Homeland Magazine September 2021

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Vol. 10 Number 9 • September 2021


NEVER FORGET ALWAYS REMEMBER Warriors Share Their Journeys to Help Others Heal from Invisible Wounds

Preventing Tragedy

Master Your Transition

Suicide Prevention - Your Not Alone

Careers In Law Enforcement

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PTSD COACH PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. More than half of individuals experience at least one trauma in their lives. The National Center for PTSD offers FREE, confidential mobile apps that provide help, education, and support related to mental health.

Download PTSD Coach to:

Learn about PTSD and available treatments Track your PTSD symptoms over time Practice relaxation, mindfulness, and other stress-management exercises Grow your support network Access crisis resources


PTSD Coach is not meant to replace professional care.

Search “PTSD Coach”


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It’s Our Turn to

SERVE YOU Proudly Serving Veterans From Every Military Branch Join a credit union that knows what it means to serve. On average, our members earn and save $352* per year by banking with us. Visit navyfederal.org to join. Insured by NCUA. *Dollar value shown represents the results of the 2020 Navy Federal Member Giveback Study. The Member Giveback Study is an internal comparative market analysis of Navy Federal’s loan and deposit account rates as compared to the national average for similar products. © 2021 Navy Federal NFCU 13971-F (4-21)




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

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Jenny Lynne Stroup Real Talk: Mental Health

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

SD Vets & Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Tana Landau, Esq. Legally Speaking

Joe Molina

Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby


What’s Next - Transitioning

Amber Robinson Arts & Healing

Eva Stimson Greetings and a warm welcome to Homeland Magazine!

Veteran Advocate

Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. The Magazine focuses on national resources, support, community, and inspiration for our veterans and the military families that keep it together.

Human Resources

Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with our veterans, service members, military families, and civilians. The magazine is supported by a distinguishing list of national veteran organizations, resource centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. Homeland Magazine is a veterans magazine for veterans by veterans. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of Homeland Magazine.

Mike Miller

Publisher/Editor mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 4

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Paul Falcone

Money Matters VA Lending & Personal Finance

Collaborative Organizations Wounded Warrior Project Raquel Rivas Disabled American Veterans American’s Warrior Partnership * Including National Veteran Organizations, Advocates & Guest Writers

Homeland Magazine 9528 Miramar Road, Suite 41 San Diego, CA 92126

(858) 275-4281 Contact Homeland Magazine at: info@homelandmagazine.com

September INSIDE THIS ISSUE 6 Remembering Our Fallen 8 Always Remember 14 9/11 Organization Helps America’s Heroes 16 Tunnel To Towers “Never Forget” Walk 18 Your Not Alone 22 Resources Available to Veterans 24 Challenged Athletes Foundation 28 Real Talk: Suicide Prevention - You Matter 30 Preventing Tragedy 32 LENS: Words Matter 34 What’s Next: Master Your Transition 36 HR - The Future of Workplace Ethics 38 Enlisted to Entrepreneur: Your Exit Strategy 40 Drone Pilot Training 42 Healthcare Careers - A Perfect Fit 44 Legal Eagle - Details Matter 46 Legally Speaking - Mind Over Matter 52 Opportunities in Law Enforcement Cover Photo by: U.S. Navy Photo/Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres

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Remembering Our Fallen 9/11 was a defining moment for many Americans who have served in The War on Terror, like Pearl Harbor was for those who served in World War II. Remembering Our Fallen is a war memorial that includes our nation’s military Fallen since 9/11/2001. It was inspired after reading an Omaha World-Herald article in September 2010 about Lonnie Ford, a Gold Star father, who felt that his son, SGT Joshua Ford, had been forgotten. Traditionally, our country must wait at least ten years from the end of a war to create a national memorial. With no end in sight, we wanted to do something. To help lessen the grief of the families of our nation’s Fallen and minimize their fears of their loved ones being forgotten, Remembering Our Fallen was created to: reassure families that their loved ones will not be forgotten; help others to remember and speak their names; educate Americans of the tremendous cost paid for our freedom. Thirty-two Tribute Towers include military and personal photos of over 5,000 Fallen. Included are several Tribute Towers to recognize those who died from non-combat deaths and those who struggled and lost the battle of PTSD. Prior to creating the national memorial, state-specific memorials for indoor display were completed and have continued to travel their respective states since 2011. Please visit www.RememberingOurFallen.org to Add a Fallen Hero; View the Photo Gallery; Bring Remembering Our Fallen to your Community; or to make a Donation to support additional Tribute Towers and the Tour. Gold Star family members have said, “I’ll probably cry at the sound of his name, but if you don’t mention him, the tears will still come and I’ll fear he’s been forgotten.” We hope this memorial will help to alleviate this fear. Please contact us to add a Fallen loved one, host the memorial, or make a donation at: info@RememberingOurFallen.org


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www.RememberingOurFallen.org www.PatrioticProductions.org

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ys remember Family looks back on Marine’s life of service By Mary Dever


n the morning of Oct. 23, 1983, 21-year-old John Chipura was on his way to his shift as a radio operator at the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit headquarters in Beirut when a suicide bomber drove a truck packed with explosives into the barracks, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. FBI investigators said that it was the largest nonnuclear explosion since World War II and the most powerful car bomb ever detonated at that time. And for three days following the deadly terrorist attack, Chipura’s family waited for word of his fate, not knowing whether he had made it out alive. “He was missing to us for three days. For three days, we had no contact, no information, nothing,” said John’s brother, Gerard Chipura. “We thought he was lost, like so many others at that time.” The family’s congressman, who was in Beirut to assess the scene, encountered his Staten Island constituent and Marine Corps veteran delivered some comforting John Chipura transferred news to the Chipuras. to the New York City Fire “I remember being in our Department in the kitchen when he called my footsteps of his father mother,” said Gerard. “He and brother, after having said, ‘This is Guy Molinari, spent 12 years as a New York City police officer. your congressman from

Washington. I’m in Beirut right now. I have your son here and he’s safe.’ It was a very dramatic moment for us.” Gerard said that after his brother assisted in recovery efforts and returned home from Beirut, his outlook on life had changed. John had told him he was talking to a friend moments before the bomb went off and had always wondered if he could have done anything differently. “He always thought that if he talked to that guy for one more minute, maybe he would’ve changed his future,” recalled Gerard. “It was tough for John. But, at the same time, it made him more personable to people, because if he was going to have a conversation with you, he took the time to spend with you and understand who you were.” Gerard believes John’s experience in Beirut led to his life of service. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, John returned to Staten Island and joined the New York City Police Department. John worked for seven years in the 72nd Precinct and then three years in the Brooklyn South narcotics unit. “John’s family said he grew up idolizing John Wayne, and joining the Marine Corps was a natural fit,” said National Commander Butch Whitehead. “What he experienced in Beirut was tragic, but he seemingly used that to fuel the fire for a life dedicated to service, something we only see in our nation’s most dedicated heroes.” After 12 years with the NYPD, John decided to switch things up and follow in his father’s and brother’s footsteps by joining the New York City Fire Department. “His experience in Beirut affected his world tremendously,” said Gerard. “I think that’s when he decided he wanted to see if he could affect people every day. That became his new normal after

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John Chipura (left) helped with recovery and cleanup efforts in Beirut after the terrorist attack killed 241 U.S. service members. His family finally received word of his safety when Congressman Guy Molinari (right) arrived in Beirut to assess the damage.


experiencing such a horrible disaster.” “The brave men who died in Beirut made a difference during their too-short but significant lives,” said Marine veteran and DAV National Service Officer Don Inns, a Chipura family friend. “Those of us who survived Beirut have a duty to honor their supreme sacrifice by making a difference. Anything less is to leave our fallen brothers behind. ‘‘‘Chip’ became a beacon of light, leading the charge in this awe-inspiring mission of service,” added Inns. “He had everything to live for and even more that he was willing to die for. In the end, what matters most is the love in the hearts we leave behind.” Soon, the brothers were assigned to separate firehouses in Brooklyn, only 3 miles apart. Gerard recalls working two shifts alongside his brother, a


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rarity in a department that size. “For two brothers to work together on the same shift and do the same job, it’s priceless,” he said. On Sept. 11, 2001, John was detailed to Ladder 105 in downtown Brooklyn when news of the first World Trade Center attack reached the firehouse. John’s engine responded to the Trade Center at 8:54 a.m. John and Gerard’s sister, Nancy, worked for the port authority on the 69th floor of Tower 1. Reportedly, John was last seen assisting in the evacuation of Tower 2 as his sister escaped from Tower 1. “I know John was thinking about my sister in those buildings, knowing he was going to go help,” said Gerard. “His fiancée worked five blocks away, too. So if getting to downtown Manhattan was going to secure his world and the people he loved the most, he was going to get there. He was going to do everything he possibly could. And I thought it was kind of weird that I didn’t get a call from him saying, ‘Hey, come on. We’re going; we’ve got to go as brothers.’ There was none of that. So that’s when I really had a bad sinking feeling that he was going or he was there already.” As the enormity of the disaster unfolded, the Chipura family started to realize the original list of missing persons contained thousands of police officers and firefighters. Gerard had been called in as well to assist with the recovery. At 3 the next morning, his shift ended and he

headed home to see if he could get any new information about John and his other loved ones who had been in the city. “When I got [to Staten Island], I found out my sister had escaped; she was home. My wife had been in Midtown Manhattan, she had come home,” he recalled. “John’s fiancée, Gina, she had made it out. So we all just made our way to my house and tried to make heads or tails and figure it out. It was a tremendous, gutwrenching feeling for me.” In spring 2002, the Chipura’s were notified of John’s recovery; two bone fragments, part of his hip and part of his calf. “John was the only recovery from his whole company working that day,” Gerard said. “It was very traumatic for the other families. We still memorialize them all together every year.” The hunt for identification of remains found at Ground Zero continues today, with more than 1,100 people still unidentified, according to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Kips Bay, N.Y. “They say if you say somebody’s name over and over again every single day, they never really die,” Gerard said. “So that’s what we do. We have done a golf outing

for John as a memorial every year for 18 years. Every single year, we put 120 to 140 people on the golf course and think about John for the day.” In honor of his life, John’s family established the John G. Chipura Foundation. Through the foundation, they are able to help support numerous causes that were important to John, including Boy Scouts, veterans camps and local children. “We’re not changing the world, but we might just change one life, and that’s a very simple thing that John would do,” said Gerard. “So that’s kind of our mantra. We can’t change the world, but we can help you right now and change the way your life is and just make you smile for one minute.” Gerard remembers seeing a “Never Forget” banner hanging near Ground Zero shortly after the attack. He said the message he wants for people to embrace isn’t “Never Forget” but “Always Remember.” “It’s not about never forgetting for me. It’s about always remembering, because it’s always going to be there,” he said. “We have to remember things that have happened, even as tragic as they are.” Gerard said after John returned from Beirut, he was much more affectionate to people and would stop and say “I love you” more—a lesson he believes fueled his brother’s legacy as a public servant. “I think he realized that we’re only here for a short period of time, so make every moment count,” said Gerard. “I think John influenced me because he was so positive that it changed me. [After 9/11], I was digging for my fellow firefighters, just like my brother was digging for his fellow Marines 18 years earlier in Beirut. It was very humbling to realize that we had two similar experiences decades apart. I realized I had a purpose to continue serving people and with John’s memory inside of me.” “We owe a debt of gratitude to the entire Chipura family for the selfless sacrifices they made in service to our country. Nor can we forget the heroism it inspired,” said Whitehead. “That day changed the world and altered the paths of so many lives. It took me to Iraq and led me to DAV. It’s hard to believe nearly 20 years have passed. We absolutely cannot forget the sacrifices made that day by people like John and his family or those who were called to serve after. An entire generation of veterans—many of whom became seriously ill or injured as a result of their post-9/11 service—has been relentlessly serving in various capacities ever since.” n

Gerard Chipura (left) with his brother, John.

“They say if you say somebody’s name over and over again every single day, they never really die, so that’s what we do.” —Gerard Chipura

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Support the 9/11 Memorial Donate today to sustain the 9/11 Memorial. www.911memorial.org The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is committed to providing relevant and engaging learning opportunities for students, teachers, families, and the general public.

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You Are Not Alone WWP Warriors Share Their Journeys to Help Others Heal from Invisible Wounds James Rivera spent six months in Iraq with the Marines, driving convoys for 120 to 150 miles each day. When he returned home, James isolated himself and felt depressed. He used to spend days and weeks on his couch.

“Living with PTSD is like a rollercoaster, but thanks to Wounded Warrior Project my roller coaster is flatter,” James said. “When I first got out of the Marine Corps, the first few years were pretty rough.” James moved from New Jersey to Houston, eventually finding his way to support via Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). A VA counselor gave him a WWP brochure. Through WWP, James learned how to manage his PTSD. “Before being connected with Wounded Warrior Project, my tough days consisted of sitting on the couch all day, thinking about what I wanted to do, flipping through the channels,” James recalled. “It was hard to hold down a job, and I felt depressed and listless.


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The Hard Facts In WWP’s 2020 Annual Warrior Survey, the largest and most comprehensive survey of post-9/11 veterans, one-third of veterans served by WWP report having had suicidal thoughts in the two weeks leading up to their taking the survey. Just as many veterans report struggling to get mental health care, putting off getting that care, or not getting the care they need. Adding to this concern, a June 2021 study released by Brown University showed that more than 30,000 post-9/11 active-duty personnel and veterans have been lost to suicide. That rate is 1.5 times the rate of suicide in the general population, when adjusted for age and sex. The same study notes that the actual number of suicides among post-9/11 service members could be much higher than the records would indicate.

“I didn’t understand – I didn’t have any missing limbs, I was physically fine from my combat experience, but it turns out I wasn’t emotionally fine. It was the toughest thing to deal with. When I got connected with Wounded Warrior Project, it gave me the tools to cope with PTSD. “I was able to recognize what I was feeling and why I was feeling that way. I learned to recognize the problem when it was happening.” James began to experience better moments, and that led to better days, weeks, and months.

WWP stands ready to provide support through its many programs and services. The organization takes a comprehensive approach to mental health, meeting warriors and their families where they are in their recoveries. Through emotional support programs, adventure-based workshops, clinical care, and connection opportunities, warriors and their families can build the resilience they need to overcome mental health challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), TBI, and more.

“If I could go back 10 years, I would tell myself to get help,” James said. “Try to get as much help as you can sooner than when you think you need it.” James said he realized how much help he needed only after he started to receive help.

WWP also works with other organizations in the veterans services and military service community to provide opportunities for connection and mental health support. And WWP’s Resource Center team is ready to help connect veterans with a suite of services and is available from 9 am to 9 pm ET Monday through Friday at 888.WWP.ALUM (997.2586). Continued on next page...

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Giving Back Marine veteran Dan Hanson was doing his best to make a smooth transition out of the military when his brother’s suicide sent him on a downward spiral. He credits his sisters and parents with intervening to help him reconnect and find new purpose. He now works for WWP and helps other veterans stay connected. He volunteers with suicide prevention organizations and is on the board of the Minnesota Center of Suicidology. He considers all forms of intervention beneficial in saving lives. “Being more intentional about upstream prevention -- while increasing wellness and resilience can help reduce the number of people who get to a crisis point.” Dan said. “Increasing a veteran’s support system goes a long way to reinforce protective factors against suicide.” Finding Purpose Marine veteran JessicaRose H. Johnson sort of fell through the cracks. A Veterans Administration (VA) coding error left her with no pay, no medical benefits, and no home. She was 22 years old at the time. She slept in her car while awaiting the resolution of her military separation documents. She remembers being in physical and emotional pain. She sustained boot camp injuries that took more than two years to get treated, and she subsequently got in a car wreck that caused traumatic brain injury (TBI) and broken vertebrae. In a short time, JessicaRose went from healthy to living with debilitating headaches to not being able to tie her own shoes. Had it not been for her parents, JessicaRose might have stayed on the streets longer, suffered with chronic pain, and eventually become a statistic.


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But thanks to her parents, and the unconditional support she received from them, she found a path to healing and to serving others through veteran service organizations like WWP. “I had a good support system; I relied on my parents to get back on my feet,” JessicaRose said. Now, 10 years later, she helps other veterans who might feel they have no one to turn to. Her message is simple: You are not alone. “I want veterans and their family members to know there’s help available,” JessicaRose said. “Let’s get them connected and let’s do it proactively. I believe that by connecting veterans early in their healing journeys and addressing gaps in services, we can save lives.” She began working with the Oklahoma Army National Guard, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health, and eventually the federal government to reduce risk of suicide through awareness campaigns. She participated in programs to make gun locks and opioid overdose kits more accessible, and she speaks to groups about ways to reach out to veterans in need. “The biggest struggle is rewriting the narrative surrounding mental health and suicide,” JessicaRose said. “That’s the good thing about Wounded Warrior Project – it addresses both pillars: prevention to keep people connected and engaged, and crisis intervention to provide mental health services at many levels, from telephonic help to outpatient intensive services.” WWP is available to connect veterans and their families to programs, services, and resources that can help.

About Wounded Warrior Project Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. www.woundedwarriorproject.org.


“When I was first injured, Wounded Warrior Project promised they’d always be there for me and my family. And they always have been.” — WOUNDED WARRIOR BRYAN WAGNER

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is commited to serving the post-9/11 generation of injured service members, ensuring they get the care, attention, and support they deserve. Our services in mental health, physical health, peer connection, career counseling, and financial wellness change lives — and warriors never pay a penny for these services.



Learn more at www.woundedwarriorproject.org


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Reflecting on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11: Resources Available to Veterans – We are here for you. By Kaitlin Cashwell, Director of Community Integration, America’s Warrior Partnership Military veterans face a complex mix of emotions as they witness the current situation in Afghanistan driven by the U.S. military’s withdrawal from the region. These reckonings of service and sacrifice affect everyone in a veteran’s life, from family members to friends and caregivers. In some cases, symptoms of post-traumatic stress may resurface or become exacerbated. Regardless of what a veteran is experiencing, the most important thing to remember is that no veteran is alone in navigating these feelings. Nearly every veteran-serving organization in the country has taken up this call to ensure former service members, their families, and caregivers can easily access support services. Even if a veteran wishes to speak with someone about their reaction to current events, there is a wide range of resources available. No Veteran Is Alone. How Can You or They Connect with Resources? Even if a veteran understands they are not alone, they may not know where to start. Our recommendation for every veteran is to remember two important options: The first is the Veterans Crisis Line. Any veteran experiencing an urgent crisis, or any individual concerned about a veteran in their life,

No Veteran Is Alone


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can contact the crisis line for free, 24/7 support. Connecting with a responder is as simple as dialing 1800-273-8255 and pressing 1. Alternatively, the line is reachable by texting 838255 or visiting www.VeteransCrisisLine.net for online chat options. There is a second option for veterans when they aren’t sure where to look for assistance in their community - America’s Warrior Partnership’s (AWP) Network. The Network is a national coordination platform that expands the reach of local veteran organizations by connecting them to national resources. When a local resource is unavailable or exhausted, organizations can consult AWP’s Network to find vetted, quality partners they can collaborate with to fulfill a veteran’s request. Likewise, individual veterans can contact AWP’s Network when they are unsure if support services are accessible in their community. Calling 1-866-AWPVETS will put veterans in touch with a dedicated case coordinator to help identify and access a holistic range of services. Veterans can also refer themselves to Network advocates by visiting: www.americaswarriorpartnership.org/the-network Observing National Suicide Prevention Week As veteran communities reflect on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, it is also vital to observe National Suicide Prevention Week, September 6-11, 2021. The VA reports that an average of 18 veterans die by suicide every day, and the current situation in Afghanistan may exacerbate the risk factors associated with suicide. Any veteran experiencing suicidal thoughts should contact the Veterans Crisis Line.

One program focused on identifying factors contributing to veteran suicide is Operation Deep Dive, a community-based, veteran suicide prevention study. The four-year study is a partnership between America’s Warrior Partnership and researchers from The University of Alabama—funding made possible by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.

Do’s and Don’ts for Displaying Old Glory BY SUSAN H. LAWSON

Operation Deep Dive currently seeks individuals who lost a veteran/former service member to suicide or non-natural causes to participate in an interview about how their loved one engaged the local community before their death. Insights will contribute to the formation of proactive approaches for preserving veteran lives. Interview participants must be: • 18 years of age or older • A relative, loved one, friend, or co-worker to a former service member who died by suicide or non-natural causes within the last 24 months More information on Operation Deep Dive is available at www.americaswarriorpartnership.org/deep-dive About the Author

WOUNDS WE CANNOT SEE Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not always allow the affected to seek help. Lend a hand and provide them with methods of help, listen and be a friend. Homeland Magazine works with nonprofit veteran organizations that help more than one million veterans in life-changing ways each year.

Kaitlin Cashwell has over 10 years of experience in business administration, finance, and project management in both the nonprofit and for-profit industry. She currently directs and oversees the Community Integration program, including AWP’s Network, research projects, community training/ consulting, Corporate Veteran Initiative, Four Star Alliance, and WarriorServe® client relations. Both of her grandfathers served in the military, and she has two brothers-in-law currently serving in the United States Navy.

Resources. Support.

Kaitlin holds a Master of Business Administration at Augusta, University’s Hull College of Business.


About America’s Warrior Partnership

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

America’s Warrior Partnership is committed to empowering communities to empower veterans. We fill the gaps between veteran service organizations by helping nonprofits connect with veterans, their families, and caregivers.

Resources & Articles available at:


Our programs bolster nonprofit efficacy, improving their results, and empowering their initiatives.


www.americaswarriorpartnership.org | @ AWPartnership | #awpartnership

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Challenged Athletes Foundation Operation Rebound CAF Operation Rebound provides grants year-around to active duty service members, honorably discharged veterans and first responders with permanent physical injuries for sports equipment, competition and training expenses in the sport or recreational activity of their own choosing. This unique support model is effective in improving both physical and psychological well-being as it allows veterans and first responders to determine their own course towards healing and, in so doing, promotes independence in other aspects of their lives. The program supports nationwide and does not restrict support based upon geography, time of year or type of sport in which an individual chooses to engage. Since 2005, the program has supported over 3,000 individuals experience the healing power of sports. The U.S. cares for 9.1 million veterans at a medical cost of $69 billion per year. Approximately 78% of these veterans are overweight or obese, the annual care for whom costs over $2.6 billion; a cost that is entirely preventable. Of the veterans receiving VA care over 90,000 have permanent physical injuries. Many of whom are at greater risk of becoming obese due to a lack of physical activity. This lack of activity contributes to a higher prevalence of chronic disease risk among veterans with disabilities. Fitness programs help veterans become healthy and make them feel that they are a member of a team again. However, barriers, primarily economic, can prevent many from engaging. Sports equipment, travel and training can be cost-prohibitive for veterans. Without financial support many disabled veterans are left on the sidelines, unable to engage in activities that are proven cost-effective interventions for addressing the obesity epidemic. With proper support, veterans can thrive as demonstrated by the following testimonial:

“My family and I have been hiking almost every day. I have been able to see trails I’ve never been able to make it too without the off-road chair. Hiking has quickly become a family favorite outing. My boys wake in the morning and say, where can we take Mama today. Once again thank you so much for my chair. It has been the best gift for my entire family. We are all very grateful.” -Ixchel Pirlo, U.S. Army Veteran 24

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Closing the fitness gap between disabled veterans and their able-bodied peers leads to more equitable health outcomes, less dependence on the healthcare system and more community engagement among disabled veterans. Many CAF Operation Rebound athletes are active duty, military retirees and first responders. They were in top physical shape upon entering the service and often times, in an instant, faced the life- altering challenge. Their motivates them to face their injury as a challenge to overcome instead of a life-limiting disability. Through participation in sports, they demonstrate to others and prove to themselves that they not only have the ability to overcome their challenges, but to excel in a sport that they thought they would never be able to participate in again. Wether participating in a local recreational league or competing at international competition, CAF Operation Rebound provides the resources necessary to reach their sporting goals. The Operation Rebound motto is Frontline to Finish Line.” The motto underlines the program’s importance, embodying the ethos of both independence and team work.

One such athlete who embodies the ethos of the Operation Rebound program is Captain Eric McElvenny, USMC (ret.) Eric excelled in both baseball and football throughout high school and went on to major in Mechanical Engineering at the U.S Naval Academy. He carried on his love for sports as a member of the Naval Academy Rugby team. Following graduation and Marine Corps training, Eric deployed three times to the Middle East. On this third deployment to Afghanistan, Eric was working with Afghan soldiers and stepped on an IED in December 2011, suffering the loss of his right leg below the knee in the explosion. It was difficult for Eric to leave his fellow marines behind and return early from deployment, but after a few months of physical therapy, Eric is back in action - this time in the world of triathlon.


With the support of the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Operation Rebound program, Eric raced in his first two triathlons just 6 months after taking his first post-injury steps. Eric hopes to “inspire and motivate others, disabled or able bodied, athletes or not, to get out there, be active, accomplish goals, overcome adversities, build confidence and enjoy life”. In 2021, Eric earned a spot on the U.S. Para-Triathlon team, and is one of 10 CAF Operation Rebound athletes representing our country at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Eric has not only become an elite athlete in his own right but a mentor for others. “I hope to give back to others as much as Operation Rebound has given to me.”, said Eric, summing up his selfless focus on helping others to adapt to and overcome their own challenges in pursuit of self-improvement.

CAF’s Operation Rebound® program strengthens the mental and physical well-being of veterans, military personnel, and first responders with permanent physical injuries by providing them opportunities to use sports and fitness to reintegrate into our communities and by empowering them through sports. Through Operation Rebound-specific grant requests and sport clinics, CAF is there to support our service members from Frontline to Finish Line. Learn more at www.challengedathletes.org

For more information visit www.operationrebound.org or contact nico@challengedathletes.org

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Choose a Medicare plan that serves those who served You deserve a Medicare plan that always has your back. That’s why UnitedHealthcare® has a wide range of Medicare Advantage plans designed to complement the health benefits you already receive for your service. The UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Patriot plan includes the freedom to visit doctors and hospitals in our large network for a $0 monthly premium.

It’s time to take advantage.

Learn more about Medicare Advantage plans designed to complement your VA or TRICARE For Life benefits.

1-855-322-1158, TTY 711 UHCPatriotPlan.com You do not have to be a veteran to be eligible for this plan. Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. Benefits, features and/or devices vary by plan/area. Limitations and exclusions apply. Network size varies by market. ©2020 United HealthCare Services, Inc. All rights reserved. Y0066_200911_104349_M SRPJ59083


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How to Help

Someone with Suicidal Thoughts Approaching someone who is struggling can be difficult, but it’s worth the discomfort to help save a life.

ASK Ask the person if they think about dying or killing themselves. Don’t hesitate to do this - asking will not put the idea in their head, nor will it make them more likely to attempt suicide.

LISTEN Start a conversation with the person and listen without judging to show you care. Create a safe space for them to share their feelings and vent. DO NOT swear to secrecy.

STAY Don’t leave the person alone. Stay with them or make sure they are in a private, secure place with another caring person until you can get further help.

SECURE If you suspect the person could be a harm to themselves, take them seriously. Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.

CALL Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and follow their guidance. If danger for self-harm seems immediate, call 911.

ndbh.com/suicide Sources: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services; Centers for Disease Control

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / September 2021


Real Talk: Mental Health By Leslie McCaddon,

Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD www.vvsd.net/cohenclinicsandiego

September is Suicide Prevention Month: YOU Matter In the weeks and months after my husband died by suicide, I was often asked “What was he thinking? Why?” For a while, I believed this was a question that required an answer. How could a man who had a successful military career behind him and a bright medical career ahead of him want to die? How could the man who had been my best friend for 20 years want to permanently leave me? How could he hurt our children --the children he adored -- like this? The truth is, I will never know exactly what was going through my husband’s thoughts when he made the decision that ended his life. Even if I did, I wouldn’t understand it. If I understood the thought process that took my husband away from the children and career he loved so fiercely, I’d have to be experiencing the same level of crisis in my brain as he had in that tragic moment-and that is a dangerous place for anyone to be. I’m thankful I don’t have that understanding. In fact, I have done, and continue to do, many things to prevent myself from experiencing that kind of mental health crisis. So often when we discuss suicide prevention, we talk about how we can stop someone else from taking their own life. And we can absolutely make an effort to be there for each other, watch for signs of suicide, and accompany our loved ones on their journey to seek help. The underlying causes that lead to suicide are treatable. We must make sure that everyone we love knows this and encourage them to seek out support. Yet, while there are many good actions, we can take to guide someone towards effective treatment, it is imperative that we are mentally healthy ourselves. 28

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Just as we must put the oxygen mask on ourselves first in the event of a loss of air pressure on a flight, we must first take care of our own mental health to be the best supporters of our loved ones who may experience their own mental health challenges and even crises. To mentally train for your part in helping to prevent suicide you can: • Build your mental health skill set. Whether through therapy, coaching, reading books, taking online courses, or some other means of self-development, make sure you have a toolbox full of coping, communication, and self-care skills. • Seek out community. Talk with your friends. Don’t try to manage deployment, PCSing, raising a family, and navigating a military marriage alone. • Seek joy! Find healthy things to do in your life that create fun and joy for yourself. Think of joy like a protective armor that has the added effect of being contagious to the world around you. • Get a therapist. A good therapist is one you personally connect with. Mental health is like physical health, we have to keep working at it for our entire lives. If the stressors are piling up and your skill set isn’t helping enough, it is time to get help from an expert.

The benefit of taking care of yourself is that it makes you better equipped to notice when someone you know, and love is struggling. It gives you a cushion of resiliency which means you can support that friend, without putting your own mental health in jeopardy. Think of it like a bank account-- when our own is flush, it is easy and fulfilling to buy our friends a nice dinner out. But, if we’re struggling just to pay our bills, we may resent it when they ask us to split it down the middle and our portion is only twenty percent of the check. I am grateful that I can say I did everything I possibly could do to help my husband. He had a lot of factors that made it difficult for him to recognize how much he needed quality mental health support. It gives me peace to know I left no stone unturned in trying to help him get the help he needed. But I was only able to do that effectively because I was making my own mental health a priority in my life. When the day came that we all missed another opportunity to help prevent his suicide, I had months of therapy and tools within to support me. The effort that I made to build my own resilience is what continued to give me the strength to process the trauma my children and I experienced when we lost him. Dr. Phil likes to say, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” My philosophy is “If Mama ain’t healthy, ain’t nobody healthy.” Whether you are mom or dad, grandma or grandpa, aunt, uncle or friend, making your own mental health a priority is a powerful choice you can make in our united fight to prevent suicide. Your physical and mental health matter because you matter. Veterans in crisis or having thoughts of suicide — and those who know a Veteran in crisis — should call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255. More crisis resources, visit: www.veteranscrisisline.net Mental health support, visit www.cohenveteransnetwork.org Peer support call Vets4Warriors 1-855-838-8255 National Women Veterans Hotline: (855) 829-6636 Leslie McCaddon serves as part of the outreach team at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD. She is the Gold Star Widow of Army CPT Michael McCaddon, MD.

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DAV responds to struggling Navy veteran in mental health crisis with lifesaving resources By Matt Saintsing


avy veteran Ed Bancroft was at his wit’s end when he reached out to DAV in July. He felt that the VA health care system and others had left him on his own, and he eventually expressed suicidal thoughts to DAV employees. A series of phone calls between Bancroft and DAV took place, including with National Service Officer Adam Barnes, who spoke to Bancroft for nearly two hours. “We had recently received suicide prevention training where we were taught if we have someone who is suicidal, and if you’re not with them, you need to call 911 to do a safety check,” said Barnes, the assistant supervisor of the DAV office in Los Angeles. Barnes handed the call off to Robert Graves, the director of operations for the DAV Department of California, who remained on the line with Bancroft until authorities arrived. When police visited to check on Bancroft, they found several loaded guns. “One thing we do here, and I try to preach to the team is, you have to assume this is the last person they’re going to call,” added Graves. “You want to do everything you can do to make sure the person on the other end isn’t up against a wall.” Suicide is often spontaneous or impulsive, according to researchers. One recent study found that gun owners are four times more likely to die by suicide. Veterans are


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Navy veteran Ed Bancroft reached out to DAV with thoughts of suicide. Since then, he’s been receiving care for his mental health and claims assistance.

trained to operate firearms and, according to the 2015 National Firearms Survey, are twice as likely to own one, making them much more vulnerable to the most deadly method of suicide. After speaking with the police, Bancroft was admitted to a mental health facility later that day, where he was assessed

and released. Since then, he’s been receiving care for his mental health. Barnes connected him with local resources and is currently handling his VA claim. “When he filed a claim for depression on his own, he never mentioned the stories he told me,” added Barnes. “They denied him, saying the depression was based on regular stress incurred in service at the work environment and that his depression was not service-connected.” Earlier this year, President Donald Trump unveiled the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans to End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS)—a framework designed to curb the suicide rate among military members and veterans. Suicide prevention is the VA’s highest clinical priority, said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie when announcing PREVENTS. The plan encourages increased education on gun safety and voluntary safe storage of firearms. Reducing access to lethal methods is one of the few broad-scale approaches that has been shown to decrease suicide rates. DAV has supported H.R. 8084, the Lethal Means Safety Training Act, which would require all VA employees who interact with veterans to undergo annual evidence-based training on safe storage—including not just medical staff but also those within the Veterans Benefits Administration, Community Care Network providers and caregivers. “Lethal means safety is about creating time and space between the impulse to act and the means to harm oneself,” said National Legislative Director Joy Ilem. “This bill would create multiple touchpoints throughout the VA, helping to ensure all those who work directly with veterans are prepared to have these important, potentially lifesaving conversations about safe storage and suicide prevention.” As for Bancroft, while the road remains long, he said he has full trust in Barnes. “The wounds that I have are deep,” said Bancroft. “There are things I haven’t shared with anybody in 30 years, but I’m starting to.” n Editor’s note: In choosing to share his story, Mr. Bancroft hopes to help other veterans by shedding the stigma surrounding struggling with mental health.

Top: In addition to assisting Bancroft with his VA claim, National Service Officer Adam Barnes’ recent suicide prevention training may have potentially saved Bancroft’s life. Bottom: Robert Graves, director of operations for the Department of California, stayed on the line with the veteran until police arrived to do a safety check.

VA resources

Veterans in crisis can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1), text 838255 or use the chat at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net. In an effort to help protect veterans and their family members, the VA and Project ChildSafe provides cable gun locks, available at VA medical facilities across the country for no charge. Contact your nearest VA medical center, the facility’s suicide prevention coordinator or your primary care team to obtain a free gun lock.

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / September 2021


A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain, LCSW

WORDS MATTER As I began to write this month’s column, I thought about the words I would like to use. I thought about how in recent history our words have had significant impact and many times have attributed to high emotions and reactivity amongst us. Not that this hasn’t happened before, but it seems in recent years it is more prevalent. In order to combat any confusion, I thought some basic definitions would help. I reached out to my good old friend Webster. Unity: The state of being united or joined as a whole Divisive language: Creating disunity or dissention Polarizing: Causing strong disagreement between opposing groups. Civil Discord: lack of agreement (between people, things or ideas) I must also say - this is NOT a political article. These lessons apply to all areas of our lives. Back in 2016, our country was gearing up for an election. That year my sister also turned 30 and we went to celebrate with a weeklong trip to Cabo San Lucas. As we were getting ready for bed one night, we turned on the TV. We turned to the only three channels that were in English. Of course, they were all tuned into the election. We spent several minutes checking out each one and they were all three covering the same speech. We knew the speech was the same due to what we were watching but the commentary was VERY different. The different spin from each channel was astonishing. If you did not know better, you would not know they were watching the same speech. That day I realized the news in that moment was more opinion than fact. This is when I truly saw how polarizing the information was being put out- on the very same event. If I had only watch one channel, I would have only had one very far leaning biased view. That same year, I had an amazing friend who had and still does, very different political choices then myself. What was unique was the way we approached the election and our friendship. 32

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We had very open and candid conversations about the election and specifically addressed the why. It is often easier to just say something is wrong or get upset than to truly understand the why. I was able to learn more about her background and why she voted the way she did. I was able to understand why certain issues where important to her and why others where not as impactful to her. She was also able to hear and learn about my views and background. Neither of us changed our decisions….but we respected and understood each other. This is what I see so often missing in our day-to-day dialogue. It is ok….in fact it is healthy….to have different opinions. It is how we deal with them that is the challenge. Here are three tips that can help us all. Seek out positives in any situation. It does not matter what the situation is – there can always be something positive. It is easy to find negatives in our daily life, but it takes effort to see the positives. I make a conscious effort to point out at least three things daily that have been positive and at least one way I brought positivity to the world around me. Own what is yours to own! Let go of what is out of our control. So many times, we get frustrated about things that are out of our control. Many times these are things that have little impact on us. Example: I once dated a guy who was so enraged in traffic. He would let the fact that someone was going slower than he wanted impact his entire night. Someone else’s slow driving negatively impacted his mood for several hours after. Granted this is extreme but so often we let things we can not change impact our emotions and behaviors. Lastly, we have more alike than we are different. Take time to talk to others and see their point of view. Listen to others and use less divisive language. We do not all have to have the same beliefs to get along or respect one another. Respect for others goes a long way towards unity and over all happiness. Words have power…..use them wisely. Think before you speak and spend more time listening.

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WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby & Kristin Hennessy

It’s Your Time to Master Your Transition WATCH & LEARN THE PROCESS Think about a watch. Open up the back of a watch and you’ll notice hundreds of individual parts, all machined to perfection. They all work in unison. However, if just one part is faulty, the entire watch stops functioning. The job search process is no different. There are many critical aspects of the job search process that need to be mastered. If all are not cranking in harmony with each other, it can sabotage the entire process. To ease your transition from the military world into the civilian workforce, here are 5 practical steps you can take:

CHANCE VS CHOICE Let’s be honest. Just the thought of transitioning from the military into the civilian workforce is stressful. Jeff is a prime example. He struggled with thoughts and worries, such as “Will my skill set REALLY be transferable?” “Will I have to start near the bottom and work my way up?” and “Will I have to take a pay cut?” These are normal fears. After 25 years in the military, Jeff S., US Navy Commander, was determined to find a civilian job that he enjoyed going to everyday, made good use of his skills, and paid a comparable salary to what he made in the military. Most importantly, he didn’t want to leave this important career milestone to chance. It is overwhelming just to determine where to start. But, in order to get to a destination, you need to have a clear idea of where you want to go. Jeff understood that he needed to show potential employers that his skills were clearly transferable. He knew he needed to sharpen his interviewing skills to position himself as invaluable. Although Jeff’s mindset was right, he knew he couldn’t execute on all of these needs alone. 34

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1. Get clarity on what career paths excite you and which positions are the best fit for your skills. Finding a good fit requires that you have clarity on the role ‘career’ plays in your life right now. For example, do you want to climb the corporate ladder or is work-life balance more important? Think about what REALLY matters to you. 2. Develop your personal brand. Branding isn’t just for companies. Taking time to create a personal brand helps highlight your unique skills and sets you apart from the competition in a clear and effective way. 3. Leverage and expand your network. 90% of job offers come through your personal network. It’s important to be laser focused on who you are trying to meet, how you present yourself, and how you can be of service to others. 4. Upgrade your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. It is important to highlight the skills you have developed throughout your military career in a way that showcases how your skillset transfers into the civilian world. Be mindful to avoid military terminology that is not easily understood by people in the civilian world.

5. Develop your skill set so you can win the interview. Interviewing can be intimidating to many people. However, it is simply a skillset that needs to be developed. Mock interviews can be a helpful way to build confidence with how you describe your expertise in a way that showcases your value in the civilian world. Easier said than done? Without help, maybe. Fortunately, you do not have to navigate this transition alone. There are plenty of support options available for transitioning military members to find a great job that makes excellent use of your skillset, compensates you at the level you deserve and provides you with a sense of purpose. GETTING HELP HELPS GET YOU HIRED There are many available resources that support transitioning senior military leaders. At the Hired Executive, a team of executive coaches will guide and support you through the transition process. Having a coach or team of coaches will help you gain clarity on this next phase of your career, develop a rock-solid mindset, optimize your LinkedIn profile, upgrade your resume, develop a personal brand, hone your networking skills, master the interview process, and maximize your salary negotiations. With the help of The Hired Executive team, Jeff was able to build his confidence and get into action. They helped him modify his LinkedIn profile, which resulted in him being contacted shortly thereafter by a recruiter from a multinational aerospace and defense conglomerate. Support from their interview coaches boosted his confidence and belief that he could win whatever interview he was engaged in. True to form, within 8 weeks of starting the program Jeff received a job offer that he was very excited to accept. If you are a senior military leader transitioning within the next 6 months, we’d like to invite you to a complementary 45-minute strategy call where we will do a deep dive into your situation and help you make a plan for your career transition. To book your call go to: https://thehiredexecutive.com/senior-military/ For more information or help transitioning, contact Eve Nasby at eve@bandofhands.com, 619-244-3000.

Need help with your resume or interviewing skills? Reach out to Eve at: eve@bandofhands.com www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-hiring-expert

www.bandofhands.com WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / September 2021


HUMAN RESOURCES Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

The Future of Workplace Ethics My newest book will be out in the spring of 2022 titled Workplace Ethics: Mastering Ethical Leadership and Sustaining a Moral Workplace, part of a new five-book series titled The Paul Falcone Workplace Leadership Series (HarperCollins Leadership). Why now? We’re facing evolutionary change at revolutionary speed, and it’s time to make the topic of ethics and morals in the workplace part of our common dialog and lexicon. Some of these changes will impact us directly, while others will impact our workplace and industry and the broader economy as a whole. While we can’t know what’s around the next corner, we can remain abreast of the current hot items that will likely impact our organizations and our careers in the near future. What’s important is that we discuss these foundational changes in the workplace, both in the corporate boardroom and the nearest breakroom. The following two topics are likely highest on the list in terms of what’s hot out there in corporate America, so let’s jump right in.

• Artificial Intelligence Ethical challenges will continue to come our way for many reasons, but none more than due to the meteoric changes in technology. Artificial Intelligence (AI) impacts workplace ethics and captures more time in the media than just about anything else and for good reason: Many corporate executives believe that harnessing this information is critical to organizational growth and development, but even more will tell you that they don’t truly understand how to manage the “unintended consequences” of skewed data. Ethical issues surrounding AI for human resources, for example, represent the future of HR but pose a real risk if not handled correctly. Everything from recruitment to workforce planning to performance management will be captured by AI technology in one form or another: cognitive technology, machine learning, and roboticprocess automation (RPA) represent the very best tools available to measure human capital as a true corporate asset. But there can be a “dark side” of “unintended consequences” if the data is skewed or biased, and legal claims of disparate impact or disparate treatment may result in class action litigation if employers aren’t careful. What makes this even more challenging is that the majority of HR professionals aren’t schooled in the evaluation of data analytics, don’t know how algorithms work, and report that they don’t have the technical acumen to evaluate these new, growing technologies. The key: AI should be leveraged to augment the human experience--not replace it. In other words, human analysis and AI must work together to identify common-sense limitations to the data being generated. AI isn’t intended to a be a onesize-fits-all magical solution to all of our problems. Instead, it should be viewed as an enhancement tool to identify issues that might otherwise miss awareness. Embrace new technology but ensure that you remain diligent for unintended consequences that should require you to redefine the criteria you’re using in order to generate bias-free results. • Gender Parity and Pay Equity The subject of wage inequality between the sexes remains a contentious topic, although it has been more


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than 50 years since the Equal Pay Act (1963) and the Civil Rights Act (1964) were passed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for women is about 24 percent less than that of the median male salary—women earn 76 percent of what men earn. Although this wage disparity has decreased since the late 1970s—when it was 62 percent—it reflects the long road to realizing fully equal pay in the workplace. The disparity is even greater for black and Hispanic women. Black women earn 64 cents and Hispanic women earn 56 cents to the $1 earned by white, non-Hispanic men. In 2018, asking salary history questions during the pre-employment interview process was barred in certain states in an attempt to “blind the pay scales” of applicants’ compensation histories, thus erasing prior salary from perpetuating future incongruities in salary offers between males and females performing substantially similar work. Will your organization objectively review salary levels based on experience, education, and performance regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity? How strongly do you feel about such disparities, and how far are you willing to go to proactively address them in your organization? Both of these large-scale issues deserve their own in-depth study. Just keep in mind that as long as human beings attempt to short cut systems and find loopholes, there will be ethical quandaries and consequences that come your way. The greatest investment you can make in yourself lies in developing a reputation as an ethical and moral business executive and human being. Make ethics the primary driver of your leadership brand, and everything else will surely align itself and fall into place. You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/paulfalcone1

Paul Falcone (www.PaulFalconeHR.com) is a human resources executive and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development.


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Your Exit Strategy It may seem strange to think about an exit strategy when you’re just a startup or in the early stage of building your business. But that is the exact right time to think of your exit. An exit plan can determine many decisions you might make for years before you sail off to Tahiti.

The Stage of Your Business Think of the stage of a business as if it is on a clock. • From midnight to 3am, you’re laying down the framework, inventing new products or ideas, building a brand, establishing a customer base. It’s all new and exciting full of promise.

How Do You Calculate the Value of a Business?

• From 3am to 6am, you’ve established your model, developed a successful marketing effort, hired your employees, and you’re humming along. At this point you figure you’ve got a lock on it and have stopped asked yourself “what the hell am I doing?”

Take a step back and look at the business you plan to sell from a buyer’s point of view. The simple answer to this question is, how much is the right buyer willing to pay?

• From 6am to 9am, you’re growing, you know what you’re doing, you’re starting to understand your place on the planet and feeling pretty confident. You’ve also attracted competition and copycats because nothing attracts copycats like success.

The answer can be complicated with a ton of different answers, depending on the context. 1. What stage is your business in? 2. Why would a buyer want your business? 3. Does your business have Strategic Value? 4. Does your business have an Asset Value? 5. What is the Revenue Value of your business? 6. What is the People Value of your business?


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• From 9am to 12noon, you’re government. You’re restrained by “we’ve always done it that way.” You’re rigid. You have policies. And you’ve developed internal issues like carrying a high debt load and overpaid employees. Strategic Value Your buyer wants to know what you bring to the deal. They’re not looking simply at your financials. They may be looking inside of their own organization and what they might need to spend to deliver what you’ve already created.

A larger organization may define your value because you may offer a solution to their organization faster than building it. I’m reminded of a small San Diego based company called Sucuri that was bought by GoDaddy, one of many small fries who were made millionaires overnight.


Asset Value Your company may have assets that drive the value of a deal. Assets can include stuff that can be sold or converted to cash. This can include your brand, a well-established internet presence, equipment, and a significant customer base or multi-year contracts with vendors or clients. Seller owned real estate frequently can get folded into the agreement.


Revenue Value Simply put, the question of how much the business is generating in profits. What is the trend, is growth fast or slow? Or are you losing money? Whatever you do, don’t cook the books to look more profitable than you actually are. I had a client who thought she was clever in the way she disclosed info and was sued once the deception was discovered. She lost.


Transitioning out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce?

People Value Some buyers are looking at a company because of the staff that are it. The value of that business may be not so much about the revenues and more with its expertise. Or the value of the revenue is enhanced by the expertise of the employees that would come with the purchase.

Finding a job in the civilian world may seem easy at first. After all, you have learned skills, practiced leadership and demonstrated initiative that will make you successful wherever you go.

So those are four different ways that your value may be considered or calculated. You can see how your decisions now may impact your value in the long run. The value of your business is in the eye of the buyer, and it can be much more complicated than what you see here. A smart owner will work with a business broker who can bring potential buyers to the table and who is not emotionally involved in determining value.

The reality, though, is that it can be difficult. In fact, it can be downright depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned.

Of course, there are always internet sites that can help. https://empireflippers.com and https://flippa.com/ are just two, but there are probably more.

For editorial & monthly columns regarding transitioning to business, career advice, tips, workshops, transition to education, entrepreneurship, straight-forward legal tips for military and veteran business owners and more, Visit our website at: www.tinyurl.com/Veterans-In-Transition

Veterans In Transition is dedicated to you and to helping you succeed in your transition.

Vicki Garcia is the owner of a marketing firm for over 33 plus years and has worked with veteran entrepreneurs for many years. She is the author of Power Focus, The Little Book of Digital Marketing, and My Startup Journal, which can be found on Amazon.com. If you would like any of these books for free, please email her at 72146vicki@gmail.com.


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Things to Know about Wounded Warrior Project’s Drone Pilot Training

Did you hear the buzz? Wounded Warrior Project brings innovative career training opportunities to San Diego veterans Who was flying drones in San Diego last month? Fifteen veterans from Southern California and Arizona were training to become commercial drone pilots as part of a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) career counseling program called Warriors to Work®. The training started in June with online instruction and wrapped up in August with hands-on coaching. As part of the program, the warriors tested for and obtained their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 certification to become licensed commercial drone pilots. Moving forward, the warriors will work with WWP career counselors to find opportunities in this exciting field. This group of warriors is the second cohort to complete the drone pilot training; the first was on the East Coast of the United States. WWP plans to offer similar opportunities to warriors in other parts of the country. 40

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How much did this training cost? All WWP programs and services are free for warriors registered with the nonprofit. Veterans and service members who sustained a visible or invisible injury, illness, or wound while serving in the military after Sept. 11, 2001, are eligible for WWP’s programs and services. How can flying a drone become a career? WWP connects warriors to innovative employment opportunities. According to the FAA, more than 240,000 remote drone pilots are now certified by the government agency. That number is expected to increase as drones become more valuable to the operations and efficiency of several industries. Applications for commercial drone pilots include defense, emergency medical services, telecommunications, real estate, construction, oil and gas, events and entertainment, and sanitation, among others. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that by 2025 there will be more than 100,000 new drone pilot jobs.

WWP is following these employment trends to help veterans find their next missions in life. Can you tell us more about Warriors to Work? Warriors to Work is WWP’s career counseling program that helps post-9/11 wounded veterans and their families find their next careers in civilian life. WWP career counselors help warriors and their families translate military experience into a civilian resume; provide interview coaching and mock interviews; facilitate networking opportunities; and offer other professional services, including support with certifications. In 2020, Warriors to Work helped place nearly 2,000 wounded veterans and family members in new careers, with combined first-year salaries totaling almost $94 million. How can I learn more about Warriors to Work? If you haven’t already registered with WWP, call the nonprofit’s Resource Center at 888-997-2586 or visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org. After your registration is complete, let WWP know you are interested in veteran employment services. You can also learn more about Warriors to Work on WWP’s website.

“It was a great learning experience,” said Navy veteran Thomas Grellner. “There are lots of opportunities out there, and the demand seems to be growing quickly.”

Photos by: Amber Robinson - San Diego Veterans Magazine

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Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit for Military and Civilian Life By Stephanie Lee, Air Force Veteran & Enrollment Manager, CareerStep Sometimes, the sense of division between life in the military and life as a civilian feels like a vast chasm. In fact, for military families, this sense of division joins a long list of challenges that specifically impact the men and women who sacrifice so much for the country. These challenges couldn’t be more apparent than when it comes to finding a post-military career or one that is flexible enough to align with military spouses’ unique needs—a career that checks all the right boxes: satisfaction, security, and stability. Finding industries and employers that understand the skills of veterans and their families can seem like an uphill climb at times, and it shows. For example, the unemployment rate for veterans rose to 6.5% in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Reasons for this vary, but one contributing factor could be that lessons learned under the harsh conditions of combat don’t always translate to private-sector jobs. And for military spouses—60% of which say they’re looking for full- or part-time work—finding a profession that’s both portable and in-demand is increasingly difficult.

However, there is hope and there are opportunities. First, it’s important to consider key reasons why a career in healthcare—the fastest-growing sector in the U.S. economy according to BLS data—might just be what bridges that expansive gap between military and civilian life. 1. Meaningful Work Most who enter the military are looking for fulfilling work—an opportunity to make a difference. A real difference. But few civilian careers allow veterans to make as much of a difference as those found in healthcare. That’s because working in this particular field, regardless of the role, provides the opportunity to impact peoples’ lives in profound ways. From mending wounds and healing minds to saving lives, the difference healthcare workers make is undeniable. 2. Transferable Skills There’s a reason healthcare is an overwhelmingly popular career choice for veterans and their spouses: it’s an industry in which military-specific skills are undeniably relevant. Creative problem solving, adaptability, and effective communication—they’re all valuable skills that healthcare organizations can’t ignore if they want to provide the best possible service and care to their patients. And they’re all skills that veterans and their spouses already possess. 3. In-Demand Careers People need healthcare. In turn, the industry needs people willing to step up to the proverbial plate.


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Economic and labor experts believe we need to hire 2.3 million new healthcare workers by 2025 if we’re going to keep pace with the needs of our aging population. But a persistent shortage of skilled workers with exceptional knowledge and training means hundreds of thousands of positions will remain unfilled. Home health aides, medical assistants, lab technicians, and more are all in high demand. 4. Portable Jobs For a working military spouse, it can be difficult to cultivate a strong professional network, and when the time comes to pack up and move to a new city, the wrong vocation can leave even the most talented pro scrambling to start over. That’s why job portability is so important. Healthcare training provides the skills and certifications that employers are looking for in highgrowth, high-demand fields in virtually every city in the entire world. Supportive Training for Success These days, there are multiple training options for learners to pave their road to success. These organizations often have hiring network relationships, so it’s important to keep in contact and inform them when certification is achieved. It’s especially important for members of the healthcare sector to be fully qualified and properly trained. An early step is to start by choosing a specific discipline and then find a provider that can help learners develop the concrete job skills employers are looking for.

Healthcare Training For Your Next Phase of Life Our online training programs are approved for military education funding—all designed to help military members and their spouses build skills and thrive in careers that are portable,

The good news is that there’s a significant amount of trusted providers who specialize in transforming entrylevel learners into high-performing, certified healthcare professionals. And they all do this with expansive catalogs of fully online career training programs that are fast, portable, and eligible for military education grants—often covering up to 100% of the cost.

in-demand, and rewarding. Start training today so you can be prepared for meaningful work tomorrow.

Finding the right fit takes a little time and it is important to explore the possibilities. Doing the research is crucial as it can improve the learning experience—and potentially lead to faster employment. Deciding to pursue a career in healthcare is a fulfilling and viable option for veterans and their spouses. About the Author: Stephanie Lee served in the Air Force for 11 years as a Munitions Systems Craftsman. She now serves as an Enrollment Manager for CareerStep, (www.careerstep.com/military/), the Allied Health training division of Carrus. (www.carruslearn.com)

For more information, call (877) 201-3470 or visit www.careerstep.com/military

WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / September 2021


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

Details Matter. Especially In Legal Agreements

Have you ever wondered if that contract you were reading actually needed all those legal terms? Every term, condition, and individual facet of a legally binding contract can make a world of difference. Wording can make or break obligations, definitions can simplify the language or cause confusion, and missing or included elements can be the difference between a valid or void contract. A null and void contract is an illegitimate agreement, making it unenforceable by law. Null and void contracts are never actually executed because they are missing one or more of the required elements of a legal agreement. To draft a valid contract, you need to understand the necessary elements of a contract, what makes a contract void or voidable, and how to terminate an agreement.

Details Matter


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Elements of a Contract: A contract must include the following six elements to be legally binding and enforceable: 1. Capacity: Contractual capacity refers to an individual’s ability to enter into an enforceable contract. People who are under age, mentally disabled, or intoxicated provides for lack of legal capacity and can not be held liable for their end of the agreement. They can choose to move forward with the agreement if they wish, but they can also exit the contract at any time without breaching. 2. Offer: An offer is the initial draft of a contract that includes the terms of the contract to which the person you are entering into an agreement with is willing to be bound. Most offers include a promise to act or not act in a certain way or an exchange of promises. If the offer is accepted and signed, it becomes legally binding at that moment.

3. Acceptance: Acceptance is an agreement to abide by the terms and conditions in the contract. An offer’s acceptance must be made by the person who is accepting the offer. If the offer is not accepted, then the person not accepting the offer can make a counter offer and the process then starts over with that new offer and the acceptance of that new offer.

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4. Legality: Legality simply refers to whether or not the terms, conditions, and the overall agreement abides by law. If the subject matter of a contract is not legal, it is not enforceable. For the agreement to be valid, the transaction must be legal. 5. Consideration: Consideration is the exchange of one thing for another. Contract law states that both parties in the agreement need to provide something of value for the agreement to be valid. Consideration can include money, an item, or completing a certain action or service for someone. 6. Mutuality: Mutuality is a contract element that states both parties need to be bound to the agreement for it to be valid. If one party is not legally bound, then neither are. The agreements that lack mutuality are not valid contracts.

Details Matter

Award-winning attorney, Kelly Bagla shows you how to avoid legal pitfalls FROM DAY ONE! The last thing an entrepreneur wants is to spend valuable time and resources on legal issues, which is why they often drop to the bottom of the pile. But this can be a COSTLY MISTAKE—and Go Legal Yourself is here to make sure it’s one you avoid. For more information on how to legally start and grow your business please visit my website at www.BaglaLaw.com

• • • •

Gather the right documentation Protect your brand Avoid expensive legal pitfalls Plan and manage growth competatively

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

Rest assured that no nasty legal surprises will stand between you and your success.

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Legally Speaking Military Focused Family Law Facts By Tana Landau, Esq.

MIND OVER MATTER Don’t Let Divorce Derail You

Did you know divorce is a risk factor for suicide? Divorced people are 2.4 times more likely to commit suicide than their married counterparts. That’s some intense data, especially considering taking care of your mental health can be a big task on a good day. During a divorce it can get downright impossible. The good news is that if you know what to look out for you can make a plan to stay on top of your emotional wellbeing before things start to slide downhill. If you’re going through a divorce, watch out for these issues in yourself and apply the associated action items to get yourself back in tip-top shape as soon as possible. PROBLEM - You Feel Alone: Deciding to get a divorce can leave you feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious. You might feel at a complete loss for what to do next or like there is no way forward. These feelings are normal, but you don’t have to let them stick around. ACTION ITEM: Ask for assistance! Even during a divorce there are always people who are willing to help. You might seek counseling from a therapist who has experience with military families, or maybe a support group is more your speed. If you’re a parent, you could join a parenting group to help you get out of the house. And don’t be afraid to seek other forms of help in your community; check with friends, your local house of worship, and family to find options you may have overlooked. PROBLEM – You’re Finding it Difficult to Cope: Most people thrive on routine and going through a divorce can upset the delicate balance that is our day to day lives. If you’re feeling scattered and disorganized - or perhaps alienated from old activities - there are ways to feel better. 46

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ACTION ITEM: Even the biggest problems in life are solved one step at a time. Don’t try to do too much at once or set unrealistic expectations for yourself. Remember that you’re going through something life-changing, and even the smallest efforts should be celebrated. To decrease stress, try to exercise daily or start a journal to put your feelings to paper. Start a new hobby to keep you busy or volunteer to help people in need. And don’t forget to give yourself a break when you need it – slow and steady wins the race. PROBLEM – You No Longer Qualify for Base Housing: If you’re a military spouse getting a divorce, you might be facing a shocking reality: the loss of your home. Each branch of the military has their own policies regarding the requirements of service members to support family members during a separation, so it can be difficult to know where you stand. ACTION ITEM: It’s easy to get overwhelmed when searching through information online. Instead reach out by telephone to the base legal department to better understand your rights. A military family law attorney should also be able to advise you on this, and many offer free consultations.

PROBLEM – You’re Afraid of Losing Your Kids While Deployed: Like all parents, your first thoughts in a divorce turn to one place: your kids. Dealing with the uncertainty of custody arrangements in a dissolved military marriage can be complicated, especially if one of the parents is deployed. Thankfully, both the military and the state of California have laws in place to protect the wellbeing of your children, no matter what.

ACTION ITEM: The Service Members’ Civil Relief Act provides protections for military members, including for custody issues. This act mandates a ‘stay’ on legal action involving active duty military service members for the first 90 days of their deployment, after which the case is governed under California law. In California, the Court does not view active duty alone as enough reason to change a custody order, so any changes made while a parent is deployed are likely to be temporary. As with any law there are exceptions, such as in cases with family visitation issues and in cases where the child’s welfare is at stake. A good family law attorney will be able to tell advise you further. At the end of the day, divorce is never easy. Being in the military can make it even more complicated. But you owe it to yourself, your family, and your friends to never give up. Even in your darkest moments you are never truly alone. If you’re experiencing thoughts of depression or suicide, reach out to your doctor or the National Suicide Prevention hotline (at 1-800-273-8255) right away.

For more information about pets in your military divorce, check out our website: www.frfamilylaw.com or call (858) 720-8250 and ask to speak with military family law attorney Tana Landau.

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Opportunities in Law Enforcement You’ve served your country, now serve your community!

Military and law enforcement have had a longstanding relationship with overlaps in training exercises, equipment, and, most important, personnel. It is not uncommon for a service member to make the jump from the military to law enforcement as both professions look for the same characteristics; leadership, fidelity, chain of command, and teamwork are all common themes in both professions. Quite understandably, many American military veterans often gravitate to a career in law enforcement when the time comes to rejoin the civilian workforce.


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The two professions have many fundamental similarities; from the uniforms they wear with pride, to the firm command structure they serve under, to great personal risk they endure while protecting those who cannot protect themselves. The following agencies are actively hiring & proudly support our veterans, active military and the families that keep together.

Military service can be a perfect entrance into a law enforcement career.

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