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Resources Support Inspiration

Vol. 2 Number 10 • October 2015

Legacy of Flight Colonel Dean Caswell USMC, Retired

Katie Higgins A Bolt To The Blue California’s Citizen Soldiers: Always Ready, Always There! Transitioning Military Personnel Education / Careers San Diego City Mayor Faulconer’s NOT SO SECRET Weapon To Help Veterans

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Homeland Publisher Michael J. Miller Contributing Writers CJ Machado Vicki Garcia Linda Kreter Vesta Anderson Keith Angelin Michael Hingson Gerard DeSousa Petula Dvorak Richard W. Lalor Scott McGaugh Stan Foster Sonia McClister Mattison Brooks e

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. HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; our focus is on family, military and civilians alike. I believe HOMELAND is where the heart is, and our publication covers a wide variety of topics, and issues about real life and real stories. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. They say San Diego is a military town, I find that San Diego is a HOMELAND town, where military and civilians work and live together. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine. With warmest thanks, Michael J. Miller, Publisher 4

HOMELAND / October 2015

Public Relations Linda Kreter CJ Machado Graphic Design Trevor Watson

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

858.240.0333 Contact Homeland Magazine at: info@homelandmagazine.com

Inside This Issue


8 16 18 20 22 24 26 29 30 32

The Warrior Ball Katie Higgins: A Bolt To Blue Mentoring: Unspoken Secrets To Landing A Career After Military Service 26 San Diego City Mayor Faulconer’s NOT SO SECRET Weapon To Help Veterans REBOOT Workshop Top Gun: “Taking Flight” California Miramar University California’s Citizens Soldiers: Always Ready, Always There! 6 Enlisted To Entrepreneur Accessibility Is A Mindset Substance Abuse Assessment / PTSD A Growing Epidemic



Meet Colonel Dean Caswell


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GI Film Festival KPBS, in collaboration with the GI Film Group and the Film Consortium San Diego, announces the event schedule for the inaugural GI Film Festival San Diego to be held Oct. 13 to Oct. 18, 2015 at various venues throughout San Diego. The GI Film Festival, hosted annually in Washington DC, will make its first trip to San Diego and will feature a variety of films for, about, and by service men and women. The festival aims to reveal the struggles, triumphs, and experiences of the military through compelling and authentic storytelling. All major film genres will be featured including drama, documentary and personal narrative. “GI Film Festival San Diego events and film selections have been carefully curated to accommodate the interests of San Diegans,” says Tom Karlo, general manager, KPBS. “Our selections include films from the DC festival, but will also take into account what local families and aspiring filmmakers want, such as our Family Night aboard the USS Midway Museum and our Career Fair at NTC Liberty Station, where experts will gather to share their knowledge with attendees about how to break into the entertainment industry.” Many of the events will be open to the public with special discounted opportunities for active duty military personnel and veterans. A list of festival events, screenings and general admission tickets will be available online at the GI Film Festival San Diego website, www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org


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By Mattison Brooks

The Warrior Ball


here was an air of discipline that hung over the “Ready Room.” Packed into this dimly lit briefing room, military service members stood in pressed, crisp outfits, listening intently with their gazes fixed straight ahead. Their attention was held by a row of speakers, briskly listing off details, measuring them against statistics and figures.

This engagement and person to person contact is a cornerstone of WWP’s programmatic structure and long-term vision to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded veterans in the nation’s history. It was what Shane Davis experienced during his evening with other WWP Alumni, eating and dancing the night away.

Yet for all the military formality in this room, on the other side of the closed doors there was no battlefield. Instead, as the men and women gathered in the room walked out, they came onto a deck overlooking Mission Bay, where the cocktail reception was beginning in earnest at the 2015 Southern California Warrior Ball.

“It was a fun event,” Davis said. “It offered me a chance to fellowship with other warriors and get to know each other a little more, hear their stories.”

This was a celebration, an event to honor Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Alumni and their guests. At the Paradise Point Resort and Spa in San Diego, 300 Alumni and their guests gathered together to enjoy an evening filled with food, live music and entertainment - the Satin Dollz, a group of singers and dancers with entertainment reminiscent


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of the WWII USO Camp Shows from 1941-1947. Stephen Lang, from the films Avatar and Gods and Generals, was also present to deliver a speech and pay honor to the WWP Alumni who paid their dues on the battlefield. “We wanted this evening to be about warrior-towarrior engagement and to feel like the formal military balls our Alumni attended while on active duty,” said Bryan Rollins, Alumni regional director at WWP. “It is a celebration of our Alumni’s military service and a chance for them to engage with other warriors and increase the opportunity to build camaraderie.”

For WWP, there is a key distinction between members and Alumni. Anyone can pay membership dues to an organization and call themselves a member. ‘Alumni’ denotes that one’s place in an organization was earned, and WWP Alumni have earned their place through common bonds of sacrifice. “For us, it was a chance for us to see other warriors who we don’t normally get to see,” said Sequoia www.homelandmagazine.com

White. “It reminds us that we are still part of this community. I served in the Marine Corps, and every year we would attend that ball. It gives us the feeling that we’re not away from the military, but also allows us to spend an evening bonding with our friends and family.” “Our Alumni have done so much and come so far in their recovery,” said Steve

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Nardizzi, chief executive officer of WWP. “We talk a lot about our mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Tonight was about honoring them, showing our appreciation as an organization and celebrating their accomplishments. It also gave our Alumni a chance to eat some great food, have a few laughs, dance together and just enjoy each other’s company. We know that fellowship and shared positive experiences like this are extremely important for our Alumni on their roads to recovery.” Currently, WWP provides support to more than 76,000 injured service members and over 13,000 caregivers and family support members through 20, free programs and services. These programs and services utilize a hightouch and interactive approach and are uniquely structured to engage warriors, nurture their minds and bodies, and encourage economic empowerment. “We came in, and they had the red carpet laid out for us,” said White. “It gave me a sense of ‘we still matter.’ Some people feel like once we leave the military, we don’t have those kinds of events going on. This event that Wounded Warrior Project hosted for us, it gave us all something to look forward to.”


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Meet a WWII Flying Ace! An exclusive interview with a Living Legend

Colonel Dean Caswell Meet WWII Flying Ace and former Blue Angel Colonel Dean Caswell, USMC, Retired. During WWII, Colonel Caswell flew over 100 missions, destroyed 10 or more enemy aircraft in the air and 2530 aircraft on the ground. Remarkably, he never received a bullet hole in any Corsair he ever flew. He was awarded the Silver Star, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 5 Air Medals. The American Legion San Dieguito Post 416 will be honoring the Colonel and is sponsoring a once in a lifetime opportunity to listen to Colonel Caswell’s true life stories and WWII experiences. Colonel Caswell is the third in a series of WWII speakers that has been brought to you by the San Dieguito American Legion. This series honors great American veterans and provides the community with access to speeches given by our “Living Heroes.” This exciting event will be held at the Hilton San Diego-Del Mar, 15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014 on Sunday, October 4th at 6pm and is FREE to the general public. The Del Mar Hilton has provided the space gratis for over 700 guests to enjoy an evening with a WWII Flying Ace. To add to all the excitement, the American Legion Riders (ALR) from across town will show their support by escorting the Colonel from the American Legion Post 416 to his speaking engagement at the Hilton San Diego-Del Mar. Special thanks to the Del Mar Hilton and American Legion Posts 416, 149, 434 and 365 for their much appreciated support.


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This year commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Colonel Dean Caswell is being featured in the upcoming “Marine Wings over the Pacific” documentary, which highlights Marine Aviation in the Pacific during WWII. The Colonel is one of the last living WWII Marine Aces. The documentary will help support the USMC Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum & Historical Foundation in their effort to preserve Marine Aviation history. www. flyingleathernecks.org I had the pleasure and honor of meeting and interviewing this living legend in his home in Austin, Texas. The Colonel’s home is decorated in aviation memorabilia and is inundated with Marine Corps emblems as any true Marine would have it. Included in his collection of memorabilia is a display cabinet filled with framed pictures and aircraft models of his fellow Aces from the “Fighting Falcons” VMF-221. Every night before bed, the Colonel turns a light on for his “Case of Aces”, so his fallen brothers are never in darkness. Colonel Dean Caswell, USMC, Retired, served our country for over 30 years and has flown in three wars, including WWII, Korea and Vietnam. His flying experience spans for over 60 years and for the purpose of this article, we focused our questions primarily on his WWII experiences.

Naval Aviation Cadet 1942 >


In your book “My Taking Flight”, you mention that the Boy Scouts played a significant role in you becoming a fighter pilot. How was your Boy Scout experience instrumental? Caswell: At around eleven years old, I built a fragile wood balsa airplane model and earned the Aviation Merit Badge in the Boy Scouts. I also lead eight boys in my troop. I believe Scouting builds self-reliance, character and leadership. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was learning some of the basic skills of becoming a fighter pilot. Later on, I spent 28 years volunteering with my six sons in Boy Scouts. I’m proud to say that they all became Eagle Scouts. How did you join the service? Caswell: Well that’s an interesting story… My cousin Carl Moore and I were living in Los Angeles at the time and we were both going to school and working full time. Carl called and said he had seven dollars in his pocket and if I had a little money, it was time we saw the bright lights of the Burlesque Houses on Broadway Street. Keep in mind, I was 18 years old at the time with a draft notice in my dresser drawer. We met at the Trolley Terminal in downtown, Los Angeles and decided to enhance our evening with a pint of ‘Four Roses’ bourbon. We were the same age, but neither of us had ever had a drink in our lives. My memory tells me that we saw our first burlesque show sitting in the darker part of the balcony as we killed off the pint of bourbon. At around two o’ clock in the morning, we were awakened and evicted by the theatre manager. We weren’t feeling too good and we had nowhere to go, when a tall man in a dark suit stepped out of the lit doorway. He had a whitebilled cap and gold stripes lined his coat sleeve. He said “You fellas look in bad shape. You could use a good cup of coffee.” Then another uniformed man in a green coat with red stripes on his sleeve joined us and we entered into a small office off the street. We had just met the Navy and Marine recruiting officers. When we sobered up, still feeling like a train had run over us, Carl was in the Navy and I was in the Marine Corps.

Your initial assignment was dive bombing. How did you end up becoming a fighter pilot? Caswell: We were all counting on being fighters and when I received my assignment, it read “DIVE BOMBING.” I was absolutely sick. Just sick, to hear that my friend Brumley and I had assignments for dive bombing. We knew something had to be done and we found the Assignment Department at Pensacola. We were stunned to find out that the assignment person was a beautiful 21 year-old lady Marine, who randomly was passing out assignments. She said she was just filling quotas. I had to think fast, so I asked her out to dinner and tried to be a perfect gentleman. With a couple of kisses and a few promises, she changed my assignment to fighters. Poor Brumley. How did your previous experience with shotguns and bird shooting help you become a good “Dog-Fighter?” Caswell: At 16 years old, I could shoot 20 birds on the wing with 20 shells. Like a shotgun, I would lead the target, in this case the enemy aircraft. It was like shooting fast flying ducks, which was very natural for me. You are famed for the flying the Corsair. Why is the Corsair extremely difficult to land on Air Craft Carriers? Caswell: You couldn’t see where you were landing or the Landing Signal Officer, because the end of the nose is too long and the cock pit was so far back. We would have to fly in a half circle/turn with your head sticking out of the cockpit and your goggles down if you wanted to make the landing. We all had to land that way with the Corsair. The long nose was built that way to accommodate the size of the engine and the propeller. Why was the Corsair a superior fighting aircraft to the Japanese enemy aircraft?

Caswell: “You got it, fly for a while”, that’s what my instructor said. My log book shows my first flight at 1.5 hours of dual flight instruction. I read later the notation “Tries very hard, but uncoordinated.”

Caswell: Many reasons really…It was the first aircraft to maintain a speed of over 400 mph in sustained level of flight. It was faster, more heavily armed and maneuverable than most of the Japanese aircraft. Our primary mission as a Marine Fighter Squadron was to support our ground troops, so being capable of carrying heavy ammunition was essential. Our secondary mission was to protect our Navy. The Corsair was the finest fighter plane of its time in the world. I should know, I put over 2,000 hours of flight time in one.

What can today’s youth learn from that experience?

Why was the Corsair known as the “Whistling death?”

Caswell: I tried, I tried very hard and even though it seemed to accomplish nothing on my first try, eventually I soloed in three hours of flight time, which was a bit sooner than most of the group. My advice for today’s youth is to try and try again, until you succeed. If you’re detoured by your mistakes, you’ll never get anything done. Remember once you succeed, success breeds success…Just Keep trying!

Caswell: It was named that by the Japanese ground troops. We flew low and fast, and the air going through the wing’s oil cooler ducting would make a whistling sound, which meant imminent death for the enemy.

Tell us about your first flight…


During your Operational Flight Training, you mentioned snap rolls in a Corsair were prohibited. Why is that?

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What constitutes a Marine Ace? Caswell: Five confirmed aerial victories. How did the Marines confirm an aerial victory during WWII? Caswell: Mostly by our gun camera, but it was not always dependable to catch the confirmation of a victory. Unfortunately, the camera would run out of film during a long dog fight, leaving the pilot without recognition. I for one know I had 10 enemy kills if not more, however only 7 are confirmed. I’m sure there were many Aces out there that were never given the honors. I know of at least two personally that should have been deemed Aces and were not. What was your most terrifying combat experience? Aircraft Carrier landing by Colonel Dean Caswell. The Corsair became the most capable carrier-based fighter-bomber of World War II with 11 to 1 kill ratio. Caswell: A Snap Roll in any plane is considered a violent maneuver. The Corsair was never made for Snap Rolls because of the folded wings. Aeronautical engineers feared the wings would not stay intact. You were destined to prove them wrong, weren’t you? Caswell: (Chuckles) I had been assigned to be a bogey in a little play flight. I drew bead on the lead plane. Captain Jim Swett picked me up with his phenomenal vision. The two sections executed a perfect weave and Goeggel and Scott picked me up. We were headed directly towards each other, closing rapidly as my Corsair was diving at over 400 mph. I turned right and saw him turning left into me. I immediately snapped the stick right and kicked right rudder. There was a tremendous jerk and the plane started spinning like a cork screw. I thought we actually hit each other and I reached for the pin holding my escape hatch. Seconds later, I realized that both the plane and I were still intact, so I regained control of the Corsair and stopped the violent spinning. When we arrived back on the ground, Captain Delancey ran up to me gasping for breath…”Unbelievable! You did seven snap rolls in a row. Seven! I counted them. How did you do that? I’ve never seen anyone do a snap roll in an F4U. Not one, you did seven! Will you teach me how to do that?”…I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I didn’t even have my hands on the stick. Your famed Marine Air Squadron VMF-221, the Fighting Falcons had a legacy of their own. Can you highlight their accomplishments? Caswell: My Squadron VMF-221, the Fighting Falcons was formed in San Diego and eventually assigned to the USS Bunker Hill. I joined the Squadron towards the end of the war, late 1944 and I wasn’t able to be a part of their most famous Battle of the Midway. 23 of the members were awarded the Navy Cross at the Battle of Midway, most posthumously. Our Commanding Officer, Jim Swett was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on April 7, 1943. We had 6 Silver Stars and many distinguished Flying Crosses awarded to us throughout the war. In all, we had over 185 air-to-air victories. That was the 2nd most victories of any Marine Fighting Air Squadron during the war. We were one hell of a Squadron! (Smiles)


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Caswell: We were scared as hell, but never terrified. We were well trained, we knew what we were doing and we did our best to get the job done.

You are a hero. Why is that difficult for you to accept? Caswell: We were not heroes. We were just doing our jobs, because we wanted to get home alive. The Kamikaze was a feared weapon of desperation used by the Japanese. A tactic that proved to be effective against the USS Bunker Hill (CV17), Flagship of Task Force 58 on May 11, 1945. Tell us more about your experience on that dreadful day… Caswell: I was enjoying my morning coffee with my wingman John McManus when two Kamikazes slipped under the radar and dove into the Bunker Hill. It just happened to be that our Operations Officer had John McManus and I serve as Squadron Duty Officers, while the others flew. We we’re in the Officers Mess, which was one deck below the hangar deck. We heard a loud explosion when the two Kamikaze planes exploded on the flight deck. There were explosions all over the ship and the dangerous, thick…, black…, oily smoke filled the spaces where we were below. The lights went out and left us in total darkness. We were just secured from General Quarters and luckily we still had our gas masks. We dropped down and tried crawling out of the rooms on our hands and knees, while trying to breathe through those inefficient masks. We crawled over many bodies to the ladder that led up to the Hangar Deck. The hatch was closed, and we started banging the hell out of it with a metal flashlight we found hanging on the bulkhead. Some wonderful soul finally opened the hatch and we managed to get out. We were in a daze, with smoke filled lungs from the inefficient masks, but better off than the other poor souls that were left behind. How long did it take for you to recover? Caswell: There wasn’t any time to recover. Once we regained our bearings, we had to fight the fire with the remaining fire fighters for three days to prevent further explosions and a complete loss. What happened to your Air Squadron?


Caswell: Our Commanding Officer, Jim Swett was just circling in landing pattern with a flight of 16 Corsairs and they witnessed the entire episode. Some of his flight tried to intercept the bandits, but it was too late. The ship’s AA (Antiaircraft guns) started firing, but they were too late to prevent the crash. Eventually, the Squadron had to land on nearby carriers and some landed on the captured airfields on Yontan and Okinawa. Some of the pilots were on ship in the Ready Room (location where pilots prepare for flight) were able to make it to the outside catwalk and jumped overboard.

Did they survive? Caswell: Many did not, because they had an 80 foot drop into burning oil and debris. The survivors were rescued by nearby ships. What was the outcome of the kamikaze attack on the USS Bunker Hill? Caswell: There were hundreds killed, missing or wounded, including our ship’s Captain Seitz. What about the ships damages? Caswell: Our damaged ship limped to Ulithi anchorage for repairs and reorganizing. The USS Bunker Hill was one of the most heavily damaged carriers to survive the War. The loss of lives to secure our freedom is an immeasurable debt. How should we as a nation honor our veterans? Caswell: We need to ensure that our wounded veterans get the best care through their lifetime. We need to support the civic organizations in place that are the “Watch Dogs” for our veteran’s. The recognition of our troops has to be larger than their own hometown. In my hometown, all but two of the young men sent to war didn’t return. There was no mention of it in the paper. We need to vote for leaders in Washington that have an extensive knowledge and understanding of the military. You have to know how to defend the country you are leading! What message would you like to give to our young service members? Caswell: Be loyal to your country. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE COLONEL DEAN CASWELL May God bless you, our troops and America

By CJ Machado The American Legion supports veterans and their families. It is the largest veteran support organization in the country, with over 2.4 million members. You can join the American Legion in your area or support their efforts by attending their upcoming events. Here are a few local events you won’t want to miss: San Dieguito Post 416, “SAVE OUR LEGION” 11/11/15 Moonlight Beach Surf and Lunch at the Post, featuring Colonel John Bates jumping


out of a plane to join the surfers! Surfers and veterans are encouraged to attend. Visit: www. calegionpost416.org

Chula Vista Post 434 Join their monthly Biker, Burger and Dogs. Check out their calendar of events: www.legionpost434.org

Vista Post 365 Louisana Boil and Annual Food Fest, Saturday Oct. 24, Noon- when the food is gone! Visit: www.legionpost365.org

There are 13,290 American Legion Posts nationwide. To find one closest to you, visit: www.legion.org

Escondido Post 149 hosts a Thanksgiving dinner every year to veterans and their families. Donated turkeys are appreciated. Visit: www. calegionpost149.org


HOMELAND / October 2015 15

A bolt to the Blue: This history-making female pilot is making a difference By Petula Dvorak / Washington Post


he most shocking thing about flying with Capt. Katie Higgins isn’t surviving three G’s when she rockets her monster airplane into the sky at 375 miles per hour. Or going weightless four times when she dives it, amped on the squeals and screams coming from the passengers behind her. Or watching veteran troops who swaggered onto her C-130 cargo plane lose it in their barf bags, one after another. The thing that makes your mouth drop is hearing Higgins tell you about the 1940s attitudes she slams into when she’s on the ground. From girls. Today. “I’ve had girls tell me that they didn’t even know that ladies could fly aircraft or be in the military,” said Higgins, who is not only a pilot who has logged 400 combat hours for the Marines. But she just made history as the first female Blue Angel. Sure enough, the very first little girl I talked to at the Ocean City Air Show earlier this year, who happened to love the Blue Angels and also happened to adore the very aircraft that Higgins pilots — the round-faced, big-bellied C-130 known as Fat Albert — thought men were the only ones who fly. “I didn’t know girls can be pilots,” said Grace McClung, 9, when I told her that a pilot named Katie would be flying her favorite plane. “Wow. So maybe I can be a pilot someday.” Bingo. That’s the magic right there. Putting a girl in that famous cockpit just smashed a few hundred years of jacked-up attitudes and did more for girl power than a thousand pink, sparkly T-shirts with cute sayings could ever do. “She broke two barriers. The sound barrier and the gender barrier,” said Michael Masterson, a retired Air Force officer who is an air show regular and knew all about Higgins. “She has a hell of a lot of experience, and she can do the job,” Masterson said. Oh, she can do the job. Besides her 400 combat hours in the cockpit, she’s logged another 1,000 hours in flight. And on her Twitter feed, besides having sweet notes about her one-month wedding anniversary to a fellow pilot (#MRSHIGGINS), she says things like: “This time last year, I was landing in Uganda to evacuate the South Sudan embassy.”


HOMELAND / October 2015

She is also a legacy pilot — third generation. (Her brother went into explosives, so she’s the one who carried on the tradition.) Higgins, 28, grew up a military kid, which means she has lived all over. She graduated from W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax and then went to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, so she considers Severna Park, where her parents live, her home town. Seeing her dad fly the F-18 Hornet, the same kind of planes that are the Blue Angels’ acrobatic show ponies, wasn’t what inspired her to be a pilot, though. It was while she was a midshipman in Annapolis, after flying in her first noncommercial aircraft, that she decided to become a pilot. Despite support, dealing with the role of gender and her place in American women’s history remains a tightrope she carefully negotiates. Few people seem to know much about female pilots, present or past. There’s some debate on which World War I fliers — Turkish aviator Sabiha Gökcen, Frenchwoman Marie Marvingt or Russian princesses Eugenie Shakhovskaya and www.homelandmagazine.com

Sophie Alexandrovna Dolgorunaya — were the world’s first female combat pilots. The first licensed female pilot in America was Harriet Quimby in 1911. And remember the Women Airforce Service Pilots, better known as WASP? They flew every plane in the military — including experimental jets — yet none were considered military pilots.

The Blue Angels have the swagger down. In the hangar where the jets were being prepped, pilots who looked like statues to masculinity carved out of pure gold strutted around in flight suits that looked spray-painted on their bodies. White teeth, square jaws, aviator shades. But everyone is flocking to Higgins. “You noticed too?” asked one pilot.

It wasn’t until 1993 that the military allowed women to fly combat aircraft.

“Yeah, I’m just your average white guy now,” laughed another.

So no, Katie Higgins isn’t big on taking credit for breaking barriers.

Higgins is clearly making a difference.

“Women have been flying for years,” she said. “There are 19 other women on [the Blue Angels]. The Marine Corps is 6 percent women.”

She shook girls’ hands and told them to pursue their dreams. She wowed men when they saw her strut around in her flight suit.

When she applied to the team — the application is about as long as a college application — she never once mentioned her gender, she told me.

She smiled and encouraged, but was careful not to linger too long on the woman thing. And she was clear on one hope for the future.

She joined the team, however, just three months after it was rocked by a sexual harassment scandal and the removal of their commander Capt. Gregory McWherter.

“When you’re just there in the ready room, and you’re not the ‘Lady Blue Angel,’ you’re just another pilot,” she said.

“That’s when we’ll have reached true equality.” HOMELAND / October 2015 17


Unspoken Secrets to Landing a Great Career After Military Service


Tai Lopez speaks about the importance of mentorship.

By Gerard DeSousa

entorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger, but possesses knowledge in a certain area of expertise. Mentoring and mentorship is an integral part of serving in the military and developing leaders who will rise through the ranks from private to general. Alexander the Great who conquered the known world with his unstoppable army had the great philosopher Aristotle as his mentor. His father King Phillip II of Macedonia knew that getting Alexander started with a mentor at a young age would prepare him to be a great military leader. Today mentoring is used to instill leadership and growth of soldiers and sailors rising through the leadership ranks preparing them to take the next leadership step in their military service. So why not take mentorship into your transition out of military service and beyond? At the Tai Lopez Mentor Conference held in Santa Monica, California. Tai Lopez discusses his journey seeking a mentor coming from a broken home to ending up living with the Amish until he discovered the power of knowledge through reading. His books became his first mentors to


HOMELAND / October 2015

eventually meeting a millionaire business man whom he studied under to learn the marketing and sales business just by using a phone book. Then to having the great Charlie Munger, life business partner of the billionaire Warren Buffet become his mentor leading him on to his path to success in his own entrepreneurial business.

Mr. Lopez is a strong supporter of our Active Duty and military Veterans. He takes on only a handful of individuals he personally mentors but can’t take on everyone due to only so much time in the day. He suggests if you are considering transitioning out of the military, he sums it up in two words, “Start Now!”

Tai Lopez has created a mentoring program called the 67 steps which is a self guided program mentoring program which you can follow on Lopez’s YouTube Channel by Googling “Tai Lopez 67 Steps.”

Research a field or career area you are interested in, find the key individuals or duty experts and make contact with them. Ask if they can be your mentor or suggest someone who can be.

Highlights of the Mentor Conference: 1. Never stop learning, set a goal to read one book per month or per week. 2. Time is irreplaceable, use it wisely because you will not get back wasted time. 3. Set goals; outline them with clarity and attack! 4. You control your environment, choose to be happy and people will want to be around you and help you towards your goals. 5. Get out of scarcity mode, focus on abundance! Volunteer and give back to charitable causes.

You don’t have to break out and do it alone! A mentor can get you on the right path to success. Athletes like Kobe Bryant have paired up with a mentor so he could tap into the business of basketball and obtaining the right endorsement that will not hurt his image. Many times having a mentor is like shaving 10 years of time and bringing you closer to the path of success. If you are getting out soon or already out, the easiest way to find a mentor is to search Google by typing “veteran mentor” and you find organization that will pair you up with a mentor at no cost. Don’t go at it alone, get a mentor and you will be on the path to success.


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Buy 3 tires and get the 4th for $1* And enjoy 24-month road hazard protection included in the price of your tires.** * Restrictions apply. See participating Toyota dealer for details. OEM, OEA and WIN replacement tires only. Tires must be dealer installed. Three tires at regular price, fourth tire for one dollar. Fourth tire must be of equal or lesser value value. Excludes mounting & balancing, sales tax, shop supplies, tire disposal, & other applicable taxes. Excludes previous purchases. Toyota & Scion vehicles only. Offer only available at participating Toyota dealers 10/1/15 - 10/31/15. ** Exclusions apply. See your participating Toyota dealership for details. Active and retired military I.D. required. Expires 10/31/2015.

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San Diego City Mayor Faulconer’s NOT SO SECRET Weapon to Help Veterans By Vicki Garcia


hen Darnisha Hunter enters a room, people notice. Statuesque and striking with waist length braids, Hunter’s commanding take-no-prisoner presence belies a secretly warm heart and seemingly inexhaustible energy dedicated to helping not only veterans but everyone in the District 4 community which she represents. The woman is a dynamo and it easy to see why City of San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer appointed her as his official Veteran Advocate. Just don’t ask her to define her role. Whatever it is today, it could be different tomorrow. In the ever-changing environment of veteran needs and community responses, Mayor Faulconer deploys Hunter to find answers working with community council, local resources, the Governor’s office, Congress, Senators, homeless shelters, outreach groups, the USO, local military representatives, and the random veteran who lands on her doorstep. And then there’s policy development. It’s a job that defies description. But it gives her a bird’s eye view of exactly what is going on with veterans in the City, County, and beyond. It also lets her see what’s missing.


HOMELAND / October 2015

The building of resources is a vital part of the City’s emphasis, and has resulted in two community centers with trained volunteers available to help veterans and their families find resources and connect to benefits they may be entitled to. The two locations can be found San Diego Central Library at 330 Park Blvd. Downtown and Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library on 3701 Voltaire Street. For example, as part of a new “blue tech” vision that will create more maritime jobs for the San Diego region, Mayor Faulconer and County Supervisor Greg Cox proposed a major initiative that was jointly approved by the City of San Diego and County of San Diego to help give San Diego’s blue economy a boost by creating a blue tech incubator.


According to Faulconer, “Thanks to our fast-growing blue-tech economy San Diego has yet another opportunity to be a global leader in technology and innovation. Our coastal city is uniquely positioned to be the perfect global breeding ground for water-related technology, innovation and jobs. I’m proud to help lead this effort that is a big step toward creating a blue-tech incubator and center of excellence and putting San Diego front and center for blue tech globally.” The Mayor is working toward paid internships for veterans in these businesses. Veteran housing continues to be a challenge for San Diego, and Hunter is in the thick of it. Working with St. Vincent de Paul, the City has succeeded in gaining an allocation of 40% of St. Vincent De Paul’s 350 beds dedicated to veterans and their families. Fifty percent of veterans will go on unemployment upon discharge. “Housing Choice Vouchers” allow lowincome families to choose and lease safe, decent, and affordable privatelyowned rental housing. Mayor Faulconer lobbies to increase the amount of vouchers available; however a lack of housing inventory plagues the ability to house more veterans and their families.

You can reach Darnisha at 619.236.6568 or email her at DHunter@sandiego.gov


HOMELAND / October 2015 21

REBOOT your LIFE after the military! [REBOOT] To reload the operating system and start over. A reboot often solves many software problems in computers, smartphones, tablets, cable boxes and other electronics devices, because it resets the system. 22

HOMELAND / October 2015




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 self sufficiency. 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. The results of the the program after five years is a 97% success rate for over 1300 REBOOT graduates. Discover how you can REBOOT your life after military service at: www.REBOOT.vet 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: reboot@nvtsi.org Web: www.REBOOT.vet


HOMELAND / October 2015 23

By Stan Foster

TOP GUN “Taking Flight”

At California Miramar University Headin’ into twilight Spreadin’ out her wings tonight She got you jumpin’ off the deck And shovin’ into overdrive

These Veteran’s are attending California Miramar University in part thanks to a scholarship by the Frank M. and Gertrude R. Doyle Foundation. All 17 Cal Miramar team members played in the game.

Highway to the Danger Zone I’ll take you Right into the Danger Zone

What a tremendous way to launch this new era in California Miramar University history!! Congratulations to Athletic Director William Myers and Head Baseball Coach Leo Gutierrez and Assistant Coaches Louie Plascencia and Manny Estevez.

-Kenny Loggins


ooking back on Top Gun, one may forget how great, how backlit and sexy, it made San Diego look.

Throughout cinematic history we have seen movies like “Almost Famous,” “Traffic,” “Some Like It Hot,” “Anchorman”, or “My Blue Heaven” but as a celluloid postcard to San Diego, nothing touches the 1986 movie Top Gun. In the spirit of Top Gun and in the Twilight Skies of 9/11/2015 California Miramar University Sports spread their wings and officially took flight! It seemed fitting, almost magical, that the University bearing the Miramar name, launched their Top Gun Sports Initiative on this historic date. California Miramar is a Veteran friendly University with its main campus in San Diego, California. The F16 Fighting Falcons played the Southern Nevada Rangers, a scout team sponsored by Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers, in a 9 inning contest at East Los Angeles Community College Field. The Fighting Falcons team consisted of 17 ball players and included two U.S. Military Veteran’s of the Afghanistan conflict.


HOMELAND / October 2015

The San Diego baseball program with the mascot name of the F-14 Tomcats, will launch their season in the Spring of 2016.

SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR MILITARY, VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES California Miramar University has been an active supporter of our Military since the University was founded in 2005. In 2007-8 California Miramar was part of the successful Hero’s Homecoming Consortium who raised millions of dollars that went to the Veterans Administration to help treat Post Traumatic Stress.

In 2014-15 California Miramar and the Bonnstetter Family Charitable Foundation, wrote and received a series of military scholarship grants from the Frank M. and Gertrude R. Doyle Foundation. The University has scholarship funds available for active duty military, transitioning military, Veterans and their families in the University’s Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degree programs. California Miramar also has limited scholarship funds available for their five course Certificate Programs in Criminal Justice, Homeland Security and Human Resources Management. An added benefit of the Certificate Program scholarships is that all Certificate Program graduates can choose to go on to a full degree program utilizing their GI Bill benefits if they so choose and the five courses taken as part of their Certificate program counts toward their full California Miramar University degree! The California Miramar University is GI Bill approved and is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to award federal student grants and loans. The University’s reasonable tuition, which is similar to that of the California State University system, is a true value when it comes to maximizing one’s military education benefits. If you are in the military or you are a Veteran or you are a family member of a member of our military or a Veteran, you may qualify for these Scholarship Funds. The University’s next enrollment start is October 26, 2015 so you have time to take advantage of these scholarships immediately! Please call the University’s admissions department at 858-653-3000 ext. 12 for details and more information. www.homelandmagazine.com


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the Minutemen who stood ready at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill, helping secure our liberty from Great Britain. Their legacy of service has been perpetuated by ranks of patriotic Americans who have followed in their footsteps and continued to build a proud legacy.

The National Guard – the oldest of our military services– had its beginnings when colonists volunteered to protect their comrades from attack. That evolved into the colonial militias –

Here in California, more than 21,000 Guard members – Army, Air and State Military Reserve – are currently serving. Since the attacks of 9/11, Cal Guardsmen have deployed more than 41,000 times across the globe in support of the fight against terrorism. And since that infamous date, 29 Cal Guard soldiers have made the ultimate

hether on deployment overseas in defense of our nation or on the fire lines defending their fellow Californians from raging wildfires, the citizen soldiers of the California National Guard are proud descendants of a heritage of service to community, state and nation that dates back to the year 1636 and the Massachusetts Bay Colony.


HOMELAND / October 2015

sacrifice in support of combat operations – 26 in Iraq and three in Afghanistan – while many more have sustained serious injuries. In addition to the combat zones, Cal Guard personnel have served – and continue to deploy – to South Korea, Africa, Cuba, Kuwait and across the Americas and Middle East. While the Guard has transformed from a strategic reserve to an operational force in the global fight against terrorism, it retains the responsibility to support and protect our neighbors at home during times of natural and domestic emergencies. www.homelandmagazine.com

The commitment to the state mission is what sets the Guard apart from the other military services. Upon the order of the governor, and working closely with the California Office of Emergency Services, the Cal Guard can be activated in the event of fires, floods, earthquakes, mudslides, other natural disasters and civil unrest. Guard assets that can be brought into the fight include Civil Support Teams, Ready Reaction Forces, Quick Reaction Forces and the FEMA Region IX Homeland Response Force, which provide personnel, support and expertise to civilian incident commanders, law enforcement, first responders and community leaders affected by natural disasters and other events. For example, in both 2013 and 2014, Cal Guard aircraft dropped more than 1 million gallons of water and retardant on wildfires across the Western states. Those totals could very well be exceeded during this year’s fire season due to the severe drought. Even as they fight those fires, the Guard is preparing for what is projected to be a very wet El Nino winter season and the potential for mudslides striking communities in areas affected by the fires. As a community-based force, the Cal Guard also has a mission to mentor the young men and women of the Golden State, not to recruit them into the military (although some choose to enlist), but to serve as a positive role model in motivating and teaching life skills that will help them become productive members of their community. The Oakland Military Institute provides inner-city students a charter school atmosphere with military discipline. The mission of Youth Challenge academies in Los Alamitos and San Luis Obispo, with a third academy soon to come on line in Stockton, is to intervene and reclaim the lives of 16 to 18-year-old high school drop outs and produce graduates instilled with the values, life skills, education and selfdiscipline to succeed. The National Guard force made up of “weekend warriors” is now extinct. The young men and women joining today’s California Guard represent the highest caliber of our nation’s youth. When taking their oath of enlistment, they do so fully aware they might deploy into harm’s way on their nation’s behalf. Their commitment and courage speak volumes to the bright future of the Guard. Ever vigilant to the ongoing challenges at home and abroad, the citizen soldiers of the Cal Guard continue to march forward – always ready and always there! www.homelandmagazine.com

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IMPORTANT: You must announce in ALL of your promotional materials or events the opt-in terms shown below for subscribers who text in your mobile keyword. This content has to appear on your website, printed material, digital promotion, broadcast, live event, or any other form of material or event that promotes the mobile keyword. TCPA and CTIA have a zero tolerance policy for this full disclosure. If you do not include this information, your use of mobile keyword will be suspended at any time without any prior warning. Stiff penalties may apply. Opt-in Terms: Summary Terms & Conditions: Our mobile text messages are intended for subscribers over the age of 17 and are delivered via USA short code 95577. You may receive up to 3 message(s) per month of text alerts. Message & Data Rates May Apply. This service is available for phones with text messaging capabilities, and subscribers on AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile®, Sprint, Virgin Mobile USA, Cincinnati Bell, Centennial Wireless, Unicel, U.S. Cellular®, and Boost. For help, text HELP to 95577, email Andres.j.viveros.mil@mail.mil, or call +1 9162611594. You may stop mobile subscriptions at any time by text messaging STOP to short code 95577.

HOMELAND / October 2015 27

Tues October 3, 2015 11:37:17


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CALLING ALL VETERANS - THE COUNTY WANTS YOU! San Diego County’s commitment to the local veterans community, one of the largest in the nation, continues to grow. Recognizing the opportunity . . .



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The 2015 program is open! Submit your application to your commissary no later than February 13, 2015. Commissaries are an integral part of the quality of life offered to service members and their families. The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created in recognition of the contributions of military families to the readiness of the

What is “freedom?” It seems like an easy question. But ask ten people in a room and you’ll likely get ten answers. A retired Navy captain’s answer likely will be far different than that of a twelve-year-old, or a teacher, or someone who doesn’t know anyone who has served our nation in uniform. And it’s a question the USS Midway Museum’s board of

According to the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) 2014 Annual Alumni Survey—a survey that has been completed annually since 2010, making it the most comprehensive and statistically relevant sample of this generation of injured service members— it is estimated that the unemployment rate for


Resources for the Military/Veteran Community and Military supporters. Features Include: Articles, Breaking News, Fighting PTSD, Veterans, Transitioning Military Personnel, Education/Careers, Support, Resources, Inspiration, Videos, Health, Wellness, Lifestyle, Family Values, Homeland Online (Current Digital Issue and Archives), Promotions & Discounts, Advertising Opportunities, & more...


HOMELAND / October 2015


enlisted to entrepreneur By Vicki Garcia

4 Universal Rules to Become Famous in Your Field CFC# 45816

Support Our Military Veterans


n a world where competition is fierce, the climb to the top is challenging. To become recognized as a leader in small business you need a strategy that attracts followers. Personal Branding is a low cost, sure bet marketing strategy.

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Rule #1 – Nothing Is Sold Until It Is Branded. Branding is “pre-selling.” We’ve moved from a selling world to a buying world. Nobody wants to be sold anything, but they do want to buy. Buyers want to investigate, educate themselves and buy the product or services they discover themselves. The good news is, if you don’t like selling, this is a perfect strategy for you because buyers show up at your door pre-sold.

Rule #2- Visibility is More Important than Ability. A chilling thought, huh? Visibility builds trust, and all sales are built on trust. As human beings, we have a few ways to judge people and products. One way is if we see it everywhere, we start to believe it is trustworthy. So, if you want to be a celebrity in your field, get visible. Speaking and networking are two good tactics. Rule #3 – Perception is Reality. In the quest to become a celebrity in your field, you must manage perception or it will manage you. So, start with the image you project. Do you exude confidence? Do you stand out in a crowd? Are you gregarious or at least have a character that is interesting? Avoid the sin of being too reserved which is perceived as mousy and insecure, which is death to celebrity. People think in stereotypes. People think and buy with their eyes. They hear what they see. Watch your visual clues to trigger the right stereotypes. Rule #4 - People Trust People They Like. In the western psyche “like” and “trust” and inextricably linked. We have a difficult time trusting someone we don’t like and we trust someone we do like. Buyers always prefer to do business with a person, not a company. Logic always loses out to emotion and people find confidence very attractive. People buy and will pay more for the way you make them feel, so make them feel good.

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Following these rules will help to build your business faster! www.homelandmagazine.com

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s we slide comfortably into the age of true mobile computing with devices such as iPhones, iPads, and other mainstream portable computing devices, I am struck by an emerging paradox. While manufacturers are working to make these devices easy to use, cramming them with as much technology and capability as possible, they are leaving behind segments of our population who could benefit the most from this new technology. Specifically, blind persons as well as others who have a challenge reading printed material; these populations are being excluded even though it would be very easy to make this mobile technology, and in fact, most new products, accessible to them. 40 years ago when computers were found mainly in government installations, large companies, and on some university campuses, there was little if any attempt to make computers accessible to blind persons and to others classified as “print disabled”. Some individuals created homegrown devices which could print simple Braille for small numbers of blind students or employees, or which could speak out loud, reading material being displayed on computer screens. However, there was no general attempt by industry or the college world to create a device which reading-disabled individuals could use. Those devices which did exist in the early and mid-1970s were primarily expensive hardwarebased technologies, as computers had not progressed to the extent where the technology to create alternatives to print and video displays could reside within the computers themselves nor in their programming.

Even well into the 1980s, those who wished to hear what was being displayed on computer screens needed to purchase separate hardware devices which could connect to serial and parallel ports of smaller computers. In addition to additional hardware, special software was required that would automatically forward information to a computer’s serial or parallel port. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that we began to see the emergence of primitive software which resided directly on computer devices and which could use the sound cards in those devices to create synthesized speech as an alternative to sight-oriented video displays. By the early 1990s, real screen reading technology began to appear which provided blind and other print disabled persons the opportunity to have a real shot at using computers in school, on the job, and at home just like their sighted colleagues and friends. The processing power and hardware makeup of computers finally reached a point where technology would allow alternative access to the same material that appeared on a computer screen. Even so, only a few specialized companies


HOMELAND / October 2015

stepped forward to manufacture technology which, for a cost, could provide access to what sighted people saw on their monitors. Sometimes the cost for screen reading software was greater than the price of the computer itself. Today, it is relatively simple to make the average PC speak out loud through the use of special software called a “screen reader”. Screen reading technology ranges in cost from zero dollars up to $1,000. Generally speaking, the more expensive software can do more than the less expensive software although even the free software is catching up. Screen reading technology always is playing catch up whenever new versions of computer operating systems are released. There have even been instances when new versions of an OS such as Microsoft Windows Mobile version 7 were knowingly released without any method by which screen readers could interact with them. What we have not yet seen in the PC World are good screen reading technologies being built into computer operating systems. Of course, we have not seen what Microsoft will include in Windows 8, but the audio technology which has been built into versions of Windows through Windows 7 is very limited thus forcing print disabled persons to purchase screen reading technology. Traditionally, there has been much more talk about access by manufacturers such as Microsoft than real action to provide reading disabled persons the same right of access as those who use mainstream methods to read. www.homelandmagazine.com

Apple, on the other hand, has built good screen reading technology into its Mac and mobile products. It is the first company to build relatively good screen reading technology right into the operating system which means there is no extra cost to blind or print disabled persons in order to make a Mac talk. Apple’s approach of providing a real, free, screen reader as part of its mainstream operating systems is novel, but difficulties remain even here. The next generation of technologies is being made available to consumers in all walks of life. This new generation of devices is more powerful, smaller, and versatile than ever before. Specifically, we are seeing the development of true mobile technology. A majority of people are today connected in one way or another to an iPhone, and iPad, a droid device, or some other kind of smart phone and computer tablet. New operating systems are emerging such as IOS and Droid. Again, Apple is the only company today with complete built-in accessibility. Every iPhone, for example, purchased today has built in accessibility which can be activated and used not only by blind and other print disabled persons but by anyone who wishes to take advantage of audio technology in order not to be forced to look at the screen for information. Even Apple with the accessibility it is providing has not gone all the way. There are no standards for apps sold in the App Store which mandate even the smallest bit of interaction with Voiceover, Apple’s built-in screen reader. While many apps which are sold are extremely sight oriented in nature, at least the controls and buttons on these apps could be made accessible. Apps that may start out accessible may become inaccessible in future updates because a developer forgot to include Voiceover access and Apple does nothing in its App Store requirements for developers to mandate accessibility. This “yoyo” of access and lack of same occurs regularly to the great frustration of blind and other print disabled users. Other manufacturers are demonstrating less or no interest in the right of access to their products by all persons. Amazon, for example, released its Kindle Fire designed to compete with the Apple iPad. While every iPad contains Voiceover as part of its operating system, Amazon has not provided any access to its new product. In reality, as Apple

has already shown, access is as easy as modifying its operating system. Amazon traditionally has either not provided access to its Kindle product line or the access provided has been so limited as to be pretty worthless. Another interesting issue around the release of the Kindle Fire is that the media made much about its lower price tag as well as its featurerich capabilities. However, not one main-stream reviewer mentioned anything about the Kindle Fire’s lack of access to non-print readers. Not one member of the press to my knowledge criticized Amazon for creating another inaccessible product. This is incredibly disappointing especially since, as stated earlier, access would have been as easy as building the right features into the Fire’s operating system. Little attention is being paid to the fact that a segment of our population is being excluded from the same right to information everyone else enjoys and often takes for granted. Also, the technology which would make every day devices and appliances accessible would make these same items more usable by those who already use eye sight to do most things. Now with the advent of eBooks and almost everything else being made available to be displayed on digital devices screen reading technology should be able to permit persons with print disabilities to enjoy this ever expanding source of material. However such is not the case. While digital textual content is growing, so are graphics becoming more common in the digital world. More attention is being paid to making pictures and photos more exciting while providing information via text to all is seemingly becoming less important.

In reality, a growing number of sighted users prefer to use some of the audio capabilities of devices such as the iPhone and iPad because of the convenience of not needing to look at a display while driving or while performing other tasks, especially when the voice quality of the verbalization is good. Designers and inventors are missing incredible marketing opportunities to make their products more usable by the entire population including blind persons through building talking screen reading software into their technologies. If more inventors and manufacturers would include true accessibility in their designs and products the cost would drop almost to zero and all Americans would be able to enjoy fuller and richer lives. Providing access to computers, eReading devices, virtually any consumer appliance, and other up and coming technologies today is become easier and inexpensive to create. The difficulty is not with the technology, but rather with the lack of a mindset to require access. It is time for all of us to recognize that excluding people from the “right” to access information is simply wrong. Inventors, manufacturers, and designers are going to have to change their way of thinking and become more inclusive. Otherwise, consumers and advocates will band together to convince and compel the government to create laws requiring consumer products and other systems to be made accessible. The National Federation of the Blind is already working with congress to pass legislation which would require all manufacturers of consumer products to make new products accessible to blind and other print disabled persons. This is happening because manufacturers are not policing themselves and making access part of their success models. Access and inclusion are going to happen. Either laws will force the issue to be resolved or companies and developers will recognize that it really is good business to make their products inclusive to all, while they develop and introduce new ways for their traditional consumers to more effectively use their technologies.

Blind from birth, Michael Hingson has a Masters Degree in Physics and is a New York Times Best Selling author, international public speaker and a leading authority on advances in adaptive technology, in which he has been passionately involved for over four decades. To learn more about Michael Hingson, including his life-affirming story of teamwork and triumph as he and his Guide Dog survived the World Trade Center attack on 9/11, please visit www.michaelhingson.com; contact the Michael Hingson Group at: 415-827-4084.


HOMELAND / October 2015 31

By Keith Angelin

A Good Substance Abuse Assessment Can Save the Day


articipating in a formal substance abuse assessment tends to freak people out, because there is an awful lot riding on the outcome. However, an assessment that is administered correctly by a qualified professional can speak louder in court than the best recommendation letters and eye-witness testimonials. There are just a few things you need to know in order to avoid wasting this precious opportunity to support your cause. A substance abuse assessment is most often requested by a court or the State DMV whenever DUI is involved. It is also ordered during divorce, child custody and trust cases when allegations of alcohol and drug abuse are made. While there are many reasons for ordering an assessment, there is but one question that needs to be answered. The court wants to know if you have a substance use disorder. That being said, someone who is really skilled at conducting assessments can find a way to make even the worst of situations work in your favor. And if you do not have a substance use disorder, they can end your legal troubles for good. So, what can you expect when sitting for an assessment? From your perspective, an assessment is an interview in which you are asked a lot of questions that assist the assessor in determining whether you meet the criteria for substance use disorder as defined by the American Psychiatric Association. Expect to be asked personal questions about your history


Good assessors are also terrific writers! They can use an assessment not just to evaluate you, but to advocate for you. If they are not prepared to do that, then select one who will. A good assessment report can be a vehicle to present evidence in your favor. It is an opportunity to discredit allegations against you. An assessment report can offer recommendations for individual counseling and/or Twelve-Step meetings that are less severe than would otherwise be imposed by the court. A good assessment report educates, saves money and empowers you. Unfortunately, too few people feel like they have a voice in our legal process. That is especially disheartening when it comes to substance abuse, where you are most often treated as guilty until proven otherwise. For that reason assessments should be embraced, not dreaded. Before doing anything else, I advise you to find a really skilled assessor and request a substance abuse assessment. If it hasn’t been ordered, get one on a voluntary basis. (You can!) It could be the smartest thing you ever do.

PTSD: A Growing Epidemic

oday, hundreds of thousands of service men and women and recent military veterans have seen combat. Many have been shot at, seen their buddies killed, or witnessed death up close. These are types of events that can lead to PTSD.

It is very common for other conditions to occur along with PTSD, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. More than half of men with PTSD also have problems with alcohol. The next most common co-occurring problems in men are depression, followed by conduct disorder, and then problems with drugs. In women, the most common cooccurring problem is depression. Just under half of women with PTSD also experience depression. The next most common co-occurring problems in women are specific fears, social anxiety, and then problems with alcohol. People with PTSD often have problems functioning. In general, people with PTSD have more unemployment, divorce or separation, spouse abuse and chance of being fired than


of alcohol and drug use, you physical and mental health, your family, your social life and more. There is no single assessment questionnaire used by everyone. However, oftentimes as part of the assessment process, the assessor will also administer a standardized test such as the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), the Alcohol Use Disorders Test (AUDIT), the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST), the Michigan Adult Screening Test (MAST), or the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI.) They may choose to conduct a urinalysis (UA) test and/or breathalyzer (BAC) test, as well. Afterward, the assessor puts the information together in a report which is presented to the court or agency.

HOMELAND / October 2015

people without PTSD. Vietnam veterans with PTSD were found to have many problems with family and other interpersonal relationships, problems with employment, and increased incidents of violence.

People with PTSD also may experience a wide variety of physical symptoms. This is a common occurrence in people who have depression and other anxiety disorders. Some evidence suggests that PTSD may be associated with increased likelihood of developing medical disorders. Research is ongoing, and it is too soon to draw firm conclusions about which disorders are associated with PTSD. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help you with getting the care that you need.Although PTSD symptoms can begin right after a traumatic event, PTSD is not diagnosed unless the symptoms last for at least one month, and either cause significant distress or interfere with work or home life. In order to be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have three different types of symptoms: reexperiencing symptoms, avoidance and numbing symptoms, and arousal symptoms.

If you show signs of PTSD, it doesn’t mean you just have to live with it. Center for Family Health also offer computerized cognitive testing that can help you with identifying PTSD and aides in the treatment of PTSD. Two types of treatment have been shown to be effective for treating PTSD: counseling and medication. Professional therapy or counseling can help you understand your thoughts and discover ways to cope with your feelings. There are several specific types of counseling that research has shown to be effective for treating PTSD. Medications, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, can be used to help you feel less worried or sad. In just a few months, these treatments can produce positive and meaningful changes in symptoms and quality of life. They can help you understand and change how you think about your trauma—and change how you react to stressful memories. Our physicians at Center for Family Health located at 6280 Jackson Dr. #8 San Diego, CA 92119 619-414-1607 are here to help you. www.homelandmagazine.com


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