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Vol. 2 Number 9 • September 2015

• September 11 Remembered – A Survivor’s Perspective • Thomas McBrien – A Memorial Journey • San Diego Fire Department – Reflections of 9/11 • 9/11 - Fourteen Years later • Cost Of War • REBOOT Your Life After The Military HOMELAND / September 2015 1

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Homeland Publisher Michael J. Miller Contributing Writers Linda Kreter Rick Rogers CJ Machado Thomas McBrien Vicki Garcia Vesta Anderson Mark Baird Keith Angelin Scott McGaugh Albert Columbo Lee Swanson Michael Hingson Ted Lavin Erin Whitehead e

Greetings and a warm welcome to HOMELAND Magazine! Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. Homeland Magazine focuses on real stories from real heroes; the service member, the veteran, the wounded and the families that keep it together.

Public Relations Linda Kreter CJ Machado Graphic Design Trevor Watson

Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with service members, families, veterans and civilians. Homeland is about standing your ground, resilience, adaptation, inspiration and solidarity. HOMELAND is inspirational, “feel good” reading; our focus is on family, military and civilians alike. I believe HOMELAND is where the heart is, and our publication covers a wide variety of topics, and issues about real life and real stories. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. They say San Diego is a military town, I find that San Diego is a HOMELAND town, where military and civilians work and live together. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of HOMELAND Magazine. With warmest thanks, Michael J. Miller, Publisher 4

HOMELAND / September 2015

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

858.240.0333 Contact Homeland Magazine at: info@homelandmagazine.com

Inside This Issue

Homeland 6

31 6 Cost Of War 8 9/11 Changed Our Reality 10 Thomas McBrien, A Memorial Journey 14 September 11 Remembered – One survivor’s perspective 20 9/11: 14 Years Later 22 Military Transitioning 24 REBOOT Your Life After The Military 27 Enlisted To Entrepreneur 31 Veterans Museum – 70th Anniversary WII 32 How Do You Love Someone Addicted To Chemicals



SDFD: Reflections of 9/11


HOMELAND / September 2015 5

cost of war By Scott McGaugh


early 3,500 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan in more than a decade of fighting. In that time, more than five times as many have been wounded. It is a toll that carries a heavy burden, long-term implications, and one that benefits from historical perspective. This year is the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, which included the battle at Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history. Three thousand Americans were killed and 17,000 wounded, in one day’s fighting. Our nation was appalled at the single day’s carnage, which became a harbinger of many more horrific days to come. Like the wars of today, the true human cost mounted when the guns fell silent. Pioneering Civil War surgeon Jonathan Letterman became responsible for more than 9,000 wounded men in a single day. His fledgling ambulance system had just replaced battlefield


HOMELAND / September 2015

“Speed to care” through tightly coordinated teamwork has become the focal point of battlefield medicine in the 21st century.  Today, wounded warriors can receive sophisticated trauma care in far less time than it took for a soldier to reach a field hospital in Vietnam. chaos in which Army band members and slackers had been the stretcher bearers, and the wounded often lay untreated on the battlefield for days. Barnyard horse stalls became patient wards at a time when surgeons called symptoms of infection “laudable pus.” More than half of those wounded died from infection and beyond that, nonexistent hygiene standards and ignorance spawned disease epidemics that killed more men than enemy fire. It wasn’t until World War II that the enemy killed more Americans in combat than disease. In World War II and as recently as in Vietnam, approximately 30 percent of those wounded died. Similarly, 25 percent of those in the first Gulf War died from their injuries. Today, as the Middle East battlefield death toll mounts, only 10 percent of our men and women in combat die from their wounds, sending the rolls of the wounded skyward. A recent Army study predicts that the fatality rate of the wounded could be decreased to as low as 7 percent. Today, survivability has never

been more likely on the battlefield. Disability, not death, has become the signature image of combat. As we mourn those who have been killed in the Middle East dating back to 2003’s Operation Iraqi Freedom, America now faces more than 50,000 wounded soldiers who have come home from the Middle East. They have returned in large part because of the tremendous advances in military medicine, advances that ultimately will improve civilian health care as well. In fact, military medicine’s legacy is pervasive. Life flights, X-rays, reconstructive surgery, PTSD diagnosis, blood transfusions, triage, trauma specialties and micro surgery all were pioneered, proven or advanced in combat care. In Vietnam, medics rushed to treat the wounded within the “Golden Hour” after they were wounded. Recently, a Navy critical care nurse told me, “We consider it the ‘Platinum 10 Minutes’


in which we’re expected to begin stabilizing a patient. I’m expected to be able to get a needle into a wounded soldier’s vein in the back of a helicopter, in the dark.” Critically wounded soldiers in Vietnam typically reached U.S. military hospitals in about six weeks. Today, it can take only four or five days. When corpsmen reach the battle zone, they often learn that stateside training they received a few months earlier has already been updated with new information and techniques. The pace of medical advance is certain to accelerate. Researchers, including some in San Diego, have worked on a microchip inserted into a soldier’s dog tags or even under his skin that can monitor his condition and send information wirelessly to a nearby medic. Another research initiative focuses on new bandages that monitor a patient’s condition and automatically dispense one of several medicines based on his need.

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Still another research project centers on developing the capability to quickly manufacture artificial blood to meet emergent battlefield needs. Nearly $15 million has been invested in research to restore memory by bridging gaps in injured brains. To be sure, all Americans should mourn the battlefield fatalities we have suffered in recent years. Yet for many, it’s difficult to develop a proper perspective. Today, 35-year-olds were born after Vietnam and many grandparents were born after World War II. We should not become distracted by reports that Detroit suffered more deaths in 2007 than soldiers in Afghanistan or that body counts have dropped from previous years. The loss in any extended war is inexorable. It mounts one flag-draped body at a time. Today’s generation only knows of marathon battles that chip away at our nation’s soul, one death at a time. Equally important, we must be prepared to support the 50,000 who have come home with injuries, some of which we are only now beginning to recognize. With greater medical knowledge comes a greater burden of treatment. The malady called “soldier’s heart” in the Civil War is recognized as PTSD today. And the RAND Corp. predicted 300,000 cases of PTSD among the first 1.6 million Americans deployed to the Middle East in this century. That’s the equivalent to the entire population of Pittsburgh. RAND pegs the total lifetime cost for those soldiers at between $70 billion and $150 billion. Those who serve our nation in uniform today extend the legacy of the 40 million Americans who have served since our nation’s birth. Those lying in beds at San Diego Naval Medical Center and elsewhere are kindred spirits to the 1.4 million Americans who have been wounded in the course of more than two centuries of service. Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs recently faced a backlog of more than 900,000 disability claims. At one point the average wait for VA benefit applicants in San Diego was more than nine months.

The USS Midway Museum is available for military retirements, re-enlistments, changes of command, and other military events.

We’re proud to be your resource!

As we reflect on the sesquicentennial of our Civil War and confront the longlasting ramifications of America’s international military commitments in the 21st century, history tells us the cost of those commitments is likely to stretch decades into the future. Scott McGaugh, is marketing director of the USS Midway Museum. He is the author of New York Times bestseller “Surgeon in Blue” and “Battlefield Angels, Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire.”


Contact the Military Event Manager for more information

(619) 398-8252 • www.midway.org

HOMELAND / September 2015 7

9/11 By Erin Whitehead

Changed Our Reality


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 “seasoned� 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 14 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 nonmilitary kid friends can not grasp. But, like all American 14 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 three-year old turns 14 she will be able to say anything different. Oh how I hope my instinct is wrong.


HOMELAND / September 2015


Positive Attitude Contagion Each day we have a choice to make about our attitude. If you become mindful about the fact that  only today matters, and that you cannot change the past, nor (usually) predict the future, your perspective can be changed for the better.  This prayer/musing made me laugh because sometimes it reflects what we all feel: Dear Lord/Higher Power/Other, So far today, I am doing all right.  I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent.  I have not whined, cursed, or eaten any chocolate.  However, I will get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot more help after that.  Amen* This practice of adjusting your attitude many times daily is difficult, but it’s nearly always possible to find something good, even on the worst of days.  Being around those who are negative, usually have something critical to say about you

or your situation, or who just plain drain you is exhausting. Saying to yourself these people are “just negative” or trying to avoid them altogether is nearly impossible.  So, what can you do?

reacting with a knee-jerk response that you’ll regret the rest of the day, this habit you’ve been practicing can come to you more often. And, more easily.

The great football coach, John Wooden says this: “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out”. 

There will always be jerks in life, but don’t buy into their “jerkdom”.  Remember too that positive people evolve into groups – and find an ally, a friend, a kindred spirit to start your own group, and to keep helping you adjust your attitudes about the day.    Take each day at a time, look inward and adjust your attitude as the day progresses.  Finally, reflect on your day each night and see the growth, the slipups, and especially note what you’re thankful for, even if it’s the fact you got a shower today!  

Isn’t that the truth?  Interestingly, if you don’t buy into the Negative Ones and their critical, harping, unpleasant responses, they eventually want to be around someone who will react to them and feed the negative. Work to find a handful of trusted friends who are positive, and can be called upon when you need a boost.    Do the same for them. You’ll find that the more positive your attitude and behavior is, the more you attract others with the same perspective.    Like attracts like, and allows you to weather the tough days, and being around the negative ones when you can’t avoid it. We all have tough, seriously-I-can’t-take-onemore-thing days, but when we stop for a second, take a deep breath, and briefly wait instead of

We continue to believe in the best within you; best wishes on lifting today to be the best it can be! Linda Kreter *Prayer from “Today Matters” By John C. Maxwelll

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Thomas McBrien A Memorial Journey It was a peaceful morning in upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. My wife Janny and I had just finished praying together in the kitchen before I realized that our 10 year-old son Michael left his fifth grade homework behind on the countertop. My current construction project was only five miles down the road on the Delaware River in Bucks County, where it borders the state of New Jersey. Tinicum Elementary was right on my way to work. I knew if I hurried, I could make it to Michael’s school before 9 a.m.


s I rushed to leave the house, I remember looking up and noticing the beautiful, perfect sky. It was a deep blue hue, not a cloud in sight. Being a restoration contractor that works with colors, you take notice of the vibrant colors of nature and hope to somehow re-create them. I reminded myself that nothing can be perfectly replicated that was created by the hands of God. I smiled at that thought, still grateful for the day to come.


HOMELAND / September 2015

Never before was there an event that simultaneously stunned the entire world on live television. Americans across our great nation and citizens around the world watched the terror of the assault on the American people. I believe everyone remembers that September 11th day with shock and great sadness.

The birds seemed absent on that September 11th morning. The air stood still as the earth held her breath for a moment. It felt as if the world had completely stopped in motion.

Later that morning it was confirmed, terrorism hit American soil. A deliberate terrorist attack was made on our home front. At the time it was an inconceivable thought. For most Americans, the hours and days to follow were spent watching repetitive television footage of the planes crashing, towers burning, suicide jumps and updates of the increasing death tolls.

On the way to my son’s school, my wife called me on my new cell phone. I felt the concern and confusion in her voice. “Tom, a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center. I don’t know what’s going on.” My initial response was to ask, was it a big plane or a small plane? She only knew that there were unconfirmed reports that a plane hit the World Trade Center.

As more information was shared with the general public, my thoughts reflected upon the victims and their families. The children lost without preparation and the devastated parents left behind weighed deeply on my mind. What about the children survivors? Would they ever know how much their parents loved them? I thought of my kids and how much I loved them.

At approximately 9:00 a.m., I arrived at Tinicum Elementary and immediately requested to view the current events in New York on the television monitor. There were five teachers attentively watching the television screen in the school library.

I prayed for the unfortunate employees of the Trade Center not ever expecting that September day to be their last. All this senseless death. I prayed more. These were my brothers and sisters. My heart ached for all of them.

At precisely 9:03 a.m., we watched American Airlines Flight #175 crash and explode into the side of the South Tower. Everyone was in complete shock.

According to the 2015 CNN report, a total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Included in www.homelandmagazine.com

those numbers are 343 New York firefighters, 23 New York City Police Officers and 37 Port Authority officers. USA Today estimates at least 200 victims jumped to their deaths from the sides of the building.

of the world felt? How could I honor the heroism of the emergency personal? And what about the innocent children? How could I honor them? The faces of terrified children plagued my mind and tore at my heart.

It was the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. America was shaken and devastated.

I wanted to display the largest American flag I could buy, but none could be found. As I drove through my town, I noticed all the homes had their

In the days following September 11th, patriotism was at an all-time high. American Flags were displayed across our town. Every home waved their American Flag in remembrance of the victims. The Red Cross gathered financial support for the 9/11 victims from around the globe. Citizens across the world sent heartfelt condolences and monetary support. Every American felt the tremendous loss and wanted to find a way to help their fellow Americans. On September 12th, my family and I flew the American Flag at half-staff. We prayed for our countries great loss and the souls that were taken unexpectedly. We prayed for the families of the fallen victims, that they may find peace. Terrorists hit our home front and I would not succumb to terror. My thoughts of despair turned into immediate action. I knew something had to be done. I made a distinct choice to do something, to begin the process of healing. But, how could I help heal the loss that America and the citizens

I was inspired to create a Flag that would be sewn into one huge Memorial Flag, each patch representing an individual and together it would represent that America is strong, America can heal and America will prevail. Flags proudly waving. I slowed down to admire the community display of strength, support and love. I realized we, the American people are all in this together. At that moment, I felt a real sense of community. A great surge of pride struck through my entire body. At that very moment every stitch of my being knew what it meant to be an American… Community.

That’s what inspired the idea of the patchwork flag. A flag sewn together by members of the community, representing each victim lost on that tragic September day. I was inspired to create a Flag that would be sewn into one huge Memorial Flag, each patch representing an individual and together it would represent that America is strong, America can heal and America will prevail. The United We Stand/United We Sew project was initiated. Community members from Bucks County, PA and Hunterdon County, NJ were summoned. Volunteers participating in the project included senior citizens, students, church members, and scouts, totaling over 500 participants. Citizens joined together to create a symbol of peace and healing. To watch the United We Stand, United We Sew video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bccXg1Ebg2Q The 9/11 International Memorial Flag took over 5 months to create. The patchwork quilt flag is 22’ x 32’ and has over 2983 miniature 4” x 6” American flags representing each victim from the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and flight #93, which have been sewn together into one Huge Memorial Flag. The project also contains flags representing the service organizations that participated in the recovery and rescue efforts, and national flags from all the countries that also lost citizens. In the center of the Memorial Flag are “The Praying Hands” as a message of hope and salvation for all.

Continued on page 12

Thomas McBrien www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / September 2015 11

Continued from page 11

Medical Examiner’s site of Ground Zero. It then traveled to the Pentagon and Harrisburg, PA, the state capitol. Its final location for display was to have been in Bucks County, PA, where 19 county residents perished as a result of the terrorists attack. But, due to public interest and requests, the Flag has been traveling worldwide. Since that time, over 6 million people have viewed the Flag as it has traveled to over 100 locations worldwide, including the Al Faw Palace in Baghdad, Iraq and Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.

The Memorial Flag pays tribute to the first responders and government officials including the FBI, USFWS, NYFD, Port Authority Police, NYPD, NJPD, paramedics, NYC Department of Sanitation, City of New York Department of Correction, New York State National Guard, Air National Guard, United States Coast Guard and all states contributing in support and recovery. Initially, the 9/11 International Memorial Flag was to be presented and displayed at four significant locations. The Flag was unfurled at a ceremony on the USS Intrepid on March 11, 2002. It was officially presented to New York City Mayor Bloomberg at Bellevue, the official

Thirteen years later, the Flag finished its long journey in San Diego, our nations “Finest City”, where it was proudly displayed at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center (VMMC) during the May 9th San Diego Ride for Vets. Hundreds of people have signed the Flag from around the world, including San Diego Mayor Faulconer, other dignitaries, service personnel and survivors. Many people signing have found their loved ones stitched into its history. The Flag has come to represent the healing of the American people. Its proposed permanent location is the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City. “The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park was privileged to display the 9-11 flag on its last cross country trip. Participating in ‘Operation Never Forget’ was a true honor for the Museum, and a lead in to ‘Remembering Our Fallen’, the

traveling exhibit of photographs of the young men and women who have died in combat since that day. It is key to our future generations that we continue to remember those who have given all to preserve our freedoms and this country.” -Sheldon Margolis, Executive Director, The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park The 9/11 International Memorial Flag/“Operation Never Forget” represents one of America’s finest examples of remembrance of history because it was sewn by the hands of our citizens. This traveling tribute flag belongs to all of us and it holds the memories of the people lost that September day. May we never forget. The International Flag is dedicated to all the people of our global community as a reminder that Good will overcome Evil and that we are all in this together. Let us never forget our veterans and service members that courageously ensure our freedom and secure our democracy at home and abroad. God Bless our Veterans. God Bless our Troops and may God Bless America.

Written By CJ Machado & Tom McBrien

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HOMELAND / September 2015 13

September 11 Remembered

One survivor’s perspective

The Last Column and Slurry Wall at the National 9 11 Memorial at Ground Zero 14

HOMELAND / September 2015


Let’s not ever forget September 11, 2001. Instead, let’s look to see what we can learn from what happened and then let’s truly apply the lessons to making ourselves and our world a better place. By Michael Hingson


eptember 11, 2015 will represent the 14th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia. Every year around this time people ask me for my opinion about that day as well as what I think we should remember from the attacks. As a WTC survivor I›m expected to be an expert and to give my views. Ok, but first here is what happened to me.

My story is a bit unique compared to most accounts from people who were in the World Trade Center that day. I happen to be blind and use a guide dog. My guide at the time was named Roselle. She was a very bright Labrador retriever who, on that day, was 42 months old. Roselle›s greatest trait, I think, was her ability to focus on the job at hand and not be distracted by events and activities around her unless she felt they would affect her work. The job of a guide dog is not to know where its handler wishes to go nor how to get there. The purpose of a guide dog is to «guide» which means that she would follow directions I would give her in order to accomplish a task. We worked as a team in which she would serve as the pilot getting us where we needed to go and I would service the navigator giving her the directions that would keep us on the correct path. Make no mistake, the dogs major job is not to lead nor to be the only conscious force in governing the team›s actions. I’m spending time telling you about Roselle›s job so that you will understand when I tell you that at 8:45AM on the morning of September 11, 2001 Roselle was asleep under my desk and I was working in my office on the 78th floor of Tower one. Suddenly there was a muffled explosion then the building vibrated and then began to tip in one direction. After about 30 seconds the building stopped and began to move back the other way. I think we moved about 20 feet before we began moving back into position. After the building stopped moving I and a colleague began issuing instructions to get some guests we had in the office to the stairs. After they were gone my colleague, David Frank, and I along with Roselle made our way to the stairs and started down. Eventually we made it to the bottom after meeting with first responders and others along the way. After exiting Tower one we noticed that Tower two was on fire although we had no idea why. Our path away from the first tower took us to within 100 yards of Tower two. We were that close to it when it collapsed. Remember, each of those towers was over 430 yards tall. We were well within the potential area of the falling building.

Only after the towers collapsed did I learn that we had been the victims of terrorist attacks. Within a day the media heard about my story. I received literally hundreds of requests for interviews as well as request to come and speak at company and school events to tell my story and to talk about what we should learn from the terrorist attacks. Today I travel worldwide as a public speaker talking about that day and the lessons that we can take away from it. I think there are many lessons that we should learn from September 11, 2001. Unfortunately we seem not to want to be quick learners and thus we allow history to repeat itself. Here is what I mean. 1. TEAMWORK. Like it or not the most important concept we should remember from 9/11 is that a relatively small group of people worked as a cohesive team to bring our country and the world to its knees. Teamwork should be important in everything we do. For a while after the attacks we were very united as a country and we had an incredible amount of support from most of the rest of the world. Our politicians, both parties, squandered away the support and have now become so divided that the only thing they’re really good at is arguing and tearing each other down. Successful corporate and military leaders always know the value of good teamwork including urging disagreement and expression of thought to bring out the best solutions. Members of good teams do not attempt to tear each other down but rather they keep the end goal in mind while voicing their views. Once a team, guided by its leader, makes a decision all the members of the team abide by the decision until it becomes necessary to modify the goal or the process of getting to the goal. There is a lot of truth to the old adage, «United we stand, divided we fall». No matter what happened 14 years ago we were given an incredible opportunity to come together as a team and move forward. It seems to me that our «leaders» have forgotten this and that they are teaching us bad habits and not good teamwork. 2. A NEW NORMAL. After 9/11 I kept hearing the expression «we have to get back to normal». The problem is that normal will never be the same after any kind of life-changing event such as 9/11. Whether it is a major change such as the attacks we experienced or it is an event that changes one person›s life we need to remember that while we may not have control over the change we faced we always have control over how we handle the change. At some point we need to move on from change by objectively looking at what happened as well as why the change occurred. We then have to consciously decide how to move forward. I have been back to New York many times since 2001 and still find people who cannot talk about that day. They have become paralyzed

Continued on page 17


HOMELAND / September 2015 15



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Continued from page 15 emotionally and have not learned how to move on. There really is something to be said for talking about your feelings especially when it comes to some unexpected or dramatic change that takes place in your life. After September 11 there was much discussion and dialogue that had the potential to lead to healing and a stronger country. We got diverted by Enron, MCI WorldCom and other events that while important should of been used as additional building blocks for a foundation of unity. 3. TRUST. If I have learned anything in my life it is that I need to rely on trusting my guide dog and, oh yes, people too. None of us trusts everyone unconditionally. However, if the events of the past several years can be used as any kind of teaching model we should learn to be open to the concept of trust. Our political leaders, for example should be taking time to teach us to gain their trust through actions and deeds not through empty words. Going back to the terrorist team of 9/11, the 19 people who conducted the attacks obviously trusted each other. We have some great examples of trust on the other side including the many stories about Navy seal team six, the Army Rangers and corporate environments that were and are successful. While not everyone liked Steve Jobs for example I suspect that most people in Apple

Michael Hingson, blind since birth, was born in Chicago to sighted parents who believed in raising their son with a can-do attitude. Michael Hingson’s life changed dramatically on September 11, 2001 when he and his guide dog, Roselle, escaped from the 78th floor of Tower One in the World Trade Center moments before it collapsed. Soon after, Michael and Roselle were thrust into the international limelight where Michael began to share his unique www.homelandmagazine.com

would tell you that they trusted him to lead them. If such were not the case Apple would never have had the successes we have seen. No matter all the turmoil and conflict we see around us I know that the United States of America is still the greatest country in the world and that we have so much potential to be stronger and more unified. Each of us has to expect more of ourselves and then we can begin to expect more of those around us. Our leaders need to set a better example as a collective group and as individuals. We need to set the bar higher for them and not just chalk everything up to quote politics» and business as usual. In my travels I have seen how many times one individual has made a difference in the lives of many whether or not they ever realized it. I constantly receive letters from people who›ve heard me speak telling me how one comment or another I made help them and made them better. Let’s not ever forget September 11, 2001. Instead, let’s look to see what we can learn from what happened and then let›s truly apply the lessons to making ourselves and our world a better place.

survival story and 9-11 lessons of trust, courage, heroism, and teamwork. He is the author of the #1 New York Times Best Seller: “Thunder dog –The True Story of a Blind Man, his Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust” – selling over 2.5 million copies Worldwide. NEW to the presses this year is his 2nd book “Running with Roselle”- Is the first of its kind- A story for our youth shedding light on one of Americas Darkest Days.

Currently Michael lives in Southern California. He is a full time public speaker available to speak to companies, schools and organizations throughout the world. More information on Mr. Hingson including how to contact him is available on his website at

www.michaelhingson.com HOMELAND / September 2015 17

San Diego Fire Department Reflections of 9/11 By Lee Swanson


he call came within a few hours of the September 11th attacks. California Task Force 8 was being mobilized to go to the World Trade Center. That call sent people to the “cache,” the warehouse where their supplies and equipment are kept to make sure everything was in order so the team could leave. Task Force 8 is one of 28 Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Teams coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) around the country. They are trained and equipped to respond to a variety of natural and manmade disasters, to find victims in confined spaces, most often collapsed buildings. Their specialties are search, rescue, medical, hazardous materials, logistics and planning. The team includes physicians, structural engineers and canine search teams. But most of them are firefighters. The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is considered the sponsoring agency of Task Force 8. The majority of its members are SDFD firefighters, but every city fire department in the county and CalFire has firefighters who are members of the team. On September 17, 2001, 62 members of the team and all their equipment left from Naval Air Station North Island for New York on a C-130. They would spend 13 days in Manhattan, one of eight US&R teams at the site. They relieved the first wave of teams who had been there around the clock for a week. This would be the last search and recovery mission at Ground Zero. By the time they were deployed on the 17th, they had seen the images on television and read the accounts in newspapers. “I expected the worst possible devastation,” firefighter-paramedic Brian Kidwell said. “But it was worse. I can’t describe it. It was a pile of rubble five stories high and several stories underground.” What the rest of the world would know as Ground Zero was referred to by the teams as “The Pile.” Split into two groups, half would work from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and the other half 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Each rescue team had a medic assigned. Kidwell, who recently retired from San Diego Fire-Rescue, says his scope of practice increased considerably in those two weeks. He knew how to suture, but had done it very infrequently. Suddenly, he was stitching up cuts and treating wounds that any other time would have been sent to the emergency room. “Guys would just look at me and say ‘stitch it up, I’m not leaving,’” Kidwell says.


HOMELAND / September 2015


Nobody left. They stayed at The Pile. It was rare that they only worked a twelve-hour shift. They were lucky to get four hours sleep. They felt overwhelmed. And 14 years later, it is still on their minds. Battalion Chief Lane Woolery now manages the US&R program for Task Force 8. In 2001 he was a firefighter-paramedic, and one of the 62 who went to The Pile. As difficult as it was, he sees it as a privilege to have been there. “You felt like you were able to do something,” Woolery says. “From here we could just watch. But being there, we could help out. “It’s hard for most members of the team to explain what it was like. “It’s like the Grand Canyon,” Woolery said. “You see pictures and videos and talk to people about it, but until you’ve been there you can’t understand.” Every first responder has an appreciation for what the people they serve are going through. San Diego Fire-Rescue responds to about 140,000 calls a year. And everyone on the job knows that each one of those calls is somebody’s 9-11. It won’t make the newspapers, or if it does it may be no more than a paragraph. But for the people who live in the house that is on fire, work at the business that is burning, love the person who is having the heart attack, or are the victims themselves, it is for them every bit as cataclysmic an event as 9-11. While the word is bandied about, first responders will tell you they are not heroes. It is their job to help people on the worst day of their lives. And they know they owe it to each one of those people to work just hard to help as anyone did on The Pile.

“I expected the worst possible devastation,” firefighter-paramedic Brian Kidwell said. “But it was worse. I can’t describe it. It was a pile of rubble five stories high and several stories underground.” What the rest of the world would know as Ground Zero was referred to by the teams as “The Pile.”


HOMELAND / September 2015 19

New York City sky line through the Empty Sky: September 11 Memorial with the missing World Trade Center Twin Towers

Defining moments change the course of history. The remnants of the 9/11 terrorist attacks are deeply embedded in America’s new way of life, becoming like gravel and nails cooked inside what was once good ol’ fashioned American pie. 20

HOMELAND / September 2015


9/11 14 Years Later By Vesta M. Anderson


he total number of victims—including more than 400 law enforcement officers and fire and emergency medical services personnel— killed in the terrorist attacks is reported to be just under 3,000. In 2013, the Center for Disease Control reported as many as 65,000 had become sick from Ground Zero exposure. One year later, the New York Post reported that approximately 2,500 Ground Zero rescuers and responders had been diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer. These numbers are growing as new cases emerge. Fear encroached as many came to realize that America was not indestructible and that its citizens share their soil with terrorists. The veil had been pulled, and the world would never be looked at the same. Americans became united against a common enemy: terrorism. Patriotism pumped through every American vein. Parents watched as their children entered into military service while current military members were “re-upping” for another enlistment. These military members would be the next heroes in line in the wake of 9/11. “It made me rethink my entire career,” said Carlos De León, U.S. Army veteran and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Alumnus, as he recalled the attacks. “One minute, I was ready to get out of the military as a young private. Then, the next minute, I am re-enlisting and serving another nine years.” Dozer Reed, U.S Marine Corps veteran and WWP Alumnus, shared the same motivation as De León. He is grounded to the belief that 9/11 serves as a constant reminder—a call to action—for every American to protect the lives and freedom of their compatriots. Both De León and Reed deployed in support

of the Global War on Terrorism. They were not alone. Since 9/11, more than 2.6 million troops have deployed in the same fight in either Iraq or Afghanistan – more than 700,000 of those who deployed did so multiple times. All would soon realize America was not the only thing that had changed – war too had evolved. According to Georgetown University historian Bruce Hoffman, the war on terrorism has no clear beginning nor end, no boundaries, and multiple enemies. Indisputably, the fight continues 14 years later, and many of the brave servicemen and women are returning from deployment with devastating injuries. With advancements in battlefield medicine and technology, an unprecedented percentage of service members are surviving combat injuries that would have previously been fatal. To date, more than 52,000 service members have been physically wounded in the current conflicts and it is estimated that as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war, including combat stress, traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) 2014 Annual Alumni Survey—a survey that has been completed annually since 2010, making it the most comprehensive and statistically relevant sample of this generation of injured service members—nearly two-thirds of Alumni (65.2%) had a military experience so frightening, horrible, or upsetting that they had not been able to escape from memories or the effects of it. In a separate study conducted by The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation, 62 percent of the Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans surveyed revealed that they think about their deployment at least once a week or more. Still many say they would do it all over again. According to The Washington Post and Kaiser

Family Foundation survey, 87 percent of the same veterans polled revealed that they were proud of their service—specifically, their deployment—and 89 percent said they would do it all over again. “I will forever be proud of having served my country,” said De León. “I will never forget those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, those who were wounded, and those who continue to serve.”

We will never forget. If history teaches us anything, it is that change is inevitable. The world we live in today is very different than before 9/11, as are the needs of injured veterans. While support and services have progressed from previous generations, gaps in care still exist between what is currently available to these warriors, their caregivers, and families, and what they will need over a lifetime. Recently, WWP committed $100 million to its Warrior Care Network™, a new and innovative initiative that partners WWP with some of the best academic medical centers in the nation and ensures that injured veterans receive the best mental health care at no cost, and over $65 million to cover both immediate and longterm care needs of 400 of this generation’s most seriously injured veterans, who without this funding are most at risk for institutionalization. Through its 20 programs and services, WWP offers a comprehensive approach to help injured veterans by assisting in physical rehabilitation, aiding in their mental and emotional recovery, assisting them to achieve their educational and employment goals, and helping them maintain their independence and stay connected with their families, their communities, and each other. These services are all offered free of charge to the warriors, caregivers, and families WWP serves. The organization believes that the brave service men and women deserve no less having already paid their dues on the battlefield.

About Wounded Warrior Project The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. For more information on WWP and its free programs and services, visit woundedwarriorproject.org or call the Resource Center at 888.WWP.ALUM (997.2586), Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / September 2015 21

Military Transitioning: My Advice to Prepare for Job Interviews By Ted Lavin


ou get notified that a company wants to interview you so instinctively you are thinking of all the great things you have accomplished and how you want to blow them away. Of course you are the most qualified candidate and you deserve the position. Not so fast, it is not about you at this point rather it is all about the company. Once you get an offer then it is about you, but not until then. Most importantly, prepare for the interview by learning everything you can about the company before the first interview. Read their website, LinkedIn page, and anything you can find online. Additionally, read the job description and know as much as you can about the job in advance of the interview

When you go to the interview and you sit down with the person that is interviewing you, their first question is most likely “tell me about yourself.” Your next response should be “I am excited to tell you about what I have done because I have a lot of great experience. I have some research, but if you don’t mind can you tell me exactly what you are looking for

Ted Lavin is the President of SDBizPros, a California Professional Employer > Ted graduated from Washington State University and did a tour in the Navy. He has been active in the San Diego business community for more than thirty years. SDBizPros takes care of the employees of small and medium size businesses so the owners can focus on growing their business. Their services include Human Resources, Payroll, Workers Compensation, Health Benefits and Retirement Plans to name a few.  The highlight of their services is Human Resources.  SDBizPros’ competition uses Human Resource professionals to advise their clients but SDBizPros utilizes one the nations most prestigious law firms to guide and bring their clients compliant with California law.  Call Ted any time and he will explain how SDBizPros offers this exceptional  service at competitive rates. (858) 395-0357 or email Ted at: Ted.lavin@yahoo.com


HOMELAND / September 2015


in the person to fill this position.” Don’t assume you know what they are looking for - ask them. If you are interviewing with several people ask this question to each person because everybody is different. If I asked you to get into your car and drive you would ask me where you want me to go to, same thing with interviewing. What they say will give you answers to their questions later on in the interview. If they tell you they are looking for a very motivated person, you know what to answer later on in the interview when they ask you what your greatest strength is. You now feel the interview wrapping up so this is where you should hear how you are going to get another interview or an offer. If you do not hear something positive then you need to ask them “Do you have any concerns with me fitting in with your organization?” This is where you get the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions they may have or a chance to expand on your experience. If again you do not hear any anything positive then it is probably a good indication that this person does not

see you as a fit so just thank them and move on. If you do not get an indication either way because they may have to have a meeting to discuss you or they still need to interview other candidates that they have set up send an email thanking them for their time, tell them that you are very interested and you hope to move to the next step. Personally I feel a handwritten Thank You note is best, but at least send something.

A few hints before the interview: • Ask the person that contacted you to set up the interview what the appropriate dress would be. When in doubt it is better to overdress than to underdress. • Make sure you know who you will be interviewing with and do your homework on them. There is enough social media available that you can find out about them. • Do your homework on the company and try to have a conversation with somebody that works there. Get an introduction through LinkedIn if necessary. • Bring a copy of your resume to the interview and arrive about five minutes early. This will give you time to complete an application if requested. • Be yourself. The hiring manager is trying to get a feel for your personality in addition to your skills to assure that you would fit into the team.


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REBOOT your LIFE after the military! [REBOOT] To reload the operating system and start over. A reboot often solves many software problems in computers, smartphones, tablets, cable boxes and other electronics devices, because it resets the system. 24

HOMELAND / September 2015




Each year over 200,000 service members transition from the military with over 50% of them going on 22 weeks of unemployment insurance. Survey results show that 81 percent of transitioning military personnel do not “feel fully prepared for the process of entering the job market.” And unfortunately, the military’s Transition Assistance Program is not designed to address the cultural needs of members leaving the service.


In 2010 the National Veterans Transition Service Inc. (NVTSI) created REBOOT Workshops™. REBOOT Workshops™ are designed to meet an acute need for robust military to civilian transition program and close the gap. By addressing transition issues at their root cause, NVTSI and its network of partners helps transitioning service members, veterans and spouses successfully transitioning from the military-to-civilian world through a three phased, 15-day intensive workshop that empowers them with resiliency and self sufficiency. The goal of the workshop is to assist veterans in reframing their thought patterns from military service to civilian life, with all veterans achieving, within their potential, their unique goals in the TRANSITION DOMAINS of: Employment and Career, Education, Living Situation, Personal Effectiveness & Wellbeing and Community-Life Functioning. The results of the the program after five years is a 97% success rate for over 1300 REBOOT graduates. Discover how you can REBOOT your life after military service at: www.REBOOT.vet ABOUT NATIONAL VETERANS TRANSITION SERVICES, INC. (NVTSI)

NVTSI is a San Diego-based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to assisting veterans in adjusting to civilian life and securing meaningful employment by combining best practice performance social solutions and techniques. The organization provides returning service members and veterans with a social and career transition workshop program called“REBOOT.” NVTSI was established by a group of retired high-ranking Naval and Marine Corps officers and workforce development professionals who seek to fill a tremendous gap in the continuum of veteran services. The REBOOT Workshops™ was designed by NVTSI in collaboration with our partners; The Pacific Institute® and; Operation Legacy™, bringing together the best in class cognitive behavioral training solutions proven to achieve results.

National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. aka REBOOT 4007 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 203, San Diego CA 92108 Phone: 619-822-2701 Fax:866-535-7624 Email: reboot@nvtsi.org Web: www.REBOOT.vet


HOMELAND / September 2015 25

County of Los Angeles Probation Department

The County of Los Angeles Probation Department is currently looking for individuals who are interested in becoming sworn peace officers for the positions of Group Supervisor Nights, Detention Services Officer and Deputy Probation Officer I. The department was established in 1903, and with the efforts of over 6,000 employee’s deployed to over 50 locations, make this the largest probation department in the world. We serve all municipal and superior courts and its services to the community include sanctions to the court, enforcing court orders, operating correctional institutions, incarcerating delinquents, assisting victims and providing corrective assistance to individuals in conflict with the law.

For more information or to apply please visit us at Website: https://www.governmentjobs.com/ careers/lacounty

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Human Resources Division, Examinations and Recruitment Phone #: (562) 940-2659 Fax #: (562) 401-2885

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HOMELAND / September 2015

Continues on page 18 www.homelandmagazine.com

enlisted to entrepreneur By Vicki Garcia

Does the Military Prepare You to Be an Entrepreneur? The U.S. SBA tells us veterans are 45 percent more likely to be selfemployed than nonveterans. It would be gratifying to think the military has something to do with that. But, it could be that the recently discharged simply can’t find a job and have no choice. And, it wouldn’t be surprising. Lots of civilians come to that same conclusion. The internet abounds with interesting reasons why the military prepares service members for business ownership. Particularly cogent is the thinking of Deanna Wharwood, Author and radio talk show host who spells out the following characteristics developed in the military: Drive, Discipline, Desire, Determination, and Dedication. Wharwood notes the following 9 specific “Core Competencies of Entrepreneurship” learned while in the service.

1. Entrepreneurial Thinking – The ability to see opportunities in front of you 2. Business Visioning – The ability to accurately assess and assign resources 3. Business Planning – The ability to formalize and solidify your idea on paper 4. Marketing – Knowing how to get the word out 5. Salesmanship – The ability to persuade others 6. Managing Operations – Effectively seeing all aspects of the business to maximize profits 7. Managing Your Mindset – Keeping your head in the game through time and life 8. Managing Your Team – Getting everyone headed in the same direction toward the same goal 9. Shifting from Business Doer to Business Owner – Where hard work pays off as an appreciating asset In the near term thousands of service members a year will transition into civilian life. This means the economy will likely experience a significant increase in veteran-owned businesses.

We Are Hologic As a leading global healthcare and diagnostics company, we strive to make advances toward greater certainty for our customers by providing them with cutting-edge technology that makes a real difference. We are passionate and resolute in our purpose; we call it The Science of Sure. We believe it is our responsibility to offer our customers evergreater certainty – what we call progressive certainty – by pushing the boundaries of science. We act with integrity. We innovate with determination. Career Opportunities Create a Lasting Difference at Hologic

Ambitious. Bold. Driven.

If these attributes ring true for you, we want to speak with you. Please visit www.hologic.com/careers Honoring All Those Who Served

There is growing support and encouragement to provide veterans with info, funding and networks they need to succeed as business owners. Start by visiting www.veteranentrepreneurstoday.org. Do you have an interesting veteran entrepreneur story or comment? Please email me at vicki@veteranentrepreneurstoday.org www.homelandmagazine.com

HOMELAND / September 2015 27



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Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County is looking for New Recruits


peration Bigs, a program of Big Brothers Big Sisters, is a one-on-one mentoring program serving the children of active-duty, veteran, and fallen service members by offering them mentors who can provide an added layer of support during deployment, transition or loss. Operation Bigs is currently recruiting volunteers for this coming school year! We are looking for men and women, both civilian and military, from ages 18 to 85, who have a heart for military children and a desire to give back to those who serve our country.

than 1,400 Navy and Marine Corps children. The program operates at eight schools in four communities around San Diego County, including Camp Pendleton, Point Loma, Coronado and Tierrasanta. The need for caring, committed mentors remains urgent for all locations.

For more information please visit www.sdbigs.org Bonnie Campbell, Program Director BonnieC@SDBigs.org | (858) 536-4900 x209

Melissa, a parent of two children in the program said, “Operation Bigs has helped me as a mother deal with the emotional impact a deployment has on my children. To know they have another adult to go to for some undivided attention has helped me and my children. I do not think the deployment would have gone as smoothly had it not been for Operation Bigs. My son and daughter feel a special connection with their Bigs and they feel appreciated. They love Operation Bigs and really look forward to and rely on it each week.” Volunteers meet with their Little Brothers/Sisters for one hour, once a week at a school site or community center during the school year. During that hour they play games, sports, and do other fun activities together, while building a friendship. Volunteering as a Big Brother or Big Sister is a great way to make a difference in a child’s life while having fun at the same time! Since the program began in 2004, Operation Bigs has served more www.homelandmagazine.com

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Veterans Museum at Balboa Park Celebrates

70th Anniversary of the end of WWII By Albert Columbo They are the greatest generation and they are living history. On Sunday, August 9th, more than 150 World War II veterans came out to the Veterans Museum in Balboa Park to celebrate the end of World War II. The day was the national day of remembrance called, “Spirit of ‘45 Day” and the veterans came to share their stories. In a ceremony fitting for a hero, the greatest generation paused to reflect and reminded us all that freedom isn’t free.  The veterans were thanked for their sacrifices and many told their stories; handing them down to the next generation. Here are just a few of those stories:

Photos © 2015 Clint Steed

Lester Tenney, Ph.D, 94 On December 7, 1941, only a couple of hours after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese came over the Philippines. They were coming with 35,000 troops, flame throwers, tanks, and anti-tank guns.  On April 9th, our general said without supplies coming that we must surrender.  12,000 Americans and 58,000 Filipinos became POW’s on that day.  Of the 12,000 Americans captured, about 1,700 lived to come home.  We survived the Bata’an death march and the Gilbert Nadeau, WWII Veteran ship voyage to Japan.  I was put in a coal mine 12th, all of a sudden the Japanese where I shoveled coal 12 hours a day, every day navy motored on us and took out for three years.  On August 9th the bomb dropped our fresh water and power.  I worked on Nagasaki; I was privileged to be able to see in artillery.  We got carpet-bombed Joe Renteria it.  My prison camp was only 30 miles away, and the second day.  I could hear right after a big blast I saw the cloud rise and I knew we were going to there were two more bombs coming right down be free.  When the war ended, the admiral asked overhead.  We figured that was it.  I prayed and a question, “How did you feel?”  Let me tell you made my peace with God.  It hit really close by we were excited to think that we had our freedom and it went boom, but it didn’t blow!  There was back.  Tears ran down the men’s cheeks, we were a hole that went down 14 feet - a 500 pounder!  It happy.  And that all happened on August 15, 1945.   wasn’t my number.  I wound up in San Francisco We came home and we are free - Let’s keep it that at the end of the war and everybody went crazy.  way. The casualties had been so bad on those islands William Drew (Bill), 93. I went in the Marine Corps 1938 when I was 15.  I spent my first two years on a battleship at Pearl Harbor.  On October 14, 1941, my unit was ordered out.  They knew war was coming but they didn’t know where.  We went out to sea and went to Johnston Atoll.  On the morning of December 7th, we were trying to build an airstrip.  On December www.homelandmagazine.com

at that time. When Truman dropped the bomb I felt like he saved my life. Joe Renteria, 98, Navy Photographer for Admiral Halsey’s staff. I was at Pearl Harbor two months before Pearl Harbor happened.  We weren’t really prepared for war. The Japanese attacked us, and it took us a

while to get going.   But once we got going not only the men but the women helped out very, very much.  It turned around.  We had more ships and we got to fighting and so forth.  We ended up winning the war. And now we understand why they are called the Greatest Generation. With more than 1,000 World War II veterans dying every day throughout the country, it is our duty to preserve their legacy. In 2010, Congress unanimously approved “Spirit of `45 Day” a National Day of Remembrance to recall the victory celebrations at the end of World War II. Celebrations occur in hundreds of cities on the second Sunday of August annually and next year that day will be August 14th. 

HOMELAND / September 2015 31

By Keith Angelin

How Do You Love Someone Addicted to Chemicals?


s our nation remembers those who suffered on 9/11 and in the ensuing war, we pause to send loving wishes and prayers to the families that remain. Given the importance of this month, I thought it especially appropriate to talk about the love that binds us together: not as a country, but as a member of a family. Sometimes, loving someone isn’t so easy. Addiction never takes place in a vacuum. People know. Not everyone, but somebody always knows. Typically, family, friends and coworkers recognize that something is off. A bottle of eye drops on the dresser, an explanation that doesn’t ring true, something stuffed way down into the garbage, the refusal to make eye contact, frequent trips to the bathroom or garage or car etc. If what I say is true, then why don’t folks who care for these addicts do something as soon as they begin to suspect? The answer is that they do. However, they oftentimes act in ways that allow the situation to get worse, not better. It’s called “Enabling.” It is crazy for parents to pay their kid’s bills, because that kid smokes so much dope he can’t

hold a job. It is crazy for a husband to find a flask of vodka floating in the toilet tank and then not bring up the subject later for fear he’s going to embarrass his wife. It is crazy to watch your buddy get behind the wheel of his car after a night of drinking. It is crazy to try and have a conversation with someone when their eyes droop and roll back into their head. It is crazy to remain silent when someone you love is committing suicide by substance. That is not love. Not at all.

The chemically dependent person will always pervert the “help” of an enabler to further their own habit. Even worse, they take pride in being so damn clever. Enabling by family members is a primary reason the chemically dependent person doesn’t get sober!

One thing I can always count on when counseling, is that people surrounding the addict are usually just as sick as the addict. Notice I use the word “sick”, not mean, lazy, stupid or thoughtless. Another word for it, is: “traumatized.” Alcoholics Anonymous describes the alcoholic/addict as a “tornado, roaring its way through the lives of others.” When you love someone, it is very difficult to avoid getting sucked into the chaos.

So, what is, and is not, love? Assuming the alcoholic’s responsibilities is not helping them face the consequences of their disease. Either is lying, making excuses for them or looking the other way. Nor is providing them with a place to sleep, a shower, allowance, phone, auto insurance, food, transportation or “a few bucks” for raking the yard. It is all a misguided attempt to control something which is uncontrollable. Enabling behavior is selfish, selfish, selfish because it is the enabler - not the addict - who benefits. Better to call a professional for guidance, or visit a local meeting of Al-Anon or CoDA.

There always comes a point at which addicts cannot continue abusing substances without the assistance of those close to them. While offered out of love, this kind of help is misguided, because it pushes the addict closer and closer to death or jail. Take it from somebody who knows.

The hard truth is that when the nightmare is finally over; when the chemically dependent person finally receives proper treatment and recovers, they may end up hating the enabler for nursing their disease along, when they could have faced their bottom sooner. I know I did.

KEITH ANGELIN, MBA, CADC-II, CNDAI, is a Masters level, Board-Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor and Nationally Certified Intervention Specialist. Prior to entering the field of substance abuse counseling he spent two-decades as a marketing executive in the health and nutrition industry where he worked with numerous professional athletes and celebrities including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood and the Dallas Cowboys. A ten year battle with drugs and alcohol nearly ended his life on three occasions. His recovery compelled him to re-evaluate his life and share the miracle with others. He can be reached at (949) 939-9222 or Keith4Counseling@gmail.com.


HOMELAND / September 2015



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