Resources Support Inspiration
Vol. 4 Number 5 • May 2017
A Walk of Hope My Journey to Help End 22
No Stone Left Unturned It’s never too late to honor brothers-in-arms
The Journey with the Gentle Giants USO Annual Stars & Stripes Gala Breaking the Cycle of Pain County Veterans Services
Memorial Day A Time For Heroes
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Greetings and a warm welcome to HOMELAND Magazine! 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.
Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller Contributing Writers CJ Machado Vicki Garcia Wounded Warrior Project Vesta Anderson John Roberts R4 Alliance Jenni Riley DAV M. Todd Hunter Steven Wilson Shelter to Soldier Eva M. Stimson Boot Campaign Barry Smith USO Sharon Smith REBOOT Workshop Sara Wacker USAA Chad Storlie Operation Homefront Stephen Thomas Women Veterans Alliance VETTED Public Relations CJ Machado Thomas McBrien Entertainment Media Bob Dietrich Calvin Goetz
We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people.
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.
We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine.
Homeland Magazine 9528 Miramar Road, Suite 41 San Diego, CA 92126
With warmest thanks, Mike Miller, Publisher
HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; our focus is on veterans, 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.
Contact Homeland Magazine at: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOMELAND / May 2017
It’s never too late to honor brothers-in-arms
inside this issue 7 Memorial Bracelets Top of Mind 10 No Stone Left Unturned 13 Breaking the Cycle of Pain 19 Shelter to Soldier Flying High 21 A Journey with the Gentle Giants 30 A Walk of Hope 35 USO Annual Stars & Stripes Gala 36 County Veterans Services 39 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 41 Law Enforcement Opportunities 46 Military Strategy - Career Strategy 48 The Vietnam War Screening Event 50 Transition to Hope 53 Star-Spangled Babes Showers for Military 55 If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy
25 Memorial Day: A Time For Heroes
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Memorial Bracelets Keep The Bravery and Valiant Efforts of Fallen Comrades Top of Mind Memorializing in a personal way their comrades who were killed in action or who have not returned home from combat has been a common practice in theU.S. Military community since the first shot was fired While the method used to honor the fallen or missing has varied greatly over the years, one of the more popular ways since the 1970s has been a commemorative bracelet. The bracelets are usually engraved or marked with the rank, name and loss date of an American servicemember captured, missing or killed in action. According to the National Museum of American History, an estimated five million POW bracelets were distributed between 1970 and 1976, thanks to the California student group named Voiced In Vital America, who created bracelets so American Prisoners Of War in Vietnam would not be forgotten.
which challenges civilians to awaken their inner patriot by doing something physical to support the military â&#x20AC;&#x201C; such as 90 seconds of non-stop push-ups or participating in a 5K run.
A new way to help honor these American heroes that the national non-profit Boot Campaign developed is through its nationwide PUSH campaign,
Before each participant begins, they are asked to answer one important question:
PUSH events kickoff nationwide on May 20 and run through Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Who do you PUSH for?
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Two Boot Campaign Veteran Ambassadors taking part in the PUSH campaign have no difficulty identifying who they are pushing for. Cpl. (Ret.) Dewaine Hill, U.S. Army, and Sgt. (Ret.) Dan Schrader, U.S. Army, each wear commemorative memorial bracelets in honor of a comrade they greatly miss every day, who have forever impacted their lives and touched their hearts in inexplicable ways.
Hill, a native Texan, graduated from Fredericksburg High School and enlisted in the Army in November of 2000, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Darrell Vanderford, who was a father-figure in his life and had served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. After training as an infantryman, he was stationed at Fort Hood in Killen, Texas, where he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division Bravo Company. He eventually was deployed to Iraq in 2004 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and returned to the U.S. with his unit in February 2005. He was released from active duty in June 2005, when he continued his service in the Army Reserves until December 2008, leaving the military with the rank as corporal. It is his first military roommate at Fort Hood – U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph A. Rahaim – who Hill honors on his wrist every day with a memorial bracelet. “Joseph was from Mississippi, but he and I had a lot in common and became very close friends,” remembers Hill, a rifle expert who earned numerous awards during his career include the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal and Combat Infantry Badge.. “He was killed on Feb. 16, 2005, just three days before I returned home from Iraq. He was laid to rest in Georgia and an Army barracks in Ft. Benning has been named after him.”
Cpl. (Ret.) Dewaine Hill
Hill not only remembers Rahaim on his bracelet but also on his 2014 Harley Davidson motorcycle, the same vehicle he also uses to honor the bravery of 10 additional comrades who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The names on his bike include: SGT Joseph Rahaim- 2005, SFC Special Forces Nathan Winder -2007, Staff SGT. Christoffer Tjaden- 2009, SGT. Gerardo Moreno- 2004, SGT Pablo Calderon-2004, SGT Alec Norcom- 2015, SGT Jose Guereca Jr.- 2004, SPC Andrew Weiss-2007, SPC Mark Zapata- 2004, Staff SGT Edward Carman-2004, and 2nd LT James Goins-2004. “I am often asked about the names on my bike and it is an feel if and share their stories,” explains honor to“Iride withas them Hill, who resides in Leander, the ReBOOT Texas, with my wife Kristi, son Brayden, and a soon-to-be-adopted a little girl.
Sgt. (Ret.) Dan Schrader
program hasother people to share the stories of their “It’s also allowed own loved ones who given mehave served our country with me, which is another great way to keep the memory of all service a second members alive.” chance at Like Hill, Schrader life”also served in the U.S. Army Reserves, but that was after starting his military career in the U.S. Navy from 1989-1996.
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A native of Flagstaff, Ariz., Schrader served a total of 16 years in the military before retiring in 2011 as a sergeant, finishing with two stints in the Army Reserves between 1996-2000 and 2006-2011, participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007-2008. Schrader wears a memorial bracelet in honor of Wade Twyman, who he met in the early part of 2001 outside of the military. Schrader was an Arizona Highway Patrolman stationed in La Paz County’s Parker, Ariz., and Wade was a new deputy in the same county. He says they struck up a quick friendship and were eventually roommates. “Wade was a young, energetic deputy and worked very hard to establish a reputation as a good deputy, and succeeded in doing so,” recalls Schrader. “We both worked the night shift, and even though we worked for different agencies, we saw a lot of each other either through backing each other up, him assisting me on accident scenes, or even just meeting for dinner. Schrader remembers vividly that they had both been working the late shift on the night of Sept. 10, 2001, and were awakened early by a ringing phone the next morning of Sept. 11, a day that would put in motion several life changing events for both. “It wasn’t long after 9/11 that Wade came to me and asked me about my prior service in both the Navy and Army,” says Schrader. “I spoke to him with the pride of any veteran, and when he asked my advice regarding enlisting in the Army, I told him to go for it if that was what he truly wanted to do.” Schrader noticed from the beginning of their friendship that Twyman was driven to serve others, exhibiting the same family trait as his fire chief father and sheriff’s deputy brother. He enlisted as a cavalry scout and was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division upon completion of his basic and advanced individual training. On the morning of March 7, 2005, Schrader was at my home in Camp Verde, Arizona, raking leaves outside, and he received a call to his cell phone from a mutual friend of he and Twyman. The call was to inform him that Twyman had been killed in Iraq when the vehicle he was in hit an IED (improvised explosive device). “I remember sitting down on an old wooden bench that was in front of my barn and feeling like I was going to vomit,” Schrader explains. “I lost my breath and, for a minute, I thought my friend was playing a cruel joke on me. I couldn’t believe it. Wade was larger than life. He was vibrant, full of life and humor and sarcasm, and it didn’t make any sense to me that he was gone, just like that.
“I later found out that Wade was actually driving the vehicle,” he adds. “Some of his squad mates tried everything they could to save him, but his wounds were too serious.” In addition to a bracelet, Schrader also has honored Twyman with a mural in his home on the wall of his “man cave” that he painted himself. As part of the mural there is a caption that reads “All Gave Some, Some Gave All, SPC. Wade M Twyman, KIA 03-04-2005.” “To this day, 12 years later, it still gives me that feeling of nausea, grief, frustration and even anger when I see his face, and see him on the mural that I painted in his honor,” admits Schrader. “Wade was a good man, from a good family, and he served his country selflessly, always wanting to be the best at what he did.” Both Schrader and Hill take the memory of their fallen comrades seriously every day, and plan to for the rest of their lives. In addition, there are a few times each year when that memory shines even brighter than others and, not s urprisingly, one of them is celebrated this year on May 29.
“Memorial Day is a day we honor the true heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country,” acknowledges Hill. “It’s a day to remind us that we should remember and honor them and their families every day and not take our freedoms for granted.” According to Schrader, “Memorial Day for me is a day of reflection and gratitude, not just for Wade and not just for my fellow Iraq veterans who died, but for everyone who has put their life on the line and given it so that this country can remain free. “For many years, Memorial Day was a day for me to isolate myself and drink away anger and frustration and sadness,” he confides. “Those days have since passed, thankfully. These days when Memorial Day comes around, I try to spend the day doing something in honor of the fallen, and I always end my day by raising a toast to my friend Wade, and giving a prayer of thanks for the friendship we shared. “I look back on the times in a little county in western Arizona when Wade made a tense situation humorous, or when he made a humorous situation hysterical,” Schrader concludes. “The guy could make anyone laugh, and to this day I can imagine him telling me in his California slang, “Hey dude, it’s all good.”
Details about participating in the six-month PUSH campaign to honor America’s heroes is available at BootCampaign.org
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No stone left unturned Oklahoma veterans prove it’s never too late to honor brothers-in-arms By M. Todd Hunter
It was purely by chance that, in the spring of 2015, Oklahoma veteran Mike Walters uncovered an unintended oversight in the handling of military grave markers in his local community. Walters—then serving as the adjutant for DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Chapter 43 in Pryor, Okla.—went to order a tombstone for a friend at a local monument company. It was there he learned about 18 bronze service markers that had sat in storage at an old funeral home instead of where they belonged—on veterans’ graves.
To do that, he enlisted the help of his fellow DAV members to right the unintentional wrong. It took weeks of tireless research, but the members of Chapter 43 found graves or living relatives for all 21 veterans. No one is exactly sure how the markers were forgotten or neglected for so long. They originally came from an old local funeral home’s storage building, but after the building was sold and demolished several years ago, they went to Witt-Underwood Memorials—the company that approached Walters and DAV for help.
The markers, which are issued by the government after a veteran dies, normally arrive at a funeral home after burial. It is then usually the families’ responsibility to place them on the graves. All of the unplaced service markers belonged to veterans who died in the 1970s and 1980s, and served in World War I, World War II, Korea or Vietnam.
“It was the right thing to do,” Walter ssaid.
“When I first saw them, it just hit me that here were veterans, brother veterans, who were not being recognized and who had been bypassed through some error or some unknown reason,” said Walters. “This was a chance to correct it.”
In the chill of an overcast afternoon, about 30 people stood in a loose semicircle at the rural cemetery, gathered around the gravesite of a veteran most had never met.
Just five days before the Memorial Day goal, the DAV members held a ceremony at Bryan Chapel Cemetery outside Pryor to place the last marker on the grave of WWII veteran Glen C. Plumlee, and honor the other veterans from the project.
Those present, some elderly and some young, some dressed in service uniforms Looking into the matter further, another and some in tennis shoes, prayed together three grave markers were found, bringing and listened to DAV leaders describe the the total number to 21. A Vietnam veteran importance of the project. himself, Walters made it his goal to properly place all 21-service markers on “It’s a very happy day for me,” Walters said. the graves of the veterans for whom they “These veterans will be honored on were made by Memorial Day. Memorial Day.” 10
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By: James Herrera
Breaking the Cycle of Pain Many quotes and clichés exist about the symbolic importance of a step: taking a step forward, a step in the right direction, stepping back to appreciate the bigger picture – the list goes on. For Army National Guard veteran Peter Webb, the significance of a step is all too real. While deployed in Afghanistan, a single misplaced step led to an injury that ultimately put an end to his military career.
While at the Fort Sill Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), Peter grew frustrated with his declining mobility. Eventually, he reached out to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), where he gained a new perspective from the seat of a bicycle during a Soldier Ride® in Chicago. He found a new sense of purpose through the experience, and today he empowers fellow warriors as a manager for the Soldier Ride program.
A Legacy of Service “I grew up as a military brat,” Peter said. “My father was a major in the Air Force, and he served in Vietnam. He retired when I was in middle school.” After graduating high school in New York, Peter wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his future. Like many military brats before him, he decided to continue the lineage of service. At 19, he set out to enlist in the Marine Corps. “I served in the Marines for eight years,” Peter said. “But when it came time for re-enlistment, I switched gears. I wanted to dedicate myself to going back to school, and I didn’t get in a lot of studying while I was in the Marines.” Peter joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard, intending to take advantage of a less strenuous career schedule and obtain a college degree. He eventually realized he wanted to pursue a full military career. “My plan was to spend 20 or 30 years in the military, and I wanted to become a warrant officer,” he said. Checking the steps off the list, Peter obtained the predetermination packet for the warrant officer candidate program. In 2010, his unit was mobilized to deploy to Afghanistan, but he knew once he got home, he could submit the packet, undergo a physical fitness test, and hopefully begin his training. All that stood between Peter and his future was a trip downrange.
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One Wrong Step “Our mission was providing security for convoys and recovering vehicles that had been blown up by improvised explosive devices,” Peter said. “I was a machine gunner on one of the security trucks.” His unit was tasked with what was supposed to be a brief, routine vehicle recovery mission – their objective was a short 22 miles away. Rugged terrain and a difficult extraction turned the recovery into a four-day mission. Wanting to keep his weapon battle-ready for the journey back to base, Peter climbed atop the truck to clean his gun. “I took a step too far back from the top of the truck,” he said. “I fell about 12 feet and landed feet-first. The weight of my body armor, helmet, ammo, and rifle – about 90 pounds in all – made the impact so painful that I blacked out for a few seconds. I was still in pain when I came to, but we had a mission to complete, so I crawled back up to my gunner’s position.”
As his deployment continued, Peter’s pain got worse. When over-the-counter medication did little to ease the symptoms, he quickly graduated to muscle relaxers. Before long, his daily routine consisted of a pain pill with each meal – along with cans of energy drinks to combat the medicine’s sedative effects. All of this was to make simple activities like putting on body armor manageable. When his command offered to send him to Germany to get an MRI of his spine, Peter declined. “At the time, we had lost a total of 14 soldiers, killed in action,” he said. “Hundreds more were wounded. With other soldiers enduring more severe injuries, I wasn’t going to abandon my mission just because of some back pain.” Six months later, Peter’s unit rotated back home. Once he was stateside, he finally got the MRI he had been putting off while in Afghanistan. What he had tried so hard to dismiss as a little back pain turned out to be extensive damage. “My spine had been compacted from the impact of the fall, which caused discs in my back to herniate and put pressure on the nerves running into my leg,” he said. “Once I received this diagnosis, I was transferred to the WTU at Fort Sill.”
Freedom on Wheels During his initial months at the WTU, Peter underwent a variety of treatments to alleviate the ever-increasing pain in his back and legs, including physical therapy, chiropractors, and spinal injections. Nothing helped. His most desperate moment came on a chilly March day in 2012. “I remember the temperature because, at the time, I was soaked in sweat from struggling with the amount of pain I was in,” he said. “There was a surging pain running from my hip down to my foot – like someone had stuck a live electrical cord to my leg.” Sitting in his dorm room with his teeth gritted in agony, Peter picked up his combat knife. Holding the blade to his leg, he debated whether it would hurt less just to remove the affected limb and get it over with. A frantic 911 call and an ambulance ride later, Peter spoke with a neurosurgeon who informed him he would need surgery. “By April, I was limping around the WTU on a walker,” Peter said. “On a really good day I might be able to use a cane, but I was pretty much using the walker to get everywhere. It was around that time that a fellow soldier asked me if I had tried riding a bicycle.” 14
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With his movement so hindered, Peter thought the suggestion was crazy at first. But he had grown so frustrated with his lack of mobility that he allowed his friend to show him the adaptive biking equipment. Peter rode for a mile on his first ride. The next time he was able to ride farther. He soon realized he was onto something amazing. Peter’s newfound freedom on an adaptive bicycle inspired him to reach out to Wounded Warrior Project and apply to be part of Soldier Ride, a unique multi-day cycling opportunity for wounded service members. His first ride was in Chicago in 2012. “It was just a complete turnaround from the environment at the WTU,” he said. “I was always talking with doctors and case workers who would tell me about the modifications I’d have to make in my life. The focus was on all the things I couldn’t do. But Soldier Ride was all about what I could do and what I could accomplish with my new normal. That really inspired me.” Peter returned to the WTU with a renewed sense of optimism. He had found an outlet for his frustration and his pain, and he was determined to keep that feeling going.
“Biking was doing tremendous things for me,” he said. “Getting out of the hospital environment and riding into the countryside of Lawton, Oklahoma, I could just clear my head. It was having such a positive impact on my life that I wanted to share it with the other soldiers.” Peter decided to take over the WTU’s adaptive cycling program for his work therapy job. By connecting with his fellow warriors over a love for riding, he started to see through the fog of career depression that had loomed over him since his injury. A new direction began to solidify. “I had been depressed about my military career being over, but I soon discovered that working in adaptive sports with wounded veterans provided me that same sense of fulfillment,” he said. “It was then I knew I wanted to work in adaptive sports eventually.” Peter was medically retired in 2014. Around that same time, WWP’s Soldier Ride program had some job openings. He applied for every one of them.
“I had been depressed about my military career being over, but I soon discovered that working in adaptive sports with wounded veterans provided me that same sense of fulfillment”
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Stepping Into a Bright Future Since May of 2014, Peter has been a manager for Soldier Ride. After nearly three years, he still gets tremendous satisfaction from riding – and from helping his brothers and sisters in arms. “In the military, I knew what my purpose was, and I kind of lost that when my career came to an end,” he said. “This is my new purpose. I feel what we can do for these warriors who are in the same place I was is critically important and impactful. They feel lost, not knowing what possibilities their lives can hold with their new normal. To be the person who opens up those possibilities makes me feel very proud.”
His new role has allowed him to think less about the fa teful step that injured him and more about the future. He has encouraged his fellow warriors to do the same. “In the Marine Corps, we used to think about it like being on a ruck march,” he said. “You can’t think about the 20 to 30 miles you have to accomplish; you just have to think about that next step. I think the best next step for any warrior struggling with anything would be to reach out to Wounded Warrior Project.”
Programs like this highlight the importance of managing mental health through physical activity. In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, more than half of survey respondents (51.7 percent) talked with fellow veterans to address their mental health issues, and 29.6 percent expressed physical activity helps.
About Wounded Warrior Project We Connect, Serve, and Empower “We show them that warriors can live an active lifestyle, regardless of what their injuries are,” Peter said. “But we’re also introducing them to fellow service members who have had similar life experiences. It lets them reconnect with people in their community and rebuild those bonds so they don’t feel isolated. We see that with almost every warrior who attends.” As long as there are veterans struggling with the visible and invisible wounds of war, Peter hopes to remain part of the team that leads them from desolation to a place of empowerment. www.homelandmagazine.com
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP connects wounded warriors and their families to valuable resources and one another, serves them through a variety of free programs and services, and empowers them to live life on their own terms. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. WWP is an accredited charity with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), is top rated by Charity Navigator, and holds a GuideStar Platinum rating. To get involved and learn more, visit
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Shelter to Soldier Monthly Giving Campaign Help us “Save Lives, Two at a Time” by starting your monthly contribution today.
You can give your gift at www.sheltertosoldier.org by clicking on the DONATE NOW link and checking the monthly recurring donation option on your donation form. Every day, 3200 dogs are euthanized nationwide, and every day 20 veterans and one active duty military personnel lose their lives to suicide – that’s one life lost every 69 minutes.
Donations large and small make a difference by allowing us to adopt, care for, house, train and place these highly trained companions with veterans in need.
Shelter to Soldier adopts dogs from local shelters and rescue organizations and trains them over the course of 12-18 months to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other injuries associated with traumatic service experiences.
Your contribution will help us provide safe housing, medical care, vaccines, supplements, food, bedding, grooming, and training equipment for the service dogs in training while they reside in our training program as well as service dog and graduation materials to each veteran/service dog team when they graduate as a pair.
For as little as $10 a month, you can make a direct impact on these two populations that need our help. 18
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Shelter to Soldier Flying High with Ongoing Support From Schubach Aviation
Shelter to Soldier graduation ceremony at Schubach Aviation hangar. Jolane Crawford (Schubach Aviation), Liz Carmouche (veteran) with Schubach Aviation-sponsored service dog Charlie, Graham Bloem (Founder, Shelter to Soldier), Kyrié Bloem (Co-Founder, Shelter to Soldier), Kimberly Herrell (Schubach Aviation). Photo Credit: Allison Shamrell Photography Each year, five to seven million dogs enter shelters; and every day, a U.S. soldier commits suicide. Graham Bloem, a dog trainer with strong ties to the U.S. military, pondered these statistics and knew he could do something to help. Subsequently, he founded Shelter to Soldier, a private San Diego non-profit organization whose mission is to train carefully selected shelter dogs and place them with U.S. military veterans afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in need of a companion service dog. “When I heard about this organization and its mission, I was compelled to act,” said Henry Schubach, president and founder of Schubach Aviation. “Here was an opportunity to support two causes that are important to us: dogs and veterans. We’ve enjoyed a partnership with Shelter to Soldier since 2013 and have helped them rescue otherwise unwanted dogs and turn them into needed companions to our returning veterans who might be struggling to re-enter normal life here in our community.” 2017 marks a fourth yearlong fundraising campaign by Schubach Aviation whereby the company will donate one cent for every mile flown by its fleet of 12 private aircraft through December. Based on current mileage trends, the company expects to raise as much as $12,000 for the organization. www.homelandmagazine.com
Schubach Aviation will also give its customers the option of matching the company’s “one cent per mile” donation by also contributing to the cause. “ I’m thankful to Schubach Aviation for coming forward as a financial partner, and helping to raise community awareness of our organization’s mission and successes,” said Bloem. “Their support will go a long way to specially train, house and feed the selected shelter dogs, as well as cover medical care, equipment, travel and grooming costs. More important, Schubach Aviation is helping us save dogs’ lives and the lives of our local veterans.” In addition to the Schubach Aviation partnership, Shelter to Soldier provides an opportunity for patronage through their monthly support campaign to offset the costs associated with housing, feeding and training service dogs for as little as $10.00 per month. In addition, anyone regardless of their discretionary income can support Shelter to Soldier by attending their 4th annual fundraising gala scheduled for September 16, 2017. Exciting plans are in the works for this festive celebration and for those who are interested in supporting the fundraising effort, the organization is now accepting silent and live auction items and event sponsorships. To contribute, contact Shelter to Soldier Co-Founder, Kyrie’ Bloem at Kyrie@sheltertosoldier.org
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The Journey with the Gentle Giants By: Mike Hilliard, Dive Coordinator at Georgia Aquarium
The Journey with the Gentle Giants is a program that allows participants of all abilities to scuba or snorkel in 6.3 million gallons of water with whale sharks, manta rays and over 5,000 other amazing animals. This program was created with universal design in mind, and the very first guests were Warriors in Transition with Champions Made from Adversity (CMFA). With a staff of Handicapped Scuba Association Certified Dive Masters and Instructors on staff, people of all abilities are welcome 365 days a year during our regularly scheduled events. Standard training for the Georgia Aquarium Dive Immersion program includes full certification as
Handicapped Scuba Association, International Instructors or Dive Masters. Georgia Aquarium boasts the largest grouping of HSA Instructors and Dive Masters in the world! Because of the inherent healing properties of water, and the sheer magnificence of the experience of swimming or diving with these incredible animals, the Veterans Immersion Program has the ability to bring military personnel in on a regular basis as part of the rehabilitation process. The swim program gives them the chance to experience something simply extraordinaryâ&#x20AC;Ś stressors are forgotten and they are free to move through the water much less inhibited than on land. This experience is once in a lifetime for these patients and gives them a renewed spirit to return to therapy the next day and work even harder.
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Georgia Aquarium joined the R4 Alliance in early 2014. We knew to better serve our nations hero’s, we needed the expertise of an organization that eats, sleeps, and dreams about our warriors well-being. The R4 gave us the tools to build a strong platform to create a deeper connection with the warriors while they reintegrated and rehabilitated in their respective programs. Following my early retirement from military service, I joined the Georgia Aquarium team as a Dive Master. I was thinking that this career would just involve me diving with whale sharks, and giving a great guest experience to those who would like to do the same. Little did I know, it would be a life changing experience. In 2006, while on a mission, I was shot in the left side of the head. Luckily, my helmet took most of the impact, but it still produced enough force to 22
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give me a traumatic brain injury. I was flown to Baghdad ER, and eventually ended up at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital. I underwent rehabilitation in hopes of rejoining my unit on the deployment. While I was back in the United States, I received word that one of my friends was killed in action. I remember feeling like I let the team down. I was not able to rejoin the unit on the that deployment, but was able to re-enlist to join them on the next one. In 2008, we deployed to Afghanistan in support of “Operation Enduring Freedom. ” We had a somewhat easy deployment, other than the 107 mm rockets making us stay on our toes. As soon has my head was underwater it was if all the weight I had been caring was lifted. I knew then that I had found something special.
For more information on Georgia Aquarium, please visit us at www.georgiaaquarium.org
Once I retired, I knew I would make a career of diving I just didn’t know where. I was about to take a job in Florida when I found Georgia Aquarium was hiring a dive master. I put everything on hold and applied, hoping for the best. I was shortly contacted and scheduled for an interview. That is when I met Susan. She saw something in me that I didn’t know was there, and she slowly introduced me to the Veteran’s Program. This is where I was able to share my story with other veterans that may have been experiencing the same issues as me. I watch them come in with anxiety overwhelming them at every corner. They listen to the briefing with no emotion. It is as if they are in another place. They walk out of the locker rooms, nervous and unsure. The panic begins to set in as their feet dangle off the dock wondering if they can commit to pushing off into an exhibit with sharks. After the program, and as they exit the water, the change in their face and body is remarkable. I always see them twice in our program. Once downstairs when I pick them up, and again when they exit the water. We are able to give an experience to these veterans they would have never tried, and by doing so we open the door for adventure. It provides adrenaline with fellow veterans and the commitment to the unknown. They walk out of here with a whole new perspective on life and new possibilities. I am truly honored to be able to be part of this experience and the Georgia Aquariums drive to honor our Veterans.
On February 16, 2009, one of those rockets found its way and landed next to a man that was our mentor, a father, and a husband. I will never forget that day. We were two weeks from re-deploying back to the States, and he was set to go to West Point, finish his last two years, and retire. Now being back in the States, I did not really know how to handle being away from the guys. I was having some trouble finding purpose. I had already accepted my death, but I did not think about how I would accept living after. My wife convinced me to take a trip to the Dominican, and this is where I discovered diving.
In 2017, the program was able to expand to reach even more military thanks to a substantial grant from The Home Depot and many other donors. Since the program started, we have been able to serve over 2,902 veterans. Georgia Aquarium also takes pride in the Gold Star initiative that began in 2015. This program allows Gold Star families to not only experience the Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot exhibit, but to experience all the programs Georgia Aquarium has to offer. It is an honor for Georgia Aquarium to be able to serve as an adjunctive therapy during the healing process.
To learn more about our Veterans Immersion Program, please visit www.georgiaaquarium.org
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“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.”
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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.” 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
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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.
Nineteen years old when he died, not much older than I was. But a great hero? How could you be a hero at 19?
“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.
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. “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 highschool 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.
“The Secretary of State regrets to inform you that your son, Lloyd Heitzman, was killed in Italy.” Your son! I imagined Mema 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. www.homelandmagazine.com
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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A Walk of Hope My Journey to Help End 22
On the last quarter mile,
It is said the first step to every journey is the hardest. As I stepped away from my home in Clarksville, TN on November 11th, 2016, I knew it was true. I had decided to walk from my city towards the west coast, attempting to make it 2,200 miles to the Santa Monica pier as quickly as I could.
blurred away. I ran as fast
my mind felt peace, and everything but my goal as I could to the water. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I made it.â&#x20AC;?
As a 15-year United States Army Veteran with two combat deployments to Iraq and two to Afghanistan, I knew the pain of leaving home and returning a different person. The pain and emotional toll of being in combat led me to a decision that so many face. In the winter of 2011, I attempted to end my life. I failed, and with that failure I found a purpose to improve myself by finding solace in the community around me. I continued with my career until March of 2016 when I was medically discharged in Fort Campbell, KY. Eight months later, I began my new mission. With a rucksack of over sixty pounds strapped on my back, I took my first step, carrying nothing but my equipment, the food and water I need for sustenance, and a full-sized American Flag. My goal was to keep moving forward to entertain, educate and inspire people to help lower the Veteran suicide rate. Currently the most accurate statistic from 2014 states that 20 prior service members take their lives every day. That number is a travesty. Men and women from every generation that has suffered through the hells of war make up that number. My journey was to be done with no monetary donations, in order to keep the message about the cause and not the quick fix that money provides. I only allowed myself to take food and hotel rooms as donations when they were available. Some nights I wrapped myself in a sleeping bag on the side of the road and hoped the elements would not be too unkind. Along the route I was able to meet people from every walk of life. 30
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By Ernesto Rodriguez
Most were gracious enough to help me along the way. Because of the kindness of strangers, I was able to attend events that helped raise funds for Veterans in need, as well as help connect organizations dealing with this problem so that they might collaborate and help one another. I spent my days walking from town to town, painfully attempting to trek fifteen to twenty miles a day. Some days I was able to walk more, some less, depending on injury or inclement weather that would have been too dangerous to walk in. Some dangers I faced include being stalked by a coyote in the Arkansas wetlands, being clipped by a semi truck on a rainy day in Texas, and fighting through dehydration and heat exhaustion through the Colorado Desert in California. My journey was captured via social media platforms with the moniker @nerdnesto #forthe22. From there i was able to share pictures, stories and live videos. Through Facebook, members of the page were able to reach me and send messages of encouragement as well as their own stories of triumph over their own attempts. Sometimes the stories were of families whose loved ones were lost too soon.
With the Pacific Ocean in sight, a police escort arrived and allowed us to walk on the road to the end of the pier. On the last quarter mile, my mind felt peace, and everything but my goal blurred away. I ran as fast as I could to the water, and as I reached the end of the pier, I slowed my steps, knowing I had completed something not many have. My bag fell heavy on the planks of the boardwalk and I felt a lightness I had not felt in five months. I turned to see people waiting for me to say something. All I could muster up was, “I made it.” I pulled Old Glory from its resting position, found my 100 MPH tape, and attached her to the end of the pier. As of today she still flies over the west coast. I sit today, accomplished, knowing that a community grew louder and came together for a common purpose. I have a lifetime of stories to share from my experience crossing our amazing country and the people I’ve met along the way. My next mission is to co-write a book about the journey. The book will be written in twenty-two chapters, chronicling the twenty-two weeks of this physically and emotionally draining task. Within those chapters will be a paragraph dedicated to one of our fallen comrades. This paragraph will not be about how that person died, but celebrate how they lived. A veteran, proud to have served his Nation. We honor them, and we remember. #forthe22
I made it a priority to ensure that people on the page grew together as a community and used each other as support in times of need. I left my personal number on the page as a testament that i was not someone that could not be reached. I was there for anyone in need, and I wanted those watching to follow in that message. I completed my walk on April 19th, 2017, and was joined on my last five miles by a group of followers who walked with me from West Hollywood, California to Santa Monica pier. I couldn’t help but pick up the pace, knowing my goal was within reach. The Veterans, reporters, celebrities and family members who joined me for this last leg followed close behind, cheering me on.
Every mile, I would look back and see that the group had grown even larger. www.homelandmagazine.com
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A Walk Of Hope I sit today, accomplished, knowing that a community grew louder and came together for a common purpose. I have a lifetime of stories to share from my experience crossing our amazing country and the people Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve met along the way. Ernesto Rodriguez
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YOU PROTECTED US.
IT’S TIME WE RETURN THE FAVOR. After all you’ve done to protect our country, you deserve the best. So we’re giving the brave men and women of the military* the opportunity for big savings on top of all current incentives.* Like up to $1000 on select models. If you’re an Active or Reserve U.S. Military, U.S. Retired Military who completed at least 20 years of Active or Reserve duty, or a U.S. Veteran discharged from active service within the past year, Nissan’s Military Program is open to you and your spouse or partner. To get started, just print your Military Program Certificate, gather your proof of eligibility, and head to your local Nissan store today.*
Visit NissanUSA.com/military *Eligibility requirements apply: Eligible individuals include U.S. Active and Reserve Military, U.S. Military Veterans within 12 months of separation from Active or Reserve duty, U.S. Military Retirees that have completed at least 20 years of Active or Reserve duty required. Military cash certificate available towards the lease or purchase of a qualifying new Nissan vehicle from dealer stock. Excludes Nissan Versa Sedan S Trim, Maxima, Murano, Murano Cross Cabriolet, 370Z, Quest, Pathfinder, Armada, Titan, GT-R and NV. Military cash certificate amount varies by qualifying model. Offer valid from 3/1/16 through 3/1/2017. Limit up to 2 vehicle leases or purchases per calendar year per qualified participant for personal use only. Offer not valid for fleet or business use. Down payment may be required. Available on lease or purchase. Must take delivery from new dealer stock. Subject to residency restrictions. Other restriction s apply. See dealer for details. Offer is subject to change at any time. Always wear your seat belt and please don’t drink and drive. Nissan, the Nissan Brand Symbol, Innovation That Excites, and Nissan model names are Nissan trademarks. ©2016 Nissan North America, Inc. All rights reserved.
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USO San Diego’s 76th Annual Stars and Stripes Gala: Land of the Free…
Because of the Brave to take place May 20, 2017 Event Honors San Diego Philantropist Malin Burham USO San Diego’s 76th Annual Stars and Stripes Gala: Land of the Free… Because of the Brave, will take place on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina. The event will honor Malin Burnham, a cherished philanthropist and author of the book, “Community Before Self.” Premier Title Sponsors are Papa Doug and Geniya Manchester and Hélène and George Gould. Co-Chairs include Arlene and Richard and Esgate, Reena and Sam Horowitz, Jeanne Jones and Don Breitenberg, and Stephanie Brown. Mark Larson of the Mark Larson Show on AM 1170 and analyst on KUSI, will serve as emcee. The Gala celebrates the strong, enduring relationship between San Diego and our Armed Forces, and will feature the stories of San Diego service members as they share their experiences and inspire us with their bravery. “Geniya and I are honored to stand with Hélène and George Gould as Premier Title Sponsors for this wonderful and important event, “said Papa Doug Manchester. “We are dedicated to doing our part as members of community of patriots working together to make a difference for those who represent the best and bravest amongst us around the world.” Hélène Gould added, “George and I have a deep commitment to support our U.S. military. These are the most amazing people, so devoted to this country.” Gala entertainment for the evening includes renowned mentalist Eran Raven with his spellbinding interactive performance, whose past appearances include opening for Barbara Streisand and his death-defying mentalism performances on NBC’s Phenomenon. Artist/vocalist Joe Everson will create original artwork while singing the National Anthem, with the opportunity to bid on his final masterpiece during the live auction. Continued on page 36
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Continued from page 35 “We’re deeply honored that Papa Doug and Geniya Manchester and Hélène and George Gould have stepped forward again as Premiere Sponsors for our 76th Anniversary Gala,” said Jon Berg-Johnsen, USO San Diego Board Chair. “USO San Diego and the military and their families are truly fortunate to have their support as continue our mission.” Founded in 1941, the USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home, and country throughout their service to the nation. The organization operates USO centers on military installations across the United States and throughout the world, including in combat zones, and even unstaffed USO service sites in places too dangerous for anyone but combat troops to occupy. In San Diego, USO San Diego offers wide range of services for traveling members and their families. The organization’s many specialized programs provide a continuum of support to men and women throughout their journey, from the first time they put on their uniform, until they leave military service. “USO San Diego uplifts active-duty, reserve, guard and military families; from transitioning, to deployed troops, to the wounded, injured and fallen,” said Bobby Woods, acting CEO of USO San Diego. “As one of the leading military cities in the world, San Diego and our USO San Diego team served more than 260,000 military members and their families last year alone at our award-winning Neil Ash USO Airport Center and our downtown San Diego facility. We can only accomplish this with a dedicated and compassionate community of staff, volunteers and magnanimous supporters who work together to honor, respect and elevate the spirit of all military and their families.”
For ticket information, visit www.usosandiego.org/2017gala For sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, please contact Sharon Smith at 619-987-8020 or email Sharon_smith@cox.net
County Veteran’s Service Office-Your One Stop Shop for Services County Veteran’s Service Offices (CVSO) can be found in EVERY county nationwide and are a one-stop-shop for all veterans and their families. These CVSO’s can assist the veteran with starting a disability claim, to assisting a family member with burial information, to helping the veteran obtain a copy of their DD214 and they will also directly connect the veteran to the particular service or services they’re seeking. This translates into a warm hand off, as opposed to handing a former service member an email, phone number or website. This also means the next place is expecting them, ready to provide the exact care, service or information needed. Some of the questions the CVSO can assist with are: • Burial Benefits • Compensation • Education Benefits • Home Loans • Life Insurance • Medical Benefits • Military Discharge Upgrades • Pension • Veterans State Benefits • Veterans Treatment Courts The Placer County Veteran’s Service Office located in the Greater Sacramento, California area is unique in that it’s completely staffed by Veterans. Suzi Vinci, Assistant VSO, has been with the Placer CVSO for the last 12 years and works with the underserved and specializes in helping those with Military Sexual Trauma (MST). A Navy Veteran, who served both as a Reservist and on Active Duty, Suzi takes her job with her wherever she is and no matter what she might be doing. She’s helped file claims for individuals who are in other states and even who are serving overseas, both while she’s physically in her office, and even while on vacation.
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There’s an entire sister-friendly network behind them waiting to help. You can find the chapter nearest you by visiting their website at:
www.womenveteransalliance.org With an office in each county, the staff is truly connected to the community they’re situated in. And while it may be convenient to visit your closest office, any Veteran, from any geographic location is welcome to visit any of the offices. If you’re traveling, staying with family or friends or temporarily outside your permanent residence area, you can get the information and services you may be seeking without worry. No Vet will be turned away because of their zip code.
When asked about her experience assisting Veterans, she states that current Veterans are being given more info and being routed to the county offices more so than the generations of veterans that have come before. There are so many resources available now and much of the time CVO is being reached through the BDD (Benefits Delivered at Discharge) 180 days prior to a Service Member’s release date so they can have benefits available upon their discharge.
All former service members, male or female will find vast assistance and availability to services through the County Veterans Service Office that they choose to visit. In California, you can visit cacvso.org to view all California offices and to find the one nearest to you or call 1-844-SERV-VET (737-8838). Nationwide, simply type in your internet search bar, “county veteran service office” and then the state you’re searching in.
Photo by James R. Morrison Photography
Suzi’s dedication to former service members led her to be the Chapter Director of the South Placer Chapter of the Women Veteran’s Alliance (WVA). Being involved with both the County Veteran’s Office and the WVA means that she is always ready to help other women veterans become aware of not only the services available to them, but also to invite them to an organization specifically for women who have served, are serving or who have been connected to any of the military branches. While the women vets are in her office, she can make them aware of the WVA and connect them with whichever chapter is closest to them. Women vets throughout the US are becoming connected through existing chapters and new chapters are being opened. www.homelandmagazine.com
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ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR By Vicki Garcia
5 Ways to Beat the Enemy of Startups: FEAR Everyone who ever started a business has to confront their inner wuss. We’re programmed to be careful, look both ways before crossing the street, don’t talk to strangers and watch out! Even if you’ve been a warrior, starting and running a business can be a new experience with a huge learning curve. The unknown usually engenders fear, and stepping off the supposedly secure illusion of employment can keep you up at night.Fear is a powerful disincentive. Here are five ways to help you put your fears to bed and win the inner battle that nearly every entrepreneur faces: 1. Surround Yourself with Other Entrepreneurs. It’s very important that you leave your safe office and meet people who are in the entrepreneurial community. Among other things, you will be pleasantly surprised how many people just like you are succeeding. You’ll also be surprised how many truly incompetent people are succeeding in spite of themselves. This comes under the category “If They Can Make It, Why Not Me?” 2. Choose to Do Something You’re Passionate About. If you’re crazy about your niche, that passion will see you through. Business is not about making money alone. It has to be about doing something satisfying. It also needs to fit your skill set. If those two requirements are met, you will feel more secure.
3. Build Your Team Before You Need it. Every business has to have trusted advisors and business friends. Don’t wait until you’re in a hole to call for reinforcements. Get your Tax Advisor, Marketing Guru, Business Coach, and Mentor lined up early. They will supply the prevention factor to avoid the things you fear. 4. Exercise. Wait! Before you say OMG, hear me out. Running a business requires stamina and energy for starters. Exercise helps to lower your anxiety, gives you time out to think, and keeps your competitive juices flowing. Make it part of your routine at least three days a week and you will start to see the difference, trust me. 5. Cultivate Bounce Back. Every business has set-backs and disappointments. It’s the owners who are resilient who are able to cope with creeping fears and doubts. Don’t let any one failure frustrate you or frighten you. Chalk it up to a lesson learned and move on. 6. Bonus! Get the Negative People Out of Your Life. Yes, even if it is your mom. Lots of people are willing to tell you something that will cause you to question yourself. Did Bill Gates listen to that when he was in his garage? No. Opt to pursue your dream because you believe in your idea. Once you learn you can make it on your own, and even be a job creator, you will never go back to working for some slob who knows less than you but has the power to fire you and wreck your life.
“If They Can Make It, Why Not Me?”
Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Veteran Entrepreneurs Today & President of Marketing Impressions. Look for trusted advisors, or apply to be a B2B vendor for veteran entrepreneurs at www.veteranentrepreneurstoday.org
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Military service can be a perfect entrance into a law enforcement career. Military and law enforcement personnel have had a long-standing 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. 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.
Opportunities in Law Enforcement
Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve served your country, now serve your community! The following Police departments are actively hiring & proudly support our veterans, active military and the families that keep together.
We thank you for your service, to all the men and women in law enforcement around the world for your courage, your commitment & your sacrifice. - Homeland Magazine -
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City of Pittsburgh Police: Protecting and Serving Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Most Liveable City
www.pghjobs.net You have served the USA, Come Serve The City of Pittsburgh
Equal Opportuntiy Employer
All applicants must visit www.pghjobs.net to apply www.homelandmagazine.com
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Military, Firefighters, Teachers, Medical Field, Law Enforcment, Veterans
HOMELANDMAGAZINE.COM “As Good As It Gets”
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Contact us today at 619-937-3659 or visit us at SDThankYouHeroes.com to find out how our program can help you! CalBRE#01990368
Santa Monica Police Department THE BENCHMARK OF EXCELLENCE.
Benefits: • • • • •
Annual Salary Ranges of $80,988 - $99,984 Compressed work schedules Paid vacation, sick, and personal leave City paid medical, dental, and vision insurance 2.7% at 57 Public Employee Retirement Plan
• Educational incentives- 6% for Intermediate POST Certificates, 12% for Advanced POST Certificates • Uniform allowance • Additional bilingual pay • Court standby pay • Longevity pay • Sick leave buy back incentive
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP TOWARD A REWARDING CAREER In addition to Patrol, our core service, the Department offers a wide range of special assignments: • Crime Impact Team • Criminal Investigations Section • Crisis Negotiations Team • Downtown Bicycle Unit • Field Training Officer Unit • Gang Unit • Homeless Liaison Unit • K-9 Unit • Mounted Patrol Unit • Neighborhood Resource Officer Unit • Personnel and Training Unit • School Resource Officer Unit • Special Weapons and Tactics Team • Traffic/Motor Unit • Vice/Narcotics Unit
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How Military Strategy Can Help Your Career Strategy
USAA | by Chad Storlie
Military strategy is often a convenient proxy to help explain business strategy. For example, sales and marketing campaigns use “Attack” or “Destroy the Competition!” Military Strategy is often times a good guide for both business strategy and personal career strategy because it can remove the complex emotion that comes from creating a new product and determining your next career move. Furthermore, military strategy can be an excellent “vehicle” to help translate a complex business approach with a familiar military vignette or concept. Here are 4 ways a military strategy mindset can help your career strategy: How Military Strategy Helps Career Strategy – Planning the Bold Move. Military strategy can reinforce personal career ambitions and personal career planning by offering positive examples of when boldness pays off. During the early stages of the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur planned a bold amphibious landing at Inchon, South Korea. Inchon was a landing that was hundreds of miles behind the lines of the invading North Koreans and very hazardous due to its wide swings in tidal height.
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Despite the hazards, MacArthur was successful in the Inchon landings. Military strategy helps reinforce that sometimes, despite the hazards, it pays to be bold and aggressive to win. How Military Strategy Helps Career Strategy – Make Sure the New Works Well. Military strategy is fraught with seemingly great ideas and inventions that failed at their moments of greatest need. During the World War II D-Day invasion of Northern France, Normandy, the Americans had plans to use “swimming” Sherman tanks to get armor on the invasion beaches to clear obstacles and rapidly advance inland. Despite the technology, most of the American “swimming” Sherman tanks sank into the stormy Atlantic ocean far from the landing beaches. The American amphibious invasion of Omaha beach was almost unsuccessful due to the loss of tank support but eventually succeeded due to the resolute American Infantry and assistance from the Army Air Force and US Navy. Technology is great, but it is never a solution by itself. It is only tested, workable technology that creates career wins and happy customers.
How Military Strategy Helps Career Strategy – Great Leaders Communicate and Work Side-By-Side With Their Team to Overcome the Challenge.
Business leaders go to where the challenge is greatest – to customers to make a sale or help make great products on the factory floor.
During the battle of the Ira Drang Valley during the early stages of American involvement in the Vietnam War, then Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore and Sergeant Major Plumley were everywhere during an intense battle when they were surrounded by a determined enemy three times their size and attacked on three sides during a day’s long battle. Despite the attacks and being low on critical supplies, Moore and Plumley constantly moved among their soldiers encouraging them, exposing themselves to danger, and updating everyone on their situation.
How Military Strategy Helps Career Strategy – It Recognizes That Success Comes From Teams and Not Individuals. During the 1st Gulf War, then Captain (now General) H.R. McMaster led a combined arms team of Tanks and Infantry Fighting Vehicles in the now famous battle of 73 Easting in SW Iraq. During the battle, McMaster’s combined arms force of Tanks and Infantry Fighting Vehicles destroyed over 70 enemy vehicles and tanks in the first 30 minutes of the battle. While McMaster was a good Troop Commander, it was McMaster’s entire Troop fighting as a team that created such an amazing victory with no friendly losses. The Battle of 73 Easting was a success due to teamwork, training, and technology all coming together in addition to a Troop Commander, McMaster, focused on leading a strong combat unit. Great businesses are built upon teams all working towards a common goal with shared effort and skills.
This is an amazing example of true leadership under harrowing conditions where the leaders sought to communicate, lead, and create an atmosphere of performance under the worst possible conditions. Business leaders go to where the challenge is greatest – to customers to make a sale or help make great products on the factory floor. This is an amazing example of true leadership under harrowing conditions where the leaders sought to communicate, lead, and create an atmosphere of performance under the worst possible conditions.
Military Strategy is a great guide for personal career strategy because it recognizes that a combination of results, teamwork, and concern for subordinates, teaching, and personal leadership by example are what it takes a leader to consistently succeed in both business and in battle.
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“The Vietnam War” Award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick are coming to San Diego’s historic Balboa Theatre for an advance preview screening featuring selections of their latest collaboration,“The Vietnam War.”
The May 16 screening event is free and
open to the public, and is a part of the GI Film Festival San Diego.
Please consider helping us promote this event with two of the most esteemed documentary filmmakers of our time. San Diego is home to one of the largest populations of refugees, veterans, and peace activists from the era. With both Lynn and Ken expected to attend, organizers look forward to presenting a compelling night of film, history, and dialogue. In an immersive narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never-before been told on film. THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. The result is an 18-hour documentary that will air in Sept. 2017 on PBS stations nationwide.
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Tickets for the screening event are open and available at www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org Event organizers will also make tickets available to partner organizations including USO San Diego, Veterans Museum at Balboa Park, the San Diego Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, San Diego Veterans Coalition, Little Saigon San Diego Foundation, San Diego Public Libraries, and university campuses.
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Transition to Hope TRANSITION – The unknown. Every transition from the military is unique, yet everyone experiences the same challenges regardless of their rank, branch, or time in service. Why is that? And why do so many Veterans end up unemployed? These questions and the many other unknowns concerned me when it came to my own transition from service. For the past year, I have stumbled; been rejected; gotten back up just to fail again; and through all the struggles I never lost sight of my goals, ultimately leading to my success. My first transition plan wouldn’t be my best or my last. As Veterans, we know the best plan never survives first contact, why did I think transitioning be any different?
REJECTION – It does hurt. As a Junior Military Officer, I sought to work with an exclusive premiere headhunter who would open the door to Fortune 250 and 100 companies. There was concern that by being almost 40 years old I may not be the ideal candidate they were looking for. During my phone interview with the recruiter, I thought I was answering every question with sharp precision when in fact, I was tanking the interview. I wished I had taken the time and prepared for that call, that opportunity, instead of thinking I could just wing it, do it “live” like everything else in the Army. At the end of the call, I heard the words “You are marketable, just not marketable for us.” Those devastating words of rejection were a sledgehammer to my ego. All I was thinking was “Who the heck do they think they are talking to? I am not good enough for them?” I am a VETERAN and I DESERVE this after giving 20 years to my country; I do more in the first hour of my day than most do all day. I wasn’t ready for that rejection, the hurt that came with it. No TAP class will ever prepare you for thatfeeling of despair. Instead of dwelling on it, I began reflecting what I did wrong and how going into the future I could be better prepared. 50
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Finding your “purpose” is more than just recognizing what you do well or what By Robert White comes natural to you.
PURPOSE – We all want one. Nine months left until separation and great things started happening for me. I was selected by another head hunter firm beginning myB.research By Katie Turner into different industries, learning case studies like a MBA student, practicing my elevator pitch, and doing all the right things. I was on my way to that six-figure job in Corporate America. I even started building my network and learned how to leverage LinkedIn; I was the networking guru and corporate recruiters were starting to take notice. Finally finishing my last leadership position for the Army, I began to focus more on my transition and began taking advantage of the different programs available at the transition center like: Onward to Opportunity and Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program. I started volunteering as an Outreach Specialist for Hire Heroes USA, assisting other transitioning veterans while still transitioning myself and the work was very fulfilling. I was starting to find my purpose, or so I thought. Isn’t that what we are all looking for after all? Finding your “purpose” is more than just recognizing what you do well or what comes natural to you. I believed I was supposed to work the typical Corporate 9 to 5 job, make a six-figure salary, and climb up the ladder for a spot in the C-suite.
Military transition can be stressful and a daunting mission for our service members. It does not mean Veterans must transition alone; there are many organizations wanting to help them succeed. To find them, I employed every network contact to learn what was available to assist in my transition. Nonprofits like Veterati, American Corporate Partners, Hire Heroes USA, IVMF, FourBlock, HOH Corporate Fellowship Program, Military.com, VETTED, and many others are on the frontline making the difference for our Veterans. This past year of transitioning has taught me to be comfortable in the unknown, overcome rejection, build the right network, find my purpose, and have hope. Though my story is not brilliant, or full of grandeur advice to make you a master at transitioning, it is just that, my story, one of thousands that are unique, ending in triumph.
I felt I could just volunteer with Hire Heroes USA
helping Veterans transition, believing it would fulfill life. Boy, was I wrong! I quickly learned my core values defined my purpose and I started to understand it wasn’t to work in corporate America. What was I going to do? How do I tell others to follow their passion when I was the being the biggest hypocrite?
My journey of self-reflection to understand myself landed me the opportunity of a lifetime accepting a position as the VP of Programs and Community Engagement with the nonprofit VETTED. I will continue working with transitioning service members helping them find their purpose, leading them to success. Veterans, come and take it!
HOPE – Leads to success. I was fortunate to complete the “Pathway Forward” class through WorkForce Central teaching me to use Lean Six Sigma principles as the base of my transition. I identified my core values of volunteerism, humanitarian, and service; my competencies of self-confidence, decisiveness, fostering innovation, and strategic analytical thinking; and believed in my new mission – transitioning. We must look deep inside…identify our beliefs and statements’ we live by, define ourselves as a person – not just a Veteran. What is on our chest NOW does not define how well we will SUCCEED in the civilian sector. I decided Corporate America was not where I am supposed to be and began to look at the nonprofit industry after turning down two career opportunities that graciously left the door open for me. Invest time in yourself to learn who you are and never lose hope. www.homelandmagazine.com
We Place Veterans First! VETTED is the optimal Veteran transition platform to transform proven military leaders into tomorrow’s industry leaders and entrepreneurs. VETTED identifies military talent for transition preparation and planning, business executive education, career services, and industry placement in the private sector. VETTED is now accepting applications for their Veteran Accelerated Management Program (VAMP) which is the most comprehensive Veteran Transition program on the market! To learn more about VETTED and its transition programs, visit www.vetted.org
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WIC helps Pregnant Women, New Mothers, and Young Children Eat Well, Stay Healthy, and Be Active You can participate in WIC if you:
WIC offers families:
• Are pregnant • Are breastfeeding a baby under 1 year of age • Just had a baby in the past 6 months • Have children under 5 years of age including those cared for by a single father, grandparent, foster parent, step-parent or guardian
• Checks to purchase items like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, cereal, baby food, milk, eggs, cheese, tofu, peanut butter, beans, and juice. (Checks are worth between $50-$113 a month per participating family member.) • Breastfeeding Support and breast pumps • Nutrition Information and Online Classes
Many Locations Off Base in San Diego to Serve You
Chula Vista WIC
North Park WIC
542 Broadway, #Q Chula Vista, CA 91910
3078 El Cajon Blvd. #100 San Diego, CA 92104
5222 Balboa Ave. #22 San Diego, CA 92117
1131 East Washington Ave. Ste. K Escondido, CA 92025
Mira Mesa WIC
3177 Oceanview Blvd San Diego, CA 92113
1809 National Avenue San Diego, CA 92113
1000 Vale Terrace Vista, CA 92084
10737 Camino Ruiz #135 San Diego, CA 92126
El Cajon WIC
Spring Valley WIC
321 Van Houten El Cajon, CA 92020
9621 Campo Road #G Spring Valley, CA 91977
1328 South Mission Rd. Fallbrook, CA 92028
Financial Eligibility is Based on Family Size and Income: # of people in family*
Gross Monthly Income
Call us Toll-Free at
*Pregnant Woman = 2 People Not all pay is included i.e., BAH or OCONUS COLA Call for current income guidelines WIC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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Scan from Smart Phone for more info on WIC
Operation Homefront to Hold Star-Spangled TM Babes Showers for Military Moms SAN ANTONIO — Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit serving America’s military families, will hold several Star-Spangled Babies showers across the nation in 2017 in which military moms-to-be and new military moms will receive donated gifts for the baby and will acquire educational information to help them in their new role as a mom. The first Star-Spangled BabiesTM shower was held in Chesapeake, Va., on April 22, during the Defense Department’s observance of the Month of the Military Child. In addition to receiving essential baby items and learning about area educational resources for new parents, the guests of honor at Operation Homefront Star-Spangled Babies showers will have the opportunity to develop relationships with other military moms. “Military moms are heroes on the homefront,” Operation Homefront Chief Operating Officer and Air Force Brig. Gen. (ret.) Robert Thomas said. “New and expecting military parents often live far from home and have loved ones who are deployed. The Star-Spangled Babies showers help military moms to develop a support system of other military parents, provide early childhood tips, and inform our honored guests about services available to them. Additionally, the donated baby items ease the family’s financial burden and say ‘thank you’ for their essential role in the defense of our nation. The Star-Spangled BabiesTM showers are one way in which Operation Homefront builds strong, stable, and secure military families so that they thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they’ve worked so hard to protect.” In addition to Chesapeake, this year’s Star-Spangled Babies shower locations include Springfield, Va.; San Diego; Denver; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; and Lansing, Mich.
“Military moms are heroes on the homefront”
About Operation Homefront: Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families.
For more information, visit
Roughly 42 percent of active-duty military children are 5 years old or younger, according to the Defense Department. www.homelandmagazine.com
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in Imperial Beach • Owned and operated by a Doctor of Physical Therapy. • You don’t have to wait in PAIN! • New patients seen NEXT DAY after insurance approval.
MILITARY TRICARE and all major insurances accepted
We Love Our Military And Their Families!
Silver Strand Physical Therapy
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1155 13th Street, Imperial Beach California 91932
“If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy.”
Happy Mom and Executive Coach, Co-Founder of Conscious and Carefree How does one go about finding lifetime happiness, anyway? We think if we get what we want, then we’d be happy. Then we think, if we only had more time, more money, more things, then we’d be happy. How about, if I only had what they have, then I’d really be happy. Fortunately, these are some of the greatest fallacies of our time. Then one might ask, how does one achieve lifetime fulfillment instead of temporary satisfaction? I happen to have an answer. True lifetime fulfillment, comes from identifying your individual needs, getting them met, and living a life directly related to your core values. You didn’t know it was that easy, did you? As mothers, we spend hours, days, weeks, months and years giving energy, time, and love to our family, making sure their every need is met. Here’s the catch. If we don’t take the time, effort, and commitment to uncover our own needs and get them met, we’ll spend each and every day unconsciously chasing them down! This leads to wasted energy, frustration, and an inability to move ahead. If these are qualities you’d like to avoid, pay attention to what’s next. It’s got to be about you sometimes. Not just once a year on Mother’s Day. There’s a coaching term called Self-Care. It’s mandatory for true and lasting happiness. www.homelandmagazine.com
Self-Care-is a form of giving to your self. Something we often forget to do. Unfortunately, I rarely see- “take care of self today” on most moms’ to-do lists. Every mom has different ways of being or doing that makes their heart sing or fill their energy reserves. It’s time to find out what is meaningful for you and incorporate that into your life on a daily basis. No more waiting, it’s your turn. You’ve just acquired 3 key steps to finding lifetime fulfillment. Identifying your personal needs, setting goals related to your true values, and practicing regular Self-Care. Fulfillment is a process you joyfully claim for yourself, simply because you know your worth it. This is your life, and you want it to be the best. What’s best for you is best for everyone, anyway…another secret. Just remember the tried-and-true quote, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Stop by our blog at bcarefree.com for weekly blasts on living a more Joyful and productive life! Follow us on Facebook at Conscious and Carefree. Tweet us on Twitter, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t do it alone! For upcoming Empowered Mothers Tele-classes, Group Coaching, or Mastermind Success Groups, email Stefanie@bcarefree.com, mention Homeland in the subject line for a Mother’s Day discount!
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