Homeland Magazine March 2022

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Vol. 11 Number 3 • March 2022


Beyond the Uniform: Beth King, Army Veteran and Woman Warrior

Women In Leadership

Labor of Love Meet The Donut Dollies



The Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Care for the


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

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Jenny Lynne Stroup Real Talk: Mental Health

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

SD Vets & Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Tana Landau, Esq. Legally Speaking

Joe Molina

Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby


What’s Next - Transitioning

Amber Robinson Arts & Healing

Eva Stimson Greetings and a warm welcome to Homeland Magazine!

Veteran Advocate

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

Human Resources

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

Mike Miller

Publisher/Editor mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 4

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Paul Falcone

Money Matters VA Lending & Personal Finance

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

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

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 6 Jan Scruggs - PTSD Survivor 8 Paved Road (Women Veterans) 10 Meet the Donut Dollies 12 Beyond the Uniform 16 Women Leading in the Military 18 Artist Joe Everson 20 Shelter to Soldier (STS Mission) 22 Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) 26 Real Talk: Caregiver 28 Healing Through Hunting 30 What’s Next: The Black Curtain 32 HR - Women in Leadership 34 GI Bill (Successful Stories) 36 Country Artist Corey Stapleton 38 Master the Game of Business 40 Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit 42 Hearing Loss - Transition to Civilian Life 44 The Job Market 46 Legal Eagle - Asset Protection 48 Legally Speaking: Parallel Parenting 55 Law Enforcement Careers 60 Inside the Monthly Columns WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


Jan Scruggs PTSD survivor and founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Homeland Magazine recently had an opportunity to visit with Jan Scruggs, founder of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Jan, a Purple Heart recipient, came home from Vietnam, not yet realizing that the challenges he was facing were post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He went on to study PTSD at American University and became an expert in the disorder, even testifying before Congress on the topic. What experience led to severe PTSD for you? Months later, after my initial injury, On January 21, 1970, I was shaving at my mortar pit when an enormous explosion took place nearby. I grabbed a bandage and rushed to a burning truck with at least 100 more Mortar rounds ready to explode. But when I got there, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A dozen Americans were in a burning pile. Troops ran to the scene with fire extinguishers. We were determined to save the wounded. None of us were afraid to die that morning. We did not care about anything except saving our friends. We were able to pull the troops out of danger, but every one of them died. My memory was tortured. Unlike being wounded in 1969, this PTSD would not go away. How did you deal with your PTSD? Not well. I returned home in 1970. I likely had undiagnosed depression and some substance abuse issues. I had PTSD, but PTSD was not officially recognized as a disorder. PTSD did not officially exist. By 1972, I was tired of living. I was going to college part-time and also buffing floors. My life completely sucked. Why not shoot myself? One gloomy night, I pulled back the hammer on a loaded 38 Colt revolver. I walked to the bathroom mirror and placed my finger on the trigger. I stopped short of firing and instead eased the hammer back to its safe condition. Now, I marvel at the interesting life I would have missed out on if I had pulled the trigger. How did you become an expert on PTSD? A few years later, I was married and attending American University working on a master’s degree in Counseling. 6

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I became absorbed with the many Vietnam Veterans who were obviously suffering from a variety of issues. Divorces, substance abuse, and other problems they were having were significant. I knew something needed to be done. I did my own independent research which followed with articles in The Washington Post. I later testified before Congress on PTSD. I became nationally known as a PTSD expert. When did you decide to create a Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial? In 1979, after seeing the movie Deer Hunter, I stayed up all night. The movie really affected me. I decided that a national memorial was needed to help the veterans and the nation recover from the divisive Vietnam War. I knew displaying the names would help those suffering from PTSD to find peace.

We raised over eight million dollars and dedicated the Memorial on November 13, 1982. Memorials no longer move quite as quickly in Washington DC. The dedication was attended by perhaps 50,000 people who marched in a parade to the wall.

The improbable outcome of getting this now famous memorial built was astounding. Over five million people annually visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial each year. I have devoted my life to The Wall which has stood the test of time. I still go there with frequency.

Jan is dedicated to improving the lives of veterans and elevating their status in society, which has been recognized and awarded by major veterans organizations. He’s written for publications such as The New York Times and Military Times. Fell free to connect with Jan on his website, www.founderofthewall.com

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Women veterans continue in prominent DAV leadership roles in the years since first female national commander was elected By M. Todd Hunter


n summer 2017, a distinct sound reverberated throughout New Orleans that muffled the raucous nightlife on Bourbon Street and unique acoustics of the city’s famed zydeco music. It was the sound of a glass ceiling shattering and crashing to the floor, as Delphine Metcalf-Foster became the first woman elected DAV national commander. Since then, the pile of broken glass has been swept away and replaced with a road paved for DAV’s female leaders to continue marching along.

Top: Members of the DAV Department of Maryland Women Veterans Committee hosted Her Military Story in February. The event highlighted the service of women in the military and featured free claims assistance and remarks from women veteran leaders at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Military Women's Memorial. Opposite, standing: Nancy Espinoza, DAV national first junior vice commander


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DAV National 1st Junior Vice Commander Nancy Espinosa is one such veteran charging ahead following MetcalfFoster’s example. While DAV membership spans generations within her family, Espinosa credits a conversation she had at a department convention as her inspiration to take on the mantle of leadership. “[Metcalf-Foster] talked to me about [the organization] and the leadership at that level and how there was a need there for women veterans,” recalled Espinosa, who also serves as adjutant of the Department of Utah. “She was looking behind her and I needed to step up.” Espinosa isn’t alone in considering Metcalf-Foster a DAV trailblazer, and their respective success in the organization’s leadership ranks didn’t happen overnight. Like others, their road to national leadership began locally. Marine Corps veteran Shamala Capizzi was initially hesitant to take on a local leadership role but was swayed by the example set by other women veterans and the support of her chapter’s adjutant. “There were already a lot of women on the line already as executives,” said Capizzi, who is now first junior vice commander of DAV Chapter 10 in Virginia. “So that made me feel more comfortable in taking the role, because there were other women veterans that paved the way for me.” Navy veteran Katina Barnes’ situation differed. Her local chapter didn’t have any other women veterans attending meetings, leaving her with questions her male counterparts didn’t have answers to. “I felt as though there was no voice [for women veterans], so I had to make one,” said Barnes, who sits on DAV’s national Women Veterans Interim Committee and is also the women’s committee chair for the Department

of Maryland. “They allowed me to do whatever I felt was a need for female veterans to be represented.” “Representation matters,” said Capizzi. “As the veteran population has changed and society has changed, DAV has changed, too, to meet the needs of our veterans.” Many women veterans acknowledge that uphill battles still exist when it comes to gaining the confidence of their male counterparts. Barnes believes the best way to counter that is to get their peers to understand why women veterans look to DAV. “It’s so important that male veterans understand that we are women, we are wives, we are sisters, we are mothers,” she said. “And we’ve earned everything we’re asking for, just like they’ve earned it.” “Women veteran leaders in DAV are a twofold benefit to the organization,” explained Metcalf-Foster. “It enhances the perspectives on how disabilities are viewed from a woman veteran’s viewpoint, and it allows for new viewpoints to be illuminated while simultaneously recognizing the historical strong points this organization already knows about.” “We’re not trying to create a new organization,” said Valerie Taylor, a former commander of an Air Force aeromedical evacuation unit who is now the director of the women veterans program for the Department of Tennessee. “We’re trying to bridge the gap for medical services and homeless female veterans.” But as each of the women interviewed noted separately, that gap cannot be bridged without other women stepping up to lead at all levels. “There’s always someone to call,” said Espinosa. “If you need help, you’re not alone. We’re not throwing you into a position we’re not going to help you with or let you fail.” “Let us help you, and help us help others,” added Taylor. “Women veterans have proven themselves to be a special population of strength and resilience,” said Metcalf-Foster. “I was the first [female DAV national commander], but I do not want to be the last.” n

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Labor of Love Documentary Preserves the Story of Unsung Heroes of the Vietnam War Meet The Donut Dollies Homeland Magazine had a chance to speak with the director of a new documentary focused on a little known story of the Vietnam War. 25 years ago, filmmaker Norm Anderson Amandi started an on-camera conversation with his mother Dorset about a life-defining year she spent in Vietnam as a “Donut Dollie.” Neither of them knew at the time that what began as an effort to document family history would become the most significant effort ever undertaken to preserve a virtually unknown chapter in American history. Homeland: Who are the Donut Dollies? Amandi: The Donut Dollies are the most amazing women you’ve never heard of. They were brave young American women who volunteered in Korea and Vietnam during the wars. They joined a Red Cross program called Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas (SRAO), and accepted the daunting mission to boost morale and be a living, breathing reminder of home to American servicemen fighting and dying half a world away.

Donut Dollies Linda Sullivan Schulte (L) & Dorset Hoogland Anderson (R) visting with a soldier in a lookout tower in Vietnam 1968-69 (Photo Credit - Donut Dollies Documentary) 10

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Homeland: How did they become known as the Donut Dollies? Amandi: During WWII, the American Red Cross ran a program to provide comforts of home and entertainment to the men serving in Europe. The GIs took to calling these fresh-faced women Donut Dollies. When the SRAO program started in Korea, the term of endearment stuck. Homeland: What services did the Donut Dollies provide In Vietnam? Amandi: The Red Cross operated Recreation Centers on bases, which offered GIs typical amenities, but the real draw was getting to interact with the Donut Dollies. The job also included actively entertaining the guys through “programming.” This could be trivia games, contests, handmade games they invented, or anything else they could think of. They also caught rides in helicopters out to firebases often 4 or 5 in one day! There, they’d program, deliver mail, fill sandbags - anything to take guys’ minds off the war. Countless guys were more than a little surprised to see American women in powder blue skirts hopping out of a Huey. Homeland: What drew you to making this documentary? Amandi: Love. I’m extremely proud to say my mom is a Donut Dollie. As a kid, I didn’t think to ask her why she went to Vietnam. But as I got older, it sank in -

7 Americal Red Cross Girls (clockwise from bottom left ground Diane, Kath, Rene, Caro, Tee, Amy & Sandy) - 1968-69 (Photo credit - Diane Schmidt Curley)

she had done something truly amazing. I also realized there was a danger her story could be lost and forgotten. In my late teens, I used all my savings to buy a video camera and began filming what’s become a 25+ year conversation. It expanded to include my Mom’s Donut Dollie sister Mary Bowe and many other funny, tough, and inspirational women you’ll meet in the film. Homeland: Why did the Donut Dollies choose to serve in Vietnam? Amandi: That’s one of the main questions we set out to answer. We also created a feature on our website called The Donut Dollie Detail, where 60 Donut Dollies have shared their stories. Recurring themes include patriotism, caring for the men serving so far from home, and the desire to do something that could make a difference. Homeland: The Donut Dollies don’t appear to be known to the public or in the history of the Vietnam War, any thoughts as to why? Amandi: One of the main reasons appears to be humility about their service. The Donut Dollies felt and feel that the attention should be on the brave men who served. Some women have also shared that they quickly learned people in the States just didn’t care, or were actively hostile when they found out they’d been in Vietnam. So they never spoke about their wartime experiences again.

This obviously mirrors the experience of a lot of veterans. Another parallel: PTSD. The Donut Dollies were thrown into a warzone. Their helicopters got shot at. They experienced incoming fire and had to dive for cover like the guys. GIs they knew and loved were injured or killed all the time. Three Donut Dollies also died in Vietnam. So, just like with the men who served, a lot is kept deep inside and left unspoken. It’s been really moving to discover that our film can help Donut Dollies and veterans open up and start sharing things that have been locked away for decades. Homeland: How can we learn more about the Donut Dollies and your documentary? Amandi: For all things Donut Dollies: www.facebook.com/thedonutdollies or www.donutdollies.com, is where you can support the project by purchasing the film. And, if you have memories or memorabilia related to the Donut Dollies, we’d love to hear from you at: memories@donutdollies.com Homeland: Any closing thoughts? Amandi: You mentioned earlier that the public doesn’t seem to know about the Donut Dollies. That’s something we sure want to change. My sincere hope is that, through our film and www.DonutDollies.com, we can help shine light on these amazing women. They deserve it. Thank you for your interest, and for helping us make The Donut Dollies a household name! Connect with Norm Anderson Amandi at memories@donutdollies.com

Donut Dollie Jan Small Woods flying over Vietnam - Nov 1966 to July 1967 - (credit - Jan Small Woods)

Vintage photo of Donut Dollie Dorset Anderson WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


Beyond the Uniform: Beth King, Army Veteran and Woman Warrior “I was looking at how my dad raised five of us on a military salary,” Beth shared. “I thought to myself, ‘that is something worth looking into.’” Not only did Beth need to support her son, but she believed in the military mission. Because of her father, she always stood up for what she believed in and, most importantly, defended what she valued. At the age of 30, Beth decided to enlist in the Army and leave her son for the first time. It was a risk she was willing to take for family and country. Pushing the Standards Beth was older than most in basic training, which she believes played to her advantage because she was mature enough to know what she wanted to do and how to get there. She was in a male-dominated field and had a big goal in mind. There was no room to cut corners. With a 5-year-old son, Beth King knew what she was risking if she enlisted in the military, but that’s exactly why she went into the service – for the sake of her son and country. “I watched the news as the second plane hit,” said Beth, a retired Army veteran. “I thought to myself; this is just five hours south of me. 9/11 definitely played a role in me enlisting. How could it not?” With memories of the attacks eight years earlier still weighing on her and the need to support her son, Beth joined the Army in 2009 as a CH-47 Helicopter (Chinook) Repairer. She had hopes of becoming the first female sergeant major in her field. That goal was cut short, but she gained a second chance at life instead. For Family and Country Born into a military family, Beth was one of five siblings and an identical twin. Her father spent 22 years in the Navy and was gone most of the time, but she recalls always having what she needed. From a young age, she learned about pride, patriotism, and sacrifice, not realizing that later in her life, all of those would come into play with the birth of her son. Without a college degree, Beth struggled to make ends meet and find a job that could provide for her and her newborn. During a moment of despair, a lightbulb went off. 12

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“Women in the military are often met with the misconception that they are incapable or need more help because of their gender,” Beth said. “And just for that reason, I worked very hard to get my physical strength to a point where I was equal with the men alongside me. I didn’t want to ask someone for help picking something up or loading anything. I was motivated to prove that I was equal, regardless of my gender.” Her work ethic got her noticed, and immediately upon arriving at her duty station in Fort Drum, New York, she was selected for air assault school. Beth was one of three women in her brigade to graduate. She quickly transitioned up to the Chinook flight company and became the first female in her unit to complete training. In 2010, Beth deployed to Afghanistan for her first — and only — tour. Alive Day Beth was a part of Fort Drum’s General Support Aviation Battalion (GSAB) unit, which had been prepositioning for an air assault all week. The crew helped move supplies and people faster and safer than traveling by ground. The route called for traveling through a valley that only had one way in and one way out. The date was July 25, 2011. The unit decided to fly higher to avoid incoming fire, and, as they were getting ready to land, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) came

through the belly of the aircraft and into the gator engine, which ignited the gas lines. Because of the weaponry and ammunition on board the aircraft, it immediately caught fire. “Everything went up in flames,” Beth explained. “We were close to landing, so I started walking up the ramp to try and get out of the firing. In all the shakiness from the pilots trying to get it on the ground, I got knocked out the back of the aircraft. And so, for the last 150 or 100 feet, I dangled by my backstrap out the back of the Chinook until we landed.” The back strap attaches to the back of the flight vest, so soldiers stay hooked to the aircraft and, in this case, don’t fall to the ground. The aircraft landed hard on its left side, with all systems going off inside because of the burned wires. Beth climbed back into the aircraft to disconnect her strap and escape. Luckily, they landed just outside the forward operating base (FOB). All 13 passengers on board, plus the crew, walked away from the incident, but not without injuries. “With the way that fire burned, I should have had more damage to my body,” Beth said. “I had a lot of internal injuries, but I’m not sure how we all made it out. Coming home was hard, but I know that there had to have been a bigger purpose.” Lasting Wounds Beth was just four feet from where the RPG penetrated her aircraft. Her jaw shook so violently that it shredded the joint meniscus within. This led to a bilateral joint replacement with titanium plates on both sides because of the severe damage done to her face. Plus, the incredibly rough landing she encountered during the incident caused permanent spinal and back injuries.

It took about 18 months for Beth to receive any treatment for her TBI. She believes the delay in treatment was partly because TBI and its effects weren’t as understood as they are today. Unfortunately, she knew something was wrong and asked for help, but at the time, the situation in Afghanistan was worsening, and they needed all the bodies they could get. “We were low on crews,” Beth explained. “They were on missions and running out of ammunition and water. That was our main job over there, moving strategic pieces around. It was mission-driven work, so if you looked like you could work, you worked.” Within four days of the incident, Beth was on her next mission. Her condition worsened, and Beth developed drop foot while experiencing major weakness on her right side, causing her to fall often. All of that, plus her severe neurological issues, caused Beth to medically retire in 2014 as a staff sergeant. Now, Beth is losing complete feeling in both legs and using a wheelchair, but that hasn’t stopped her. Cycling Through Life Every year on her birthday, Beth would receive a call from Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), but a feeling of unworthiness and fear of leaving home kept her from getting involved with any of the programs WWP offered. “I had a lot of feelings that I wasn’t deserving of WWP programs,” Beth said. “I didn’t validate my injuries at that point, and I just felt like there were so many other people who had it so much worse than I did. I was afraid to take up space.” In May 2018, Beth put those thoughts aside, and with support from a fellow wounded warrior, she signed up for her first Soldier Ride event.

However, the wound that impacts Beth’s life the most is the traumatic brain injury (TBI) she manages daily. TBI usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body, but most don’t realize they have this injury until it shows up physically. It’s an invisible wound that will progress and worsen with time if left untreated, severely damaging the neurological system. “I had things happening to my body that I didn’t understand,” Beth shared. “It started with just headaches, constant headaches, all the time, and confusion. Then, I would use the wrong words, stammer, and stutter. That’s when I realized something was wrong. I was deteriorating inside.” Continued on next page >

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Through adaptive sports, Beth found healing, connection, and purpose. For the first time since being medically retired, she felt free again. Beth was no longer sitting on the sidelines watching life pass her by; she was getting back into the game, one pedal at a time. “I am not just playing sports,” Beth said. “I am bettering myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Adaptive sports gave me a community of people who understand that the struggle is real. It gave me a place where I was able to be honest about the struggle and have people who motivate me to keep going despite that struggle.” What’s next for Beth? She will be traveling to the Hauge, in the Netherlands, to compete for Team U.S. at the Invictus Games. Ultimately, Beth hopes to compete in the Paralympics in 2024. Bigger Purpose While serving in Afghanistan had its challenges, Beth explains that it is not as complicated as returning home. As a veteran, Beth often feels invisible, and she believes it’s partly because of her gender. “It’s not a pretty picture to look at,” Beth said. “These are our daughters, sisters, aunts, and mothers. No one wants to think about us being in harm’s way like that. It’s hard enough to think about it when they’re males. But for me, I think it surprised people who didn’t realize women are in combat.

Most think we have office jobs or are nurses, but they don’t realize we serve on the front lines, too.” In sharing her story, Beth hopes to bring awareness to the veteran female population, which continues to grow. Like all veterans, she deserves respect and recognition for her service and sacrifice. Moreover, she strongly advocates for adaptive sports and early TBI treatment because perhaps her recovery would have been a much smoother journey. “There is hope,” Beth shares. “There is help, and there are people who care. You and your injuries are valid, and you need to take up space to receive the help you deserve. Put yourself out there because there will be people there to support you.” WWP research found that women warriors experience certain challenges at higher rates than their male counterparts to this day. In particular, the challenge of not being seen as a veteran is still being felt by women veterans across the country. To better understand these issues and advocate for women veterans, who make up about 10% of the overall veteran population, WWP introduced the Women Warriors Initiative. 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.

To learn more on how you can #EmpowerWomenVets: https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/women-warriors-initiative 14

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The Case for Women leading in the military By Lindsey Sin, CalVet Deputy Secretary for Communications The tradition of women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces is woven into the storied history of this nation. From the country’s founding, through various wars and conflicts to modern times, women steadfastly answered the call to serve, with increased participation in new roles - whenever and wherever possible. Women have always exceeded the expectations of their military service; they now serve in more roles and in higher numbers than at any point in our history. In the next decade, we should expect to have the first woman Secretary of Defense, Chairwoman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and woman Secretary of the VA; three barriers women have yet to break through. History makes a clear case for the military skills and abilities of women; today, you don’t have to look far to find a woman who is breaking barriers in military service. Women have exceeded expectations throughout our nation’s military and wartime history Even though they served in auxiliary roles throughout most of the nation’s existence, women proved their courage and capability in a wide range of roles during wartime, including serving as cooks, code breakers, couriers, nurses, and spies. According to the Military Women’s Memorial, women providing medical care and triage of wounded troops in the Spanish-American War was so highly valued that it led to the establishment of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901 and the Navy Nurse Corps in 1908.


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Further proof is evident in the long list of intrepid women who contributed to military intelligence and spy craft by leveraging their traditional roles as non-threatening housewives, mothers, and sisters. In addition to battling foreign and domestic enemies, women fought against gender barriers that led to their eventual recognition and right to operate as independent people with skills necessary to win wars. Women such as Underground Railroad conductor and escaped slave Harriet Tubman, who spied for the Union Army; or famous entertainer Hedy Lamar, whose World War II era invention became the foundation for classified communications equipment and cellular phone technology; or the “Hello Girls” who marked the first time in warfare history that commanders on the frontline could communicate directly to the general command. By the end of World War II, women proved indispensable to the war effort The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, passed in 1948, officially established women as part of the U.S. military and entitled them to veterans’ benefits, but heavily restricted their participation by capping the total percentage of who could serve, restricting the rank they could achieve and the jobs they could perform. In the decades that followed, women took every opportunity to enlist or commission into the armed forces, all while experiencing genderspecific restrictions on their promotions and job opportunities. During the first Gulf War, women again demonstrated their abilities during wartime, including as helicopter pilots.

In 1991, Congress voted to repeal the 1948 restriction on women flying combat aircraft, though other combat restrictions remained. It should also be noted that the brave women serving in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, primarily as nurses, volunteered to serve, since women have never been included in the U.S. Military Draft. All military occupations are now open to women The 2013 repeal of the ban on women in combat, which opened all military occupations to women by 2016 was yet another opportunity that women quickly seized. To date, over fifty women have graduated from the U.S. Army Ranger School, which only began admitting women in 2015. Despite some push back and skepticism, women continue to integrate into elite special operation units throughout all services, with one woman successfully becoming a part of the Special Forces Green Beret, and several accepted and currently within the training pipeline. According to the Department of Defense, women account for 23-30% of the student body in 2020 at a military service academy, which first opened to women in 1976. Since then, thousands of women graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and have gone on to become commanders, generals, and corporate leaders. The list of accomplishments and milestones achieved by military women over the last decade alone is significant and their numbers will continue to grow both in active duty and reserve units, and then as veterans. Currently, women are joining the military at higher rates than at any other point in history with 17% of women in active duty, 21% in the Reserves, and 11% of the veteran population. Throughout our history, women demonstrated time and again their courage and dynamic abilities. We should expect nothing less than women at the helm of our military, veteran, and civilian organizations in the years to come. Contact the California Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more about state and federal veterans benefits, and to learn how we support California’s 1.6 million veterans and their families. www.calvet.ca.gov Leadership Adopting innovative ideas and collaborating with our partners. Accountability Acting responsibly in the provision of care and services, and stewardship of resources. Compassion Treating all veterans and their family members with respect, dignity, and appreciation.

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

Homeland Veteran Resources & Organizations available at:



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



Joe is proud to support our Armed Forces. 100% of the funds raised at your charity event, stay with your cause. Unlike most action painters in the industry, we do not take a percentage of the sale of the performance paintings at your event, so that our military can benefit as much as possible. Who is Joe Everson? Joe Everson is a renaissance man — artist, vocalist, musician, and photographer. His viral videos of singing the National Anthem while painting a live-action artwork have over 250 million views. Since 2016’s viral success, Joe travels the nation performing for professional sports teams, Fortune 500 companies, and celebrities. He has been featured on FOX News, ESPN Sports Center, Fox Sports, SB Nation, NHL.com, Washington Times, CBS sports, USA Today, Huffington Post and has had nationwide coverage from media. Homeland – So we hear that after going on National TV, your manager got over 400 emails in less than 30 minutes and that you guys sold almost $100,000 of your art off the website in less than an hour? Joe – Yes, all true. I was broke as a joke at the time. Struggling to pay rent sometimes. Our rental house had been sold out from under us and my wife was packing while I was in Toledo because we only had a couple of weeks to get out.

Then overnight, people buy up nearly everything I had put online and commission orders were rolling in. Also, Dan (manger) was starting to fill the calendar with sports teams and fundraising events. Homeland: As a follow up, a lot of the emails you received were from Veterans right? What can you tell us about your fundraising for veterans and interaction with them at shows? What does it mean to you to be involved with all of these military charities? Joe: After the tv appearance, we got emails from over 400 people. About a quarter of those were from veterans thanking me for what I was doing. Once in particular told me they struggle with PTSD and suicidal thoughts and that watching my patriotic performance was so inspiring that it “helped them get through one more day”. Somebody says that to you, it’s life changing. I was already patriotic before, but that pushed me to use my art to make a difference. I had gone to a memorial service for a family member named Benito Diaz when I was young. He had died in Vietnam. That’s when it first clicked for me that these men and women were out there fighting for our freedoms and giving up their lives. I get booked for a lot of military fundraisers due to the patriotic nature of my performances. They probably think I’m doing them a favor, but they’ve been patrons since the early days, always bringing me back. Some of my favorites are Special Operations Care Fund, Carrington Charitable Foundation, Hunts for the Brave, and USO San Diego. I’ve worked with tons of others, but these groups bring me back, year after year. Plus, I now feel like family and have made a lot of friends. I only charge a flat fee and then they keep all the money from the paintings. We’ve seen them sell for anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000 at these shows. All that money goes straight to helping veterans. That makes me feel like I’m doing something with my art to create positive change. To date, we’ve probably raised in the neighborhood of $1.5 million through the sales of my paintings at military fundraisers. I’ve also gotten to meet General Colin Powell before he passed, and General Joseph Dunford. Plus, Major Dan Rooney, the founder of Folds of Honor, and Rob O’Neill, the guy that took out Bin Laden. Homeland: Any last words about art and the future?

Joe Everson www.joeeverson.com 18

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Joe: Everybody should buy art to brighten up their homes. Just find what’s affordable and collect! And of course, I want to do more good. I want to be the guy that keeps on coming up with bigger and better patriotic performances so in 10 years from now, I’ve had a part in raising millions for veterans. All that would make me feel like I did something good for the world.

RAISING THE FLAG ON IWO JIMA See Art - www.joeeverson.com/art WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


Shelter to Soldier Service Dog Trainer Exemplifies Military Service and Dedication to the STS Mission By Eva M. Stimson Corporal Rachel Charlesworth, 5812 Military Dog Handler and current Shelter to Soldier (STS) Service Dog Trainer, entered the United States Marine Corps in 2013 as a member of the Military Police. First stationed in Iwakuni, Japan, she supported base operations as a first responder and security patrolwoman. Upon being stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California, Rachel was selected to become a Military Working Dog Handler and attended the Basic Handlers Course in Lackland, TX, where she graduated at the top of her class. This course prepares selected Marines to handle a Military Working Dog (MWD) in five phases of patrol work, including basic and advanced obedience, scent detection, and suspect apprehension. In her time as a MWD handler, Rachel was chosen as the Section Leader of the Narcotics Dog Teams, and graduated “Top Dog” in her MWD Pre-Deployment training course. While stationed at Camp Pendleton, Rachel also worked closely with US Border Patrol, the ATF, and additional government agencies. Rachel transitioned out of the Marine Corps in October of 2018, with a desire to continue her career with dogs. Before joining the Shelter to Soldier team, she worked for a private security company as a dog handler, providing explosive searches of VIP events throughout Los Angeles, CA. In May of 2019, Rachel received a telephone call from friend and fellow Marine Corps MWD handler about the Shelter to Soldier organization and an opportunity to work with service dogs and veterans. Rachel knew right away this was a perfect fit for her skillset and passion for helping other veterans. “Working with dogs in the Marine Corps showed me the fulfillment dogs can have when given the opportunity to live with a greater purpose, and also taught me about the support they can give their handlers. So many dogs in shelters are just looking for a renewed life, and what better purpose is there for a dog than as a service dog?” Since 2019, Rachel has trained and graduated 11 teams of psychiatric service dogs and emotional support animals with their veteran handlers. Working with STS, Rachel has observed how the impact of the program has helped female veterans in particular. According to Rachel,” My advice to enlisted female veterans who apply to the STS program includes, “Take care of yourself mentally and physically, and be confident in who you are. The STS program is life changing for many of the female military veterans 20

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who sometimes don’t feel secure around men. These women are more safe and confident when they have an STS service dog by their side.” Everyday, 20 US veterans on average commit suicide and approximately 1,800 dogs are euthanized. These staggering statistics inspire the entire STS team to do all they can do to support those served by the Shelter to Soldier program, both canine and human. Shelter to Soldier is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other psychological injuries. The program also places Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) with active duty military and veterans, and deploys their Shelter to Soldier Canine Ambassadors, a team of therapy dogs, to provide visits of love and comfort to active duty military, veterans and their families as well as community partners throughout Southern California. www.sheltertosoldier.org. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call 760-870-5338 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility.

Join Us for Our

THIRD Annual Golf Tournament at Singing Hills Golf Resort. The 18 Hole Willow Glen Championship Course, with its dramatic scenery and elevation changes, is sure to provide the perfect backdrop for an exciting day of golf! Your participation will help us raise funds to adopt dogs, train them to become psychiatric service dogs, then place them with post 9/11 combat veterans with invisible wounds.

SheltertoSoldier.org | 760-870-5338 To learn more about our event, or to purchase tickets/reserve a foursome, please visit:


With Sponsors

Media Partners

Friday April 29, 2022 The tournament will be hosted at the beautiful

All photos courtesy of Shelter to Soldier

Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


How Wounded Warrior Project Helped Two Warriors Manage Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Returning from Iraq after a convoy accident, Army veteran Lisa Crutch remembered many of the things that happened in Iraq but lost some family memories from prior years. Her children would show her pictures of places they had visited, but she had no memories to go with the pictures. In addition to partial memory loss, she experienced massive headaches and the loss of her sense of smell. It took a while after she recovered from her visible injuries to figure out what was going on. “I didn’t even know what TBI was until I got home and went to the VA,” Lisa said. “They asked me how I had gotten from the vehicle to the ground [after the accident] and I told them ‘I don’t know.”

Lisa learned from others at the scene that the vehicle where she was a front passenger was going 40 mph when it hit a stopped truck in the middle of a lowvisibility sand road. Her head hit the windshield at 40 mph. “Prior to doing the tests, they were saying I had TBI just from hearing the story. They didn’t say, ‘you have traumatic brain injury.’ They said, ‘Sergeant Crutch, you have TBI.’” Lisa had no idea what TBI meant. She said there was no pamphlet on traumatic brain injury and no further instructions. For Jason Major, the shrapnel damage and loss of movement in his right arm was just part of the issues he would face after he was injured when his convoy hit an improvised explosive device (IED) near Syria. After six months of surgeries and physical therapy, he recovered some movement, but the invisible injuries were just beginning to surface.

“I didn’t even

know what TBI was until I got home and went to the VA,” Lisa said. “They asked me how I had gotten from the vehicle to the ground [after the accident] and I told them ‘I don’t know.’’


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Jason had migraines, anxiety, he feared leaving his house, and eventually lost his job. He says his wife remembers those days more than he’s able to. He had no idea TBI had anything to do with it. “I was still in the Army and wasn’t checked out fully after the 2005 incident,” Jason said. “I don’t remember all of it, but I do remember I started having migraines, about two or three per week, and memory became an issue.” He was diagnosed with mild TBI, which explained some of the acute symptoms he had already experienced. While still in the hospital, he remembers he would stare at the wall for 8 hours, feeling listless. The acute symptoms gradually went away. He still has lingering memory issues. How common is TBI in the military? The Department of Defense reports 449,000 service men and women were diagnosed with some form of TBI between 2000 and 2021.

In the Annual Warrior Survey, 64% of veterans served by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) report incurring head injuries, with 35% experiencing traumatic brain injury (TBI). Those veterans reported being injured and losing consciousness immediately following head trauma. The signs of TBI can be difficult to perceive by the injured person, and a diagnosis often requires sifting through other injuries. Unfortunately, the after-effects of this invisible injury can stay with veterans and their families for years to come. A traumatic brain injury is characterized as a loss of consciousness or altered mental status caused by a blast, blow, or penetrating force to the head. Through help from WWP, both Lisa and Jason found tools to manage TBI symptoms. They also found the words to help explain to others what they experience. That understanding helped them move forward.

“I was still in

the Army and wasn’t checked out fully after the 2005 incident,” Jason said. “I don’t remember all of it, but I do remember I started having migraines, about two or three per week, and memory became an issue.”

Continued on next page >

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Lisa first got involved through WWP’s Warriors to Work program (then called Track) and got help completing her college degree. “Wounded Warrior Project impacted my life, first of all, because it got me out of my house,” Lisa said. “Second, I was able to complete college and graduate. To me, that was very important. I was able to do that because of the people at Wounded Warrior Project. They made me feel comfortable. They made sure they let me know that you can do whatever it is that you set your mind to do.” Lisa found connections with other veterans who had endured similar experiences, and eventually participated in Project Odyssey®, a 12-week mental health program that begins with an adventured-based weekend and follows up with weekly checkups. “When I came back home, I was fighting to be that old Lisa because that’s who everyone knew,” Lisa reflected. “This is me now. I have PTSD. I have TBI. I have two messed up knees and all this stuff wrong with me, but it’s okay. I’m much stronger now than I was prior to it, and I was pretty strong then. I’m a new, improved Lisa.” Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable Meanwhile, Jason said he first experienced his transition into the civilian world as avoidance. He avoided other people because he didn’t understand how TBI, and PTSD had changed him. His approach shifted when he attended a Project Odyssey. Jason learned to redefine himself: “Yes, you’ve been a soldier, but that’s not your defining moment. You have more life to live after having been a soldier. There’s more to you as a human than being a soldier,” Jason said. The first Project Odyssey he attended taught him about “being a husband and a better human being.” He then went to a couples Project Odyssey with his wife Sabine. Together, they learned about structural changes that happen in the brain after TBI and the chemical changes that can occur with PTSD. “Understanding what happened helped, and also the teambuilding that centers on good communication between us,” Jason said. “Now I press myself to go ahead and be comfortable in being uncomfortable. The more you interact, the more you grow as a person.” Through WWP, Jason also attended outpatient intensive treatment designed for veterans at Massachusetts 24

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General Hospital’s Home Base program, part of Warrior Care Network®. Through twoto three-week intensive outpatient programs, Warrior Care Network provides care tailored to each veteran and family member. It integrates behavioral health care, rehabilitative medicine, wellness, nutrition, mindfulness training, and family support. “During Warrior Care Network, what stood out is how much hard work it was,” Jason said. “It was exhausting, but a good kind of exhaustion. Whether it was group activities, or one on one therapy, you had to be there with the frame of mind to better your health – you’re there to get yourself better or at least make progress.” WWP flew Sabine to Boston for the weekend, where she attended sessions and participated in equine therapy with Jason. “It felt great to have her there,” Jason said. Warrior Care Network provides care tailored to each veteran and family member. It integrates behavioral health care, rehabilitative medicine, wellness, nutrition, mindfulness training, and family support. No two cases of TBI are the same. Veterans served by WWP can also avail themselves of assistance through WWP’s Independence Program. Although TBI continues to challenge veterans, warriors like Jason and Lisa are showing how reaching out for help can benefit them and their families. WWP works to ensure warriors get the care they need, and know they are not alone. Read more about how WWP helps: https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org. 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.

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

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

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


Real Talk: Mental Health By Leslie McCaddon The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) www.vvsd.net/cohenclinicsandiego

How to “Care” for the Caregiver I am an expert in caregiving. Or, rather, I should be at this point. My 20 years of caregiving experience (not including the years before as an older sister and babysitter) have included: • Being mom to three biological kids and four step kids: five have made it to adulthood and are either gainfully employed or pursuing education. The other two are still in high school and showing promise, as well. • One of these kids had leukemia when he was three years old. Somehow, I managed to keep him alive while managing his medications, hospital visits, a toddler, an infant, and a raging case of ADHD. • I also cared for my first husband, an Army CPT, who suffered from what we now believe was a TBI (traumatic brain injury) from his time on the bomb squad. This TBI looked a lot like emotional dysregulation, daily suicidal ideations, and disconnection from his emotions. • Later, I cared for my second husband, who was living with a diagnosis of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. This diagnosis affected his mobility and some of his cognitive abilities. • Finally, I’ve cared for multiple children who have struggled with moderate to severe mental health challenges—which has included navigating inpatient hospitalizations, medications, intensive outpatient programs, psychiatry, and therapy appointments. Make no mistake, I did not come into this world a caregiver. And I certainly wasn’t handed an instruction manual on how to care for all of these people I love. Perhaps, most disappointing of all, is no one handed me instructions on how to help myself when I was fighting exhaustion, burnout and even resentment. One very unhelpful hospital social worker, who had just found me crumpled in tears outside my son’s hospital room, told me that I needed to “get it together” for my son and then he said, “fake it until you make it!” 26

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I took these words to heart, unfortunately. After 2 ½ years of a very valiant effort of faking “it” (whatever that is), I collapsed into my first and worst episode of major depression. We were stationed far from family, and it took a couple of months before the prescribed antidepressants began to work. If you walk away from this column with only one piece of advice, it should be this: Never fake it until you make it when it comes to taking care of yourself! 1. You can’t do it all, and that’s OK. Focus only on what is most important and let the rest go. I’m serious. The dishes can wait until tomorrow. Take-out meals five nights a week does not make you a neglectful parent. The laundry can be done one load at a time, and clean clothes can wait in the basket until the kids pull out what they need. How do I know? Because, I’ve had to do all of the above. And we all made it; to college even, to marriage, to a life that didn’t require them to have a mother who lived up to Martha Stewart Standards. Reach out to your family readiness center to find out about available childcare and other assistance. 2. Take Breaks. Yes, you can take a break. Yes. You. Can. And, you must. Hire help. Let friends and family help imperfectly. (So your mother-in-law who flew out to “help” doesn’t know who Marie Kondo is nor does she want to learn how she folds her clothes. Her methods are good enough. I promise.) During your breaks make sure to do something lovely for yourself— take a walk near water, have coffee with friends, read a book, take a nap. 3. Get support. I can’t stress this enough. You need support when you are the one supporting everyone else. A good therapist will help you set healthy boundaries, seek out local resources, and teach you how to pour as much love into yourself as you are into others. Self-love is not a luxury. It is your fuel. It is your life source. You can’t live without it. Therapy is a way to love yourself that is always paying yourself-forward. For example, Cohen Veterans Network provides high-quality, evidence-based mental health care for veterans, service members and their families through its Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics nationwide.

You’ve heard it all before. If you go down, they all go down. You can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t put an oxygen mask on anyone else if you’re passed out on the floor of the airplane. I may not be an expert with letters after my name. I’m not a therapist. But I am a military spouse, turned military widow, and a seasoned mom who has learned these lessons the hard way. Let this be my gift to you—a little handbook, if you will, of how to care for the caregiver. Your loved one’s doctors and other specialists will hopefully give you guidance on the rest. And at least you’ll be in a good place to hear them. You’ll also be the best example of what it looks like to live life from a mentally healthier place, a place of confidence, support, peace, and essential rest. Leslie McCaddon serves as part of the outreach team at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD. She is the Gold Star Widow of Army CPT Michael McCaddon, MD. To learn how therapy can help with mental health challenges, visit www.vvsd.net/cohenclinics.

Cohen Veterans Network is pleased to recognize Jenny Lynne Stroup, Outreach Coordinator for the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD in San Diego, for being named the 2022 Armed Forces Insurance Naval Station Norfolk Spouse of the Year! Jenny Lynne Stroup is an active duty military spouse of more than 12 years who advocates for military family mental health after caring for her husband during his challenges with PTSD. She received this recognition following hundreds of nominations nationwide and a national vote yielding more than 20,000 votes. Stroup was judged on five core criteria: overall involvement in the military community, leadership skills, community building capability, communication skills, and overall personal story. Now in its 13th year honoring the unwavering dedication of our nation’s more than 1.1 million military spouses, Armed Forces Insurance is proud to recognize and reward the sacrifice of military spouses from all six branches of the Armed Forces who are advocating for others and having a tangible, measurable effect on their communities. Learn more about Jenny Lynne by visiting: https://msoy.afi.org/profiles/2022-jenny-lynne-stroup WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


Healing Through Hunting By Lieutenant Colonel (R) Steve Osterholzer, U.S. Army

“This is never going to work and I feel ridiculous,” rang through my head as I followed Roger across a field carrying

a screen decoy towards a group of turkeys. The three toms with hens could plainly see us as we trudged across 800 yards of field devoid of cover taller than a blade of grass. A freak storm the night before had dumped nine inches of snow which made us stand out even more. To make matters worse, Roger’s back, wounded in combat in Iraq, suddenly spasmed. Unable to bend over and standing well over 6 feet, from the bird’s perspective the screen tom decoy floated four feet off the ground with four long legs. Amazingly, the birds remained as we closed the distance. 500 yards. 300. 200. 100. “This is insane but I just may get a shot here,” I thought as my stomach knotted with the tension. Slowly dropping to our knees, we crawled on through the snow. At 75 yards the toms could stand it no longer. Enraged by the advancing Predator decoy, two of them suddenly raced towards us gobbling madly. Roger hit the dirt as the birds, sensing something amiss, suddenly veered right on a full sprint. I pulled up my gun, leading the first bird. Though this was my first turkey hunt, I knew enough to aim for the head. I’m

80 Heroes experiencing thrilling hunts, with nonCOVID years averaging 100 hunters per year. “We coordinate with generous landowners such as Rodney Seaman with Eastern Colorado Outfitters ,who provided this hunt, for opportunities at turkey, elk, deer, antelope and waterfowl.” With more than 150 on the waiting list, the need is great.

took a deep breath, and squeezed the trigger…

Though the hunting experience itself is important, even more critical are the conversations amongst the hunters around the fire.

trying to hit a target the size of a baseball at 50 yards moving really fast. This is way harder than knocking down an elk. Time stood still as I focused on the bead,

As a combat vet I was on this Eastern Colorado hunt through the generosity of an organization called Hero Expeditions, better known as HEX. “As a non-profit organizing hunts for service members, veterans, law enforcement, firefighters, and family members of Fallen Heroes, we believe giving back to those who’ve sacrificed so much for our country and communities is simply the right thing to do,” said founder Jeremy Heid. “My lifelong friend Derick was a soldier who was severely injured in Iraq and barely lived,” recalls Jeremy. “When he came back he wasn’t the same. Despite us both trying, our friendship wasn’t the same. I wanted to help him but I didn’t know how.” A short time later Jeremy, a commercial videographer by trade, was filming a California watefowl hunt comprised of soldiers wounded in war. “I told them my friendship with Derick wasn’t the same. They explained Derick would never be the same. Our friendship would have to start over.” The conversation was monumental. “Hearing their stories and seeing how healing the hunt was for them emotionally, I felt called to help other heroes the same way.” Derick became an integral partner as Jeremy formally launched Hero Expeditions in 2015. “HEX renewed our love of hunting together but with a new purpose. This gave Derek purpose,” says Jeremy. From its inception HEX has grown tremendously. 2020 saw approximately 28

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HEX’s mission statement is to help create meaningful relationships and improve morale. “These guys have been through hell,” said Jeremy. “Many of them have deep physical and emotional wounds. PTSD. Severe depression. We want them to know they’re not alone and the friendships resulting from these hunts provide a critical support network only fellow soldiers/first responders can really understand.” One of the guides on this hunt was a veteran nicknamed “Dirty” who received the Purple Heart for gunshot wounds sustained in combat. As we sat in a frigid outbuilding the first night, what started out as a group of hunters swapping stories turned into something akin to a support group. “One veteran on a past hunt had been contemplating suicide,” said Dirty. “One night he sat on the edge of his bed holding a pistol. Shortly after he found out he was going on a HEX goose hunt occurring six months in the future. The soldier later told me the thought of going on the goose hunt was what kept him going for those six months.” That night I witnessed the therapeutic aspect of HEX. One hunter was a veteran who’d been medically retired from the Army for injuries sustained in combat. “For years my identity had been as a soldier,” he said. “I can’t work now. I stay at home all day. I don’t know who I am anymore.” Though not licensed counselors, HEX personnel are able to help these heroes because many of them have been wounded in combat themselves. “The guys trust us,” said Doug, a former Fire Chief now serving on the HEX Board of Directors. “They trust us because they know we understand what they’ve gone through in ways most counselors just can’t because we’ve been in their boots.” What started out as jokes, laughter and stories turned serious. “You have to find something to fill the time,”

Dirty told the veteran. “Explore new opportunities. Eventually you’ll find your new purpose, a purpose leading to a new identity.” Strangers at the beginning of the hunt, participants often leave with supportive friendships. “When we meet on the first day, everyone shakes hands,” laughs Jeremy, clearly the driving force behind HEX. “When we say goodbye on the final day, everyone gives man hugs.”

“…I’m trying to hit a target the size of a baseball at 50 yards moving very fast. This is way harder than knocking down an elk.” Time stood still as I focused on the bead, took a deep breath, and squeezed the trigger…

KAHWOOM! The lead bird didn’t even flinch at the shot but put his foot on the gas even more. With him rocketing out of range I swung to the trail bird. “Stay calm and focus.” Leading this bird even more, I touched off a second shot. KAWHOOM! Suddenly it was over. I’d harvested my first tom. And yet I realized it wasn’t over. The men I’d met on this trip, strangers at the start, were now brothers. For what we shared was far beyond the excitement of the hunt. I now had a network of brothers I could reach out to if needed, brothers who understood the dangers of war, fire, and police work. “This is why we do what we do at Hero Expeditions,” said Jeremy. “To build bonds which support those who have given so much to all of us.”

If you or your organization would like to support Hero Expeditions through either financial or equipment contributions, please visit www.heroexpeditions.org

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


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

Shedding Light on The Black Curtain Everyone who’s transitioned out of the military has a story. Most of these stories include feelings of fear, anxiety, and even depression. Facing the unknown is difficult. This difficulty exists whether you do 4, 8, or even 26 years of active duty in the US Marine Corps, like Chris Keane. Chris shares his advice and provides valuable resources so you can take the right steps to making your story one of success and less stress. Give Yourself Two Years Before Decision Time “The transition process is not one you can leave to the last minute, and it is one that you cannot do on your own,” says Keane. Two years before Chris filed his Appendix J to inform Headquarters Marine Corps about his intentions to retire, he started his transition journey. During this time, he attended transition courses and networked with peers and retirees in the industries where he felt qualified, including aerospace professionals, entrepreneurs, and other business owners, both Veterans and civilians. These efforts opened his eyes to the requirements and processes involved in making a new role part of his next chapter. By the time he made his decision, he had a good understanding of what he needed to do and where he wanted to go. He recommends giving yourself a minimum of 24 months to plan your individual transition. Be Prepared for The Black Curtain Deciding to embark on your next chapter is no small feat and can create tremendous stress and anxiety. Chris calls this transition process the “Black Curtain,” 30

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because you likely have no idea what’s on the other side. “We do not know what to wear, how to talk and better yet, we have no idea what it takes to be successful. We have spent the better part of our adult life working and living in a military culture with a structure, history, and language that we have come to love,” says Keane. By following a few simple steps, you can successfully navigate through the Black Curtain, so your next chapter will be enjoyable and fulfilling. Whether you are finishing up your first enlistment or completing 20+ years, your next chapter starts with some thought, planning and a little help from your friends in your network. 1. Ask yourself honest questions. Do you want to slide right from terminal leave and into your next role without skipping a beat? Or, do you want to take a break from all the stress, hustle and bustle and start in 6 months to a year after service? Are you excited about getting into that nonprofit or to start making a difference in a different sector? These types of questions will help you understand your goals better and will help guide your decisions. 2. Make checklists that work for you. There is a process of what you need to do to prepare. Breaking up these tasks into a checklist helps keep you on track and serves as a visual reminder. “Some folks like to use checklists, and as a pilot, I am fond of a nice, neat representation of complicated tasks,” says Chris. Chris shares one of the finest retirement checklists by Kirk Windmueller. You can find him on LinkedIn and download his checklist at: www.linkedin.com/in/kirk-windmueller 3. Join networks and immerse yourself. Networking is key to understanding other people’s stories; fellow military and veterans want to help their peers succeed. Whatever your story is, or how you see yourself entering the next chapter, connecting and learning from others is essential.

Even if you are only mildly interested in a specific career field, Chris recommends having a coffee or informational interview with someone in that area so you can learn about the real day-to-day tasks, responsibilities and rewards of those roles. 4. Attend seminars focused on transition. Chris attended Business Transition courses and bootcamps during his 2 year prep time, which gave him a better idea of what to expect and how to prepare. The Marine Executive Association Camp Pendleton Chapter (MEA-CP) offers seminars on Camp Pendleton in conjunction with Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS), including Business Transition Seminar (BTS) and Executive Transition Assistance Seminar (ETAS.) You can sign up here: www.tinyurl.com/yvwfs5x8 5. Start looking at job postings to see what’s appealing. Looking at job boards can be daunting, so it helps to start by looking at jobs posted through militarysupported networks. The MEA-CP posts job openings on LinkedIn and throughout their network. About the MEA-CP Chris is part of the Marine Executive Association Camp Pendleton Chapter (MEA-CP), an excellent resource to help those in transition, and he invites you to access their network. The MEA-CP is a unique and powerful networking organization that relies on the strength of its individual members to bring their skills, talents and techniques to others. You can connect with people across the US in various roles to learn more , including front line staff, Program Managers, entrepreneurs, and C-Suite professionals. Let’s start by telling us your story and offering you our experience, skills and most importantly our network. We understand the struggles you will face and want to help you through them. Connect with Chris Keane either via email at cakeane46@gmail.com on Linked In www.linkedin.com/in/christopherkeane1 or via my cell 858-382-1887. Semper Fidelis.

Need help with your resume or interviewing skills? Reach out to Eve at: eve@bandofhands.com www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-hiring-expert

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


HUMAN RESOURCES Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

Women-in-Leadership Employee Resource Groups

Yet, despite real and substantial progress gained over recent decades, the dreaded “80% rule” continues to hold tight and resist change: • 80% of CEOs are men

March is National Women’s History Month, which gives us a special opportunity to highlight Women in Leadership employee resource groups (ERG). ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that typically share a common characteristic and that form to foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace aligned with their members’ values. For example, ERGs may form around veterans in the workplace, working or single parents, ethnicity, religious or faith-based affiliations, and people with disabilities, among others. There is often no better way to lobby for your interests—whether they be corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability, militaryto-veteran transition, or a more diverse workplace— than in partnership with friends and peers. All it takes is some dedication and time on your part to form and lead such a group, although you’ll typically want to gain senior management’s buy in (often with the help of the organization’s human resources department). The results can be amazing and exceptionally self-fulfilling. Companies that sponsor ERGs demonstrate exceptional emotional intelligence and benefit from competitive advantage for being in tune with the times; those that don’t currently offer ERGs will likely adopt the idea if someone sponsors and shepherds the program for a particular cohort or cause. The Challenges The women-in-leadership ERG is especially promising. Here are some significant facts: • There are more women than men in medical school and law school today. • Women are running for office and getting elected in unprecedented numbers. • Nearly 40% of U.S. businesses are started by women.


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• Corporate boards are more than 80% male • Women earn about $.80 for every dollar that a man makes Further, while women may start 40% of U.S. businesses, women-owned businesses typically get only around 2% of venture capital, with the remaining 98% going to male-led enterprises. What can a women-in-leadership ERG do to strengthen female influence and create equality of opportunity in terms of career and professional development? The Opportunities First, it’s important to acknowledge what we all intuitively know: unfairness shows itself in different ways. Women tend to experience a harder time getting hired and promoted. They suffer from lower pay and a more cynical review of their work. (For example, male Supreme Court justices interrupt female justices three times more often than they interrupt other male justices). And needless to say, the effects of micro and macro aggressions at work, from interruptions, talking over female coworkers, or appearing to steal their ideas to outright bullying, harassment, and discrimination wear on women’s sense of self-esteem and belonging. Recognizing these challenges is a first step in furthering change. Second, women naturally place tremendous pressure on themselves to outperform and master what lies within their areas of responsibility. Case in point: Males tend to apply for jobs and promotions when they believe they possess 60% of the qualifications required for the role; women tend to apply for jobs and promotions when they believe they possess greater than 90% of the qualifications required. Add to the mix that males tend to get promoted based on their “potential,” while females tend to get evaluated based on their “performance,” and you can see why

an accumulation of disadvantage can manifest itself over time: a slightly lower starting salary and a slower promotion rate can create significant disparities over the decades. Add to this the fact the resistance to change is baked into our psyches, and you can quickly see why change may appear to be slow and frustrating.


A Way Forward But fret not. Organic change is happening before our very eyes. The fact that female doctors and lawyers are graduating at a more rapid clip will realign our society quite naturally. But we don’t necessarily want to wait for organic evolution to fix these challenges for us: it sometimes helps to “push the river” and be the driver of healthy change yourself. Women in leadership ERGs often raise awareness about female negotiation strategies, developing a stronger collaboration mindset by expanding the winners’ pool (“It’s all about we”), and avoiding administrative chores that may be appreciated but do little to advance careers. Learning how to say no, politely but forcefully, is an important skill that can be developed in the safe environment of a women-in-leadership ERG. And most of all, professional networking can thrive and help to cancel out the guilt that so many female leaders place upon themselves when trying to balance career and personal lives (especially if they are mothers).


Looking at this on a larger scale, women are still relatively new to the workplace. When actress Betty White was born on January 17, 1922, women had only gotten the right to vote 18 months earlier. (The 19th Amendment was passed on August 18, 1920.) The U.S. remains the innovation capital of the world, and the labor participation rate of its female population is one of the prime reasons why. Yet resistance to change and inertia constantly hold us back as a society: Once the challenge is recognized and embraced, each woman can then customize a solution—individually and collectively—to strengthen her positioning and pay it forward in a spirit of selfless leadership. Considering joining or starting an ERG is a healthy first step; making yourself part of the real and sustainable progress, hard won by generations of pioneering women who preceded you, is a constructive way forward that enhances both genders in the workplace and our society as a whole.

You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/paulfalcone1Paul Falcone (www.PaulFalconeHR.com) is a human resources executive and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development.


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GI Bill - Successful Transitioning Stories By Dr. Julie Ducharme Synergy Learning Institute As the president of Synergy Learning Institute, a nonprofit vocational college, I am blessed to work with our transitioning veterans. We serve many students looking for professional development and key skillsets necessary for everything from career transition to work/life balance. I am most excited to share our latest in a new series of interviews spotlighting each one of our successful veterans that have transitioned out of the military. Our audience is captivated by each veteran’s unique story, but it is truly wonderful to see the underlying themes emerging from their success within the entire speaker series itself. Today, I will be sharing with you the success story of Randy Rozzell, retired Navy Seal:

3. “Networking is so important! When you find the industry, you want to go into start networking. For me it was fire, so I started visiting fire stations, practicing interviews, building those relationships before I ever interviewed for those jobs.” 4. “For some reason there is this myth that companies will be lining up to hire vets because they are mission focused and good team workers. That is far from the truth I have heard many stories of vets who went an entire year without jobs, if you want to get hired you have to put in the work, don’t rely on your vet status to get you the job.” Randy, should Vets take advantage of their GI Bill?

“Absolutely, you can get paid to go to school where you get a housing allowance and as well school paid for. This is a great opportunity I have taken advantage of mine as I am finishing up my Masters.” Randy, besides being a Firefighter, you are also an entrepreneur, any tips on Vets thinking of going out on their own and starting a business? “I started my business while working as a Firefighter, so I didn’t have to rely on that income and that allowed me to build my business without pressure. IF starting your own business make sure to evaluate where you are financially. Where is the money coming in from? The last thing you want to do is start a business and have no income coming in.” Randy, any pitfalls you want to share from starting your business that should be avoided.?

Randy what are some key tips you can give us on how you made sure your transition from the Navy Seals was most successful?

1. “I will always be a Seal that was a very important part of my life that I am very proud of but don’t assume you are special or deserve special treatment because you were in the military. You have to work just as hard in your transition and new job as you would the military”. 2. “When you decide to get out you want to start planning this early. I started planning well over a year out. I did lots of research to see what industry I wanted to go into. I started taking classes before I was out. Applying and studying for the test and practicing interviews all before I was out and I started my second career the next day after I left. It may sound like a lot of work but it’s worth it.” 34

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“Yes, make sure you have the contract signed, in hand and the money is in. I made the mistake of thinking I had a contract and then spending $20,000 dollars on equipment and now its in storage and its been 3 years and this contract has not come through. So make sure not to jump the gun on those types of deals.” It is my pleasure to host these amazing veterans from all different branches of the Armed Forces. Please continue to join us for more amazing men and women as they share their journey of navigation from military to civilian work life balance. If you are interested in being a part of the Synergy Learning Institute Veteran Speaker Series, please go to our website www.synergylearninginstitute.org or email us directly synergylearninginstitute@gmail.com

GI Bill benefits help you pay for college, graduate school, and training programs. Since 1944, the GI Bill has helped qualifying Veterans and their family members get money to cover all or some of the costs for school or training. Learn more about GI Bill benefits below—and how to apply for them. www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a generous education benefit for the latest generation of service members and veterans.

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Homeland Chats with Country Artist and Former Secretary of State and Senator of Montana, Corey Stapleton. Homeland: Describe your time in the Navy - how long did you serve and where were you deployed? Corey Stapleton: I spent 11 years in the Navy.. initially enlisted into the Nuclear Power program, then served as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and USS Hue City (CG66), where I deployed mostly to the Mediterranean Sea. Homeland: You’ve had quite a diverse career from attending the Academy, serving in the Navy, to Secretary of State and Senator of Montana, and now releasing music as a country artist, with your debut album Sea Change out March 1. Talk us through those transitions, what advice would you give to someone who is transitioning to civilian life? Corey Stapleton: Actually, serving in elected office and serving in military uniform have a lot of similarities. Both are service to our country, under oath, and have an element of duty-before-self. I like the freedom of being able to lead in elective office better than the leadership meritocracy of the military--so that was an enjoyable transition for me. Much of being a successful political officeholder is communicating. Especially if you’re trying to accomplish something new or difficult, it’s vital to be able to articulate your ideas to a broad array of entities--sometimes hostile entities. So you become good at simplifying your words, repeating your message, and smiling. Kind of like a songwriter! My advice for someone transitioning out of the military back to civilian life is to use your discipline to your advantage (i.e. knowing how to work, showing up early, looking sharp, and assuming responsibility in any workplace you find yourself). Just have faith that the rest of society isn’t even close to where you are professionally. Get yourself a foothold financially, show your stuff, and then be prepared to seek promotion (inside or outside your organization) within 9-18 months. Take the risk! You’ll know what to do. Homeland: Tell us about your path to Nashville. Why music? Have you always wanted to write songs?


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My advice for someone transitioning out of the military back to civilian life is to use your discipline to your advantage (i.e. knowing how to work, showing up early, looking sharp, and assuming responsibility in any workplace you find yourself). Just have faith that the rest of society isn’t even close to where you are professionally.

Corey Stapleton: Being an 80’s guy, it was easy to love music! I never had (or took) the opportunity to make music or have a band, as I was the main breadwinner of my family of four kids. It just didn’t seem to be an option. But early in the pandemic, I began to write music and flew to Nashville out of frustration---as I wasn’t having much success with being my own sound engineer on my laptop back home in Billings, Montana. The $400 plane ticket to Nashville was worth every penny, because it allowed me to record at a professional studio without me having to hassle with the editing. And that is when my songs became unleashed. They’ve always been in me, just never had the chance to come out before. Homeland: How has your experience as a veteran influenced your music career and what you write about? Corey Stapleton: Military veterans have a worldview and understand that the United States’ history and strength carries enormous pride and responsibilities. It’s hard, as a veteran, to unsee the things I’ve experienced. My songwriting tends to be truthtelling, passionate. Homeland: Is writing therapeutic for you? Corey Stapleton: Very therapeutic. Writing/making music is part of my morning routine. Coffee, exercise, make a little music each day before I ‘start’ my day around 9:00am! Some days I write, some days I sing, some days I play (guitar) and some days I produce (edit) the music.

We betrayed an entire generation of young Afghans who were raised in freedom, signed the death warrants of interpreters and allies that were left behind, and lost American lives in haste because of the incompetence of civilian leadership. Homeland: What are you hoping that people take away from your debut album as a country artist? Corey Stapleton: I hope my music evokes emotion, and people enjoy the talented musicians and beautiful melodies of my full-length album. My songs tend to be deep, with lots of layers, so hopefully discerning fans will listen over and over again and share my music with their friends and family! Homeland: What is next for Corey Stapleton? Corey Stapleton: I left office as Montana Secretary of State a little over a year ago, and deactivated my social media while I was writing my album Sea Change. Now that the album is completed, I’m feeling that familiar call of duty again, ringing in my ear! Stand by, over. Follow along with Corey: Instagram: @coreysongs Facebook: www.facebook.com/coreysongs Twitter: @Stapleton_MT Website: www.coreystapleton.com

Homeland: “Kabul’s Fallen” is a hard-hitting take on Afghanistan, and an emotional topic for many veterans. Why did you feel the need to write this song? Corey Stapleton: I was mortified at the way the United States handled Afghanistan, both the initial surrender to the Taliban in Aug 2020 and the airfield debacle the following year.

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BUSINESS FOR VETERANS By Barbara Eldridge www.mindmasters.com

Master the Game of Business By Barbara Eldridge

“We choose to go…not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to measure and organize the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.” - John Fitzgerald Kennedy on sending a man to the moon The driving force in any business comes from the passion and persistence to fulfill a dream and a purpose. If you like winning or achieving success in any game or situation, then you must focus on what the end result looks like. In the game of chess you must capture the King to win; in sports it is getting the highest score, in personal physical areas it might mean reaching a certain weight or winning a marathon. In business you must define and strategize what the winning game is for you. To get in the game you need personal Goals that create the motivation, enthusiasm and fulfillment for playing all out in “the game of life.” Your personal goals are the benefits you receive as you pursue and take focused action in your business. The strength of your motivation for winning is directly related to the Goals you choose to pursue. They are your trophies, your titles, and your home runs. Mastering the game of business means you have identified what you want the business to achieve and designed effective results to create a series of wins the small ones give you a sense of what it feels like to be a winner. Results help measure your performance and give life to the game. Without the challenge there is little hope you will get excited about the activity it takes to be a winner nor will you make the necessary commitments for playing all out - then neither will your goals be met. When you expect to win, you are committing yourself 100% to the process of playing the game of business. 38

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That is when you’ll own the game, and you’ll own the outcome. You must learn the power of focus by writing out a specific plan and getting started on it, whether you’re ready or not. Remember that there is no perfect plan; the only perfect time to start is right now. Commit yourself to developing the belief that failure is feedback and offers an opportunity to restructure your plans. Achievement in any area of life requires commitment and consistency, and perhaps as a business owner, it requires it even more. Both work and learning take patience and discipline while consistently going beyond your limits. Move boldly in the direction of your dreams. Bring your passion, your excitement, your gratitude, appreciation and thankfulness to life, and you will indeed win in the Game of Business. Barbara Eldridge has built a solid reputation as a Success strategies specialist, within industry and business over the past 40 years. Her unique message, since starting Mind Masters 30 years ago for entrepreneurs and small business owners, continually stresses vision, purpose and values as the key elements of business philosophy. www.mindmasters.com

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


Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit for Military and Civilian Life By Stephanie Lee, Air Force Veteran & Enrollment Manager, CareerStep Sometimes, the sense of division between life in the military and life as a civilian feels like a vast chasm. In fact, for military families, this sense of division joins a long list of challenges that specifically impact the men and women who sacrifice so much for the country. These challenges couldn’t be more apparent than when it comes to finding a post-military career or one that is flexible enough to align with military spouses’ unique needs—a career that checks all the right boxes: satisfaction, security, and stability. Finding industries and employers that understand the skills of veterans and their families can seem like an uphill climb at times, and it shows. For example, the unemployment rate for veterans rose to 6.5% in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Reasons for this vary, but one contributing factor could be that lessons learned under the harsh conditions of combat don’t always translate to private-sector jobs. And for military spouses—60% of which say they’re looking for full- or part-time work—finding a profession that’s both portable and in-demand is increasingly difficult.

However, there is hope and there are opportunities. First, it’s important to consider key reasons why a career in healthcare—the fastest-growing sector in the U.S. economy according to BLS data—might just be what bridges that expansive gap between military and civilian life. 1. Meaningful Work Most who enter the military are looking for fulfilling work—an opportunity to make a difference. A real difference. But few civilian careers allow veterans to make as much of a difference as those found in healthcare. That’s because working in this particular field, regardless of the role, provides the opportunity to impact peoples’ lives in profound ways. From mending wounds and healing minds to saving lives, the difference healthcare workers make is undeniable. 2. Transferable Skills There’s a reason healthcare is an overwhelmingly popular career choice for veterans and their spouses: it’s an industry in which military-specific skills are undeniably relevant. Creative problem solving, adaptability, and effective communication—they’re all valuable skills that healthcare organizations can’t ignore if they want to provide the best possible service and care to their patients. And they’re all skills that veterans and their spouses already possess. 3. In-Demand Careers People need healthcare. In turn, the industry needs people willing to step up to the proverbial plate.


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Economic and labor experts believe we need to hire 2.3 million new healthcare workers by 2025 if we’re going to keep pace with the needs of our aging population. But a persistent shortage of skilled workers with exceptional knowledge and training means hundreds of thousands of positions will remain unfilled. Home health aides, medical assistants, lab technicians, and more are all in high demand. 4. Portable Jobs For a working military spouse, it can be difficult to cultivate a strong professional network, and when the time comes to pack up and move to a new city, the wrong vocation can leave even the most talented pro scrambling to start over. That’s why job portability is so important. Healthcare training provides the skills and certifications that employers are looking for in highgrowth, high-demand fields in virtually every city in the entire world. Supportive Training for Success These days, there are multiple training options for learners to pave their road to success. These organizations often have hiring network relationships, so it’s important to keep in contact and inform them when certification is achieved. It’s especially important for members of the healthcare sector to be fully qualified and properly trained. An early step is to start by choosing a specific discipline and then find a provider that can help learners develop the concrete job skills employers are looking for. The good news is that there’s a significant amount of trusted providers who specialize in transforming entrylevel learners into high-performing, certified healthcare professionals. And they all do this with expansive catalogs of fully online career training programs that are fast, portable, and eligible for military education grants—often covering up to 100% of the cost.

Healthcare Training For Your Next Phase of Life Our online training programs are approved for military education funding—all designed to help military members and their spouses build skills and thrive in careers that are portable, in-demand, and rewarding. Start training today so you can be prepared for meaningful work tomorrow.

Finding the right fit takes a little time and it is important to explore the possibilities. Doing the research is crucial as it can improve the learning experience—and potentially lead to faster employment. Deciding to pursue a career in healthcare is a fulfilling and viable option for veterans and their spouses. About the Author: Stephanie Lee served in the Air Force for 11 years as a Munitions Systems Craftsman. She now serves as an Enrollment Manager for CareerStep, (www.careerstep.com/military/), the Allied Health training division of Carrus. (www.carruslearn.com)

For more information, call (877) 201-3470 or visit www.careerstep.com/military WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


Treating Hearing Loss & Tinnitus Can Ease Transition to Civilian Life Don’t let hearing conditions hold you back. Solutions are readily available and can make all the difference for veterans in transition. By Hope Lanter, Au.D., lead audiologist, www.hear.com

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Millions of veterans suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus, which often create serious disruption and torment that impacts daily life. Given the constant service-related exposure to hazardous noise levels from loud machinery, gunfire, explosions, etc., it’s no wonder that over 1.3 million vets receive VA disability compensation for hearing loss and another 2.3 million for tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or clicking in the ears. But considering that more half of U.S. soldiers have hearing loss, it’s likely the number of veterans with hearing conditions far exceeds those who seek treatment and compensation. Even beyond the military, hearing loss impacts over 37 million Americans and tinnitus another 50 million more. While some veterans may feel embarrassed or ashamed by the thought of wearing a hearing aid, others who deal with significant disabilities, PTSD, etc. may see their hearing issues as a much lower priority—after all, it’s not a life-threatening condition. But hearing issues can create substantial stress, anxiety, depression and social withdrawal, all of which can compound PTSD and interfere with healing. Not to mention, left untreated, hearing problems can worsen over time, especially tinnitus, and there can be a point of diminishing returns: if you wait too long, treatment may be less effective.

Veterans face a number of obstacles in transitioning to civilian life. From adjusting to life with less structure to finding a new career, or even managing issues like PTSD, substance use disorder, injuries or disabilities, it can be a lot to handle. But if you’re also struggling to hear in normal conversations or avoiding quality time with friends or social situations because you can’t hear, or you’re tortured by a constant ringing or buzzing sound in your ears, it can only compound transition challenges, making it even more difficult to settle into a life you love. 42

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If you’re a veteran who’s suffering with hearing loss or tinnitus, you should know there are ample solutions available to help, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed or wait to seek treatment. Hearing issues could be a “low hanging fruit”—a situation that’s easily resolved so that you can concentrate on getting back to a life you love. For hearing loss, hearing aids are the obvious solution, and the technology has improved drastically from what you may remember. These are not your grandfather’s hearing aids. Modern options now include on-demand adjustability for different settings, Bluetooth connectivity that turns them into sleek earbuds, and even high-performance dirt- and sweatresistant models built for active individuals.

Not Just A Smaller Hearing Aid,

BUT A SMARTER ONE. While tinnitus is a bit more complex, hearing aids can also help. These work by amplifying sounds to correctly stimulate damaged nerves, or by simply masking the sound with white noise or a pitch that counteracts the tinnitus. In addition, relaxation, meditation and sound therapies can help you better cope with tinnitus to minimize its impact on your life. And, while there are some over-the-counter (OTC) remedies that claim to work miracles, many of these are “snake oil” treatments that do nothing more than waste your money. Unfortunately, nothing OTC is FDA approved yet. Fortunately, the VA offers ample resources and hearing loss benefits, including free hearing aids to those who qualify. And despite some skepticism, the hearing aids provided by the VA are premium technology, so certainly, you should start there in seeking treatment for service-related hearing loss and tinnitus. If you find you don’t qualify through the VA, visit an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist or audiologist for an evaluation. Many providers offer veterans’ discounts that can reduce the out-of-pocket cost for hearing loss treatment. The bottom line is that, for many veterans, hearing loss and tinnitus could be quite easily treated, so there’s no reason to suffer in silence. Resolving hearing-related issues could be an important piece of easing your transition to civilian life, and improving your career prospects, family life and overall physical and mental wellbeing. To find out more about how treating hearing loss can improve quality of life and the benefits available to U.S. service veterans, visit www.hear.com or call 786-520-2456 for a FREE consultation and to find a provider near you.


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Here's how you can get started: Visit: hear.com/veterans Call: (844) 4-HEARCOM or (844) 443-2726 www.hear.com/veterans WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


The Job Market By: Joseph Molina National Veterans Chamber of Commerce veteransccsd@gmail.com Most times, people tend to underestimate the power which lies in networking, and this is such a big mistake to make when considering career development and success in life. Active professional networking is critical to professional growth. Many shy away from the term “networking”, associating it with clumsiness, tacky events, and the idea of “selling out”. It’s about meeting and getting to know people who you can help and who might be able to help you in return. A good network built on trust and support can mean the difference between a mediocre career and a phenomenal one. Networking has a greater effect than instruction, promoting, and whatever else you accomplish for your business. Not exclusively is networking an easy route to progress, however it likewise assists in building long-term connections. These connections are the way into your business. Networking is one of those areas that financial backers realize they should zero in on, yet seldom do what’s necessary. By focusing on networking, you won’t acquire contacts or bargains yet, but arrangements you truly do get will have a lot more noteworthy possibilities in the end. What is Networking? In advertising terms, networking as a device will show you where to find future business opportunities rather than prompt outcomes. Yet, laid out organizers, in all actuality, do accomplish quick outcomes, which is the reason all financial specialists should be great at networking. Networking isn’t simply the trading of data with others, and it’s not tied in with asking for favors. Networking is tied in with laying out, building, and supporting long-term, commonly gainful associations with individuals you meet, regardless of whether you’re making arrangements while holding on to your morning espresso, taking part in an intramural games association, or going to a work gathering. You don’t need to join a few expert affiliations and go to each networking occasion that comes to your direction to be an effective organizer. Indeed, assuming you take your eyes off your cell phone when you’re out in broad daylight, you’ll see that networking open doors are surrounding you consistently. ADVANTAGES OF NETWORKING Networking in the workplace You might expect that networking is a movement saved for your break of the workplace and off the clock, yet nothing could be further from reality. 44

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While there is a lot of significant worth in associating with individuals who work at different organizations or in various fields, don’t limit the significance of networking in the work environment. Networking for career advancement Career advancement, in its easiest terms, is the deeply rooted development of your vocation. It’s affected by various things that incorporate the positions you hold, the encounters you gain all through the workplace, the development and achievement you accomplish at each phase of your vocation, the formal and casual instruction and preparation you get, and the criticism you’re given in the process. Networking in Job Search It’s a given that networking is extraordinarily significant during a pursuit of employment. Your possibilities of getting the job you desire increases tenfold with the right representative reference. Furthermore, assuming you’re hoping to make a vocation change, your expert organization can uphold you by assisting you with observing associations in the business you are attempting to break into or assisting you with securing leads for positions at explicit organizations. Information Networking is an extraordinary chance to trade best practice information, find out the business strategies of your colleagues, and keep up-to-date with the most recent industry improvements. A wide organization of educated, interconnected contacts implies more extensive admittance to new and significant data. Certainty By constantly putting yourself out there and meeting new individuals, you’re successfully venturing outside your usual range of familiarity and building important interactive abilities and fearlessness that you can take with you any place. The more you network within your organization, the more you’ll develop and figure out how to make enduring associations. Networking isn’t just about getting or asking; the best method for a partner is by giving!. Therefore, networking isn’t limited to formal events or unequivocal circumstances, yet rather can happen wherever and at whatever point. The Veterans Chamber of Commerce Radio Show Would you like to share your story? Then, be our guest on the show. Contact us at veteransccsd@gmail.com National Veterans Chamber of Commerce www.NationalVeterans.org

NATIONAL VETERANS Veterans in Tech There are hundreds of career options for you. You don’t have to have a background in tech If you are fully committed we can help you get there. Take the first step!

Schedule your FREE Session today.


www.NationalVeterans.org Military & Veterans receive a $1.00 discount - Use Code vachambers

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

ASSET PROTECTION FOR REAL ESTATE As a real estate investor, having an asset protection strategy is a critical component of a secure, resilient business structure. Most investors have their investment property held in a legal entity, but this is only one component of asset protection and unfortunately, one that can easily be sidestepped during legal proceedings. With a solid, multilayered approach, you could lose passive income or entire properties from a settlement or judgment against you or one of your businesses. WHAT IS REAL ESTATE ASSET PROTECTION? Real estate asset protection is a strategic approach to protecting your properties from creditors who may try to take control of your investments due to lawsuits or settlements. When a lawsuit occurs, regardless of whether it’s a settlement or judgment against you, you have the obligation to pay for damages, injuries, lawyer fees, and much more. For example, without a proper real estate asset protection plan, a personal suit could use a rental property to settle your financial obligations. If structured properly, asset protection planning can essentially separate your personal or entity legal obligations from other business assets you own. ASSET PROTECTION APPROACHES There are several options to help investors protect their assets. It’s important to look at the costs and benefits of each strategy and speak with a professional for advice on which structure best suits your needs. Investors with few properties may be able to get away with utilizing one or more strategies, while others may want to employ more because of the size of their investment portfolio. Here are a few of the most common asset protection approaches: • Homestead Protection – is one of the most foolproof approaches to protecting your asset from seizure but obviously can only apply to one property in which you’ll need to legally reside. In most jurisdictions, a significant portion, if not the entire value of the residence, is protected from bankruptcy, court judgments, or settlements. 46

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Currently, the California homestead exemption is automatic, meaning that a homestead declaration does not need to be filed with the county clerk. Under the new 2021 law $300,000 to $600,000 of a home’s equity cannot be touched by judgment creditors. • Limited Liability Companies (LLC) – are considered separate entities under the law and protect the owners of the LLC from the LLC’s liabilities and business debts. Holding each investment property in its own LLC limits creditors from attaching all your other real estate holdings for settle a judgement. For example, if one investment property gets sued, usually the other assets can’t be touched. • Insurance – is one of the most popular asset protection strategies in the real estate industry. The cover you choose for your property depends on the real estate type. You can protect your home with a homeowner’s policy and your commercial property with a business policy. You’ll need to increase your insurance coverage as your real estate portfolio grows.

Becoming a business owner, you control your own destiny, choose the people you work with, reap big rewards, challenge yourself, give back to the community, and you get to follow your passion.

• Management Company – can provide some protection if the management company is a third party that will manage the real property for you. However, usually these management companies will pass 100% risk to the owner, which leaves your rental investment exposed to potential lawsuits. If real estate investment is your actually business, then forming your own management company would be a great advantage and places distance between your real estate and tenants who could sue for anything.

Go Legal Yourself ® Know Your Business Legal Lifecycle

2nd Edition NOW AVAILABLE!

Becoming a business owner, you control your own destiny, choose the people you work with, reap big rewards, challenge yourself, give back to the community, and you get to follow your passion. Knowing what you’re getting into is smart business because the responsibility of protecting your family and yourself falls on you. For more information on how to legally start and grow your business please visit my website at www.BaglaLaw.com

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

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

Gather the right documentation Protect your brand Avoid expensive legal pitfalls Plan and manage growth competatively

Rest assured that no nasty legal surprises will stand between you and your success.


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

Parallel Parenting: Is it for You? Most people are familiar with the term co-parenting, but have you ever heard of parallel parenting? In an ideal divorce, parents would separate but be capable of coparenting their children. Unfortunately, all too often this is not the case as one parent either refuses to do so or is caught up emotionally in the negative feelings they are harboring toward the other parent. In high conflict cases, communication and co-parenting can be practically non-existent. Parallel parenting is a method utilized in situation where traditional co-parenting will not work. It minimizes contact between parents. What is the Goal of Parallel Parenting? The goal of parallel parenting is simply to avoid conflict; particularly in front of your children who are negatively affected by it. The purpose is not to keep parents away from their children, but to minimize interactions between parents. How Does Parallel Parenting Work? In a traditional co-parenting situation, parents work together to raise their children. For example, the parents may consult each other on topics like household routines, school events, what extracurricular to enroll their child in, what days it occurs, who can take the child on each day, what the costsplitting will look like etc. In parallel parenting each parent has their own, independent parenting style and rules when the children are with them. In a parallel parenting scenario, a parent would enroll the child in an activity on their time. No discussion with the other parent is needed as long as it does not interfere with their time or require the other parent to pay for it. They would simply just inform them that they were enrolled. Similarly, the other parent would be in control of the activities the child participates in on their time. Everything is separate. Parents do not attend the same school events, extracurriculars, meetings, or appointments. If one of these events falls on their time, they attend. If it’s on the other parent’s time they don’t Parallel parenting allows the parents to parent while being disengaged from the other parent. 48

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The parents detach from each other and do not communicate about most day-to-day custodial decisions while the childrenare under either parent’s care. Instead, each parent has control over their respective parenting responsibilities during their parenting time. Parallel parenting is essentially an alternative to traditional co-parenting that can be utilized in high conflict custody matters. Coparenting can be viewed as collaborative efforts of parents who live apart that implies a certain level of cooperation in the common and everyday tasks of raising their child. Whereas parallel parenting is where parents operate completely independent of each other while avoiding any discussion and minimizing communication. While parallel parenting minimizes communications, it does not eliminate it. Typically, any communications are business like.

When Might Parallel Parenting be Useful? Parallel parenting may be useful in situations where one parent or both parents harbor resentment or ill feelings toward the other which affect their ability to co-parent and respect the other parent, where simple interactions like exchanges or attending events together lead to conflict, where communications between the parties often escalate into confrontations, or where the parties cannot agree on any aspects of their parenting styles.

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Parallel Parenting Plans and Child Custody Orders Since parallel parenting minimizes any communication between the parents, a parallel parenting plan child custody order must be as specific as possible. Holiday and vacation schedules should include all details as to dates, times, and location of exchanges. The more specifics the order includes, the less chance there is for conflict. In a parallel parenting plan, the orders will often detail who transports the child, what procedures to follow for cancelling a visitation, procedures for late pickups, and how to handle child illnesses. Child custody orders involving a parallel parenting plan leave little room for parents to work out any details themselves. This is because in most parallel parenting situations, the parents are simply incapable of doing so. How Parallel Parenting Plans Help Children In high conflict custody cases, parents are often unaware of how impactful their conflict with the other parent is on their children. Parents in these high conflict situations are often too caught up in their conflict to recognize the negative impact it has on their children or how it is damaging them. Children often feel caught in the middle. With a parallel parenting plan, parents only communicate when necessary and their interactions are minimized which reduces the conflict in most cases. Since children won’t witness constant conflict between their parents, parallel parenting prevents damage to the relationship between each parent and child while helping your children to feel more secure, less anxious and keeping them out of the middle of the conflict.

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Call 858-720-8250 or visit www.frfamilylaw.com to schedule a free consultation. Flat-fee law packages available.

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

This article is intended only for informational purposes and should not be taken as legal advice.

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


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TRAIN TO BECOME A CRANE OPERATOR TODAY. Visit: www.heavyequipmentcollege.com No Official US Government or DOD endorsement is implied WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


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

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


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022

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

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

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

Homeland Magazine

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

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

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

Learn more: www.cohenveteransnetwork.org 60

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

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

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

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

What’s Next


Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby & Kristin Hennessy

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

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

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

You can connect with Eve at

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

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

Human Resources


Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

National Veterans Chamber of Commerce

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

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

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

Business for Veterans

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

By Barbara Eldridge


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

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

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

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


Back to Better: Mental Health Care for Veterans, Service Members, & their Families

Cohen Clinics provide therapy for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and transitional issues for post-9/11 veterans, service members, and military families, including National Guard / Reserves. CVN Telehealth, face-to-face video therapy available.


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022

Support the Cohen Clinic Your donations help provide high-quality mental health care to veterans, service members, their families.

Make a gift today: vvsd.net/cohenclinicsandiego

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / MARCH 2022


Resources Support Transition HEALTH INSPIRATION

Homeland Magazine A Veterans Magazine by Veterans for Veterans

www.HomelandMagazine.com Voted 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021 BEST resource, support media for veterans, military families & military personnel. 64

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Inside the Monthly Columns

pages 60-64

Legal Eagle - Asset Protection

pages 46-47

Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit

pages 40-41

The Job Market

pages 44-45

Master the Game of Business

pages 38-39

Country Artist Corey Stapleton

pages 36-37

GI Bill (Successful Stories

pages 34-35

Real Talk: Caregiver

pages 26-27

Healing Through Hunting

pages 28-29

What’s Next: The Black Curtain

pages 30-31

Shelter to Soldier (STS Mission

pages 20-21

Jan Scruggs - PTSD Survivor

pages 6-7

Beyond the Uniform

pages 12-15

Women Leading in the Military

pages 16-17

Artist Joe Everson

pages 18-19

Meet the Donut Dollies

pages 10-11

Paved Road (Women Veterans

pages 8-9

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI

pages 22-25
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