Vol. 1 Number 1 March 2014
Real stories from real heroes; the soldier, the veteran, the wounded, and the families that keep it together
LIFE GOES ON FOR COUPLE AFTER WAR USS Midway Celebrating 10 Years of San Diego Support A Decade of Service: A Lifetime of Commitment
Call of Duty: Veterans in Sports
Roots of Our Journey Community Discounts
HOMELAND / March 2014 1
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Have you heard of “Red Shirt Fridays”? If the Red shirt thing is new to you, read below how it went for a man while traveling to Chicago… Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who’d been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home. No, he responded. Heading out I asked? No. I’m escorting a soldier home. Going to pick him up? No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq, I’m taking him home to his family. The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. ! He told me that, although he didn’t know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier’s family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do. Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom. “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign.” Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American. – So here’s a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do. Continues on page 26
March March 2014 2014 // HOMELAND HOMELAND
Inside This Issue 7
USS Midway – Celebrating 10 Years of San Diego Support
10 Discover San Diego – Coronado 12 Life Goes On For Couple After War 16 Front & Center with Rick Rogers 17 Hug-A-Soldier 18 Spring Activities Blossom In San Diego 20 Roots Of Our Journey 22 How Dogs Can Help Veterans Overcome PTSD
23 Did You Know? 24 A Decade Of Service – A Lifetime Of Commitment 25 When God Created The Military Wife 26 Suggestions for Welcoming Your Soldier Home 28 Call Of Duty – The Top 10 Superstar Military Veterans In Sports 30 Military Discounts Contact Homeland Magazine at: firstname.lastname@example.org 858.877.3421
HOMELAND / /March 2014 5 HOMELAND March 2014 5
HomeLand Publisher Michael J. Miller
Production Editor Liz Standsfield Media Sales Associates Kevin Voss Chris Nielson
Greetings and a warm welcome to our very first issue of HOMELAND Magazine!
Contributing Writers The Wounded Warrior Project Rick Rogers Cheryl Gansner Linda Kreter Graphic Design Brian Teraz Trevor Watson
We couldn’t be more excited to have made it to this point. Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. Homeland Magazine focuses on real stories from real heroes; the soldier, the veteran, the wounded and the families that keep it together. Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with soldiers, families, veterans and civilians. Homeland is about standing your ground, resilience, adaptation, inspiration and solidarity. HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; I believe HOMELAND is where the heart is, and our publication covers a wide variety of topics, and issues about real life and real stories. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. They say San Diego is a military town, I find that San Diego is a HOMELAND town, where military and civilians work and live together. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine. With warmest thanks, Michael J. Miller, Publisher 6
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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. Homeland Magazine 13223 Black Mountain Road, #168 San Diego, CA 92129 858.877.3421 Contact Homeland Magazine at: email@example.com
Serving America for 47 Years Celebrating 10 Years of San Diego Support The USS Midway Museum has built up a full head of steam during its 10th anniversary year during its final “deployment” as a naval aviation museum. In that time, the downtown landmark has become the 13th most popular museum in the nation on tripadvisor.com and the 25th most popular museum in the world. One of the great secrets of Midway’s success has been the support of San Diegans. More than 800 volunteer aboard the museum, donating more than 240,000 hours annually. Their cumulative total now exceeds 1 million hours since Midway opened as a museum on June 7, 2004. Especially popular are the 300 docents who make every visit a personal experience. It took 12 years for a dedicated group of San Diego volunteers to bring Midway back to San Diego following its decommissioning at North Island in 1992. That concluded a 47-year career of service to America, the longest of any Navy carrier of the 20th century. The USS Midway was commissioned one week following World War II and was the flagship of naval air operations in Operation Desert Storm, 46 years later. The museum has set four consecutive annual attendance records and in 2013 topped 1.1 million visitors. Approximately 1 in 7 is from abroad and 1 in 4 is under the age of 17, reflecting the museum’s development into a family destination. The international appeal is particularly strong as the museum’s self-guided audio tour to nearly 70 locations is available in English, Spanish, Japanese, French, German and Mandarin. Museum officials have been considering which languages will be added in the future. Given international travel trends to San Diego, Korean and Portuguese (Brazil) are leading candidates. Museum officials are also proud of a K-8 education program that now hosts 45,000 students annually. Study trips to Midway Continues on next page
Serving San Diego for 10 Years (619) 544-9600
HOMELAND / March 2014 7
Continued from page 7
focus on science, engineering, technology and math (STEM). The program is so popular that the museum twice has doubled its classroom space and is beginning to evaluate a possible third expansion to meet teacher demand.
vice” in concert with NBC San Diego is becoming a San Diego tradition. This year, Booz Allen Hamilton (celebrating its 100th anniversary) has become a key Midway partner, by supporting several events that honor the legacy of service to country.
One of the biggest surprises in the first 10 years has been the number of active-duty military ceremonies that now take place during the day, enabling museum guests to witness “living history.” Almost every day they can see a re-enlistment, retirement, change of command and, sometimes, a memorial services. More than 400 such ceremonies take place a year aboard Midway, far exceeding the founders’ original plan.
A major addition is coming to Midway in December. That’s when the Battle of Midway Experience is slated to open, featuring a 90-seat theater on the hangar deck. A 14-minute, multimedia, holographic film, “Voices at Midway,” has been produced.
And in addition, the museum also hosts 300 private events in the evenings each year, ranging from 100 to 3,500 guests. Midway is so popular as an event venue that event reservations are limited to three years in advance. Attending a flight deck event 1,000 feet out into San Diego Bay typically is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most event attendees.
The film will blend life-sized holographs, World War II archival footage, and reenactments filmed aboard the World War II-era USS Midway. They carry will theater-goers back in time, to a day when the outcome of the Pacific war was in doubt. To a time when the American Navy was badly outgunned and the West Coast could become threatened. To a point in our nation’s history where a remarkably intense, six-minute battle could change the course of history.
Midway has a number of events planned during its celebration year that will be of interest to both civilians and the military. Legacy Week is focuses over Memorial Day Weekend and features a concert, wreath remembrance ceremony, and opportunities to meet pilots who flew each of the 26 aircraft, dating back to World War II.
American and Japanese aviators will share their innermost hopes and fears. Commanding officers on both sides will grapple with the imminent battle’s significance. And otherwise anonymous young sailors below deck will shake free of their homesickness and uncertainty as they report for duty with battle only hours away.
Watching July 4 fireworks from the flight deck is always a great family experience and the Veterans Day “Salute to Ser-
For more information about the USS Midway Museum, visit www.midway.org.
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VA Home Loans for Veterans by a Veteran As a homeowner myself using my VA loan and as a multiple home investor, I understand purchasing a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases someone will make in their lifetime. Being a 10-year active duty Veteran as an Airborne Paratrooper, I know what it means to sacrifice your time away from civilian life and the abuse your body takes in the military. That’s why I’ve made it my mission as a Loan Officer to reach out to other Veterans to assist with their Home Purchases. From pre-qualification to closing, I will be there to ensure that the loan process for your home goes as smoothly as possible. You will find that I strive to keep in contact with my clients throughout the entire process and to be easily accessible. In addition to VA home loans, I also specialize in FHA and Conventional home loans. BRE# 01147747 NMLS# 9873 Top Producer 2008 through 2013
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Special thanks to www.sandiego.org
DISCOVER san diego
This months featured spotlight – Coronado
Where Main Street Meets Bare Feet Voted the #1 beach in the United States for 2012 by Dr. Beach, the leading beach expert, Coronado offers pristine sand, gentle surf and a charming community with a small-town feel. Situated just across the Big Bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado is most notably known for two famous structures, the historic Hotel del Coronado and the distinctive San Diego-Coronado Bridge. But beyond these architectural marvels, the quaint island community of Coronado offers visitors an experience that is a world apart. Coronado’s coastline offers gentle surf and sparkling sand beaches (courtesy of the mineral Mica) that draw in visitors from around the world. Add to this a charming small-town quaintness, with elegant gardens, old-world mansions, unique shopping experiences, and dining options with spectacular ocean views, no wonder it’s been dubbed as “The Crown City” (Coronado is Spanish for “the crowned one”). Spend the day relaxing on the beach or rent a bike and tour the Island via Coronado’s beach front boardwalk. Take a stroll down Orange Avenue, Coronado’s main street, which is lined with shops, restaurants, galleries, theaters and the Coronado Historical Museum. At the other end of the island, Coronado’s Ferry Landing offers a collection of over 20 shops, art galleries and restaurants boasting stunning views of San Diego’s downtown skyline. Flagship Cruises also offers low cost Ferry service from the landing across the bay to Seaport Village on the edge of downtown. And no trip to Coronado would be complete without a visit to the Hotel del Coronado. Built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark, the hotel has a fascinating and colorful past which includes royalty, politicians, scandals, ghosts and celebrities. It’s also widely believed to have been the inspiration for the Emerald City in L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz.
What to Love • Coronado’s famous beaches are known for their fine white sand that sparkles in the sun thanks to the mineral mica. • In 2011, Parents Magazine named Coronado Beach the #4 Best Beach in the U.S. for Families. • A Golf Digest writer called Coronado’s Public Golf Course “a gem I consider the best value in the United States” • The popular Coronado Flower Show has been held annually since 1925! • When viewed from the air, the sand dunes along Coronado Beach spell Coronado • A stroll through the historic Hotel del Coronado, a truly enchanting experience.
What To Know • Traffic on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge can get a little congested during morning/late afternoon rush hours and weekends, but there is no longer a toll for the bridge. • A 15-minute ferry or water taxi ride is avialable from Downtown San Diego - a great alternative to driving. • The speed limit is 25 mph on the island to ensure safety with cyclists who also share the roads. • Friendly beach lifeguards are on duty daily from 9:00 am to dusk year-round. • Smoking is banned on all of Coronado’s beaches and parks. 10
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LIFE GOES ON FOR COUPLE AFTER WAR
Wife of a wounded soldier 12 12
March March 2014 2014 // HOMELAND HOMELAND
By Cheryl Gansner
n July 28th, 2006 my husband, Bryan, was six weeks from coming home from Iraq when an Improved Explosive Device (IED) blew him up. This was his second deployment and he was stopped loosed before he deployed. I got the call from his unit around 3 AM. It just so happened that my mom was in town when I call the call and it was a blessing in disguise that she was there to support me until he got back to the states. I was dreaming and preparing for his homecoming, instead I had to pack my bags and head to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC. The first time I got to see him after he was injured was one of the most emotional times of my life. He was bruised and broken and didn’t look like the man I had married. I nearly passed out when I saw the wound vacuums
attached to his legs and after the first views of his legs under the casts. We spent 20 long months at Walter Reed working towards recovery from his wounds. Our first year of marriage was mostly spent with him in Iraq. We married just 4 months before he deployed in Hawaii. Our second and third year of marriage was spent with him going through surgeries, physical therapy and counseling. He sustained shattered heels, a broken wrist, a shattered right ankle; his entire right leg was ripped open by shrapnel, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. He has had sixteen surgeries (that we know of) to date. He nearly bled out on the battlefield, but thanks to modern battlefield medicine and some amazing soldiers, his life was spared. We were the lucky ones. Life was not easy for the first three years after his injury. He was trying to navigate
life with limited mobility and he was angry at just about everything. He had nightmares, flashbacks, uncontrollable pain and grief over the life he once had. We were going through hundreds of medical appointments for his medical retirement from the Army and for his rating with the VA. The VA tried to reduce his disability rating a year after he received it and it was one battle after another. There were times that he wanted to quit everything. He wanted a divorce, he wanted to sell the house, quit his job and move in his parent’s basement and cease to function in everyday life. He didn’t want a family even though we were going to start one right after he got home from deployment. He stopped all his medication without consultation of his
(HBOT) for treatment of TBI and PTSD. A friend’s husband had great results and it wasn’t another pill or another counseling session. He would lie in an oxygen chamber for an hour twice a day for a total of 40 treatments. I told Bryan about it and he felt it was worth a shot. He had nothing to lose at this point. He completed the phone interview and they felt he was good candidate for treatment. He left a few weeks later. The changes in his brain scans and his behavior quickly showed that it was working. He came home and got on much lower doses of medication and has been doing well since then. It was recommended that he complete 40 more treatments so I worked with Tricare to get it approved. Unfortunately they said the treatment was covered but shortly after he was slapped with a hefty bill. It was another fight in the every flowing stream of red tape but the bill was reduced to a more manageable amount. About a year after HBOT he was ready to start a family. My heart was overjoyed but of course our path to starting a family wasn’t easy. It felt like nothing was going to be easy anymore. We went through two years of infertility before we got our miracle baby, Emery, that was born in October of last year.
medial care team and he was on a downhill slide to hopelessness. I was too stubborn to give up on him even though at times I really wanted to. It was hard to see him suffer, it was hard to be ignored, and it was hard to see the torment that war caused on his body and soul. He hit his rock bottom about three years post injury. It was a scary time for the both of us. I saw the life slipping from his eyes and he was giving up quickly. Finally, I had heard about a clinical trial that was being conducted in New Orleans for traumatic brain injury and PTSD. They wanted to use hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Throughout the seven years since he was injured I relied on the support of other caregivers that I had “met” online through Operation Homefront’s Hearts of Valor Program. Through the program I was able to relate with other caregivers that knew exactly what I was going through. I didn’t feel like I was losing my mind with all the challenges I was dealt. I was eventually offered a job with Hearts of Valor and having been serving an amazing group of caregivers since August of 2010. Bryan has been working with a government contractor since 2008. He works on bomb Continues on next page HOMELAND 2014 13 HOMELAND/ / March March 2014 13
LIFE GOES ON FOR COUPLE AFTER WAR
Continued from page 13 robots that help denote IEDs. He still gets to participate in the war on terror but in an abstract way. Bryan is also a trained peer mentor with the Wounded Warrior Project and is trained to be an adaptive ski instructor. Life after war isn’t easy, even if you haven’t been wounded. It takes a lot of adjustment and resiliency to overcome the trauma of war. When you are wounded or have invisible injures it makes it even more challenging. With the right support network you can learn to accept your new normal and move forward the best you can. Ask for support, don’t try to do it alone. Hearts of Valor serves caregivers of wounded, ill or injured service members post 9/11. They offer care packages to new members, all-expense paid retreats, monthly newsletters, private online forums where caregivers can chat and in-person peer-lead support groups. To sign up go to www.heartsofvalor.org Cheryl also has written a blog since Bryan was injured on his journey to recovery. You can find it at www.wifeofawoundedsoldier.com 14 14
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WELCOME HOME THE
Put their warrior experience to work for your company. Contact us at: findwwp.org
ÂŠ2013 Wounded Warrior Project, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
HOMELAND / March 2014 15
Military and Vet Stories You’ll See In
FRONT & CENTER
Hindsight is 20/20. Predicting the top stories for the coming year is more challenging, but here are the issues you’ll be reading more about in the coming year. If there is a theme here it’s that after more than a decade of fighting overseas, the country takes a closer look at domestic security than last year and what as a nation Americans are willing to give up in the privacy sphere in the name of internal security. Rick Rogers Media
the decade. In case you were wondering, Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Virginia and Texas will host the research drone sites.
So, here in order are my top military and veteran stories for 2. The Military Asian Pivot. For the better part of a decade the U.S. 2014. military has quietly turned its gaze toward Asia. It’s here -- and not 1. The Rise of the Drones. Though
it sounds like a spin-off from the Terminator movie franchise, “The Rise of the Drones” – intertwined with the national debate over domestic security at the price of personal freedoms -- will be the most important story of 2014. The Federal Aviation Administration recently named six sites nationwide to test how drones can safely ply the skies with manned aircraft. The goal is to have a working solution in place by the end of 2015. An estimated 30,000 drones are expected to take wing in U.S. air space by end of
Europe or the Middle East -- that the future will be won. Had Iraq and Afghanistan not intervened, the Asian Pivot would be much further along. But it is happening now. American troops, planes and ships are being aligned and alliances cemented to combat escalating territorial claims by China. Expect this trend to double-time this year.
3. Afghanistan slides to chaos and becomes the latest Forgotten War. The U.S. mission in Afghanistan is doomed for many of the same
reasons Iraq is failing. It’s an unfortunate truth that good intentions rarely produce good foreign policy, and an invader can’t want something more than the indigenous population. The Afghanistan government is corrupt, and its people tribal in their allegiances at the expense of anything approaching national unity. Afghanistan is also doomed because the countries surrounding it – namely Pakistan, China and Iran – don’t see a U.S. proxy state in their midst as in their best interests. At the same time it appears the United States will need to keep troops there for years and years to prop up a distasteful government. Agree or disagree, give me a write and tell me what you think.
4. Department of Veterans Now that the Department of Veterans
Affairs is finally shrinking the backlog of disability claims cases, the focus will shift to accountability on the medical front. Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, will continue to press the VA to improve medical care. Not coincidentally, this comes on the heels of several media reports on climbing malpractice awards against the VA and a spate of embarrassing and sometimes fatal cases at VA hospitals nationwide. Expect the VA’s hiring procedures to get congressional attention and not the good kind.
5. Iraq fails. This nation was cobbled together by the British after
World War I from three regions dominated by the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites who, to put it mildly, don’t get along. The year will see Iraq’s central governance hobbled to mere ceremonial status as the country splits along ethnic lines. While most Americans could care less about Iraq’s troubles, the prospect is frightening for U.S. interests because it will strengthen Iran’s hand in the region and further complicate what is already a dog’s breakfast of bitter ethnic rivalries. The de facto breakup also calls into question what the Iraq War, which killed about 4,500 American troops, wounded tens of thousands more and cost, by some estimates, $6 trillion, really accomplished.
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S G HU
HUG-A-SOLDIER – SEND US YOUR PICS! We’d love you to send us your favorite personal Hug-A-Soldier moment. Just send us your photos with a caption/name and a line or two and we will feel honored to publish them in the next issue of Homeland magazine. Write “My Photo” in the email subject heading to increase your chances of selection. Each photo you submit will need a caption. Make sure you are the copyright owner of the photo(s), and/or have permission from anyone you have photographed before sending us your pictures. In contributing to Homeland magazine “Hug-A-Soldier,” you agree to grant us a royaltyfree, non-exclusive license to publish and otherwise use the material in our Hug-A-Soldier page. It’s for fun, capture your favorite moment and let San Diego smile with you. We cannot guarantee that all your photos will be used but we will do our very best. And remember a picture is worth a thousand words. Send photo to email@example.com Subject heading: My Photo “Hug-A-Soldier
HOMELAND HOMELAND/ / March March2014 2014 17 17
Special thanks to www.sandiego.org
Spring Activities Blossom in San Diego Springtime in San Diego makes a colorful entrance every year as warm weather sweeps through the County and brilliant flowers bloom. There are also spring celebrations at the region’s major attractions, popular sporting events, cultural festivals and St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo festivities to keep visitors entertained throughout the season. FLORAL CELEBRATIONS
Hotline” at 760-767-4684 before planning a tour of the desert flora.
A spectacular display occurs annually between February and April in the 600,000-acre AnzaBorrego Desert State Park in San Diego’s East County as colorful wildflowers bejewel the sun-scorched desert landscape. Since the phenomenon depends upon the timing and quantity of winter rains, the blossoms are at their peak for just two weeks. Guests are advised to call the Park’s 24-hour “Wildflower
At the Flower Fields of Carlsbad, California, a vibrant sea of giant ranunculus flowers transforms 50 acres of hills into rows of brilliant color. During March through May, guests can stroll past oceans of flowers and through beautiful gardens, including a miniature rose garden, fragrant sweet pea maze, a garden featuring more than 50 All American Rose
Selection winners and a spectacular display of red, white and blue flowers planted in the shape of a giant American flag. Balboa Park’s Offshoot Tours provides free, one-hour tours that highlight the park’s lush botanical offerings; the tours begin at 10 a.m. on Saturdays in front of the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Must-sees are the beautiful Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, displaying approximately 2,500 roses of nearly 200 varieties, and the award-winning Alcazar Garden, with a floral design patterned after the gardens of Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain. On April 21–22, the City of Coronado presents the 87th Annual Coronado Flower Show in Spreckels Park. Flower exhibits are displayed under tents surrounding a central gazebo, creating one of the largest flower shows on the U.S. West Coast. Guests also enjoy flower sales, live entertainment, food and an awards ceremony.
SPRINGTIME ATTRACTIONS Guests can celebrate spring with Shamu and friends during Spring into Night at SeaWorld San Diego. During weekends in spring, exact dates TBA, visitors can laugh with sea lions Clyde and Seamore at the Sea Lions Tonite! nighttime show and be amazed at the visually 18
March 2014 / HOMELAND
stunning evening performance of Shamu Rocks before looking to the sky for a fantastic fireworks show. The park also stays open until 9 p.m. on select weekends. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park presents Butterfly Jungle, March 24–April 15. During this four-week celebration, guests can walk through the Park’s Hidden Jungle, an African aviary, and surround themselves with
thousands of butterflies of every shape, size and color. A variety of butterfly species flutter freely throughout the Hidden Jungle along with more than 100 birds, creating a realistic rainforest environment.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVITIES Lads and lassies celebrate all things Irish at the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, held March 17 at the corner of 6th Avenue and Juniper Street near Balboa Park. The day includes a 10:30 a.m. parade, an allday Irish festival featuring food, beer gardens, musical entertainment and more. With 30,000 sq. ft. of Astroturf, downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter turns into the rolling hills of Ireland from noon to midnight on March 17 at ShamROCK 2012. This St. Patrick’s Day party includes Irish rock bands and pints of green beer; guests must be 21 years or older to attend the ticketed event.
CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATIONS On May 5–6, the 29th Annual Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo is held in Old Town State Historic Park along the area’s main thoroughfare, San Diego Avenue. The free festival features Mexican dancers, musicians,
food and historical reenactments. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the Bazaar del Mundo Shops and Casa Guadalajara Mexican restaurant in Old Town showcase authentic Mexican food, folklore and fun, May 5–6. Festivities include mariachi and folkloric dance performances, craft displays and demonstrations, a margarita garden serving “Cincoritas” (a margarita in the colors of the Mexican flag), nonalcoholic fruit concoctions and a carne asada BBQ. The Third Avenue Village’s Cinco de Mayo & Quinceanera Extravaganza in downtown Chula Vista, in San Diego’s South Bay, includes over 200 vendors, live entertainment, authentic Mexican food and beverages, arts and crafts, a kid’s zone, rides, fashion shows and salsa dancing contests. The festival takes place at 11:00 a.m. on May 8.
FESTIVALS, FAIRS AND EVENTS Celebrating films and videos about the Latino experience, the 19th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival presents over 140 movie screenings, March 8 – 18. Audiences enjoy short and feature-length films, workshops, meet and greets with cast members and more at the UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center in Mission Valley. Seaport Village comes alive with a celebration of street performers during the Spring Busker Festival, March 24–25. In a battle of entertainment, extraordinary, one-ofa-kind performers including jugglers, sword swallowers, comedic stuntmen and Didgeridoo players take to Seaport Village’s cobblestone streets for a weekend of outdoor family amusement. The La Jolla Concours d’Elegance (formerly La Jolla Motor Car Classic), sponsored by the La Jolla Historical Society, takes place April 1 in Scripps Park near La Jolla Cove and draws droves of classic car enthusiasts.
energy vehicles, pet adoption services and more. Art takes over the streets of downtown San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood during the Mission Federal ArtWalk, April 28–29. The free event showcases fine art in many mediums alongside live musical performances, food and beverage booths and activities for kids and families.
SPORTING EVENTS During the California Half-Ironman Triathlon on March 31, athletes swim 1.2 miles in Oceanside Harbor, bike 56 miles through scenic Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base and run 13.1 miles along San Diego’s North County coast. The competition starts and finishes at the Oceanside Pier. Collegiate, junior and master rowers from the United States compete in over 100 races during the39th Annual San Diego Crew Classic, held March 31–April 1 along Crown Point on Mission Bay. Spectators can cheer on participants from the shoreline and enjoy concession stands, a beer garden, sponsor booths and a jumbotron screen showcasing the races. Giddy up! On April 20–22, the Annual Lakeside Rodeo & Parade features major rodeo events, arts and craft and food at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds in San Diego’s East County.
The city of Fallbrook in San Diego’s North County celebrates its designation as “the avocado capital of the world” during the Annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival on April 15. Highlights include arts and crafts, games and creative foods featuring the delicious, green fruit. On April 22, EarthFair in Balboa Park celebrates a range of eco-friendly practices and environmental causes. Offerings include earth-friendly and organic foods, wildlife preservation education, displays of alternative HOMELAND / March 2014 19
Roots of Our
Life happens while we are busy planning our lives. Wouldn’t it be a joy to actually live your life than to simply survive it?
By: Linda B. Kreter WiseHealth, Inc.
ife happens while we are busy planning our lives. Wouldn’t it be a joy to actually live your life than to simply survive it? Some of the most amazing things happen when that nicely plotted life plan changes. We are a resilient nation indeed! Across the country, we now anticipate Spring. Yet, the precise timing of Spring’s arrival is not something we can predict with certainty. In fact, most of life is uncertain, and yet, if we create a firm foundation, we are more likely to be open to change, to adapting, and to embracing our circumstances.
Consider the foundation of the oak tree; sturdy, deeply rooted, providing shade in the summer, shelter in the winter, a haven for bird’s nests, perhaps a rope swing, and acorns to perpetuate the growth cycle. Aren’t we a lot like the oak tree? The Winter period of dormancy is nearly ready to burst forth with fresh, tender green shoots and to create another growth ring in the trunk of the tree. Growth rings happen for people too. Some of us grow our roots deeply into the ground and expand that root base in the same location for decades. Others, like our amazing military families may by necessity learn to thrust their roots into the ground many times during a lifetime. Military families skillfully learn to keep their root system strong and renewable –
March 2014 / HOMELAND
as the entire family serves and sacrifices. We are indebted to them for their extraordinary strength and resilience. America’s innate hope and optimism supports our ability to “thrive where we’re planted”, just as a tree adapts to climate and weather conditions. Some of us will adapt this Spring to very changed and sometimes difficult circumstances, but as a people we are exceptional. We have myriad, varied, and effective root systems that continue to send out new shoots and roots. Fascinating and beautiful driftwood is often the tumbled root section of a tree. Have you ever seen the root of a great tree that at one time ran into an obstacle and was forced to change direction to stay alive? It’s not predictable or “regular”.
That tree, like you, is determined to keep growing. Consider tree roots that grow around an underground pipe, press up through the concrete, or burrow out of the side of a mountain. They kept growing, just as we do. We contend that some of the most interesting among us are those that had or will have a challenged root system. Think about the mighty oak and yourself in a new light in the coming months. Study a stunning piece of driftwood art on the shore, a driftwood piece like you – resolute to reach the shore, possibly gnarly but tenacious, with some knotholes and scars earned along the journey. Respect and admire the integral reliability shown by adapting and continuing to grow. Life will definitely happen as we dutifully plan our days, but perhaps we can apply more imagination to supporting others and ourselves as we mark and live each day. Change is inevitable, and our journeys worthy. Set aside the busyness. What have you learned, how did you adapt, and what will your tree look like this Spring? We wish you joyous and fruitful days ahead!
Ask The Plastic Surgeon William J Seare MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
lastic Surgery is a long sought after art form in this day in age. Homeland Magazine has invited me to write a monthly column that covers some of the amazing things that Board Certified Plastic Surgeons can accomplish, as well as covering topics that you, the reader, would like to learn more about! My name is Dr. William Seare, and I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon practicing in North San Diego County, Carlsbad. I mainly focus now on aesthetic surgery but have been trained in all fields of plastic surgery as well. As this column progresses, I want it to become something that you take part in. What interests you? What questions do you have about plastic surgery, liposuction, awake anesthesia, etc? Please feel free to direct your inquiries to cliniquesculpture@ gmail.com, and I will review them, and incorporate them into this column. It is very important to me to be directly accessible to all of my patients, in order to help them answer any questions! In addition to the feedback regarding future articles, I am having a contest based on my ad on the back cover of this magazine, which features an acrylic painting by Fine Artist Scotty Ziegler. My challenge for you, is to interpret what you think this painting represents to me, and what story I am telling by using it. Direct all your interpretations to my “liposculpture” Facebook page, and I will announce the winner in the next article! The winner of this contest will be receive $300 towards any service I offer, including Botox, Restaline, or two hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments! In future articles, I would like to focus on the different areas of plastic surgery, and help inform you as readers, and as potential clients! To start, I want you as readers to know a little about me. In order to become a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I attended over 26 years of continuous formal education; and have committed my life to bringing the safest, most reliable, and up to date practices to the operating table. Finding the surgeon that is right for you, will often start with finding one that is Board Certified. Surprisingly, a “Cosmetic Surgeon” is not required to be Board Certified, and is able to learn on the job. This is a much riskier route to go, when putting your body on the line! Because of my life’s commitment to my Plastic Surgery Board Certification, I guarantee that you will receive the highest quality service, as well as giving you the best value, and the greatest change, for every dollar you spend. With over 15,000 satisfied customers, I know that I can sculpt your body into the best version of you! Michelangelo saw the angel in the marble, and carved until he set it free; I see the best version of each person, and I sculpt until I have set them free.
HOMELAND / March 2014 21
How Dogs Can Help Veterans Overcome PTSD New research finds that “man’s best friend” could be lifesavers for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Robert Soliz, a 31-year-old former Army Specialist, participates in Paws for Purple Hearts, one of four experimental programs nationwide that pair veterans afflicted by PTSD with Labrador and golden retrievers.
oing to the movies was the worst: the crowds, the dark, benefits are less predictable. The animals draw out even the most isolated personality, and having to praise the animals helps traumatized the whispering. “I would constantly be scanning for who was going veterans overcome emotional numbness. Teaching the dogs service to come stab me from behind,” says Robert Soliz, a commands develops a patient’s ability to communicate, to be assertive 31-year-old former Army Specialist from San Joaquin, but not aggressive, a distinction some struggle with. The dogs can California. He was discharged in 2005 after serving in a heavy artillery also assuage the hyper vigilance common in vets with PTSD. Some quick-reaction force in South Baghdad. But fear, anxiety, depression participants report they finally got some sleep knowing that a naturally alert soul was standing watch. and substance abuse swept into his life, and Soliz Researchers are accumulating evidence that became one of 300,000 U.S. veterans of the wars Researchers are bonding with dogs has biological effects, such in Iraq and Afghanistan with a diagnosis of postaccumulating evidence as elevated levels of the hormone oxytocin. traumatic stress disorder. “Oxytocin improves trust, the ability to interpret Isolated, his family deteriorating—“I couldn’t that bonding with dogs facial expressions, the overcoming of paranoia show affection, couldn’t hug my kids”—Soliz has biological effects, and other pro-social effects—the opposite of turned to the Palo Alto V.A. Medical Center. One PTSD symptoms,” says Meg Daley Olmert of recent morning, he talked about his progress. such as elevated levels Hanging from his belt was a container of doggie of the hormone oxytocin. Baltimore, who works for a program called Warrior Canine Connection. treats, a link to the treatment he credits with “Oxytocin improves trust, About 300 vets have participated in these saving his life. Soliz participates in Paws for programs, and some graduates who Yount Purple Hearts, one of four experimental programs the ability to interpret worried “wouldn’t make it” report impressive nationwide that pair veterans afflicted by PTSD facial expressions, the strides. Congress has commissioned a study, with Labrador and golden retrievers. Launched in 2008 by a social worker named Rick Yount, the overcoming of paranoia and underway in Florida, to assess the effectiveness program arranges for a veteran to spend six weeks other pro-social effects— of canine-caretaking on PTSD. with a dog, training it to be a mobility-assistance Soliz says his life is slowly coming back the opposite of PTSD animal for a physically disabled veteran. to him. He now can go to the movies without It’s no surprise that a doe-eyed creature like panicking—and hug and kiss his two kids. symptoms the one at Soliz’s feet can soothe, but other
March 2014 / HOMELAND
DID YOU 2014 KNOW? Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Did you know there is no sound in space. Did you know Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise. Did you know all the planets in our solar system could fit inside Jupiter. Did you know if your DNA were stretched out it would reach to the moon 6,000 times.
Did you know a giraffe can clean its ears with its 21 inch tongue. Did you know birds need gravity to swallow. Did you know the longest recorded flight of a chicken was 13 seconds.
Did you know in every episode of Seinfeld there is a reference to Superman. Did you know Seinfeld was originally called ‘The Seinfeld Chronicles’. Did you know M*A*S*H stood for ‘Mobile Army Surgical Hospital’. Did you know MTV (Music Television) made its debut at 12:01 a.m. August 1st 1981 (the first music video shown ‘Video killed the radio star’ by the Buggles).
Did you know all of the clocks in the movie ‘Pulp Fiction’ are fixed to 4:20. Did you know the movie ‘Wayne’s World’ was filmed in two weeks. Did you know the film ‘Mary Poppins’ was filmed entirely indoors.
Did you know the 1st full length animated film was released by Disney Studios in 1937 (it was Snow White and the seven dwarfs).
Did you know Isaac Newton invented the cat door. Did you know Bob Marley’s father was a white English-Jamaican marine. Did you know that Dr. Ruth is a trained sniper. Did you know that Elvis Presley was a natural blonde. Did you know that Steve Jobs became a vegan because he believed the diet would eliminate the need to bathe.
Did you know a dentist invented the electric chair. Did you know Bagpipes were invented in Persia, not Scotland. Did you know Leonardo Da Vinci invented scissors. Did you know the word “hello” was invented because no one knew how to start a telephone call.
Did you know that Mirjam Jaeger, a Switzerland freestyle skier lives in San Diego and competed in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics?
Did you know no one knows where Mozart is buried. Did you know termites eat wood twice as fast when listening to heavy metal music. Did you know the name of the only member of ZZ Top without a beard is Frank Beard.
Did you know the first pop video was Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, released in 1975. HOMELAND / March 2014 23
A Lifetime of Commitment
A Decade of Service. 24 24
olleen Saffron never set out to be a fighter. It was her husband, Staff Sgt. Terry Saffron, who was the soldier planning to serve his country for more than 20 years. All of that changed after an IED explosion in Iraq left her husband severely wounded in 2004. Colleen learned to fight—and to be loud. In addition to being Terry’s loving wife and mother to their three children, Colleen learned to fight for the ongoing care Terry needed, as well as the training and support she needed to serve as his caregiver. Some days she wonders who will be there 10 or 20 years from now when Terry needs more care, and she can’t physically provide it. She wonders if anyone really knows what it will cost to provide the long-term care a generation of wounded veterans will need after surviving devastating injuries with many decades of living ahead of them. As the voice for this generation’s wounded veterans and their families, Colleen and Terry have found support in Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). WWP works to help warriors and their families heal from both visible and invisible wounds, with a vision to foster the most successful, welladjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history. In the last decade, WWP has served more than 45,000 wounded veterans and 5,500 family members through 19 programs and services, providing a customized, holistic, and rehabilitative approach to assistance and care. Thanks to the generous and sustaining support of the American public, WWP is able to maintain and evolve these innovative programs to address emerging care issues injured veterans will face over their lifetime. Programs such as Project Odyssey and Soldier Ride engage participants physically and emotionally. Programs such as Warriors to Work help warriors gain control of their financial situation, helping more than 1,000 warriors gain meaningful employment in fiscal year 2013 alone. The Peer Support program currently provides mentors to more than 640 warriors and caregivers, and more than 90 warriors participate in peerfacilitated support groups. But to truly honor and empower
March March 2014 2014 // HOMELAND HOMELAND
wounded veterans and their families, WWP must fight to ensure the promises made to them by our government are kept. WWP has fought hard in its first 10 years, and legislative successes only bolster WWP’s commitment to fight for them for a lifetime. In 2012, WWP won enactment of legislation to expand the scope of required rehabilitative care for veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI), helped lay the groundwork for enactment of strong mental health provisions, and successfully pressed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to add peer-support services for injured veterans to its mental health workforce. WWP’s advocacy on behalf of caregivers for a comprehensive caregiver-assistance law saw steadily increasing numbers of caregivers gain much needed VA support. And WWP’s first major legislative success, the Traumatic Service members Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) program, helped bridge the gap between a warrior’s time of injury and the start of VA benefits payments to alleviate the most pressing financial hardships warriors face immediately after injury. As of October 31, 2013, TSGLI has paid over $817 million in benefits to eligible warriors since the program’s inception in 2005. Perhaps most importantly, the organization is looking ahead to the future, where uncertainties abound for our nation’s injured veterans. WWP is empowering a generation of warriors and their families to build meaningful roads to recovery that meet their needs today and tomorrow. WWP recognizes that no injured veteran’s path to recovery or vision for reintegration is the same, and it continues to push the envelope on the care options available to our veterans to ensure that support will be there however and wherever they need it. WWP is committing $30 million in 2014 to cover both the immediate and long-term care needs of 250 of the most severely wounded warriors who without this funding are most at-risk for institutionalization. For all the sacrifices made today by wounded veterans and caregivers like Colleen and Terry, Wounded Warrior Project is committed to their tomorrow “We promised each other forever the day we were married,” says Colleen. “Nobody told us how tough that road would be at times, but that promise, that devotion holds us together.”
“We promised each other forever the day we were married,” says Colleen. “Nobody told us how tough that road would be at times, but that promise, that devotion holds us together
When God Created the Military Wife
he Good Lord was creating a model for military wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared. She said, “Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What’s wrong with the standard model?” The Lord replied, “Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be completely independent, possess the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect hostess to 4 or 40 with an hour’s notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, even if she is pregnant and has the flu, and she must be willing to move to a new location 10 times in 17 years. And oh yes, she must have six pairs of hands.” The angel shook her head, “Six pair of hands? No way!” The Lord continued, “Don’t worry, we will make other military wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually strong heart so it can swell with pride in her husband’s achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it is overworked and tired, and be large enough to say “I understand” when she doesn’t and say, ‘I love you’ regardless”. “Lord,” said the angel, touching his arm gently “Go to bed and get some rest. You can finish this tomorrow”. “I can’t stop now”, said the Lord “I am so close to creating something unique. Already this model heals herself when she is sick, can put up six unexpected guests for the weekend, wave goodbye to her husband from a depot, pier or runway and understand why it’s important that he leave.” The angel circled the model of the military wife, looked at it closely and sighed, “It looks fine, but it’s too soft”. “She might look soft”, replied the Lord, “but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure.” Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Lord’s creation. “There’s a leak”, she announced. “Something is wrong with the construction. You are trying to put too much into this model.” The Lord appeared offended at the angel’s lack of confidence. “What you see is not a leak”, he said, “It’s a tear.” “A tear? What is it there for?”, asked the angel. The Lord replied, “It’s for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride and a dedication to all the values that she and her husband hold dear.” “You are a genius!” exclaimed the angel. The Lord looked puzzled and replied, “I didn’t put it there”.
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Continued from page 4
Red Shirt Fridays
Suggestions for welcoming your soldier home
elcoming a soldier home from deployment can bring on a ton of emotions. The most important element of the homecoming is ensuring the soldier is comfortable by making things as normal as possible. Here are some suggestions for welcoming your soldier home. Stock the fridge full of the soldiers’ favorite foods. Being in a combat zone especially does not provide for the luxury of eating all the foods one is used to. Having these at their disposal, and enjoying their favorite meal will make the soldier feel more at home. Plan lots of quiet time away from everyone. A walk in the park, a picnic, even movie night on the couch can mean so much. Your soldier will want to get his/ her mind off of being away for so long. If you plan to have some sort of party or celebration include the solider in your plans. Sometimes a soldier may not want a celebration, especially if it’s a surprise. Some may only want a small, intimate gathering. Their thoughts and opinions are valid during the planning process. Be supportive. Take your soldier’s feelings into consideration when dealing with certain topics and leave some topics off limits. Understand that they may not want to talk about what they went through if they were deployed to a war zone. Don’t be too pushy. Give them time to decompress and go as far as they want with certain topics. Have fun! This time should be enjoyable for both you and the soldier. Try to avoid anything that may be negative and take pleasure in spending time together.
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Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason Americans who support our troops used to be called the “silent majority.” We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record-breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing. Many Americans, like you, our friends, and me simply want to recognize the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday - - and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that...every redblooded American who support our men and women afar, will wear something red. By work of mouth, press, TV – Let’s make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once “silent” majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on. The first thing a soldier says when asked “What can we do to make things better for you?” is, “We need your support and your prayers.” Let’s get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example and wear something red every Friday.
HOMELAND / March 2014 27
Call of Duty:
The Top 10 Superstar Military Veterans in Sports Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us! (email@example.com)
10. David Robinson At the US Naval Academy, basketball player David Robinson was a two-time All-American and the Wooden and Naismith Player of the Year during his senior season. He was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft despite having to serve two tours of duty with the Navy upon graduation. Robinson, nicknamed “The Admiral,” joined the Spurs after fulfilling his military obligations and finished his career as a two-time NBA Champion, a one-time MVP and two-time Olympic gold medal winner.
9. Yogi Berra Yogi Berra finished his professional baseball career as a 10-time World Series Champion, a 15-time All-Star and a threetime American League MVP, making him one of the most decorated athletes in sports history. But prior to making his Yankees debut, Yogi Berra was actually a gunner’s mate in the US Navy for the legendary D-Day invasion on Normandy Beach. 28 28
8. John Wooden John Wooden was a three-time All-American as a college basketball player before moving on to the NBA. Wooden is best known for winning 10 national championships in 12 years as the head basketball coach at UCLA. Here’s an often overlooked fact about Wooden: during World War II Wooden joined the Navy in 1942, and he eventually became a lieutenant.
7. Nolan Ryan In 1966, Nolan Ryan was drafted by the military in the same year that he made his professional baseball debut. Ryan completed a six-month term with the Army Reserves by 1967 before joining the New York Mets full time in 1968. Of course we know that Ryan went on to have a 27-year career that ranks among the most prolific in MLB history. Before he hung up his cleats, Ryan tossed an MLB record seven no-hitters.
March March 2014 2014 // HOMELAND HOMELAND 28 March 2014 / HOMELAND
6. Pat Tillman Eight months after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Pat Tillman did the unthinkable. The Arizona Cardinals safety chose to forgo his professional football career and $3.6 million contract to fight in the war on terror. Tillman enlisted and became an Army Ranger, serving a tour in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan. In April 2004, he was killed by friendly fire and awarded a Purple Heart, Silver Star and a posthumous promotion.
5. Willie Mays
William Mays won the Rookie of the Year award in 1951, but just one year later he was drafted into active duty by the U.S. Army and subsequently served in the Korean War. He missed more than 250 games before returning to the San Francisco Giants in 1954, where he picked up right where he left off with 41 home runs and a .345 batting average. Mays finished his career with 12 Gold Gloves, two MVPs and a staggering 20 All-Star game appearances. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility.
4. Jackie Robinson Before Jackie Robinson became the first African American player in Major League Baseball in 1947, he served in a segregated Army unit after being drafted in 1942.Robinson was commissioned as a second lieutenant but was court-martialed in 1944 after refusing to move to the back of an Army bus. He was found innocent of any wrongdoing and was later honorably discharged. Robinson then went on to break into the majors with the Dodgers, where he had a stellar career that included an MVP and a World Series championship. In 1997, his No. 42 was retired by every MLB team.
3. Joe DiMaggio In his incredible baseball career, Joe DiMaggio won nine World Series titles and three American League MVP awards as a member of the New York Yankees. But DiMaggio put his illustrious career on hold for three seasons when he joined the Army Air Forces on Feb. 17, 1943. He never participated in active duty, but he served as a physical education instructor at atseveral stations before leaving the service in 1945.
2. Ty Cobb During his incredible professional baseball career, Ty Cobb set a mind-boggling 90 MLB records, including winning 12 batting titles. He was elected into the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame, but he may have actually accomplished even more in the pros had his career not been interrupted in 1918 by World War I. Cobb enlisted in the Armyâ€™s Chemical Corps, serving around 70 days before being honorably discharged following accidental exposure to mustard gas.
1. Ted Williams Often considered one of the greatest hitters to ever live, Ted Williams missed five years of his career while serving as Marine pilot. He enlisted in 1942, just after completing his first Triple Crown season and cementing his name in baseball history. Williams was a flight instructor during World War II and returned to active duty at age 34 in 1952, when he flew 39 combat missions in the Korean War. We can only wonder what type of insane stats Williams would have put up had he not missed a big chunk of his career.
HOMELAND HOMELAND / March / March 2014 2014 29 29
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Real stories from real heroes; service members, veterans, the wounded and the families that keep it together.