Vol. 1 Number 7 â€˘ September 2014
Real stories from real heroes: the service members, the veterans, the wounded, and the families that keep it together
Are You Ready?
HOPE BEGINS With Operation Stand Down
NO INTERNET SUNDAYS Can You Do It?
Changed Our Reality Next Step Service Dogs
HOMELAND / September 2014 1
Your Chevy Truck & Camaro Headquarters
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Serving our Military personnel & their families for over 52 years CALL OR STOP BY TODAY www.CourtesySanDiego.com 750 Camino Del Rio North San Diego, CA 92108
HOMELAND / September 2014
SALES • SERVICE COLLISION REPAIR LEASING • PARTS FRIENDLY SERVICE
OPEN LETTER TO OUR MILITARY COMMUNITY There is no company that feels more passionately than USA Discounters about our nation’s service members and the sacrifices they make for our country. Recently, there has been some media coverage questioning our commitment. That media coverage is just plain wrong and we wanted you to hear the facts.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) examined every aspect of our company for a year. After that review, they raised a concern over a single issue - related to a $5 fee we charged service members as a condition of credit - a fee that was passed on to a third party company. USA Discounters made no profit and, in fact, lost money, in connection with the fees in question. We disagreed with the CFPB’s conclusion but realized our communications with customers about the fee could have been better. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. We agreed to return the $5 fee to our customers and pay a penalty of $50,000. We severed our relationship with the third-party vendor to which the fee was paid and eliminated the fee from all future transactions. Despite what you may have read, there was no allegation that USA Discounters “scammed” or “tricked” anyone. Language like that is painful for us to hear. It is untrue, unfair and unethical. Over the last few months we have begun making a number of other changes as well - on our own accord - simply because it is the right thing to do. These include: n Publishing a Customer Bill of Rights and “USA Way”- guidelines on how the company treats customers n Making available additional in-store materials to help customers better understand credit obligations, what they are agreeing to and how credit works n Further expanding the number of disclosures provided to customers to make every aspect of the transaction as clear as possible, including information about what happens in the event a customer defaults n Upgrading employee training and improving customer service operations And that’s just the beginning. Over the next few months we’ll be implementing a number of other initiatives - all of which are designed to ensure the relationship with our customers and their experience with us consistently exceed expectations. We are proud of the company’s 20 year plus history serving the military. If you’ve read anything about USA Discounters recently and have any questions about any details large or small - please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing MilitarySupport@ USADiscounters.net or calling 800-583-5515. We would be happy to talk to you about any aspect of our business. Thank you very much. Sincerely,
Jeff Feinberg Jeff M. Feinberg, CEO, USA Discounters
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HomeLand Publisher Michael J. Miller
Contributing Writers Wounded Warrior Project Linda Kreter Folds of Honor Erin Whitehead Rick Rogers CJ Machado
Public Relations Linda Kreter CJ Machado Graphic Design Trevor Watson
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
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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 13223 Black Mountain Road, #168 San Diego, CA 92129
858.877.3421 Contact Homeland Magazine at: firstname.lastname@example.org www.homelandmagazine.com
Inside This Issue
Homeland 6 FEATURE Disabled Veterans National Foundation: Serving Veterans in Unique Ways 7 FEATURE USS Midway Museum Shaping the future of Embarcadero 8 FEATURE Understanding the Challenges Faced by this Generation of Wounded Warriors 10 FEATURE 9-11 Changed Our Reality
25 18 DISCOVER SAN DIEGO South Bay 20 No Internet SundaysCan You Do It?
25 A Day of Hope, Healing and Fun for Loved Ones of Fallen Heroes
14 FEATURE Next Step Service Dogs: A Haven of Safety for Wounded Warrior with PTSD
26 SPORTS Are You Ready For Some Fantasy Football?
16 FEATURE Hope Begins with Operation Stand Down
Just For Fun / Did You Know?
How Famous Companies Got Their Names
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Disabled Veterans National Foundation: Serving Veterans in Unique Ways By Doug Walker
othing in this world is certain, and for some veterans, the unpredictable is often most difficult to manage. There is a network of help in San Diego, and Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) has navigators to help when the unexpected occurs. Vietnam Combat Veteran, Harold, a San Diego resident is but one example. Harold received his retirement pension routinely for years. Abruptly, the agency paying his pension informed him that he’d been overpaid and cut his pension in half. With an appeal, the court confirmed that he had been paid properly – but
Harold explained, “Not having a car—a job requirement—left me with no means to make the money that had been the difference between me drowning and staying afloat. My situation was really a short term problem, but being evicted and homeless before it was solved was a very real possibility.”
there was a 60 day delay in fixing the monthly payment. Rent, utilities, and car payments still needed to be paid. The unexpected had occurred. Harold explained, “Not having a car—a job requirement—left me with no means to make the money that had been the difference between me drowning and staying afloat. My situation was really a short term problem, but being evicted and homeless before it was solved was a very real possibility.” When Harold came to DVNF, he had already been turned away for help by several local organizations. “When I was finally referred to DVNF, I sensed a shift…a possibility. They made me feel like addressing my problem was genuinely important to them,” he said. DVNF helped Harold with his rent through its Grants to Provide Continued on page 13 >
HOMELAND / September 2014
USS Midway Museum Shaping the future of Embarcadero By Scott McGaugh
Thank You to My Neighbors
ven the most ardent supporters of the USS Midway Museum did not envision that it would become the most-visited naval ship museum in the world by the time it reached its 10th anniversary in 2014. Nor did they envision that it would set a fifth consecutive annual attendance record in 2014. No one expected that 700 events a year would be held here. Or that nearly 50,000 students would visit annually. With this enormous success comes an issue the museum and Port officials are working to solve: adequate parking. The 300+ parking spaces on Navy Pier now are barely adequate to serve Midway, and with Midway’s projected growth, they may become inadequate. But the problem is far greater, as the Embarcadero has lost hundreds of surface parking spaces due to development in recent years. The long-standing cruise ship parking lot is becoming a hotel, for example. The County Administration building’s surface parking lot has become a park with the parking moved underground. Realignment of Harbor Drive has eliminated some on-street parking as well. As a result, many Embarcadero businesses are struggling for lack of customer access. Adequate parking promises to be the key to the future of the Embarcadero. To help resolve this, the USS Midway Museum is working with the Port of San Diego on several fronts. One concept is to add a second deck to Navy Pier that would become a nearly four-acre Veterans Park, while preserving the existing parking underneath. This would meet a new-park Coastal Commission requirement without the loss of critical adjacent parking. This is critical as no San Diego attraction of more than 1 million visitors (Zoo, SeaWorld, Qualcomm Stadium, Petco Park) can survive without adjacent parking. Midway and the Port also are looking at other parking alternatives along Harbor Drive. One of them is some lightly used Navy property that might be converted into a parking structure. That, of course, would require detailed public review and input, as well as collaboration with the Navy. Another approach is to design additional public parking into not-yet-built projects such as what’s known as the “Manchester Project” at Navy Region Southwest. All of these concepts have relative strengths and challenges, but each is worthy of consideration.
Joe Ciokon, MCPO, USN (Ret.) Volunteer Public Affairs Officer
10 USS Midway Admission
Just for San Diegans! As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we know San Diego’s support has made Midway’s success possible! So for a limited time, San Diegans can purchase adult admissions for only $10! That’s a 50% discount!
“Thank You, San Diego!”
To be sure, the realignment of Harbor Drive by the Port of San Diego promises to revitalize the doorstep to downtown San Diego. A wide, landscaped pedestrian walkway, food and beverage kiosks, spaces for live entertainment, and information centers, promise to make it an engaging and family-friendly destination. The County’s new park, with its interactive water features already has added to the appeal of the downtown waterfront. So now the USS Midway Museum is focusing on neighborhood solutions to issues that will greatly influence the future of the Embarcadero. The museum’s working relationship with the Port of San Diego is very strong and discussions are continuing about how best to blend priorities of bayfront access and Port tenant economic vitality. The two often go hand-in-hand as Midway moves into its second 10 years as San Diego’s top-rated attraction on tripadvisor and emerging destination for international visitors.
(619) 544-9600 • www.midway.org Tickets available at www.midway.org and at the ticket booth during museum hours. May not be combined with other offers and cannot be resold. Proof of ID with a San Diego zip code required at time of purchase. #202
HOMELAND / September 2014 7
Understanding the Challenges Faced by this Generation of Wounded Warriors
ounded Warrior ProjectÂŽ (WWP) plays an important role in improving the lives of severely injured service members through efforts to increase public awareness about this populationâ€™s needs, to bring about legislative and policy changes to address those needs, and to augment the services available to them through the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Services Organizations, and other agencies and organizations. The vision of WWP is to foster the most well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nationâ€™s history. We plan to do so by supporting their mental health, promoting their physical health, and encouraging their economic empowerment and engagement.
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Each year since 2010, WWP has conducted a survey to assess current Alumni demographics, mental and physical well-being, and economic empowerment. The data collected over the past five years allows WWP to establish baseline data on its Alumni membership and then to identify trends among WWP Alumni and compare their outcomes with those of other military populations. WWP uses the information to refine existing programs, develop new initiatives, and better serve injured servicemen and women. In 2014, the survey was administered to 43,096 Alumni in the WWP database. The final response rate was 49 percent, with 21,120 completed surveys, making it the most comprehensive, far-reaching, statistically
of their injuries or health problems, 7 percent of Alumni are permanently housebound, with 1 in 4 of those needing more than 40 hours of aid per week. More than half of the Alumni rated their heath as fair or poor. The longer Alumni have been out of the military, the more they are relying on the VA for medical care; yet access to care has been reported as a significant issue all five years of the survey. For mental health care, 42.5 percent reported difficulty in scheduling appointments, while 35.9 percent reported inconsistent treatment or lapses in treatment due to canceled appointments or being made to switch providers. For physical injuries, nearly half (48.7%) had trouble scheduling appointments, and more than a third (35.3%) experienced lapsed and inconsistent treatment because of canceled appointments and switches in providers. Alumni report their injuries and health problems can make it difficult to pursue educational opportunities or get a job. About three-fourths of WWP Alumni (75.5%) have less than a bachelor’s degree, but about a third of the Alumni (33.5%) were enrolled in school at the time of the survey. Nearly 14 percent of Alumni surveyed report being unemployed, with 31 percent stating that mental health issues make it difficult to obtain employment. Homelessness among OIF/OEF veterans continues to be a concern. Nearly 6 percent of Alumni (5.8%) were homeless or living in a homeless shelter during the past 24 months.
significant survey of this generation of wounded. Here are some highlights from the survey results being released this month. Of those surveyed, 75 percent had a military experience that was so frightening, horrible or upsetting they have not been able to escape from the memories or effects of it in the past month. Four out of five WWP Alumni have a friend who was seriously wounded or killed in action. Most Alumni (98%) sustained serious injuries and health problems during their post-9/11 military service. Blasts were the most common cause of injury/health problems, with 43 percent sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The top five injuries/health problems are sleep problems (75.8%), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (75.2%), back, neck or shoulder problems (72.3%), depression (67.1%), and anxiety (64.2%). As a result
Clearly the transition to civilian life continues to remain challenging for many WWP warriors, with indicators of well-being less positive for many Alumni, some much less positive, than they are for other veterans who have served since September 11, 2001. Given the opportunity for open comment at the end of the survey, the warriors attest that the challenges extend to their family members and other caregivers. There is still much work to be done in ensuring this generation of wounded veterans receives the care they and their families deserve. For more information on the survey results, visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/mission/what-our-alumni-say. aspx.
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9-11 Changed Our Reality By Erin Whitehead
he majority of military families today have never known a reality that did not involve their loved one serving our country during a time of war. But I am, as we say, a â€œseasonedâ€? military spouse; my husband came back into the Marine Corps prior to the attacks on 9-11. As I reflect on an existence before we were at war, I find it impossible to summon a recollection of that time as it relates to military life. But I do remember, vividly, the day that everything changed for the military community. America collectively watched in horror as those planes flew into our building that fateful September morning. On leave in Alabama at the time, our family had just taken our daughter, age 3 months, to the lake for her first fishing trip. As we traveled the dirt roads back to see family, my father-in-law flagged us down, telling us to turn on the radio. We listened in stunned silence. The rest of the day was similar to that of so many Americans. Crying as we watched the clips played over and over again. Hugging our loved ones tight as we saw the desperate family members waiting for answers about the fate of the ones they loved. We were angry, confused, distraught, and shocked. The thing I remember most about that day was looking at this new baby in my arms with the realization that life as a military child was going to be very different for her than I had originally dreamed. Watching my husband from across the room, and wondering how soon I would have to say goodbye to him. Thinking that, fairly new to marriage, I already felt ill-prepared for military life, but that I had not the first clue how to be a military spouse during a time of war. When we returned to our base a few days later, the physical change was astonishing. Young men, looking not a day over 18, stood guard at the gates with huge weapons that I had previously only seen in the movies. Buildings were barricaded to prevent any vehicle getting near the structure. Conversations among spouses were filled with anxiety and fear. There was a lot of silence at many dinner tables as military families failed to come up with the words to say. Fast-forward 13 years. I am sitting across from my now teenage daughter. She is a well-adjusted, compassionate, smart, and all around good kid, despite living a reality that her non-military kid friends can not grasp. But, like all American 13 year-olds, her entire life has involved the reality that America has been at war. Although I am hopeful, I do not think that when my now two-year old turns 13 she will be able to say anything different. Oh how I hope my instinct is wrong. (Morgan Slade Photography)
HOMELAND / September 2014
The thing I remember most about that day was looking at this new baby in my arms with the realization that life as a military child was going to be very different for her than I had originally dreamed.â€?
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VA Home Loans for Veterans by a Veteran As a homeowner myself using my VA loan and as a multiple home investor, I understand purchasing a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases someone will make in their lifetime. Being a 10-year active duty Veteran as an Airborne Paratrooper, I know what it means to sacrifice your time away from civilian life and the abuse your body takes in the military. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™ve made it my mission as a Loan Officer to reach out to other Veterans to assist with their Home Purchases. From pre-qualification to closing, I will be there to ensure that the loan process for your home goes as smoothly as possible. You will find that I strive to keep in contact with my clients throughout the entire process and to be easily accessible. In addition to VA home loans, I also specialize in FHA and Conventional home loans. BRE# 01147747 NMLS# 9873 Top Producer 2008 through 2013
HOMELAND / September 2014
Folds of Honor
Southern California Trade Association Cooks Up Recipes To Raise Monies for the Families of The Folds of Honor Foundation…
to a young 9 year boy, who lives in south Orange County, California and father is 100% disabled, Army Veteran... This is just the beginning of the support we can give to many more Military Families... Thank you for your continued Support!
he Technolink Association proudly announces the release of their first community cookbook, “Recipes for Life” to raise funds for the families of the Folds of Honor Foundation. The Recipes of Life” is a collection of gifted family stories, recipes and life-lessons to inspire your everyday cooking, dining and living experience…We hope you will gain a small glimmer of the “American Story” through the shared family memories from the past, to some favorite recipes for today, with a splash of some wisdom for tomorrow… We have dedicated this book to the courageous men and women who are serving in the United States Military. Proceeds from the “Recipes for Life” Cookbook will fund scholarships for the Families of our Fallen and Disabled Military Heroes-through the Folds of Honor Foundation.
To learn more about the organizations please visit:
The Technolink Association www.technolinkassoc.org Folds of Honor Foundation www.foldsofhonor.org To purchase the Recipes for Life Cookbook please go: www.createspace.com/4853725
“Recipes for Life” is a great gift for all occasions...With each purchase you make, your proceeds will benefit the families of our fallen or disabled Military Heroes through the Technolink Scholarship Fund...We are pleased to announce that our first scholarship was awarded
Ssusan Forte O’Neill Co-Founder and Executive Producer Technolink Association 949.443.4026 www.technolinkassoc.org
HOMELAND / September 2014 13
Next Step Service Dogs:
A Haven of Safety for Wounded Warrior with PTSD By Judy Keene and Linda Kreter
rom her New York apartment rooftop early on September 11th, 2001, 20-year-old college student Ana Clark was stunned to see the second of the Twin Towers explode and collapse. “It was really scary. Wow, the fight is HERE. “ Within weeks, looking to serve her country and fight the enemy, she joined the Marine Corps to excel and to find a driving purpose – and become part of the 6.8% of women in the Corps. “I asked the Marine recruiter to give it to me straight, don’t lie to me, I was very specific. I did not want to be blind-sided, so he told me exactly what to expect in boot camp and in Marine life, and he was right. I was able to mentally prepare myself.”
It was a battle every day to prove myself to other Marines, both men and women. You have to love that challenge to excel and grow in the Marine Corps. Unlike many other female Marines, I remembered that long road of proving myself and when given the opportunity, I encouraged and nurtured two struggling new women Marines… and they did very well. “ Thriving on challenge and exceeding the expectations of her fellow Marines, Ana became an expert bulk fuel specialist, refueling aircraft from fuel trucks, often under emergency conditions, and during deployments. She was routinely under fire in war zones, working up to 20 hours a day on the front lines in both Iraq and Afghanistan, doing demanding and often dangerous work. It was a vital support role that saved lives. As she rose through the ranks during her 12 years of service to become a Staff Sergeant, she also married a fellow Marine and became a mother to three lively young sons, including one with special needs. Ana also believed strongly in mentoring younger women Marines. “It was a battle every day to prove myself to other Marines, both men and women. You have to love that challenge to excel and grow in the Marine Corps. Unlike many other female Marines, I remembered that long road of proving myself and when given the opportunity, I encouraged and nurtured two struggling new women Marines… and they did very well. “ While deployed in the controlled chaos of war, Ana felt in top form. Yet, when she returned home from each deployment, adjustment was very, very difficult. Symptoms of flashbacks, disorientation, extreme anxiety, migraines, isolation, and insomnia became worse with each deployment while she also struggled with pain from other injuries and concern for her autistic son. Eventually, she was diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder); estimated to affect 20% of combat veterans.
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Partying ceased helping to mask the symptoms. After many years of being strong, confident, and as tough as the men, it was extremely hard to admit to PTSD – it would mean the end of the career she loved, and a huge loss in her sense of self-worth and self-confidence. With her diagnosis of PTSD in 2012, Ana became interested in service dogs. She first met Next Step Service Dogs-in-training as part of a Navy PTSD treatment program. Along came Gunny, a tall shaggy black labradoodle - they connected. A young-adult rescue dog from Utah, Gunny had already been abandoned a few times, had his own issues, but was gently and instinctively drawn to Ana who responded in kind. They could help each other, and an intuitive bond developed between them. With guidance from Next Step Service Dogs, Ana was taught service dog training of Gunny, spending hours every day reinforcing standard commands, playing games to train him in new cues, and always using positive reinforcement to stimulate Gunny’s problemsolving ability. To reduce her anxiety triggers, he learned to guard doorways, to investigate the house when returning home late at night after class; to check every room and returns to Ana without whining (whining would signal a problem), and to create a physical safety barrier behind/beside/or in front of Ana when moving through a supermarket.
“Being able to go to a night class or to the supermarket by myself with Gunny is huge.” Ana learned to respond to Gunny’s warning cues – leaning into her meant that Ana needed to sit, move to a better location, take her medication, and/ or redirect her attention to snuggle or play with Gunny to reduce escalating anxiety or pain. A soft low growl meant that something was amiss; Ana needed to check that the person or animal outside the house was okay. Gunny is Ana’s angel shadow, keeping Ana in sight or cruising near her every 15 minutes to check she is fine, grounding her, giving her reassurance day and night. With no training, Gunny also automatically tuned into her specialneeds son and would pull him away from the beach or a pool to ensure his safety if an adult was not nearby – he instinctively added this role to his service dog work. Smart dog. A very smart dog. With the training process and Gunny by her side, Ana regained more self-confidence, independence, joy, and hope for the future. Gunny is more than another family member; he is her battle buddy, protecting her at all times. Next Step Service Dogs understands that the veteran dog-training and ongoing reinforcement process provides a new healing. It requires the veteran to be a responsible and attentive leader for a working service dog, requires a sense of fun and play to keep both dog and master healthy, gives the veteran
new pride in achieving tasks, and restores the veteran’s sense of worth and sense of lovability with the service dog’s unconditional love and dedication. For more information about Next Step Service Dogs serving veterans or active-duty military with PTSD in San Diego County, see www. nextstepservicedogs.org or call 760-473-7676.
Disabled Veterans National Foundation: Serving Veterans in Unique Ways
Continued from page 6
Stability (GPS) program while his pension was being reinstated, and he could get past this bump in the road. Crisis averted and peace of mind restored. Dignity in place. DVNF CEO Joseph VanFonda’s final assignment in the Marines was to serve as the Wounded Warrior Regiment Sergeant Major (Camp Pendleton houses the USMC Wounded Warrior Battalion West). Through his travels coordinating nonmedical case management to wounded, ill, and injured Marines, VanFonda saw families at all stages of recovery. “These brave Marines I had to chance to serve know exactly what it means to never take anything for granted,” VanFonda said. “The amazing thing about so many of them was that they had that exact mindset, and often recognized that they may only have one leg or
of community resources across the nation to serve these veterans and to make known their unique approach. With proactive outreach and deep benefits knowledge, DVNF is making a real difference that gives a hand up and builds trust for veterans and their families
one arm as a result of their combat experience, but that they were lucky to be alive.” Recognizing that no veteran has the same set of circumstances, VanFonda came to DVNF with an interesting concept to address the varied and specific needs of veterans. Putting the burden on the veteran family to seek help may be very challenging and DVNF knows how beneficial outreach can be. Instead, DVNF uses specially trained Navigators to assist veterans to obtain the benefits they have earned and provides a warm-hand-off to the local resource best able to assist the vet and their families. This is the Benefits and Resources Navigation (BaRN) program.
“It’s not just about the process to get these veterans the care they need,” VanFonda emphatically points out. “It’s about the relationship you form with that veteran. They know we’re there for them.” And in a world of uncertainty, that is something a veteran in need can count on. For more information specific to your veterans’ needs, go to www.dvnf.org, or call 202-737-0522.
With the large number of recent conflict veterans returning to their home communities, DVNF is focusing on building a larger network
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HOPE BEGIN By CJ Machado
“Operation Stand Down is a magical place that transcends our rhetoric.” -Dr. John Nachison, Co-founder and Director of Operation Stand Down San Diego Where there is love, there is hope... For the last 27 years, Veteran’s Village of San Diego (VVSD) converts the athletic field of San Diego High School into an Operation Stand Down Post. When our Vets walk through the gates, something wonderful begins. Stand Down is a magical place that is created by the love that is given by our local organizations and volunteers. Hope is received by the weary souls that attend. “Our Vets are welcomed and embraced as friends and heroes. Immediately accepted for who they are, not what they are due to life’s circumstances.” -Jo Sortelli, Stand Down Volunteer Sortelli has been a volunteer for 16 years and believes she has received more from our homeless Veterans than she can ever give. “Most of the Vets that attend are looking for that one little step; the little step that will get them to a better place. And for those
Jo Sortelli, Stand Down Volunteer
stand down who are willing to work for it, they are truly amazing,” Sortelli states. Jo wears her original training Stand Down hat with love and appreciation. She has placed the poppies that have been given to her by the Vets and volunteers throughout the years. The vision of Operation Stand Down was created by best friends, Dr. John Nachison and Robert Van Keuren, while taking a canoe trip down the chocolate river in Colorado many years ago. Both were working with the Veteran’s Village at that time, where they discovered many of the Vets were without residence, living on the streets of San Diego. Van Keuren being a combat Veteran himself and having suffered from severe PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) knew all too well the challenges Vets face when returning home, trying to re-acclimate themselves to society. Confused, traumatized, angry and defeated, many Vets self-medicate to suppress the toxic nostalgia of war. Leaving them often misunderstood, lost and or abandoned. Dr. Nachison and Van Keuren knew something had to be done, which led them to the idea of Operation Stand Down. In 1988, the first Operation Stand Down was implemented. At first, the few homeless Vets that wandered in were skeptical, believing it must be some sort of sting operation where they wanted to gather many street dwellers in a fenced in area and arrest them for substance abuse or other misdemeanors. Once reassured by the volunteers that there only interest was to help them, more homeless Vets trickled in. Twenty-seven years later, this three-day event is held in over 200 locations across the country and it is known to be one of the most successful outreaches for our Homeless Veterans. San Diego’s Operation Stand Down serves nearly 1,000 veterans each year, providing services in counseling, intervention, treatment, aftercare, employment and housing.
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NS – Stand Down Founder Dr. John Nachison and Jo Sortelli, Stand Down Volunteer Keith Krueger is an example of Stand Down’s continued success. He came to Stand Down in 2013 as a homeless Veteran and returned as a volunteer in 2014. “Operation Stand Down saved my life. Marilyn, a caring volunteer saved my life. Stand Down helps the Vets get off the streets. It introduces us to all the different programs that are available. Stand Down means hope and the love people show here.” -Keith Krueger Dr. John Nachison describes Operation Stand Down best stating, “Patriotism and peace is our mission, a way for our community to re-connect with our Veteran’s. Our dedicated volunteers are determined to ensure our Vets are not forgotten. Remembering and honoring the sacrifices they have made to ensure our freedom.” Dr. Nachison has served as Director of Stand Down for 27 years and is retiring this year while the program is strong. He will continue to serve as an advisor, allowing the legacy to continue through our youth. “Operation Stand Down is a magical place that transcends our rhetoric.” -Dr. John Nachison, Cofounder and Director of Operation Stand Down San Diego For more information and the list of resources available to our Veterans, please visit: http://www.vvsd.net/standdown.htm
Kami Koblenz and Keith Krueger – Volunteers
HOMELAND / September 2014 17
Special thanks to www.sandiego.org
This months featured spotlight – South Bay
DISCOVER san diego What to Love
Located south of downtown San Diego and just north of the Mexico border lies the area known as San Diego’s South Bay, the gateway to Baja California. This area is home to a number of exciting visitor experiences including the new Aquatica SeaWorld Waterpark, US Olympic Training Center, Living Coast Discovery Center, Sleep Train Amphitheater, Las Americas Premium Outlets, dining, golf and a scenic harbor and waterfront park. Additionally, South Bay provides easy access to Coronado and the Silver Strand State Beach, for a great spot for families looking to camp, swim, surf, bike ride and fish. Also in the South Bay is Imperial Beach, home to the Tijuana Estuary,
• Taking a bike ride or run along the Silver Strand State Beach. • South Bay’s commitment to the environment and eco-tourism.
the largest salt water marsh in Southern California where many endangered birds and wildlife species live. The National City neighborhood of the South Bay has a strong military presence; its three-mile port area along the San Diego Bay is part of Naval Base San Diego, the largest U.S. Naval base on the west coast.
• The amount of affordable golf courses throughout the area. • The Living Coast Discovery Center – a very low cost aquarium option for families. • Chula Vista in San Diego’s South Bay offers some of the best Mexican Food this side of the border.
What to Know • SeaWorld Aquatica is open May through September. • Visiting Tijuana can be an adventure; however there are inherent risks, so you should familiarize yourself with safety precautions if you plan to do so. Follow this link for more information on visiting Baja California. • Free tours of the Olympic Training Center are available on Saturdays at 11:00 AM
HOMELAND / September 2014
Blue Star Careers Across the Nation
A Career in Dentistry is a Wonderful Thing Programs Offered Include: • Dental Lab. Technician
Nicole Webb had a great job as a teacher in South Carolina when she met her husband. But as others before her have done, and will continue to do, she chose to follow her heart and married a Marine. That meant she also gave up her career to move around the country to support her husband’s job. But this nomadic lifestyle did not deter Webb’s desire to have her own career so she had to make some adjustments. She turned to Blue Star Families for assistance. “We now live in San Diego, but I first learned about Blue Star Families while we were stationed in Hawaii,” said Webb. “During our tour there, I realized that there was a need among military families; a need for support, camaraderie, and a real understanding of the hardships that military families face throughout the ranks.” Blue Star Families, the nation’s largest chapter-based organization, produces a wide variety of programs tailored to address and leverage the unique features of the military family lifestyle. For Webb, Blue Star Careers was the resource she needed to help her career take off once again. “Blue Star Careers provides military spouses with empirically-based programs designed to support their careers throughout the military family lifecycle,” said Cristin Shiffer, Blue Star Careers Program Manager. “The targeted initiatives of Blue Star Careers provide resources and information on pursuing education, building a resume, finding and keeping a job, networking, and professional development.”
(4 weeks long. Tues-Thurs 9 till 4)
• Dental Assisting Training (4 weekends long. Sat & Sun 9 till 5)
• Dental CEU’s Courses Available • RDA Prep Courses and Review
Funding Available for Military Spouses
(Available from 8am -10pm) California Dental Board Approval Provided #4164
For Webb, she was having difficulty finding a job in elementary education so she decided to focus on another passion and started her own business. She used different resources within Blue Star Families as a learning tool and connected with other military spouses to build relationships. Today, Webb is stateside at Camp Pendleton and continues to work closely with Blue Star Families. “Blue Star Careers engages military spouses, employers, and leaders in a dialogue about the nature and challenges of military lifestyles,” said Shiffer. “It works to show communities that hiring spouses is not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing, too. Finding a flexible and portable career is one of the greatest challenges to military spouse employment. In 2013, sixty-eight percent of spouse respondents in Blue Star Families’ Annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey indicated their military affiliation had a negative impact on their ability to pursue a career. Frequent moves mean it is very common for spouses to have gaps in their work history or numerous periods of unemployment, to hold multiple short-term positions, and to lose workplace seniority with each geographic relocation. Blue Star Careers addresses these common problems with quantifiable, impactful results. Learn more about Blue Star Careers and other programs at: www.bluestarfam.org, or call 202-630-2583
HOMELAND / September 2014 19
No Internet Sundays: Can you do it? By Rick Rogers
Special to Homeland Magazine
he idea sounded ridiculously easy. In fact, it hardly seemed a challenge at all: Go a Sunday without the Internet. Years ago I ditched my TV for better ways of spending my time. No problem. Never miss it except during football season, and even then there are workarounds. Why even bother going Internet-less? I read the average person spends 40 minutes a day on Facebook, and that Americans 18-64 spend more than 3 hours a day on social media. Isn’t that pathetic. Who would voluntarily waste so much time tethered to a machine for such purposes when most of us are already yoked to a computer at least 8 hours day five days a week for work? No wonder many of us are overweight, don’t know our neighbors and haven’t read a book in ages. We’re too busy hunched over keyboards checking emails, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts with intermittent forays to CNN, FOX and Bleacher Report. I was feeling pretty smug until I considered my own Internet use and my relationship to it.
The Web isn’t a thing so much as something else. It teaches me things. Lets me explore. It keeps me up with former classmates, entertains me with videos of cute furry animals and, most importantly this time of year, fills me on how my Steelers are doing at training camp -- all from the comfort of my chair. I’m not addicted to it, no, not at all. It’s not like I need it. I just like it. We’re collaborators of sorts. Then came the harder questions: How much time do I spend year in and year out writing and researching and emailing and such? How much of that is legitimate work and how much less defensible? I might be an extreme case, but I often spend up to 15 hours on the net. Most of that time is devoted to research and writing. But I had to admit I seemed more preoccupied with non-essential Internet use than I used to be. I wondered if I had unconsciously become something of an Internet Addict. Until that moment the thought had never entered my head. It startled me. I wasn’t even sure such a thing existed until I looked it up online – how rich is that? – and discovered that such people do exist.
HOMELAND / September 2014
I’m not talking about Internet porn fanciers – though the implications of that could well be an extinction event – but the more prosaic and insidious creeping malaise that sneaks up on you without any obvious warning signs. The soft sell you never notice until you’re in over your head.
Once the seal is broken, I check out several Steelers websites, CNN, Stars
So Sunday I took my self-designed test.
Catching myself, I shut down at 2:30 and promise not to return until Monday morning. Then I remember a film I wanted to see, but had some how forgotten that I needed to login to see it. Around me lay books unread: Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short” and “Boomerang” and Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense.”
The computer bongs on at 8 a.m. I turn it off and feel a slight ripple of separation anxiety. Then I head to the gym after taking some chicken out to thaw. Upon return, I realize my recipe is online. I search for an alternative but find none. I rationalize and logon at 1 p.m. to print the recipe for oldfashioned chicken and dumplings.
Stripes and Facebook -- among others – rationalizing the transgressions to the obligations of citizenship and fandom.
I ignored common sense completely and login feeling slightly beaten and much less smug. I watch a documentary and wonder if I’ll have any stronger resolve next Sunday.
The next Sunday I make it through the day without logging in once, though the idea crossed my mind at least dozen times. It felt like an important triumph though I can’t tell you why. Now I hope to cut the Internet tie every Sunday. Can you do it? Tell me your experience with Internet and whether you, too, can go a day without what is increasingly becoming a routine, if not an essential, part of daily lives. Rick Rogers is a longtime journalist based in San Diego. He can be reached at: Rick.W.Rogers@ gmail.com
I’m not addicted to it, no, not at all. It’s not like I need it. I just like it. We’re collaborators of sorts”.
HOMELAND / September 2014 21
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Visit us at our NEW 30,000sq.ft. Warehouse just one block off the base or on MCAS Miramar Air Base Across the street from Mc Donald’s! Be sure to visit our virtual showroom of inventory available for purchase. There you will see detailed information about each vehicle, a picture gallery, as well as convenient ways to contact us for more information about that vehicle.
COME SEE US IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A VEHICLE AND IF IT IS NOT IN OUR INVENTORY WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO LOCATE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. POOR CREDIT ~ ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY ONLY.. ~ GIVE US A CALL.. WE CAN HELP EVEN IF YOUR CREDIT SCORE IS BELOW 500 ~ ONLY $500 DOWN ~ CALL US TODAY!!!! (Active Duty only.... Rates from 8.99% to no more than 19.49%)
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HOMELAND / September 2014
TAPS Family Reunion to be held on Del Mar Beach, CA September 14th
A Day of Hope, Healing and Fun for Loved Ones of Fallen Heroes
By Ellen Andrews “I was desperate to find just one person like myself. Never did I think I would find this new family who not only is just like me but have been there for me in my deepest darkest hours…” ~ USAF mother A new American family was created when the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) was formed. Following a 1992 Army National Guard aviation accident that took the lives of eight service members, a small group of survivors discovered new strength and the beginning of healing when they turned to each other for comfort.
They participate in adventure activities, share the challenges of the grief journey, and gain lifelong connections with a special, loving group of survivors.
will conclude with a special remembrance and release of lanterns to light up the sky, honoring the men and women who have given their lives in service.
On September 14, TAPS is bringing their family together for a special one-day reunion event. In this newly created format, Camp Pendleton’s Del Mar Beach will be the setting for a day of hope, healing, fun in the sun, and of course, good food.
Surrounded by the sun and surf, TAPS families can relax, and just be present for one another. The day will provide comfort as each person travels back to their respective homes, wrapped in the wonderful memories made along the Del Mar shore.
Adults will have optional activities for grief discussions and sharing while active duty members from Camp Pendleton will partner with children in a full day of activities, games, and camaraderie. As the sun goes down, the day
To find out how you can attend or become involved, contact TAPS at 1-800-959-8277, via email at email@example.com or visit their website at www.taps.org.
TAPS provides immediate and long-term emotional help to all those grieving the death of a loved on serving in the Armed Forces, regardless of their relationship to the deceased or the circumstances of the death. Now in the midst of their 20th year, TAPS outreach and support has touched the lives of over 50,000 men, women, and children, providing a place of understanding and hope. A national peer support network, connection to community based care, casework assistance, and a 24-hour toll free helpline provide the foundation for grieving families to gain vital support, information, and resources to assist them in coping with their loss and help them discover they do not have to face their grief alone. Held across the country, TAPS hosts retreats and seminars for adults, and Good Grief Camps for children offering a place for fellowship with others in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
HOMELAND / September 2014 25
Are You Ready for Some (Fantasy) Football? By Mike Miller
The NFL regular season kicked off in early September, but long before that Americans in unprecedented numbers were poring over rosters, statistics, training camp reports and depth charts getting ready. Ready for what? It’s the social, cultural and economic phenomenon – some say obsession -- known as Fantasy Football. If you’ve never heard of it, chances are someone you know has.
HOMELAND / September 2014
From football junkies who can recite Denver Broncos Demaryius Thomas’ Yards After Catch average to the casual fan who picks players based on uniform color, tens of millions of us are playing. Although its mainstream appeal has skyrocketed in recent years, the birth of Fantasy Football can trace its modest roots back to 1962.
That year Wilfred “Bill” Winkenbach, then part owner of the Oakland Raiders, started Fantasy Football, which itself was an offshoot of similar games he devised for golf and baseball in the 1950s. Winkenbach and two sports writers – Scotty Stirling and George Ross – created a game where sports fans could draft players from professional teams onto their fantasy rosters, playing weekly games against others in a league that rewarded the best record. Thus the world’s first Fantasy Football league – the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin
Prognosticators League – was born. Its original purpose was nothing more than to pit Oakland’s finest football minds against each other in order to spark greater interest in the daily happenings in pro football. Mission accomplished. From three men in a New York City hotel room more than 50 years ago, Fantasy Football is now played coast to coast by more than 33 million players. But how does Fantasy Football work? Fantasy Football might seem complicated, but it really isn’t. Typically, members of a league gather somewhere – even online – where they select real NFL players for their squads. (I should point out that an entry fee is usually charged to join a league, and that that money is traditionally divvied up at the end of the season by the top teams. But free leagues can also be found.) Once players – mostly offensive players -- are selected and starting lineups set, teams score points based on how well those players do in actual games. And just like in real games, teams play against each other. For example, let’s say I drafted Chargers quarter back Philip Rivers and made him a starter. Every week whatever statistics he put up would translate into points for my team. Fantasy Football teams mirror real teams in that owners must deal with injuries, can make trades and add and drop players during the season. Due to the growth of the Internet, Fantasy Football has increased in popularity thanks to ESPN Fantasy Sports, CBS, Yahoo! and others which offer statistics online.
Winkenbach and two sports writers – Scotty Stirling and George Ross – created a game where sports fans could draft players from professional teams onto their fantasy rosters, playing weekly games against others in a league that rewarded the best record
The annual online ad revenue it generates alone is estimated at $2 to $5 billion. Advertising revenue is so high because fantasy players are heavy Internet users. They generate, on average, four times more page-views than those who don’t play fantasy sports. And advertising isn’t limited to just sports sites and television. Demand for fantasy football information has spread to mobile applications, which carry banner ads at the bottom or top of each screen. Despite the economic boom of Fantasy Football, there are some concerns.
The economic impact of Fantasy Football’s explosive rise is now measured in the billions of dollars and shows no signs of slowing down.
Fantasy Football’s addictive nature and widespread popularity have come at the expense of work productivity. Recent stories peg this lost productivity at perhaps $13 billion a year. But there is a business upside, too. I tend to believe Fantasy Football has replaced golf as a venue where business deals are made while appealing to an even wider audience. Since there is no way to stop the juggernaut that is Fantasy Football, employers should consider starting leagues to increase employee morale, loyalty and retention rates.
The economic impact of Fantasy Football’s explosive rise is now measured in the billions of dollars and shows no signs of slowing down. The annual online ad revenue it generates alone is estimated at $2 to $5 billion.
As a veteran Fantasy Football player entering my 19th season, I say embrace it, work hard, play hard and give it a chance. Go Gridiron Critters.
HOMELAND / September 2014 27
Just For Fun
DID YOU KNOW? How Famous Companies Got Their Names The original concept was sky-peer-to-peer, which morphed into skyper, then skype
Derived from the coca leaves and kola nuts used as flavoring. founder John S. Pemberton changed the “k” of kola to “c” to make it look better.
In order to one-up his former employers (national cash register), Tom Watson Sr called his company International Business Machines.
Named from the digestive enzyme pepsin.
The name Adobe came from the Adobe Creek that ran behind the house of co-founder John Warnock.
Named for the Greek Goddess of victory. The swoosh symbolises her flight
Renamed from “U-Tote’m” in 1946 to reflect their newly extended hours, 7:00 am until 11:00 pm 28
HOMELAND / September 2014
Founder August Horch found a name for the company by translating his name, which means “Harki”, “Listeni”, into Latin.
The girls suggested: ‘What about Virgin? We’re complete virgins at business’
Jeff Bezos wanted a name for his company that began with “a” so that it would appear early in the alphabetic order. he began looking through the dictionary and settled on “amazon” because it was a river he considered the biggest in the world, as he hoped his company would be.
Named after Starbuck, a character in Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick
Dave Hodges and Greg gilholm, original founders of Belly-Up tavern in San Diego, decided to christen the bar Belly-Up after their cronies didn’t expect it to work. Who’s laughing now Originally, the site belonged to Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar’s consulting firm. Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.com, but found it already takes by echo bay mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, ebay.com
Named after founder Sam Walton.
The word Volkswagen means “people’s car” in German
Shortened from Integrated Electronics.
Wendy was the nickname of founder Dave Thomas’ daughter Melinda.
HOMELAND / September 2014 29
Homeland Proudly supporting all those who have bravely served our country For advertising information firstname.lastname@example.org
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HOMELAND / September 2014
Linda Kreter, the Founder of VeteranCaregiver.com is a strong advocate and subject matter expert for families and caregivers of our wounded warriors and veterans. For more information on peer support for caregivers and resources/guidance to better navigate the VA medical system, go to www.VeteranCaregiver.com Our goal is to enhance quality of life and ensure no veteran nor their caregiver ever stands alone.
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HOMELAND / September 2014