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Resources Support Inspiration

Vol. 2 Number 5 • May 2015

MEMORIAL DAY A Time For Heroes

Casting Light On The Invisible Wounds Of War Summer Events A Time To Honor and Reflect Enlisted To Entrepreneur San Diego Community For Veterans

San Diego Ride For Vets C o m m e m o r a t i v e E d i t i o n

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VA Home Loans for Veterans by a Veteran As a homeowner myself using my VA loan and as a multiple home investor, I understand purchasing a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases someone will make in their lifetime. Being a 10-year active duty Veteran as an Airborne Paratrooper, I know what it means to sacrifice your time away from civilian life and the abuse your body takes in the military. That’s why I’ve made it my mission as a Loan Officer to reach out to other Veterans to assist with their Home Purchases. From pre-qualification to closing, I will be there to ensure that the loan process for your home goes as smoothly as possible. You will find that I strive to keep in contact with my clients throughout the entire process and to be easily accessible. In addition to VA home loans, I also specialize in FHA and Conventional home loans. BRE# 01147747 NMLS# 9873 Top Producer 2008 through 2013

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Homeland Publisher Michael J. Miller

Contributing Writers Linda Kreter Rick Rogers CJ Machado Vicki Garcia Jessica Gercke Vesta Anderson Mark Baird

Public Relations Linda Kreter CJ Machado Greetings and a warm welcome to HOMELAND Magazine!

Graphic Design Trevor Watson

Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. Homeland Magazine focuses on real stories from real heroes; the service member, the veteran, the wounded and the families that keep it together. Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with service members, families, veterans and civilians. Homeland is about standing your ground, resilience, adaptation, inspiration and solidarity. HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; our focus is on family, military and civilians alike. I believe HOMELAND is where the heart is, and our publication covers a wide variety of topics, and issues about real life and real stories. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. They say San Diego is a military town, I find that San Diego is a HOMELAND town, where military and civilians work and live together. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine. With warmest thanks, Michael J. Miller, Publisher 4

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Homeland Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved. Homeland Magazine 9750 Miramar Road, Suite 315 San Diego, CA 92126

858.877.3421 Contact Homeland Magazine at: info@homelandmagazine.com

Inside This Issue

Homeland 6 Why Celebrate Memorial Day?


7 It’s Summer: A Time To Honor & Reflect 9 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 10 San Diego Ride For Vets 18 Canine Companions For Independence



18 Veterans Art Project 23 Smiles For Heroes 26 Memorial Day - A Time For Heroes 32 Casting Light On The Invisible Wounds Of War


Famous U.S. Veteran Memorials


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Why Celebrate Memorial Day?


ince 9/11/01 America has lost over 10,000 Americans, 8,000+ of these citizens were those that volunteered to join the US military after that heinous attack. On May 25, 2015 we will all share a responsibility and a duty to honor these beloved men and women of our nation. Unlike “Veterans Day” that honors all US veterans, Memorial Day is dedicated to those who have given their lives while in US military service. It is a day of remembrance for their sacrifices. It is the least that we as a nation can do. The first Memorial Day observances started spontaneously after our Civil War. Southern women were known for decorating their war dead with fresh flowers on their graves. And immediately after the Civil War when slaves were freed, they also went about and decorated all the union soldiers’ graves to thank them. They sang songs in Charleston, SC. It had been a city where thousands of union soldiers were kept prisoners. Many died while hoping for the war to end and to return to their loved ones. The freed slaves, along with missionaries cleaned up their burial sites. Nearly 10,000 people attended, including 3,000 children of the freed slaves. The freedmen also built a memorial arch at the entrance to the cemetery and labeled it “Martyrs of the Race Course.” The day was reported in the New York Times as the “First Decoration Day.” Black Americans recently freed from slavery announced to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the war had been about.


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Following the example set by southern slaves, the North responded by creating a national holiday in 1868. The date set for the day of remembrance was May 30. It was not chosen because of any particular battle; but simply because it was a day that flowers would be in bloom. It was called “Decoration Day.” By 1878 every state in the union made this day a solemn day of remembering all Americans who have given their lives in service to our country. America is still the light of the world’s nations. We defend the innocent and the powerless from evil dictators, regimes and terrorists. It is a noble profession to fight in defense of these peoples. America is also still a nation of faith in God. More than 83% of us profess belief in the God of the Bible. – It is critical that we all devote ourselves to honoring those who have given their lives so that others can live. God will not continue to bless a country that fails to do so. Be sad and shed tears on this day for the grief of families, friends and loved ones of those that have fallen. Be sad and shed tears on this day for the grief of families, friends and loved ones of those that have fallen. Be sad for the loss of life suffered by our armed forces. But then rejoice and be glad. Their sacrifices must be honored with rejoicing too. Because of them our country is secure. Praise God! Praise them! Rejoice that such extraordinary citizens have kept America brave and free!

Mark Baird HirePatriots.com www.homelandmagazine.com

Summer: A Time to Honor and Reflect The USS Midway Museum again will kick off the summer with Legacy Week, a three-day celebration of service to country over the Memorial Day Weekend. It’s especially appropriate in 2015 when in August Midway will also celebrate the Greatest Generation and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. And both events come on the heels of a justcompleted Vietnam remembrance initiative that was widely supported by San Diegans.

Where Your Accomplishments Are Valued!

Free Veterans Wreath Ceremony

The USS Midway Museum just completed a two-week campaign to tie 58,300 remembrance ribbons on the flight deck’s fence. Each ribbon represented an American who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam, including those still listed as MIA. Thousands of San Diegans tied the ribbons, as part of a community welcome to The Wall That Heals.

All active-duty and veterans are invited to a special wreath ceremony on Saturday, May 23, at 9 a.m. on the flight deck. Veterans from five wars and conflicts, along with youngsters from the audience, will present remembrance wreaths over the side. All event attendees can remain aboard and enjoy the museum the same day. This is a family-oriented ceremony and all of San Diego is welcome!

American Freedom Festival

That same night (May 23), Wynonna will perform live on Midway’s flight deck. It’s called the American Freedom Festival and is always a sold-out event. One of the highlights is the number of local veterans service organizations that receive a portion of the proceeds. Wynonna is as popular as ever among the military community so this promises to be a very special evening aboard Midway.

Legacy Week, May 23-25

During regular museum hours there will be a unique kids discovery zone and a very popular annual feature, “Meet the Aviators.” At every aircraft in the museum’s inventory, we will have pilots who flew that aircraft, sharing their experiences and stories with museum guests. From World War II to Operation Desert Storm, museum visitors will meet the aviators who flew Midway’s aircraft. On May 24, the U.S. Navy Ban will perform live on the flight deck at 1:30 p.m. On the following day, the San Diego Blood Bank will conduct a blood drive on Navy Pier, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The USS Midway Museum is available for military retirements, re-enlistments, changes of command, and other military events.

We’re proud to be your resource!

Saluting the Greatest Generation

Then on August 15, Midway will invite every local World War II veteran to join us on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. It will be a massive community celebration on the flight deck where San Diegans literally will be able to shake the hand of the Greatest Generation. Incredibly, nearly two dozen WWII veterans share their stories with the general public aboard the USS Midway on a regular basis. People of all ages and from around the world are eager to say “thank you” to the Greatest Generation.

For more information about these events, visit www.midway.org.


Contact the Military Event Manager for more information

(619) 398-8252 • www.midway.org

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MAKING MILITARY LIFE EASIER FAMILY STRENGTHENING We focus on fostering the bonds within families by lowering stress levels and increasing coping skills for an overall wellbeing in the home. YouTH DEvELopMENT We are dedicated to nurturing the growth, potential, and resiliency of military youth through fun and free children’s programs WouNDED, INjuRED & ILL SuppoRT Many of our programs are designed to meet urgent and long-term needs of wounded, injured or ill service members


There’s no better place to set up camp in San Diego than the newly renovated Declan Suites San Diego.

SpEcIAL EvENTS Military Family Holiday Toy Magical Holiday Party Father Daughter Dance Armed Services YMCA Golf Classic Wounded Marine Golf Tournament Christmas You Missed NICU Reunion


Featuring 264 spacious two-room suites and the new Deck 12 bar and restaurant, Declan Suites is the perfect place to celebrate any special occasion. Whether you’re planning a San Diego birthday, reunion, wedding rehearsal, business retreat or training meeting, Declan can cater any event to accommodate your individual needs. Declan Suites offers a 10% discount to all military on any meeting or event booked in April, May or June. 701 A Street | San Diego, CA 92101 sales@declansuites.com | 619-819-6613 www.declansuitessandiego.com

NEXT STEP Service Dogs

Based in Escondido, California, Next Service Dogs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit leader in service dog training for courageous wounded warriors with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury). Join an amazing team of dedicated volunteers and even more amazing dogs, to create new healing and new joy for our veterans. All donations and support are immensely appreciated.

Contact us at

(760) 438-9190

or email judy@nextstepservicedogs.org. www.nextstepservicedogs.org


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enlisted to entrepreneur By Vicki Garcia

You Don’t Have to Start a Big Business to Be the Boss

Americans eat 100 acres of pizza each day.

When it comes to Small Claims court Kelly Hairgrove is an expert. Discharged from the Navy in early 1997 after four years duty doing everything from creating TAD orders, to working in the motor pool, and conducting military tours of Pearl Harbor, Kelly wasn’t immediately ready to think about her civilian life. Her sister found her a job for a time, she went to school to study to be a paralegal, but working for a law firm didn’t seem all that appealing. In 2005, she began working with a company specializing in small claims.

That’s 2,400 pizzas a minute. 350 slices a second. Delicious. Learn even more at National University. Service members are eligible for reduced tuition. On base. Online. Non-profit.

Turn What You’re Good at Into a Business

Don’t think you have time to learn something new? You just did.

Early in 2015, Kelly started her own small business appropriately called “Small Claims San Diego” – services including preparation for trial, process serving, and post-judgement support. You might win your case, but how do you get the money? Kelly knows how to perform a till tap, bank levy and filing and recording a lien or wage garnishment, plus lot of other things. Considering Small Claims judgements can be as high as $10,000, it’s a valuable service many plaintiffs appreciate. Most of Kelly’s clients are companies. To her surprise, her business immediately took off and there’s no shortage of customers. Not every veteran’s entrepreneurial enterprise takes off like a rocket, but it can happen.

Keep learning at think.nu.edu © 2015 National University NU15_2185

Kelly is now enrolled in the Veteran Entrepreneurs Today (V.E.T.) program, operated under the non-profit Honoring Our Troops, where she aims to learn the details of management, marketing and financial management over 12 weeks of weekly group meetings with other veteran entrepreneurs and experts in the field.

Entrepreneurs Make Their Own Jobs

According to the San Diego Veterans Coalition, starting in 2014 one million veterans will re-enter the U.S. job market. Thirty thousand of those men and women will be discharged into the San Diego community with approximately 50% expected to stick around. Looking for a job in the current job market is daunting, even if you haven’t spent the last several years in the military culture. A visit to any veteran job fair is a study in the frustration and despair that comes with unemployment. Joblessness for young male vets is as much as 27%, and for female veterans it is even higher. Owning your own business is a meaningful answer to veteran joblessness. The skills, discipline, and maturity gained in the service prepares veterans to succeed in entrepreneurial enterprises.

The San  Diego  Police   Department  is    


According to Forbes Magazine, San Diego is the #1 City in which to startup a business in 2014. So, at least you know you’re in the right place. Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of V.E.T. and the CEO of the marketing firm Marketing Impressions. She has spent the last 30 years helping small business owners succeed. You can learn about V.E.T. at http://hrtroops.org/programs/ veteran-entrepreneurs or email Vicki at vicki@hrtroops.org.

For more  information,  visit   www.joinSDPDnow.com   Or  contact  a  Recruiter  at   (619)531-­COPS   For more info contact Officer Steve Markland @ (619)531-­2202 or smarkland@pd.sandiego.gov  


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Get ready and rev up for an exciting and fun event coming this May 9th. Love Amazingly Productions and Homeland Magazine presents the San Diego Ride for Vets, a four-stop motorcycle ride highlighting veteran organizations and historical landmarks. The ride will benefit many veteran organizations including the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation, ‘Arts for Veterans’ program, Veterans Village of San Diego and Triple Threat support group for combat veterans suffering from PTSD, to only name a few.

1st stop and Registration: The USMC Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum

two minutes. See him in action at the event or get a sneak peek at: www. LoveAmazinglyProductions.com/art-gallery.html

Join us for breakfast while best-selling author Kenny Kemp tells us stories from his Pacific War Scrapbook, Flying with the Flak Pak, which highlights his father O.C. Kemp who flew over fifteen missions during WWII. Flak Pak includes 1,000 photos, maps and illustrations that bring the war in the Pacific to life through a young pilot’s eyes.

The Smithsonian artist and talented author’s gorgeous side-kick, Bonnie Kemp-Sheets, is his number one supporter and just happens to be his niece. Bonnie will be joining her uncle Bob and brother Kenny in complete “Rosie the Riveter” attire. Bonnie shares the Kemp artistic flair, which you can see through her graphic design contributions in ‘Flak Pak’ and ‘Dog Face’.

San Diego Ride For Vets

Kenny’s uncle, 90 year old decorated WWII veteran, Robert (Bob) C. Kemp will amaze the participants with his artistic talents by drawing a soldier within

Bob’s amazing soldier drawings can also be seen in his most recent book ‘Dog Face’, a satire of war that is depicted through his comedic drawings, which can be signed at the event or purchased through amazon.com.

The USMC Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum is a unique museum filled with legendary aircraft that were instrumental in conquering the enemy in wartime since the history of Marine Aviation. The Famous Wildcat replica

Bonnie and Bob Kemp


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Funds raised will support aircraft and artifact restoration and preservation as well as the Museum’s educational programs. Join our efforts to restore the Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber. The SBD is best remembered as the bomber that delivered the fatal blows to the Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the turning point of the war in the Pacific. The diving Dauntless went on to destroy 18 enemy warships, including a battleship and six carriers. This old warrior from WWII deserves to be restored to its former glory. This labor of love is taking place in our restoration department of the Flying Leathernecks Museum. We need your support and donations to restore and publicly showcase this aircraft. The USMC Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to preserving and honoring the contributions made by Marine Corps aviators and their ground support personnel. The museum is funded by generous donors and is strongly supported by the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation. In order to ensure the preservation of these incredible aircraft, donations are needed and greatly appreciated. To donate, please visit: https://flyingleathernecks. org/donate-now/

O.C. Kemp Flying with the Flak Pak that Joe Foss flew during WWII is one of many acclaimed aircraft displayed at the Museum. Joe Foss was the leading fighter Ace of the Marine Corps with a total of 26 downed Japanese planes. The dedicated staff and volunteers are the Museum’s Living Legends. When you visit, be sure to take a personal narrative tour with an experienced and knowledgeable volunteer. Many of the volunteers have served in the military and have monumental stories of their own. Such as remarkable USMC retired, 93 year old Major Glenn Ferguson, who served in WWII and Korea. His stories are so incredible that he is featured in the upcoming documentary series Heroes in History.

schedule, please visit: http://flyingleathernecks. org/open-cockpit-days/ If you would like to learn more and support the USMC Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum, consider attending the upcoming annual Gala on May 30th. This year will commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II. Marine Corps aviation played a significant role in the Pacific theatre from Guadalcanal to Okinawa. Enjoy Love Amazingly Productions tribute presentation honoring WWII Marine Aircraft, Aviators and crew that contributed significantly to defeating the enemy and ensuring America’s freedom.

This command museum is located at MCAS Miramar, T-4203 Anderson Ave. Website: http://flyingleathernecks.org/ Contact: 1-877-FLY-USMC (1-877-359-8762) 1-877-359-8762) Facebook: flyingleatherneckhistoricalfoundation Twitter: @FlyUSMC1 YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/

Chairman of the Board of this historical foundation is Distinguished Vietnam Veteran, Major General Bob Butcher. USMC retired, General Butcher was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (the highest non-combat military award), Distinguished Flying Cross, 15 Air Medals and the Bronze Star in Vietnam. General Butcher flew the A-4 Skyhawk for over thirty years. The acclaimed A-4 Skyhawk is part of the Museum’s diverse collection and can be seen on display. His dedication to service and the Marines is an integral part of the Museum’s commitment in preserving Marine Aviation history. Come experience the impressive aircraft at the Museum. Bring the kids and they’ll feel like a real pilot during the Museum’s open cockpit days, starting this May 16-17th. Big kids can partake too and relive their childhood dreams of becoming a Flying Ace. To see the 2015 open cockpit summer www.homelandmagazine.com

USMC Retired Major Glenn Ferguson

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San Diego Ride For Vets

In Peaceful Moments of Quiet Reflection Gratitude Overwhelms the Soul in Remembrance of those who Gave their Lives for Our Freedom

Fort Rosecrans

fort rosecrans

Give your respects with retired Navy Petty Officer First Class, Clayton Becker, playing Taps with members of the 82nd Airborne Division Association Honor Guard

San Diego Ride For Vets

Veterans Museum and Memorial Center

The Veterans Museum and Memorial Center is hosting a “Vet Art Fest” that is open to the public in support of the San Diego Ride for Vets and “Tony the Vet’s” (Tony Lo Bleu) ‘Arts for Veterans’ program. All veteran support organizations and businesses are welcome to set up a booth and offer their services to our heroes. Come meet “Tony the Vet” and participate in the Make-a-Card project where we will fill a WWII jeep with “thank you” cards for our service members overseas and our hospitalized veteran’s. Steve Dilley with VetArt.Org will display a bronze casting of Tony and offers FREE bronze casting to veterans, active duty and spouses at the California Sculpture Academy in Fallbrook. “Tony the Vet” is most famous for his 2010 “Walkathon Across America”. Tony walked from San Diego, CA to Ground Zero NYC in honor of our 9/11 fallen. Tony will announce his “Walk Across California” initiative, honoring veteran organizations and museums to raise public awareness.

All’ programs, which emphasizes veteran and community outreach through the creative arts. Tony’s FREE creative classes are featured at the VMMC on the second Tuesday of each month and include literary, performing and visual arts. For more information, please stop by his booth or visit: www. TonytheVet.org Contact Tony at: tony@tonythevet.org There is so much to do at this amazing event stop for kids and adults alike. You can help create a Patriotic Sidewalk Mural with chalk, show off your artistic flair in decorating ‘Dog Face’ coloring pages and participate in the Patriotic Art Contest, where you can paint or draw your own masterpiece. Because ‘All God’s Creatures Deserve a Good Home’, you can choose from hundreds of donated plush animals and share their story. Please remember to give special care instructions to help find a “plushy” the perfect loving home or adopt one of your own. Consider giving a plush animal to a veteran as a thank you for their service or a child who has lost a parent in the service of our country. The musical program was created to inspire our youth, support our veteran musicians and incorporate musical talents that support our veterans and honor their service.

Tony is the founder of the ‘Arts for Veterans’ and ‘Arts for


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A silent auction will be held to support our veterans. Assorted gift baskets, extraordinary artwork and thoughtful donations can be bid upon. The proceeds will go to the ‘Arts for Veterans’ program and the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center. If you would like to host a booth or donate to the silent auction, please contact CJ Machado at: cjmachado@LoveAmazinglyProductions.com We are proud to collaborate with The Veterans Museum and Memorial Center (VMMC). The VMMC is located in the historic Navy chapel of the old Balboa Park Naval Hospital that served our military many years ago. VMMC now serves as a museum that preserves and honors the memory of our men and women of the Armed Forces, Coast Guard, and Wartime Merchant Marine. The collection contains artifacts, documents, photographs, memorabilia, and artwork from the Civil War to present. VMMC Director Sheldon Margolis, CJ Machado and Tony The Vet The San Diego Children’s Choir will sing patriotic music to the displayed “Operation Never Forget”, 9/11 Memorial Flag. The Flag is over two stories high and has visited over 100 locations, honoring our fallen heroes and citizens from the 9/11 tragedy. Inspired by Tom Mc Brien, the patchwork quilt was created with over 3,000 4”x6” American flags, where each small flag represents a victim of the 9/11 attack and the larger flags represent the countries whom lost citizens and service organizations that assisted in the tragic outcome. Rising star, Kyler Gough from the upcoming inspirational teenage program, ‘The Kyler’s Show’ will perform her new hit single “Cherry Bomb’” This fun and sassy song was created and produced by, Joe West. You can watch ‘The Kyler’s Show’ at: http:// tinyurl.com/LoveAmazingly. Kyler’s musical video will be available for purchase and part of the proceeds will go to benefit veteran organizations.

If you’re looking for a historic venue to host an event with nostalgic appeal, VMMC is the opportune place. www.veteransmuseum.org Refer to the VMMC’s event page for upcoming events, celebrations and the United Veterans Memorial Service (UVMS) that is held once a month on the fourth Saturday of every month. The UVMS is a monthly community outreach program that provides a formal service with full military honors to all San Diego Veterans and serving military who passed away during the month. The United Veterans Memorial Service is open to everyone and encourages the community to attend and pay tribute to our beloved service members.

Mike Masse, Alpha Vet’s and Resounding Joy’s Semper Sound will be performing live with Bobby Kimball, the original lead singer of Toto. Bobby Kimball is best known for his Toto hit songs “Rosanna”, “Africa” and “Hold the Line”. Bobby was raised and started his musical career in Louisiana. On May 16, 2010, Bobby was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame for his life-long outstanding musical Kyler Gough accomplishments. Bobby performs worldwide and contributes greatly to benefit concerts. He most recently represented the United States in the LVI International Song Festival in Chile, South America with the song “Living your Life for Happiness”. His love for life and serving others in need shows through his philanthropic involvement. Among his many charitable causes, Bobby is an active Board member of the “Rock for Vets” organization that is dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of disabled military veterans through music instruction and rehabilitation. www.MusicIsTheRemedy.org For the latest events and information on Bobby Kimball: https://www.facebook.com/ bobbykimballofficialfanpage

Bobby Kimball

Thank you Bobby for your dedication and service to our veterans and our community.


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San Diego Ride For Vets

San Diego Harley-Davidson The Ride ends, but the Party begins at the SD Harley-Davidson 4645 Morena Blvd. where Director Joe Ferro with his cast and crew will be riding in the ‘Crazy 8’s’ motorcycle club gear from his upcoming feature film ‘Exit Zero’. Film star Ian Leitch plays a Vietnam veteran that finds his way back to humanity through the brotherhood of his ‘Crazy 8’ Motorcycle Club. Veteran related productions will be shown on the SD HarleyDavidson Big Screen. ‘Exit Zero’s’ movie trailer will be featured along with ‘Heroes in History’ documentary series trailer, Dr. Leslie Bonar’s ‘Smiles for Heroes’ promo video and the ‘Nitrous’ dental sitcom teaser.

Love Amazingly Productions documentary series, ‘Heroes in History,’ reveals the untold CJ Machado and New York Mike stories of our veteran heroes that lived through them…before they are lost forever. USMC Retired Major Glenn Ferguson stars in the first episode and USMC Retired Major General Bob Butcher is the narrator of this historic tribute series. Dr. Leslie Bonar, the creator of the ‘Smiles for Heroes’ program will inspire other dentists to help support our veterans with a new life and a great smile in her promo video. This program assists our veteran heroes who want to live a clean and sober life and empowers them to do so with a confident smile. A great smile changes lives. ‘Nitrous’ a hilarious dental sitcom written by, CJ Machado and produced by Love Amazingly Productions was created to support many veteran organizations including the Veterans Village of San Diego’s dental clinic and the ‘Smiles for Heroes’ program. CJ is a dental hygienist by trade and her humanitarian interests motivate her to create projects that support our community. Watch the ridiculous antics of Dr. Bowers played by James Wolfe and his dysfunctional dental team on: http://tinyurl.com/LoveAmazingly Nitrous, It’s a Gas! The last segment of the veteran film presentation will be dedicated to the loyal and respected Las Vegas Marine Riders.

Las Vegas Marine Riders Google & Ghost


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Established in 2002, the Las Vegas Marine Riders is the mother chapter of the Marine Riders. These great men have quietly served the community for decades. A proud sponsor of the Toys for Tots program, where every year the Las Vegas Marine Riders collect

“Game On” Auction Piece

Artist Scott Jacobs hundreds of toys and rides to distribute them to children in need. This year’s “Toys for Tots” event will be hosted at the Leatherneck Club of Las Vegas on October 31st. Las Vegas is not short of motorcycle events or rides to attend. Part of the LV Marine Riders motivation to come and ride in the San Diego Ride for Vets is the collaboration with the Spirit of ’45 Ride. Eighty-eight year old WWII veteran Chancellor Bruce Heilman will be riding his Harley across the country to DC, honoring the Gold Star families. Always willing to help and support another veteran, The Las Vegas Marine Riders will escort the Chancellor on his first leg from San Diego to Las Vegas. There will be a welcoming party at the Las Vegas Harley-Davidson on Las Vegas Blvd., Sunday, May 10th (Mother’s Day) at 6pm. To register http:// tinyurl.com/ChancellorWelcome Heilman will continue his Spirit of ’45 Ride to Washington DC’s National Monument to meet with the “Rolling Thunder” this Memorial Day. To support the Las Vegas Marine Riders and their great organization, when in Vegas, visit the Leatherneck Club of Las Vegas on Spring Mtn. Rd. Relax, have a drink at their “Bunker” and thank a vet . Don’t forget to try co-owner “Google’s” chili. It’s the “BEST Damn Chili in Vegas.” Spend some time to appreciate the Marine Corps historical memorabilia display. These rare and cherished items were entrusted to them by the Marine Corps League 186 and private donors. A testimony to the respect and admiration many have www.homelandmagazine.com

for co-owners “Ghost” (Tom Martin), president of the Las Vegas Marine Riders and dedicated Road Captain “Google” (Brian Soucy).

Patriot Chef will feature his “discipline” spice, one of the twelve exhilarating spice blends that is part of his Patriot Chef Spice Series.

Save the date for Saturday, November 14, 2015 and join the Las Vegas Marine Riders for the annual Ride for Vets, Vegas Poker Run to benefit the Las Vegas Veterans Memorial Foundation. www.lasvegasveteransmemorial.org

Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Henry Straub served for over 20 years and continues his service to country by sharing his cooking talents with service members and veterans on his upcoming ‘Patriot Chef’ series. This unique cooking show will incorporate historical facts that honor our country and shares sensational recipes and tips for your family to enjoy. The first episode of the ‘Patriot Chef’ will be filmed at the upcoming SD Ride for Vets event or you can watch it at: http:// tinyurl.com/LoveAmazingly

Harley-Davidson’s first officially licensed artist, Scott Jacobs donated his limited edition print, “Game On” to be auctioned in support of the Las Vegas Veterans Memorial Foundation. Scott Jacobs Studio Art Gallery & Framing is located in San Marcos, California and supports our veterans and community.

by Tim Gale, a disabled veteran who served 10 years in the Army and was awarded a medal for valor during the Gulf War. Tim Gale with San Diego Jacuzzi Transport heard of the ride through Tony the Vet and immediately felt compelled to give back to a fellow veteran. “I learned everything I know from the Army so I am grateful to give back. I am giving back what I can, if I could give more I would.” -Tim Gale Big thanks to Tim and Paula Gale with San Diego Jacuzzi Transport. Opportunity and Grand Prize Drawing tickets will be sold by the “Combat Chicks” throughout the SD Ride for Vets on May 9th and will be available to purchase at the SD Harley-Davidson weeks ahead of time. Must be present to win the Grand Prize Drawing.

Inspirational movie previews, teasers and promo videos along with delicious food leaves only two things left, great music and the Grand Prize.

To register online for the San Diego Ride for Vets, visit: http://tinyurl.com/SD-R4V

‘Systematic Chaos’ will entertain the riders with their progressive metal band, while Taylor Busby entertains the riders with his acoustic folk rock music.

The Patriot Chef Henry Straub

A Jacuzzi Hot Tub Grand Prize will be displayed at the entrance of the SD Harley-Davidson filled with healing hot water and the beautiful “Combat Chicks.”

At SD Harley-Davidson, the hungry riders will feast on a delicious tri-tip dinner cooked by our very own “Patriot Chef’” Henry Straub. The

The Grand Prize Drawing will take place at the San Diego Harley-Davidson, the fourth and last stop of the ride. The generous grand prize was donated


Prepare yourself for the most AMAZING event of the year!

By CJ Machado

Veterans Art Project offers the following fee free classes for veterans, active duty, and spouses

Saturdays 9AM to 1PM


1st 10 week Course 2nd 10 week Course 3rd 10 week Course 4th 10 week Course

- Begins 1/24/2015 – Ends 4/4/2015 - Begins 4/25/2015 – Ends 6/27/2015 - Begins 8/15/2015 – Ends 10/17/2015 - Begins 10/24/2015 – Ends 12/12/2015

California Sculpture Academy 300 E. Alvarado Fallbrook, CA 92026 www.homelandmagazine.com


Steven Dilley (760) 815-8868


HOMELAND / May 2015 15

Motorcycle Accidents from all liability for your accident from any past, present or future liability for your injuries. It is better to consult with an attorney who has experience handling motorcycle injury cases before you sign anything. Call Dean Goetz at 858481-8844. 5. Is an investigation of my motorcycle accident case important?

Frequently Asked Questions 1. Can I still recover damages from the other driver if I wasn’t wearing a helmet and was injured in a motorcycle accident? Even if you were not wearing a helmet, if someone else caused the accident, you may bring an action for your injuries. However, not wearing a helmet may make a difference in the amount of damages you receive, if you suffered a head injury. Dean Goetz can discuss this fully with you. 2. Can I sue the driver who hit me if I did not carry insurance on my motorcycle? Lack of insurance on your motorcycle does not prevent you from filing a claim against the other driver but it will limit your damages. 3. Who is at fault in a traffic accident when a car turned left in front of me while I was riding my motorcycle? Since the law requires that a motorist planning on making a left-hand turn must yield to all oncoming traffic, typically a left-hand turning vehicle which hits a motorcycle will be found legally liable. The exceptions to this general rule would be that the motorcycle that was going straight was speeding, ran a red light or violated some other vehicle code section. 4. Should I accept the other driver’s insurance company offer to pay me “some money” for an injury I sustained in an accident? NO, “some money” might be all that you get for your injuries, and accepting that check may mean that you have released the other driver


HOMELAND / May 2015

YES and the sooner the better. A prompt investigation is essential because the insurance company will always attempt to prove that the motorcyclist was to some extent at fault in order to pay the least amount of money as possible. 6. Should I get a lawyer to help me if I get into an accident on my motorcycle? YES. It is important to retain an experienced motorcycle attorney in a motorcycle injury case in order to make sure that you are treated fairly by the insurance company. A good lawyer will handle the entire claim for you from beginning to end. He will have the accident investigated by an accident reconstruction expert, refer you to health care providers on a lien basis if needed, deal with the insurance companies, get your med pay monies, make a demand on the insurance company, file a lawsuit if needed, get your medical records and review them, provide treatment advice, determine what your case is worth, hire any expert needed to maximize your recovery and ultimately resolve your claim through settlement or trial. 7. What am I entitled to receive for my injuries? Every case is different. The exact type of compensation and the amount you might receive depends on your individual situation. For example, the amount you receive will vary depending upon how severely you were injured, whether you lost income, and whether your injuries are permanent. Another major factor is the amount of liability insurance carried by the other motorist and the amount of UM and UIM coverage that you have on your motorcycle. As a general rule, you are entitled to recover for any of the following expenses: * Medical expenses * Lost wages or income * Future medical expenses * Future income losses related to accident * Vehicle and property damage and rental car expense * General Damages such as

pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life

8. Why do I need UM and UIM coverage on my motorcycle? UM and UIM are acronyms for Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Under insured Motorist Coverage. If the other motorist does not have auto liability insurance he is referred to as an Uninsured Motorist. If the motorist has insufficient liability limits to cover the full amount of your damages, he is an Under insured Motorist. Since these motorists probably do not have any assets, it is very likely that you will not be able to recover anything from this person. Even if you are severely injured or even crippled for life you will get nothing from this person. However, if you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage or Under insured Motorist Coverage you can make a claim with your OWN motorcycle insurance company for your damages up to the amount of your UM/ UIM limits.


Dean Goetz Law Firm

If you have been in a Motorcycle Accident, call your lawyer, Dean Goetz, for free Consultation.

Dean Goetz

HOMELAND / May 2015 17 www.sandiegomotorcycleattorney.pro

Assistance Dog Organization Seeks Military Veteran Applicants Lance is a C5 quadriplegic and two-time Canine Companions assistance dog recipient. “I’m happy to be an example of how much independence an assistance dog can bring to someone with a disability,” says Weir. In his role at Canine Companions, Weir helps raise awareness among potential applicants by giving presentations and campus tours, addresses questions from a personal perspective and guides veterans through the application process.

Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that provides highly-trained assistance dogs, completely free of charge, to people with a wide variety of disabilities. In 2007, Canine Companions established the Wounded Veterans Initiative to increase placements of assistance dogs with military veterans with disabilities like spinal cord injuries, limb amputations and deafness. Thanks to funding from The Gary and Mary West Foundation, Canine Companions’ Southwest Regional Training Center in Oceanside is stepping up its outreach efforts to the military and veteran community in San Diego County in hopes of generating more qualified assistance dog applicants. “It has been our great honor to provide assistance dogs to veterans with disabilities,” says Barbara Barrow, Southwest Region Executive director of Canine Companions. “Canine Companions assistance dogs help with practical tasks to make everyday life easier for our veteran clients, who are often adapting to new disabilities. Plus, they provide immeasurable emotional benefits to veterans transitioning to civilian life after careers in the military. There is a great deal of enthusiasm among our supporters for the Wounded Veterans Initiative.” One of those enthusiastic supporters is Lance Weir, the veterans liaison at Canine Companions. “My time in the Marine Corps was cut short when I had a diving accident 21 years ago,” Weir explains. “Through my position as veterans liaison, I’m able to serve again. It’s an amazing feeling!”

Earlier this month, Weir helped recognize an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran who is a double amputee as he graduated with his new assistance dog. “Nothing makes me more proud than seeing injured veterans receive such priceless and well-deserved gifts as Canine Companions assistance dogs,” says Weir. Canine Companions assistance dogs are trained for two years in approximately 40 commands before they are ready to graduate as 24/7 helpers. The organization has placed 118 assistance dogs, out of 4,600 total, in roles that serve veterans since its founding in 1975. The goal is to increase this ratio. “I want veterans in San Diego to know Canine Companions is here to help,” says Weir. “They don’t have to go through their challenges alone. Assistance dogs will work for you with a wagging tail. You won’t have to ask others for help as much. And when it’s time to play, they will help you remember life’s simple joys. They’re battle buddies.”

About Canine Companions for Independence:

Canine Companions for Independence provides highly-trained assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities. Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six training centers across the country. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. For more information, visit cci.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.

Contact: Katie Malatino, Public Relations Canine Companions for Independence Phone: (760) 901-4307 E-mail: kmalatino@cci.org

The Veterans Art Project Art Changes lives. www.vetart.org

Currently there are 22 Veteran suicides a day. As you can imagine this is a critical time for our returning military personnel, from OIF (Operation Iraqi freedom) and OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) Afghanistan. Veterans are now returning home from long deployments to a civilian workforce just now recovering from the great recession. Many of the Veterans are seeking out their educational benefits at colleges across the United States. Many of these colleges have operating Art and or Ceramic labs. The Veterans Art Project is a fee free Ceramic Art, Bronze-casting activity that is open to Active duty, Veterans and Spouses. A generous private donor funds the Veterans Art Project. We are currently offering classes in 3 locations Saddleback College, Mission Viejo Ca, Arizona Western College, Yuma Az and California Sculpture Academy in Fallbrook Ca.

This coupled with a unfulfilled personnel need to help our returning military personnel through 3-d Art making. This is what motivates me to have started the Veterans Art Project. To this day the Veterans Art Project has offered hundreds of classes and supported Veteran Artists through exhibits, classes and financial scholarships. The Veterans Art Project is looking to expand our offerings and to create new and vibrant strategic partnerships. Having the Ceramic and Art communities help in this critical time of need for our returning war fighters.

The Veterans Art Project is committed to continuing research into evidencebased documentation of nontraditional treatments for PTSD symptoms.


HOMELAND / May 2015


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Homes For Heroes

“Jennifer’s Story”

I want to thank all of the Men and Women Retired & Active Duty who protect us each day, especially those in my immediate area of San Diego County. To all of you I hope I can help touch your lives like you have touched mine. I feel the least I can do is give back some discounts when I work with Veterans when providing my services. Here is one example of a Mom who is now a very dear friend of mine. A single Mom of 3 children, a Veteran, came to me wanting to purchase a home where they could all finally have their own rooms, a backyard and a dog. They had been living in a small 2-bedroom condo to save to buy this home for some time. I ran her credit report and found items needing repair. I put together a strategy to help her clean up her credit to get a good Fico Score. And don’t you know less than a year I received a Christmas Card saying she was done with the tasks and ready for me to help her buy their dream home. It wasn’t easy; in her price range we wrote and lost several offers until finally at last we found the perfect home right down the street from the school.

Now her youngest could walk to and from school. Because of the market place at that time I was able to offer to pay for $6,500.00 of her closing costs. Jennifer said it was like a Miracle. So this does and can happen, when you have a Realtor/Lender who takes the time to work with you and explain the process. What is important to do, what to expect and what steps to take first so you are well prepared. A year later Jennifer came back to me to lower her interest rate again I was able to help pay for her closing costs and get her 500.00 on top of that. I can’t say this will happen every time to every one but I promise to do my best for each of you and when it does happen to you it is a delightful service from me. I offer FREE classes to active service members and veterans in all aspects of Real Estate & Lending: what to buy, when to buy & Lending: How to purchase zero down, when is it right for me to Refinance. I also offer free group classes to Veterans: “Veterans learn how to qualify for a zero down home”, & “What it takes a Veteran to get a VA Loan” I offer free pre qualifications. If you know of a group of Veterans who would like to take advantage of a free class or have questions for me contact me Marianne Dunlap at 619-379-3434 or mariannedunlap@msn. com DRE 01147157, NMLS 315897


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With one-bedroom military packages starting at just $119/month, CORT can quickly fill your space with great-looking furniture you’ll love. When you rent from CORT, you automatically receive a 15% discount and you have the option to end your contract if you’re reassigned. It’s our way of giving you the support you deserve. PACKAGE INCLUDES: Living Room: Sofa, chair, cocktail table, 2 end tables, and table lamp. Dining Room: Dining table and 4 chairs. Bedroom: Headboard, mattress set, dresser, mirror, nightstand, and table lamp.







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Welcome Veterans, Service Members and their families Dr’s Bonar and Basso love new patients and creating smiles! Honest, Health-Centered Family Dentistry Dr Bonar, a veteran dentist helping veterans and service members A proud supporter of the Gary Sinise Foundation PLEASE MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AND BE OUR “HERO!!!”

Please come and see what a real “Dental Home” feels like Grand Dentistry 457 E Grand Ave #4 Escondido, CA 92025 www.granddentistry.com 760-747-7878


HOMELAND / May 2015 21

You can have a



with Sunrise Warriors and Biggie’s Burgers & More WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

What are your goals for the future years ahead? Yes No 1. Would you like to own your own business?

2. Would you enjoy working with a team of professionals in the quick food industry?

3. Would you like to have the lifestyle you deserve?

4. Would you be willing to become part of a team that could show you how? 

Now we would like to serve you an opportunity. If you are a Sunrise Warrior in the process of departing from the military after 20 to 30 years of service to your country and are thinking about your next step as a civilian…If you are wondering if you want to work for someone or do you want to work for yourself…If the second thought has crossed your mind, Sunrise Warriors might just have the opportunity that could change your life. Sunrise Warriors, Inc. was formed to leverage the experience of Biggie’s Burgers & More, a quick service restaurant that could be just what you are looking for. Quick service food is one of the most profitable businesses throughout the world. Sunrise Warriors is in search of men and women such as yourselves who would like to own their own business.

For More Information Call 949-366-5259 or go to our website at

Richard Naumann Richard Brown Exec. VP President & CEO


HOMELAND / May 2015

Jim Douglas VP-Operations

www.sunrisewarriors.com or email to info@sunrisewarriors.com

For HeroeS

By Dr. Leslie Bonar

I am Dr. Leslie Bonar, a Navy Veteran Dentist and passionate about helping my own Escondido Community of Veterans. I served in Hawaii, Camp Pendleton, Saudi Arabia and Balboa Naval Hospital before being injured in a casualty training exercise and having to be medically retired.

veterans Get Your FREE Arts & Crafts Kits Now! To find out how visit: www.hhv.org or call: (888) 567-VETS

I became moved , touched and inspired from the GSF (Gary Sinise Foundation) after meeting Gary at two of his LT DAN Band Concerts in Lancaster, CA and at PETCO Park in San Diego. He believes that if each local community takes care of their own wounded or homeless veterans, the problem will be solved. I am starting in my own ESCONDIDO Community through Interfaith Community Services that houses 42 resident Veterans. My goal was to make a difference every month in donating a SMILE to a Veteran in Need in Escondido. Terry Knittle, showed up at my office of Grand Dentistry, as MR JANUARY 2015! He was truly a delight to work with and is an extraordinary diesel mechanic looking for employment. We gave Terry a new SMILE and my fellow patient and business owner, Shauna Rau of Sultry Salon on Grand AVE gave him a new look! Then I began to network with my family of patients to connect Terry with a job he is trained for. The responses were amazing. I LOVE creating possibilities for those that are ready! There is nothing more fulfilling or rewarding than creating a SMILE for someone. When they recognize their inner beauty, their power is now self expressed to those around them. I am honored and grateful to be able to serve my local community of Escondido through Interfaith Community Services and their resident veterans in need. My goal is to get assistance from local dental professionals to help me create more “SMILES for Heroes” every month!

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HOMELAND / May 2015 23

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Next Step Service Dogs Calling Passionate Photo Journalists, Videographers, and Fundraisers! Do you have a love of videography or photojournalism or fundraising? And you have imagination with some dramatic flair?

military with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), disabilities that create overwhelming anxiety and isolation. Be part of this team, watch miracles happen every week, bring new joy and healing to courageous wounded warriors. It is amazing stuff to watch a grim isolated veteran become transformed by having a service dog in his life – he is now able to laugh again, play with his children, and go to the supermarket for the first time in years, or go back to college, or get a job. As a videographer or photographer, dazzle us by recording and capturing these moments, these stories, and these training methods, which could benefit many more military. As a fundraiser, use your creativity and ingenuity to organize and drive new fundraisers, to fuel the service dog training and make the hiring of veterans possible at NSSD. NSSD trains service dogs throughout San Diego County, working with clients and dogs up and down escalators, elevators, into shopping malls and supermarkets, hospitals, airports, parks, and beaches. Much training involves playing games, using food treats and hugs to lure and reward the dogs, using the sheer fun to distract the veteran away from fears or anxieties, and using the experience to build a deeply trusting intuitive bond between veteran and dog.

VOLUNTEER and showcase your wonderful talents by joining the Next Step Service Dogs (NSSD) team! Lively, engaging, often humorous, and seriously smart, NSSD is dedicated to training service dogs for veterans and active

For more information, see www.nextstepservicedogs.org and email judy@nextstepservicedogs.org. Thank you!!

New Program Lets Vets Own Their Own Family Burger Business By Bill Koelzer Veteran Richard Brown, a former executive at both Taco Bell and Fat Burger chains, has created a non-franchise program called Sunrise Warriors, (www. SunriseWarriors.com) enabling primarily retiring veterans to quite easily own their own quick-service restaurant---much like Richard’s famed and wildly successful “Biggie’s Burgers and More” in South San Clemente, CA. Brown says, “Retiring military personnel, both men and women, are trained to follow specific directions every single time. If we teach a veteran owner to always place a spatula in location X, he is less likely than most to place it in location Y. In the quick-service business, following predictable routines yields excellent results.” Brown, 77, served his country for four years in the Air Force as an Air Refueling Boom Operator in KC-97s and Stratotankers. His veteran’s package includes extensive training, mentoring and guidance in a classroom and in an existing store, then in his own store, plus crew training as well---all on a continuing basis. He also enjoys a financial package enabling ownership under far better than normal franchise terms. Brown says, “The goal is to have thirty successful locations operating nationwide within twelve months after opening the first one.” Already, six vets with seven burger locations are under analysis after only a few months since introducing the program. Although Sunrise Warriors’ marketing is focused mainly on retired service personnel, qualified civilians are welcome too. See complete details and videos at SunriseWarriors.com. Phone: 949-366-525 9.

Email: Info@SunsetWarriors.com. www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / May 2015 25

By Nancy Sullivan Geng


HOMELAND / May 2015



leaned against an oak at the side of the road, wishing I were invisible, keeping my distance from my parents on their lawn chairs and my younger siblings scampering about. I hoped none of my friends saw me there. God forbid they caught me waving one of the small American flags Mom bought at Ben Franklin for a dime. At 16, I was too old and definitely too cool for our small town’s Memorial Day parade. I ought to be at the lake, I brooded. But, no, the all-day festivities were mandatory in my family. A high school band marched by, the girl in sequins missing her baton as it tumbled from the sky. Firemen blasted sirens in their polished red trucks. The uniforms on the troop of World War II veterans looked too snug on more than one member. “Here comes Mema,” my father shouted. Five black convertibles lumbered down the boulevard. The mayor was in the first, handing out programs. I didn’t need to look at one. I knew my uncle Bud’s name was printed on it, as it had been every year since he was killed in Italy. Our family’s war hero. And I knew that perched on the backseat of one of the cars, waving and smiling, was Mema, my grandmother. She had a corsage on her lapel and a sign in gold embossed letters on the car door: “Gold Star Mother.”

Nineteen years old when he died, not much older than I was. But a great hero? How could you be a hero at 19? I hid behind the tree so I wouldn’t have to meet her gaze. It wasn’t because I didn’t love her or appreciate her. She’d taught me how to sew, to call a strike in baseball. She made great cinnamon rolls, which we always ate after the parade. What embarrassed me was all the attention she got for a son who had died 20 years earlier. With four other children and a dozen grandchildren, why linger over this one long-ago loss? I peeked out from behind the oak just in time to see Mema wave and blow my family a kiss as the motorcade moved on. The purple ribbon on her hat fluttered in the breeze. The rest of our Memorial Day ritual was equally scripted. No use trying to get out of it. I followed my family back to Mema’s house, where there was the usual baseball game in the backyard and the same old reminiscing about Uncle Bud in the kitchen. Helping myself to a cinnamon roll, I retreated to the living room and plopped down on an armchair. There I found myself staring at the Army photo of Bud on the bookcase. The uncle I’d never known. I must have looked at him a thousand times—so proud in his crested cap and knotted tie. His uniform was decorated with military emblems that I could never decode.

Funny, he was starting to look younger to me as I got older. Who were you, Uncle Bud? I nearly asked aloud. I picked up the photo and turned it over. Yellowing tape held a prayer card that read: “Lloyd ‘Bud’ Heitzman, 1925-1944. A Great Hero.” Nineteen years old when he died, not much older than I was. But a great hero? How could you be a hero at 19? The floorboards creaked behind me. I turned to see Mema coming in from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron. I almost hid the photo because I didn’t want to listen to the same stories I’d heard year after year: “Your uncle Bud had this little rat-terrier named Jiggs. Good old Jiggs. How he loved that mutt! He wouldn’t go anywhere without Jiggs. He used to put him in the rumble seat of his Chevy coupe and drive all over town. “Remember how hard Bud worked after we lost the farm? At haying season he worked all day, sunrise to sunset, baling for other farmers. Then he brought me all his wages. He’d say, ‘Mama, someday I’m going to buy you a brand-new farm. I promise.’ There wasn’t a better boy in the world!” Sometimes I wondered about that boy dying alone in a muddy ditch in a foreign country he’d only read about. I thought of the scared kid who jumped out of a foxhole in front of an advancing enemy, only to be downed by a sniper. I couldn’t reconcile the image of the boy and his dog with that of the stalwart soldier. Mema stood beside me for a while, looking at the photo. From outside came the sharp snap of an American flag flapping in the breeze and the voices of my cousins cheering my brother at bat. “Mema,” I asked, “what’s a hero?” Without a word she turned and walked down the hall to the back bedroom. I followed. She opened a bureau drawer and took out a small metal box, then sank down onto the bed. “These are Bud’s things,” she said. “They sent them to us after he died.” She opened the lid and handed me a telegram dated October 13, 1944. “The Secretary of State regrets to inform you that your son, Lloyd Heitzman, was killed in Italy.” Your son! I imagined Mema Continued on next page>


HOMELAND / May 2015 27

reading that sentence for the first time. I didn’t know what I would have done if I’d gotten a telegram like that. “Here’s Bud’s wallet,” she continued. Even after all those years, it was caked with dried mud. Inside was Bud’s driver’s license with the date of his sixteenth birthday. I compared it with the driver’s license I had just received. A photo of Bud holding a little spotted dog fell out of the wallet. Jiggs. Bud looked so pleased with his mutt. There were other photos in the wallet: a laughing Bud standing arm in arm with two buddies, photos of my mom and aunt and uncle, another of Mema waving. This was the home Uncle Bud took with him, I thought. I could see him in a foxhole, taking out these snapshots to remind himself of how much he was loved and missed. “Who’s this?” I asked, pointing to a shot of a pretty dark-haired girl. “Marie. Bud dated her in high school. He wanted to marry her when he came home.” A girlfriend? Marriage? How heartbreaking to have a life, plans and hopes for the future, so brutally snuffed out. Sitting on the bed, Mema and I sifted through the treasures in the box: a gold watch that had never been wound again. A sympathy letter from President Roosevelt, and one from Bud’s commander. A medal shaped like a heart, trimmed with a purple ribbon. And at the very bottom, the deed to Mema’s house. “Why’s this here?” I asked. “Because Bud bought this house for me.” She explained how after his death, the U.S. government gave her 10 thousand dollars, and with it she built the house she was still living in.


HOMELAND / May 2015

“He kept his promise all right,” Mema said in a quiet voice I’d never heard before. For a long while the two of us sat there on the bed. Then we put the wallet, the medal, the letters, the watch, the photos and the deed back into the metal box. I finally understood why it was so important for Mema—and me— to remember Uncle Bud on this day. If he’d lived longer he might have built that house for Mema or married his high-school girlfriend. There might have been children and grandchildren to remember him by. As it was, there was only that box, the name in the program and the reminiscing around the kitchen table. “I guess he was a hero because he gave everything for what he believed,” I said carefully. “Yes, child,” Mema replied, wiping a tear with the back of her hand. “Don’t ever forget that.” I haven’t. Even today with Mema gone, my husband and I take our lawn chairs to the tree-shaded boulevard on Memorial Day and give our three daughters small American flags that I buy for a quarter at Ben Franklin. I want them to remember that life isn’t just about getting what you want. Sometimes it involves giving up the things you love for what you love even more. That many men and women did the same for their country—that’s what I think when I see the parade pass by now. And if I close my eyes and imagine, I can still see Mema in her regal purple hat, honoring her son, a true American hero.


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HOMELAND / May 2015 29

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HOMELAND / May 2015 31

CASTING LIGHT ON THE INVISIBLE WOUNDS OF WAR Injured Warriors Still Combating Mental Health Challenges By Vesta Anderson

It could be the smell of fresh wheat bread in a kitchen, the chirping of crickets on a hot night, or even the cold touch of a puppy’s curious nose – within moments of experiencing any of these senses, one would instantly recall memories connected to such prompts. One would become unintentionally and instantly flooded with memories, the power of which could remain for seconds, minutes, or even days. Experiences and memories make us who we are as individuals. They make our interactions with others unique, impacting and changing groups, even communities. They help us self-identity, revealing what brings us joy, sorrow, pain, and even fear.

The Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Combat Recovery team explains that when memories are too painful to recall, warriors may self-medicate and withdraw from family, friends, and community. In large part, shame and guilt are two triggers that make it difficult for a warrior to cope with daily life as it negatively impacts his or her confidence, hope, and sense of worth.

No soul is immune to such basic human nature – not even a soldier at war can be safe from the mind’s inevitable, humanistic need to link memories of events to a sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch, all in an effort to better understand what the soul experiences. The mind becomes a filing system of sorts; for combat veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the mind can become its own enemy. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, PTSD is a mental health condition that can happen to anyone who has suffered through a traumatic event, directly or indirectly. In combat situations, the mind is still reacting instinctively, collecting and storing memories that can be excruciatingly difficult for the warrior to endure during the inevitable recall process. Therefore, the mind’s “filing system” and unintentional memory recall, can elicit great harm to a combat veteran’s mental health and wellbeing. Veterans suffering from PTSD have recalling prompts, typically referred to as triggers, which are linked to situational or emotional experiences and memories from the combat zone. For instance, soldiers with PTSD may hear the sound of popcorn popping or fireworks exploding and recall an improvised explosive device attack, or a random experience of anger, sadness, or anxiety can trigger them to relive the experience and emotion from losing a friend in combat. With advancements in battlefield medicine and technology, an unprecedented percentage of service members are surviving combat injuries that would have previously been fatal. To date, more than 52,000 service members have been physically wounded in the current conflicts, and it is estimated that as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war, including combat stress, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), depression, and PTSD. While these injuries are considered to be the invisible wounds of war, with increased awareness, symptoms could become more noticeable, and treatment more accessible. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, PTSD has four types of symptoms: re-experiencing, avoidance, negative changes in beliefs and feelings; and hyperarousal.


HOMELAND / May 2015


The impact of these symptoms on the lives of the combat veteran and his or her family members is substantial. “When someone is dealing with PTSD, it’s the people closest to them – their family – who suffer most,” said John Roberts, WWP warrior relations executive vice president and wounded service member. Roberts was medically discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps after suffering third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body from a helicopter crash in the seas of Somalia at the beginning of Operation Restore Hope. Raising awareness and breaking the stigmas associated with PTSD and other invisible wounds of war became one of his goals in life. According to the WWP Combat Recovery team, sometimes the symptoms in warriors dealing with PTSD become so pronounced that they tax the family and create added dysfunction. There becomes difficulty communicating, trusting, and feeling safe. Often, injured veterans lose interest in family activities, leaving family members feeling isolated. This cycles into the family’s sense of helplessness and depression, which can lead to the formation of additional unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as eating too much or not enough, self-medicating, or just pure anger.

However, seeking treatment is not as easy as it may seem. Many suffer in silence due to the stigmas associated with mental health conditions. According to the WWP Combat Recovery team, combat veterans suffering from PTSD may not seek help or treatment for fear of retribution (e.g., termination of employment, loss of parental rights, loss of freedom, and loss of respect). The judgment and labels add to the injured veteran’s struggle to not only survive, but to thrive in life. “I was reluctant to get treated,” said Roberts. “I believed that I had to be tough. I was a Marine, and we are taught to be tough. Unless you’re bleeding, you’re not hurt. It took me years to understand that it takes a much stronger person to ask for help than to suffer in silence.”

“In my experience, when I have triggered in the past, it’s like being right back in the event that caused me to develop PTSD,” said Roberts. “I tend to shut down emotionally because I am reliving the event in my head.” He continues to explain how coping mechanisms can impact every aspect of the warrior’s life – and that of his or her family.

With PTSD and TBI being the two most prevailing injuries from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), the need for increased resources for PTSD treatment is evident. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, between 11-20 percent of OIF and OEF veterans are diagnosed with PTSD in a given year. These numbers are determined by how the government defines PTSD cases, principally a patient having at least two outpatient visits or one or more hospitalizations at which PTSD was diagnosed. According to the Wounded Warrior Project 2014 Annual Alumni Survey (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ survey?utm_source=wwporg&utm_medium=nav&utm_campaign=surveyresults), which measured 21,120 injured veterans, 75.2 percent reported that PTSD was the second most commonly experienced injury and health problem – second only to sleep problems at 75.8 percent.

In order to elude an injured veteran’s episode or behavioral breakdown, family members may begin compensatory behaviors, explains the WWP Combat Recovery team. For instance, if a warrior deals with PTSD triggers through avoidance, family members may learn the same habits, isolating themselves in life as well.

“We need to raise awareness and educate the public,” said Roberts. “PTSD is a normal reaction to a very bad situation, and no one should be ashamed of suffering and seeking help. Combat veterans need to know that PTSD does not have to be a lifelong sentence,” Roberts says. “It can be treated and managed. Life can be better.”

“Those who suffer from PTSD will do anything to avoid a trigger,” said Roberts. “They may even provoke an argument to avoid having to do something or go somewhere that may potentially trigger them. PTSD triggers are either known or unknown to the individual. Most of those who suffer from PTSD cannot avoid all things that may trigger them.”

May is Mental Health Awareness month. If you or someone you know is interested in PTSD or other mental health support, please contact the WWP Resource Center at resourcecenter@woundedwarriorproject.org or 888.WWP.ALUM (997.2586).

Roberts explains the importance in identifying specific triggers for each combat veteran and understanding the mental and physical impact during an episode. It’s only then those suffering from PTSD can begin to develop the skills that can help reduce the symptoms during an episode.

About Wounded Warrior Project

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject. www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / May 2015 33



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Famous U.S. Veteran Memorials War memorials can be found everywhere in the world. They are buildings, monuments, statues or something else built to celebrate a war or victory. However, the main aim of war memorials is not to glorify the war, but to honor those who have risked and sacrificed their lives during the war. These are are a few of the famous war memorials in the Unites States and are extremely beautiful places to visit and study about the history of our country. The Liberty Memorial, situated in Kansas City, Missouri, is a museum built in 1926 to honor those who lost their lives during the World War I.

National Memorial Arch

The Libe rty Me mori al

The United States Memorial Arch is situated at the top of a hill in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. It was built to commemorate the arrival of General George Washington and his Continental Army into Valley Forge during the American Revolution

Marine Corps War Memorial

Natio na l D -Day M em ori al The National D-Day Memorial is loca ted in Bedford, Virginia, and is dedi cated to those who risked (and many who lost) their lives during the European inva sion in World War II.


HOMELAND / May April 2015 2015

The Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington DC is dedicated to all personnel of the United States Marine Corps who have been killed since 1775. The statue of the men saving the flag is modeled after a photograph taken during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is the most visited site at Arlington Cemetery. It is located on a hill overlooking Washington DC

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Gu a rdia n s of A m erica ’s Freed om

The United States’ firs t recognizing the sacrifices national monument to a soldier’s best frie nd, of dogs in combat is see Lackland, in San Antoni n at Joint Base San Antoni o, Texas o-

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC honors the fallen of the Vietnam War and missing soldiers during the war. Over 50,000 names are listed on the wall.

The USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, is the resting place of over one-thousand sailors killed when their ship sank during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This event prompted the United States to enter the war.

USS Arizona Memorial Vietn a m Vet era ns M em oria l Korean War Veterans

The World War II Memorial is the newest monument in Washington DC, located between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The memorial opened to the public on April 29, 2004.

National World War II Memorial

The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located in Washington DC. It was designed to commemorate those who served in the Korea War, and is known for its sense of realism.

HOMELAND HOMELAND / April / May2015 20153737

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Welcome to Military Auto Center Where Everyday is Military Appreciation Day!

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