Resources Support Inspiration
Vol. 3 Number 10 â€˘ October 2016
Bagels and Baloney Aviators and veterans gather around to relax & reminisce
Operation REBOOT Helping Veterans Get Hired Post Service
Healing Waters Fly Fishing
Enlisted To Entrepreneur Launch Your Business to the Stratosphere
Why Combat Boots?
Somber Sunsets Strength and Courageous Spirit
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 1
HOMELAND / October 2016
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 / Octomber 2016 3
Homeland Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller Contributing Writers CJ Machado Vicki Garcia Vesta Anderson Rachel Bolles Healing Waters Eva M. Stimson Robyn Payne Chad Storlie Briana Hartzell Sara Wacker Jenni Riley
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.
Public Relations CJ Machado Thomas McBrien Linda Kreter Graphic Design Trevor Watson
Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with service members, families, veterans and civilians. Homeland is about standing your ground, resilience, adaptation, inspiration and solidarity. HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; our focus is on 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. 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
HOMELAND / October 2016
Homeland Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved. Homeland Magazine 9528 Miramar Road, Suite 41 San Diego, CA 92126
858.275-4281 Contact Homeland Magazine at: email@example.com
inside this issue 13 What is R4 Alliance?
16 Operation REBOOT - Helps veterans get hired post service 18 Healing Waters Fly Fishing 28
22 Somber Sunsets - Strength and Courageous Spirit 26 Shelter to Soldier Hosts Annual Fundraising Event 28 Why Combat Boots? 32 Enlisted To Entrepreneur - Launch your business to the stratosphere 35 Post-Military Career Search and Transition Plan 36 Military Spouses - Keeping a job despite a move
Bagels and Baloney (BAB) -Aviators and veterans reminisce
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 5
communities built to support those who serve.
. 24/7 Maintenance . No Security Deposit . Gas & Water Included Roadside Assistance . Average Electrical Use Included . Intrusion Alarms
Free Family Events
Call 866-779-5434 or visit www.lincolnmilitary.com
HOMELAND / October 2016
Bagels and BAloney (BAB) Aviators and veterans gather around to relax, reminisce and enjoy a mean cup of coffee, preferably jet black
A Retiree’s “Ready Room” is the best way to describe the “Bagels and Baloney (BAB)” aviator enthusiast meet up group. Aviators and veterans gather around to relax, reminisce and enjoy a mean cup of coffee, preferably jet black. It’s the Comradery that is valued most amongst these aviator enthusiasts. Their ages and experiences span from WWII through the current Global War on Terror. Most are experienced aviators that have served and retired military or moved on to flying commercial airlines. They all have a story to tell. As I scanned the room, I tried to keep track of all the different branches of service they proudly displayed on their baseball caps. They didn’t boast and they didn’t brag, unless provoked by a fellow aviator, then hanger banter broke loose until one of the opponents surrendered from laughter. No, instead, these aerial giants preferred to sit and listen, nodding in agreement with the conversation at hand or offering an opinion and some insight.
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 7
A gentleman by the name of Bill Kent sat comfortably on a sofa, wearing a Korean War Veteran cap. He granted me a smile and I snapped a picture, unknowing that he once flew the celebrated F4U Corsair off carriers, which is not an easy task to do. The engine of the F4U was positioned in such a way that the pilots could not see beyond the nose very well. Due to the poor visibility, they were forced to land on a curved approach, relying mainly on the directions of their Landing Signal Officer (LSO). The oldest aviator present was 98 year-old, Colonel Vince LaBerge, USAF, Retired. He’s flown over 43 different types of planes and served in three wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. It was difficult not take a knee before him, in gratitude, respect and honor. Not all who gathered were aviators, Michael McManus is a Marine Corps veteran. He served with the ground troops during the Vietnam War, which was notable by the missing flesh on the right side of his neck caused by Agent Orange exposure. It took years, but eventually the exposure developed into cancer as we are finding that commonality amongst our Vietnam veterans today. McManus attends the BAB Group to help with his PTSD. “It’s good therapy for me. When you suffer from PTSD, you want to be in the presence of those who understand you,” Mc Manus explains. The group initially started with four men enjoying their Friday morning cup of coffee at a local Starbucks. They would tell
“If we’re going to keep meeting like this, don’t you think we ought to have a name?” They agreed upon “Bagels & Baloney.” It was decided that Sidny’s Deli would provide the bagels and the pilots would provide all the baloney..
HOMELAND / September October 2016 2016
stories of their day of reign, and as customers came in with distinctive veteran caps, another conversation would begin. The group expanded and eventually became so large it moved to a spot outside of “Sidny’s Deli,” off Bernardo Plaza Drive. The owner would keep a “2 Buck Bowl” out and if you wanted a cup of coffee or a bagel, you’d throw two bucks into the bowl. One of the group members suggested, “If we’re going to keep meeting like this, don’t you think we ought to have a name?” They agreed upon “Bagels & Baloney.” It was decided that Sidny’s Deli would provide the bagels and the pilots would provide all the baloney. www.homelandmagazine.com
The moderator of the BAB group is forty year jet flying veteran, Hank Goetz. Hank was a jet fighter with the Air Force and then retired as a 747 Captain with TWA after 34 years. He has more than 21,000 hours of flying and he has visited over 85 countries during his career. When asked, “What inspired you to fly?” Hank quickly responded, “The love of freedom, there’s nothing like it. When you’re up there, you are in total control of your life. I remember being 7 years old and looking straight up into the sky as an airplane flew by, saying to myself, that’s what I want to do… It’s an incredible experience and the best part is someone else was paying me to have all that fun.” What I found most appealing about the group was the discussion format. Captain Hank would ask one of the members to give a debriefing on a recent aviation event, then he would open up the group to questions, encouraging feedback and stories that members would like to share. Everyone was very at ease with each other, you felt a great sense of admiration and respect for one another. When someone spoke, they all listened. It’s hard not to. There wasn’t one story told without distinctive flying hand gestures waving about, depicting an airplane. Their overly excited facial expressions seemed as if they had just stepped off their plane moments before. The others would follow with a comment or a playful tease as aviators often do to rile each other up. Hank would bring up interesting aviation topics, such as the “Pilot Shortage, Back with a Vengeance” article featured in Air Force Magazine or the more humorous article, “Under the Big Jets,” by, Christine Negroni, where Saint Martin beachgoers tempt fate near a runway despite the “Do Not Stand. DANGER. Jet Blast” signs on the runway chain linked fence.
“What inspired you to fly?” Hank quickly responded, “The love of freedom, there’s nothing like it. When you’re up there, you are in total control of your life. I remember being 7 years old and looking straight up into the sky as an airplane flew by, saying to myself, that’s what I want to do… The tourists risk their lives for a thrill and try to get as close as possible to an incoming commercial airplane to only find themselves blown away by the force of the jet exhaust. The BAB group laughed whole-heartedly at the stupidity of the vacationers. The topics were interesting and fun, which made it easy for members to engage in conversation. The group then closed the meeting with mostly clean jokes and Hank welcomed any last comments they wished to express. At this particular meeting, it was CAPT E. Royce Williams, USN, Retired that was asked to debrief the 2016 Tailhook Convention and Symposium. CAPT Williams and I recently attended Tailhook in Reno, Nevada. Williams attends annually for aviation updates and to visit with old friends, whereas I had a very important mission to accomplish. I was gathering signatures to request a rereview for recognition on CAPT Williams behalf. During the Korean War, Williams single-handedly engaged 7 Russian MiGs and shot down
HOMELAND / September Octomber 2016 201699
four of them. His amazing feat was kept “Top Secret” for over fifty years. He has yet to be recognized for his act of valor, protecting Naval Task Force 77 and at that time conceivably preventing us from WWIII. Russia claimed neutrality, but in truth they were supporting North Korea. America did not want that information disclosed publicly to avoid the possibility of war. I was asked to visit the BAB group back in January, 2016 when I had first taken an interest in writing an article on behalf of CAPT Williams, “The Forgotten Hero of The Forgotten War.” 91 year old, Williams has been a long time member of the Bagels and Baloney Group. Williams joined the service when he was only 16 years old and has served our country for over 35 years. He has flown over 220 missions, mainly in Korea and Vietnam, but one aerial engagement during the Korean War stood above them all. On November 18th, 1952, CAPT E. Royce Williams, USN Retired, then Lieutenant (Lt.), during the height of the “Korean conflict,” single-handedly engaged in a fierce 35 minute aerial combat that no other American aviator has accomplished either in the Korean War, Vietnam War or since then. Up against freezing temperatures, 400’ ceiling, snow clouds and 40 knot winds, Williams fought 7 MiG-15s while protecting Naval Task Force 77. His superb piloting skills and gunnery accounted for three known MiG-15s downed and a fourth (the flight leader) confirmed some years later by the Russian government. Lt. Williams fired all of his ammo and suffered a 37 mm hit in his right wing stub by a closely pursuing Mig-15, which caused total loss of rudder and flaps, forcing Williams to dive for cloud cover. He was left with only elevator control and a little aileron control. Lt. Williams skillfully jinked and porpoised until he was safely in the snow clouds. Williams was preparing for a straight in approach towards the USS Oriskany, when he momentarily was forced to avoid friendly fire. Williams dropped his tailhook and gravity dropped his landing gear. The
Williams fought 7 MiG-15s while protecting Naval Task Force 77. His superb piloting skills and gunnery accounted for three known MiG15s downed and a fourth (the flight leader) confirmed some years later by the Russian government. 10
HOMELAND / October 2016
damage made the aircraft uncontrollable below 170 knots, critically above the normal 105 knots, with 40 knots of wind across the deck. Still, Lt. Williams demonstrated masterful airmanship in landing safely aboard, barely catching the #3 wire. Examination of his F9F-5 Panther aircraft revealed 263 bullet holes. The damage was so severe they could not repair the plane and it had to be pushed overboard. He fought entirely over water, halfway between the USS Oriskany and Vladivostok. Lt. Williams’ courage above and beyond the call of duty against overwhelming odds, stopped the MiG-15s’ attack in its tracks. During a private one on one meeting with Vice Admiral (VADM) Briscoe, Commander Naval Forces, FarEast, Briscoe disclosed that there was a “secret” intelligence agency in place, called the National Security Agency (NSA) and that they were on their first mission when the Nov. 18th event took place. The NSA confirmed 3 MiG-15 kills on the “real time” voice intercepts that day. VADM Briscoe ordered Lt. Williams “not to tell anyone” about the engagement. Williams didn’t… Not his squadron Commanding Officer (CO), not his Commander Air Group (CAG), not the CO of the USS Oriskany, not Carrier Task Force 77 (CTF77), not even his wife.
Shortly after the confirmation, at President elect Eisenhower’s personal request, Lt. Williams was honored and toasted in a meeting in Seoul, Korea mid-December, 1952. Also present were Secretary of Defense Wilson, General (Gen) Mark Clark, Gen Omar Bradley, Gen Ridgeway, Admiral (ADM) Radford, Vice Admiral (VADM) Jocko Clark (CTF-77), and Eisenhower’s son, John Eisenhower. Due to political concerns in Washington regarding the newly established secret intelligence (NSA), the recording of the aerial engagement could not be revealed. At that time, Russia insisted they were neutral during the Korean conflict and the MiG-15s were obviously flown by Russian pilots. These two major factors invoked a “Top Secret” lid on the event to avoid the “conflict” to escalate into another World War. Although, Williams was awarded the Silver Star for one confirmed kill, the crucial NSA information was not available to the USS Oriskany nor the drafters of the Silver Star awarded. His extraordinary feat was kept “Top Secret” for over fifty years. The challenge has been obtaining accurate records, which has proven to be an incredibly difficult task, since a “phony” report was submitted to appease Washington’s request on the day of the event. Although Russia has confirmed the names of the four downed pilots, the death certificates of the Russian pilots have not yet been obtained. WE NEED YOUR HELP to honor our “Forgotten Hero,” CAPT Williams. Please sign & share the petition to request a rereview for recognition: www.HomelandMagazine.com Our hope is to honor Williams with the Medal of Honor before he is off to his final mission. CAPT Williams is just one example of our American history that is found at the Bagels & Baloney Meet Up Group. Another beloved member and fellow aviator, who recently passed this last year at the age of 96, was legendary, Steve Pisanos, “The Flying Greek.” At a very young age, Pisanos wanted to fly, but, being from a poor family, he knew the only way he could
accomplish his dreams was to immigrate to the United States. Unable to speak English and with only $8 dollars to his name, he fled to America. With great persistence, Pisanos became a famed WWII Flying Ace. “The Flying Greek” movie trailer, was recently featured in the San Diego GI Film Festival. Fellow aviators and BAB members, Director Mark “Viz” Vizcarra, and Producer Vic Vizcarra, knew Pisanos well and were compelled to tell their friends inspiring story. The film is seeking funding and if you are interested in supporting this amazing project, please contact Director Mark Vizcarra: firstname.lastname@example.org, (858)487-5818. Bagels & Baloney preserves our American history through conversation and comradery. Their concern and great respect for each other restores what seems to be lost in the world…Brotherly love. God Bless BAB and all their members!
By CJ Machado Veteran advocate and photo journalist
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 11
SAN DIEGO POLICE JOIN OUR TEAM
READY FOR YOUR NEXT MISSION? NOW HIRING FOR THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS: POLICE OFFICERS, POLICE RECRUITS, POLICE LATERALS and 911 POLICE DISPATCHERS
www.JOINSDPDNOW.com (619) 531.COPS 12
HOMELAND / October 2016
“What is R4 Alliance?”
ow that people are seeing the name across the country, this question has come up more than once. R4 is an Alliance of Programs of Excellence joining forces to better serve Our Military Family. What is better than an organization that provides services for veterans, care givers and military families? 76 organizations that do this joining together! Think of R4 Alliance membership as the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” in the non-profit world for organizations serving OMF. R4 Alliance members go through a vetting process to be recognized as a Program of Excellence and are not only fiscally responsible but also provide programs founded on effective practices and dedicated to the veteran’s reintegration back into society. One way of supporting reintegration is through the implementation of a Coordinated Care Network (CCN) which connects service providers, making it easier to provide wraparound services to OMF. This has been a major goal since R4’s inception and so it is an exciting time to see the pieces coming together to actually make this dream a reality. Veterans and caregivers across the country know all too well the struggle of sorting through the ocean of resources and programs available to them without knowing which ones are effective and proven. Then once you do find services that work for you, the endless sea of paperwork begins when you have to fill out forms for each separate entity. The CCN will help eliminate this stress with a HIPAA compliant database that will connect people with providers across the nation. Through education, collaboration and shared research and methodologies, R4 members become better equipped to provide services to those needing assistance. R4 strives to provide the resources, education and access to their Partner’s services to ensure their success with these collaborative
efforts. R4 has partners to help with everything from setting up a website, volunteer training, fundraiser ideas and their own research library. How did R4 Alliance even happen you ask? In 2010 Admiral Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, founded the Office of Reintegration. In 2011 this office embarked on an effort to establish more effective public private partnerships and help the private sector better align their resources. This team visited programs nationwide to identify some of the top nonprofits serving OMF across the nation and teach them to better align their services. Also in 2011, the concept started simply. A small group of grassroots organizations sought reliable resources for clients they served. As these organizations collaborated and developed a referral network, they began discussing bigger issues facing their industry, and started entertaining the idea of coming together for a workshop to discuss ways to leverage their collective impact to overcome barriers to care. During 2012 and 2013, three workshops were hosted with eight of the top national nonprofit organizations providing therapeutic and community recreation services to Our Military Family. Working with these organizations were representatives from the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of the Army, the Veterans Administration, and Our Military Family. In November of 2013, R4 (Research, Resources, Recruit, Reintegrate) Alliance was formed to meet these needs. R4 defined its mission/vision/objectives, and laid the foundation for the strategic next steps. In February 2014, R4 Alliance gained formal 501c3 status. R4 Alliance’s Board of Directors and Administration understood that in order to achieve a large scale collective impact, critical mass had to first be achieved. In the first two
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 13
years since inception, R4 experienced unparalleled growth increasing their membership from eight founding members to forty-eight in 2014. By the end of 2015 R4 consisted of over 70 programs of excellence nationwide who had collectively served over 170,000 members of OMF and at present are 76 members strong serving over 180,000 members! One of the biggest benefits R4 strives to provide is Research. Helping others recognize Therapeutic Programs as acceptable and effective treatment supplements takes national studies. R4 recently received back exciting results from the completed Clemson Research Project. R4 worked with Jaimee Rizzotti of Chico State University to develop a share evaluation tool for members to use. The object was 2 fold: the first to help determine what program attributes Our Military Family feels are most important when considering non-profit programs and also to determine the level of client satisfaction within these attributes. The questions were organized into 3 general categories: Staff and Volunteer Factors, Program Factors, Facility and Equipment factors. Over 27 organizations collaborated to collect over 650 responses at the time of the report (over 11,000 today). They found that all of the factors listed were regarded as important or very important across the board. R4 members were also found to have a very high
level of satisfaction with all programs getting 4 out of 5 stars or better in each category. This evaluation has been important to R4 and its members. It has lent cadence to the assessment that R4 members facilitate programs of excellence. It also provided the members with valuable feedback from those they served. Richard Rhinehart, Director of Communications for World TEAM Sports said “The R4 Alliance’s online evaluation provides our national non-profit organization with valuable information about our inclusive sporting events. This statistical data is used by our staff to improve the management of our events, as well as offering helpful insights about our participating athletes. Our board of directors also reviews the provided data to determine how our organization is meeting our mission.” R4 is working on partnerships with other universities to improve upon the current assessment tool and launch version 2.0. This version will have scales and questions designed to garnish more constructive feedback and be more universally applicable across R4 membership. You will be seeing a lot more from R4 Alliance in the near future. Awareness initiatives are being planned across the country such as the promotion and screening of Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker Michael King’s documentary When War
“WHEN WAR COMES HOME” 2016 R4 ALLIANCE MEMBERSHIP CONFERENCE Join us in The Villages, Florida · Educational Seminars · Grant Writing October 19-21,2016 Special Screening of “When War Comes Home” October 19th at The Old Mill Theater followed by a dinner at the City Fire Restaurant. For info email email@example.com
· Social Media Strategies · Volunteer Training · Fundraising · Writing Press Releases · Software Demos for your Organization to use. · Introduction to a National · Coordinated Care Network · Dragon Boat Races
RESEARCH | RECRUIT | RESOURCE | REINTEGRATE
REGISTER TODAY | r4alliance.org 14
HOMELAND / October 2016
Comes Home at The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum in New York on October 24th and screenings across the country. R4 will also be teaming up with other non-profits for some fundraising events and are working with Beaver Hollow in upstate New York to plan next year’s R4 Education Conference! Here is a list of R4’s current member organizations and they have more applications every day! I am sure you will recognize some and may have even worked them! They truly are great programs and we encourage you to check them out if you haven’t already. 10 CAN, About Face, Angels of America’s Fallen, Blaze Sports, BREATH Wellness Foundation, CAMMO, Canines for Service, Catalyst Sports, Combat Veterans To Careers, Comfort Crew, Cross Bar D Recreation Foundation, Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra, Eagle Rock Camp, English River Outfitters, Expedition Balance, Freedom Service Dogs of America, Georgia Aquarium, Gratitude America, Healing Our Heroes Project, Heartmath Institute, Heroes on the Water, Higher Ground, Honor House, Hooves for Heroes, Hope for the Warriors, Horse Rhythm Foundation, Horses 4 Heroes, Idaho Horse Therapy, Ignite Adaptive Sports, Incight – CA, Institute of Heartmath, Lava Lakes Live, Leaps of Faith - Adaptive Skiers, Life Adventure Center, Marriage Management, My Warriors Place, National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center, No Barriers USA,
ER ED F OFE N D T EX
Northeast Passage, Not Forgotten Outreach, Operation AMPED, Operation Game On, Operation Reinvent, Patriots Path, Paws 4 People, Phoenix Multisport, Project Healing Waters, Project Rebirth, Project Sanctuary, Reno Parks and Recreation, Ride 2 Recovery, SADLES Ranch - Code Horse, Saratoga War Horse, SD Gunner Fund, Sew Much Comfort, Sierra Club, Silver Lining Villages, Smokey Mountain Service Dogs, Summit for Soldiers, Team River Runner, Tee It Up for the Troops, Telluride Adaptive Sports, Trout Unlimited, Vet TRIIP, Veterans Wellness and Healing Center, Veterans 360, Vail Veterans Program, Warrior Bonfire Program, Warrior Institute, Warrior Ride, Warrior Wellness Solutions, Warriors on Cataract, WATERS, World T.E.A.M. Sports, Wounded War Heroes, Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation. To find out even more about R4 Alliance or its member organizations visit www.r4alliance.org .
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 Expires any other discounts, offers and has no upgrade value. Off er valid12/31/2016 through 12/31/16. © 2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. www.homelandmagazine.com
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 15
By Sara Wacker
Helps Veterans Get Hired Post Service
fter 20 years with the U.S. Navy, Annette Salas, 42, retired from a life of military service June 1, 2014. Transitioning to civilian life was a challenge for her, because she had become accustom to the military lifestyle. “I was use to a certain set of standards and expectations, across the board – from uniforms, inspections, requirements, and mostly, an environment that had a huge chunk of my life laid out for me,” explained Salas. “When I retired, my life seemed to turn upside down. “I felt as though I went through culture shock,” she said. “I had no routine, and with all the extra time on my hands, the trauma I had endured in the military was finally able to surface and I could no longer suppress those thoughts and feelings, by engulfing myself in Navy missions.”
Now, Salas is in school full-time, working toward a Master’s degree. She is a “happier, healthier mother to my (14-year old) son, and I also recently bought a house for the first time in my life,” she said. “I appreciate REBOOT and all the information and experience I learned in the workshop. It marked a huge turning point in my life,” she said. REBOOT WorkshopsTM don’t just help veterans transition, through a new initiative, called Operation REBOOT, they now help train veterans for jobs in priority industries. Funded by state, foundation and corporate funds, the program is free to all veterans, while employers are asked to support the program through an annual membership to offset costs. Operation REBOOT is an initiative to reboot the lives and careers of local transitioning service members and veterans, and promote employment in priority industry sectors. REBOOT program managers work with community partners to outreach, train, and place veterans in priority careers,– such as Project Management, Cyber Security and Information Technology. The program’s key focus is to reintegrate veterans into the workplace by creating a talent pipeline from military service to priority sector employment. Since 2010, NVTSI, a San Diego-based 501(c)(3), has been dedicated to assisting veterans in adjusting to civilian life and securing meaningful employment by combining evidencebased, best-practice performance techniques. Their REBOOT WorkshopsTM help veterans achieve their full potential and goals in the transition domains of employment and career, education, living situation, personal effectiveness/well-being and community life functioning. Its workshops have helped thousands of veterans make the challenging switch back to civilian life that build upon military training and experience, while preparing for life after the military.
Salas received help from the VA, but after a year she enrolled in NVTSI’s (National Veterans Transition Services, Inc.) REBOOT WorkshopTM. She participated in Class 78 (September 2015), one of a few all-female groups.. “REBOOT was an amazing workshop that worked on every aspect of my life,” said Salas. “I learned a lot about myself. I was able to figure out what I really wanted to do in my next career, how to handle and manage stress, build friendships and relationships, and become a better person. I feel REBOOT really did rebuild my life.”
HOMELAND / October 2016
Operation REBOOT takes the program one step further by providing veterans with job skill training in critical sectors and matching them with more than 500 area businesses. For more information on the National Veterans Transition Services, Inc., visit NVTSI.org or OperationReboot.vet.
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 / Octomber 2016 17
HOMELAND / October 2016
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans
Josh Williams isn’t your average fly fisherman. Following high school, Josh joined the U.S. Army as an infantryman in 2002. After basic training, he was deployed to Iraq as the automatic rifleman in his squad for a 13-month deployment during which time he fought in Al Najaf, Baghdad, Sadir City, Fallujah, and Taji. After returning home from Iraq, Josh became a squad leader, and on his 4-year service mark was promoted to Staff Sergeant. He had full intentions of becoming a career soldier, but the universe has other plans for him. Josh battled anger issues, drank heavily and fought routinely after returning from deployment. “It was a really bad time,” he recalls. His life took a turn for the worse when his right arm was severed in a freak motorcycle accident, “losing my arm took my anger to another level” he says, and he ended up at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center wondering what his future held. He was 22 years old.
What followed was a lengthy, painful 10-month recovery at Walter Reed. But it was during this time that Josh linked up with Ed Nicholson and Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF), a non-profit organization using fly fishing, fly tying and associated activities as a unique form of occupational and recreational therapy with over 200 programs at Department of Veterans Affairs and DoD facilities nationwide. Ed Nicholson, Founder of PHWFF, recalls meeting Josh at Walter Reed, “Josh had never been fly fishing, and yet, with a little prodding, we got him interested, even though he had lost his right arm at the shoulder. We fixed him up with a Vivarelli semi-automatic reel, and soon he was casting out on the lawn with us at Walter Reed, adapting to his injury, perfecting a very nice cast, and—most importantly—figuring out on his own how to manage line with his teeth.” As Josh learned to cast a fly rod on that lawn, he knew that the door to activities he loved so much was not closed. Through the help of his loving family, friends and his passion for the outdoors, he began to fight his way back.
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 19
“I fell in love with fly fishing after catching my first trout on a fly rod. This opened the door and gave me the confidence to try other things I thought I could no longer do like tying my shoes!” With this new found confidence, Josh went home to Roanoke, Virginia in 2007 and enrolled in Old Dominion University to study mechanical engineering. He also began actively volunteering and participating with his local PHWFF Program and discovered his passion for fly tying. Josh recalls that first meeting, “One evening, we had our first tying class with the vets at the Salem VAMC. I decided to try so I couldn’t give the vets there an excuse not to. And when it was all said and done, I tied the ugliest most pathetic woolly bugger ever tied! But I TIED IT!!! I took one of our kits home and it was all over. I was hooked.” Mastering fly tying is a difficult task for anyone and more challenging for someone with one-arm. But what makes Josh unique is his tenacity and fly tying brought a new challenge to the table As time progressed, he founded Dead Drift Flies to sell his increasingly in-demand hand-tied flies.. A symbol of his success is that The Orvis Company now sells three of Josh’s fly patterns in their prestigious catalog.
Which each success, Josh sought new challenges and soon took on the role of PHWFF Program Lead at the Salem Veteran Affairs Military Center, “Being a participant back in 2006 healing me in more ways than one, he says, but volunteering is possibly even more rewarding.” The increasing desire to pay it forward also led to him actively advising fellow veterans participating within the organization. Ed Nicholson recalls, “he became our go-to guy when someone needed advice about how to cope with the loss of an entire arm. He embraced fly fishing with a passion.” Ever determined, Josh’s passion for the sport led to a truly profound understanding of the mechanics and execution of fly fishing. He became a remarkable angler and fly tier who began professionally offering his services. As awardwinning outdoors writer Ed Felker noted, “I’ve spent some time trout fishing with Josh and he is a very good trout fisherman. On small water, the expert deployment of the roll cast gets his line across the stream and his fly to land gently. But watching him fish from greater distances, while standing in a kayak using his foot to move the rudder and his teeth to strip in a bass is a thing of beauty.” Dead Drift Flies soon expanded to become Dead Drift Outfitters and he started hosting guided excursions to the rivers and
HOMELAND / October 2016
mountains around Roanoke. Alongside these remarkable achievements Josh’s desire to give back only increased, evidenced by the recent Roanoke River Smallmouth Tournament which he organized. The tournament aimed to raise funds and awareness for PHWFF and the veterans it serves. With support from his full-time employer AECON, the Roanoke community, and Dead Drift Outfitters the event provided not only a memorable
fishing experience for those veterans competing but also served as a fundraiser for his local PHWFF program – better enabling them to provide this unique form of therapy to those who may need it. “If you’re a disabled soldier or civilian, don’t be so discouraged to not even try. That’s not the way to live. Be stubborn. It’s because of our Lord giving me ‘a whole bunch of it’ that I’m able to get out there without embarrassing myself too
much. And remember, there is always always, always, someone out there who’s got it worse than you! You can do it, you just have to learn how to do it your own special way. “ Due to his tenacity and determination Josh Williams has become an expert angler, fly tier, veterans advocate, and inspiration. Josh Williams isn’t your average fly fisherman.
About Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings. Learn more at www. projecthealingwaters.org. About Dead Drift Outfitters It’s simple, really. We were born to be with nature. Sometimes in this hectic world, we temporarily lose sight of that. We’re here to give you that realignment. To urge you to Step Outside. Learn more at http://deaddriftva.com/
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 21
By Rachel Bolles
FROM SOMBER SUNSETS TO A STRENGTHENED AND COURAGEOUS SPIRIT 22
HOMELAND / October 2016
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 23
“I remember a day when I just stood there and stared at the sunset in the middle of Baghdad, and I was like ‘this is where I’m going to die, and there’s really nothing I can do about it.’” Army veteran Angie Peacock has come a long way since that time in her life, when anticipating death was the ominous thread that snaked its way through her days. Now, her day-to-day feelings are the opposite. She knows she will make it through any challenge thrown her way thanks to the courage she has developed through her commitment and involvement with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). But it wasn’t a simple journey. From the beginning of Angie’s first deployment, high stress was standard. Lots of driving and equipment repair structured her days, but part of her job also involved worrying about bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). “You don’t just go to work; there’s no such thing as an ordinary day,” she said. Along with her stress and anxiety, Angie began to have physical health ailments that wracked her body, and compounded the intensity of her mental health struggles. A gastrointestinal infection brought her down to a scary 100 pounds. Her already stressed, exhausted body was assailed by nosebleeds, high blood pressure, palpitations, and fainting. All of this led to depression… then panic attacks. “I kept thinking ‘I’m going to die in Iraq. I’m going to die from being sick or I’m going to die from getting shot or blown up.’ We all knew death was a very real possibility at any moment.” Despite this, her ambition to serve never wavered. She kept fighting, fulfilled missions, and called on extraordinary focus to follow orders to the letter.
“I just prayed I wouldn’t die. That’s really all you can do,” she said with a sigh. After getting medevaced when her health was at a desperate point, Angie’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was just beginning, but she also considers it the start of her healing journey. “Once I was home, I just woke up scared of everything,” Angie said. “It feels like you’re in a constant state of panic. You react to things you don’t want to react to. Noises make you jump; you have nightmares. You feel out of control.” Angie also explained part of her PTSD and depression included crying for no reason, but when she needed to cry, she couldn’t. Everything got jumbled up, she said. Self-medicating to escape the pain of her combat experience started her on the dark path to addiction: she began abusing prescriptions and opiates as her battle for sanity and peace spiraled out of control. “I tried to kill myself multiple times,” Angie said. “I told myself ‘I’m going to keep mixing drugs until it works, and let it be over.’” Luckily, Angie found out about Wounded Warrior Project, and she decided to sign up online. “I wanted to get my life back and get involved with some things that would make me feel better,” Angie said. “WWP was on that list of things.” Still, she wasn’t totally comfortable on this path to healing, even though it was something she wanted for herself. “When I first joined WWP, I felt like I didn’t belong because I wasn’t visibly wounded,” Angie said, a perspective common among many wounded veterans who do not display visible wounds. It is an unfortunate misconception that keeps many from getting the help they need … and deserve. Angie recalls: “A WWP staff member said, ‘you have PTSD, right? That’s a wound. Many of the injured warriors we serve have PTSD.’ After he said that, I felt relief.” With that relief came a sense of belonging that eludes so many warriors once they return to civilian life. It can be difficult knowing how to overcome isolation and
HOMELAND / October 2016
she was the recipient.
rekindle bonds similar to those formed in the military. That’s where WWP’s free programs and services play a role in the recovery process.
“When they told me, I felt there was no way I deserved that. WWP said I was always helping people, but that’s just who I am and what I do,” she explained tearfully. “It was a big thank you for being who I am. I’m not 100 percent healed or perfect, but that word ‘courage’ is imprinted on my life.”
“Everyone was instantly like a family member. I felt like for the first time since I was out of the military, I had a family, and I didn’t have to explain myself because everyone else just knows,” Angie said. “It was like a whole world opened up that I didn’t even know existed.” WWP’s Physical Health and Wellness programs are what resonated with Angie the most. She started doing equine therapy, and that was a pivotal experience to get her body back after enduring years of physical pain. After three years of that, she progressed steadily by starting yoga then moving into CrossFit®.
The George C. Lang Award is given to someone who exemplifies humility and advocates passionately behind the scenes for all service members – especially those with both visible and invisible wounds.
“I had this rewarding feeling of knowing my body can do more than I think it can, and I’m not as sick as I think I am,” Angie said. “It’s pretty amazing, considering where I started.”
“We are so resilient,” Angie said. “Our spirit is stronger than we think it is. We are all warriors, and that is just who we are, whether we are on the battlefield, or at home trying to heal.”
Angie saw the power of the mind-body connection; she said exercise significantly helped her overcome her mental health hurdles. “I became passionate because it made all my symptoms disappear, and it was as if my problems didn’t exist. It eliminates depression and PTSD. I want others who are struggling with the same things to know they have the power to manage them through exercise. Exercise is medicine.” Meditation provided yet another key element that propelled Angie toward a full recovery. “I was heavily medicated by psychiatry, and it made me worse, but I didn’t know it at the time,” Angie said. “It took me 13 years, but I finally weaned off of everything. I was on 17 medications, and now I’m on zero. I feel like I would have saved a lot of years if I would have just practiced meditation and mindfulness. Healing from depression and PTSD involves more than just taking a pill.” Eventually, WWP asked Angie to become a peer mentor. Once she overcame her initial hesitance, it came very naturally. She also formed a veterans group when she went to St. Charles Community College because she recognized the importance of an outlet for veterans to bond with each other. “The veterans groups helped me stay engaged and connect with like-minded people,” Angie said. “When there wasn’t a veterans group at my college, I felt a void. Sometimes you have to fill a gap if you see it, so that’s what I noticed and filled.” That is only one of many examples of how Angie has used the leadership skills she honed in the military to enrich her civilian life. Angie is almost done with her bachelor’s degree in psychology now and plans to pursue her master’s in social work next so she can assist veterans with PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), addiction, and recovery. “Healing is not easy,” she said. Once upon a time, those words would have been uttered warily; now, there is triumph. “I’ve come a long way and walked through a lot of fear, and I’m just looking forward to that next chapter where I can help people.” Angie has already helped a lot of people and has been an example to many, and that’s why she won the WWP George C. Lang Award for Courage in 2015. She was surprised that
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 www.homelandmagazine.com
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 25
By Eva M. Stimson By Lieutenant (Ret.) Morgan Luttrell, U.S. Navy Boot Campaign Director of Development and Hero Ambassador
Shelter to Soldier Hosts 4th Annual Benefit on October 21st at Del Mar Fairgrounds
n October 21, 2016, guests are invited to attend the 4th Annual fundraising event to benefit Shelter to Soldier and enjoy exquisite small plates from Toast Catering and BiCE San Diego, crepes by Isabelle Briens French Pastry Café, gourmet cheeses from Venissimo Cheese and delectable cupcakes from Cupcakes Squared, all while enjoying beautiful views from the Del Mar Arena VIP room overlooking the Del Mar International Horse Show. Participants will be treated to live 1920’s jazz music by Alli & the Cats, as well as an exciting silent and live auction. The fundraising event will be held at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. in Del Mar, CA, 92014, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Costumes are strongly encouraged! Tickets for this 1920’s themed benefit are available through the link below. If purchasing tickets for a group, please use code “GroupTickets” to receive 15% off your order of 6 or more tickets. Visit www. sheltertosoldier.org/event/shelter-to-soldier-4th-annualbenefit/ .
Shelter to Soldier is a CA 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in San Diego that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other injuries associated with combat service experiences.
In addition, The Charity Woof Cup Presented by San Diego Union Tribune will be held the following day on Saturday, October 22, 2016 during the International Horse Show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds beginning at 6:45 pm. This event supports multiple charities, including Shelter to Soldier (sponsored by UniteProfessional Salon System), in their efforts to raise money for their respective charities by matching a Grand Prix Rider and their mount with a handler and their agility dog to compete in a relay course, racing against the clock to win the charity event!
According to most recent statistics, every day on average, twenty (20) U.S. veterans and one (1) active duty service member commit suicide (Department of Veteran Affairs) and every day, 3200 dogs are is euthanized in the U.S. Studies estimate that one in every five military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is suffering from PTSD. The services Shelter to Soldier provides for free to veterans and their commitment to adopt service dogs, fulfills the mission of this 501 (c)(3) organization by “Saving Lives, Two at a Time”. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call (855) 287-8659 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility or visit http://www.sheltertosoldier.org.
The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Del Mar is one of only seven World Cup Qualifiers on the West Coast, making this a very competitive competition with world-class athletes! The World Cup Qualifier brings athletes from around the world in an intense show-jumping competition, competing head to head for an opportunity to compete at the World Cup Finals. The opening ceremony for the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Del Mar will be on October 22, 2016 at 6:45 pm.
HOMELAND / October 2016
Veterans who have received services from Shelter to Soldier express the following:” It is with my deepest gratitude towards Shelter to Soldier that I thank them for providing me with ‘Tank’. Most importantly, they have made a stand to help veterans in crisis like me. Now I have my best friend, who goes everywhere with me and is always there when I need him the most. Thank you!” ~ Ben Kilhefner, US Navy Ret. “I’m finally finding myself wanting to go places now and get out of my house...by myself. I use to need my husband with me but now me and Seven can do it together. It feels so good and it has been so healthy for me!” “~ Karen Miller US Navy Ret.
Founder and Training Director of Specialty Dog Training and Shelter to Soldier, Graham Bloem, has been training dogs professionally for more than fourteen years. Graham is the proud recipient of the 10News Leadership and the 2016 Waggy Award. Shelter to Soldier is a gold participant of GuideStar and accredited by the Patriot’s Initiative.
C L A I R S T B R E T P H OTO :
4 Annual BENEFIT th
October 21 5PM Del Mar Fairgrounds Guests will enjoy delicious small plates, live music, the charity class horse show, and exciting silent and live auctions to support Shelter to Soldier.
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 27
By Robyn Payne BY: VESTA M.CEO ANDERSON Boot Campaign
Think about it for a second. If you were attending a party, concert or public function, what would you want to ask five young women who arrived together in stylish cocktail dresses accessorized by… combat boots? “Thanks for noticing; we appreciate you asking,” those ‘Boot Girls’ might say. “For just a moment, we wanted to put ourselves in the same shoes as our brave service men and women, show our gratitude, and bring real attention to the sacrifices they endure keeping us safe and fighting for our freedoms every day.” It’s a clever idea that makes a lot of sense. Combat boots are standard in the armed forces community and they’re a recognized symbol of military service around the world. If you pair them with a suit, skirt or cocktail dress, the stark contrast in fashion is an instant attention-getter. Essentially that’s the concept that five “Boot Girls” from Texas came up with back in 2009 after one, Dr. Sherri Reuland, read fellow Texan Marcus Luttrell’s best-selling book “Lone Survivor,” and shared it with her four friends, Ginger Giles, Heather Sholl, Leigh Ann Ranslem and Mariae Bui. Their brainchild idea quickly evolved into a movement and those women, turned that movement into Boot Campaign, a national non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to assisting military veterans and their families in need. The story of these five creative, dedicated and patriotic women inspired me almost instantly when I came across their organization in 2013. I was first introduced to Boot Campaign when I was developing a veterans employment database for a software company. That brief exposure got 28
HOMELAND / October 2016 September 2016
my own blood boiling and creative juices flowing and I wanted to be a part of helping their dream charity grow. So I got my “boots on” as the organization’s CEO, and it’s with great pride that I can report that, since its inception, Boot Campaign has blazed a trail in the nonprofit world, raising more than $14 million to support active service members, veterans and their families from every generation. In that time, millions of patriots have been awakened to the Boot Campaign cause and enlightened to the challenges facing America’s active duty and veteran families, including those who have attended Boot Campaign events, engaged on Boot Campaign social platforms, and purchased combat boots. That’s a lot of combat boots! Not really. Retail sales of combat boots, Boot Campaign apparel and mission-focused merchandise are just a fraction of how we raise much-needed funding to support our nation’s heroes. In fact, generous donations from the general public and corporate sponsorships assist our efforts to fund Boot Campaign programs that support military families. Our fundraising efforts extend to all generations of military personnel who endure significant physical, emotional and circumstantial hardships resulting from their service and sacrifice.
HOMELAND / September Octomber 2016 201629 29
Americans have been expressing their love for this country for generations, and showing gratitude to those who defend her is part of that history. We think wearing combat boots is a visible, unique and proactive way to show patriotism and support for service members and veterans. It just so happened that our ‘Boot Girls’ had the idea from the very beginning that getting combat boots on the feet of a certain segment of the population might help spread the word about Boot Campaign a little farther and faster than they could on their own. And, WOW, has this special group of people turned up the VOLUME! More than 500 celebrities and newsmakers in such fields as film/television, music and sports have stepped up to support the Boot Campaign mission by getting their ‘Boots On.’ We are eternally grateful for folks like Dwayne Johnson, Smokey Robinson, Dolly Parton, Lyle Lovett, Dean Cain, Kathie Lee Gifford, Zac Brown Band, Nancy Grace, Jim Caveziel, Troy Aikman, Florida Georgia Line, Atticus Shaffer, the cast of Sons of Anarchy, Trisha Yearwood, Randy Couture, Holly Madison, Marcus Luttrell, Eric Roberts, David Copperfield, Lou Diamond Phillips, Nolan Ryan, Phil Niekro, and many, many more who have put their boots on with Boot Campaign. It’s so gratifying to witness every day the support and gratitude from so many stars in the public eye who sincerely recognize
HOMELAND / October 2016
their careers and livelihoods, like all of ours, have been made possible by our military heroes who afford us all the freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. With their generous assistance, we’ve been able to make many more Americans aware of our combat boots and mission, which fundamentally is not about war at all, but rather about the warrior! We are a unique organization focused on connecting the 99 percent of Americans who have never served in the military with the ONE percent that has or does. Another important message dear to my heart involves financial transparency. We strongly believe that the people, businesses and organizations who choose to support Boot Campaign deserve to have complete confidence that the money they’re contributed is being used efficiently and responsibly. We take tremendous pride in keeping operating and administration costs well below the threshold for which nonprofits aspire, more than $.80 cents of every dollar directly supporting Boot Campaign’s mission. It’s our top priority to get our funds and services to those in the military and veteran communities who need it the most. This year we launched Boot Campaign’s ReBOOT a new assistance program designed to provide a comprehensive, individualized, multi-disciplined approach to increasing mental
and physical well-being for America’s valued military heroes. Whether combating traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress, depression or other transitional issues, Boot Campaign’s ReBOOT tackles the root cause of the struggles affecting so many of our brave servicemen and women. This pioneering new Boot Campaign program brings together world class mental and physical treatment partners thorough diagnostic evaluations, so each veteran gets specific care needed to live a fulfilling life. It’s shocking for me to learn that 22 percent of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom combat wounds are brain injuries that can, obviously, interfere with quality of life. Boot Campaign strongly believes that no service member should suffer alone, and that financial worry should NOT be the barrier between a warrior and treatment. The commitment to our veterans and this program by our treatment partners is extremely gratifying and gets us off to a great start. We also welcome the support of the public and private sectors to make this important initiative a resounding success. Other mission-focused programs that Boot Campaign is committed to include: Hero Ambassador Program, which deploys veterans and active duty service members as spokespeople and honored guests at events to inspire and educate Americans on why it’s important to give back, and use the platform to tell their personal stories of service and sacrifice; Faces Of Our Freedom, which serves to show gratitude to America’s military heroes and their families through unforgettable experiences, and to raise awareness within the community about the need for continued support; Patriot League, a kid-centric initiative that promotes patriotism and community service; and Santa Boots our Holiday gift giving program for military families that would not get to celebrate Christmas this season. So, please, take a quick look around in your closet and see if you’ve got a little more room to add to your wardrobe. Join us and show YOUR gratitude to the men and women that protect the freedoms you and your family enjoy.
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 31
ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR By Vicki Garcia
5 Things That Will Launch Your Business to the Stratosphere If you believe the stats, many small businesses will fail within the first few years of operation. I don’t buy that. The stats are skewed because so many restaurants go out of business. Most startups that survive will stay small forever, and that’s ok. A select few will manage to grow into huge businesses. What are the factors that enable unknowns to become household brands? One thing for sure...it
Develop Systems One of the greatest challenges that small business owners face is that they are constant decision makers. Many owners micromanage everything from sales, customer service, research, and development, to bookkeeping and financial management. Smart business owners know the value of delegating. Creating systems is the first step toward a business where not every decision is dependent on the owner. Systems allow people to plug in and go. Systems include operating procedures and manuals that can quickly bring a new team member up to speed. Many small businesses do without systems and survive. While you might get away with it for a time, the lack of systems can create a huge bottleneck as you grow. The lack of systems can potentially reduce your profits. Why? Do you really want you and 32
HOMELAND / October 2016
your employees to be shooting from the hip daily? With systems in place your team can deliver consistent service. One of the fastest ways to frustrate your employees is to require every decision to be made by the owner boss. In addition to making your life easier, systems also increase the value of your business. If you ever want to sell your business, the buyer will want to buy a business that is built on systems. The presence of systems tells buyers that the business doesn’t entirely rely on a single person. Creating systems help you create a turnkey operation, appealing to buyers. Business systems are assets that enable your company to run without you.
Make it Scalable Unfortunately, many professional service providers are not scalable because they rely on a single person’s output. So, if your goal
is to build a big company from a consulting businesses, you will need to build in scalability by promoting highly competent people who work under an owner with an articulated philosophy. Another way to make your service business scalable is to retain subject matter experts as contractors who you hire on an as-needed basis. This is how I have grown my business over 30 years. I engage photographers, videographers, publicists, graphic designers and the like when I need them for a specific client. I have long-standing relationships, as long as 25 years, with some of these contractors and they make my business seem much larger than it actually is. It gives me the flexibility to work within almost any client’s budget. To build a scalable business, you should start with a scalable idea. The idea is to require low support and staff expenses. Scalable businesses allow you to work on www.homelandmagazine.com
your business as opposed to working in your business. If you find you can never take a vacation, it’s because you’re either a control freak, or you haven’t built in any scalability where someone can cover for you. Scalable businesses can be highly automated. Automation helps you reduce variable costs such as labor. It is at this point when scaling and systems begin to work together. If you truly want to become a market leader or dominate your industry, scalability is important.
Get a Board of Advisors The life of an entrepreneur can be a lonely one. Often you feel like you are all alone with all the decisions you have to make. An advisory board can share some of the burdens of making key decisions, and it will tell the outside world that you understand the importance of surrounding yourself with people that are smarter than you. Your board will help you with large strategic goals. It can help with your overall business plan, policy issues, financial questions, strategic partnerships, and more. Don’t waste your boards time on daily issues. Rather, let your board help you with strategic advice, or by helping you with making introductions to strategic partners and recruiting talent. Fellow entrepreneurs and business leaders make excellent board members. Before you build your board you should have a clear understanding of what areas you need help with. Ask yourself what skills do you currently lack that you need to take your business to the next level? Is it marketing, intellectual property, or finance? Whatever it is you need help with should influence the ultimate makeup of your board. But, don’t think you can ask professionals who bill for their services to be on your board of advisors, so that you can get their advice for free. Ask yourself why would you agree to be on someone’s advisory board? Maybe it would give you an introduction to someone influential, result in beneficial
exposure, or even produce income. Use your head. If you’re going to ask someone to spend their precious time to support your business, give them a reason to do so. You can compensate your board of advisors, and should pay their expenses if they have to travel and pay for dinner when you meet. Another way to easily tap into a practical Board of Advisors is to join Mind Master, where you can brainstorm with other small business owners weekly. For more info on that go to www.mindmasters.com
Develop Intellectual Property IP is as good as money in the bank. It is considered one of the most important assets of some of the most valuable companies in the world. Even though IP is an “intangible asset,” it’s almost impossible to build a big business without it. Think about your expertise, what you could produce as a webinar, or how to produce certain results. That is Intellectual Property. By the way, always put a copy write mark like this © on EVERYTHING you produce. It will discourage plagiarism and theft of your IP. You may read about huge business acquisition deals structured around IP. Often, IP is the reason companies are bought and sold for huge amounts. Simply put, Intellectual Property makes your company more competitive. Without IP you end up competing on price and efficiency, a tough way to build your business. When you compete through IP you often set your price, a luxury most businesses never experience. Since innovation is often the main driver in business, developing IP should be a key objective for all companies that want to enter the big leagues. When IP is properly managed it can prevent your competitors from copying your products or services.
Build Your Brand Nothing is sold until it is branded. Branding helps to bring customers pre-sold to your doorstep. Your brand is an intangible asset
that may enable your business to eventually avoid competing on price alone. People will pay more for a well-established brand. Your mom is more likely to buy Tide, even though it is more expensive, and the same thing as the generic laundry soap. People become loyal to a brand. It is your brand that may one day help you dominate your market. Successful brands are easily recognizable. Virtually all fortune 500 companies have managed to build a strong brand image. Powerful brands instill certain images in consumers’ minds from tradition, to quality, to innovation, to any number of thoughts and feelings. As competition increases, so does the importance of building credible brands. Brands are not born out of thin air; they are strategically developed. The process of building your brand is a never ending job. Start with a professional logo and move on from there. Your brand is a reflection of everything that your company does, including advertising, public relations, customer relations, and more. Your brand is the quality of your product or service. It is the way you treat your customers, and even your employees. Your brand is shaped by how the world perceives you. You’re in charge of your brand, and your brand can crash and burn if you mishandle customers or important situations. The Wells Fargo brand is in serious jeopardy right now, for instance. Let’s see what they do to restore the public trust and rebuild their brand. Smarts, integrity, and innovation all contribute to the success of a small business growing to the big time. With welldesigned systems, scalability, intellectual property and a strong brand, you will be well on the way to world domination. Many thanks to George Meszaros, owner of Webene, Inc. a web design and marketing firm for some of the thoughts in this article posted in www.ezinearticles.com
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 / Octomber 2016 33
Military Friendly Colleges & Universities Making Your Transition Easier
Visit today at www.HomelandMagazine.com
JOBS FOR VETS
CAREERS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT Visit today at www.HomelandMagazine.com
HOMELAND / October 2016
8 Steps to Improve Your Post-Military Career Search and Transition Plan
By Chad Storlie As you interview, network, and learn about various opportunities, make it a point to adjust and improve your GIO list and continue to add networking contacts. Your career search is not static. A great many professional opportunities can be unlisted and your networking contacts will help you discover opportunities and companies that you did not know existed. Here are eight steps to improve your post-military career search and transition plan: 1. Rehearse interviewing and gather resume feedback at networking sessions. The goal here is to highlight strengths that you have that the company needs.
5. Continue to look for ways to fully translate your military skills to business to demonstrate your full range of potential. - Based on feedback from your networking sessions, look to translate your military experience and skill sets into areas that the company needs. 6. Continue to read, network and explore ways to create more options for your transition. 7. Follow up on applications and stay in contact with network for new opportunities. 8. Accept the job offer that meets your needs and begin your career!
2. Continue to update, add or delete opportunities on your GIO matrix. - Remove unsuccessful GIO combinations - Add new opportunities
A military to a civilian career transition is a challenging task. Using and following a detailed career transition checklist is the best way to ensure that you find all the opportunities to make your second career as successful as your first career in the military.
3. Continue to update your network on your progress and any successes that you have had.
Success in military to civilian career transition is more than finding a job. Success is finding a career at an organization that you respect, fills you with a sense of purpose and mission to continue on the attributes of military service.
4. Make any updates and changes to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages to reflect your resume and cover letter.
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 35
By Briana Hartzell
Military Spouses Share Their Secret to Keeping Their Job Despite a Move
It seems the process to keep your job during and after a move is a secret. After talking with spouses who successfully maintained employment despite moving, it was apparent many were reluctant to publicize and call attention to the company they are employed. What they were not reluctant to share were their tips to encourage your company to continue your employment after a move. Be irreplaceable: Become the reason your company makes a special case. Be the top seller in your territory, maintain excellent and above average evaluations, be the person who volunteers and helps others without being asked. Military Spouse, Lyndsey shared some of her success story with me, “I celebrated my 10th year with my amazing company this year! I started with them directly out of college and after 3 years in the trenches, I networked, interviewed 36
HOMELAND / October 2016
and transferred to my dream job! After a couple years; I met my DREAM man but was nervous about my move because it might mean the end of the career that I had worked so hard for. My company created a position for me to continue my work in another state. We moved again and I flew back and forth every other week from California to Philadelphia for 6 months (pregnant mind you!) helping in learning and development until they could CREATE yet another territory for me to work from home in sales. Trust me. I don’t want you to think that I’m hanging on based on luck alone, I have actually won our sales excellence award every year that I have been eligible and just heard yesterday that I did it again for the 2014 sales year (yay) .... But, I still feel VERY lucky to have had to opportunity to stay on with this great company, with these GREAT People that understand that an employee performs better when they are happy at www.homelandmagazine.com
home first and foremost. By the way, they are transferring me AGAIN for our next move in March!”
You will be amazed when given a concrete plan, your company may be more willing to work with you.
How could her company not accommodate her moves when she is the top seller? This is proof that being the best opens additional opportunities.
Be grateful: Military spouse, Marci says, “The loyalty my company has shown by retaining me as an employee even though I’ve moved several times has always pushed me to want to work hard and do that much better for the company as an employee.
Be flexible: They want you to expand your job description or roll, cover a new territory, work on a different time zone? Not a problem. Prove to them you are willing and able to make the changes necessary to maintain employment. This will remind your company what a team player and asset you are. Be bold: Do not be afraid to ask to remain an employee. More and more of the work force are telecommuting. Build a proposal outlining your plan to work remotely from you new location, set goals, set expectations and tell them how successful you will be. www.homelandmagazine.com
I feel a sense of mutual respect from my company which is very difficult to come by in a large employer. I know I’m fortunate to be able to have a career and be a military wife and mother but the truth is some of the most outstanding, smart, creative and hardworking women I’ve ever met are Navy (military) wives and more employers should open their eyes and hire them.” Be a true advocate for the brand and company you work for. Loyal employees beget loyal employers.
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 37
Mentorship for children in military families who deserve our thanks and support. Enroll a child or become a Big Brother or Big Sister. Call (858) 746.9173 SDBigs.org/OperationBigs
HOMELAND / October 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 / Octomber 2016 39
Our Affordable Units Fit All Budgets San Diego’s Total Self Storage Solution 3 Months 1/2 OFF on a 6 month lease. 10% Discount for Military, Senior, and Students. Associated Storage Miramar 858-693-1717 Associated Storage Kearny 858-495-1717
* New customers only
Proudly serving Military members since 1936. Great service and rates. Call 760-753-7907 or visit 711 Center Dr, San Marcos, CA
Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. See geico.com for more details. GEICO and Affiliates. Washington, DC 20076. GEICO Gecko image © 1999-2016. © 2016 GEICO
HOMELAND / October 2016
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 41
Come Visit Us! Love To Show You Our New Location
• • • •
Why Our University?
Affordable Tuition 100% Online Course Options GI Bill and MyCAA Approved Financial Aid Available For Those Who Qualify • Tuition Assistance Our new address: 3550 Camino Del Rio N. Suite 208 San Diego, CA 92108 Easily accessible from anywhere in San Diego Easy Freeway Access: I-8, I-15, I-805 / Bus Stop: #18 Trolley Stop: Mission San Diego Phone: 858.653.3000
HOMELAND / October 2016
Call to speak with our Military Admissions Advisors.
BE CAREER READY IN 6 MONTHS OR LESS! Southern Californiaâ€™s Provider of Career Computer Training!
CALL NOW! START TOMORROW! 100% FLEXIBLE TRAINING â€“ YOU WILL GET CERTIFIED!
The nationâ€™s only computer training provider
1-800-561-MCSE www.cta.edu (6273) Inland Empire and Temecula Campuses
GI BILL APPROVED!
FINANCIAL AID TO THOSE WHO QUALIFY!
for your service
HOMELAND / Octomber 2016 43
A DOCUMENTARY BY EMMY AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKER MICHAEL KING ®
THEIR WAR NEVER ENDS TALLWOOD PRESENTS
A FILM BY
MICHAEL KING “WHEN WAR COMES HOME” FEATURING GENERAL PETER CHIARELLI (RET.), SPENCER AND SARAH MILO, WES AND ANDREA CARLILE, AND EMMANUEL BERNADIN DIRECTOR OF EXECUTIVE CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS DEBRA C. HYDE AND JENNIFER G. HARRIS PRODUCERS DUNCAN NIEDERAUER AND ED FOUCHÈ PHOTOGRAPHY JASON OLDAK ORIGINAL MUSIC WRITTEN PRODUCED AND EDITOR GEORGE ARTOPE SCORE BY JEFF BEAL SUPERVISOR AJ SORBELLO BY ANTHONY E. VALLETTA DIRECTED BY MICHAEL KING
WWW.WHEN WAR COMESHOME.ORG
HOMELAND / October 2016