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Vol. 2 Number 11 • November 2020


Recognizing and Thanking Our Community’s Veterans

San Diego


San Diego Veteran


TRANSITION To Civilian Life

Mt. Soledad

National Veterans Memorial

Veteran of the Month (RanDee McLain)

Advocate of the Month (Darnisha Hunter)

Community Connections



National Family Caregivers Month

MENTAL HEALTH WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


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Happy Veterans Day! From Honor Flight San Diego, we want to thank you for your service!

If you know a WWII or Korean War Veteran who has not been on their Honor Flight, we want them to go on our flight in 2021. There is no cost to the veteran. Please go to:

www.HonorFlightSanDiego.org to complete an application, send an email to info@honorflightsandiego.org or call (800) 655-6997 4

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020

Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater

A Vision for Miramar National Cemetery More than 20,000 veterans and their loved ones are interred at Miramar National Cemetery. The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation holds services in the Flag Assembly Area on Memorial Day weekend and on Veterans Day to honor our veterans. The Flag Assembly Area has no permanent seating. The Support Foundation plans to build the Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater with permanent guest seating in a beautifully landscaped setting. This will be the Support Foundation’s biggest project yet. Its cost—for construction and permanent maintenance—will range from $450,000 to $500,000. No federal funds will be expended. Contributions from corporations, veterans groups, civic organizations, local government, and the public are needed to make this vision reality at Miramar National Cemetery.

Please Contribute Today! Make the Vision a Reality

Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater Any contribution amount counts!

To donate, please go to https://gala.miramarcemetery.org/ and Click on “Donate Now” or by check to Amphitheater Fund, c/o 2500 6th Ave., Unit 803, San Diego, CA 92103 The Support Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity. All donations are tax deductible. Tax ID #65-1277308. You will receive an acknowledgment for your contribution. WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020




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

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate - Honor Flight SD

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

SD Vets & Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Joe Molina Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby

What’s Next - Transitioning

Amber Robinson

www.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com Greetings and a warm welcome to San Diego Veterans Magazine! Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. The Magazine focuses on San Diego resources, support, community, and inspiration for our veterans and the military families that keep it together. Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with our veterans, service members, military families, and civilians. The magazine is supported by a distinguishing list of San Diego veteran organizations, resource centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. San Diego Veterans Magazine is a veterans magazine for veterans by veterans. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of San Diego Veterans Magazine.

Mike Miller Editor-In-Chief

mikemiller@SDVetsMagazine.com mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com

Arts & Healing

Eva Stimson Veteran Advocate

Collaborative Organizations Team Rubicon - Bryan Prest VANC- Lori Boody / Michael Walsh • DAV • Father Joe’s Village • DOD • Shelter To Soldier • Give An Hour • UCSD • Courage To Call • • Veteran & “For Purpose” Organizations • Veteran Advocates & Guest Writers • And many more...

San Diego Veterans Magazine 9528 Miramar Road, #41 San Diego, CA 92126

(858) 275-4281 Contact us at: publisher@SDVetsMagazine.com San Diego Veterans Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved.


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8 San Diego Veteran of the Month 10 San Diego Advocate of the Month 14 Office of Military & Veterans Affairs 16 Call-To-Service 20 Thanking Community’s Veterans 22 Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial 24 MIDWAY Magic 26 Caregiving TBI 28 Operation Dress Code 30 Real Talk: Thank You Caregivers 32 LENS: Veterans Day 34 Military Sexual Trauma 40 What’s Next - BioTech Landing Zone 44 Workplace Ethics 46 LinkedIn Tips- Part II 48 Enlisted to Entrepreneur - Pop Up Business 52 Veterans Networking 56 Legal Eagle: COVID-19 Business Contracts 58 Legally Speaking: Disability & Divorce 60 American Legion Baseball - Play Ball 62 San Diego Veterans Coalition 64 Veterans Association of North County 66 Military Order of the World Wars 68 Shelter to Soldier - Celebrating Impact WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


VETERAN OF THE MONTH San Diego - November 2020 By Holly Shaffner

RanDee McLain Faith, Family, Football, and Love for Her Country – the cornerstones of what makes U.S. Navy Veteran, RanDee McLain, our Veteran of the Month. Her story is about transition, defying odds, and having a lifetime of experience…all before her 40th birthday. RanDee admits that she was broken when she left the Navy in 2009. She was no longer a sailor, a wife, had no higher education, and was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), and Major Depression. By any account that is a lot to digest, then tack on recuperating from physical injuries she sustained in an accident while on active duty. It is no wonder that she had some very dark days and nights. This month’s article is about how this Navy veteran rose from the ashes to write her own story. She left behind the labels of Gunners Mate, wife, sailor, combat veteran and created new labels like college graduate, social worker, LCSW, Veteran Advocate, Teacher, and Leader. She is proud of her military service but is prouder of her transition from active duty to active student and now a key veteran in San Diego’s Veteran community. This story starts in a small town in Arkansas where she was born and raised. When RanDee graduated from high school, she knew she wanted to get into law enforcement. She moved to Chicago and was hired by the Police Department. She was only there a short time when one of the worst days in American history happened – the terrorist attacks of 9/11. “America was under attack and I knew it was my duty to join the military and fight for our nation,” said McLain. During her eight years in the U.S. Navy, she was stationed in New Orleans (post-Hurricane Katrina); Rota, Spain; Kuwait and Iraq. While overseas, she used her law enforcement skills for detainee operations and her Gunners Mate knowledge for armory duties and high value asset escort duty. Her favorite tour was the one where she was forward deployed to a Joint Task Force and spent a year with the U.S. Army. Her Army boss called, her “GM 5,000” because no one understood the Navy paygrades. 8

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Fast forward to 2009 when she was medically separated and that is when the true story takes shape. She vividly remembers the day she was talking to her Veterans Affairs doctor about her future. He said, “You are high functioning considering your diagnoses; but not everyone is cut out to for higher education.” From that day forward she did not want her traumas to define her. “I know I can teach our veterans there’s a life out there,” said McLain. “The injuries don’t need to define you, there’s just so much more.” McLain enrolled in Grossmont Community College, met her first true San Diego friends, and set herself up for transfer to San Diego State University. While at SDSU, she did a double major in Criminal Justice and Sociology. She routinely took 20 units each semester, was the President of the Criminal Justice Association (student organization), a board member of the Student Veteran Organization, volunteered at homeless Veteran’s Standdown, and worked part-time. When I asked her why she would do this to herself, she said, “This is how I kept busy, otherwise I didn’t want to get out of bed.” She graduated from SDSU in 2012. It was then that she realized that due to her physical injuries she would never be able to go back into law enforcement.

So, she married her love for football with law enforcement and volunteered with a local semi-pro football team called, the San Diego Enforcers. She rose from “Stat Girl” to being a member of the board of directors and today, she is the volunteer Director of Communications. It was also this year that she had to figure out her career. Knowing that she would not give back to her community in a law enforcement job, she chose to give back to her veteran community. She applied for University of Southern California’s Master’s in Social Work program and got in! Her educational focus was those three letters she was diagnosed with – TBI and PTS. Excelling in a graduate program is a challenge for anyone; but for McLain, she was learning how to live with, and how to manage her TBI and PTS. She often had to read things over and over to comprehend the material and in true McLain style, she stayed as busy in her grad program as she had in undergrad. While at USC, she continued with her volunteer work with the Enforcers, Veteran’s Stand Down where now she was a team leader, and she stood up the USC Student Veterans Organization. For this and more, she was selected as the 2013-2014 San Diego County Veteran of Year. She accepted the award among her family, friends, peers, and colleagues for her “Service after Service”.

So, once you are an award-winning veteran in the community and have established yourself academically and professionally, where do you go from there? For McLain, starting a family has taken a back seat to her professional life. In the next chapter, she wants to be a wife and mother. She is ready to take it on and give her personal life as much energy and focus as she has in her work life.

In May 2014, she walked across the stage with a master’s degree in Social Work. Now that she was educated, how would she put that education to work? She was hired by Mental Health Systems to run a program called, Courage to Call. It was during her time there that she became involved in Justice for Vets. She started as a mentor and worked her way “up the chain” from local and state to the federal level. Her current role is to train new drug, mental health, and veteran’s treatment courts around the country. In addition, she supports the Southern District of California Federal Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) as the Mentor Coordinator and trainer. For her hard work and dedication in this arena, she was surprised in 2015 with the Hank Pirowski Award. Hank was a part of the first VTC in Buffalo, NY and she received the award from the godfather of Veterans Treatment Courts and her favorite judge, Judge Robert Russell. “Of all the accomplishments, accolades and awards I have received, this one is the one I am most proud of,” said McLain.

We, here at San Diego Veterans Magazine know that RanDee McLain will be able to accomplish anything she sets her mind to. After all, this “Phoenix” rose from the ashes to become the person she is today.

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Advocate of the Month San Diego - November 2020 By CJ Machado

Darnisha Hunter “There is no greater way to thank our veterans for their service than to become their advocate,” expressed Darnisha Hunter. Darnisha has been serving our military community for over 25 years. Although she never served in the military, she has impacted many lives through her public service to our veterans and their families, including mine. San Diego Veterans Magazine is proud to announce Darnisha Hunter as our “Veteran Advocate of the Month” - 2020 Veteran’s Day issue. Darnisha served as Community Representative and Military Veteran Advocate to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, the 36th Mayor for the city of San Diego for 8 years. In that time, Darnisha worked tirelessly to implement ways to improve the lives of our military and their families. There was never a task too small to consider or a project too big to conquer. Whether it included our military veterans, first responders or underserved, Darnisha was involved. Her passion and dedication to veterans and their families is limitless and inspiring. When asked why does she support the military and their families wholeheartedly? Her response is, “I’m a member of one of those families. My driving force stems from my uncle Luther Jones. Uncle Luther served proudly with the Airforce during the Vietnam War for three tours. My uncle was a joyful man and high-spirited in heart, a heart he freely gave to every one of his family members and everyone he met. We adored him and everyone loved being around him. We are a close-knit family and my uncle was a huge part of that. 10

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After my uncle’s last tour in Vietnam, he stopped communicating with the family. I was only 15 years of age at the time. It wasn’t until I became a grown woman that I fully understood the loss of my uncle and how it impacted our family. It left a big hole in our hearts to not be able to communicate with our loved one who was once so full of life. That is why I serve so passionately today, for the love I carry for my uncle Luther and all the veterans and their families. That is why I serve the veteran community with all my heart and being. It’s my way of thanking them for their selfless service.” Hunter’s public service extends from organizing and supporting Hire-a-Veteran workshops at City Hall to deep sea fishing trips for underserved children. Part of her outreach includes attending veteran events and dedications, implementing and presenting proclamations, attending change of command ceremonies, supporting the San Diego Veterans Coalition and the many veteran organizations in which she’s an active member. Among her many accomplishments, Darnisha was instrumental in displaying the “United We Stand, United We Sew 9/11 Memorial Flag,” in front of the Mayor’s office and facilitated Mayor Faulconer to add his signature of condolences to those lost on that tragic day. The quilted flag honors all citizens and first responders that were lost on September 11, 2001 and is now publicly displayed at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia. It wasn’t until 2018 that Darnisha’s veteran advocacy impacted her life the most. “A few weeks after I buried my father, I was working with a veteran whose PTSD was getting the better of him, it escalated by what he felt was the run around from the VA. He was trying to get a percentage increase in his disability benefits. His PTSD was triggered by the frustration of the process and what he felt was a hopeless situation. He had left me a voicemail stating he was going to kill himself. After just losing my father, this was not a situation I was sure I could survive and least of all his family.

I was finally able to reach him by phone and I shared with him my own recent painful loss of my father. I explained how saddened his family would be without him and that I wasn’t sure I could bounce back if he chose to end his life. I pleaded with him to do two things for me. One, to call the person I recommended to address his mental state of mind and the second was to give me permission to work his VA case through his wife. I asked him to trust me to see his case through until there was a victory of the percentage increase in benefits. He agreed and I was blessed to have saved a life and family that day, which in turn helped me through my own loss.” Although Darnisha works continuously for our veterans, her heart belongs to our children. Being a grandmother of 5 grandchildren, she has a great concern for the future of our young adults. Darnisha does everything possible to give our youth opportunities to succeed that they may not have had otherwise.

She’s dedicated endless hours on their behalf, implementing STEM programs in underserved San Diego City Schools and she’s worked closely with the San Diego Police Department on Gang Prevention for our troubled youth. She also organized the first Military Youth Backpack event in the South Bay that was held at the Veterans Park in Imperial Beach where 282 families were supported. It’s no surprise that Darnisha was chosen for her current position as the Community Engagement Specialist Program Coordinator for the San Diego Police Department. She works extremely hard to rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and the citizens of the City of San Diego. Darnisha is the first person to hold this position. There’s no better time for implementing that role in today’s unsettled society and there’s no better person than Darnisha Hunter to bridge that gap. San Diego Veterans Magazine would like to thank Darnisha for her dedicated service to our veterans and their families. The San Diego community is stronger because of your many years of public service. Thank you for your service Darnisha Hunter, San Diego Veterans Magazine Veteran Advocate of the Month.

A Veterans Day message from Darnisha - Continued on next page >

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“There is no greater way to thank our veterans for their service than to become their advocate� - Darnisha Hunter


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Office of Military & Veterans Affairs The mission of Office of Military & Veterans Affairs is to provide professional services for military veterans and their dependents and survivors who are entitled to benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the State of California, and other agencies as applicable. The Office of Military & Veterans Affairs was reestablished in 1987 to serve the veteran population of San Diego County, which has the second largest veteran population in the state. The office assists veterans and their dependents and survivors to obtain benefits from the federal, state and local agencies administering programs for veterans, and provides advocacy to the veterans community regarding entitlement rights to federal, state and local benefits programs. If you are unsure of where to find help, need aid to get started, or are just unsure of your entitled benefits, you can obtain assistance by calling the Office of Military & Veterans Affairs. An accredited Office of Military & Veterans Affairs Representative will assist you or direct you to the appropriate resource. The Office of Military & Veterans Affairs provides outreach services if veterans, their dependents and survivors cannot come to the office because of a disability. The Office of Military & Veterans Affairs provides these services and helps with the following benefits: Services offered through the Office of Military & Veterans Affairs: • Comprehensive benefits counseling • Claims preparation and submission • Claims follow-up to ensure final decisions • Initiate and develop appeals when appropriate • Networking and advocacy with federal, state and local agencies Information and referral for the following: • Public assistance • Veterans Affairs medical care • Military installations Retired Activities Office • Homeless issues • Disability transition assistance counseling at the Naval Medical Hospital, San Diego • Certification of discharge papers (DD-214) for filing claims with the VA.

www.sandiegocounty.gov/hhsa/programs/ais/veterans_services 14

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Assistance offered in filing for the following benefits: • Compensation (service-related injuries or disease). • Re-open compensation claim for increase or re-evaluation. • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for survivors (based upon service-connected disability or death). • Nonservice-connected pension (for war era veterans only). • Death pension (for survivors of wartime era veterans only). • Admission to the State Veterans Homes of California (California Department of Veterans Affairs). • Request for military records and decorations. • Discharge upgrade and correction of military records. • Vocational Rehabilitation. • VA home loan guarantee eligibility. • Education benefits (VA). • Disability life insurance and waiver of premiums • Payment of proceeds of VA life insurance. • Burial benefits (VA). • Medical care/dental care at VA facilities. • Cal-Vet Loans. • Approving agency for the State College Tuition Fee Waiver program for dependents of eligible veterans.

• Assist veterans and their survivors for placement in long-term care facility. 6 County of San Diego Office of Military & Veterans Affairs Locations • Office of Military & Veterans Affairs—County Operations Center 5560 Overland Ave., #310, San Diego, CA92123 Office: 858-694-3222 | Mon-Fri 8am-5pm • Office of Military & Veterans Affairs—North Inland Live Well Center 649 W. Mission Ave., #2400, Escondido, CA92025 Office: 760-740-5572 or 760-740-5573 | MonFri 8am-5pm • Office of Military & Veterans Affairs -South Region Live Well Center 401 Mile of Cars Way; San Diego, CA91950 Office: 619-731-3345 | Mon-Fri 8am-5pm • Office of Military & Veterans Affairs -North Coastal Live Well Health Center 1701 Mission Ave., #110, Oceanside, CA92058 Office: 442-262-2701|| Mon-Fri 8am-5pm • La Mesa Adult Center 8450 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, CA 91942 Office: 619-504-6432 or 858-527-5822 | Fri 9am - 3pm • Mission Valley VA Regional Office 8810 Rio San Diego Dr. Ste. 1154., San Diego, CA 92108 Appointments: 858-694-3222 | Tues-Fri 8 am—3pm

Your Service Inspires Ours Everything we do is inspired by the military service and sacrifice of our members. We’re proud to support over 1.5 million veterans and to celebrate their service with special offers, events, financial resources and award-winning service. Join the celebration at navyfederal.org/veterans.

Insured by NCUA. © 2020 Navy Federal NFCU 13923 (10-20)

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“Geronimo!” exclaimed WWII paratrooper

Vincent J. Speranza as he jumped out of the aircraft with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Tandem Parachute Team. After many months of preparation, Speranza’s monumental jump took place on September 29, 2020 during the Golden Knights Tandem Camp at Skydive Perris in Perris, CA.

He served as a Machine Gunner in the historic “Battle of the Bulge,” earning him the nickname “Curse and Traverse” Speranza. Although Speranza has shared many incredible stories, he’s best known for his “Airborne Beer” story when he served a wounded comrade beer from his helmet that was taken from a nearby bombed tavern. Speranza’s Airborne Beer story can be seen in the documentary LIBERTAS (Normandy Jump 2019) or read in his book “NUTS!”

The Golden Knights are one of only three Department of Defense-sanctioned aerial demonstration teams, along with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The U.S. Army Golden Knights tandem camp is a community outreach program that gives public influencers and educators an experience of a lifetime, while informing the public of the opportunities available within the U.S. Army. At 95 years of age, the “Battle of the Bulge” 101st Airborne Division paratrooper Vincent J. Speranza was called to service once more. This time, not to “Save the world,” but to inspire the masses. It was CW5 (Chief) Troy DeGolyer, Command Chief Warrant Officer (CCWO) from the U.S. Army Recruiting Command that initiated the tandem jump with the WWII “Screaming Eagle” and the U.S. Army Golden Knights. In February, 2020, Speranza and DeGolyer met at a formal event in Fort Benning, Georgia, hosted by the United States Army Marksmanship Unit. Speranza was the keynote speaker and DeGolyer was one of the distinguished guests. After listening to Speranza’s engaging speech and wartime stories, DeGolyer was moved to pay tribute to Speranza. He nominated Speranza for the thrill of a lifetime, to jump once more with the most elite parachutists of the world, the U.S. Army Golden Knights tandem team. From the start, the Golden Knights were supportive and enthusiastic about jumping a WWII “Screaming Eagle” Paratrooper. Speranza was with the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.


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Being that Speranza was 95 years of age, the Golden Knights took every precaution necessary to ensure a safe jump and landing. With over 6,000 jumps and 2,000 tandem jumps, the lead tandem instructor for the U.S. Golden Knights, Sergeant First Class (SFC) Sloan was chosen to jump Vincent. “It was an important opportunity to honor and remember a member of the “Greatest Generation,” expressed SFC Sloan.

On the day of the jump, it was all smiles for Vincent from the exit to the landing. In fact, he complemented SFC Sloan for an incredibly soft landing, giving credit to SFC Sloan’s “soft bottom.” Whereas SFC Sloan humbly admitted, “It was an emotional experience to have the privilege of jumping with a WWII “Screaming Eagle” and hear him yell Geronimo! …the very same word he yelled while exiting the aircraft during WWII.”

“Geronimo!” WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


On the day of Speranza’s jump, Skydive Perris, Honor Flight San Diego and the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team hosted honorary display tables for Speranza and one of the original members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, Gerald “Jerry” Bourquin. Bourquin shared eclectic memorabilia with today’s members of the Golden Knights, including his impressive parachuting champion “Golden Knight” bronze statue that stands about 2 feet tall. Bourquin (D-22) is the second recipient of the USPA Gold Wings. A Korean and Vietnam war veteran with two tours (1966 and 1971) in Vietnam as a “slick” and later, gunship helicopter “driver” with over 3,000 hours of combat time. Bourquin is also a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for his early parachute contributions and has over 4,000 jumps to his credit. Among his many accomplishments, Bourquin was inducted into The International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame. The Legacy of the Golden Knights take pride in that they were Army soldiers first. In 1959, Bourquin was part of the nineteen Airborne Soldiers from various military units that formed the Strategic Army Command (STRAC) Parachute Team.

Two years later, the Department of Defense announced that the STRAC team would become the United States Army Parachute Team. By 1962, the team earned the nickname the “Golden Knights”. “Golden” signified the gold medals the team had won while “Knights” alluded to the team’s ambition to conquer the skies. “The most significant part of the recent tandem camp at Skydive Perris was being able to memorialize fallen soldier, Private 2nd Class, 82nd Airborne Division, Caleb Smither,” stated veteran advocate, CJ Machado. Both Machado and Speranza jumped Caleb’s dog tags in remembrance of his service. However, it wasn’t until the day after the jump that Caleb’s remembrance was unexpectedly perpetuated on the Operation “Call-To-Service” (Episode 2) segment. The featured guests were CW5 Troy DeGolyer, U.S. Army Recruiting Command and SFC Richard Sloan with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team. When Host CJ Machado asked SFC Sloan if he would consider jumping Caleb Smither’s dog tags to perpetuate his remembrance, SFC Sloan stunned her with his response. Sloan committed to not only jumping Caleb’s dog tags but also promised to pass them in a 9-man formation, similar to the traditional parachute baton passing. WOW! AMAZING! The segment continued with interviewing Chief DeGolyer who spent most of his Army career as an Apache pilot and served on many missions including four combat tours in support of Operations; Just Cause in Panama, Desert Shield/Storm in the Persian Gulf, Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. DeGolyer has over 3,500 total flight hours and of those, 700 are combat flight hours. “As an U.S. Army aviator and Apache pilot, my primary and most important mission is to support the troops on the ground,” stated DeGolyer. After serving over thirty years as an aviator with the U.S. Army, DeGolyer was called to service for the Army’s most crucial assignment…recruitment. As the Command Chief Warrant Officer of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, DeGolyer is the principle senior warrant officer advisor to the Commanding General. Additionally, he oversees the Army warrant officer recruitment of both aviation and technical warrant officers.


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When Host CJ Machado asked Chief DeGolyer, what does the Army offer the youth of today? DeGolyer adamantly responded,

“Opportunity…I’m passionate

LTR - Speranza, DeGolyer & Bourquin

about informing the young men and women of our great nation the many career opportunities and benefits the U.S. Army has to offer. I’m also very grateful of the opportunities the Army has given me and I’m proud to support those who choose to become an American Soldier and join the greatest army in the world.” - CW5 Troy DeGolyer, U.S. Army Recruiting Command

Thank you U.S. Army for your commitment and support of our youth and thank you Golden Knights Tandem Parachute Team for your dedicated service to our country and honoring our veterans.

To learn more about the Operation Call-To-Service program, visit: www.Call-To-Service.com To learn more about joining the elite forces of the U.S. Army, please visit: www.GoArmy.com To follow the U.S. Army Golden Knights on Facebook: US Army Golden Knights @usarmygoldenknights (photo and literary credit - U.S. Army Golden Knights)

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Recognizing and Thanking Our Community’s Veterans By Janet Clancy, The Elizabeth Hospice San Diego’s rich military culture and numerous military bases attracts many veterans who make our community their permanent home. As our veterans age, many experience a wide-range of effects on their lives as a result of their military service. It is essential that healthcare providers understand our veterans’ unique needs to provide them with the appropriate level of care. The Elizabeth Hospice cares deeply about the people who have dedicated their lives to protecting our safety and freedom – during times of conflict as well as peacetime. As the leading nonprofit hospice provider in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County, the organization is committed to helping ensure that veterans are aware of their healthcare options, feel appreciated, and receive the medical support and attention they need and deserve. Care teams at The Elizabeth Hospice, who are trained to address post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, survivors’ guilt and soul injury, focus on providing experiences that bring meaning and peace to a person’s life. The Elizabeth Hospice has been recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization as a We Honor Veterans Level 5 Partner, the highest level of distinction in this national program. One way that The Elizabeth Hospice expresses its appreciation to veterans is through pinning ceremonies. These events, officiated by the organization’s volunteers who are veterans or active duty service members, bring together family members and friends to publicly celebrate and thank veterans for their military service. They are typically conducted either at the bedside or in group events at senior residential facilities and community centers. To meet the requirements of current social distancing guidelines established to prevent the spread of COVID-19, The Elizabeth Hospice developed a virtual way to provide this valuable experience to veterans who are nearing the end of their life. A Veterans Recognition Ceremony video was created by The Elizabeth Hospice as a “gift” to veterans residing in senior living facilities. The 14-minute video, narrated by Army Combat Veteran and Spiritual Counselor for The Elizabeth Hospice, Edward Dotson, premiered on August 14, 2020, the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. It will be shown at numerous senior residential facilities on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020. 20

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All five branches of the United States military are represented in the video. There are interviews with veterans that served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War as well as historical footage. The video features active-duty service members and retirees reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, a live performance of the National Anthem and God Bless America by vocalist Samuel Nehemiah, and a medley of the service songs from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The highlight of the video is on-screen messages from four veterans: William Glover, United States Marine Corps (Retired); Bernie Trifoso, United States Coast Guard; Nancy Owen, United States Navy (Retired); and William Hays, United States Navy (Retired).

“I graduated from the Naval Academy and served for more than 30 years as a Navy Officer, in the Korean War, Vietnam and Cold War,” said Captain Hays. In Vietnam, I commanded three Navy ships. We captured 19 enemy prisoners of war and a trawler loaded with ammunition for the Vietcong. After the war, I commanded Navy shore activities before retiring in 1983.” Captain Hays continues his commitment to supporting others. He played a role in saving the old Navy Chapel in Balboa Park from being demolished. Today this facility is home to the San Diego Veterans Museum, where Mr.Hays serves as a volunteer docent.

Bernie Trifoso was 19 years old when he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. He served as Pharmacists Mate, First Class, in landing crafts going ashore the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

“Half the boats went right, and half the boats went left. The boats on the left were all shot up.I just happened to be in the boats on the right,” said Mr. Trifoso. “I was on the landing craft infantry, responsible for landing the troops as close as possible to the beach. The sky was lit up with gunfire and planes as our First Division Army men fought their way to shore with water up to their necks and heavy packs on their backs. Many of them never made it, but they made it possible for the U.S. to start our European invasion. They are the real heroes, giving their lives for their country,” he continued. The Veterans Recognition Ceremony video was made possible in part by Disabled American Veterans, a longtime supporter of The Elizabeth Hospice. Additional support came from the San Diego Veterans Museum at Balboa Park that offered their site for the filming of the video and Honor Flight San Diego for selecting the featured veterans.

Caring for our veterans.

Veterans facing the challenges associated with a lifethreatening illness can rely on The Elizabeth Hospice for the medical, emotional and spiritual support they need and deserve. The Elizabeth Hospice is proud to be a We Honor Veterans Level 5 Partner, the highest level of national distinction.

Volunteers play an important role in providing emotional healing to veteran patients of The Elizabeth Hospice. In addition to assisting with veteran recognition ceremonies, they serve as patient care companions. If you are interested in learning how you can support our community’s veterans, contact Anna Schulz, Volunteer Manager for The Elizabeth Hospice, at volunteer@ehospice.org or 760.796.3729.

800.797.2050 | elizabethhospice.org

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial

Photo by Dave Ellrod

Towering 806 feet above sea level, the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial provides a stunning viewpoint of the entire San Diego region and is truly one of the most unique veterans’ memorials in the Nation. The Memorial honors veterans, living and deceased, from the Revolutionary War to current conflicts across the globe. Eleven curved walls contain more than 5,200 black granite plaques honoring our service men and women. On a clear day, one can see Mexico to the south, the mountains of Los Angeles in the north, and Catalina Island out in the Pacific. History of the Memorial While virtually all San Diego residents know of the current cross that sits atop the mountain, it was not the first to be put in place. The first cross, made of California redwood, was put in place by locals in 1913. It stood for a decade before being destroyed in 1923. The next cross (with stucco-over-wood framing) was installed in 1934 and stood until 1952, when a particularly strong windstorm destroyed it. The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, as well as the famous 27-foot cross that stands today, were first conceived in 1954. Architect Donald Campbell designed the current-day cross, made of sturdy pre-stressed concrete so that it would stand the test of time. On April 18, 1954, the American Legion Post 275 of La Jolla dedicated the monument to those who lost their lives serving our great nation in both World Wars as well as the Korean War. That same Post worked alongside the newly-created Mt. Soledad Memorial Association to maintain the property. Decades of Litigation While the cross was originally named the “Mount Soledad Easter Cross”, the name was shortened in the 1980s, in part due to religious concerns. Such concerns were the cause of the landmark court cases that embroiled the monument from 1989 to 2016. 22

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On May 31, 1989, a Vietnam War veteran sued the City of San Diego, claiming that the Cross violated both the California and United States Constitutions. The court ruled against the city, naming the cross unconstitutional. The City of San Diego attempted to sell the cross on multiple occasions, only to be blocked by court rulings and voters. While the legal limbo continued, the Mount Soledad Memorial Association built and maintained the first part of today’s memorial at the site in 1998. In 2004, attempts were also made to donate the site to the Interior Department and National Park Service. They, too, were challenged and ultimately blocked by court rulings. Two years later, the federal government stepped in to try to acquire the site via eminent domain. A bill was passed by Congress and signed by President Bush to transfer the Park and the Cross to the federal government. However, once again, more court battles were fought over the site and the cross. In 2014, the battle went all the way to the Supreme Court, who denied certiorari, leaving the Cross and Memorial in continued legal limbo. Ultimately, legal matters were settled as the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association was able to purchase the land from the Department of Defense in July of 2015.

With the land no longer under the ownership of any government entities, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered dismissal of all cases and appeals in September of 2016.

VETERANS DAY CEREMONY Nov 8th 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM www.soledadmemorial.org

The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial Today The Memorial has now blossomed into a breathtaking display of national pride in honor of our servicemembers. The most unique feature of the Memorial is that it is the only one in the nation that pays tribute to veterans both deceased and still living. In fact, approximately 70 percent of the memorialized servicemembers are still alive today and some of the plaques on those walls are quite noteworthy as the honor: • 23 Medal of Honor Recipients • 6 U.S. Presidents, including Eisenhower, Ford, and Reagan • Admirals Stockdale and Halsey • Generals Pershing and Patton • Celebrity Veterans Audie Murphy and Jimmy Stewart • And of course, thousands of other brave and courageous men and women who served honorably Service members, families, friends, and the public are welcome to visit the Memorial year-round, or at one of our annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies. These events feature many amazing presentations and performances including: live music by Marine Band San Diego or the Navy Region Southwest Band, the Marine Recruit Depot (MCRD) Color Guard presentation of the colors, and the Missing Man Formation Fly Over usually conducted by aircraft from the San Diego Salute Formation Team. This year, due to COVID rules and restrictions, the Veterans Day event will go virtual. With the 75th anniversary of the ending of World War II in 2020, we will honor surviving San Diego veterans from the Greatest Generation. There could be no finer group of men and women to honor for this year’s event. Spectators may tune into our website at www.soledadmemorial.org on 8 November, from 11 am to 12 pm to watch the event live, or later at their convenience. The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association welcomes inquiries about acquiring one of our beautiful custom granite plaques for a loved one, memberships, how to volunteer and more online on our Facebook page, by phone, or through our website. Save The Date - Sunday, November 8th, 2020


The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association honors our Nation’s veterans with beautiful custom designed plaques and through our educational outreach. We are supported solely through donations, plaque purchases, and/or by becoming a member. If you have a veteran whom you would like honored on these walls, we would be pleased to help in that effort. The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations are tax-deductible. The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial is located at 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive South, La Jolla, CA 92037 and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

www.soledadmemorial.org (858) 459-2314

A Virtual Event (Streamed LIVE) 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM www.soledadmemorial.org WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


Volunteers Share the Legacy of the USS Midway Museum with Millions It’s not uncommon to hear men and women serving in the military say how much they enjoy the esprit de corps of being part of an important team; part of something bigger than themselves.

Since the Midway first opened to the public in 2004, volunteers have not only been critical to the museum’s success but have helped create a greater sense of community by providing enriching encounters for visitors. John Wuetrich

For those volunteering for the USS Midway Museum, their experience on board America’s Living Symbol of Freedom checks both boxes. Volunteers are the foundation of the guest experience aboard the Midway and they are renowned for the enthusiastic manner in which they share the historic legacy of the country’s finest aircraft carrier museum with visitors.

Patty Gradillas

“Our guests come from all parts of the globe and getting the opportunity to talk to and learn about them is an opportunity that few have, and the Midway opens that door,” said John Wuethrich, a former Marine Corps and Army helicopter pilot who began volunteering for the Midway in 2013. “In addition to enjoying meeting our guests, I was also able to make great friends amongst the docents who have enhanced my life on and off the Midway.” Midway volunteer opportunities run the gamut – from docents sharing their past adventures on the high seas with guests, to being part of the ship’s safety team ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to the museum. Volunteers are also involved in the Midway’s educational programs, the ship’s library, act as citizenship tutors and are even part of the museum’s knot-tying team. “There are so many rewards that you get when you volunteer that it is hard to distinguish them – from meeting people from all over the world to watching the glow of discovery in kids when they climb in a cockpit,” said Carol Orton, who six years ago began volunteering with her husband Fred, a 31-year Navy veteran. “Then there is just the fun of being with a great group of people who volunteer and work together on the ship. It gives purpose to life and makes it more rewarding as you see each smile of appreciation every day on the Midway.” 24

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“Midway volunteers make incredibly diverse and impactful contributions to the museum and those who engage with us,” said Laurie Switzer, Midway’s director of volunteer programs. “Most importantly, they highlight the significance of volunteerism in general and what an important, meaningful influence volunteers can have on the wellbeing of our community.” Midway volunteers not only enhance the visits of museum guests but find that their volunteerism is also a growth experience for themselves. “It’s a continual learning experience for me. I’ve learned more about the Midway, the military and my fellow volunteers through their personal stories,” said Patty Gradillas, a former Navy aviation electrician who has more than 700 volunteer hours. “I’ve volunteered in different capacities for many years and always sought new avenues of service. I should have been a docent years ago. It is a perfect match for me.”

Although the Midway already has several hundred volunteers on its roster, the museum is always excited to have new volunteers join their ranks. Flexibility in scheduling allows volunteers to give as much time as they would like. “We want to make it easy and fun for our volunteers,” said Jim Reily, who directs the Midway’s docent program. “We have tremendous appreciation for what our volunteers bring to the museum and our guests. It’s important to recognize that and provide them options that work best for their calendars.” There’s a sense of pride and satisfaction in being a Midway volunteer that is remarkably contagious. “I couldn’t help but notice how much the docents appeared to be enjoying themselves when I visited for the first time,” said Wuethrich, who has tallied more than 3,400 volunteer hours over the last seven years as a docent. “I spoke to several about their experiences volunteering as docents and got such a positive response that before I left the ship, I was enrolled in the next docent (training) class.” “I would absolutely recommend volunteering for the Midway,” said Gradillas, who began her volunteerism on Midway in 2017. “You have an opportunity to engage with a wonderful array of guests and other volunteers.” For those interested in becoming a USS Midway Museum volunteer, more information along with the volunteer application can be found at: www.midway.org/give-join/volunteers. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and able to volunteer for at least six months. Military experience is not required.

Fred and Carol Orton

“Every day I go to volunteer is a different day that is rich in experiences,” said Orton, a 2,000hour volunteer Bruce veteran on Midway Rainey who also taught the children of U.S. military personnel at Department of Defense Oversees Schools for 12 years.

“When you see a visitor leave the ship with a deep appreciation for the history of the Midway, it makes it all worthwhile.” Questions about the USS Midway Museum’s volunteer program can also be directed to the museum’s volunteer office at (619) 398-8289 or volunteering@midway.org WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


Caregiving for a Person with a TBI By Roya Lackey, OTR/L, CBIS DVBIC Regional Education Coordinator This month is a time to recognize the hard work of family caregivers. A caregiver is someone who provides any level of assistance to those who may need extra help due to changes in physical or mental health. Those with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) present with a unique set of needs which may require a more specialized approach to caregiving. From 2000-2019, the Department of Defense reported 413, 858 medically documented TBIs across U.S. forces. Although the majority of TBIs are mild and recover within a few weeks or months, those with moderate to severe brain injuries often experience prolonged and unpredictable recovery trajectories. The journey to healing will look different for everyone and can span a range of changes in behavior, cognition, mood, and physical ability throughout the lifetime. The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) provides a host of free resources accessible online to help guide caregivers of service members and veterans who have sustained a TBI. These tools cover the broad spectrum of effects seen after a TBI and offer practical strategies to help caregivers better understand and mitigate these effects. For example, changes in cognition, or thinking, are common after a TBI and can be especially challenging for caregivers to navigate. Here are some helpful tips to incorporate: • Use external cues to keep your loved one oriented: keep large clocks, calendars, and family photos in plain sight.


WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020

Direct your loved one to use these cues instead of relying on others for simple information. Visual aids around the house can serve as helpful reminders for frequently asked questions, such as “dinner is ready at 5:00.” • Maintain a structured routine: Limit changes as much as possible. Create a daily schedule so your loved one knows what to expect. Review the schedule each morning and evening, or as needed. • Provide information in a slow and simple manner: Give your loved one ample time to comprehend what is said, and encourage them to ask others to do the same. • Provide choices: Offer two or three choices so as not to overwhelm your loved one while still allowing them to be an active decision maker in their daily activities. This can help offset feelings of frustration over a loss of control. • Take breaks: When you notice increased frustration, take a ten minute break to cool off before revisiting the task at hand. It is important to be patient both with yourself and your loved one. • Use constructive language: Provide your loved one with questions to help them find solutions more independently, such as “what could you do to find that answer?” instead of “why don’t you remember that?” • Provide alternative behaviors: For example, if your loved one becomes distracted during a conversation, say things like “please look at me when we are talking” instead of “stop looking at the TV.” It can be easier to understand concrete actions. It is imperative that caregivers be equipped with the knowledge to not only best care for their loved ones, but to also provide that same level of care for themselves. This month, take the time to share your appreciation for the caregivers in your life, even if that means showing yourself a little extra appreciation! For additional tips and caregiver resources, visit: www.dvbic.dcoe.mil

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*As of 2020. **Hosted pop-up clinics are at the discretion of each local federal agency; inquire with your respective Federal Benefit Officer for more information. UnitedHealthcare dental coverage underwritten by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, located in Hartford, Connecticut, UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of New York, located in Islandia, New York, or their affiliates. Administrative services provided by Dental Benefit Providers, Inc., Dental Benefit Administrative Services (CA only), DBP Services (NY only), United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates. Plans sold in Texas use policy form number DPOL.06.TX, DPOL.12.TX and DPOL.12.TX (Rev. 9/16) and associated COC form numbers DCOC.CER.06, DCOC.CER.IND.12.TX and DCERT.IND.12.TX. Plans sold in Virginia use policy form number DPOL.06. VA with associated COC form number DCOC.CER.06.VA and policy form number DPOL.12.VA with associated COC form number DCOC.CER.12.VA. This policy has exclusions, limitations and terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs and complete details of the coverage contact UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company. B2C EI20159064.0 9/20 © 2020 United HealthCare Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 20-159068-P


BREAST CANCER IN YOUNG WOMEN Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the breast, it is called breast cancer. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 and older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age. While breast cancer diagnosis and treatment are difficult for women of any age, younger women may find this experience overwhelming. WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020



Dress Code Same Celebration of Service Different Look!

By RanDee McLain, LCSW In 2015, our friends at CalVet reached out from Sacramento. They had prior success in holding a 1day event in Sacramento that provided clothing for women in need in the community. The original event was called Dress Code. CalVet reached out to see how they could bring that event to San Diego and help our female Veterans here. It made sense since San Diego has the largest military community in California. In true San Diego style, we had to make it our own and Operation Dress Code was born. That very first year we helped about 60 women in a room about the size of a closet. Fast forward 4 years; we were able to serve over 500 Female Veterans and transitioning Active Duty. These ladies received much needed business clothes, shoes, accessories, resume writing and so much more at our annual ‘Boutique Day’. Operation Dress Code helps active duty and veteran women as they transition to the next chapter in their lives. This is an annual event that means so much to the ladies we serve but also all the amazing sponsors and volunteers that make it possible. This year due to the global pandemic we are not be able to hold our in-person boutique day but we still want to celebrate and recognize the day with all of you!! After a tough year…. who does not need a getaway and some laughs? Join us for a night of belly laughs and camaraderie, all from the comfort of your home! Grab your favorite beverage, some snacks, your BFF and settle in for a virtual comedy show. **Disclaimer - This show is NOT rated G as the comedians are equal opportunity offenders. If you love the camaraderie and banter of interbranch rivalry, then this is the show for you! 28

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About the Veterans of Comedy: With their motto, “No laugh left behind”, this group brings laughter to the men and women in uniform, past and present. Since the team was created in 2014 nearly 30 new members have joined the group representing all branches of our service. Their mission and goal is to help bridge the gap between service and civilian life using laughter as the foundation of that bridge. The group has performed all over the world and in just about every state in the U.S. There is no cost for the ticket, but we do welcome a suggested donation of $10. All monies raised for this virtual event will support future Operation Dress Code events. Everyone must register for the event and 24-48 hours prior to the event, you will receive a link via email to view the show. After your register, you will have access to online content from Veterans of Comedy and Operation Dress Code. Stay safe! Stay Happy! Join us for some laughs on November 7th at 5pm!! www.odcveteransofcomedy.eventbrite.com


WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


Real Talk: Mental Health By Jenny Lynne Stroup, Outreach Coordinator for the Cohen Clinic at VVSD

“Thank You Caregivers” Several years ago, I had the opportunity to work with the Army’s Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP), the command for wounded, ill, and injured soldiers. I was an event planner for a non-profit that was supporting the WCTP during its trials for the Warrior Games. My husband had been home from Afghanistan for about nine months when I took the job and during that time, I noticed things. Things that reminded me of the briefing I sat through on PTSD. Things that were being shooed away as no big deal or me being overly anxious and dramatic. But there were things. Many of the soldiers participating in the Warrior Trials had visible wounds. Some were missing limbs, others had partial limb deformities, but some looked just like me. No visible consequence of time spent at war. I later learned these men and women, the ones who looked like me, suffered from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They were included in the trials because they were using sports as a way to cope with the lasting effects of traumatic war experiences. During my time as an event coordinator, I had the privilege of staying on location. Doing so gave me extra time with the participants. I ate meals with them and hung out before lights out. I listened to their stories about how they were injured and what they aspired to do now that an active-duty career was off the table. I learned about their families, some of whom were with the soldiers because they were their soldiers’ full-time caregivers. In a lot of the stories, I saw myself. Not because I was a wounded warrior, but because what they said sounded a lot like the things I was seeing at home: lack of sleep, unexplained agitation, an adamant demand that they must sit facing the door of any building they were in. Little things, but things, nonetheless. 30

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National Family Caregivers Month

“You really made a difference here. You connected with our soldiers on a level that brought them to life. You were more than a cheerleader and a snack giver. How did you do that? How did you know how to connect with them so well?” he asked. “This isn’t the first time I’ve been around people affected by their time in a war zone. Some of the things your men and women talked about, I see at my house,” I replied. Stunned silence. Even now, as I type these words, and see in black and white how similar my home life was to the lives of the folks I worked with from the WCTP I have a difficult time acknowledging myself as a caregiver. So, in honor of National Family Caregivers Month and Military Family Appreciation Month I want to share a few identifiers of who a military caregiver is and what he/she can do to support his/her mental health. • If you do things for someone else that the individual is not able to do independently anymore, you are a caregiver. • If you are taking someone to medical appointments, coordinating medical visits, and/or managing someone’s medications, you are a caregiver. • If you are advocating for a loved one’s medical assistance or helping him/her remember important details about his/her health and well-being, you are a caregiver. You may be a spouse, a parent, or a child of a wounded, ill, or injured veteran or service member. Caregiving is not limited to a single identifier.

Your caregiving duties may often leave you feeling isolated or even a bit resentful. You may feel the pressure of financial difficulty. The extra time and attention you provide to your loved one may lead to low productivity at work or school. You may also feel it is difficult to differentiate between being a caregiver and a spouse. Many challenges arise as a result of becoming a caregiver.

As a caregiver, the love, care, and service you provide are valuable. You are valuable. And because you are valuable you deserve to take your mental health as seriously as you take your loved ones. We, caregivers, are often adversely affected by the duties we assume when we become a caregiver. When burnout, fatigue, and concern become constant companions it is time to seek help for yourself. I know reaching out can be the most difficult portion of caregiving. There never seems to be enough time for your needs. Something always seems more urgent. I get it, and I’ve been there. I also know what’s on the other side of reaching out: help. A well-supported caregiver makes a difference in the wounded, ill, or injured veteran or service member’s ability to not only recover but thrive. Thank you for what you do.

Jenny Lynne Stroup serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the ​Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Veterans Village of San Diego​. www.vvsd.net/cohenclinicsandiego The Cohen Clinic at VVSD is one of 19 mental health clinics nationwide under nonprofit Cohen Veterans Network​(CVN) which focuses on providing targeted treatments​for a variety of mental health challenges facing post-9/11 veterans and military families, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, transition challenges, and more. WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain, LCSW

Veterans Day Many years ago, my best friend and I started calling the 6 to 8 weeks leading up to Veterans DayVeteran’s season.

This season is jammed packed with preparation and events. We prepare for the Military Women’s Luncheon, Operation Dress Code, Veteran of the Year, Veterans Treatment Court Celebrations and so much more. This year Veteran’s season looks very different. There will be no large gatherings, no parades, and little celebrations. I recently was asked what Veteran’s day means to me. It took me a few minutes to think about that question. Every year since I left the service my Veteran’s Day and Season was spent working or in some way supporting our Veteran community here in San Diego. It was only 2 years ago when I was working in a nonmilitary focused program that I had the opportunity to do what ‘I’ wanted on Veteran’s Day. I heard from a friend about a Veteran’s Day hike. This hike is called the Warrior hike and is put together by the San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department. The hike takes place on El Cajon Mountain in the El Capitan County Preserve. There are three levels to this hike: Bootcamp which is designed for beginners; Recon which is designed for more moderately experienced hikers and the Warrior which is the most challenging. The Warrior is 13 miles total. Have you ever heard the old saying our parents or grandparents would say…..”back in my day- I had to walk to school uphill both ways!” 32

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Well apparently, all those parents and grandparents went to school on El Cap! It is a beast! This is truly an amazing way ‘I’ celebrate my service. Being one with nature grounds me- it is where I find peace and am reenergized. Make no mistake- it is HARD mentally and physically, but it makes the challenge worth it. Each year, we question our decision to do it but when you get to the top there is nothing more rewarding. This is how ‘I’ chose to celebrate Veteran’s Day. There is no better feeling then making it to the top and just enjoying God’s country. It almost seems cliché, but I feel so -All American- as sit at the top with my PB & J and peak beer (IPA of course). Of course, I wear my most patriotic work out attire to top it off. Although, I am proud of my service and choose to celebrate Veteran’s Day in my own way- I know that is not the same for all Veterans. We all served differently, experienced things differently and want to celebrate differently. Some Veterans really want the big celebrations and sharing this day with family and friends. Others may prefer a quieter day of reflection. There may still be others that choose not to recognize the day at all. That is what is great about America and the rights we defend….we can all celebrate in a way that is meaningful to us. Veteran’s Day is a day special and different to each Veteran. To the Veteran’s reading this – this is your day. Choose to celebrate in whatever way is right for you!! To the allies please support the veterans in your life and their way of celebrating or not celebrating. Stay safe!! See you in Dec. Hug a Veteran - (ok social distance -virtual hugs!!)

A Veteran-led program serving our military-connected community‌including Active Duty, Veterans, National Guard, Reservists and their family members.

24/7 Access to Resources and Peer Support

Call 877-698-7838 or dial 2-1-1 Visit our website at



@CourageToCall @CourageToCall

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020



Military Sexual Trauma By Amber Robinson

The rumors often label the victim as a “whore” or “easy”, with insinuations that their motive was to save their reputation and not to report a crime. BriGette Paige McCoy who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, is an Army veteran, MST survivor and well-known advocate. Much of her work is with P ​ rotect Our Defenders, the human rights organization, and Women Veteran Social Justice Network, among many other projects she has undertaken to help her fellow veterans.​

According to the VA, MST includes unwanted touching, recurrent sexual harassment, coercion into sexual acts and rape. Although the problem of sexual trauma has always been present in the services, only in the last couple of decades have we come to learn just how acute the problem is. According to www.DAV.org, one in four women in the military report military sexual trauma and 1 in every 100 men.

She began her advocacy because she realized the need of survivors’ to have a voice as well as her belief that MST needed to be at the forefront of cultural change for the Armed Forces. She can speak to the issue of retaliation along with a variety of other micro-issues within the larger issue.

According to a report from the Pentagon that came out in 2019, MST reports numbers have seen a large spike from two years ago, in fact, a 39 percent raise from reports in 2017. MST advocates and researchers are not sure if this spike is due to the numbers of incidents increasing, or the number of reports are increasing.

“Military sexual trauma is problematic because it is often at the hands of a perpetrator that they know personally, report to directly, or that their commanding officer has direct authority and responsibility over,” said McCoy. “I think it creates a complex web of overlapping challenges overlooked with survivors.”

According to the Veterans Affairs Military Sexual Assault webpage, MST is a pervasive problem in the United States Armed Forces. But, according to advocates and survivors, the problem is not just pervasive, but a complex epidemic that has been ignored and unaddressed for decades.

According to many survivors and advocates, reporting is a huge part of the underlying problem surrounding MST. Victims must report to their own chain of command. For many MST survivors, their sexual trauma was committed by a person within their command who is superior to them. Often, reporting comes with different forms of “retaliation”, a word that has become prevalent in the last few years. Retaliation can start within the chain of command, or come directly from the perpetrator. It involves discrediting the victim by intimidating them, putting them on unfavorable details or rumor spreading. The rumors often label the victim as a “whore” or “easy”, with insinuations that their motive was to save their reputation and not to report a crime. Retaliation can start within the chain of command, or come directly from the perpetrator. It involves discrediting the victim by intimidating them, putting them on unfavorable details or rumor spreading.


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McCoy also states that on most occasions after an MST report, the victim must continue to serve daily with their assailant while the case is compiled, or UCMJ action is pending. McCoy goes on to say the lack of protection and validation of the victim can lead to deeper trauma and feelings of betrayal.

“It makes the work environment hostile and toxic and creates an unsafe environment for the survivor, especially if they are pressing charges and have an UCMJ case,” said McCoy. “The survivor has to perform their duties without any changes to their ability to get things done and manage the mission and the people.” Aside from the struggles that are compounded on a victim after an MST incident, there is often a life-long struggle with PTSD and associated symptoms. The isolation and invalidation suffered through an MST incident and compounded by retaliation can stay with a survivor long after they have left the unit and the military altogether. Peighton Carter served as an Army broadcast journalist on active duty and as National Guard and is a MST survivor, advocate and playwright. She says she found solace in her own struggles through an MST theater project. In an attempt to raise awareness about the problem, Carter collected the stories of MST survivors from all over the world. She compiled them into a play called “Speaking Out: Why I Stand.” The play shares the stories of 16 MST survivors, men and women. Many of the stories share the incident itself, while some focus on the betrayal, retaliation and isolation after. For Carter, she feels the project helped her out of her own isolation. “I think the most deeply impactful thing I learned as well as those who shared their stories is that I am not alone and we are not alone” said Carter.

Carter has also worked with the Women’s Social Justice Network, and both she and McCoy have taken their personal stories and voices to Congress to talk about MST. Both believe that speaking out is a must in the fight to raise awareness about MST. Most recently, the Texas murder of Fort Hood Army soldier Vanessa Guillen, has done that too. Guillen reported MST to her family before she went missing in the Spring of 2020, but stated she was afraid of retaliation from filing a report.

The Army’s attitude toward her disappearance was deeply scrutinized and ignited a more in-depth military #MeToo moment. Survivors world-wide began to speak up about the injustices of their MST cases on social media under the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen, which has since invoked the I Am Vanessa Guillen Act. This act hopes to revamp how MST is handled in the services. MST survivors often criticize the military reporting process, which involves reporting to a command that may have had a hand in their abuse. Formerly, the Military Justice Information Act (MJIA) sought to take reporting out of the chain of command in an attempt to make reporting less daunting. Unfortunately, the act has been vetted through Congress several times to no avail. According to an article in Military Times, The Vanessa Guillen Act hopes to not only take the reporting process out of the chain of command, but also make sexual harassment punishable crime and give survivors the option to seek Department of Defense compensation. For McCoy, Carter and all survivors and advocates of MST, this is good news. But, the military still has a ways to go in implementation of new procedures, revised training and major cultural changes to correct what some say is our military’s “biggest black eye”. To learn more about MST go to

“Speaking Out: Why I Stand”


To hear the stories of survivors and learn more about coping go to w ​ ww.maketheconnection.net​

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020



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.


San Diego Veterans Magazine works with nonprofit veteran organizations that help more than one million veterans in lifechanging ways each year.




Support. Inspiration.


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

Resources & Articles available at:


The colors of gratitude


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WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


I had a complete meltdown with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder). I thought I was losing my mind. I’d never been out of control before, and it was hard to admit I needed help, but I wanted my old self back. I’ve gotten that and more. I’m strong. I’m healthy. I have tools, I have knowledge, and I have strength and courage to deal with it. I’m doing just fine. RON WHITCOMB SGT US ARMY 1968 - 1969 SQUAD LEADER, VIETNAM




WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby

Jumping Into Your Career: The BioTech Landing Zone is Waiting

As an expert veteran advisor, Mike has a few pieces of advice to help you interview better than the average veteran in transition. Be Prepared to Start (But Not Stay) at the Bottom Just what you wanted to hear, right? Even if you have been in a specialized role or leadership role in the military, prepare to start at the bottom again in the corporate world. It’s normal that those who have been responsible for a platoon, for example, will come out and expect to enter at the VP level. For some, it may make sense, and for others, that approach may seem too ambitious, aggressive and unrealistic.

Exiting the military can be about as comfortable as jumping out of an airplane at 14,000 feet with a backpack. The idea of needing to choose an industry and career path can seem as endless as the skies above, while that pressure to decide can feel like the 120-mile winds pressing against your chest in a free fall. If you are like most transitioning veterans you don’t really want to do what you have been doing, but you sense that you have no choice. Mike Peterson, Senior Manager, Global Talent Acquisition at Edwards Lifesciences would like to challenge you to consider a career in life sciences and medical technologies. Transition is Meant to be Different Mike Peterson is a passionate military supporter and volunteers as a mentor to veterans in transition. He spearheads a veteran program at Edwards that attracts, hires and retains veterans. His influence spans the company of 15,000 employees as he and his team are responsible for 60% of the headcount. He and his team oversee over 1,000 open positions all over the globe in a given year and have conducted thousands of interviews. 40

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Mike counsels those in transition with a softer, yet strategic approach. When asked where they see themselves in a potential role, he advises them to answer with “ultimately I’d like to be in Senior Management.” This approach communicates the desire to climb the proverbial corporate ladder without expecting to come in as the boss. He encourages his mentees to study their audience before going in for the interview. He explains that you must understand what is important to the interviewer,focus and then pull out your relevant experience and rather than using the ‘fire for effect’ strategy. Have Several Meaningful Stories to Tell When you tell a story during an interview, it’s important to make it succinct and relevant, while also conveying why that story is meaningful to the job. Recruiters may listen to the story and follow it, but not get why it’s relevant. Mike’s advice is to follow up your story with “What this means for you is that I can lead a team into very difficult situations successfully without missing a beat and also make an impact.” As you iterate through multiple interviews at the same company, you may get asked similar questions. Be prepared with a variety of different stories to tell that demonstrate your skills in a particular area. The interviewers will collaborate to review their feedback. You want each interviewer to have different stories and examples you shared, rather than realizing you just shared the same story repeatedly. Dave Grundies

Finally, begin your storytelling with the end in mind. Before your interview, thoroughly research the company to understand what they’re looking for, what they represent, and what skills are required for the position. Write out your stories in a “storyboard” format. You can do this by using notecards or lay out pieces of paper. Label each one with expected interview topics and add a few stories that address each topic. For example, if you think you’ll be asked to give examples about how you would drive results, label a card “Driving Results” and write out 3-5 relevant stories. You can find information about a company’s values and personality on their website or social media. Use that, along with the competencies and required skills on the job description, to help you develop content for your storyboard. Be Your Own Marketer You’ve heard it before. Make finding a full-time job your full-time job. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is your best representation of yourself. Add descriptions of your previous duties, add your skills, and make connections! Follow articles that interest you, share those articles, and even post your own. Make LinkedIn part of your daily routine. You may be surprised how willing people are to help you learn more about a particular industry, role, and even connect you to the right people. Don’t be afraid to ask to set up calls and meetings with your connections to better understand what your potential employer or companies of interest are looking for in a role. You’re your own best salesperson! Why Biotech / Life Sciences is a Great Fit for Veterans Biotech & Lifesciences may sound too complex and scary at first, but Mike says it’s surprising how many roles in biotech, biopharma, life sciences and medical devices are very suitable for the background and training of someone coming from the military. For example, Edwards has roles in supply chain, project management and HR, amongst many others. A military logistics background would be an excellent fit for a supply chain role, as you have experience in moving thousands of troops and supplies into places that are not designed to receive them. You can take those skills into an industry whose mission it is to improve quality of life and continue investing your time into the global greater good. You didn’t join the military for the money, you did it for a greater reason. You’ll transition well with a company who has that higher purpose. As you listen for the voice of the Jump Master, remember you have a choice. You have a choice of aircraft, parachute and landing zone.

Not Sure About Jumping into a Career in Bio Tech / Life Sciences? Hopefully that pressure of deciding on an industry is reducing, but if you’re now considering Biotech / Life Sciences, it’s possible you’re sensing your exit altitude just went up 5,000 feet! Where do you start? Fortunately, Karen Overklift, Education and Industry Outreach Manager at the Biocom Institute is standing by with your parachute. Biocom Institute’s Veterans Initiative program is free to military and veterans and assists with a successful transition into the life sciences industry. Also available is their Career Exploration Fellowship, which provides one on one mentoring, resume review, and assistance from Life Science HR Professionals, elevator pitch and LinkedIn profile retooling. Such experiences will immerse you into the life sciences industry, providing you with valuable connections to leaders and hiring managers throughout California. You will also receive access to exclusive Biocom events and the opportunity to connect with over 1300 companies across California. Through the Biocom Institute career lab, you will be able to see and apply for job openings and educational opportunities. This is an invaluable way to transition into the industry and be confident in your career choice. Learn more at www.BiocomInstitute.org. 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. The reality, though, is that it can be difficult. In fact, it can be down right depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned. The What’s Next column is dedicated to you and to helping you succeed in your transition. If you need help with your career transition, you can connect with Eve at LinkedIn. www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-0050452 For advice, tips and programs you can read Eve’s monthly column at San Diego Veterans Magazine. What’s Next – Transition columns available at: www.tinyurl.com/y69btxe3

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


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In partnership with: 42

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020

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Codes of Conduct and Workplace Ethics: Your Anchor for a Successful Transition into the Private Sector By Paul Falcone The U.S. military is world renowned for its code of conduct, ethics, morals, and behavior befitting the elite troops that serve our nation. But did you know that the private sector has a similar code? “SOX,” more formally known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, came about after the stock market meltdown known as the “Tech Bust” where the Nasdaq exchange lost more than 75% of its value. The new law unleashed a panoply of corporate obligations and responsibilities to protect investors, which also impacted the day-to-day conduct of employees of publicly traded companies. When it comes to SOX, the first thing that comes to mind is financial and operational controls and disclosure requirements. And while financial measures and reforms in corporate governance standards make up a majority of SOX initiatives, documented codes of ethics are also a mainstay of the Act. To comply with SOX, publicly traded companies must publish a code of conduct, often times referred to as a business ethics statement that, in turn, must be proactively communicated to all employees. Private companies were not required under the act to publish a code of business conduct, but most caught onto the idea and were quick to adopt business conduct statements of their own. So, what’s in a typical organization’s code of conduct, and how does it impact you when the time comes for your transition to the private sector?


Obligation #1: Disclose Potential Conflicts of Interest A conflict of interest exists when your outside business or personal interests adversely affect or have the appearance of adversely affecting your judgment at work. Therefore, it’s critical that you disclose in writing anything that could place your company at risk, such as having an undisclosed family relationship with coworkers, customers, suppliers, or competitors of the company. Other examples of potential conflicts include accepting a personal benefit that obligates you in any way to a customer, vendor, or competitor; accepting or offering cash under any circumstances; taking a business opportunity away from your company by doing personal business with a customer, supplier, or competitor (except as a regular consumer); and having a financial interest in a customer, supplier, or competitor, other than less than 1% ownership of a publicly traded company. When potential conflicts come up, you have an affirmative obligation to disclose it to management. Full disclosure permits the organization to address the conflict and adjust accordingly. Failure to disclose, however, can result in serious discipline or even outright termination. To be on the safe side, even if you’re not given a formal disclosure form to fill out, email the issue to your supervisor so that you have an electronic record of the disclosure to protect yourself.


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Obligation #2: Protect Company Time, Property, and Supplies A critical obligation that you have to your company lies in your use of company property, including email and voicemail. Workers have no reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to email, voicemail, desks, or lockers. Company systems are strictly for company use. Similarly, bear in mind that whatever you commit to email becomes an electronic record that remains discoverable in litigation. (As they say, the “E” in email stands for “evidence.”) Plaintiff attorneys are taking advantage of the gold mine of discoverable information available from poorly thought out emails. Your best bet? Avoid writing anything in an email that you wouldn’t put on company letterhead or on the cover of the New York Times. When in doubt, pick up the phone and call instead. Obligation #3: Create and Sustain a Harassment-Free Work Environment A code of conduct, by definition, is intended to uphold the highest standards of business ethics and workplace behavior. Accordingly, how people treat one another is arguably the most critical component of the code of conduct on a practical basis. Expect to learn about anti-discrimination laws and policies as well as “quid pro quo” versus “hostile work environment” forms of sexual harassment and whistleblower protections during training. However, putting aside all the legal jargon, follow the simple rule of treating others like you would like to be treated yourself. Respect, recognition, and a spirit of friendliness and inclusion will catapult your career and limit any potential risk, both to you personally as well as to your organization. SOX certainly caught corporate America’s attention in 2002, especially since it raised the possibility of criminal sanctions against any publicly traded company’s CEO and CFO. And while the law was intended to be broad enough to cover ethical business issues ranging from anti-trust and insider information matters to political and charitable contributions and international anti-boycott laws, its most significant contribution on a practical basis lies in establishing the norms and guidelines for how employees treat one another. Thanks to SOX, workers’ rights and responsibilities are now more clearly outlined and defined than ever before, and for that you can be grateful, both as an employee and as an investor.

Paul Falcone (www.PaulFalconeHR.com) is a human resources executive and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development. WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


LinkedIn Tips for Business

LinkedIn Tips for Business Development: Establishing Your Online Brand

By Sam Falcone

LinkedIn Tips - Part 2

The traditional narrative surrounding LinkedIn is that it solely exists to serve job hunters and individuals seeking to expand their professional network. Within the past few years, however, more and more business owners have begun to realize that this narrative is only a partial truth. In addition to the aforementioned benefits, LinkedIn Company Pages serve as a highly effective tool for strengthening a company’s brand, developing new business leads, and enhancing relationships with existing clients and customers.

you’d be surprised to learn how often a LinkedIn Company Page is incomplete, out-of-date, or provides little to no insight into the organization’s mission and goals. It’s essential that your company’s LinkedIn page includes a strong company overview (i.e., your company’s story and vision), URL to your company’s website, a clear logo and banner image (for LinkedIn’s recommended image sizes, click here: https://bit.ly/2Gefdw4), and contact information, including address, phone, and email.

LinkedIn is often one of the first places prospective clients look when they want to learn more about an organization. Therefore, it’s essential that your company’s voice and overall brand are well-articulated throughout every facet of your company page. When a prospective client visits your company’s LinkedIn page, your goal is for them to walk away with a better understanding of your organization and an increased interest in establishing a business relationship.

2. Establish a Consistent Posting Rhythm

Whether you’re a small business owner or a Fortune 500 CEO, here are five tips for establishing brand awareness, driving website traffic, and achieving your online marketing goals. 1. Ensure All Company Information is Complete A LinkedIn page with insufficient or outdated information is one surefire way of deterring new customers. While this may seem like common sense, 46

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It’s essential that, once your LinkedIn Company Page is set up, you establish a schedule for sharing content on a regular basis. For those struggling to find content to share, the Social Media Content Rule of Thirds is a good philosophy to live by: one-third of the content promotes the business and drives sales, one-third shares thought leadership, case studies, and industry news that will benefit your audience, and one-third engages your audience and humanizes your brand. The timing of your posts also plays a sizable role in determining your success. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to be the most effective days to post on LinkedIn, whereas weekends and afterwork hours typically get the least engagement and visibility. Additionally, aim to share your content between 10 AM to 2 PM, as this is often when LinkedIn traffic is at its highest.

3. Master the Hashtag

5. Paid Advertising

Before you click the post button, make sure your hashtags will garner the biggest bang for your buck. Use the LinkedIn search box at the top of the page to search for hashtags that relate to your content (similar to using Google to search for trending terms). Simply look to see how many people follow the hashtags.

It’s no surprise that posting more traditional types of ads on LinkedIn isn’t cheap. The platform’s success has made it “prime real estate” for organizations looking to post ads that garner immediate recognition and attention. It’s important to keep in mind that when you run ads on LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager platform, you’re competing with other advertisers who want to reach a similar target audience. While LinkedIn advertising costs vary, LinkedIn requires companies to bid a minimum of $2 for cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM) campaigns. On average, however, businesses pay $5.26 per click and $6.59 per 1000 impressions, as well as $0.80 per send for Sponsored InMail campaigns. Costs can ad up quickly, but the good news is that the amount you pay to advertise on LinkedIn is up to you and can be capped to meet your planned budget. To learn more about LinkedIn ad pricing, click here: https://bit.ly/3joRoAz. Make LinkedIn your go-to resource as you look to expand your business online. When utilized properly, LinkedIn can serve as a remarkably powerful tool for elevating your business.

For example, if you’re an executive coach or corporate trainer, you’ll find that #executivecoach has 1,839 followers, but with a little tweak, #executivecoaching has 15,500 followers. Similarly, #performancemanagement has 4,200 followers, while #leadershipdevelopment has 341,000 followers. See how that works? It’s in your best interest to research the hashtags before you post and ensure you’re getting the largest audience possible for each of your postings. A good rule of thumb is no more than three hashtags per post. 4. Go Live LinkedIn Live is a new feature in beta stage that provides a platform for companies to broadcast live video content to their networks in real time. You have to have a significant audience already in place and a record of posting quality content in order to take advantage of this new functionality. Further, if you commit to becoming a live broadcaster, you’ll be required to post new content on a fairly consistent basis. But LinkedIn is constantly adding new features, and if this appeals to you, visit LinkedIn’s Live Broadcasting page to learn more: https://bit.ly/36sWWXg.

There’s a reason why LinkedIn has 630 million members and is the #1 designation as a Business-to-Business (B2B) platform and lead generation network. Now’s your time to put that market advantage to good use.

LinkedIn Company Pages serve as a highly effective tool for strengthening a company’s brand, developing new business leads, and enhancing relationships with existing clients and customers.

LinkedIn Tips - Part 1 Available at: www.sandiegoveteransmagazine.com/five-linkedin-tips-for-transitioning-military-veterans/ WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR By Vicki Garcia veteransinbiz@gmail.com

2 Pop Up Business Platforms to Support Selling Products Online from Home Right Now Sitting at home away from family and friends? Nothing to do, no income, bored? Wake up! You’re in the middle of the e-commerce world and not taking advantage of it. If you have a strong work ethic, persistence, and a willingness to try something new, you can follow the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henleyhe “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” All you need to do is start doing a little research on selling trends. Or investigate your own heart about what ignites your passion. Open youtube.com and view a few of the hundreds of success stories. There are many how-to videos to guide you and clue you in to the tricks of the trade. Etsy Etsy is a great place to start. The company has more than 1.7 active sellers and 28.6 million buyers. Instead of putting yourself out there in an independent website where you must scramble for visitors, Etsy does that hard work for you. Originally aimed as an online e-commerce website clearinghouse for handcrafters, Etsy was made for collectors and entrepreneurs to open a store and sell their products online. In time a decision was made to change the basic rules for sellers by including factorymade goods in the handmade definition, as long as they were unique and of good quality. This opened the door and things exploded to include to a wider range of products. You can list products for .20 each. When you sell an item, there is a small commission and standard payment processing fee. Use the Sell on Etsy App to manage orders, edit listings, and respond to buyers instantly, from anywhere. Buyers will give you reviews. You would be surprised how chummy things can get. Create your own website in minutes and make it a custom design that’s powered by your Etsy shop. 48

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Make your own designs to put on your own products using Canva.com, a graphic design app for non-artists. Etsy has tools designed for every stage of your business’s growth—no matter how big your ambitions. Shipping is easy on Etsy. Buy and print discounted postage for your orders in seconds, right from your Etsy account. More advanced tools are available with an optional monthly subscription package. You can create a sales or coupon to catch the eye of shoppers or reach them right in their inboxes with targeted offers. Crafting the perfect posts for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram made easy because Etsy writes it for you. You just make the connection. Boost your visibility Millions of shoppers access Etsy with their advertising tools. With Etsy Ads, your listings are more visible in Etsy searches. With Offsite Ads, Etsy will pay to advertise your listings on sites like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bing. When you make a sale from those ads, you pay an advertising fee on that sale. You can also create a store in Facebook and connect it to your Etsy store.

Starting a Business as a Veteran?

Shopify Shopify is a subscription to a software service that offers you the option to create a website and use their shopping cart solution to sell, ship, and manage your products. Since 2006, many large brands and fastgrowing companies have moved over to Shopify. Over 820,000+ merchants count on Shopify to grow and scale their business. Shopify Basic costs $29 monthly (and 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction). The Shopify plan is $79 monthly (and 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction). Shopify doesn’t sell goods to consumers. It sells to entrepreneurs who then sell to customers. Shopify provides a suite of e-commerce tools to enable entrepreneurs and small-business owners to start and run an e-commerce business quickly and simply. Because Shopify offers a comprehensive marketing suite, businesses find it easy to scale and get in front of new audiences. The platform offers SEO features, like customizable headlines, titles, and meta tags, so eCommerce sites can rank high in search results. Customers can post SEO-friendly product reviews, which also work wonders for building a business’s credibility. Dropshipping Shopify integrates with apps like Oberlo, Ordoro, Inventory Source, and eCommHub, making it easy to set up your business. I like Oberlo.com because of its simplicity and easy to follow directions. You’re just the middleman in charge of managing your store and marketing your products. This is not a comprehensive list by any means. Google “selling online,” or “drop shipping,” to find an avalanche of sites to provide a platform, educate and encourage you. Read up and do your homework. Find a platform that is comfortable for you to use and where the learning curve isn’t too onerous.

“I am the master of

That’s why a growing number of veterans choose to forge their own path and become entrepreneurs after leaving the Armed Forces. While starting a business comes with numerous challenges, former service members do have one distinct advantage: the veteran community. “The strength and power of veteran entrepreneurs comes from other veteran entrepreneurs” Unlike most highly competitive entrepreneurial environments, veteran entrepreneurs share information much more easily. If you or someone you know is a veteran looking to start a business, please feel free to contact Vicki Garcia. Enlisted To Entrepreneur Column available at https://tinyurl.com/y2hgyu24

my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henleyhe

The transition from military service to civilian life can be a difficult one, especially when it comes to your career.

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 30+ -year- old marketing consulting firm. Apply to join Operation Vetrepreneur’s FREE one-on-one mentoring at www.veteransinbiz.com. Join the California Veterans Chamber of Commerce for FREE at www.caveteranschamber.com Email Vicki with column ideas at veteransinbiz@gmail.com

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020



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Workshops for Warriors is a nonprofit school that provides veterans and transitioning service members with hands-on training and nationallyrecognized credentials in CNC machining, CAD/CAM programming, and welding. Our students earn credentials that open doors to jobs anywhere in the U.S. Call us at (619) 550-1620.

AFTER EARNED A CAREER IN JUST 4 MONTHS. ENROLL NOW AT WFW.ORG CAD/CAM Programming CNC Machining Welding DoD SkillBridge Organization WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


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

VETERANS AND THE BENEFITS OF NETWORKING Making connections and building relationships with people is vital to the growth of your business. It goes without saying that if you want to travel fast, go alone; but if you want to travel far, go with others. Ironically, networking – building connections and relationships and developing trust – with others is a fast track to developing a successful business. Networking helps with building relationships, becoming part of a community that share common goals and/or ideologies with you. Is Networking Beneficial? There are many benefits that are associated with networking as there are many networking groups today. Chambers of Commerce afford many benefits to it’s members. From supporting your business with resources to setting up opportunities for members to connect and promote each other’s business. Networking helps with business development and provides a platform for you to identify those who may support your vision, establish partnerships and potentially drive new customers to your business. The key therefore is to find the right Chamber of Commerce or networking group that “fits’ with your business and your networking style. Let’s look at some of the benefits of networking at a local Chamber of Commerce How to Network Despite the amazing benefits associated with networking, many people still find it difficult and do not know how to network, many of them still think that networking is selling, and it is far from that. Networking is about establishing business relationships with likeminded individuals who may be interested in connecting further with you. The Networking Mindset For some, networking is easy; while for others, it can be more difficult. Keep in mind that everyone in the networking group is hoping to connect with others and each is interested in what others have to offer. 52

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Entering to a networking group with the mindset such as “I am here to see who can buy my product” is just the wrong approach. Entering a networking group with a mindset of collaboration, helping others and looking for ways to partner with other members is a much better mindset. Best Practices 1. Expand your perspective Talking with members of the group, engaging in activities, participating in community focused events are the best ways to “give back” and be recognized in the community. If your business serves the local community, there is no better way than getting involved with your local chamber and participate in the events that the chamber organizes. This approach will fast-track your business connections and become more visible in the community. What if your business serves a wider region than just a local community? We know that joining a Chamber of Commerce may be expensive, find out if they offer Military/Veteran benefits or discounts. The National Veterans Chamber of Commerce has created “Partnerships” with civilian Chambers of Commerce who accept and recognize The (FREE) National Veterans Chamber Membership giving the veteran the advantage of Dual-Membership. Check with your local chamber or contact the National Veterans Chamber of Commerce for a list of Veteran-Friendly Chambers. 2. Helps with Growth Another benefit of networking is that it allows for an increase of connections and resources that will help your business prepare when ready to grow. 3. Get More Visibility Participating in Community based activities, collaborating with the Chamber and participating with other local networking groups is the best strategy to become “visible” and for people in the community to know who you are and increase the likelihood of becoming your customer.

4. Support from Sr. Members Networking with your local chamber could turn out to be very beneficial. Many of the senior members are very supportive of Veteran Entrepreneurs and often are willing to share their business experience and resources to help you succeed. Network groups are known to hold conferences or activities where prominent individuals are invited; these persons can also be of help.

Do some simple research online about the group, their focus, what they believe and how they help their members. Keep in mind that most networking groups have a specific focus and finding a good match is critical for your business. Contact The National Veterans Chamber of Commerce www.vccsd.org if you need assistance in identifying a good group in your area.

In Summary: • Know Your Goals Before you start networking, the first thing you want to do is know why you want to join a Chamber of a networking group. Know what you want to contribute to the group and what you expect out of the group. Keep in mind that all of these groups have fees and some are expensive, choose wisely.

The Veterans Chamber of Commerce Radio Show

Other networking groups to consider:

• Would you like to share your story?

• Would you like to Nominate a Hero in your Community? Let us know and we will announce it on the show.

Be our guest on the show.

• Rotary clubs • BNI • MEETUP groups •Facebook groups •LinkedIn groups Deciding on a Group Search for a group that supports your goals and values. Ask questions and get recommendations from trusted people.

Here’s our REQUEST FORM for you to fill out and send back to us. If you have any ideas or project that you would like to see Developed by the Veterans Chamber send your idea to: veteransccsd@gmail.com Request Form - www.vccsd.org/radioshow.html

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


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

BUSINESS CONTRACTS POST COVID-19 Small business owners affected by COVID-19 know all too well the importance of written agreements in these uncertain times. What gets included, and what doesn’t, can make or break a small business when the unexpected happens. There are sever strategies you might consider to reduce uncertainty when drafting your own contracts post pandemic. 1. WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN YOUR BUSINESS CONTRACTS POST COVID-19? First, evaluate your past contracts to make sure the clauses or provisions that don’t work so well or left your business exposed to unnecessary losses or risks are amended or removed. Second, consider adding a ‘force majeure” clause (which is explained below) to your contracts going forward. A force majeure clause is a provision in your contract that protects your business from unforeseen issues, like natural disasters that can make it extremely difficult or even impossible to fulfill your contractual promises. The force majeure provision would allow you to back out of a contractual obligation should an extreme and unforeseeable event prevent your from fulfilling your end of the deal. In a post COVID-19 world, you may want to include a force majeure clause that specifically includes issues like pandemics or shutdowns related to the pandemic in your future contracts. Third, you might consider including an arbitration clause in your future agreements. If you had an issue with a contract and the courts were to shut down again, you could resolve that issue virtually with an arbitrator. Otherwise, you may be stuck waiting for the courts to open in order to resolve a pressing dispute. Finally, it is really important to get all your agreements in writing. Don’t rely on verbal agreements and a handshake to seal a deal. If it matters to you, then put it in writing and make sure that everyone signing the contract knows what’s in it and actually understands it.


WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020

2. WHAT ARE SOME CONTRACTUAL DEFENSES YOU CAN USE? The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and will continue to disrupt global, national and local commerce. Businesses in every industry have experienced, and will continue to experience, significant challenges to their ability to meet or enforce contractual obligations. Contractual defenses fall into three primary categories: Impossibility, Frustration of Purpose, and Force Majeure. a) Impossibility The common law often recognizes a defense of impossibility. A party should not be held liable for breaching a contract that they could not perform. For example, hiring Sting to perform but before the performance, Sting dies, making the contract impossible to perform. Some of the government orders surrounding COVID-19 may in fact render performance impossible. b) Frustration of Purpose Some courts also recognize a doctrine called “frustration of purpose” which is similar to the impossibility defense. Under this doctrine, performance is excused when a supervening event fundamentally changes the nature of a contract and makes one party’s performance worthless to the other. For example, if a contract called for the cleaning of the theater after Sting had performed, the cancellation of the performance frustrated the purpose of the contract. The contract can still be performed but the purpose has been frustrated making cleaning a wasted effort.

c) Force Majeure Clause Unlike the preceding defenses, which arise under common law and potentially apply without regard to the language of the contract, the defense of force majeure is based on a contractual provision. A force majeure clause excuses nonperformance when events beyond the control of the parties prevent performance. Force majeure clauses vary in their specific language, but typically list such events as acts of God, extreme weather events, riot, war or invasion, government or regulatory action including strikes, terrorism, or the imposition of an embargo. It is less common to see force majeure clauses that expressly contemplate a global health emergency, pandemic, or epidemic as a force majeure event. Due to coronavirus impact, companies need to evaluate whether their contractual performance has been impacted by COVID-19 and the governmental response to the pandemic. If the parties cannot negotiate a mutually acceptable “pause button” postponing performance, then companies should evaluate whether there are defenses to performance which will reduce or eliminate liability for breath. 3. CAN I USE LIABILITY WAIVERS POST COVID-19? Last month, I covered COVID-19 liability waivers and provided a free form for your use. Some states have granted lability protection from COVID-19 lawsuits for businesses. If you are going to use a liability waiver for your business, you may want to check that the terms are clear, unambiguous, and fair. The other party needs to understand what they’re agreeing to when they sign it. A liability waiver will not necessarily protect your business from intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent conduct, so you may want to ensure that your business abides by local guidelines.

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

Veteran Disability Pay and Divorce: What is There to Lose? If you are a Veteran receiving VA disability compensation, you may be concerned about how much of that income you may lose during a divorce. While each state has different laws governing divorce, child support, and spousal support, there are federal laws that every state must follow. These are some of the questions you may find yourself asking if you are going through a family law matter. Can Disability Benefits be Divided as Property When I get Divorced? No. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, VA disability payments are exempt from being treated as marital property. This means it is not an asset which can be divided at divorce. Will VA Benefits be Considered as Income for Purposes of Child Support and Spousal Support? Yes, VA disability payments are considered as income for calculating child support and spousal support. In Rose v. Rose, 481 U.S. 619 (1987), the U.S. Supreme Court found that VA disability payments were intended not just for the veteran, but as the law stated, to “provide reasonable and adequate compensation for disabled veterans and their families.” The Court concluded: “Congress clearly intended veterans’ disability benefits to be used, in part, for the support of veterans’ dependents.”

Therefore, although your VA disability benefits cannot be divided by the Court as property, the Court will consider it in determining how much child or spousal support you must pay. Can My Disability Benefits be Garnished? Yes, there are circumstances where VA disability benefits can and do get garnished (in other, words a portion of your disability payment can be taken directly). If you fail to pay child support or spousal support your disability payments can be garnished, but only when you’ve waived part of your military retired pay in order to receive VA disability benefits. So if you waived part of your taxable military retirement to receive nontaxable disability compensation, your disability benefits can be garnished to meet alimony and child support obligation. This is because the purpose of VA benefits is to provide support not just to a veteran but to his/her family as well. How Much of my Disability Benefits Can be Garnished? Typically, between 20% to 50% of your disability pay can be garnished depending on your support obligation. However, only the portion of your disability income you are paid in place of your military retirement can be garnished. The remainder of disability pay cannot be garnished and is protected.

Veteran Disability Pay and Divorce It is important if you are a veteran going through a divorce that you have a clear understanding of how your disability compensation may be handled during the process. 58

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Will a Garnishment Ever be Denied? Yes, under certain circumstances a garnishment to a former spouse can be denied if: 1) The garnishment was to cause undue financial hardship. 2) The veteran’s former spouse or child has not filed for apportionment. 3) The former spouse is living with or married to another person.

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4) The former spouse was found by a state court to have been guilty of infidelity (in an “at fault” state). What is an Apportionment of VA Benefits? Apportionment is when the VA divides up your veteran’s disability compensation amount among those who are entitled to a share of it for support purposes. The VA will pay your former spouse and/or children a part of your veteran’s disability payment directly, thus reducing the amount of benefits you will receive. Your former spouse must file for apportionment from the VA for themselves (if spousal support is ordered) and for any dependent children (for child support). The VA will require both of you to submit a financial statement to determine if an undue hardship will be caused. It is important to note that you can also file for a hardship reduction in apportionment if you are unable to meet your basic financial needs at any time. In addition, the VA will not approve a garnishment in any case where a request for apportionment has not been filed. If My Benefits Can’t be Garnished, Can My Former Spouse Still Ask for an Apportionment? Your former spouse can ask for the VA for an apportionment for child support even where your VA disability benefit can’t be garnished. You do have the right to object to the apportionment even if you have been court ordered to pay child support. It is important if you are a veteran going through a divorce that you have a clear understanding of how your disability compensation may be handled during the process. Remember that each state has its own laws and, if you are receiving veteran disability pay and going through a divorce, you may want to consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you understand how your income may be affected. For more information about protecting your disability pay during a 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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San Diego County American Legion Baseball is Ready to Play Ball! By Judy Leonardi San Diego County American Legion Baseball offers an abundance of elite level High School athletes that compete at the highest levels for San Diego District Championship and California State Championship. Historically, San Diego has been a prominent region for American Legion Baseball nationwide. San Diego teams have been crowned World Series National Champions in 1938, 1941 and 1954. In the 1980’s the league inexplicably disbanded in San Diego. San Diego County American Legion Baseball is honored to announce that we are bringing back the league. The 2018 inaugural season provided a tremendous foundation for our future growth in redeveloping this highly competitive league. Our campaign to “Restore the Legacy” is a year- round endeavor encompassing the support of American Legion Posts across the County, the District, and the American Legion Department of California. The American Legion Baseball continues to steadfastly stand behind the traditional values upon which it was founded in 1924. Over the years it has taught hundreds of thousands of young Americans the importance of sportsmanship, good health, and active citizenship. The American Legion Baseball Program is also a strong promoter of equality, making teammates out of young athletes regardless of their income levels or social standings. In order to compete with travel ball leagues and tournaments, the American Legion has made our league accessible to County youth by removing the financial burden placed on players and their families by adopting and embracing the “No Pay to Play” philosophy. We currently have 28 teams lined up to play American Legion baseball in 2021, so having the funds to run an organized season is essential. “The goal has always been to provide a place to play baseball free of charge,” Commissioner Ohnstad said. “This isn’t club ball. This isn’t pay-to-play ball.” San Diego American Legion Baseball covers the cost of insurance, umpires, baseballs, uniforms for the District season, and in addition the travel expenses associated with our top teams playing in the State Championship Tournament.


WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020

Based on the success of our 2019 season we anticipate that 2021 will have increased expenses and project that it will take $3000 for each of our 28 teams to compete. San Diego County American Legion Baseball is seeking “League Sponsors” and encourage any interested parties to contact us immediately. Please know the request for financial assistance is not for VETERANS, it’s to strengthen our communities and to allow our youth a platform to “PLAY BALL”. “This is NOT a veteran organization to raise money for veterans. It IS a veteran organization that raises money for the YOUTH in our County” FACT: 75+% of American Legion Baseball players go on to play college baseball FACT: 51% of MLB played American Legion Baseball Ted Williams, Tony Gywnn and Trevor Hoffman all played American Legion baseball A key element of the fundraising effort that supports “No Pay to Play”, San Diego County American Legion Baseball held its inaugural charity golf tournament on September 25th at Twin Oaks Golf Course In San Marcos. Thirty-two teams consisting of 128 golfers participated and enjoyed a COVID compliant beautiful day out on the golf course to raise funds for our 2021 season. This extremely successful tournament would not have been possible without our sponsors and volunteers from a variety of Posts supporting the planning, preparation and game-day event activities. Thank you all for supporting our cause, participating in our comradery, and making a positive contribution to youth baseball in San Diego County. Our thanks go to; Brian Brady, Realty Capital Cutwater Spirits Integra Golf Equipment Lori Puterbaugh Real Estate Patriot Golf Equipment The Randy Jones Foundation San Diego Gulls Hockey Team

The winning foursome of our inaugural Charity Golf Tournament 2020 was Holly Shaffner, Mike Miller, Dale Bergman and Trevor Young representing Team Honor Flight San Diego & San Diego Veterans Magazine.

Mike Miller Dale Bergman

Holly Shaffner

They will be the defending champions in next year’s tournament and have qualified for the Randy Jones Invitational Golf Tournament. There were over 70 items donated for fundraising during the event auction and raffles ranging from a Tony Gwynn autographed baseball bat, to a private aerial tour to hotel stay packages.

& Organizations Navigating the resources available to veterans can be confusing, but San Diego Veterans Magazine believes no veteran should have to go it alone. At San Diego Veterans Magazine you can find Veteran organizations and private nonprofits with resources for veterans that can help ease the process of attaining earned benefits, coping with the lasting effects of service-connected injuries and finding programs and services that meet your specific needs.

Over the past 2 seasons San Diego County American Legion Baseball have been supported by various sponsors and donors such as The Randy Jones Foundation and the San Diego Padres Baseball Club. The Padres provided considerable support across the league and directly sponsored the Hoover High School baseball team and has committed to do so for the 2021 season as well. San Diego County American Legion Baseball continues to prepare now for the moment when youth sports are authorized by public health policy to return to competitive play in 2021. SDCALB continues to fundraise in anticipation of a successful 2021 season. To donate or become a league sponsor please contact: contributions@ald22baseball.org

San Diego Veteran Resources & Organizations available at: www.MiramarPostalPlus.com


San Diego Veterans Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


The SDVC will focus its resources on solving the Root Cause issues affecting the military veterans ecosystem that were identified in the 2018 Veterans Administration’s Military to Civilian Transition Issues report where: In a November 2015 study, more than 8,500 Veterans, active duty Service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and military dependents identified their most significant transition challenges: November 2020


The San Diego Veterans Coalition initiates the Transition Integration Project (TIP) As part of the SDVC’s 2021 strategy to leverage its membership and provide integrated services to transitioning military, veterans and spouses, the SDVC Board of Directors has approved the Transition Integration Project (TIP) for implementation and use throughout the veterans community. Adapting the recommendation the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman’s Office of Reintegration: Veterans / Families / Communities September 2015 - “As a nation, we cannot meet our full potential in reintegrating veterans and their families back into civilian society unless the military, government, non-profits, veteran-serving organizations, and private partners collaborate around a mutual agenda and partner to address the challenges veterans face in reintegration.” By instituting the operational goals of the Collective Impact Model (designed by the Altarum Institute) Community Guide for Establishing a Veterans Community Action Teams (VCAT) Veterans Services System of Care, the SDVC is poised to launch the Transition Integration Program in San Diego County. The VCAT Veterans System of Care is a comprehensive network of service providers empowered with knowledge, information, and tools to effectively ensure that veterans and families whom these providers encounter are accurately and timely connected to the appropriate service providers and completely served. The VCAT model encompasses two main goals: • To establish a sustainable, integrated, community-based strategy that enhances the delivery of services from public, private, nonprofit, and voluntary organizations to veterans and their families and • To implement a replicable model of veterans’ service delivery that informs community baseline and enlightens the pathway to comprehensive veterans’ service integration. 62

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• 60% Navigating VA programs, benefits, and services • 55% Finding a job • 41% Adjusting to civilian culture • 40% Addressing financial challenges • 39% Applying military-learned skills to civilian life TIP’s MISSION: By focusing on and resolving the key reintegration issues of veterans and the challenges employers face trying to hire them, the TIP will help close the cultural and skills gaps of veterans by orchestrating a predictable veteran talent pipeline from military service to employment in priority sectors through a coordinated training effort with multiple agencies. The TIP model focuses on addressing the above rootcause transition issues by organizing community resources into the following four transition domains: • Engagement – Working with organizations to address systemic issues of veterans knowing how to navigate their benefits and creating a VSO database of available providers: Addresses Navigating VA programs, benefits, and services. • Transition – Working with organizations to address military to civilian transition issues directly related to changes in culture and lifestyle, and those agencies that offer services in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship. Addresses the issues adjusting to civilian culture and finding a job. • Workplace Integration – Working with organizations and employers to ensure veterans are integrated into civilian workplace and positioned in jobs that satisfy their unique skills and potential for growth. Addresses applying military-learned skills to civilian life. • Community Reintegration – Working with communitybased VSO’s TIP will leverage per to peer support through a vast number of well-established veteran service organizations to ensure veterans and their families receive ongoing community support. To ensure continuity across agencies and members, TIP will rely on the Community Information Exchange provider sharing network developed and maintained by 211 San Diego. For additional information, please visit “www.sdvetscoalition.org”

Institute on Aging Veterans Day Event

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


“The men and women who serve our Nation deserve our support — Today, Tomorrow, Always —”



VANC Veterans Day My parents had 6 sons, and as luck would have it, 2 of them were born on holidays. I was born on the Marine Corps Birthday, and my older brother was born on Veterans Day. My dad served in Korea with the First Marine Division, was wounded and returned home. If he was alive today, these two holidays his sons were born on would be the two big events of the Fall. A celebration of the Marine Corps Birthday with a gathering of those that served, dinner, stories and joy. The quiet family only Veterans Day remembering the victory, and the cost of war. Veterans Day, the 11th day in the 11th month (at the 11th hour) ended the First World War. To commemorate the Armistice that ended the “…war to end all wars”. We all know now, that the treatment of the losing side, the crushing economic burden of reparations, and the challenges that Germany faced after the war was over led to the Second World War in September 1939 and the peace only held for 21 years. 64

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It seems we have lost sight of history again. Americans are bitterly divided. Our Cities and States across the country have seen violence and hatred, anger and protest. Some of our cities look like war zones. Their burned out buildings, spray painted marble and anchor points where bronze statues once celebrated founding fathers, leaders and historically significant people. An election that most people dread will take place in the first week of November. They expect those on the losing side will take out their anger and frustration on the other side once again. Have we such short memories? Can we not appreciate all that we have been through as a country? Together. We have, I believe, the greatest country in the world. We have people that want to fundamentally change what this country is and what it will permit. Please enjoy a quiet Veterans Day. Look for ways to be together and celebrate being together. And let’s carry that idea right into Thanksgiving and give thanks for this great country and its veterans that secured the blessings of liberty. At VANC, we will offer an opportunity to gather food for the family and enjoy a family holiday this year. Our wonderful Executive Director leads our team to gather turkeys to distribute to as many families as we can handle and gather people around the table at Thanksgiving. (feel free to ignore the Governors demand for 6 or less at your table). Veterans Day November 11th. Food Drive November 13th. Thanksgiving November 26th.

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


The Military Order of the World Wars San Diego Chapter chartered on August 26, 1926

The Beginning The Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW) is a non-political, patriotic Veterans Service Organization (VSO). The Military Order’s founding in 1919 resulted from General of the Armies John J. “Blackjack” Pershing’s request that his officers continue serving America after their active military service ended. He urged us to promote good citizenship, patriotic education, military, and public service. We celebrated our Centennial in August 2019. Our Purpose Our outreach programs and activities stem directly from the Preamble to our Constitution. Just some of the nine tenets include the following. To inculcate and stimulate love of our country and flag; To promote and further patriotic education in our nation; and to defend the honor, integrity, and supremacy of the Constitution of the United States. These tenets are centered on the idea embodied in its motto that “It is Nobler to Serve than to be Served.” The motto summarizes our commitment of MOWW to our veterans, families, youth, and our country. Our tagline is Serving Youth, Community, and Nation. San Diego Chapter We have been serving the San Diego area for the past 94 years. Our chapter has sponsored many events that have become constant in community life in San Diego. The oldest and most prominent of these events is the annual Massing of the Colors and Service of Remembrance. The San Diego chapter has also been quite active on the MOWW national stage. We are quite proud that the first female MOWW Commander-in-Chief, Capt Debbie Kash, USAF (Ret), is a member of our chapter. We have also provided MOWW with two other Commanders-in-Chief. Outreach and Service: Three of Many MOWW serves America’s youth by hosting Youth Leadership Conference (YLC) programs throughout the United States at no cost to high school students. The San Diego Chapter sponsors 20 participants, and provides organizers, speakers, workshop leaders, and chaperons for the event. The event has grown from a small group to over 50 in 2019. 66

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Another major event sponsored annually is the Massing of the Colors and Service of Remembrance. It is a patriotic ceremony to rededicate our faith in the Flag of the United States and to pledge our support to those Colors and of the servicemen and women those Colors represent. It combines the Flag and unit flags and color guards of active and reserve component military units, veterans organizations, civic, and patriotic organizations. The Massing originated with The Society of the Massing of the Colors, that was organized on Armistice Day, 1922, by distinguished military officers, veterans, and civic leaders. Since 1927 MOWW has been sponsoring these ceremonies nationwide. This free event, open to the public, brings together about 50 color guards from many organizations to celebrate patriotism and the flag each October in Balboa Park. Some responses have been these. “Fantastic!” “... patriotic and beautiful....” “... even got a bit emotional at times.” “Most impressive!” This event was first held in 1954 and has been a nearly annual event ever since. This year will mark its 64th year. Wreaths Across America (WAA) Its mission is to Remember, Honor, and Teach. Remember the fallen. Honor those who have served and their families. Teach our children the value of freedom. WAA is a nationwide patriotic ceremony at perhaps hundreds of cemeteries on the same December day. The San Diego Chapter of MOWW has been a co-sponsor of this event for several years. We provide speakers, honorary wreath bearers, financial support, music, and hundreds of volunteers. These volunteers lay wreaths on up to 10,000 graves of veterans and five Medal of Honor recipients at Greenwood Memorial Park, a private cemetery in San Diego. Additionally, MOWW also sponsors awards programs for Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and Junior ROTC cadets (JROTC), the Girl Scouts of the USA (GS-USA), and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). MOWW formally honors those who excel in national security, homeland security, and law and order.

To Learn More We are a group of patriotic US Federally commissioned officers (active duty, retired and former) from all uniformed services, our spouses, and descendants. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about MOWW, please contact us through our websites or Facebook pages. www.SanDiego-MOWW.org Facebook: The Military Order of the World Wars-MOWW-San Diego Chapter “Serving Youth, Community, and Nation� since 1919 WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


Celebrating Impact: Shelter to Soldier transforms the lives of veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress By Kyrié Bloem Shelter to Soldier (STS) has served the veteran community in Southern California since 2012, but has experienced its largest year of impact during 2020. In light of COVID-19, the depth of suffering that has plagued the veteran community who have been victimized by Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other mental health diagnoses has been exacerbated by the sudden and drastic change in lifestyle associated with COVID-19 regulations and uncertainty. Feelings of isolation, hypervigilance and job insecurity have contributed to a “perfect storm” that has significantly threatened the mental health of veterans. With support from the community, sponsors and donors, Shelter to Soldier continues to be a guiding light during a time of darkness for veterans in need throughout Southern California. To date this year, the Shelter to Soldier team has graduated five veterans with service dogs, with a goal of graduating ten veteran/service dog teams in 2020. Five additional Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) have been placed with veterans in need. The STS program is currently training 14 veteran handlers working toward graduation with a psychiatric service dog, and five veterans who will soon graduate with their ESAs. In January 2020, Teri McConnell, US Navy (Ret.), graduated with her service dog, Riddler. Teri describes her service in the US Navy, “I was an ET2 in the Navy focusing primarily on communications repair and maintenance. I deployed on the USS America for her maiden deployment where we visited many beautiful ports such as Hawaii, Guam, Singapore, Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Bahrain, Dubai, and Eliat (Israel). We operated in the Red Sea while our troops participated in operations in Syria.” After returning home from deployment, things took a very downward turn for Teri. She explains, “I was constantly on the tipping point of rage at everyone and everything that reminded me of the accident and a friend’s death. I started to have night terrors where I would wake up screaming two-to-three times a night. I started avoiding sleeping at night because that was the worst time for me. My anger and guilt spiraled into depression. My fear and mistrust built into intolerable anxiety. 68

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The slightest upset plans or unexpected sound would make it hard to breathe, my chest felt heavy, and I’d shake uncontrollably. I’d break down crying in public, curl up into the fetal position on sidewalks. I was medically retired and stopped leaving my house entirely. Two months before my retirement finalized, I attempted to end my life and I was hospitalized. My life had become everything life shouldn’t be.” She sought the help of Shelter to Soldier for support, where the program paired and trained her with service dog, Riddler. Teri articulates about Riddler, “I’d be lying if I said he was a magic-pill that made everything perfect. However, it’s no exaggeration to say that he [Riddler] has made everything better. I still don’t like going out in public but I can go out when I need to. People tend to give you a larger buffer space when you have a service dog with you. When they don’t, he’s trained in commands that use his body to create a space between me and people that make me uncomfortable.”

He literally watches my back for me when I can’t stand with my back against a wall. One of the unexpected benefits of having him [Riddler] is the impact he’s had on my social life. He’s an adorable yellow lab so I am frequently approached by people that are curious about him and think he’s just the most handsome dog ever (which he is). While I am generally uncomfortable speaking with strangers, I love to talk about Riddler. He’s a conversation topic that I feel safe with and it allows me to have many more successful interactions with people than I have been able to have in years.

At night, when I get my night terrors, I’m gently woken up with a few worrying nuzzles. He lays on my chest and performs compression therapy to calm me. Now, I’m not afraid to sleep because I don’t wake up in abject fear any more. I wake up feeling safe and loved and protected by Riddler.

When my anxiety starts to spiral, he distracts me with love or play depending on what is appropriate at the time. He often picks up on my anxiety before I do.

Shelter to Soldier saved my life quite literally. It wasn’t just Riddler that helped me start to take steps towards progress. It was also the family of support offered by the trainers and staff. I am beyond grateful for absolutely everything this program and these people have given me. What I went through is only one story. So many of our servicemembers have their own stories that have left them feeling like they’ve lost the things that made the world a place they feel comfortable being in.

These people are sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers, and fathers. There is a sort of domino-effect that happens when you help save one of us.” www.sheltertosoldier.org

Riddler WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


FREE ASSISTANCE DOGS FOR VETERANS Our assistance dogs master more than 40 commands to assist veterans with disabilities with daily tasks. DONATE. APPLY. VOLUNTEER. cci.org/veterans info@cci.org 800.572.BARK


WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


For nearly 70 years, Father Joe’s Villages has been taking care of the immediate needs of homeless Veterans, while also helping end their homelessness for good. Call 1-619-HOMELESS or visit NEIGHBOR.ORG to learn more.

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WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020



We’d be honored to welcome you home to one of our contemporary neighborhoods throughout San Diego. Modern is our style. Now make it yours. Find your new home base with four neighborhoods at Playa Del Sol and Weston. Priced from the low $400Ks to the mid $800Ks. Our New-Home Galleries are currently offering virtual, phone and one-on-one guided tours - whatever works for you. Call our New Home Specialist at 858-771-9433 or visit PardeeHomes.com/SanDiego to schedule your appointment.









South San Diego From the low $400Ks

South San Diego From the low $400Ks

South San Diego From the low $400Ks

East San Diego From the mid $800Ks

Receive a $1,500 design studio credit and/or closing cost credit, when you purchase an eligible home at one of Pardee Homes’ participating new home communities, while supplies last. Please visit the community New Home Gallery to learn which homes are eligible for the incentives. Actual amounts and value of incentives may vary. Certain loan programs may not qualify for the full incentive value. Incentives may not be applied to the purchase price of the home. The offer to pay closing costs may be subject to a cap and does not include payment of prepaid taxes, property or mortgage insurance, or mortgage installments. Certain features and design studio selections may not be available on all homes. Any unused portion of the incentives will be forfeited. Incentives applied upon close of escrow. May not be exchanged, redeemed in cash, or combined with other offers. Subject to availability and change without notice. Additional conditions or restrictions may apply. See New Home Advisor for details. Federal and state taxes are the responsibility of the recipient. Void where prohibited. The prices of our homes, included features, plans, specifications, promotions/incentives, neighborhood build-out and available locations are subject to change without notice. Stated dimensions, square footage and acreage are approximate and should not be used as a representation of any home’s or homesite’s precise or actual size, location or orientation. No information or material herein is to be construed to be an offer or solicitation for sale. Any photographs used herein reflect artists’ conceptions and are for illustrative purposes only. Photographs of people do not depict or indicate any preference regarding race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, familial status, or national origin. Some amenities may not yet be constructed. Builder reserves the right to change the size, design, configuration and location of amenities not yet constructed and does not warrant the suitability thereof for any use or for any person. No warranty or guarantee is made regarding any particular area public school/school district or that any particular public school/school district will service any given community. Schools/school districts may change over time. Our name and the logos contained herein are registered trademarks of TRI Pointe Group, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. CA Contractor’s License No. 251810. CA DRE License No. 02027320. © 2020 Pardee Homes, a member of the TRI Pointe Group. All rights reserved.

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


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WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020



CLEARED TO REOPEN See 31 Historical Aircraft Up Close!


Volunteer opportunities available.

4203 Anderson Ave, San Diego, CA 858-693-1723 Public Entrance on Miramar Road

Now Open Thursdays-Sundays, 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

Wellpath is looking for DVBE partners!

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10% Discount for Military, Senior, and Students.

Associated Storage Miramar 858-693-1717 Associated Storage Kearny 858-495-1717 AssociatedStorage.com * New customers only


WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020

If you own a Disabled Veteran business that might serve the healthcare industry in the San Diego area please contact Sandra Kayser to inquire about a partnership opportunity. Sandra Kayser at skayser@wellpath.us



We are free ! u o Y Because of ®

To express our appreciation, Go Legal Yourself® is offering a SPECIAL DISCOUNT to all veterans during the month of November: Receive an additional 10% off anything on our website, including discounted packages! Use CODE: VETERAN at checkout.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE www.GoLegalYourself.com STARTING A NEW BUSINESS? NEED THE RIGHT CONTRACTS? Go Legal Yourself® provides ATTORNEY SELECTED legal packages to eliminate the GUESSWORK, UNCERTAINTY, and LIABILITY of setting up the right business with the right documents. Start and grow your business the right way without the hassle of worry of searching for the right documents.

From Startup to Successful – Everything Legal Your Company Needs WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


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�


WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020




Resources Support Transition HEALTH Community

SAN DIEGO San Diego Veterans Magazine A Veterans Magazine by Veterans for Veterans

www.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com 80

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / NOVEMBER 2020


San Diego Veterans Magazine Nov 2020  

San Diego Military Veterans Publication - Resources, Support, PTSD, Transition, Veterans, Active Military, Military Families

San Diego Veterans Magazine Nov 2020  

San Diego Military Veterans Publication - Resources, Support, PTSD, Transition, Veterans, Active Military, Military Families

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