Resources Support Inspiration
Vol. 3 Number 11 • November 2016
HACKSAW RIDGE “I GOT YOUR SIX” A Warrior’s Pledge and Honor The Heart of Patriotism What Veterans Day Means to
Me and Why?
Life After The Military
Are Your Ready?
Veterans Day Facts Quality Veteran Care Serving Those Who Served Our Country
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VETERANS: WE NEED YOU VA San Diego Healthcare System and Veterans Medical Research Foundation are looking for participants for human subject research studies on Veterans health issues. Findings will help provide better treatments for Veterans and the general population. • We are one of the largest VA research programs in the nation • We employ the most advanced research technologies • We employ some of the best, talented and world renowned researchers in the country • We conduct approximately 400 human subject studies annually
Sign up for a research study TODAY!
Some studies provide medical care and/or reimbursement for participation.
Check out our current list of research opportunities.
Visit: www.sandiego.va.gov/studies.asp and www.vmrf.org/studies.html
HOMELAND / November 2016 3
Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller Contributing Writers CJ Machado Vicki Garcia Linda Kreter Mark Jensen John Chapman Vesta Anderson Wounded Warrior Project Sara Wacker National Veterans Transition Services M. Todd Hunter Disabled American Veterans Jenni Riley R4 Alliance Eva M. Stimson Shelter to Soldier Jaime Smith Boot Campaign Operation Homefront VITAS Healthcare
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.
Graphic Design Trevor Watson
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.
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 are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine. With warmest thanks, Mike Miller, Publisher 4
Public Relations CJ Machado Thomas McBrien
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Homeland Magazine 9528 Miramar Road, Suite 41 San Diego, CA 92126
858.275-4281 Contact Homeland Magazine at: email@example.com
Homeland inside this issue 8 The Heart of Patriotism 11 HACKSAW RIDGE 14 Refreshing The Wall 16 What Veterans Day Means to Me and Why?
20 Operation Homefront Accepting 2017 Military Child of the Year® Nominations 26 23 From Soldier to Samaritan – The Odyssey, and Oddities, of Service 26 Quality Veteran Care - Serving Those Who Served Our Country
28 Military Spouse Back To School 31 Enlisted To Entrepreneur - Title III JOBS Act 34 Life After The Military - Are Your Ready? 38 Seize The Benefits 40 Partnership to Support Veterans and Rescue Dogs
42 Veterans Day Facts
“I Got Your Six”
A Warrior’s Pledge and Honor
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VETERANS We Salute You!
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Military Friendly Colleges & Universities Making Your Transition Easier
A Veterans Day
Celebration for All! Presented by
Visit today at www.HomelandMagazine.com
Friday, November 11, 2016 San Diego Blood Bank Blood Drive Veterans Day Parade
NBC 7 Salute to Service Festival Presented by Geico Military 10am-4pm
George Hood “The Plank Man” World Record Event 10am-3:30pm
EmEission FeR d um A rans
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Live entertainment • KidzZone Activities • Prizes • Giveaways The festival is open to the public with regular museum admission
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HOMELAND / November 2016 7
By MARK JENSEN AND JOHN CHAPMAN
The Heart of Patriotism
Bill and Evonne Williams
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There are many heroes past and present in our country. Heroes who fought and heroes who died. This was done so many could have the rights and freedoms we have living under our flag. There are also heroes who work to ensure those heroes who gave their lives for us are not forgotten. Two of those heroes are here in Nebraska. Not only are Bill and Evonne Williams heroes, they are patriots. For years, the couple has set up Honor Flights, taking thousands of veterans to monuments and memorials in Washington D.C. The Williams have also established Travelling Patriot Walls, honoring those fallen in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These walls can be found in multiple states throughout the country. Nebraska Governor, Pete Ricketts recognizes the Williams as true patriots. “I know what Bill and Evonne have done has made a huge difference for the families who have lost loved ones in this war on terror,” Ricketts stated. “The families are so grateful to Bill and Evonne for remembering the sacrifices their loved ones made and also know the Vietnam veterans who are so grateful to have the recognition they did not get all those years ago.” Major General Daryl Bohac feels the Honor Flights and Patriot Walls mean so much to the men and women who served our country. “What that brings to most families, I think, really can’t be measured,” said Bohac.
“They’re dedicated to help remember those who have fallen in defense of our country,” said Roger Lemkey, Director of Military and Veteran Affairs for Nebraska.
What the couple has done is shown an appreciation and respect for veterans and their families. They provide a service to a group of people who are sometimes forgotten. However, Bill and Evonne Williams forget no one in our area who fought to keep us safe.
“Bill and Evonne’s service to veterans in our area is an inspiration to anyone who wants to work and get something done,” said Ricketts. “Bill and Evonne demonstrate great leadership. In fact, I think they are a great example of how anybody can get involved and make a huge difference in our state.”
“Over the years, they have been so extremely instrumental in all the Honor Flights starting with World War II then to the Korean veterans and now the Vietnam veterans,” Davis said.
The Director of Nebraska Department of Veteran Affairs and Gulf War Veteran, John Hilgert said, “Bill and Evonne are helping a lot of different folks bring it all together and really almost the definition of patriotism.”
The couple’s patriotism should be celebrated. They have touched the lives of so many in our area. The trips to Washington D.C. mean so much to the veterans who served.
Bill and Evonne Williams never fought in a war, but they do not want the sacrifices of those who did to be forgotten. The couple has organized and raised donations do hundreds of veterans form our area were able to visit memorials in Washington D.C> Omaha defense attorney and decorated combat veteran in the Vietnam War, James Martin Davis, knew about the couple before he met them. “I knew about their activities for a while,” said Davis. Davis finds their work to be amazing. “How they have made it so efficient and so smoothly run is absolutely mind boggling to me. It is just incredible how they’ve done that.”
“There are no two people anywhere in the United States who have done more for our veterans than these two people, pure and simple,” said Davis.
BILL AND EVONNE WILLIAMS
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HACKSAW RIDGE Film focuses on Medal of Honor recipient, DAV member’s actions, effects of war
By M. Todd Hunter
cademy Award-winning director Mel Gibson’s newly released film, “Hacksaw Ridge,” will undoubtedly earn millions of dollars at the box office and get plenty of award buzz during its opening weekend, but its impact has the potential to extend well beyond Hollywood. The film is based on the extraordinary true story of late DAV life member Desmond Doss, an Army medic who became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Doss is credited for singlehandedly saving and evacuating 75 wounded men from behind enemy lines, without firing or even carrying a weapon, during World War II’s Battle of Okinawa. “I did a lot of research prior to principal photography because the responsibility I immediately felt taking on the role was palpable,” said Andrew Garfield, who portrayed Doss in the film. “It’s difficult to even attempt to understand who he was and how he was able to do the things that he did with such conviction and bravery
and love in his heart through such a horribly violent, traumatizing situation.” While speaking at the 2016 DAV and Auxiliary National Convention in August, Gibson said he intentionally made the battle scenes of the film graphic in order to give viewers a better understanding of the horrors of combat. He also included Doss’ upbringing with a father afflicted with wartime post-traumatic stress disorder to articulate an often-overlooked aspect of war: the effects it has on service members and families at home. “When I was a kid, I was talking to the World War I guys and getting their stories as research, and it took me on this journey of discovery about the experience of men and women who have to go into these conflicts, and the families of the men and women who have to go into these conflicts,” said Gibson, who starred in “We Were Soldiers,” a film about the Battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam. “I was struck by every generation that I’ve spoke to about the indelible mark left on their hearts
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Andrew Garfield (far right) portrays conscientious objector and Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss, credited with carrying 75 injured soldiers one at a time down a cliff face to safety during the Battle of Okinawa. The young medic went on to rescue and render aid to several others in the days that followed, before being seriously wounded himself. (Photo by Mark Rogers © Cross Creek Pictures Pty. Ltd.)
and minds and souls by the experiences they went through, and how underserved they are in being helped to deal with these issues.” Gibson, who attended the convention with Vince Vaughn, one of the film’s stars, went on to say the plights of veterans need more national attention, and he hopes the film will bring more awareness to veterans’ issues—something Doss quietly dedicated himself to in his later years. “He’s obviously an incredibly inspiring figure,” Garfield remarked of Doss, who passed away in 2006, “someone who lived by his inner convictions and someone who wanted to be of service to his fellow man.” “It was a tremendous honor for many of us who had the chance to meet Mr. Doss before he passed,” said Rick Freeman, Commander of Chapter 21 in Piedmont, Ala, where Doss spent his last years. “He participated in various chapter activities after he and his wife had moved to the area. He was involved. He was active and wanted to help as much as he could. “We would invite him to speak at events and,
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whenever he had a chance, he put his fellow veterans on a pedestal. He just wanted to be a rank-and-file member and continue standing up for his fellow veterans as long as he could. He wanted to support and be there for the rest of us.” Freeman participated in Doss’ memorial service and, as a line officer for the DAV Department of Alabama, helped lead efforts to rename Alabama Highway 9, which stretches from Piedmont to Centre, Ala., the Desmond T. Doss Sr. Memorial Highway. “It was incredibly humbling to represent Mr. Doss’ fellow DAV members as the community celebrated his life. We didn’t know there was going to be some blockbuster movie coming out about him, but it wasn’t lost on us that there should be,” Freeman said. “People like Desmond Doss are so rare. He was a man of strong convictions, and we should all be proud that he was part of our cause.” DAV Department of Alabama Adjutant Chad Richmond also remembered Doss’ dedication and humility.
“People like Desmond Doss are so rare. He was a man of strong convictions, and we should all be proud that he was part of our cause.” —Rick Freeman, DAV Chapter 21 Commander, Piedmont, Ala.
“When you read his citation, you know he may have been one of the greatest heroes in military history, but he didn’t feel that way,” Richmond said. “He just did what a medic was supposed to do. He did his job. He didn’t think of himself as someone special. He was just a veteran, a humble country boy. “Having seen the film, I hope he rests in peace knowing his tremendous bravery and sacrifices are inspiring new generations and are shining a spotlight on the military experience in a way that will help his fellow veterans.” Part of the film’s outreach mission, led by Lionsgate Grassroots Marketing head Debora Galloway and former DAV National Chaplain Ron Ringo, has been to bring more public awareness to the lessons of Doss’ life. In addition to a screening and feedback session at DAV’s convention, Ringo and Galloway have spent the months
leading up to the premiere hosting events that raise greater awareness of the film’s messages. This included building awareness for DAV’s free services. “A very small percentage of the American public has served in uniform, and an even smaller number has served in combat,” said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “So anyone who wants to know the real cost of freedom should go see this movie to give them some comprehension of the sacrifice and the service of those who have made our country free.” n
Learn More Online Learn more about the film at hacksawridgeresources.com.
MEDAL OF HONOR
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS DESMOND DOSS On Nov. 1, 1945, President Harry S. Truman presented Pfc. Desmond Doss the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions serving with the 77th Infantry Division at Urasoe Mura, Okinawa. Per the citation, Doss: • Refused to seek cover as his unit fell upon heavy artillery, mortar and machine gun fire, instead carrying each of the 75 wounded down a cliff face one by one to safety. • Repeatedly exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire to rescue wounded men, advanced through a shower of enemy grenades to render aid to casualties before evacuating them to safety, and braved small-arms fire to assist an artillery officer. • Refused extraction after being seriously wounded in the legs by a grenade explosion, choosing instead to treat his own wounds rather than risk the safety of a fellow soldier. • After sustaining a compound fracture to the arm, bound his wound and crawled 30 yards over rough terrain to an aid station for treatment. “Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions Pfc. Doss saved the lives of many soldiers,” Truman read from the citation. “His name became a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty.”
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Keeping the wall refreshed and clean By Linda Kreter
still remember when I first visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Clear memory has blurred over the years, but not the first glimpse of that black granite slash of a wall with the carved names of 58,195 fallen in the jungles in Vietnam. My uncle served two tours – and I am forever grateful that his name is absent from this bold and moving memorial to courage and valor. The Vietnam War was very controversial; the draft, the anti-war protests, the enormous body count, and residual hideous effects of Agent Orange, the defoliating agent used to clear areas to see the guerrilla fighters. The Memorial Wall itself created controversy when in an anonymous selection process, former Yale student, 21-year old Maya Lin’s design was chosen. Its cunningly simple wall design with 58,195 names carved into the granite was confusing in a town full of more traditional memorials. Later two statues were added to satisfy that debate; the Three Servicemen Statue and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Stature to offset the feelings of some that the Wall was merely a giant tombstone. Today, the Wall is one of the most visited sites in Washington, DC. In the beginning when the wall was opened in 1982, many veterans could only bear to visit the Memorial at night; to be unseen and to privately mourn their fallen friends and memories. Some veterans have never visited the wall, and instead close the door on that part of their past. But for those that visit, most feel a fascinating need to locate, then touch or trace the name of their loved one. Over time, those finger and hand smudges and tracings leave marks, and so does nature. The National Park Service is formally tasked with keeping the Memorial clean, but later efforts were augmented with the help of volunteers, led by veteran Jan Scruggs of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, who was discouraged that bird droppings had filled in some of the engraved names. Mr. Scruggs is known to have handed 37 toothbrushes to visiting veterans one day, who then scrubbed the grime away. Today, veteran’s organizations and the Park Service work more closely together and every spring and summer weekends, volunteer cleanings take place. Mementoes left at the wall are collected daily, catalogued, and added to the Memorial Collection. The wall is washed early in the morning, as sunrise is the rare time when the wall is not busy with visitors. Though this is a solemn task, many speak of the honor and humility they feel in reviving and refreshing the dark granite wall, making it pristine for the coming week’s visitors. Volunteers are welcomed, as are children (who are often the great-great-grandchildren of those named on the wall) who wash the lower portions of the wall where they can reach. It is not difficult physical work, but it can be intense, and even a time of draining remembrance. Each year, over 3,000,000 visitors will come to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Powerful, sobering, proud, and very compelling – we honor our Vietnam Veterans and those whose names will be literally touched and renewed every week. For more information on visiting or volunteering to clean the Wall, contact the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund at www.vvmf.org, or call them at 202-393-0090.
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The wall is washed early in the morning, as sunrise is the rare time when the wall is not busy with visitors. Though this is a solemn task, many speak of the honor and humility they feel in reviving and refreshing the dark granite wall, making it pristine for the coming weekâ€™s visitors.
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By Jaime Smith Boot Campaign
What Veterans Day Means to Me and Why? A
s a fairly new military spouse of more than six years, I have recently gained a much deeper appreciation for a national American holiday that deserves much more attention than it seems to be receiving nearly 100 years after it was started – Veteran’s Day. It was on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 that an armistice or halt to the fighting between Germany and the Allied nations occurred to mark the unofficial end of World War I. A year later President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of “Armistice Day.” According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the original concept for that first celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m. An Act approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November a legal holiday known as “Armistice Day.” But after our country suffered even greater sacrifices in World War II and Korea, the Act of 1938 was amended on June 1,1954 by replacing the word “Armistice” with the word “Veterans” and November 11th officially became a day to honor our veteran heroes of all wars. My husband, Staff Sgt. Justin Smith, serves in the Army Special Operations Aviation Regiment. I now have a better understanding of why military members like him appreciate Veterans Day differently than civilians. “To me Veterans Day is a day to remember the sacrifice service members and their families make and those who did not make it home, as well as to honor those who continue to fight the fight,” he says. “It is about the blood, sweat and tears that come with serving this nation.” In addition to being an Army wife, I also have the great privilege to manage the Hero Ambassador
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program for the Texas-based national military non-profit Boot Campaign, where I have the honor of interacting closely with veteran and current military volunteers from all branches of service who are dedicated to continually helping their fellow comrades and families on and off the battlefield. The tremendous sacrifices these brave men and women have experienced in defense of our freedom and American way of life is immeasurable, and one day out of 365 to honor our heroes just does not seem like recognition enough. When you hear a veteran talk about Veterans Day in their own words, you can really feel the impact their service has had in their lives. www.homelandmagazine.com
“Veterans know that country comes first, then your family,” explains Dwyer. “Because of that, many of us have missed the birth of a child, first steps, first words, birthdays, graduations and a significant portion of our family’s lives. To me, Veterans Day is to thank those who chose to say, my country’s freedom and safety comes before my own family.” According to Hero Ambassador and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander (Ret.) Christopher Auger (Virginia Beach, Va.), this national holiday serves as an opportunity to recognize even more than those deserving veterans. “Veterans Day to me is a recognition and a celebration of all the men, women and families that have sacrificed and endured separation, challenging times and the worst kind of the unknown,” says Auger. “It’s an honoring of the selflessness and service of a few for the many.”
Among those Boot Campaign Hero Ambassadors who I work with is race car driver and entrepreneur Mark Llano (Wellington, Fla.), a U.S. Marine Corps and Gulf War veteran, who continues to serve veterans and their families in his own businesses and as a member of Boot Campaign’s Board of Directors. He believes this holiday is all about honoring our patriots.
There’s no question veterans have a unique perspective on this special day, the kind of viewpoint that should make all Americans proud, like that of Hero Ambassador and Sergeant First Class Michael D. Hardgrove Jr. (Arlington, Va.), U.S. Army.
“The first thing I think of on Veterans Day are my military brothers and sisters,” reflects Llano. “Thomas Jefferson once said that, ‘The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.’ And we have known that tree, every single one of us, from the Revolutionary War to World War II to today’s engagements in the Middle East. We have all known men and women; patriots, who gave their lives so that others could live free. I think of them and thank God that I live in a country that produced the greatest people I have ever had the honor of knowing. Every Veterans Day, I bow my head in reverence and honor their legacy of freedom and sacrifice.”
“To me Veteran’s Day is about reflection; thinking about and remembering the things I’ve done and seen and the brothers who were with me,” Hardgrove confides. “I reflect on my service and what it means to serve 12 years later. I think of my brothers and sisters who are holding the watch, make a toast to them, and try to spend the day enjoying the freedoms they provide us with the ones I love.”
Hero Ambassador and U.S. Marine veteran Liam Dwyer (Tamarac, Fla.) reminds us that service members have an extraordinary order of priorities they all live by, significantly different from most civilians.
It is words like these that remind me how lucky we are to live in the country we do. I now look at Veterans Day as a day to take a moment in time to simply honor those who heeded the call and selflessly served our great nation. It is because of these men and women that I am able to enjoy the freedoms and rights that I have as a U.S. citizen. So on every day you can, especially on November 11, remember to offer your hand to a veteran and sincerely thank them for their service. It’s the least we can do for those courageous few who have sacrificed so much for all of us. If you feel so inspired, also reach into your pocket for a donation or become a volunteer in support of Boot Campaign (www.bootcampaign.org). The national 501(c)(3) charitable organization is dedicated to promoting patriotism for America and our military community; raising awareness of the unique challenges service members face during and post-service; and providing assistance to military personnel, past and present, and their families. www.homelandmagazine.com
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By Vesta M. Anderson
“I GOT YOUR SIX” A Warrior’s Pledge and Honor
To address the growing mental health needs of warriors returning from war, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) created its Combat Stress Recovery Program (CSRP). Through the generous support of donors, WWP offers wounded veterans a range of specialized mental health programs and services – all tailored to each veteran›s specific needs and free of charge. WWP and its supporters believe warriors already paid their dues on the battlefield.
In her almost 200-day deployment to Logistics Support Area Anaconda in Balad, Iraq, U.S. Airman Jessica Daubenmire’s base was attacked 149 times – three were rocket attacks, and the rest were from mortars. “I remember one evening in July of 2007, I heard the sirens signaling an incoming attack while I was in my bunk,” Jessica said. “Half asleep, I immediately rolled off my bottom bunk and onto the ground. The explosion was so violent; it was as if someone was shaking me by my shoulders.” The mortar struck the trailer directly beside the one Jessica was in. “I mean, having it hit so close,” she said as she let the thought hang in the air. “How can anybody live in a country where – any minute – something can come out of the sky and blow you up?” Only 22 at the time of her deployment, Jessica is one of many wounded warriors who endured physical and mental hardships to fulfill the Global War on Terrorism mission. “At Anaconda, we had one of the best medical facilities in the area of responsibility,” Jessica said. “As a security forces airman, one of my responsibilities was to perform routine checks on the pharmacy while on patrol. To get to the pharmacy, my team had to walk through medical tents that housed severely injured patients. Many had wounds from improvised explosive devices – some were Iraqi children. It was a horrific sight. Even if you closed your eyes, you still had to hear and smell the suffering.” Jessica returned stateside a totally changed person. “I remember coming up the walkway heading toward the baggage claim, and I saw my mom and sisters waiting for me, crying. But I just felt numb,” she said. “The pictures my family took at the airport captured the emptiness I felt inside. A part of me was missing. I was different. I wasn’t the same baby girl my mom raised.”
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Jessica’s story is a reflection of other wounded warriors who are confronted with the same struggles once home from combat. Exposure to traumatic combat and operational experiences affects service members and veterans spiritually, psychologically, biologically, and socially. “I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t sleep. Then, the day came that I lost my military bearing while trying to give my flight chief a briefing. I broke down and told him that I couldn’t even remember how I got to work.” Once she sought help, it didn’t take long for military doctors to diagnose Jessica with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and more. Also, due to an elbow injury she suffered while in Iraq, Jessica underwent two surgeries. When the military found her unfit to deploy, she finished out her enlistment and returned home to her family in Ohio. “It’s been six years since I left the military,” Jessica said. “But I had a difficult transition out of the service. My friend told me to reach out to WWP. They helped me get my benefits squared away. Then I signed up for their mental health support services.” Soon, she found herself at her first WWP mental health workshop with approximately 20 other female veterans from across the www.homelandmagazine.com
nation. Although challenging, WWP›s multiday mental health rehabilitative opportunities provide safe, private environments for warriors to express themselves and discuss their combat action. At the end of the program, injured veterans share lessons learned from the activities that impacted their personal struggles most and set achievable goals for their recoveries. “It’s simply amazing,” Jessica said. “I didn’t know what to expect at first. I couldn’t see this working since we didn’t know each other. But having the support of other lady warriors who are dealing with similar struggles – it turned out to be the best tool we had at the event. Sometimes, it’s hard to put something out there when you are still dealing with it inside. But trusting the process completely changed my thinking on how to cope. There were a lot of emotions and anxiety, but the experience allowed us to come together and share our journeys.”
Peer support plays an important role in the recovery process for veterans dealing with the invisible wounds of war as they rely upon each other’s learned experiences when managing day-to-day challenges. This special type of therapy reintroduces injured veterans to the unique bonds experienced during military service. Rarely duplicated in the civilian world, these relationships act as a secure bedrock that paves the road to recovery. WWP recognizes and honors the service and sacrifice of those who have dedicated their lives to our great nation. Veterans comprise a wide range of our nation’s finest, from those who protect and serve on homeland to those who deploy to ensure the realization of freedom across the globe. Together, these brave men and women fight beside each other, enduring the same battles abroad and at home after deployment.
WWP stands ready to help warriors, their families, and caregivers with comprehensive support for mental and physical health, continuing education and employment assistance, and warrior outreach and reintegration into local communities. Jessica said she immediately felt the impact of the multi-day mental health workshop and is excited for new opportunities to further her growth in recovery and heal the veterans around her. “I was approached by Wounded Warrior Project staff to help with future mental health workshops through a warrior support role.” It seems only appropriate. After all, it was warrior support that gave her the boost in her own recovery.
About Wounded Warrior Project The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The WWP 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 learn more about WWP and Warrior Care Network™, visit woundedwarriorproject.org. (Photos courtesy WWP) www.homelandmagazine.com
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Operation Homefront Accepting 2017 Military Child of the Year® Nominations
2016 Military Child of the Year® recipients receive their awards April 14 in Arlington, Va. From the left are Madeleine Morlino, Air Force, Moorestown, New Jersey; Jeffrey Burds, Navy, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Christian Fagala, Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia; Former Marine Cory Jones, National Sales Manager and Senior Vice President, Classics for Jackson Family Wines; John “Trip” Landon, National Guard, Ellensburg, Washington; Keegan Fike, Coast Guard, Fairhaven, Massachusetts; Elizabeth O’Brien, recipient of the first ever Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation® presented by Booz Allen Hamilton, Aberdeen, North Carolina; and Lorelei McIntyre-Brewer, Army, Duncannon, Pennsylvania. United Technologies Corp. is the presenting sponsor for the Military Child of the Year® Awards Gala. Other sponsors are Southern New Hampshire University, Wounded Warrior Project, Murphy-Goode Winery, Booz Allen Hamilton, MidAtlanticBroadband, La Quinta Inns & Suites, and Aflac. The recognition gala happens to be held in April, which the Defense Department has observed since 1986 as the Month of the Military Child.
rom today through Dec. 5, 2016, Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit with the mission of building strong, stable, and secure military families, will accept nominations for the 2017 Military Child of the Year® awards, which will be presented at a recognition gala April 6, 2017, in the nation’s capital. The annual awards will recognize seven outstanding young people. Six of them in the age 8 to 18 range will represent a branch of the armed forces — the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard — for their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria while facing the challenges of military family life. The seventh award, which is open to young people ages 13 to 18, is the Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation® presented by Booz Allen Hamilton. With a new invention,
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improvement to existing technology, creation of a new nonprofit or community service group, or expansion of an existing membership organization, the winner of this award shows the power of innovative thinking. The six armed services branch Military Child of the Year® awardees will receive $10,000 each, will receive a laptop computer and other donated gifts, and will be flown with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., for the gala, during which senior leaders of each branch of service will present the awards. The Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation® recipient will receive a $5,000 cash award, will benefit from mentorship by Booz Allen Hamilton employees to scale or to advance the winner’s project, and will be flown to Washington along with a parent or guardian to be recognized at the gala.
Anyone may nominate a favorite young patriot. Parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, clergy, neighbors, grandparents and anyone who knows a child’s talents may nominate. Simply go to www.militarychildoftheyear.org and click the Nominate tab. “Operation Homefront is excited to recognize the amazing accomplishments of our military children through our ninth Military Child of the Year® program,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “This very special group of young people demonstrate resolve, service, and a ‘can-do’ spirit as they cope with the various challenges inherent in military life, such as parental deployments and frequent relocations. I encourage all to consider nominating a deserving military child and join Operation Homefront in our annual celebration of resilience, achievement and strength of character.”
Attention Active Military & Veterans
“I was at a Freedoms Foundation leadership course when I heard that I was selected,” said 2016 Air Force Military Child of the Year® Madeline Morlino of Moorestown, N.J., who at the time was 17 and destined to become an Air Force Academy cadet. “My dad texted my family and me, and I literally jumped off my seat. I am truly humbled and honored to have been selected as Military Child of the Year.” Teenagers don’t always win. For instance, 2016 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year Christian Fagala of Quantico, Va., said he was pleasantly surprised to win the award in April 2016 at age 9. “I was very honored and proud,” Christian said, reflecting on his reaction to winning. “I didn’t think I was going to win. There were so many deserving military kids that have done great things for our community.”
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On average, previous recipients have had at least one parent deploy for 18 months or longer and have relocated at least five times due to a parent’s military assignments. For more information about the Military Child of the Year® nomination process, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org. The Military Child of the Year® program takes place as part of Operation Homefront’s “Answer the Call” campaign from September 10 to November 12. Operation Homefront knows our military and veterans have served around the world to protect us. Along with their families, our service members continually answer the call to support our nation. That’s why we provide a variety of programs and services that show these families that their nation is grateful for their service. Learn more at OperationHomefront.net/AnswerTheCall, and join in online with the hashtag #AnswerTheCall.
About Operation Homefront: A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront builds strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. With more than 3,200 volunteers nationwide, Operation Homefront has provided assistance to tens of thousands of military families since its inception shortly after 9/11. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront’s expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net www.homelandmagazine.com
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HOMELAND / November 2016 21
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.
HOMELAND / November 2016
From Soldier to Samaritan – The Odyssey, and Oddities, of Service Brandon was already making good money in the construction industry, but knew something was missing. He found it immediately after enlisting. “I loved it. I clicked with everyone and felt like it was where I needed to be,” said Brandon. “That made it easy to give 110%. Plus, I was fortunate to have great leaders in my unit, who got me to where I am.” As part of the Third Brigade, First Armored Division, Second Battalion, Fifth Infantry Division, Bravo Company, Brandon was part of the Third Platoon, First Squad led by Staff Sergeant Robert Ellis. “Sergeant Ellis made me into the soldier I was, took me under his wing and always watched over me,” said Brandon. “We are still close today.” A Series of Firsts Brandon was no stranger to putting himself out there. He had been working since he was 13, he was the first in his family to successfully implement a plan for his future after
high school, he was the first to join the military, the first to be deployed into war, and the first to be seriously injured. “I went through extensive training in Barstow, so when I was deployed I felt prepared,” said Brandon. “I arrived in Afghanistan in October of 2011, and thought this was not as bad as everyone said. Until I realized that I had not reached my final destination.” Brandon and his unit were deployed to the Chaki Wardak district, which was one of the “hot spots” at the time. He and his unit immediately started on missions, and soon Brandon found himself it the thick of war. “There were two platoons, and we went on over 200 missions. I guarantee you we were either shot at or found an IED every day,” said Brandon. “We did not go on a mission daily, but we did have to either clean which meant running the burn pit, be on the quick response force, which meant more sleep but could have to go out at any time, or go on a mission. It was a constant rotation of 12 people pulling 12 hour shifts.”
“For me it’s always God, Country, Family. That’s what I go for every day, no matter what.” Brandon Walden knew from the tender age of 10 that he was born to serve our country. In fact, after being inspired by the movie Forrest Gump, Brandon sought out recruiters to discuss what he needed to do to enlist – yes, at 10 years old. In high school, that motivation became stronger once his brother did not complete basic training. “I had to show my brother I could do it, although that was only 25% of my motivation,” said Brandon. “75% was that I wanted to serve my country and saw an opportunity to make it happen.”
“We were pinned down, and heard over the radio they were headed for us with the intent to capture. Sergeant Ellis was not going to let that happen, so even though we were pinned, out of ammo and had injured men, he got out of the truck and went to town with his Marc 48. He saved us and everyone made it back alive.”
HOMELAND / November 2016 23
“Our meals were MREs or Mermites. Because vehicles could not get through due to bombings, we had some food and supplies air dropped to us. It was a real treat just to have a sandwich, not to mention a shower. I had a total of 3 showers the entire time I was there.” For a 19-year-old kid, this was definitely a first, and a new world. “I saw things I never could have imagined, like two kids being blown up on our helo landing zone. One was my brother’s age,” said Brandon. “There were probably 10 meals total of real food, which was pretty good on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, families sent items and snacks which was good. Overall I ate well and probably consumed 10,000 calories a day just to keep up.” Brandon saw plenty of action, as their platoons were positioned close to the Bin Laden black market and several Taliban strongholds. In one instance, they were separated from their unit and close to being captured, except for the heroics of Staff Sergeant Ellis. “We were pinned down, and heard over the radio they were headed for us with the intent to capture. Sergeant Ellis was not going to let that happen, so even though we were pinned, out of ammo and had injured men, he got out of the truck and went to town with his Marc 48. He saved us and everyone made it back alive.” Another first occurred July 3, 2012, when Brandon was shot and seriously injured. “I was supposed to go home 3 days prior, and believe the only reason I’m still here is because of God,” said Brandon. “Instead I end up on a mission where things go terribly wrong.”
HOMELAND / November 2016
Brandon, having just been promoted to specialist rank, was setting up guard. He is facing the gate when an Afghanistan soldier comes through. Brandon asks for an interpreter, and then… “He screams out at us and opened fire with an M249 saw. Several of us were hit, with Sergeant Ellis, myself and Jeremy being the worst.” Through the valiant efforts of his fellow soldiers, all three soldiers were able to receive assistance, be evacuated by helicopter, and returned to the United States. “Lewis, Peacock, Ortiz, and Casey were heroes that day. As was the nurse who helped me,” said Brandon. “Turns our Nurse Kennedy would also be my nurse at BAMC. She was amazing.”
Change of Direction After being in a medically induced coma for 6 days, Brandon spent three months recovering from his wounds, which included a hip replacement. But his overall recovery would take significantly longer. Brandon realized his dreams had been dashed, as he was unable to sit or sleep due to the significant pain. “I was 20 and faced with the reality of not being a soldier. I was completely lost,” said Brandon. “I became depressed, and was given all types of medication to the point that I felt like I was in some type of trial and they were testing products.”
“My grandpa wanted to give back so much, and I was proud to tell him he was still giving back through me and the work I do with Heroes on the Water,” said Brandon. “He held family in high regard, so now I can help both my HOW family and my family in ways I was not able before.” Brandon knows that he can continue serving his country by supporting those who need the power of therapeutic kayak fishing and the camaraderie they so enjoyed in the military. “I have found my purpose again.”
Brandon was not recovering, much less thriving, and continued to decline. After his military retirement in 2015, Brandon continued taking his meds, becoming more anxious, depressed and argumentative. “I was shy, now overweight, and felt broken. I missed the camaraderie and brotherhood, and was not sure where to turn,” said Brandon. Then he spoke to Heather at BAMC. Heather put Brandon in touch with the Heroes on the Water therapeutic chapter, where he was able to connect with other military brothers and sisters, and who he was. “I love fishing and the outdoors. As a boy I spent a lot of time with my Grandfather who was a major influence on my life. We spent time hiking, hunting and fishing,” said Brandon. “I felt like I was healing, just being on the water and fishing.” The HOW chapter coordinator at the time, Matt Lowell, ensured Brandon kept returning. And that was when Brandon realized his journey was not over, but had a new beginning. “I knew that this was something special and I had a purpose again. I had to be a part of it, so when the opportunity arose, I became the chapter coordinator,” said Brandon. “I was able to get back to myself through the camaraderie and power of Heroes on the Water. Now I can do that for others.” Brandon believes that HOW saved his life, and countless others along the way, thanks to founder Jim Dolan and the HOW Nation who continue to serve our nation’s heroes every day. “Not only has HOW saved my life, I can live a life I’m proud of, and I can now help my family by giving them a home, ensuring my siblings finish school, and taking care of my mom, who took such good care of me while I was recovering.” A big part of Brandon’s influence came from his grandfather, who worked for the Idaho parks and Recreation after retiring from Union Pacific.
About Heroes on the Water:
Heroes on the Water is 501(c)3 non-profit, founded in 2007 to fulfill a need to provide veterans and active-duty military and their families a way to reconnect and refuel. OUR MISSION IS to help warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors. To learn more, visit our website at www.heroesonthewater.org. www.homelandmagazine.com
HOMELAND / November 2016 25
By VITAS HEALTHCARE
Serving Those Who Served Our Country
Quality End-of-Life Care for Veteran According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are an estimated 22 million veterans living in the United States. Studies show that military service profoundly impacts America’s veterans and their families, and the affects get compounded as they approach the end of life, creating unique clinical, emotional and spiritual needs. Accounting for one-fourth of all deaths in the country, veterans who have enrolled in Medi-Cal and are deemed hospice-appropriate can find relief and comfort with the services hospice provides. Retired Petty Officer First Class John P. Ryan, 91, who served in World War II with the U.S. Navy, is one of many veterans who have made the thoughtful decision to go into hospice care.
including his wife, his two step-daughters and his granddaughter—Petty Officer Ryan was honored for his dedicated service in protecting our nation. Patients and staff sang “Anchors Aweigh,” a popular U.S. Navy song, as his granddaughter presented him with a lapel pin and a certificate of appreciation. Touched by the recognition, Petty Officer Ryan expressed his gratitude by thanking everyone, including the VITAS staff, for throwing him a memorable birthday bash.
the electronics systems and subsystems of the world’s most advanced ships, including submarines. The former Navy technician also remembers
“My four older brothers joined the army and always talked about the miles of marching they didI joined the Navy to avoid the marching.”
Pictured is Petty Officer John P. Ryan (Ret.) with his certificate of appreciation from VITAS Healthcare for his dedicated service to this country.
A humble and humorous man, Petty Officer Ryan shared why he decided to join the Navy, “My four older brothers joined the army and always talked about the miles of marching they did—I joined the Navy to avoid the marching.” Today, he enjoys telling old Navy stories to his hospice team at VITAS Healthcare, as well as family and friends who come to visit him at the assisted living facility which is now his home. Recently, on his 91st birthday, Petty Officer Ryan was surprised by the VITAS staff with a pinning ceremony. Surrounded by his loved ones—
HOMELAND / November 2016
“It is so important to make veterans comfortable at the end of life and show our appreciation for the sacrifices they made for our country,” said VITAS San Diego General Manager Laury Searle-Bliss. “That’s why we believe every day is Veterans Day at VITAS.” Petty Officer Ryan’s first experience with combat weaponry was testing torpedoes for accuracy and delivering them safely to submarine bases in Newport, Rhode Island, before joining the armed forces. He often relives his time in Rhode Island and avidly recalls the Food Rationing Program of 1942, initiated by the U.S. government asking Americans to conserve resources and ration goods like food, gas and even clothing. Petty Officer Ryan—who was in the Navy from 1943 to 1966—served as an Electronic Technician (ET). He helped operate and manage
From left to right: VITAS Veteran Patient Petty Officer John P. Ryan (Ret.) with his granddaughter Lacy, VITAS Nurse Carla Samalea, VITAS Social Worker Sherrita Cobbs and Mrs. Joan Ryan. Petty Officer Ryan turned 91-years-old on October 14, 2016. www.homelandmagazine.com
the year 1945 vividly—when he and his crew members were traveling in a submarine headed for the Pacific Ocean to combat the Japanese, when they received word that the enemy surrendered and the war had come to an end. After the war, Petty Officer Ryan worked on the USS Brownson naval ship, a unit of Destroyer Division 101 and Destroyer Squadron 10. In 1952, he joined the Rhine River Patrol, a unit of the U.S. Navy tasked with patrolling the Rhine River in Schierstein, Germany. The unit patrolled the seas from Bingen to Karlsruhe and consisted of eleven boats—one air-sea rescue craft and 10 German torpedo recovery boats. Petty Officer Ryan later worked on a number of naval ships and aircrafts, including the USS Bexar and the USS Intrepid.
Maximizing End-of-Life Care Benefits Hospice is an end-of-life care option that focuses on the patient, not the disease, and aims to make life as comfortable, enjoyable and meaningful as possible. The care is provided by highly skilled interdisciplinary teams that include physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, volunteers and other specially trained palliative care experts, and is administered wherever the patient calls home. Covered by Medi-Cal and most private insurance plans, it includes expert pain management, emotional and spiritual support, and helps coordinate important benefits available to patients and their families.
Additionally, VITAS’ veteran-to-veteran volunteer initiative pairs recruited veteran volunteers with hospice patients who have been identified as veterans themselves. Veteran volunteers relate and connect with veteran patients on a deep level, thereby helping create an atmosphere that facilitates inner peace and reflection. Veteran volunteers may visit terminally ill veterans, drive or accompany them to appointments, or offer friendly companionship and help revive memories. “Hospices with special programs for veteran patients are better-equipped to address many of their unique clinical, emotional and spiritual needs,” said Searle-Bliss. “VITAS’ specially trained hospice staff understands how to approach and interact with veterans at the end of their lives, and is prepared to handle even the most complex patient situations.”
Oftentimes, veterans don’t realize they’re eligible for several benefits that could improve their quality of life. Most hospice companies work closely with organizations like the Veteran Affairs (VA) system—helping veterans gather valuable information about medical, financial and burial benefits. Veterans can be referred to hospice from the VA or by community-based healthcare providers. The federal government provides assistance to United States veterans, and the Veterans Administration (VA) covers 100 percent of hospice care. A few of the benefits veterans and their dependents may be entitled to are:
•Survivors Benefits. The VA provides assistance to surviving spouses and dependents of veterans, even if they died after active duty. •Death Pension. The death pension is a need-based benefit paid to a surviving spouse and eligible children of a wartime veteran. •Burial Benefits. The VA may cover some or all of the burial costs and funeral expenses. Veterans are also eligible to be buried in military cemeteries.
With more than 1,000 veterans dying in the U.S. every day, it is critical for hospice providers to offer the specialized care that veterans need and show our appreciation for the sacrifices they made for our country.
Providing Customized End-of-Life Care to Veterans Since 1995, VITAS of San Diego has been caring for hospice-appropriate patients, including terminally ill veterans and has developed award-winning programs to provide them with the care and support they need. In fact, VITAS works closely with the VA system and is a proud “Level Four” hospice partner of the “We Honor Veterans” campaign—the highest honor a hospice provider can attain for its veterans’ programs. The designation, which was provided by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, was given in recognition of VITAS’ commitment to improving care for veterans and for helping veterans and their families identify and access government benefits for which they are eligible.
Petty Officer First Class John P. Ryan circa 1963 For his dedicated service to the U.S. Navy and model behavior, Petty Officer John P. Ryan, ret., 91, received the following accolades: WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic— Pacific Medal, European Occupation Service Medal (for serving on the Rhine river), Good Conduct Medal & Ribbon, and the National Defense Service Medal.
For more information about hospice or end-of-life care options for veterans, please visit www.vitas.com/hospice-care-services/caring-for-veterans or call (858)-499-8901 www.homelandmagazine.com
HOMELAND / November 2016 27
Going Back to School As a Military Spouse Many military spouses are jumping at the chance to go back to school. And why not? You can expand your career opportunities, boost your earning power, become eligible for promotions, and find more meaningful and fulfilling work. Going back to school is an investment in yourself, your career and your future. Consider the following questions to help you get back in the education game.
You might have multiple options to consider. Know the educational requirements for your job field.
Questions to consider Writing down your career goals and planning how to reach them is a great first step toward figuring out what’s right for you. What are my career goals? It’s said if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. So figuring out your goals is important. Are you passionate about a particular field or purpose? Are you looking for financial freedom? Do you want work that’s steady and predictable, or are you a risk-taker? As a military family, will you need a portable career that can move with you? Clearly defining your goals will let you focus your efforts. What are my personal goals?
Your career goals might help you achieve your personal goals. Will going back to school give you a sense of pride and accomplishment? Knowing what you hope to gain personally from this experience can also help you tailor your career and educational path. 28
What new opportunities can more schooling provide?
HOMELAND / November 2016
What’s the job market like in my field?
Knowing the job market and any restrictions related to state licensing could help you plan your educational needs and find opportunities where you can be competitive. As a military family, you should consider where you’ll most likely live and whether there’s a market for your career in the area. Is this the best time to go back to school?
This is a big commitment, so step back and consider how family and work responsibilities might be affected. Also, look at what’s down the line for you and your family. If your spouse is deploying soon, for example, going back to school could add a lot of stress, but it might also be a good distraction for you. Also, you should consider educational benefits that may be available through your spouse and their timeframe for use. Choosing your program
Your chosen career path will determine the type of program you’ll need to meet your field’s educational requirements, which may include a degree, professional license or certification. Everyone can face obstacles to continuing their education, but military spouses can face extra hurdles. Once you’re ready, and have explored your options go ahead and reap the rewards of going back to school, because you’re worth it. www.homelandmagazine.com
Mike Knutson Bachelor of Science, Cybersecurity Navy Veteran
Because I wanted to draw on my past to better our future, it had to be UMUC. Credit for your military experience and training. You deserve credit for what you already know. At University of Maryland University College, you can receive up to 90 undergraduate credits for your prior college coursework and military experience and training and be well on your way to an in-demand degree from a respected state university. You may even be able to ďŹ nish your degree in as few as two years with online and on-site classes and multiple start dates throughout the year.
FIND OUT HOW UMUC CAN WORK FOR YOU.
Call 800-939-UMUC (8682). Visit umuc.edu/homeland. www.homelandmagazine.com 16-MIL-215 November National Military Mike K Print Ad_Homeland_HRR1.indd
ÂŠ 2016 University of Maryland University College
HOMELAND / November 29 10/10/16 2016 11:20 AM
So You Want to be an Entrepreneur?
A Workshop for Veterans and Military on entrepreneurial pathways.
2:30PM Case Study 1: Nathan Fletcher
12:30PM Welcome & Overview of the Day
1:00PM The Entrepreneurial Leader; Ken Blanchard, the Blanchard Companies
3:15PM Case Study 2: Eric Venn Watson
2:00PM So You Want to be an Entrepreneur? Greg Horowitt, UCSD Office of Innovation & Commercialization
4:45PM Q&A Roundtable
4:00PM Case Study 3: Colin Supko
5:30PM Networking and time with Professionals
12:30pm - 6:00pm Fuse Integration
1425 E St•San Diego•CA 92101
HOMELAND / November 2016
ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR By Vicki Garcia
Grow Your Business Through the New Title III JOBS Act
n Monday, May 16, 2016, something astounding happened. Title III of the JOBS Act went into effect. “Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups” (the “JOBS Act”)...unfortunate terminology since is doesn’t relate to jobs...regulated by the Security and Exchange Commission is the latest in equity crowdfunding laws that permits non-accredited individuals (read: not rich people) to invest in private startups and small businesses. Investing was previously restricted to wealthier accredited investors and institutions only. By the way, the language for this is all over the place, “private startup investing,” “equity crowdfunding,” and “Title III,” to name a few. More to come. Title III was designed as a potential game changer for fundraising and access to capital, opening up a new and promising avenue for young startups seeking capital. It represents an easing of security regulations intended to increase the funding that flows to U.S. small business, while opening up participation to everyday citizens or “the crowd.” Now you can invest in high potential startups. Or, you can get investors to help you grow your business beyond your wildest dreams. Get this more than 145 companies have grown from tiny startups to companies with $1 Billion – plus valuations in just the last four years. You can be part of this bonanza.
Continued on page 33
HOMELAND / November 2016 31
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Continued from page 31 The Rules for Businesses
§ Startups can raise up to $1 Million in a 12-month period and another $1 Million each year after that
§ Offerings must be made via a Broker-Dealer or Portal Intermediary (more below)
§ Businesses must provide detailed disclosures of corporate (you must have a business plan) and financial information
§ If raising less than $100K – you need a financial signed off by a company officer
§ If raising $100K – $500K – financials must be reviewed by public accountants
§ If raising $500K+ - provide reviewed rather than audited financial statements The Rules for Investors
§ Investors making less than $100,000 per year can invest $2,000 or 5% of annual income, whichever is greater
§ Investors making more $100,000 per year can invest up to 10% of their annual income You can now invest as little as $100 and own a piece of your favorite startup company! So, there is an opportunity to participate, even if you don’t own a business. Crowdfunding Platforms/Portals A company raising funds, relying on the rules, is required to conduct its offering
exclusively through an intermediary crowdfunding platform. “Registered Funding Portals” have become members of a national securities exchange commission (currently FINRA). There are many new portals, such as fundable.com, wefunder. com, startengine.com, and republic.com. Just Google “equity crowdfunding portals” and see what pops up.
§ Provide investors notices once
These portals provide investors with educational materials that explain the process for investing on the platform, the types of securities being offered and information a company must provide to investors, resale restrictions, and investment limits. The portal must take certain measures to reduce the risk of fraud, including having a reasonable basis for believing that a company complies with Regulation Crowdfunding and that the company has established means to keep accurate records of securities holders.
§ Comply with completion,
The platform must make information that a company is required to disclose available to the public on its platform throughout the offering period and for a minimum of 21 days before any security may be sold in the offering. In addition, the portal must –
§ Provide communication channels to permit discussions about offerings on the platform;
§ Provide disclosure to investors about the compensation the intermediary receives;
§ Accept an investment commitment from an investor only after that investor has opened an account;
they have made investment commitments and confirmations at or before completion of a transaction;
§ Comply with maintenance and transmission of funds requirements;
cancellation and reconfirmation of offerings requirements. Think of portals as miniature stock exchanges (NYSE, Nasdaq, etc.). But there’s one important caveat: Unlike stock exchanges, equity crowdfunding investments are not “liquid.” These are early-stage deals. Expect to hold on to them for a long time, and investors should expect a return soon. These portals will compete with each other to list the most promising investments. Each site will have its method of attracting companies. The portal is your face to the world, so chose carefully. Getting to know which ones have the best “deal flow” is critical. We’re living in an entirely different world where business growth is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Of course, there are risks... and more complexity than presented here. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Then RESEARCH some more. Consult a crowdfunding lawyer like crowdfundinglawyers.net if you’re smart. If you take the proper steps, and follow the rules, you too could infuse your startup with cash.
§ Have a reasonable basis for believing an investor complies with the investment limitations;
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
HOMELAND / November 2016 33
LIFE AFTER THE MILITARY ARE YOU READY?
Returning to civilian life presents new opportunities—and challenges—for Veterans. Many Veterans look forward to life after the military because they can spend more time with family and friends and no longer have to worry about military structure or deployment. At the same time, transitioning out of the military may raise a lot of questions. You may wonder what you are going to do with this new phase of your life, or whether you will be able to find a job. You may think about going back to school, but not know where to start. Or you may miss the order and discipline of military life (compared with civilian life) and wonder if you will be able to adjust.
SUCCESSFUL TIPS FOR A CAREER TRANSITION Build your professional network. Chances are you have many more military contacts in your network than civilian ones. If that’s the case and you have an eye on a civilian career, then you should actively build a more diverse network while you’re still in the military. Creating a professional profile online using a site like LinkedIn is a good place to start. Continuing to build your network will better prepare you for a career as a civilian.
REEL IN CIVILIAN EMPLOYERS WITH YOUR MILITARY EXPERIENCE One of the challenges of switching from a military to a civilian career is finding a way to relate your military experience to the civilian workplace. Military occupational specialties are very different compared to what you’ll find in corporate occupations, which means you may need to think differently about your skills and experience. For example, you may be accustomed to a military lingo that involves jargon, acronyms and terms a civilian employer would not understand. Of course, the same is true in civilian workplaces, so you may need to learn new ways of communicating. If you’re not sure how your military experience might translate into a civilian career, consider conducting informational interviews. While you can gather a great deal of information about a career 34 HOMELAND / November 2016
by researching online or reading brochures and books, you’ll gain far greater insight by communicating firsthand with someone with direct experience in the occupation you seek. Always treat informational interviews as you would a job interview. You may not be actively in the running for a position, but you are making a professional impression, so you want to be sure it’s a good one. Through your interviews, you’ll likely discover a number of marketable skills and characteristics that make you an ideal candidate for a civilian career.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION While there may be some uncertainty when you separate from the military and enter the civilian workforce, there is a lot you can do before that happens. The following tips can help you make a smoother transition. Get started early. Begin to think about your civilian career one to two years before your expected separation date. You’ll need that time to assess your skills and interests, so you can research and align yourself with a civilian career that will be a good fit. You may want to further your education after you separate from the military. Talk with an ESO on your base to get more information.
Do your research. Your research involves
more than gathering information about potential civilian career paths. It also involves tapping into what personally resonates with your passion and interests. Think about the elements of your military experience that sparked an internal fire, and then consider how that might be translated to a civilian career. Rather than focus on job titles, focus on the skills you want to use and the careers that will let that happen. If you are considering going back to school, look for universities that offer transfer credit for past military service or training, military benefits, scholarships or grants, and research the school’s reputation in the military community.
Timeliness. Arriving on time is a key component of the military lifestyle, so being a veteran usually gives civilian employers confidence in your ability to be reliable.
Teamwork. The nature of military service often means goals are achieved
through the collaboration of people. There are no lone rangers. This makes veterans excellent team players who demonstrate a sense of loyalty that civilian employers appreciate.
Technological Skills. Veterans tend to have a broad range of technical skills, or the ability to quickly pick up new technology. In the fast-paced civilian workplace, this kind of adaptability and innovation goes a long way.
Assess your skill gaps. If you’ve given
yourself enough lead time, you’ll have a better idea of the civilian career path you want to take, which gives you time to fill any skill gaps that may come up. When possible, seek additional military training and experience that might help you with your civilian job search. This may involve doing more than expected, but that extra effort can pay off when it’s time to launch your civilian career.
Dust off your resume. Depending on your circumstances, you may never have created a resume. Whether you have a resume or not, it’s important to know that your military experience may not easily translate into a civilian career. For this reason, consider creating a functional resume that focuses on specific skills that will be of interest to a civilian employer, rather than a chronological resume that lists military job titles a civilian employer will not recognize or understand. Many universities have career services departments that can help you create a resume. If you decide to go back to school, take advantage of this perk and consult a specialist for help building your resume. Work Ethic. Many military service members
and veterans apply the structure and commitment from their training to the workplace.
Leadership. “Nearly all veterans have served in a leadership role in some capacity during their time in the military, so whether they are leading from the front or motivating others to achieve collaborative goals, veterans usually perform exceedingly well in a supervisory or managerial capacity. www.homelandmagazine.com
HOMELAND / November 2016 35
ER ED F OFE N D T EX
We Salute Our Veterans Free admission to SeaWorld® San Diego per veteran & up to 3 guests.*
Limited-time offer exclusively online at WavesofHonor.com
*ONLINE ONLY — tickets must be obtained in advance through the online registration process. Offer not available at the SeaWorld ticket windows. Ticket is non-transferrable, non-refundable and not for sale. Not valid with any other discounts, offers and has no upgrade value. Offer valid through 12/31/16. © 2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.
HOMELAND / November 2016
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
Scan from Smart Phone for more info on WIC
WIC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
HOMELAND / November 2016 37
Seize the Benefit Your Service and Sacrifice Earned, while Securing Your Financial Future
ne of the best benefits available to our warriors and vets, the VA home loan, is also one of the least understood and therefore underused. Home buyers dream of low rates, low money down and no mortgage insurance home loans. And VA home loans deliver on this dream as no other mortgage does. But VA home loans are available only to our warriors and vets (who’ve earned this benefit through their sacrifice and service to our country.) VA loans usually offer the lowest rates of any mortgage loan. Most VA loans requires $0 money down, and VA loans have no mortgage insurance! It is the dream loan for your dream home. In addition, leverage is a tenet of wise financial decision making, and $0 money down is the very definition of leverage in real estate. As soon as my son is eligible, he plans to use that leverage and capitalize on the VA home loan benefit he has earned. Other warriors and vets should do the same! One of the often misunderstood features of VA loans is that the borrower can, at the same time, own multiple properties financed with a VA loan. And the use of another often overlooked feature, Bonus Entitlement, often allows the additional purchase be also done with $0 money down! And this multiples the leveraging power of VA loans. All purchases using a VA loan must be for the borrower’s primary residence. But when purchasing a new primary residence, the borrower need not refinance their current property if secured by a VA loan just because they wish to turn it into a rental! In fact they later can use the VA’s version of a streamline refinance, referred to as an IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan,) even though the property is by then a rental property!
HOMELAND / November 2016
Seize the dream loan to buy your dream home your service and sacrifice earned – low rates, $0 money down and no mortgage insurance!! And while doing so, help secure your and your family’s financial future! If you want more information and education on VA loans, don’t hesitate to call John Medin at (619) 417-2003 or email him at john. firstname.lastname@example.org. In the next educational article we’ll discuss how a warrior or veteran qualifies for a VA loan, and why, especially in southern California, they usually can qualify for a higher priced home than if using any other loan.
HOMELAND / November 2016 39
By EVA M. STIMSON
Shelter to Soldier and UNITE A
Announce Partnership to Support Veterans and Rescue Dogs
s the nation turns its attention toward the military men and women who have valiantly served our country this Veteran’s Day, all members of the U.S. Armed Forces will be pleased to know there are many who stand ready to help them overcome the invisible wounds that stem from combat duty. Two of these entities (the non-profit organization, Shelter to Soldier, and the professional hair care leader, UNITE) have formed a collaborative partnership that is designed to advance the mission of Shelter to Soldier. Last month, UNITE launched an ultra-gentle dog shampoo, Doggy ‘Poo, for which
an unprecedented 90 percent of proceeds from sales of this product will be shared between Shelter to Soldier and San Diego Humane Society. Shelter to Soldier adopts dogs from shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post9/11 combat veterans suffering from Posttraumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other injuries associated with combat service experiences. Doggy ‘Poo is the brainchild of UNITE founder and CEO Andrew Dale, a recognized expert in developing premium “people” formulas as well as a longtime animal welfare supporter, who, together with his wife Brenda, are the proud parents of three rescue pit bulls. After trying countless products on his dogs, Dale set out to create a gentle, effective formula with a dual purpose: to leave beloved pups clean, comfortable and smelling sweet while also helping others find homes. “A Clean Dog For A Good Cause”. Developing the right formula was the first step. Doggy ‘Poo boasts oatmeal to moisturize and soothe itchy skin and help relieve symptoms of allergies, dry skin, hot spots, and flea and tick problems. Argan oil promotes a healthy, shiny coat, and just as it does in human shampoos, nourishes, hydrates, and moisturizes without causing any buildup, irritation, or greasiness. Next, the UNITE team worked to build key alliances that would allow Doggy ‘Poo to make the biggest impact. “Charity starts at home and we are proud to partner with the San Diego Humane Society,” said Dale. “In addition, Shelter to Soldier’s mission really moved us. They pair combat veterans with trained psychiatric service dogs to help them overcome PTS and other obstacles presented after serving in combat zones. UNITE is also sponsoring a dog and following his journey from the shelter, through training, to his eventual partnership with a deserving veteran. The entire UNITE family is excited about this process.” “Consider me a life saved! Shelter to Soldier provided me that light that I needed, and Kira keeps that light alive every day.” Vic Martin, US Navy Ret.
HOMELAND / November 2016
“After my experience in the military, I was withdrawn from society and having Charlie made me realize my anxiety in social settings can be overcome with him by my side.” - Liz Carmouche, USMC Ret. “I just want to let you know how much Tank has really saved me. Thank you for all that you do.” - Ben Kilhefner, US Navy Ret. “Thanks to the very generous support of UNITE and their new product, Doggy ‘Poo, our program is not only going to be able to continue our mission, but also assist many more veterans in need as well as help more homeless dogs,” said Shelter to Soldier Founder Graham Bloem. “We are lucky to be in the company of such a caring organization and we look forward to working together to ‘save lives, two at a time.’”
David Camacho www.homelandmagazine.com
Doggy ‘Poo retails for $16.50 and is available at www.unitehair. com. Doggy ‘Poo, Human tested, doggy approved. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by Shelter to Soldier, call (855) 287-8659 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility. Visit www.sheltertosoldier.org for additional information.
HOMELAND / November 2016 41
How Much Do You Know? ay Facts D s n a r Vete
11 Veterans Day facts: How much do you know about Veterans Day?
What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? These two holidays are frequently confused but they are not the same. Memorial Day, celebrated in May, honors those who lost their lives in service to our country, and Veterans Day, celebrated in November, honors all who have served and focusing on thanking living service members, past and present.
In what war did the largest number of Americans serve in the Armed Forces? World War II saw more than 16 million Americans become service members.
When was Veterans Day first celebrated?
President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Troops from the 1st Infantry Division Armistice Day to Veterans Day. landing on Omaha.
Why do we celebrate Veterans Day?
Why do we spell it Veterans Day and not Veteran’s Day? President Woodrow Wilson said of that first Shouldn’t there be an observance in 1919, “To us in America, the apostrophe? Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities. This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect. Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was celebrated on Nov. 11, 1919, which was the first anniversary of the end of the fighting of World War I.
reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
When did Veterans Day become a national holiday? Although first observed in 1919, Congress did not make it official until 1938. IN 1954, the name changed to Veterans Day. In the 1970s the date moved around in November, causing confusion, and President Gerald Ford in 1975 signed a law placing the observance on Nov. Image above is unknown U.S. soldier from the 11 and there it has remained. North African American Cemetery. 42 HOMELAND / November 2016
Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an ‘s’ at the end of ‘veterans’ because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.
Is there a national ceremony? In keeping with the honoring of the timing of the armistice ending the carnage of WWI, a Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery.
Which state is home to the largest number of veterans?
California has the most, with 2 million veterans calling the Golden State home. Texas and Florida are next, with 1.6 million vets in each state, reports the Census Bureau.
How many of U.S. vets are female? There are 1.7 million female veterans, as of 2013, according to the Census Bureau.
How many veterans are there living in the United States? The U.S. has 21.8 million veterans, according to the Census Bureauâ€™s Snapshot of Our nationâ€™s Veterans.
Do veterans ever serve in more than one war? Yes. More than 1.3 million of Americaâ€™s living veterans have served in more than one conflict, and 54,000 have served in 3 wars WWI, Korea and Vietnam.
Please thank a veteran and have a Happy Veterans Day!
HOMELAND / November 2016 43
REBOOT your LIFE after the milit
[REBOOT] To reload the operating system and start over. A reboot often solves many software problems smartphones, tablets, cable boxes and other electronics devices, because it resets the system 44
HOMELAND / November 2016
THE TRANSITION TO CIVILIAN LIFE IS NOT! A JOB CHANGE……. IT IS A LIFE CHANGE! THE CHALLENGE!
Each year over 200,000 service members transition from the military with over 50% of them going on 22 weeks of unemployment insurance. Survey results show that 81 percent of transitioning military personnel do not "feel fully prepared for the process of entering the job market." And unfortunately, the military’s Transition Assistance Program is not designed to address the cultural needs of members leaving the service.!
In 2010 the National Veterans Transition Service Inc. (NVTSI) created REBOOT Workshops™. REBOOT Workshops™ are designed to meet an acute need for robust military to civilian transition program and close the gap. By addressing transition issues at their root cause, NVTSI and its network of partners helps transitioning service members, veterans and spouses successfully transitioning from the military-to-civilian world through a three phased, 15-day intensive workshop that empowers them with resiliency and selfsufﬁciency. The goal of the workshop is to assist veterans in reframing their thought patterns from military service to civilian life, with all veterans achieving, within their potential, their unique goals in the TRANSITION DOMAINS of: Employment and Career, Education, Living Situation, Personal Effectiveness & Wellbeing and Community-Life Functioning. !
! ! Discover how you can REBOOT your life after military service at: www.REBOOT.vet! ! The results of the the program after ﬁve years has a 97% success rate for over 1300 REBOOT graduates.!
ABOUT NATIONAL VETERANS TRANSITION SERVICES, INC. (NVTSI) NVTSI is a San Diego-based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to assisting veterans in adjusting to civilian life and securing meaningful employment by combining best practice performance social solutions and techniques. The organization provides returning service members and veterans with a social and career transition workshop program called“REBOOT.” NVTSI was established by a group of retired high-ranking Naval and Marine Corps ofﬁcers and workforce development professionals who seek to ﬁll a tremendous gap in the continuum of veteran services. The REBOOT Workshops™ was designed by NVTSI in collaboration with our partners; The Paciﬁc Institute® and; Operation Legacy™ , bringing together the best in class cognitive behavioral training solutions proven to achieve results.!
National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. aka REBOOT! 4007 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 203, San Diego Ca 92108! Phone: 619-822-2701 Fax:866-535-7624 Email: email@example.com! Web: www.REBOOT.vet
in computers, m.
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