of attaining earned benefits, coping with the lasting effects of service-connected injuries and finding programs and services that meet your specific needs.

Homeland Magazine Resources & Organizations available at


Homeland Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans

www.facebook.com/threearrowsfoundation/ www.homelandmagazine.com/veterans-active-military-organizations/

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


Election Season Do’s and Don’ts for DOD Personnel By Katie Lange, DOD NEWS

It’s election season again – that time when federal, state and local political campaigns kick into high gear. Whether you’re extremely involved in politics or you aren’t even registered to vote, the Defense Department has expectations for the way its military service members and civilian employees conduct themselves during this time.

Signage DOD personnel can put their favorite party, cause or candidate’s bumper sticker on their car, but no large political signs, banners or posters can be displayed on their car or home. This includes those who live on a military installation in a privatized housing development. Prohibited Activities Service members and civilian employees are to refrain from partisan political activities. Any political activity they take part in should – as stated above -clearly avoid implying DOD sponsorship, approval or endorsement of a candidate, campaign or cause.

Here are some of the most notable guidelines: Voting Active-duty military and civilian employees are encouraged to take part in their civic duty by voting. In fact, DOD voting assistance is provided through the Federal Voting Assistance Program. Attending Events Service members can attend rallies, debates, conventions, political club meetings and fundraising events – but only as a spectator.Members of the Armed Forces – active-duty, Reserve or retired – cannot wear their uniforms at these events, unless they’re members of the color guard at a national convention. Opinions/Donations DOD employees are also allowed to make personal monetary donations and express their personal opinions on candidates and issues, but service members just can’t do so as a representative of the Armed Forces. Employees can write letters to the editor of a news outlet expressing their personal views -- as long as they’re not part of an organized letter-writing campaign or are soliciting votes for a party, cause or candidate. Most importantly, the letter must make it clear that the views expressed are solely the writer’s and NOT those of the DOD. 54

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Prohibited activities include: • Campaigning for a candidate • Soliciting contributions • Marching in a partisan parade • Writing signed partisan political articles, letters or endorsements in an attempt to solicit votes • Performing any duty for a political committee or candidate during a campaign

Social Media Your actions online can affect your career and the DOD just as much as they can in person. That’s why the department also issues guidelines for active-duty service members, active-duty National Guardsmen and federal employees. DOD employees are allowed to express their own views on issues and candidates, like in a letter to a news outlet. However, if they are identified on their account as active-duty, the post MUST say that the views expressed are their own and not those of the DOD.

When Can Candidates or Officials Visit Military Facilities? Political candidates and other elected or appointed officials may access DOD installations and facilities to conduct official business or various other activities. However, they are NOT allowed to engage in campaign or electionrelated activities, including:

DOD personnel shouldn’t participate in partisan political activities online, either, which includes posting direct links to a political party, candidate, campaign, group or cause. That’s considered the equivalent of distributing literature on behalf of those entities, which is prohibited.

Similarly, service members and civilian employees can “friend,” “follow” or “like” a political party, candidate or cause, but they can’t engage in political activities on those pages. For example, they can’t suggest that others “like,” “friend” or “follow” that page, and they can’t forward an invitation or solicitation from that page to others. Active-duty members are subject to additional restrictions based on Joint Ethics Regulations, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and service-specific rules. Service member who aren’t on active-duty are NOT subject to the above restrictions, but they are required to make it clear that their actions are their own and not endorsed, approved or sponsored by the DOD.

• Town hall meetings • Speeches • Public assemblies • Fundraisers • News conferences • Post-election celebrations or concession addresses This restriction applies to overseas installations and areas under control of U.S. military combat or peacekeeping forces. For more in-depth do’s and don’ts concerning political activities, check out DOD Directive 1344.10. www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Policies/doddirective134410.pdf

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


SHARE FACTS ABOUT COVID-19 Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors. FACT


Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.

Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can cause people to avoid or reject others even though they are not at risk for spreading the virus.



For most people, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low.

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.

There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.



• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. • Stay home when you are sick. • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms:





Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.

For up-to-date information, visit CDC’s coronavirus disease 2019 web page.

• Fever • Cough • Shortness of breath Seek medical advice if you • Develop symptoms AND • Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

CS 315446-A 03/16/2020


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020



Help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

cdc.gov/COVID19 314915-A March 16, 2020 1:02 PM

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020


- Publishing Date – The 1st of each month. - Space Reservation Deadline – Mid Month. - Drop deadlines vary with confirmation and month (Call for monthly details) * Please note themes & additional features are added closer to issue publication date.

INSIDE THE ISSUES * Editorial Content “Every Month” Includes the following: • Monthly Featured Articles Resources, support, inspiration and human interest articles from contributing veteran organizations throughout the country. • Homeland Columns (Award Winning) Transition, financial, legal, health, veteran life, arts, military families, Plus - guest industry & advocate writers & more...

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

GET CONNECTED! 3.5 Million Strong - Nationwide 58

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• Hot Topics - Military personnel & veterans in transition, educational resources & opportunities, civilian jobs, jobs for vets, careers in law enforcement, veteran entrepreneurship, healthcare & more... • HEALTH CARE Fighting PTSD, healthcare, mental health, research studies & more... • Monthly Calendar Information Military & national holidays, Including events (airshow, military/veteran film festivals, fleet Week, city job fairs, EDU seminars,workshops and more... • National community endorsements & advocates, supporting businesses, veteran & military organizations, U.S. service organizations & agencies, educational institutions, transitioning offices, City military & veteran offices, and much more... - (858) 275-4281 - www.HomelandMagazine.com

2020 Editorial Calendar & Themes • JANUARY

Veterans Life 2020 Military, Veterans and Families 2020 Health 2020


Adaptive Sports Transition / Education Military Spouse & Family


Women’s History Month Brain Injury Awareness Month Month of the Military Caregiver


Month of the Military Child Transition - Health - Service


Memorial Day Issue National Military Appreciation Month


PTSD Awareness Month Mental Health Programs - Clinics

Editorial Additions July - Dec 2020 * Starting July 2020 - Added focus on education,

transition & financial security for active military and veterans to combat the challenge of transitioning due to the effects of COVID-19


Summer Issue Purple Heart Day Tribute To Service Dogs Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship - Healthcare


“Never Forget” 9/11 Gold Star Mother’s Day National Suicide Prevention Month Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship - Healthcare


Breast Cancer Awareness Month Transition Assistance Programs Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship - Healthcare

• NOVEMBER - (Premier Issue) VETERANS DAY ISSUE Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship - Healthcare



Independence Day Disabled Veterans

Holiday Issue / BEST of 2020 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Wreaths Across America

Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship - Healthcare

Transitioning to Civilian Life GI Bill - Education - Workshops - Careers Entrepreneurship -Healthcare

Colonel Robert Thacker

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

Download PTSD Coach to:

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


PTSD Coach is not meant to replace professional care.

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