Homeland October 2019

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Vol. 7 Number 10 • OCTOBER 2019



What’s Next Transition to Civilian Life

Enlisted To Entrepreneur


Navy Veteran


Transforms His Life

Careers In Law Enforcement Veterans bring distinctive capabilities to civilian employers

Gulf War Veteran Puts His Cancer in the Bullseye


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No Cost, Confidential Counseling In Person/Phone/Video www.giveanhour.org 2

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HOMELANDMAGAZINE.COM Resources Support Inspiration

Homeland Veterans Magazine Voted 2017, 2018 & 2019 BEST resource, support media for veterans, military families & military personnel.

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Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Honor Flight

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Joe Molina Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby

What’s Next - Transition

Scott Hermann Cybersecurity

Collaborative Organizations

www.HomelandMagazine.com Greetings and a warm welcome to Homeland Magazine! Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. The Magazine focuses on national resources, support, community, and inspiration for our veterans and the military 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 our veterans, service members, military families, and civilians. The magazine is supported by a distinguishing list of national veteran organizations, resource centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. Homeland Magazine is a veterans magazine for veterans by veterans. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of Homeland Magazine.

Mike Miller

Publisher/Editor mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 4

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Wounded Warrior Project Disabled American Veterans American’s Warrior Partnership Shelter To Soldier Father Joe’s Village Flying Leathernecks Give An Hour Courage To Call Boot Campaign National Women’s History Operation Homefront With National Veteran Advocates & Guest Writers 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.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 7 Veteran Puts Cancer in the Bullseye 8 My Real “Alive Day” 10 Navy Veteran Transforms His Life 14 A Different Lens - Anxiety 16 Empower Veterans 18 Arts & Healing 20 Veterans - Homelessness 22 Cybersecurity - Awareness Month 24 Military Money - GI Bill 26 What’s Next - Transition 28 From Service to Civilian Life 30 Transition Tips 31 Distinctive Capabilities 32 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 36 Legal Eagle - Regulations 38 VA Benefits 40 VA Home Loan 43 Careers In Law Enforcement

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Jeff Edwards 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army Sheriff’s Deputy SWAT-Team Marksman

Share, Connect and Rally Support CaringBridge is a nonprofit social network that helps patients and caregivers connect with family and friends during a health journey. Our online platform offers simple tools for sharing health updates and mobilizing a community of support. Learn more and start a site today. CaringBridge.org/military


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Bills started piling up as he and Patty worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs to prove that Tomo’s cancer is linked to his service in the U.S. Navy, during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield.

Gulf War Veteran Puts His Cancer in the Bullseye

In July 2016, it was determined that Tomo suffers from Gulf War Illness, a multi-symptom disease related to exposure to nerve gas. His eligibility for VA benefits was approved. Patty wrote on Tomo’s CaringBridge website: “The VA will be giving him compensation for the rest of his life … We are both so relieved that one battle in this fight has ended, and we will now be able to focus all of our energy and prayers on the battle with this disease.” The battle continues, with Tomo recovering after surgery in February 2017 to remove his cancerdamaged eye. For a man used to working 12 to 14 hours a day, healing at home is not always easy. While fighting a rare melanoma that has cost him his right eye, Gulf War veteran Thomas “Tomo” Riley of Hastings, MN, sometimes tapes a paper target with the word “c-a-n-c-e-r” scrawled in black ink to a backdrop in his garage. Then he takes aim with the laser sight on his Airsoft Machine Gun. As he opens fire, Tomo says, “You think you got me? You ain’t got me, man. I got you.” Killing cancer is helping Tomo heal. “Cancer is one nasty animal,” he said. “Not everybody is going to win. But you have to keep that positive attitude, and tell yourself every day, ‘I am going to beat this. There is no way that I am going to succumb to this.’” Tomo said he has promised himself that he will not die from cancer: “That’s a promise I intend to keep.” But cancer has put him through hell, starting one morning in February 2016, when Tomo woke up at 2:30 a.m. with his eye bulging out of its socket. “I woke [my wife] Patty up in the middle of the night and ended up going up to the ER,” Tomo said. “That day changed everything for us.” As his diagnosis was confirmed and aggressive treatment launched, Tomo had to take medical leave from his job as an installation and service technician for a satellite TV company.

Tomo’s wife nudged the longtime musician to expand his repertoire, so to speak. “Patty said to me, ‘Hey, why don’t you start building guitars?’” She ordered a kit for Tomo to “make a playable guitar from a pile of parts,” as he described it. From that, Good Medicine Guitars was born. Tomo is now making guitars and basses for veterans, people with cancer and cancer survivors. “One of my biggest salvationsin cancer recovery is having my music,” Tomo said. “This is giving that gift of music.”

Do You Know Someone Who Needs CaringBridge Do you know a current or former military service member who could benefit from starting a CaringBridge site to keep loved ones updated on their mental and physical health? If so, share this link with them: www.CaringBridge.org/military-service/. Start a Personal Fundraising to Help with Expenses During his health journey, Tomo Riley used CaringBridge to update his family and friends and the Ways to Help section of his site to activate a GoFundMe campaign for financial support. Tomo received his cancer care at University of Minnesota Health.

Watch Tomo Riley’s Video


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Left: Bobby Barrera shortly after completing training at United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego before being sent to Vietnam. Right: Barrera continues to be a veterans advocate decades after sustaining life-changing injuries. Maricelia, Bobby’s wife of 45 years, pushed him to seek help for his mental health and has been a constant source of support.

My real ‘Alive Day’

The date he was injured—and the date he truly began living By Matt Saintsing


obby Barrera had been in Vietnam for six weeks when a massive explosion rocked his vehicle, causing severe burns over 40% of his body and leaving him without a right hand or left arm. The date—Sept. 16, 1969—is forever etched into his memory. Barrera’s convoy had crossed into a rice paddy when his armored personnel carrier was struck by a 500-pound bomb rigged as a land mine. The attack intensified when the vehicle’s fuel caught fire. After being rescued from the battlefield, he was transported to the burn center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The days that followed, he said, were some of the darkest of his life. So dark, he contemplated suicide. “I was in intensive care, I had already lost my left arm and right hand, and I was in lots of pain,” said Barrera. He recalls making a single request when his father came to visit—to shoot him. “I’m glad he didn’t,” he added. According to Barrera, the physical recovery was easy, compared to learning to live as a double amputee. The biggest struggle, though, was finding a reason to live. “The first four years after coming home were the most difficult because I had no purpose,” said Barrera. The turning point, he said, was on April 27, 1974, the day he married his wife, Maricelia. “My real ‘Alive Day’ is when I married her,” he


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recalled. “That’s when I started doing things I never thought I could do.” Maricelia not only encouraged Barrera to go back to school but also played a crucial role in his success. She also helped him overcome mental struggles he was silently battling. Barrera’s invisible wounds of war began showing up in 2014, after he moved to San Antonio. He was no longer working as a counselor, was experiencing daily chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder took root. “It was most difficult because he saw getting help for mental health issues as a sign of weakness,” she said. “He couldn’t admit to himself that he needed help.” Despite a career helping veterans cope with their experiences of war, the stigma surrounding his mental health was impenetrable. As his pain worsened, suicide again began to creep into his thoughts. That’s when Maricelia convinced him to get the help he needed. “Seeking help with mental health is not a sign of weakness; rather, it shows how strong you are,” said Maricelia. Today, Barrera continues to share his story and advocate for those critically injured in war. He’s an example of what disabled veterans can achieve with the right support system, no matter how severe their wounds. Both he and Maricelia continue to encourage veterans from all eras to seek the care they need and are entitled to receive n

Host this National Memorial in your Community

Please contact us to add a Fallen loved one, host the memorial, or make a donation at: info@RememberingOurFallen.org

www.RememberingOurFallen.org www.PatrioticProductions.org

Tribute Towers

Remembering Our Fallen is a national memorial unlike any other -with military & personal photos of 5,000 military Fallen since 9/11/2001

“If the purpose of a war memorial is to help us remember the sacrifices of the Heroes, and to help us heal from our sorrow, then your mission has been accomplished. Thank you for this tremendous gift.”

Unveiled at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2017, it has since traveled the nation coastto-coast.

- 1LT Daniel P. Riordan’s Mother

This memorial also includes those who returned from war, but lost their inner battle to suicide, and those who died from non-war zone injuries while serving in their military capacity.

“There is a ‘disconnect’ between those we ask to serve our military objectives and our society at large. This memorial made that connection very dramatically and helped us understand the magnitude of their sacrifices.

Please contact us to add a Fallen loved one, host the memorial, or make a donation at: info@RememberingOurFallen.org

- Ed Malloy, Mayor of Fairfield, Iowa

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Navy Veteran Transforms His Childhood Neighborhood – and His Life For Navy veteran Derrick Clark, the journey that took him far eventually brought him close to his childhood neighborhood in Pittsburgh. All the while, that transition transformed his life and the lives of those he touches. Retiring after his second deployment with lower back and knee injuries, Derrick returned to Pittsburgh and felt the same isolation many service members feel upon returning to civilian life. “I felt as if my identity was left back in the military. My friends were no longer my friends, my family was no longer the family I had left when I joined the military, I felt secluded in my own thoughts, and depression quickly set in,” Derrick recalled. He found himself feeling alone in a crowd, listlessly listening to conversations he used to enjoy. He had trouble trusting people and feeling safe in familiar places. He stopped taking his medication and burrowed himself in guilt. Depression eventually gave way to thoughts of suicide. Fortunately, a fellow veteran told him about Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), and Derrick began attending connection events where he met other veterans who shared his experiences. “Wounded Warrior Project provided an outlet for me when I needed it most,” Derrick said. “They worked with me to help me regain my sense of self-control and also helped me get out more.” Derrick visited the WWP office in Pittsburgh and met people who pointed him in the right direction. Being around other veterans, including WWP staff members, made Derrick feel comfortable and provided a support network he needed. “Those guys were key; I clicked with them immediately,” he said. Through WWP, Derrick participated in Soldier Ride® New York – an experience that both tested him and gave him new confidence. Seven years earlier, his primary care doctor suggested he limit his physical activity due to his injuries. “That was hard for me because I had been in sports since high school and was always active,” Derrick said. 10

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He started doing adaptive sports through WWP to prepare for Soldier Ride and was able to ride an upright bicycle 77 miles through New York. “That’s when I realized I’m not broken. I can do almost anything I put my mind to – I just have to take my time, and Soldier Ride allows for that. It was an unbelievable experience.” Finding New Purpose in Reviving His Old Neighborhood Through this time of progress, Derrick continued to look for something that would give him purpose. Although he was more engaged with others, he felt he had reached a plateau and needed an extra spark to keep from slipping back into depression. One day, he opened an email from WWP that mentioned a joint service project in Atlanta with The Mission Continues, an organization that empowers veterans to find new missions. The work entailed spending a few days in Atlanta completing community projects. Derrick signed up and met people from The Mission Continues who were spearheading community redevelopment in other cities, including his hometown of Pittsburgh. They shared news about the Homewood neighborhood and other areas that were familiar to Derrick. “While in Atlanta we worked on a community garden, beltway beautification, and had strong engagement with neighborhood youth – I learned about things that appealed to me and that provided an avenue to give back to my home community.” Derrick joined The Mission Continues when he returned to Pittsburgh. He was determined to step up to work in his own neighborhood. Since his involvement, Derrick has become platoon leader for Homewood, one of three inner city areas The Mission Continues serves in Pittsburgh. Participation from community members has quadrupled, and there’s increased interest in supporting neighborhood youth through education and recreation. “I needed to do this here in Pittsburgh – and it changed my life,” Derrick said.

“Derrick Clark participated in Soldier Ride New York. Cycling brings camaraderie and bonding to injured veterans who participate in adaptive cycling events across the country.�

Derrick Clark Continued on next page >

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“And I wouldn’t have had the chance if Wounded Warrior Project had not presented the opportunity.” His newfound purpose to serve his community not only had an uplifting effect but also made him aware of the importance of self-care. He wanted to work on his own well-being to be able to continue helping others. Consequently, Derrick decided to attend a Project Odyssey® mental health workshop organized by WWP. After attending a previous workshop, he knew that was the kind of re-tuning he needed to continue serving others. “After the first Project Odyssey, I came home rejuvenated,” Derrick recalled. The initial experience had given him the impetus to join The Mission Continues and become more engaged in his community. “After a while, I wanted to get back to Project Odyssey and regroup, and Wounded Warrior Project provides a great setting to do that.” Being the Warrior Who Carries Others In addition to serving as platoon leader with The Mission Continues, he’s also on the board of directors of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, and a graduate of the Community Leadership Course for Veterans. His goal as a civic leader is to continue to get the Pittsburgh community engaged in volunteering. “People need to know that if you don’t care, others won’t. But if you do care, you can empower yourself and others to take care of your own neighborhood. It’s a beautiful community. Be part of beautifying that community.” Through his neighborhood work, Derrick has earned the respect and admiration of many – some even call him “mayor.” Derrick feels pride in his work and the work of his fellow platoon members but recognizes there is much more to do. “It feels beautiful to be back in Homewood where I grew up,” Derrick said. “I have a sense of accomplishment, but the job is not finished yet. Walking through Homewood now, it looks like a better place. Everyone is in the street helping when we come out to do service projects. Some people come for the music and the dancing. It’s their chance to dance and be happy.”


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Derrick’s platoon organizes a community project every month. He appreciates community members coming out to pitch in and is proud to see young people get involved – remembering his own youth in Homewood. “I see positive change; it makes me proud and motivated.” In keeping with the WWP logo, Derrick very much embodies the warrior carrying another off the battlefield – and carrying his community on his shoulders. “Your transition out of the military is just the beginning,” Derrick said. “Some people think it’s the end, but it’s not. It’s just another chapter about to begin.” To learn more about how WWP helps veterans find their next mission, visit https://wwp.news/GetConnected. About Wounded Warrior Project Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), top rated by Charity Navigator, and holding a GuideStar Platinum rating. To get involved and learn how WWP connects, serves, and empowers, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us

Wounded Warrior Project helped me reclaim my life.




©2016 Wounded Warrior Project, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain

Anxiety thru Transition Anxiety is the apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually around an impending event or action. That is a lot of words but what does it mean? Remember back to your first day of school…. did you stay up late with anticipation of what is to come? Was there some level of fear of the unknown? What about a big presentation at work? Did you pace back in forth in your kitchen repeating your speech over and over?

All of these are ways anxiety makes its way in our life. We all experience anxiety on some level in our lives. Though some level of anxiety is normal it is when it negatively impacts your life and disrupts your daily functions that is truly a problem. That level of anxiety can be classified as a type of anxiety disorder ….but we will save that for another day. What we are discussing today is the normal everyday anxiety we face and ways to help mitigate it. As I sit here and write this column I think back to my own anxiety. I have a hectic day job of overseeing a large mental health clinic, do consulting work throughout the country and stay active in my community. I think just writing that gave me some level of anxiety…. but that is my life so how do I manage it and not let it manage me? Similarly, our service members transitioning out of the service often face a lot of anxiety. The fact is many of them this is their first time truly integrating into civilian life. Many of our transitioning service members went into the service at 18 – straight from mom’s house and into Uncle Sam’s house. They have never had to interview for a civilian job, translate skills and compete against people that have been doing this for years. So how do I manage my anxiety and how can our transitioning service members start to manage theirs?


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First, have a plan. Sounds simple right? Well, it is not always that easy. You may have known your entire career what was expected of you and what the result would be if you did/did not do the task at hand. It can be very different in the civilian world. Have a plan of what next steps are. They may change but at least you have somewhere to start. In the service, I had structure and felt lost when I came out. I had a plan to go back to school. Though, I did not know what I would do after that or even a major I would pursue I at least had a plan and a purpose. I would get up and go to school every day. That leads us to step two-baby steps. We do not have to map out the rest of our life right now. Sometimes it is a simple first step of just getting to school or work. Transition takes time and it is ok to start with small goals and work your way up to larger tasks. Step three, have a support system. It is important we all have someone or something to turn to in our times of difficulty. Many transitioning services members look for a mentor to help them along through the process. This can be a veteran that has already successfully transitioned out or anyone that is willing to take time and listen and be a support for you while navigating the difficult road called transition. Step four is self-care. Yes, I lean into my clinical side for this, but it is so important. We can not help others or even our selves if we do not properly take care of ourselves. You can do small things to recharge yourself like working out, being outdoors, playing with your dog, or being with family. Self-care is deeply personal to each person- find what is YOUR self-care. Transition for our service members is anxiety provoking but with a plan, baby steps, a great support system and a little self-care ….

1-2-3-4 You Got This!

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Patriot’s Pour: A New Way To Empower Veterans By Jim Lorraine, President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership

Pour compels a meaningful impact on their community, and they have already begun implementing creative ways to introduce the campaign to their partners and tenants. The companies will host a fundraiser in October to formally kick off the campaign with a ceremonial concrete pour that marks the first official donation delivered through Patriot’s Pour in San Diego.

The last few months of the year mark the Giving Season; a time for people to give back to their community and support important causes. Since our mission at America’s Warrior Partnership centers on empowering communities to empower veterans, we often think about how we can help individuals and groups find new, more meaningful ways to support the veterans who live in their communities. In particular, we have considered how businesses, which are often cornerstones of thriving communities, can help take the lead on campaigns to support local veterans. This led us to creating a new program called Patriot’s Pour. Businesses that specialize in selling pourable products can participate in Patriot’s Pour by pledging to donate a portion of their sales to support local veteran programs. Because the program is centered on pourable products, the campaign is open to businesses from a wide range of backgrounds, from land development and construction to the food and beverage industries. For example, a restaurant could donate a dollar amount for every drink they pour, or a developer could donate a percentage of their sales for every yard of cement poured at one of their construction sites. In the spirit of true community engagement, Patriot’s Pour is about more than one company making a donation to support local veterans. Participating businesses can also offer their vendors, subcontractors, tenants, brokers and customers the opportunity to donate to the campaign. In short, Patriot’s Pour is a way for businesses to facilitate a collaborative effort that drives support for and awareness of service programs for local veterans, their families and caregivers. Two companies that are among the first to participate in Patriot’s Pour are national development companies Murphy Development Company and Lusardi Construction Company. This past summer, they signed onto the program as a way to help create a more veteran-friendly community around a new building they are constructing at The Campus at San Diego Business Park. For every yard of concrete that they pour at the Building 3 project of this industrial complex, the companies will set aside a donation to directly fund veteran programs in the San Diego area. Murphy Development and Lusardi Construction are going the extra mile to ensure their participation in Patriot’s 16

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The ceremonial concrete pour and kick-off event will lead into our first celebratory Patriot’s Pour Month, which will take place throughout November. More details about Patriot’s Pour and the activities our team will conduct to commemorate the program in November are available at AmericasWarriorPartnership.org. Our team will also share photos from October’s ceremonial concrete pour in San Diego on social media using the hashtag #PourWithAPurpose. We encourage communities across the country to consider how they can bring businesses, nonprofits and individuals together to collaborate on new ways to support programs for local veterans. By working together, we can have a truly positive impact on veterans, their families and caregivers this Giving Season. About the Author Jim Lorraine is President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership, a national nonprofit that empowers communities to empower veterans. The organization’s mission starts with connecting community groups with local veterans to understand their unique situations. With this knowledge in mind, America’s Warrior Partnership connects local groups with the appropriate resources to proactively and holistically support veterans at every stage of their lives. Learn more about the organization at www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org.

veteran, r e d i v o r p & r fathe . d e r e w o p m i am e



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Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans

By Amber Robinson

Why Art? As more people become aware of Post-Traumatic Stress and the ways it affects the mind, the ideas on how to heal from it have expanded as well. One powerful form of healing that is emerging and evolving in the veteran world is Art. Veterans across the globe are learning how the many forms of art can open up new avenues of self-realization and healing for those struggling with the depression, isolation and anxiety of PTS. There are many different ways to experience the arts as a healing tool. For decades, the psychology world has used Art Therapy as a way to see into the mind and decipher how it processes various things. It uses techniques like drawing, painting, collage, coloring or sculpting to help people express themselves and examine psychological and emotional undertones within. Expressive arts therapists, although different from art therapists, offer a huge array of ways to self-realize, express and especially, heal. This type of therapy is intermodal and uses poetry, dance, and many other expressive arts as a nonverbal way to communicate inner feelings that were not previously available through just talking or thinking. Expressive Art Therapy is based upon the concept of poiesis, a Greek word that is the root of the word poetry. This word refers to the natural process of moving from everyday expectations into the world of imagination and creativity that results in art making. Because art comes from a deeply emotional place, it can help one express submerged issues and emotions thus creating a new pathway to understanding and healing them. “Working with the arts methodically, guided by the knowledge of The Expressive Arts can be nothing short of magical,� said Ofra Raz, an Expressive Arts therapist who works with veterans in recovery at Veterans Village San Diego. For almost 10 years she has watched veterans access memories they had not thought of in years. She says as they learned to share the long-buried memories through poetry, story, theatre, movement or visual art they felt relieved, lighter. 18

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“Through Expressive Art Therapy emotions and events from their past find a way of expression through art form, be it a poem, a story, a mini show, movement or visual art”, said Raz. “It allows the experience to find a new form as well as be seen within a new frame, given by art making. In a way the experience itself is given new life and opens a new breadth for the protagonist to move on.” At Vet Centers and Veterans Affairs facilities across the nation, art therapy has been used as a way for veterans to simply connect to their creativity and other veterans. Within some centers, concepts like psychotherapy have even been used. This is yet another creative approach to healing that uses guided drama and role-playing to work through problems. For instance, if an individual fears certain interactions with others, psychodrama can help them “play out” the interaction before it occurs. Or, adversely, scenarios from the past can be revisited, providing individuals a way to act out a different ending, or face an intrusive memory.

WOUNDS WE CANNOT SEE Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not always allow the affected to seek help. Lend a hand and provide them with methods of help, listen and be a friend.

“Psychodrama allows clients to feel safer by taking on a role. It’s a sort of safe zone where they can face fearful situations before they happen, like rehearsing for a job interview,” said Ron Freedman, Readjustment Counselor with the Chula Vista Vet Center.

Homeland Magazine works with nonprofit veteran organizations that help more than 1 million veterans in life-changing ways each year.

Not only can veterans access Art Therapy and Expressive Art Therapy within Vet Centers, or at special workshops and events, they can also experiment with art on their own.


For V. E. Jumana, a former Navy Hospital Corpsman managing a life with PTS, shared the ways she uses “art as medicine”, as she says, since 2018.


“Painting and writing help me escape intrusive thoughts and keep me grounded to the present moment,” said Jumana. “Painting on canvas helps me to process some of the nightmares into images and colors.”

Inspiration. At Homeland Magazine you can visit our website for all current and past articles relating to PTSD, symptoms, resources and real stories of inspiration.

So, take a moment to doodle, go buy some paints, a canvas or take in a play, a dance show or attend a poetry reading. Local Vet Centers and VA Health Centers often offer many opportunities to experience and use art in healing.

Resources & Articles available at:


No matter how a veteran chooses to step into the art world, the possibilities for better mental, emotional and even physical health are around every corner, waiting to provide new pathways to hope.


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Veterans - Homelessness By Joe Molina www.vccsd.org Veterans Chamber of Commerce

In an Ideal world, one would think Homeless and Veterans are two words that should never be side by side. But unfortunately, this is not the reality. When one thinks of the fact that these Veterans sacrificed themselves to protect our freedom, it’s only fair that they get safe and reliable shelter and care. Regardless of the sad reality, there’s no doubt that the United States is not only proud of her Veterans but also cares deeply about them. And this is made evident by the significant impact of the tremendous efforts of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other organizations, on the situation of the homeless Veterans. Several statistical data providers show the number of Veterans who are Homeless. These statistics are demonstrating the high number of Veterans that find themselves with a lack of a basic shelter.

How Can We Help? The VA and other government organizations are trying to minimize the impact but appears that there is often if not always, a lack of resources/beds for our heroes. Many non-profits help Veterans with providing housing/ beds like Interfaith a nonprofit organization that helps Veterans with housing needs. But, what if individual Veterans could help provide fellow Veterans with a place to stay? What if we were to find a win-win solution that will help everyone involved in the process? What if we had a way for Veterans to directly help fellow Veterans with housing? If we were to find this solution, it will dramatically decrease the number of homeless Veterans. One program that appears to have found a solution that could greatly positively impact this issue is; The Housing for Heroes™ and the Income Properties for Veterans™ great example of how Veterans will be able to help fellow Veterans who are in need of a place to stay. Briefly on how it works. The program helps individual Veterans and active duty find a home, secure financing and provides the necessary guidance through the approval process on securing the property, applying for the funding and obtaining VA approval on the property to become a Rental Property (Income generating property). This program could work across the US and it appears to be a win-win for everyone involve in the venture. This is a great way for Veterans to secure ongoing income, and for Veterans to secure a place to stay. Properties are secured using VA benefits and these properties are pre-selected and inspected to make sure they receive approval as Rental Property / income generating property.

According to the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, in 2017 over 40,000 Veterans were experiencing homelessness in the US. 40, 000 of our fellow Veterans did not have a basic shelter or roof over their heads.

I feel that this is a great solution for all of us who are Veterans and want to help our brothers and sisters who are having difficulties. The Housing for Heroes program is a nonprofit organization under the Veterans Foundation. I think together we can positively impact and help reduce the number of Veterans Homeless. I would like to encourage every veteran interested in home ownership, to consider this option as it creates a positive domino effect and a great way to help our Veterans.

If you were to think about this with a little more perspective, imagine This number represents about 714 busses filled with passengers. Now that we have identified the problem, is there what can we do?

For information on this program: Housing for Heroes/ Income Properties for Veterans or email me directly at: Veteransccsd@gmail.com I will be happy to help and refer you to the right resources.

Statista.com shows the states that have a real problem in the number of Veterans facing homelessness. The states with high number of homeless Veterans are California Florida, Texas and New York.


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Meet Mark. Marine veteran Living with multiple sclerosis Unbelievable falsetto Was homeless (found hope)

It’s been one battle after another. But thanks to Father Joe’s Villages, Mark has a roof over his head, his health under control, and a song in his heart. Help people like Mark leave homelessness behind.

neighbor.org (619) HOMELESS (466-3537)


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CYBERSECURITY Credit Monitoring, Identity Theft Protection, and Data Breach Management

By Scott Hermann, CEO and identity theft protection expert www.identityiq.com/SDVets

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month follows ‘largest criminal case ever’ of military identity theft October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month with the goal of focusing on the need to stay more safe and secure online. It’s only fitting the month comes on the cusp of what the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced as the “largest criminal case ever involving identity theft of military-affiliated personnel.” U.S. Attorney John Bash made that statement after announcing the arrest of five men – three Americans, one Australian, and one South Korean – for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from active-duty and veteran military members. The multi-country identity theft ring began in 2014 when one of the men worked as a civilian technician at a U.S. Army installation. He was able to gain access to military members’ and veterans’ personal information, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and military ID numbers.

Protect yourself from this growing risk

According to the 24-page indictment against the alleged scammers, the stolen data was used to access Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs benefit sites to transfer money from military members’ bank accounts and veterans’ benefit payments to the thieves’ personal bank accounts set up overseas. They also used a “money mule” to launder money between the VA and their personal bank accounts.

Unfortunately, this large-scale scam is just one example of the many data breaches that are becoming more and more commonplace. So far this year there have been an average of about three data breaches per day, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. These data breaches leave personal and financial information exposed, so it’s important to protect yourself.

The identity theft ring was able to steal millions of dollars with most of the victims disabled and elderly veterans as well as high-ranking officers until the five men were arrested this summer. The men have been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.

One way to celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is to stay on top of your personal information with credit and identity theft monitoring. That way you can receive alerts when there is suspicious activity. You also can receive up to $1 million in identity theft insurance, underwritten by AIG, and expert assistance in restoring your identity in case you become a victim.

The Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs have identified 3,300 victims and counting. The departments are still working to identify and notify victims of the scam.

For more information on credit and identity theft monitoring and protection, visit www.identityiq.com/SDVets. ©2019 IDIQ℠ provider of IdentityIQ℠ services


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019



By Lara Ryan, Daniel Chavarria & Michael Biemiller


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BOTTOM LINE UPFRONT If you are able to transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, do so now! Several changes have already been made and more are coming. BACKGROUND


The Post-9/11 GI Bill was designed as a retention tool for military members in the early years of the Post-9/11 era. When it was created, the military was struggling to maintain its end strength. The thennew GI Bill carrot was used was used as an incentive – serve a few more years, and you will be eligible to use enormously valuable benefit.

The following is now the DoD policy:

In 2009, the deal became even sweeter. Servicemembers were able to transfer their Post9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouse or children in exchange for agreeing to serve more time on active duty. This was unprecedented, as there are virtually no other benefits that are transferrable to the spouse and children (with the exception of some benefits that could transfer posthumously). In 2019, retention is no longer a problem, and Congress is looking for ways to cut costs, including a significant Reduction in Force. This has an impact on the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and their transferability. When servicemembers became eligible to transfer those benefits, they had to meet certain requirements. However, new eligibility rules passed in JUL 2018 changed from whom and how GI Bill benefits may be transferred. The deadline for implementation of the new rules was previously set for JUL 2019, but there has been an extension to JAN 2020.


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019

- Have at least 6 years of service as of the date of GI Bill transfer request, - Agree to serve at least 4 additional years, - Be eligible to serve at least 4 additional years, - Have not completed your 16th year of military service (as of 12 JAN2020). So, you got to have already served 6 years, but can’t have been in for 16 years or more, and you have to agree and be eligible to serve another 4. Finally, you have to complete the transfer paperwork within 30 days of the re-up. NO LONGER ELIGIBLE The following members were previously allowed to transfer benefits, but are no longer eligible: - Have at least 10 years of service and cannot serve 4 more years because of policy or law, but you agree to serve as long as you are able by law or policy • WHAT CHANGED? Members must now be eligible to extend 4 years in order to transfer their benefits. - Are retirement-eligible from 1AUG2009 – 1AUG2012 (member must sign up for one more year of service starting from the date the GI Bill benefits are transferred). • WHAT CHANGED? Members must now be eligible to extend 4 years in order to transfer their benefits. Starting 12JAN2020, members must not have completed their 16th year of service in order to transfer their benefits.


IMPORTANT: All transfer requests must be submitted and approved while the member is still in the military. Transfers cannot be initiated after retirement or separation. WHO CAN RECEIVE YOUR BENEFIT TRANSFER Remember, the best part of transferring benefits (other than blessing your dependents with a free education), is that the transfer is non-binding. So, you have nothing to lose! You can transfer the benefits and later decide to decrease or rescind. Therefore, it doesn’t matter WHAT amount you transfer, it just matters THAT you make the transfer! You can transfer a minimum of one month to any dependent in your DEERS system. You can adjust the allocation of benefits at any time in your MilConnect account (MilConnect Home • Benefits • Transfer of Education Benefits). We strongly recommend that anyone who is eligible to transfer benefits do so! FYI – Legislation has been proposed to cut the Military Housing Allowance (MHA) that accompanies the GI Bill use. The MHA is generous; it pays at the same rate as the BAH for an E-5 with dependents, which in Southern California can be more than $2,500/month. Because in some cases, the BAH can be higher than the cost of room and board at local universities, there is a proposal to cut the MHA by 50% for future Post-9/11 GI Bill transfers to children. This change will not apply to those who have already transferred benefits. Additionally, members will have 180 days after the bill passes to be grandfathered into the current system.

www.HomelandMagazine.com What’s Happening? • Events • National Resources • Press Releases • Entertainment & more... Military & Veteran Organizations • Post Your Events • Upcoming Programs • Resources - Donations - Inspirations


We’ll keep you posted in next month’s issue!

Lara, Dan & Michael work with a team and run a comprehensive financial planning practice that specializes in working with active duty, retired, veteran and military-connected individuals, families, and businesses. They are not fee-based planners and don’t charge for their time, but believe every servicemember needs and deserves a financial plan. Lara.ryan@nm.com (307) 690-9266

A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans Visit HOMELAND today at www.HomelandMagazine.com Homeland Veterans Magazine

Daniel.Chavarria@nm.com (702) 497-3264

Your best source for veteran resources, news, press releases, community events, media, entertainment and more…

Michael.biemiller@nm.com (858) 663-4296

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019


WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby

Take Time to Think

“No matter what the circumstances are, there is always time to think.” Colonel Bob Fawcett, USMC, (Ret).

A few years ago, as Melissa was taking Ted to the airport for a routine morning flight, she recognized that he was not feeling well and insisted that they stop by the ER before going on to the airport. Despite his protest that he was “OK”, intuition told her otherwise as did the Doctors when they revealed he was having a heart attack. Ted and Melissa had considered retiring from the Marines but never acted on it. Easily understood from one who, a mere thirty-six hours after graduating high school, was on his way to Boot Camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. It was then that Ted began his career as a Private on a journey that would span four decades, touch five continents and encompass two wars. Ted was a dedicated, committed Marine and was in it for life. But when life almost passed him by, the conversation returned and resulted in his retirement from the Marines. We caught up with Colonel Ted Studdard, now a leader for Home Depot and author of “Take Time to Think” and “Depot to Depot”, after hearing him KeyNote at a transition event in San Diego, CA to talk about his advice for transitioning service members.


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019

Choose Wisely When talking about making the right choice in a company he highlights the importance of aligning your personal values with that of the company. Ted notes, “You accepted the values of your military branch and would not have served multiple tours if you didn’t believe in the values. The same applies to Corporate America. You will have good days and bad days, but if your values align with your company’s values, you’re more apt to stay when challenges arise. As I was preparing to retire, I talked with numerous service members who had retired before me. I was surprised by the number of times they changed employers. In several cases, they chose an employer whose values did not align with their own and it led to a break-up when challenges arose. Comparing your values to those of prospective companies can help you refine your job search before you exit the service. If you are aligned with the values of a company, you’ll know you are in the right place. You will have a connection beyond the job and a richer work experience that will help see you through the challenges that we all invariably face.” But what if you did your research? What if you thought the company’s values aligned with yours but later discovered that your direct supervisor’s or team’s values didn’t? Military professionals are trained to stay in the fight. At what point would you say it’s ok to walk away from that company and not feel like you failed? Ted advises, “Sometimes our attitude of ‘never say die’ is a detriment. Sometimes we stick to a job when we should walk away. I’d say that as soon as you recognize a fissure within the values, an ethical breech, you need to move. Additionally, we tend to undersell ourselves as a veteran community. We need to recognize and embrace that have much to offer. We can grow with a company and help them succeed. If you don’t see a place to grow, then again, it may be time to move on.Ted continues with an urgent plea, “But please, make sure you have a place to go!

Have a backup plan to exit to another company so you don’t find yourself needing to take the first available job because you didn’t take time to think or plan. You may find yourself back at square one with a job in a company you don’t believe in.”

In fact, it may be disservice to your family not to think about it and at least have an idea of what path you would follow outside your current role. “You don’t have to dwell on it.” Ted coaches, “We are wired to move and act with a sense of urgency, but, in this case, (transitioning) we definitely need to take some time to think before we are faced with this inevitable event.”

Networking is Not Bootlicking

Just take a few moments to consider, “What would happen ‘if’ I had to exit the service today?”

When people talked about networking to Ted, he admits that it had a negative connotation to him. However, what he found was that networking is the way things happen in corporate America. It’s how you move up. We often disregard building a network of our own and find that it is often difficult to ask for help as this behavior or idea of ‘networking’ is new and different.

Don’t wait for a heart attack to force that conversation. Have a plan. Want to hear more about Ted’s advice on transitioning and his story or have him speak to your organization about leadership? Check him out at https://tedstuddard.com

Or is it?

All the proceeds from the sale of his Book, “Depot to Depot” go to help veterans transitioning, mentoring programs for veterans and active duty professional military education specifically with American Corporate Partners, Vetted, Hire Heroes USA, The Marine Corps University Foundation.

Colonel Studdard would ask you, “How much time did you spend in the Officers Club or the Enlisted club in the evenings?” Chances are that the more time you spent in the military the more social events you went to. Did you not find that you learned more in the club after work just talking and listening to those who were older and more experienced? “That’s Networking 101.”

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Exiting the military is stressful. If you’ve not prepared ahead of time, networked, worked on your resume, gone to free interviewing classes you may feel pressured to take the first offer of anyone who will hire you.

and transform into a corporate leader. In his second career, Ted’s work in business operations, staffing and leader development has given him a unique perspective on optimizing human capital in corporate America to increase retention, productivity, and teamwork. He has appeared as a featured guest on national TV, radio, and podcasts.

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Ted and Melissa never really did any detailed preparation for a career outside the Marine Corps. It was always something they expected to do at the end of Ted’s service, but that service came to an end far sooner than anticipated.

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“. . . a must read for not only transitioning veterans but for those looking to hire veterans.”







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Where in the business world can you find a network R AFTE URS IX HO -S of individuals willing to help you? Colonel Studdard Y T THIR suggests starting with the mentors you have hadTHIRTY-SIX HOURS AFTER along the way. People that taught you and trained you that know you better than anyone. Also, explore LinkedIn. You’d be surprised how many people Depot to Depot consider it an honor to help you transition.








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Need help transitioning? LinkIn with Eve Nasby (Given) to connect.

“It was silly and shortsighted. “, Ted says frankly.

Eve Nasby is a hiring expert with almost three decades invested in these topics. Join her on LinkedIn today.

“Often times we think that considering a follow-on career outside the service is being disloyal or taking your eye off of the ball.” It’s not.


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019


Transitioning from service to civilian life Returning to civilian life presents new opportunities — and challenges — for Veterans. Many Veterans look forward to life after the military because they can spend more time with family and friends and no longer have to worry about military structure or deployment. At the same time, transitioning out of the military may raise a lot of questions. You may wonder what you are going to do with this new phase of your life, or whether you will be able to find a job. You may think about going back to school, but not know where to start. Or you may miss the order and discipline of military life (compared with civilian life) and wonder if you will be able to adjust.


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019

Transitiong can be disorientating and confusing. However, there are a series of actionable steps that can be taken to make this transition smoother and more manageable. Whether you served during a war or in peacetime, your experiences in the service — both positive and negative — have made you a different person than you were before you entered, and may have changed the way you look at things and deal with people. Stressful or traumatic situations may have resulted in habits or ways of coping that can be misunderstood or problematic in civilian life. The new year provides an opportunity to step back, reflect on your military career and your preparation for transition, and consider whether you will be aiming for a job change in 2020. One thing of manythings to remember is that your attitude equals latitude. With refreshed budgets, new strategic plans and everyone looking to 2020, employers are looking for veterans. Why? Distinctive Capabilities • Veterans are performanceoriented, have a strong work ethic, and thrive under pressure • Teamwork, leadership and problem solving skills learned in the military are suitable for many civilian roles Valuable skills • Veterans receive advanced training in a variety of technical skills • Military spend in these skills make veterans costeffective employees Hiring vets builds goodwill and honors their service •Recruiting veterans reflects the social responsibility of an employer and builds goodwill with customers, employees, and the community •Hiring veterans, who have sacrificed for their communities and the nation, is the right thing to do Continued on next page

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019


Here are several tips and ideas for a successful military transition: Network, Network, Network Applying for jobs online may seem like an efficiency way to get jobs, but the reality is it doesn’t work well. For any given job opening, recruiters are bombarded with hundreds, possibly thousands of openings. To rise above the noise, you’ll have to network.

Termonolgy - Adjust From Military To Corporate Lingo A key to getting the job is fitting in -- not only do you have to demonstrate the right skills, but you also need to adopt the right body language and speech. Here are a few examples:

Start with veterans who are now in the corporate world. Don’t rush to ask for a job. If there’s no job available, the remaining time becomes one big letdown. Instead, take time to know the person. Ask how they approached the transition from a military to civilian career. Only at the end of the conversation is it ok for you to ask whether or not they are aware of any job openings.

1. Be wary of military jargon. Rather than say you were the “red raven” expert, explain that you developed contingency plans for rare events.

Look For Military-Friendly Employers

3. No need to address your professional contacts as Sir or Ma’am. You can typically address them by their first name.

Several employers appreciate the qualities ex-military personnel bring to a civilian job. Furthermore, you’re likely to find co-workers who formerly served in the military. They can mentor you as you ease into a new working environment. - CONNECT WITH RECRUITERS AND HEADHUNTERS WHO FOCUS ON MILITARY TO CIVILIAN TRANSITIONS.

Play up Your Strengths As An Ex-Militray Candidate Military veterans are known for precise communication, individual accountability, impeccable execution and natural leadership. Don’t forget to showcase this during the interview. All four skills are in high demand, regardless of position. Give yourself credit for strengths that many non-military job candidates lack. Other key skills to play up: poise, ingenuity, and ability to handle stressful situations well.

Translate Your Skills The military’s highly specific job codes and titles (often filled with acronyms) don’t help hiring managers in the civilian sector understand what you can do for them. So, at a minimum, it’s important to translate your resume out of military jargon and into language that shows your transferrable skills. Working in the R-14 shop of a deployed battalion doesn’t help your interviewer understand what you can do. Turn this into something that can be easily understood and applied to the civilian world, for example: “Created a unified plan of action, ensured coordination between cross-functional teams, and provided feedback to improve the process.” 30

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2. Rather than use military time, use civilian time. That is, instead of confirming an interview for 15-hundred hours, use 3 pm.

Transitioning Veterans & Law Enforcement – A Natural Fit Police officers and military veterans are kindred spirits. Both wear their uniforms with pride. Both don their uniforms to be part of a larger team of professionals protecting those who can’t protect themselves at great personal risk. And both operate within a rigid command structure. So it’s natural that many military veterans seek employment in police ranks when they rejoin the civilian workforce. That’s what is happening right now in numbers unseen since the closing days of the Vietnam War. The result is a job market flooded with well-qualified police officer candidates who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Going Back to School After Transitioning Many military veterans, after service, opt to go to college or university to complete or advance their education. This can prove an excellent decision in cases where advanced education makes you more competitive in the civilian job market. Some schools are better for military veterans than others. With that said, seek out a few schools that have a reputation for being extra helpful to active duty soldiers and veterans. Military friendly schools will make it no secret that they offer additional benefits, flexibility, and special programs for current military personnel or recent veterans. Another benefit is that you’ll have quite a bit in common with lots of other students.

You were once in the military; your performance and capabilities were tested. Now you should bank on those to get the job you want. You can market yourself on those effectively and focus on how your military skills and abilities can contribute with any company.

High-performing companies in many industries recognize the value of veteran employees

Veterans bring distinctive capabilities to civilian employers… Teamwork & Leadership

Values-driven: Proven experience dedicating themselves to a cause. Veterans take pride in the mission, values and success of the organization

Accountability: Superior personal and team accountability. Veterans understand how policies and procedures help an organization function

Solving Problems

Adaptability: Experience operating in ambiguous situations, exhibiting flexibility in fluid environments.

Objective-focused: Ability to organize and structure resources to accomplish the mission, regardless of roadblocks

Team players: Ability to understand the capabilities and motivations of each individual, regardless of background, to maximize team effectiveness

Quick learners: Proven ability to learn new skills quickly and efficiently High impact decision-makers: strong situational awareness, ability to understand complex interdependencies and make decisions using practical judgment and creativity

Experienced leadership: Battle-tested leadership, from the front and by example. Ability to inspire devoted followership and lead groups to accomplish unusually high aspirations

Diverse perspectives: experience having impact and influencing people across the boundaries of culture, language, ethnicity and personal motivation

Discipline Self-reliance: Demonstrated initiative, ownership, and personal responsibility while leveraging all available assets and team members to ensure success

Today’s veterans are civic assets. They’re starting businesses, protecting our communities, running for office, and taking on leadership roles in their communities. And like the great generations who’ve gone before them, they’re poised to lift our country to new heights.

Perseverance: Proven resilience getting things done despite difficult conditions, tight deadlines, and limited resources Strong work ethic: belief in the value of hard work and taking initiativeB

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019



What’s Your Endgame?

“Alice asked the grinning Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?” The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the Cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Words to live by. If you don’t know where you want to end up, it’s difficult to choose the right path. Smart small business owners know in advance what they want to get out of their business when the time comes to retire. Some cagy founders start and launch a business with the express purpose of selling it at a specific point in the not too far distant future. Do all small business owners have an “Exit Strategy?” No. The UBS (NYSE: UBS) Q1 Investor Watch Report, “Who’s the boss?” reveals 48 percent of business owners don’t have a formal exit strategy at all. Warning! Closing up shop is riddled with legalities and hoops you have to jump through. Let’s look at a few of the most popular strategies. 1. Liquidate. For some small businesses, especially those that are dependent on a single individual, simply closing the doors may be the only option. When the founder is the main asset, there’s nothing else to sell. If you’re in this position, you may want to spend some time retooling your business so that


WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019

it could be operated by someone else – making it a business someone might want to buy. It can take months to close a business properly. A closing plan will offer the most protection possible to your personal assets, your credit, and your reputation. In fact, you can choose to liquidate slowly over time, taking out large salary draws or dividends over several years before eventually pulling up stakes. If you wish to maximize your current lifestyle rather than aggressively expand your business, a slow wind-down could be your best option. The order in which you notify people of your intention to eventually quit can greatly affect your ability to make the most of the time you have left. You will need to collect outstanding accounts receivable, sell off inventory and notify your creditors. Notify your customers, terminate your lease, give any employees adequate notice, take care of any tax responsibilities and close your business bank accounts. And you thought it simply involved closing the doors. 2. Leave it to the Kids. Keeping it in the family is a dream of many owners. You hope to make it a smooth transition and even retain a role in the business. Of course, this depends on someone in your family who wants to take the wheel. And, how about your customers. They may not take to the transition. This is another case of taking it slowly, plan carefully and keep your ear to the ground. 3. Sell it. This is the most popular option, especially for a profitable business that is attractive to buyers. If you want to sell your business, start preparing several years in advance. Keep excellent records and look marketable. Assets and goodwill can be incorporated when valuing the business for sale, maximizing the return to the owner(s). In the report, UBS points out the majority of business owners don’t have a full understanding of what takes place in the selling of a business. It identifies a knowledge gap for the 75 percent of owners who believe they can sell their business in a year or less.

Businesses are difficult to value, and the selling price may be less than you would like. Several different business valuation methods ranging from asset-based to future earnings approaches are available.

Starting a Business as a Veteran?

Whatever you do, don’t cook the books to look more profitable. You would be well served by working with a reputable professional business broker as well as an experienced attorney. * The takeaway - Plan early with different exit strategies in mind. This will allow you the flexibility you need to get the most out of your business, whether you sell it, pass it on to your family, or move on. *This information is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. It should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. A City of San Diego grant has paid for Operation Vetrepreneur to help launch and support veteran (Military & Spouse) startups and growing businesses.

The transition from military service to civilian life can be a difficult one, especially when it comes to your career. That’s why a growing number of veterans choose to forge their own path and become entrepreneurs after leaving the Armed Forces.

See our ad in Homeland Magazine and San Diego Veterans Magazine. Working with highly experienced entrepreneurs, and using a unique brainstorming hightouch model, you get mentoring and info while in the company of other like-minded veterans. One evening a week over 4 weeks in November and/or a “Deep Dive” business overview in mind October. The program is valued at over $500 in the civilian world, but you get it for free. Recruiting right now!

While starting a business comes with numerous challenges, former service members do have one distinct advantage: the veteran community. “The strength and power of veteran entrepreneurs comes from other veteran entrepreneurs” Unlike most highly competitive entrepreneurial environments, veteran entrepreneurs share information much more easily.

Sign up at www.veteransinbiz.com or www.meetup.com/Operation-Vetrepreneur-San-Diego/

If you or someone you know is a veteran looking to start a business, please feel free to contact Vicki Garcia.

Vicki Garcia is the CoFounder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 30+ -yearold marketing consulting firm

Vicki is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 33+ -yearold marketing consulting firm. If you want support for starting up a business, email her at vicki@ veteransinbiz.com.

Apply to join Operation Vetrepreneur’s FREE Think Tank Groups at

For advice, tips and programs you can read Vicki’s monthly column at Homeland Magazine or visit www.HomelandMagazine.com and

www.veteransinbiz.com, visit www.veteransinbiz.org or for more information go to:

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WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2019


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New Brainstorming Cohorts Starting NOW! Register at www.veteransinbiz.com for schedule Want Info? www.operationvetrepreneur.vet Questions? Email veteransinbiz@gmail.com Operation Vetrepreneur is a Project of the National Veterans Transition Services, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit


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*A small “skin in the game” fee is refundable when you attend all 4 meetings.

Certification & Supplier Diversity Concept Review for Startups Perfecting Your Pitch Speaker Training Brainstorming with Experts Publishing Knowhow Personal Branding Mind Mapping Crowdfunding Writing a Business Plan Branding, Graphics & Visuals Internet Marketing Social Media & SEO Legal Issues Budgeting Where & How to Get Money High Velocity Growth Strategies Employees & Contractors

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legal Eagle Straight-forward legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners By Kelly Bagla, Esq.

SCARY GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS EVERY BUSINESS MUST KNOW No matter what type of business you run, you must comply with federal, state and local statues and regulations administered by legislative bodies and carried out by regulatory agencies. Some regulations impact the way in which businesses report income and pay taxes, others regulate how they dispose of their excess materials or waste. For just about any kind of industry and transaction there are government regulations on business. The sheer volume of government regulations on business can make your head spin, whether or not you are just starting out or are a seasoned small business owner. But despite the high volume of government regulations on business, understanding the general rules is not actually as scary as it sounds. Here are some common kinds of government regulations on business: TAXES For most small business owners, government regulation questions almost always begin with taxes. But there is more to taxes than merely paying them – knowing which business taxes to pay, when to pay them, and how to setup your business to account for future tax payments can spare you a ton of headaches when it comes time to write the government a check. Every company registered within the United States has to pay federal taxes. Most companies will also have to pay state taxes, depending on the state in which the company is registered. But the kind of taxes you’ll pay depends on how you formed your business. In this regard, not all businesses are treated the same. Sole proprietorships pay taxes differently than S-corporations. Despite the differences between each kind of business there are a few general terms you should know: Income Tax – most businesses file an annual income tax return. Businesses must pay income tax as they earn and receive income and then file a tax return at the end of the year. Estimated Tax – estimated tax payments offer an alternative to paying income tax throughout the year as your company earns money. 36

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Employment Tax – companies that have employees are expected to pay taxes related to having staff on their payroll. These include Social Security and Medicare taxes. Excise Taxes – excise taxes are paid when your business makes purchases on specific goods and are often included in the price of the product. EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR LAW There are also many government regulations on businesses that employ workers and independent contractors, in the form of federal and state labor laws. Here are the most common labor laws: Wage and Hours – according to the Department of Labor, the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) prescribes standards for wages and overtime pay. Workplace Safety and Health – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) required that employers provide their employees with work and a workplace free from recognized serious hazards. Equal Opportunity – most employers with at least 15 employees must comply with equal opportunity laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which mandates that certain hiring practices, such as gender, race, religion, age, disability and other elements are not allowed to influence hiring practices. Non-US Citizen Workers – the federal government mandates that employers must verify that their employees have permission to work legally in the United States. Employee Benefit Security – if your company offers pension or welfare benefit plans, you must be subject to a wide range of fiduciary, disclosure and reporting requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Family and Medical Leave – the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave to eligible employees for the birth or adoption of a child, or for the serious illness of the employee or a spouse, child or parent.


Posters – some department of labor states require notice to be shared or posted in the workplace for employees’ view. ADVERTISING A good advertising strategy can do wonders for your business. But before you dive in, you’ll need to make sure that you’re playing by the rules and government regulations. For example, you have to make sure the claims in your ads are not untruthful or purposely deceptive. Using testimonials in your ads comes with additional regulations. Violating these rules can result in fines, which defeats the purpose of your advertising in the first place. EMAIL MARKETING Closely related to advertising is email marketing. If your business engages in email marketing, there are separate regulations you’ll need to comply with under the CANSPAM Act. There are several things that this Act regulates but some of the main components are: • Don’t use false or misleading headers • Don’t use deceptive headlines • Indicate that the message is an advertisement • Induce your business name and address • Show the customer how to opt out of emails and honor the opt-out requests promptly.

NOTHING COMPARES at this price to Go Legal Yourself ® Startup Essentials Package. This specialized, customizable package of legal contracts and documents includes everything a startup company needs to protect its assets from the beginning. You won't find these contracts online anywhere but here.

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Each separate email violation is subject to hefty fines so make sure you know the ins and outs of this law before you set up your email marketing strategy. -4 E m ployer Identification N um ber

There are many considerations that small businesses must think about regarding the governmental regulations imposed on them and seeking profession advise should always be your first step. For more information on how to legally protect your business please pick up a copy of my bestselling book: ‘Go Legal Yourself’ on Amazon or visit my website at www.golegalyourself.com

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Disclaimer: This information is made available by Bagla Law Firm, APC for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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Veterans Chamber of Commerce By Joseph Molina www.vccsd.org

VA BENEFITS & HOME BUYING Properties vs. Homes, a difference? A Property or a Home? A Home is where we create family connections, where we build memories that last forever, a home is where we go when we feel lost, a home is where we feel safe and or just want to “let go” for a minute, a home is where everyone knows who we are, a home is where we feel…... This is why Home-Buying is different.

When you use your VA benefit, you can fund up to 100 percent of the purchase price. Great opportunity specially for first time buyers!!! No down payment with VA means that veterans can buy a home sooner, without having to wait and save a lot of money before applying for a home loan. It also means that there is no Mortgage insurance attached to the purchase, saving veterans a lot of money in the long run.

I am sure we all have questions when it comes to VA home buying. These are some of common questions people ask about VA benefits; What can the VA do for me? What is the process? Where to find a Trusted Agent and a Lender? How much do I qualify for? Who can I trust to help me through the process? …..

You can shop and compare VA loans VA loans are Not funded by the VA (The VA provides the guarantee to the lender) Banks are the direct lenders of these loans, but the VA sets the standards and puts forward restrictions and limitation to the lender to benefit the veteran using the VA benefit.

Veterans have a great resource when it comes to home buying, the VA. There are a lot of benefits included in the VA home purchasing program for veterans, let’s take a look.

You as the buyer have the option of shopping around for rates, but the best and most effective way of comparing is to work with a Trusted Mortgage lender who will do the search for you (Make sure your Lender is Veteran Approved Lender.)

The VA is Flexible Yes, the VA is very flexible! The VA allows veterans to purchase a home through a collection of financing choices, for example, veterans are equipped with the choice to buy a conventional home, manufactured home, condo, etc. Veteran Approved Lenders understand this and can help identify the right property for the veteran. The VA provides the Loan Guarantee The VA offer the guarantee to the lender. This guarantee has encouraged lenders to offer loans to borrowers who are able to use the VA home loan benefit. Closing Costs Closing costs are always there regardless the mortgage product. What the VA does is that it confines and sets caps on what the costs veterans are to pay, this is a great benefit to veterans. No down payment A lot of home loan programs out there require a down payment (average is 20%) when you want to buy a home, but this is not the case when it comes to VA home loan. 38

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This gives you the ability to compare rates, purchase down rates, and see what a Mortgage lender has to offer. Again, my suggestion is to request the assistance of a Veteran Approved Lender and or a Veteran Approved Realtor they already strong fully developed relationships with multiple mortgage lenders. No prepayment penalty If you decide that you want to sell your home, the VA doesn’t have prepayment penalty, so when you feel ready and want to sell you will enjoy the benefit of paying off your VA home loan with no penalties. WHAT VA LOANS CANNOT DO Purchase properties for the sole purpose of Investment; Purchase properties that do not meet VA criteria; Old prefab homes; Some condos may have restrictions; Not for Business; Not to fix and flip and there are more to list but these are the ones I feel people ask me the most!

HOMELAND Veteran Resources & Organizations

Navigating the resources available to veterans can be confusing, but Homeland Magazine believes no veteran should have to go it alone.

Key-Points • VA offers lower rates and with No down payment • VA provides the guarantee to the lender (So you don’t have to)

At Homeland Magazine you can find Veteran organizations and private nonprofits with resources for veterans that can help ease the process of attaining earned benefits, coping with the lasting effects of service-connected injuries and finding programs and services that meet your specific needs.

• Connect with a Veteran Approved Lender and with a Veteran Approved Realtor. These Real estate Industry professionals have themselves committed to a provide higher levels of customer service, understand veterans and military families. Connect with us if you are looking for a trusted Agent, happy to help, just send me an email. veteransccsd@gmail.com Lastly, if you are interested in buying a home the Housing for Heroes program may be a good place to start and with its Network of Agents will be able to provide guidance to veterans interested in VA Home Loan process.

Visit Homeland today at

Do your research, talk to people, contact us with questions, Home buying is a Large life changing purchase and it comes with lots of details, enjoy the journey!!!

Homeland Magazine


A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans

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Joe Kalla

Getting A VA Home Loan Because you earned it! For those with eligible military service, the VA Home Loan Benefit—which never expires—provides a tremendous option to refinance or purchase a primary residence. All things being equal, a person using this benefit will generally qualify for more home loan than with other available loans.

Title 10 Orders are eligible after 6 years of participating service. To see the service requirements for your specific era of service, visit www.benefits.va.gov/ homeloans/purchaseco_eligibility.asp. The benefit is open to Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Reserve and National Guard, spouses of un-remarried Veterans who died while in service or from service-connected disability, or the spouse of a Veteran who is MIA or a POW.


Qualifying--two steps:

There are many “myths” that prevent people from using the VA loan, but all of the following are true FACTS regarding the VA home loan benefit: it is not just for firsttime buyers; you can use it multiple times; it is possible to have more than one VA loan at the same time; there is no limit on the loan amount--with a small down-payment/ equity it can be used above the VA County Loan Limit; it is possible to use it after a short-sale or foreclosure on a prior VA loan using remaining entitlement; the seller is not required to pay the Veteran’s closing costs; the Veteran may pay for repairs; there are no non-allowable fees, only fees that are limited.

Step one: Determining if you are eligible to use the benefit. To do that, a proficient lender, electronically connected to the VA, will request discharge papers or— if on active-duty, a statement of current service from you--and order a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) directly from the VA on your behalf. The COE tells the lender whether your service qualifies you to use the benefit.

Benefits: Benefits of the loan include: lower interest rates than conventional loans; zero equity required (with full entitlement) up the VA county loan limits (loans above the limit require a small down payment); no mortgage insurance; easier to qualify; shortest time to get a loan after a short-sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy; limitations on closing costs; no pre-payment penalty, and the ability for any qualified buyer (not just a Veteran) to assume the loan at a later date.

Step two is like any other loan: Comparing qualifying income against current debts, the lender calculates the amount of house payment allowed. For a home purchase, the lender uses that payment to calculate the approved purchase price and loan amount and issues a pre-approval letter. That letter tells your real estate agent the price range of homes to show you. Pretty easy. Bottom line: When you are in need of a home loan, do not make assumptions, find a proficient VA lender and…JUST ASK!

If you have military service (you don’t need to have served over-seas or in combat), you are most likely eligible to take advantage of this benefit. You just need to ask a lender who is proficient in handling a VA loan. You want a lender that does several VA loans per year (just being able to do the loan doesn’t make a loan officer ‘proficient’). Eligibility: General eligibility requirements are: currently serving on active duty at least 90 days; Veterans with other-thandishonorable discharge and served 24 months, or 90 days during war time/181 days during peace time. Keep in mind these are “general” guidelines and time requirements vary depending on era of service. Those serving in the National Guard or Reserves and have never been called to active


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Author: Andrew Vierra NMLS #230799 Branch Manager Wealth Wise Mortgage a division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation NMLS #1850, Equal Housing Opportunity

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Call 866-779-5434 or visit www.lincolnmilitary.com

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Careers In Law Enforcement Visit Today For Law Enforcement Profiles & Job Openings


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Military service can be a perfect entrance into a law enforcement career. Military and law enforcement personnel have had a longstanding relationship with overlaps in training exercises, equipment, and, most important, personnel. It is not uncommon for a service member to make the jump from the military to law enforcement, as both professions look for the same characteristics; leadership, fidelity, chain of command, and teamwork are all common themes in both professions. Quite understandably, many American military veterans often gravitate to a career in law enforcement when the time comes to rejoin the civilian workforce. The two professions have many fundamental similarities; from the uniforms they wear with pride, to the firm command structure they serve under, to great personal risk they endure while protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

Opportunities in Law Enforcement You’ve served your country, now serve your community! The following agencies are actively hiring & proudly support our veterans, active military and the families that keep together.

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Military Preference Given The task ahead of you is never as great as the Power behind you

ANNUAL SALARY NON-CERTIFIED $55,536 - $85,675 CERTIFIED $58,344 - $85,675 Contact us to learn how you can become part of the Premier law enforcement agency in South Florida

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Facebook: Colorado Springs Police THE CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER twitter@cspd.pio

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The San Diego Police Department is


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

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Now–Nov. 11


We are Proud to Salute the Men & Women Who Have Served in Our Armed Forces SeaWorld® San Diego invites any U.S. veteran to enjoy a one-time free Single-Day Admission, along with up to 3 guests.* Register online now–Nov. 11, 2019. Visitation valid through Nov. 11, 2019. For your service and sacrifice, we thank you.

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. Excludes SeaWorld waterparks, Sesame Place® and Discovery Cove.® Ticket is non-transferable, non-refundable and not for sale. Not valid with any other discounts, offers and has no upgrade value. ™/© 2019 Sesame Workshop © 2019 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.


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Go to a TOP college with the support of other veterans and FULL TUITION GUARANTEED. Posse is selecting veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces to attend:



POSSE IS LOOKING FOR VETERANS WHO: • Have not previously received a bachelor’s degree • Have served at least 90 consecutive days of active duty since September 11, 2001, and have received or will receive an honorable discharge by July 1, 2019 • Can commit to a one-month pre-collegiate training program in New York City in the summer of 2019 • Are leaders in their places of work, communities and/or families



WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE POSSE VETERANS PROGRAM? Visit our website at www.possefoundation.org/veterans or email the Posse Veterans Team at veterans@possefoundation.org. GET TO KNOW A POSSE VETERAN SCHOLAR...



COLLEGE DEGREE: Each cohort—a Posse—of 10 veterans attends college together to pursue bachelor’s degrees.

University of Virginia Navy Gallatin, TN

FUNDING: Vassar College, The University of Virginia, The University of Chicago, and Wesleyan University guarantee four years of full tuition funding after GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon benefits have been applied. SUPPORT: Comprehensive training from Posse prepares veterans for the college experience and support continues on campus through graduation. CAREER: Posse offers internship opportunities, career coaching and connections to a large professional network to prepare Posse Scholars for leadership positions in the workforce.


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Grant joined the Navy after graduating from high school in 2015. He developed into a strong and effective leader while training at the Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School. At UVA, Grant hopes to study physics and international relations while actively engaging with the university and surrounding communities. Grant says, “the Posse Foundation is investing in groups of driven individuals with incredible leadership potential to have an impact on conversations, campuses, communities, and the world."


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Wondering which PTSD treatment is right for you? Use the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid to learn about and compare treatments.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Watch Video Interviews with Providers Compare the Treatments You Like Best Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Get a Personalized Summary

WHO IS IT FOR? PATIENTS: The Decision Aid teaches you about your options and gets you ready to work with your provider to choose the best treatment for you. PROVIDERS: The Decision Aid educates your patients about evidence-based PTSD treatments. Review it together in session, or have your patients work through it at home.

There are effective treatments for PTSD. You have options. The choice is yours.

The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is an online tool to help you learn about effective treatments and think about which one might be best for you.

www.ptsd.va.gov/decisionaid 56

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