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Vol. 1 Number 12 • December 2019

San Diego

Veteran of the Month

Christmas Soldier

Pearl Harbor Survivor

0755 HOURS What’s Next Transitioning


Art & Healing Enlisted To Entrepreneur


Army Navy America’s Game Pictures for Heroes



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2 / DECEMBER 2019


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PLEASE VISIT YOUR LOCAL ITT OFFICE FOR TICKETS Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and all related elements © & TM under license to Character Arts, LLC. All rights reserved. © 2019 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. / DECEMBER 2019




Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller

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

Arts & Healing

Scott Hermann Cybersecurity

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 4 / DECEMBER 2019

Collaborative Organizations Veterans Association of North County • Shelter To Soldier • Wounded Warrior Project San Diego • DAV • Father Joe’s Village • VetCTAP • Flying Leathernecks • Give An Hour • UCSD • Courage To Call • Honor Flight San Diego • Veteran Advocates & Guest Writers

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

(858) 275-4281 Contact us at: 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.

DECEMBER INSIDE THIS ISSUE 6 Army - Navy (America’s Game) 8 Veteran of the Month 10 Alive Day 12 Pictures of Heroes 20 VANC Happy-Holidays 22 A Soldier’s Christmas 24 Holiday Blues 26 Arts & Healing - Gratitude 28 SD Vets 2019 - Inside the Issues 34 What’s Next - There is Hope 36 A Different Lens - Anxiety 38 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 40 Transitioning Veterans 42 Successful Transition Tips 44 Legal Eagle - CA New Law 48 Military Money - GI Bill 50 Cybersecurity 52 Shelter to Soldier 54 Armed Services YMCA 54 SDVC - Collaboration / DECEMBER 2019


By CJ Machado, photo journalist Homeland Magazine & San Diego Veterans Magazine

AMERICA’S GAME ARMY-NAVY -The most anticipated game of football season

Go Army! Go Navy!

The most anticipated game of football season is coming to San Diego... The Army–Navy game is one of the most traditional and enduring rivalries in college football. The rivalry between Annapolis and West Point, while friendly, is fierce. The Army cadets live and breathe the phrase “Beat Navy!” while midshipmen cheer the ingrained opposite phrase, “Beat Army!” The Army-Navy game will be played in Philadelphia, PA at the Lincoln Financial Field and has been frequently attended by sitting U.S. presidents with an expected 100,000 spectators each year. For San Diegans, the best venue in town to watch this intense rivalry is at our own American Legion Post 416 in Encinitas, CA, 210 West F Street, Saturday, December 14th. Doors will open at 11 am and the game will begin at noon. Come join us and sport your favorite team’s jersey, because whatever team you’re rooting for, the American Legion Post 416 is the place to be with drink specials and a tailgate party you won’t want to miss.

Half-time show will include the 2020 synergistic collaboration for veteran advocacy that will inspire Americans throughout the country! • “Save Our Legion” American Legion Post 416 • TAT Veterans Tour with Roamin’ Joe • Honor Ride 2020 presented by Purple Foxes United, LT Williams (All projects will benefit “Save Our Legion” campaign, Honor Flight San Diego and many other veteran organizations) For more information, visit: and click on the Honor Ride 2020 banner. At the end of the game, both teams’ Almae Matres are played and sung. The winning team stands alongside the losing team and faces the losing academy’s students; then the losing team accompanies the winning team, facing their students. This is done in a show of mutual respect and solidarity. Since the winning team’s alma mater is always played last, the phrase “to sing second” has become synonymous with winning the rivalry game.

Among the many spectators, our revered veterans from the “Greatest Generation” will be attending, including WWII Paratrooper Tom Rice pitting against Naval aviators CAPT E. Royce Williams and RADM Doniphan Shelton.

We hope to see you at American Legion Post 416 to celebrate “America’s Game” Army-Navy on Saturday, December 14th. Consider sponsoring a table for your organization or reserve a seat for an unforgettable afternoon of fun and camaraderie. Tickets start at $29. Special pricing is given to all non-profit organizations.

That alone is worth your visit and support.


6 / DECEMBER 2019 / DECEMBER 2019


VETERAN OF THE MONTH San Diego - DECEMBER 2019 By Holly Shaffner

Chief Petty Officer Stu Hedley, USN This month’s selectee is the Veteran of the Month; but he should be Veteran of the Decade. In honor of the 78th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, we select WWII veteran and Pearl Harbor Survivor Stuart “Stu” Hedley as the Veteran of the Month. Stu turned 98 years old in October and he can recount every detail from December 7th, 1941 like it was yesterday.

The time was 0755 and he was stationed on the battleship USS West Virginia. Stu was looking forward to going on a picnic with a girl and her mom that day but instead he witnessed hundreds of Japanese bombers invading Pearl Harbor on a sleepy Sunday morning. Over the intercom, he heard “away the fire and rescue party” and he made his way to the weather decks. Out on deck, he saw the barrage of enemy planes striking the battleships. A Japanese bomber flew so close that he could see the enemy air crew laughing as they fired their weapons and dropped torpedoes into the harbor. One of the USS West Virginia officers yelled, “Battle Stations on the double!” and Seaman First Class Hedley ran to Gun Turret #3 where he was the gun pointer for the 16-inch gun. Once there, he could hear the machine bullets striking the turret and could feel the torpedoes hitting the ship. The West Virginia took hits from six torpedoes and two bombs, one bomb landed near Stu’s battle station. He is here today to tell his story because that bomb did not explode. Eleven other men in the turret next to him were not as fortunate as they all perished.

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During the attack, Stu and his shipmate wanted to see what was happening outside, so they opened their periscope cap and he watched in horror as the USS Arizona was struck. “I saw the explosions and bodies being thrown in the air,” said Hedley. He and his shipmate knew they had to get out on deck and when they did, he saw the USS West Virginia was listing 15 degrees and he thought the ship would capsize. He watched the USS Oklahoma capsize and they knew they had to get off the ship. The ship was moored outboard of the USS Tennessee and they had to figure out how to board the battleship. Stu watched as fellow sailors were being killed as they tried to use lines to cross over to the ship. He saw the barrel of one of the ships guns extending over the ship, so he and his buddy ran across it and jumped on to the Tennessee. Stu is a man of deep religious faith and he told his buddy, “If I don’t die today, I will see the end of the war.” Once onboard the Tennessee, they were instructed to get to shore. Between the ship and shore were flames shooting up about 30 feet off the water from the burning petroleum. Stu stripped down to his skivvies and he and his buddy jumped feet first into the water. They swam as far as they could under water and came up twice through the burning flames to get air. “It was the hottest breath of air I have ever taken,” said Hedley. They reached the beach as the USS West Virginia sank into the mud. They were taken to the base dispensary and since they were not wounded, they were given ointment, sulfa and morphine and told to render care to injured men. At about 0925 Stu saw an enemy plane making a bombing run and he yelled “Duck!” The enemy plane dropped a bomb in the center of the dispensary. Stu’s near brushes with death did not end there. The West Virginia was being refloated and repaired so he was reassigned to the USS San Francisco which was ordered to the Battle of Guadalcanal.

This was another fierce battle and again Stu found himself assigned to a gun turret. The San Francisco sustained major damage and 236 men lost their lives, including his best friend, Johnny Anderson. Stu tells the story of being tasked with helping the ship’s doctor identify bodies, including coming upon the dismembered body of Johnny. After 13 combat engagements and 20 years of service, Stu retired as Chief Petty Officer. Even though he loved the Navy, he knew that it was time to go so that younger sailors had the opportunity to advance.

He served in leadership positions and was the President when they closed the chapter due to his brothers passing away. At 98 years young and in his “free” time, he is an accomplished speaker often speaking to children and community groups. He estimates that he has educated over 200,000 people about the horrific events of December 7th. He says that in today’s history books, there is barely a paragraph talking about the attacks on Pearl Harbor. He tells the students to “stay in school” and “learn to love one another”. His advice for everyone is simple – “set goals and stick with them” and “be committed to what you are doing”. This is great advice from a member of our Greatest Generation. On this December 7th, Stu will be back in Pearl Harbor. He knows firsthand the sacrifices our nation made on that fateful day. “I will be there to honor those who didn’t make it and to pray for families who lost their loved one,” Hedley said about this year’s remembrance. Stu does not think he is a hero, but we do. He is an American treasure and we are glad that he is here today to share his story with us.

Photo by Zach Coco Pictures for Heroes

Stu was married to his bride Wanda and had five children. They would take a trip every five years to celebrate their marriage and for the 25th anniversary, they went back to Hawaii. As they were taking a tour boat into the harbor, Stu had flashbacks of the enemy planes. He could hear and see the planes remembered all the sounds and smells. His wife asked what was going on and for the first time Stu told her that he was there on December 7, 1941. Stu and Wanda were married for 64 years when she passed away. After her death, Stu wanted to dedicate the rest of his life to serving others. He serves the community through his church and was an active member of the local Pearl Harbor Survivors chapter.

Stu Hedley November 26, 2019 / DECEMBER 2019



A course change

Army veteran, amputee traces life’s path back to ‘Alive Day’ in Vietnam By Matt Saintsing

Top: Army veteran Bill Caywood takes a break from combat west of Chu Lai, Vietnam, in 1969, months before losing part of his right leg from an enemy booby-trap. Above: Caywood at the 2019 National Disabled Veterans TEE Tournament in Iowa, where he became the event’s first-ever recipient of the DAV Freedom Award.



ill Caywood vividly remembers stepping out of a rice paddy in Vietnam when an explosion tore through his leg. While walking as point man—the most forward and exposed position of a combat patrol—he triggered a booby trap, sending a volley of ignited fragments into him and the soldier behind. Fifteen minutes later, a second explosion causes further injuries. On Dec. 9, 1969, just 13 days after his 21st birthday, his right leg was amputated below the knee. The events leading up to that day laid before him a path he otherwise would not have traveled. The Indiana native’s draft number had come up while he was considering enlisting in the Navy, but at the in-processing site, the room was divvied up by service—half became Marines, while Caywood’s side of the room ended up in the Army. Following the attack, he was treated at Valley Forge Military Hospital in Pennsylvania, where he was first introduced to DAV. He was offered assistance with his VA claims, and local DAV chapters also took patients on off-site trips. When Caywood left Valley Forge, he began his new life as an amputee, but his involvement with DAV was just beginning. After earning a college degree and spending a few years in the restaurant and hotel industry, Caywood, prompted by his VA vocational rehabilitation counselor, began working at DAV in the early 1980s at the Indianapolis regional office. For 15 years, Caywood helped his fellow veterans access the benefits they earned in service. During that time, he met his wife, Cindy. Her mother worked in the same building as Caywood. One day, while meeting her mom for lunch, Cindy was introduced to the Army veteran. They started dating shortly after. “He liked to do really fun things, like hike and go to the circus,” she said. Caywood’s injuries clearly didn’t stop him from living life to the fullest, but he hid the fact that he was an amputee from Cindy, afraid of what she might think. “After about a month or so I found out, and of course it had no impact on me whatsoever or our relationship,” said Cindy. Since retiring from full-time benefits advocacy, Caywood has remained an active participant with DAV. He attends several DAV-sponsored events each year, and in addition to mentoring veterans at national events, he has helped put on adaptive sporting events through DAV in his home state. Caywood was recently honored with the National Disabled Veterans TEE Tournament’s inaugural DAV Freedom Award for embodying the event’s rehabilitative spirit. While Caywood doesn’t go as far as to celebrate his Alive Day, he views the tragedy of losing a leg as a springboard for some of his proudest life achievements. “It changed my direction, of course,” added Caywood. “But that direction doesn’t need to be a negative one.” ■ / DECEMBER 2019

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Pictures for Heroes “It is so important to preserve the legacy of this Generation and what they had to endure to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy today,� - Zach Coco

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Colonel Robert Thacker / DECEMBER 2019


Pictures for Heroes By Holly Shaffner Zach Coco knows something about heroes. He gets to interview them, photograph them and preserve their stories. Those heroes are the men and women who served in World War II and he has a big reason to do it and to keep it going. He started his project four years ago after his grandfather passed away. Zach’s grandfather was Fireman Second Class Anthony Salvatore Coco and he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. “He was my hero growing up,” says Zach and it was after his grandfather’s passing that he wished he had learned more about his hero’s service to our country.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that just over 389,000 World War II veterans are still living from over 16 million who served. With World War II veterans dying at almost 300 per day, the urgency to get their stories told could not be more crucial. Zach’s mission is to connect with World War II veterans and get their stories archived before time runs out. The service Zach provides to the veteran and his or her family is totally free to them – he figures it the least he can do for them and to thank them. In preparation to document their story, Zach spends up to five hours planning for their first meeting. He calls them and talks about their World War II story, researches their battle or background and arranges for a day to meet with them. This day is special for the World War II veteran as they are looking forward to Zach’s arrival. He travels to their house and sets up his gear, talks to the veteran, views his or her memorabilia and then goes to work. He takes stunning photographs of the veteran, goes home and records the pictures and story on a CD, and mails it to the veteran and his or her family. For every veteran he meets, it takes Zach between eight to ten hours to document and preserve their story. His payment is usually a cup of coffee, cookies and a sandwich, and a big hug. He has photographed hundreds of veterans and just released his first book featuring the portraits and short biographies from 100 WWII veterans – the majority from Southern California. Zach worked on this project outside of his full-time, paid job as a professional photographer and financed the project out of his own pocket. He never asks for the veteran or their family to pay for his time or supplies. It is his honor to do this for this grandfather’s brothers and sisters – and what a tribute it is. As Zach documented the stories, he added each veteran to the book. Now that the book is published, each veteran or their family will receive a copy.

Anthony Salvatore Coco (Zach’s grandfather & inspiration) & Zach Coco

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Every veteran he has spent time with has been very special and some veteran’s stories rise to the top. Zach has spent the day with and photographed the (then) oldest living Pearl Harbor Survivor, Ray Chavez who was 106 years old when he passed away in 2018 in Poway. Another San Diegan is U.S. Army veteran, Joe Reilly. Joe was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne during World War II and parachuted into Normandy on D-Day. There was Stanley Troutman who worked as a War Correspondent and one of the first to document the destruction from the Atomic Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And then there’s U.S. Air Force pilot, retired Colonel Robert Thacker. During his service he earned two Silver Star Medals, three Distinguished Flying Cross Medals and ten Air Medals.

Laverne Peck Robert Friend Stanley Troutman

Ray Chavez

Joe Reilly

After spending years in the presence of the Greatest Generation and listening to their wartime stories, Zach has a newfound perspective…“There are no more bad days and the small things really aren’t that bad.” So how does Zach meet all these amazing veterans? He is connected to hubs within the Honor Flight Network. He went on his first flight several years ago and was hooked. Since then he has been a guardian for veterans or been part of the media team to document the trip and has been on seventeen trips. The trip consists of a “once in a lifetime” experience for the most senior veterans across the country, typically World War II or Korea era. The Honor Flight goes to Washington, D.C. and veterans visit the memorials built for their service and sacrifice. For some of them it is the first time they have ever visited their memorials and for the majority of them it will be their last trip. Along the way, they meet new friends, share their stories that have been locked away for over seventy years and heal some of their war wounds. For seventy-two hours they are recognized and honored for their service.

They come home to hundreds of cheering friends, family and well-wishers and for just a few moments in their life they truly feel like heroes. And that is Zach’s goal, to make each veteran he meets feel like a hero. After all they are our nation’s heroes and they are our Greatest Generation. Mr. Anthony Salvatore Coco is the inspiration behind this project and he would be proud what his grandson is doing to carry on the legacy of his brothers and sisters. “It is so important to preserve the legacy of this Generation and what they had to endure to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy today,” said Zach. Zach’s project is local to Southern California and with funding he hopes to grow it nationally. The biggest challenge for Zach is time – time outside his pay job to get to the World War II veterans before their stories are gone. To see a sampling of the World War II veteran’s stories and pictures, to purchase his book, or connect with him for a special WWII veteran in your life, go to: / DECEMBER 2019


Host this National Memorial in your Community

Please contact us to add a Fallen loved one, host the memorial, or make a donation at:

Tribute Towers

Remembering Our Fallen is a national memorial unlike any other -with military & personal photos of 5,000 military Fallen since 9/11/2001 Unveiled at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2017, it has since traveled the nation coastto-coast. This memorial also includes those who returned from war, but lost their inner battle to suicide, and those who died from non-war zone injuries while serving in their military capacity. Please contact us to add a Fallen loved one, host the memorial, or make a donation at:

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“If the purpose of a war memorial is to help us remember the sacrifices of the Heroes, and to help us heal from our sorrow, then your mission has been accomplished. Thank you for this tremendous gift.” - 1LT Daniel P. Riordan’s Mother

“There is a ‘disconnect’ between those we ask to serve our military objectives and our society at large. This memorial made that connection very dramatically and helped us understand the magnitude of their sacrifices. - Ed Malloy, Mayor of Fairfield, Iowa / DECEMBER 2019


Caring for our veterans

Veterans facing the challenges associated with a life-threatening illness can rely on The Elizabeth Hospice for the medical, emotional and spiritual support they need and deserve. Our skilled, compassionate caregivers are trained to address PTSD, depression, anxiety, survivor’s guilt, and soul injury. Complementary therapies, including physical therapy, music therapy, aromatherapy and pet visits, are used in combination with medical support to help alleviate pain. We celebrate and thank our patients for their service at bedside pinning ceremonies officiated by a veteran or active duty service member. Since 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice has touched the lives of more than 100,000 people in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County. To learn more about our hospice care, palliative care and grief support services for veterans, call 800.797.2050 or visit

The Elizabeth Hospice is proud to be a We Honor Veterans Level 5 Partner, the highest level of distinction.

18 / DECEMBER 2019

HONOR OUR VETERANS! Invest in the future of Miramar National Cemetery Hundreds of veterans, active duty military, families, businesses, and the public have invested in the future of Miramar National Cemetery. Thanks to their generous contributions The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation sponsors: • The Avenue of Flags • Veterans Tribute Tower & Carillon • Annual Veterans Memorial Services • Annual Veterans Day Observances • Coordinates Veterans Memorial Monuments

Honor our past, present, and future military veterans! Send your donation, today, to the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation All contributions are fully tax deductible.

Help the Foundation Support Miramar National Cemetery. Please go to and click on “Contribute” for information about how you can donate to the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation. / DECEMBER 2019


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

Happy Holidays I write this note a few days before Thanksgiving. This is the start of the holiday season each year and there are so many things to prepare for in the coming weeks. This can be both an exciting time and a trying time for all of us. This time of year affects people in so many ways. We think about what Christmas time means to us and those around us. We have so many traditions that connect us to our fellow man. We decorate, have parties and plan our shopping trips, meals, and celebrations. Work slows down and time speeds up. Family members arrive from near and far as the days get shorter and nights get, at least a little bit colder. We look forward to serving our Military Families this season. We have a number of events created to ensure that our active duty families feel the joy of the season. We will have several battalions of Army, Navy and Marine Corps families joining us at VANC for food and fun. We have our Association Members, who spend the year supporting veterans, building camaraderie and raising money for support, visiting during Christmas Parties in December. And we look forward to getting our own team together; our VANC volunteers who have worked so hard this year in support of so many programs, for some Christmas Cheer. At the same time, we know that there are other military families, families of veterans and others living alone or without means that consider this season to be a sometimes painful and challenging time. If you are aware of an individual or family that needs our help, we ask that you contact us at We can make buddy calls, visit with veterans at their homes, in their hospital rooms or help them find a room. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We offer sincere wishes for a great New Year. See you in 2020. 20 / DECEMBER 2019

If you have ever visited the Veterans Association of North County, in Oceanside, this may have been the first thing you would have heard from our volunteers at the front desk. If you have not been to “VANC” perhaps it is because you are not aware of the depth of offerings and resources that VANC has to offer. So what is VANC? VANC is a non-profit resource center for our military families, and our veterans. It is a place for military and non-military to build relationships, and provide solutions, not only for our military members, but solutions to the community as well. So in short, if you are a veteran or an active duty military family member, there is a lot of things we can do for you at VANC. If you live in our community, we would love to see you at VANC. You can volunteer, you can donate, or just come and enjoy our events. If you are a member of the veteran service community, join us on the first Monday of each month at noon for an opportunity to network with others serving our veterans. And when you walk in the door, sign in to our guest book. / DECEMBER 2019


The Night Before Christmas T’was the night before Christmas, he lived

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give, and to see just who in this home did live.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye; I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

all alone in a one bedroom house, made of plaster and stone.

I looked all about, a strange sight I did see: no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand; on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands. With medals and badges, awards of all kinds, a sober thought came through my mind. For this house was different, it was dark and dreary. I found the home of a soldier, at once I could see clearly. The soldier lay sleeping; silent, alone, curled up on the floor, in this one bedroom home. Not how I pictured a US soldier. Was this the hero of whom I’d just read, curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed? I realized the families that I saw this night, owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight. Soon ‘round the world, the children would play and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas Day. They all enjoyed freedom, each month of the year, because of the soldiers like the one lying here.

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The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice, “Santa, don’t cry. This life is my choice. I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more; my life is my God, my country, my corps.” The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep; I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep. I kept watch for hours, so silent and still, and we both shivered from the cold night’s chill. I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night, this guardian of honor, so willing to fight. Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure, whispered, “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all is secure.” One look at my watch and I knew he was right, “Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.”

Happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful new year. - San Diego Veterans Magazine

A Soldier’s christmas / DECEMBER 2019


Beat The Holiday


By Jessica Rawlings, Program Evaluator, U.S. Army Public Health Command It’s that time of year again: Festive music fills the air, fireplaces crackle, and holiday cheer abounds. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Not necessarily. Many people can find themselves dealing with the holiday blues and can be sad, lonely or even depressed. There are many reasons that people might find themselves struggling with the holiday blues: Pressure to feel merry, reminders of lost loved ones, and financial hardships are just a few. Military families can add one more reason to that list: Deployment. Coping with deployments can take a toll on one’s emotional well-being, and this is only increased when a loved one’s deployment spans the holidays. Here are a few tips to help beat the holiday blues: 1. Take it one day at a time--try to avoid looking at this time of year as the “holiday season,” instead try to break it down day by day, think of it as Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, or New Year’s Day. Often, it is easier to think “I can get through this day” rather than thinking “I can get through this season.” 2. Get in touch with family members by writing letters, visiting or making phone calls. 3. Try to avoid retail therapy--fight the temptation to spend extra money to make you feel better as this can lead to increased stress or depression when the credit card bills arrive. 4. Give yourself permission to have fun--it is normal to be sociable during the holidays, even if your loved one is not available to attend events with you. 5. Ask for help--you don’t need to be superman or superwoman; you do not need to wing it alone, depend on close family and friends to help you through this time.

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6. Stay busy--avoiding unstructured time may help to minimize difficult feelings. Try to fill your calendar with fun events and give yourself something to look forward to. It is also important to know when “the blues” are a sign of something more. Depression is common around the holidays and recognizing the symptoms is a key step in getting the help you might need. Symptoms of depression include lack of sleep or over sleeping, over eating or not eating at all, crying for no reason or any reason, and loss of interest in activities. If you are experiencing these symptoms for an extended period of time and are concerned that you may be depressed, contact your primary care provider or Patient Centered Medical Home for help. There are many ways to beat the holiday blues, but remember it is okay to feel what you are feeling. Forcing yourself to be happy can often make it worse. Try to incorporate some of the tips above if you find yourself feeling down during the holidays, and remember: you are not the only person experiencing the holiday blues. / DECEMBER 2019


Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans By Amber Robinson

The Art of Gratitude In a recent therapy appointment, I asked my therapist what I should write about for the December edition of San Diego Veterans Magazine. Without skipping a beat, she said,”Gratitude.” I let her know that my column was about the healing arts. The topic of gratitude didn’t really fit into the parameters of what I usually write about. But, as I thought about it, I realized that cultivating gratitude was an art within itself. Just like any art, from painting to writing to dancing, it takes a daily practice to become skilled at it. Just like art, gratitude encourages us to become more mindful in how we view and interact with the world. Just like art, it becomes a vehicle for us to use in fostering deeper connections with our fellow human beings. Gratitude encourages us to be vulnerable and open-minded in how we express ourselves. Art also encourages us to open ourselves up to explore our feelings and seek means to express and accept them. Scientifically, gratitude has been proven to improve many aspects of our daily existence. According to “Psychology Today” magazine, exercising gratitude daily can improve mental health, physical health and strengthen or create new friendships. It can also improve self-esteem, sleep and help propel us toward our goals. The first step in creating gratitude is to slow down long enough to look around and become aware of how you feel in the moment. Most Americans are caught up in the routine of their fast-paced lives to slow down long enough to feel thankful. Gratitude encourages us to be in the present moment, but most of us are a few steps ahead of ourselves in our head, and if we aren’t doing that, we are numbing our minds by constantly checking on social media or watching endless hours of Netflix. We are rarely present in the moment. Once we are able to become more fully aware in the present, we are able to really look around at our situation, the people around us and what they bring into our lives.

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The colors of gratitude The colors of gratitude

My guess is there are many things you take for granted each day. Becoming mindful helps us to look at those things and begin to appreciate them again. Things such as a loyal mate, your rowdy kids, driving a car each day or having enough to eat. Begin to once again notice all the things that make your life easier and more pleasurable. Take a moment to write them down in a gratitude journal, or on a sheet of paper you can magnet to the fridge. Each day wake up and list four things in your mind that you are thankful for in your life. Work to relinquish any feelings of self-pity that will drag you down. It can be hard to stand up to self-pity, especially when things are hard. As Veterans we may struggle to slow down and become mindful of the present moment. In service, we were trained to always think a few steps ahead. As we leave service, many of us also start to find we no longer feel connected to our non-miltary community. For those of us with Post Traumatic Stress symptoms, we often isolate ourselves and even struggle to leave our homes. Cultivating gratitude may seem like an impossible task, but if you just use a bit of that military discipline, you can make gratitude a part of your daily routine. This holiday season is the perfect time to get creative with how you see the world, and how you connect with the world. Paint this year’s festivities in all the colors of gratitude, and watch how your masterpiece beautifully unfolds.

San Diego Veteran Resources & 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.

Visit SD Vets today at

San Diego Veterans Magazine The colors of gratitude

A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans / DECEMBER 2019



Inside the Issues EVERY issue available at






Vol. 1 Number 1 • March 2019 Issue

Vol. 1 Number 4 • April 2019 Issue


Women’s History Month Brain Injury Awareness VetCaregiver Self Check-In “COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS”

PLEDGE - SALUTE “Welcome Home” Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration

Transitioning To Civilian Life

Enlisted To Entrepreneur

LEGAL EAGLE Military Money


Vol. 1 Number 8 • AUGUST 2019 Issue



SAN DIEGO Organizations Stepping Up For Military Children

Remember The Difference

Veterans Transitioning Enlisted To Entrepreneur


Month of the Military Child 100th Anniversary


Veteran Leadership

Veterans Business


of Easterseals

Resources • Support • Transition • Inspiration

Resources • Support • Transition • Inspiration San Diego Veterans Magazine / APRIL 2019 1


San Diego Veterans Magazine / MAY 2019 1




Vol. 1 Number 9 • September 2019 Issue


Vol. 1 Number 10 • October 2019 Issue

San Diego Veteran Tom Rice

What’S next Transition to Civilian Life

Enlisted To Entrepreneur LEGAL EAGLE

San Diego


Veteran of the Month

A Different Lens Mental Health

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER TRIBUTE TO SERVICE DOGS Uniting Orphan Pets with Military Heroes

FINDING BALANCE Activity, connections and the Open Roads

San Diego Air Show Flying High with the Blue Angles



San Diego Veteran of the Month


What’s Next - Transition Enlisted To Entrepreneur

Transition to Civilian Life Enlisted To Entrepreneur


San Diego


“An Unsung Hero” - Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum

Our Personal Security

Resources • Support • Transition • Community / AUGUST 2019 1

Veterans bring distinctive capabilities to civilian employers


Veteran of the Month



Veterans Day

Memorial Day -

Enlisted To Entrepreneur

Normandy Jump 2019

Breaks Stereotypes of the Military Experience

Veteran Outreach

Getting Through Depression

Miramar National Cemetery



A Heart Attack of the Mind



San Diego Veterans Magazine / MARCH 2019 1

A TIME FOR HEROES Flying leatherneck aviation MuseuM

San Diego


Resources • Support • Community • Transition • Inspiration



Vol. 1 Number 5 • MAY 2019 Issue


Why Women’s Military History is Important




LIBERTY STATION - From Navy Base To Arts District / SEPTEMBER 2019 / DECEMBER 2019





Veterans, Transitioning Military Personnel, Active Military, Military Families & Veteran Organizations




Vol. 1 Number 6 • JUNE 2019 Issue




The Month of Independence

The Science of PTSD

UCSD - Healthy Eating

San Diego


Veteran of the Month

Tour of Honor

Beauty & the Beat

The Final Mission

CYBERATTACKS Our Personal Security


Veterans Finding Friends

A State of Readiness

San Diego Veterans Organizations A Call For Community

Finding Help and Hope

Enlisted To Entrepreneur



A Different Lens - TBI

Resources • Support • Transition • Community

Resources • Support • Transition • Community / JUNE 2019 1

V / JULY 2019 1


San Diego’s best resource for San Diego veterans, transitioning military personnel, active military, military families & veteran organizations



Vol. 1 Number 11 • November 2019


Catalina Island

pre·par·ed·ness LEGAL EAGLE

Join Us

How Music Unites Us


Enlisted To Entrepreneur


Vol. 1 Number 7 • JULY 2019 Issue


San Diego Veteran of the Year

Veterans Day Events San Diego Fleet Week Veteran Day Memorial Ceremonies

San Diego

Veteran of the Month

Christmas Soldier

American Legion


Pearl Harbor Survivor

0755 HOURS


What’s Next





Art & Healing Enlisted To Entrepreneur

What’S next


Transition to Civilian Life

Army NAvy


A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans

America’s Game





Vol. 1 Number 12 • December 2019


1 / DECEMBER 2019


San Diego Veterans Magazine - Inside The Issues 2019 April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community.



The Month of the Military Child is a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome.

8 Veterans Included and Empowered

10 San Diego Gulls - Shelter to Soldier

10 New Children’s Museum - Military Families

12 A Different Lens

12 Big Brothers Big Sisters - Program for Military Children

14 Brain Awareness Month

13 Purple UP for Military Kids

16 VetCaregiver Check-In

15 Kids’ Turn San Diego - Happier Children Start With You

18 Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration 22 I AM A VETERAN


27 Father Joe’s Village

18 YMCA SD - Afterschool Achievement Academy

29 Living Proof - ALIVE DAY

20 Month of the Military Child

30 Why Women’s History is Important


32 Clever Talks Interview - Women Warriors

22 Chula Vista Teen - Military Child of the Year 25 San Diego Veterans Coalition

35 San Diego Women Veterans Network

26 Veterans Association of North County

36 Why I Do What I Do

30 Military Family Recreation

40 Always Do What is Right - STEP 44 VANC - New American Legion Post 760 46 American Legion Turning 100

March is

36 Shelter to Soldier


34 Enlisted to Entrepreneur


48 LEGAL EAGLE - Legal Tips

37 Legal Eagle - Legal Tips

49 Military Money

38 Veterans Business

50 Enlisted to Entrepreneur

44 Saved in America

54 Transitioning to Civilian Life - ABC’s

47 Military Money

56 Higher Education Tips - Military Veterans 58 Homelessness - Can We Help 59 San Diego Veterans Coalition San Diego Veterans Magazine / MARCH 2019 7

San Diego Veterans Magazine / APRIL 2019 7

Issues available at

Dog Days of Summer Tribute to Service Dogs



6 San Diego - Veteran of the Month 9 Dog Days of Summer 11 James’s Best Friend 12 Combat Canines 13 Perfect Pairings 14 One Team. Two Heroes. 16 Orphan Pets to Military Heroes 18 Veteran Finds Solace with Service Dog 20 Business Ideas for Pet Lovers 26 GI Film Festival - Breaking Stereotypes 30 Warriors find Inspiration and Resilience 34 A Different Lens - Mental Health 36 Summertime at VANC 38 What’s Next - Transition 40 Legal Eagle 42 Military Money 44 Cybersecurity 46 8 Second Resume 47 Interview Tips 48 My Dream Job - Transition

4 San Diego - Veteran of the Month 9 Independence Day - History 10 Your Month of Independence 12 Beauty and the Beat - KAABOO 16 Finding Friends with WWP 18 Shelter to Soldier - Petco Invests 20 Freedom - VANC 22 A Different Lens - TBI 27 Helping Hands - DAV 28 Cyberattacks - Personal Security 30 Legal Eagle - Partnerships 32 UCSD - Healthy Eating Research 38 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 40 Reintegration - Transitioning 42 Advantages of Real Estate 54 Commissaries - Save Money 55 Military Spouses - Making Friends 56 Laughing Tank / AUGUST 2019 5 / JULY 2019 7

30 / DECEMBER 2019

San Diego Veterans Magazine - Inside The Issues 2019




8 Memorial Day: A Time For Heroes 12 Remember The Difference 14 Memorial Service Miramar National Cemetery

10 Tour of Honor - The Final Mission

16 Female Veterans Find Self-Care

15 After 50 Years, Thank You, Thank You

18 Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum

18 Finding Connections With Nature

25 Honor, Courage, Commitment

20 The Face of PTSD

26 No Hero Left Behind 28 Heart Attack Of The Mind

22 Veterans PTSD Treatment

30 Sacrifice and Self-Worth

26 Finding Help & Hope

33 San Diego Veterans Coalition

28 The Science of PTSD

34 Be The Tide

32 PTSD How Can We Help


34 VANC - Ease Your Mind

40 Legal Eagle - Legal Issues

36 Self-Employment & PTSD

42 Veterans Bring Leadership

39 Legal Eagle - Website

44 What Is The Special Sauce

41 A State of Readiness

46 Money Matters 53 Getting A VA Loan

San Diego Veterans Magazine / MAY 2019 7 / JUNE 2019 7

Issues available at

SEPTEMBER INSIDE THIS ISSUE 6 San Diego - Veteran of the Month 8 Liberty Station - Navy Base to Arts 12 Flying Leathernecks Museum 14 Flying High with the Blue Angles 16 GI Film Festival 20 Remembering Our Fallen 22 Arts & Healing 24 Normandy Jump 2019 - CJ Machado 30 Wounded Warrior - Giving Back 33 Roy’s Run - Shelter to Soldier 35 A Different Lens - Mental Health 36 VANC - Back to School 38 What’s Next - Transition 40 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 44 Resume Advice - VetCTAP 46 Legal Eagle - LLC or S-Corp 48 Military Money - Emergency Funds 50 Cybersecurity - Protect Yourself 52 Positive Thinking - VCCSD

OCTOBER INSIDE THIS ISSUE 6 San Diego - Veteran of the Month 9 Finding Balance 10 Empower Veterans 12 Cybersecurity - Awareness Month 15 A Different Lens - Anxiety 16 Arts & Healing 20 Transition 22 From Service to Civilian Life 24 Tips Successful Transition 25 Distinctive Capabilities 26 What’s Next - Transition 28 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 32 Military Money - GI Bill 34 Legal Eagle - Regulations 38 Operation Dress Code 40 VA Benefits 43 VA Home Loan / SEPTEMBER 2019

5 / OCTOBER 2019 / DECEMBER 2019



SD Vets Magazine - Inside The Issues 2019

NOVEMBER INSIDE THIS ISSUE 8 San Diego - Veteran of the Year 12 Fleet Week San Diego 18 American Legion - VETFEST 20 Alpine Wall Of Honor 22 No Veterans Ever Dies 26 Acts of Courage 28 A Different Lens - Mindfulness 30 Arts & Healing - Power of Creativity 32 What’s Next - Transition 34 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 38 Celebrating Veterans 40 A Veterans Fighting Spirit 42 Veterans New Home 44 Military Money - Savings 46 Legal Eagle - Trademarks 48 Cybersecurity - New Risk 52 Shelter to Soldier 53 Marines in Flight - Art Contest 54 Veteran Service Programs / NOVEMBER 2019

Join Us In 2020 5

San Diego’s best resource for San Diego veterans, transitioning military personnel, active military, military families & veteran organizations

DECEMBER INSIDE THIS ISSUE 6 Army - Navy (America’s Game) 8 Veteran of the Month 10 Alive Day 12 Pictures of Heroes 20 VANC Happy-Holidays 22 A Soldier’s Christmas 24 Holiday Blues 26 Arts & Healing - Gratitude 28 SD Vets 2019 - Inside the Issues 34 What’s Next - There is Hope 36 A Different Lens - Anxiety 38 Enlisted to Entrepreneur 40 Transitioning Veterans 42 Successful Transition Tips 44 Legal Eagle - CA New Law 48 Military Money - GI Bill 50 Cybersecurity 52 Shelter to Soldier 54 Armed Services YMCA 54 SDVC - Collaboration / DECEMBER 2019


GET CONNECTED! A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans 5 / DECEMBER 2019



SAN DIEGO Resources Support Transition Community

San Diego Veterans Magazine A Veterans Magazine by Veterans for Veterans / DECEMBER 2019


WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby

There is Hope The world is in transition. 2019 is mostly behind us and 2020 looms ahead. Like those who transition out of the military we put off the old and wonder what the new will hold. Uncertainty lies ahead. After the confetti of Times Square is swept away and the reality of a New Year rushes in we take pause to wonder what lies in store. For those in transition, a New Year means a New You is about to be birthed. F.E.A.R. As a professional in the recruitment industry, and the host of multiple TV and Radio shows focused on the topic of hiring veterans I know that you have a lot of FUD. Yes, FUD. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about who

you are and what value you bring to the table. You are fearful of the future. You are uncertain of how your skills will translate into the civilian workforce and you doubt your ability to make it. Let’s couple FUD with another well-worn acronym, F.E.A.R, and we have a celebratory cocktail with which to ring in the New Year in epic failure. Fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real. As you transition into the New Year with the New You, let’s unpack what you bring to the table lest you forget. The latest recordings in your mind that play tunes of fear and self-doubt need to be replaced with the truth about who you are and what you bring to any

There is Hope You are diverse.

The military is one of the largest diverse employers in the nation. That means that you understand how to thrive in a diverse workplace and be culturally sensitive and work intelligently with people of diverse backgrounds.

34 / DECEMBER 2019

Who Are You? 1. You are diverse. The military is one of the largest diverse employers in the nation. That means that you understand how to thrive in a diverse workplace and be culturally sensitive and work intelligently with people of diverse backgrounds. 2. You are a fast learner. You have been given excellent training and are adept at learning new skills quickly. 3. You are a team player. “That’s not my job.”, is not in your vocabulary. According to veteran advocate and VP of HR, Celeste Blodgett, you are the first to volunteer for projects and will be the last out of a burning building making sure all of your co workers are safely out. 4. You are mentally strong under intense pressure. The stress and pressure of deadlines with limited resources are often SOP in the military. You get the job done no matter what. 5. You are trained to be a leader. You lead by example. You lead by serving and you understand chain of command.

6. You are technologically savvy. Because of your training and exposure to technology you are a great asset to companies as they explore new ways to improve performance within the workplace. 7. You are a person of integrity. I think this is the most important asset to any company. We can train for skill. We can’t train for integrity. You either have it or you don’t. You understand the value of truth, owning mistakes, and doing an honest day’s work. You have our full permission to copy these seven qualities and post them on your mirror, on your dashboard and on the top of your note pad before you walk into that next interview. Be confident in the training you had in the military. Know that you bring value and a unique skill set that no one else on the planet can. Know that 2020 has great potential for you. It also may have great challenges. There are great resources for you to help you in any area you may be struggling with. Have a great holiday season and Happy New You 2020.

Need help transitioning? Need help with interviewing? Resume writing? Networking? Connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d love to meet you and help you get to where you want to be. Eve Nasby is a hiring expert with almost three decades invested in these topics. Join her on LinkedIn today. / DECEMBER 2019


A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain

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

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

36 / DECEMBER 2019

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

1-2-3-4 You Got This!







(858) 284-3700 / DECEMBER 2019



Your Brain on a Book We all know we can find all the info we could ever need on the internet. alone has zillions of howto videos on everything from fixing your vacuum cleaner to making chocolate covered gummy bears. Prepare yourself. I’m going to go all old school on you. Certainty you can stare at a screen or listen on your headphones for hours. It’s tempting to use a device such as an iPad or your laptop to read. Its convenient because they perform other functions as well. But which is a better read? A book in your hand, or reading a book online? Ferris Jabr writes in The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens that reading a book is a different kind of experience. A screen cannot give you the tactile satisfaction of turning a page, looking ahead to the end and rocking in a cozy hammock. It can be very satisfying to be truly disconnected from everyone else and plunge yourself into the world of books. Your Brain Is A Learning Machine Research abounds on this topic. Open Education Database reports in Your Brain on Books: 10 Things That Happen to Our Minds When We Read says paper books provide, “spatial navigability” physical cues that help us find our way around. If you’re a science geek, a quick search will provide exactly what they have discovered about what reading a paper book does to your brain. For me a book helps me to stay focused and put me to sleep. A paper book doesn’t try to distract and interrupt me constantly with delicious titles on a side panel I’m going to want to read RIGHT NOW, or ads for the best whatever. I know they want to help, the little darlings. Please go away. A Book Makes a Great Gift Think about it. What else can you give to help your friend grow their business for only $15.10 or lower? Here’s a few books I recommend and were recommended by our Operation Vetrepreneur participants.

38 / DECEMBER 2019

How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards, FREE online (you will get the hard copy in the mail). The all-time, absolutely best book on persuasion architecture by a master. His in-person workshops are expensive, but worth the money. His website is a treasure trove of helpful information. Get the free book at his website. Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith, $10.20 on Amazon. A succinct and entertaining look at the unique characteristics of services, how to turn more prospects into clients and keep them. A very easy read with memorable snippets. SELLING THE INVISIBLE covers service marketing from start to finish. Filled with wonderful insights and written in a roll-up-your-sleeves, jargon-free style, each page is a new chapter, such as: • Greatness May Get You Nowhere • The More You Say, the Less People Hear & • Seeing the Forest Around the Falling Trees.

YOU, INC. by Harry Beckwith -$10.20 on Amazon. While you’re in Amazon, you may as well get Harry’s other book. You, Inc. expands on his fundamental premise of selling, providing wonderful tidbits, anecdotes, and advice through his well-known homespun writing style. If you’re into Personal Branding, this is the book for you! Little Gold Book of YES! By Jeffrey Gitomer $15.76 on Amazon- A complete, step-by-step, fully integrated game plan for understanding and mastering your attitude. You’ll learn the 7.5 specific things you can do to maintain your intensity, drive, and commitment... discover 20.5 attitude gems that capture the value of thousands of dollars of books and courses. You will love this book and his Little Black Book of Connections and the Little Red Book of Selling.

So, there you have it. Don’t cheat yourself by downloading it. How about you chill out, go off the grid, and make a paper book…where you can underline, highlight and make notes…your new treasured friend? I guarantee the book you choose will be a comfort in a busy, stressed, information overload world.

It can be very satisfying to be truly disconnected from everyone else and plunge yourself into the world of books.

Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days by Jay Levenson 14.83 on Amazon. The “bible” for DIY low and no cost marketing on how to set goals and maximize profits. Updated real-life examples, proven fundamental concepts, step by step how-to guidance. This is a must have for every small business owner. 10X rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone - $18.67 on Amazon. The 10X Rule will dissolve fear, increase your belief in yourself, eliminate procrastination, and provide you with an overwhelming sense of purpose. Not for the faint hearted, this high energy book aims to motivate you to aim higher. I can see why military and veteran entrepreneurs like it. Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk – $18.41 on Amazon, A Number One Best Seller! Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that you will know exactly how to amplify your personal brand on each. Contagious: Why Things Catch on by Jonah Berger - $9.39 on Amazon. Why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Berger provides specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and content that people will share. Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype by Jay Baer - $19.40 on Amazon. The New York Times best seller, and #1 Amazon best seller saying Baer’s Youtility is arguably the greatest contribution to the field of social media marketing since 2012.”

Reading a book is a different kind of experience.

A City of San Diego grant has paid for Operation Vetrepreneur to help launch and support veteran (Military & Spouse) startups and growing businesses. See our ad in Homeland Magazine and San Diego Homeland Magazine. Working with highly experienced entrepreneurs, and using a unique brainstorming high-touch model, you get mentoring and info while in the company of other likeminded veterans. Tell us about yourself at, sign up for a workshop or mentoring at

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 Think Tank Groups at, visit and go to

for more info. / DECEMBER 2019


Veterans Chamber of Commerce By Joseph Molina

Transitioning Military and Veterans Military-Life and Post Military-Life two very different things entirely. Some of us who are out of service, found it difficult to easily adapt to the new civilian way of life. Veterans are used to a military life which have embraced and have been exposed for years. This has become the identity we identify with and in an environment, we understand and feel comfortable. But once we exit the military, we leave behind that of which we have become accustomed to ie the friends; the families; the comradery; the way of life and transition to a new, different and in many ways’ unfamiliar territory (the civilian environment). For many of us this may turn out to be a very big change and for some a very difficult transition. Luckily there are many governmental, non-profit and community organizations that provide support and assistance to transition military and veterans. Even though there are many groups why are we seeing many veterans having problems? So, the question remains; Where is the Disconnect? Why do we still have transitioning veterans across this great land unable to secure jobs or having financial difficulties? No one may have a One-Answer to all of these questions, but the truth is that many groups are engaged in an effort to help and support transitioning military and veterans. In this edition we want to highlight some of the BEST Resources available for Military and Veterans. These are but a short list out of the many currently in place for the benefit of all of our military/veterans. RESOURCES FOR JOBS Jobs for Vets VetAscend ( VetAscend has unlimited online tools ready for vets. They are equipped with a “matching” approach for veteran matching applicants with employers. The service is free for veterans and fully supported by employers. In this technology and information age, information is not the issue, we can find almost anything, but this vast amount of information makes it difficult to filter and narrow down the “True” options really available. Vetascend removes those challenges by “Matching” talents with Opportunities. 40 / DECEMBER 2019

Veteran Employment Center VEC is a division of the US Department of Veteran affairs. The VEC was established to help vets convert their military occupational code into civilian skills that are required and enough for a good resume to enable the vet to reach out for a career as a civilian. There is a tool known as a military job translator which is been offered by VEC that assists vet to find jobs that are best suited and would require their training, skills, and experience. LinkedIn for Vets LinkedIn is a great tool for inquiring about job openings and also enables you to appear in the search results of other employers on the platform who require your skillset. LinkedIn also offers a free 1-year Job Seeker Premium subscription at $360 and courses to learn at to all U.S. Veterans. Setting up a LinkedIn account is definitely important for those seeking employment. Learning how to use the platform also important, veterans should take an intentional and strategic approach when using the platform. Path2Success ( Path2Succes is another resource that functions to help veterans find jobs and it has a fantastic rate of over 60 veterans served every month. Their services are available for those transitioning and seeking employment. The service brings job coaches who delivered a set of assessments and coaching to help transitioning and veterans find the “Dream-Job”. The service has a small fee to cover the online platform service. Veterans receive deep discounts. Leadership Academy ( CEO/CFO Management Positions that become available in the corporate market are available for those transitioning from the military who have Received the “Leadership Training” preparing them to be “Civilian Leaders”. The Leadership academy works with transitioning military and veterans who have “Leadership” experience while serving.vhe Academy prepares veterans with the Leadership skills from the civilian perspective. The main objective of this program is to offer a “qualification” that will be accepted by civilian organizations.

The Leadership Academy is housed under the umbrella of Universities who will issue the certificate. The fees for attending the Academy are low and many times Sponsors offer scholarships that cover the partial or the full cost for veterans. You can learn more about this program here Leadership Academy. The Academy also offers the: First time Manager Program, that prepares Transitioning Military/Veterans to Compete for Supervisory and Managerial position types of jobs.

Starting a Business as a Veteran?

RESOURCES TO START A BUSINESS at Veteran Business Outreach Centers The SBA offers help to veterans in their local communities via Veteran Business Outreach Centers. These centers can aid veterans to reach out to resources like business training, counseling and mentoring, and so on in their respective communities. These courses may also be completed on line with professional Instructors. Online Entrepreneurship Course In most cases Students have the opportunity to be assigned a business coach who will Support entrepreneurs at every step. These Mentors are Certified Business Coaches, and are graduates of the Start-Up Coach Program People who have demonstrated a unique ability to supporting new business owners.

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

Boots to Business Boots to Business, another program of the SBA established for vets serve as a resource. It’s an entrepreneurial training program that is conducted at the time of transition. Transitioning military who selected the Entrepreneurial track.

While starting a business comes with numerous challenges, former service members do have one distinct advantage: the veteran community.

Vet-Buy (Supporting Local Veteran Companies) The Vet-Buy Mobile app and Program is set up at Local cities and with the support of the Chambers of Commerce and under the Leadership of the National Veterans Chamber of Commerce to Promote and to create a Customer-Veteran Company Relationship for the purpose of Increasing Traffic to the Veteran Owed Company.

Unlike most highly competitive entrepreneurial environments, veteran entrepreneurs share information much more easily.

Vet-Contractor The Vet-Contractor Program works closely with LocalRegional-State- and Federal Agencies and Large Private Companies to 1) Identify and 2) Train and 3) Help Veterans Qualify for Contracts. Vet-Contractor is available for New and Seasoned Veteran Contractors. Resources available for Veterans are many and most of them are free to Veterans. If you know of a Veteran looking for resources, we will be happy to support.

“The strength and power of veteran entrepreneurs comes from other veteran entrepreneurs”

If you or someone you know is a veteran looking to start a business, please feel free to contact Vicki Garcia. Vicki is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 33+ -year- old marketing consulting firm. If you want support for starting up a business, email her at For advice, tips and programs you can read Vicki’s monthly column at Homeland Magazine or visit and click on the banner:



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

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

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

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

Look For Military-Friendly Employers

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

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

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

Translate Your Skills The military’s highly specific job codes and titles (often filled with acronyms) don’t help hiring managers in the civilian sector understand what you can do for them. So, at a minimum, it’s important to translate your resume out of military jargon and into language that shows your transferrable skills. Working in the R-14 shop of a deployed battalion doesn’t help your interviewer understand what you can do. Turn this into something that can be easily understood and applied to the civilian world, for example: “Created a unified plan of action, ensured coordination between cross-functional teams, and provided feedback to improve the process.” 42 / DECEMBER 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Veterans bring distinctive capabilities to civilian employers…

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

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

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

Solving Problems

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

Objective-focused: Ability to organize and structure resources to accomplish the mission, regardless of roadblocks Quick learners: Proven ability to learn new skills quickly and efficiently

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

High impact decision-makers: strong situational awareness, ability to understand complex interdependencies and make decisions using practical judgment and creativity


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

Self-reliance: Demonstrated initiative, ownership, and personal responsibility while leveraging all available assets and team members to ensure success Perseverance: Proven resilience getting things done despite difficult conditions, tight deadlines, and limited resources Strong work ethic: belief in the value of hard work and taking initiativeB

Today’s veterans are civic assets. They’re starting businesses, protecting our communities, running for office, and taking on leadership roles in their communities. And like the great generations who’ve gone before them, they’re poised to lift our country to new heights. / DECEMBER 2019


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


The most immediate implication of AB-5 and the ABC Test is that it turns independent contractors into employees. AB-5 puts ride-sharing and delivery companies, such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, in the spotlight. AB-5 will also limit the amount of work a freelancer can do for a company, such as independent writers who make a living writing articles for various news outlets or magazines or even websites, as under this law, freelance writers will only be allowed to write 35 submissions before they are either hired as an employee or not used again by the company, leading to loss of work.

California has done it again, making it even harder for independent contractors and freelancers to make a living in the State of California.

Who is exempt from AB-5? The types of businesses that are exempt from the bill include but are not limited to: doctors, lawyers, dentists, insurance agents, accountants, engineers, real estate agents, hairstylists and a variety of creative professionals. This does not mean that all of these businesses will be automatically labeled independent contractors. In addition to the ABC Test, these businesses will also have to pass the multi-factor test applied in the Borello case.

Last year the California Supreme Court announced a demanding three-part test hiring companies must meet to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees. On September 18, 2019, California governor Gavin Newsom signed into law California Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5) that becomes effective January 1, 2020, which broadens the three-part test beyond violations of the state’s wage orders, narrows the types of work to which that test applies, and authorizes the city attorneys of big California cities to sue hiring companies to enforce the new law. This could potentially reclassify millions of independent contractors as employees and dramatically reshape the future of independent workforces in California. The court held in the Dynamex Case that an “ABC Test” must be used to determine worker classification. A worker can only be classified as an independent contractor if:

What to do next? There is no doubt that AB-5 will have a meaningful impact in California so it’s a good time to start planning and taking the necessary steps now. An immediate step you can take is to incorporate your business and now you will fall within the business to business category where hiring companies will continue to hire without the threat of having to turn you into employees. I’m the CEO of where we provide legal tools for savvy entrepreneurs and I’m proud to provide a limited time offer of 40% discount on our Startup Essentials Package to help you prepare for the AB-5 Law that will take effect January 1, 2020. Please use the code Startup40 at “check out”

(a) The worker is free from control and direction in the performance of services; and

For more information on how to legally protect your business please pick up a copy of my bestselling book: ‘Go Legal Yourself’ on Amazon or visit my website at

(b) The worker is performing work outside the usual course of the business of the hiring company; and

Disclaimer: This information is made available by Bagla Law Firm,

(c) The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business. 44 / DECEMBER 2019

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

40% off the Startup Package Offer expires Dec 31, 2019

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A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans Visit SD Vets Today at San Diego Veterans Magazine Your best source for San Diego military, veteran breaking and local news, press releases, community events, media, entertainment and more… / DECEMBER 2019


REBOOT Institute

REBOOT YOUR LIFE SEMINAR Because transitioning from the military is not just a job change, It’s a life change! We’ll help you: RELEARN - REBUILD - REBRAND your life.

Many veterans do not feel “fully prepared for the process of entering the job market” and find it “difficult to translate their military skills into civilian terms.” To help you overcome these transition challenges, the National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. in collaboration with the County of San Diego's Office of Military & Veterans Affairs., invites you to attend a free one day “REBOOT Your Life Seminar™” on December 18, 2019 from 0830 to 1630 at the South Region Military & Veterans Affairs Resource Center located at 401 Mile of Cars Way, Suite 300, National City, CA 91950. Here is what you get when you attend the REBOOT Your Life Seminar™: • Connect with local employers. .• Connect with other veterans. • Connect with veterans community resources. • Free access to Transition Assistance Tool Tool. • Ongoing support. support

• Job Placement Assistance Assistance. • Job Skills Training Scholarship* • Learn how to fit into civilian culture. culture • Discover your passion & purpose. • Find your fit for the next career.

*Job skills training scholarship made available to California residents who qualify.

REGISTER ONLINE AT: National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. 8880 Rio San Diego Dr. STE 900 San Diego Ca 92108


Phone: 866-535-7624 Fax:866-535-7624 Email: Web: / DECEMBER 2019

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Certification & Supplier Diversity Concept Review for Startups Perfecting Your Pitch Speaker Training Brainstorming with Experts Publishing Knowhow Personal Branding Mind Mapping Crowdfunding Writing a Business Plan Branding, Graphics & Visuals Internet Marketing Social Media & SEO Legal Issues Budgeting Where & How to Get Money High Velocity Growth Strategies Employees & Contractors / DECEMBER 2019



By Lara Ryan, Daniel Chavarria & Michael Biemiller


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


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

The following is now the DoD policy:

In 2009, the deal became even sweeter. Servicemembers were able to transfer their Post9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouse or children in exchange for agreeing to serve more time on active duty.

So, you got to have already served 6 years, but can’t have been in for 16 years or more, and you have to agree and be eligible to serve another 4.

This was unprecedented, as there are virtually no other benefits that are transferrable to the spouse and children (with the exception of some benefits that could transfer posthumously).


In 2019, retention is no longer a problem, and Congress is looking for ways to cut costs, including a significant Reduction in Force. This has an impact on the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and their transferability. When servicemembers became eligible to transfer those benefits, they had to meet certain requirements. However, new eligibility rules passed in JUL 2018 changed from whom and how GI Bill benefits may be transferred. The deadline for implementation of the new rules was previously set for JUL 2019, but there has been an extension to JAN 2020.

48 / DECEMBER 2019

- Have at least 6 years of service as of the date of GI Bill transfer request, - Agree to serve at least 4 additional years, - Be eligible to serve at least 4 additional years, - Have not completed your 16th year of military service (as of 12 JAN2020).

Finally, you have to complete the transfer paperwork within 30 days of the re-up.

The following members were previously allowed to transfer benefits, but are no longer eligible: - Have at least 10 years of service and cannot serve 4 more years because of policy or law, but you agree to serve as long as you are able by law or policy • WHAT CHANGED? Members must now be eligible to extend 4 years in order to transfer their benefits. - Are retirement-eligible from 1AUG2009 – 1AUG2012 (member must sign up for one more year of service starting from the date the GI Bill benefits are transferred). • WHAT CHANGED? Members must now be eligible to extend 4 years in order to transfer their benefits. Starting 12JAN2020, members must not have completed their 16th year of service in order to transfer their benefits.

IMPORTANT: All transfer requests must be submitted and approved while the member is still in the military. Transfers cannot be initiated after retirement or separation.

San Diego Community News

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

Lara, Dan & Michael work with a team and run a comprehensive financial planning practice that specializes in working with active duty, retired, veteran and military-connected individuals, families, and businesses. They are not fee-based planners and don’t charge for their time, but believe every servicemember needs and deserves a financial plan. (307) 690-9266 (702) 497-3264 (858) 663-4296 What’s Happening? • Community Events • Community Press Releases • Entertainment & more... Military & Veteran Organizations • Post Your Events • Upcoming Programs • Resources - Donations - Inspirations

GET CONNECTED! A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans Visit SD Vets today at:

San Diego Veterans Magazine Your best source for San Diego military - veteran local news, press releases, community events, media, entertainment and more… / DECEMBER 2019


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

By Scott Hermann, CEO and identity theft protection expert

EVERYONE is at risk for identity theft, even the nation’s oldest veteran I remember reading a news story last year about Richard Overton, who was 112 at the time and the United States’ oldest living veteran, having survived Pearl Harbor, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima while in the Army. But he wasn’t in the news for those tremendous accomplishments – he was in the news because he was the victim of identity theft. While everyone is at risk for identity theft, do you know veterans are twice as likely to become victims, according to a study by the AARP? Many cumulative factors make veterans’ personal information – such as your name, Social Security number (SSN), and birthday – some of the most vulnerable. To start with, the military uses your SSN to identify you. For some veterans, your SSN showed up on everything from dog tags to mailing labels to appointment letters, in plain view of others to see and possibly steal. While the Department of Veterans Affairs has initiated protocols to help protect veterans’ SSNs, there are new risks. Stories on military personnel being individually targeted by foreign cybercriminals – from Russia to China to Iran – have filled the headlines. Some cybercriminals have used social media and other platforms in attempts to gain access to personal information as well as classified information. Another top risk comes from personal information exposed during data breaches – and the government has had its share. The Pentagon experienced a data breach last year that exposed 30,000 personnel’s travel and other personal information. The Office of Personnel Management has been hit by cyberattacks twice – the first time in 2006 affecting 26.5 million records and a second time in 2014 with 21.5 million people compromised. Veterans Affairs also has fallen victim to hackers with the Tricare health care system experiencing a data breach of 4.9 million military hospital and clinic patients’ records in 2011. What happens to your stolen information? It can be bought and sold on the dark web to the highest bidder. Identity thieves can then take your personal information 50 / DECEMBER 2019

and attempt to take out loans, open new credit cards, clone debit cards, change a billing address, acquire a new driver’s license, and use your identity when questioned by police. How can you protect yourself? Start by protecting your personal information. Don’t carry around your SSN card or military discharge papers (DD Form 214) in your wallet or purse. Keep these documents secure at home in a lockbox or safe. Other important documents that have your SSN or other personal information should be stored in that secure location as well. If you have old documents you want to discard, shred them instead of just throwing them in the trash. Also, be cautious when giving out your SSN or other personal information. Don’t be afraid to ask a business or organization if your SSN or other information is required. If it is required, ask them how they store your personal information. Never give your SSN out over the phone or through email. Another essential part of protecting yourself is credit monitoring, which includes active delivery of your credit report. Check your credit report and verify all the information included is yours. With credit monitoring, you also can receive alerts for suspicious activity, such as a new account that’s opened using your SSN. This is important so you can act quickly if there is fraud, possibly saving you thousands of dollars. In the case of Mr. Overton, an identity thief was able to gain access to his SSN and personal checking account number and use the nation’s oldest veteran’s personal information to open a fake bank account to drain the real account. The news article said the money in the drained account was meant to go toward the cost of around-the-clock care for Mr. Overton, who passed away in December. He was a supercentenarian, honored World War II veteran, and, unfortunately, a victim of identity theft. Today, everyone is at risk for identity theft, especially veterans. Protect yourself so you don’t become a victim. ©2019 IDIQ provider of IdentityIQ / DECEMBER 2019


The React Foundation Adopts Shelter Dog to Benefit Disabled Veteran through Shelter to Soldier Program By Eva Stimson The React Foundation recently joined Shelter to Soldier (STS) to adopt a shelter dog, named Eddie, under their Red Star Sponsorship of the Program. Eddie was found as a stray at the border of Tecate, Mexico. He was rescued stateside by a Border Patrol Agent and taken to the San Diego Department of Animal Services Bonita Shelter, where he was later adopted by Shelter to Soldier. React Founder, George Sadler, remarks “judging by his smell and the poor condition of his coat, it seemed as though he had never had a bath in his life.” Eddie came to the shelter to with a medical condition known as Entropion, in which the eyelid folds inward. Both his appearance and medical condition may have steered prospective adopters away from this amazing dog, but The React Foundation Co Founder, Cody Sadler notes “Graham’s trained eye saw through the grime and recognized this dog as a perfect candidate for Shelter to Soldier’s service dog training program.” Eddie was affectionately named as a tribute to George’s dear Staffordshire Terrier that passed in October 2019. “Giving Eddie a new lease on life was a memory that The React Foundation will cherish for the rest of our lives” shared Shane O’Connell, Outreach Director. Through this sponsorship, Eddie will be trained for 12-18 months to become a psychiatric service dog and will be paired with a combat veteran suffering from psychological wounds associated with traumatic service experiences (i.e., Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other injuries). As a Red Star Sponsor, The React Foundation is funding the cost to care for, house, and train the newly-adopted pup, and has also pledged to support the April 23, 2020 1st Annual Saving Lives, One Swing at a Time Golf Tournament as the Presenting Sponsor. The STS inaugural charity golf tournament will be hosted at the Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan, located in El Cajon, CA. 52 / DECEMBER 2019

The commitment of The React Foundation to community service, our nation’s veterans and homeless dogs is un-wavering. On average, 3200 dogs are euthanized nationwide every day. Every 69 minutes, a U.S. veteran commits suicide. These veterans have sacrificed everything to protect our freedom, and Shelter to Soldier as well as The React Foundation are dedicated to giving back to these military heroes. According to Graham Bloem, Co-Founder of Shelter to Soldier, “I was very touched by the compassion The React Foundation has demonstrated for people in need from every walk of life, including veterans. The stories shared about their love of dogs, the veterans they have met over the years that benefitted from their products, and the emotional connection they have with STS is very special. It’s such a pleasure to work with them because we share the common view that without question, we all need to do our part to help those in need. Kindness runs deep in this team.”

The React Foundation Founders George and Cody Sadler, explain, “We’re extremely passionate about helping dogs in need…scared, homeless and alone. Aiding a veteran that needs hope, love and unconditional support means a lot to us. We’re impressed with how Graham and his team pair suffering dogs and veterans together to create a mutually beneficial relationship. The synergy between our foundation and STS is naturally there because we all believe in serving and helping others; we put quality and integrity ahead of everything, and Graham and Shelter to Soldier exemplify that.” A portion of the proceeds from their for-profit Founding Partner, Platinum Premium Cannabis Products, is donated to a variety of charities focusing on social issues including suicide prevention, veteran support, world hunger, animal rescue, breast cancer awareness, and pediatric medical care. About Shelter to Soldier Shelter to Soldier is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other psychological injuries. Shelter to Soldier Co Founder, Graham Bloem, is the recipient of the American Red Cross Real Heroes Award, 10News Leadership Award, CBS8 News Change It Up Award, Honeywell Life Safety Award, and the 2016 Waggy Award for Animal Welfare. Additionally, Shelter to Soldier is a gold participant of GuideStar and accredited by the Patriot’s Initiative. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call (855) 287-8659 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility.

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 1 million veterans in life-changing ways each year.

Resources. Support. Inspiration. At SD Vets 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:



Afterschool Solutions for Kids in Military Families Research shows that the “critical hours” for youth are directly after school from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. That’s the time kids are more likely to get into trouble, develop bad habits or engage in negative behaviors. During those times, they’re often unsupervised and/or not participating in extracurricular activities. According to The Afterschool Alliance, a non-profit organization working to ensure that all children have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs, nearly 1 in 5 kids in California were alone and unsupervised between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. And 49% said they would participate in an afterschool program if one were available. Military families feel the need too. According to Blue Star Families’ annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey of over 10,000 active duty, veterans and immediate family members, 78% of military spouse caregivers say they need some form of childcare. Enter The Armed Services YMCA of San Diego, a non-profit that provides innovative and quality social, educational, and recreational programs to meet the needs of military service members and their families. They now offer daily afterschool care for elementary school aged children. Their new Afterschool Achievement Academy is a comprehensive afterschool program focused on resiliency and skill building that engages military dependents in grades K-6. Students participate in a series of activities designed and developed to support in-classroom learning by meeting the common core standards that local school districts focus on. The children benefit from programming, supervision and positive interaction. They work on homework, receive academic support, and participate in STEM activities, as well as arts and crafts, and sports. “We’re also focusing on developing on coping strategies for kids in military families, who face obstacles including having a parent deploy, constant relocations, adjusting to new environments and many more,” says Tim Ney, Executive Director for The Armed Services YMCA of San Diego, noting military children move an average of six to nine times over course of their school career. 54 / DECEMBER 2019

“This curriculum is focused to tailor very specific needs and is a national effort being facilitated all over the country.” Critical Need The Afterschool Achievement will give working parents an opportunity to focus on their job, without worrying about of afterschool childcare. It will also provide an opportunity for a non-working spouse in a military family to seek employment as well. That’s critical because Blue Star Families’ survey shows military spouse unemployment/ underemployment is a top challenge: 30% of spouses were unemployed but actively seeking work and 56% of working spouse respondents reported they were underemployed. They say frequent relocation was the reason for underemployment. The survey also found 43% of respondents did not feel a sense of belonging to their local community. They say the availability of military spouse jobs could improve a sense of belonging to their local civilian community. Serving Military Families For this afterschool program, The ASYMCA San Diego will provide transportation from Miller, Hancock and Angier Elementary schools immediately after dismissal to their facility on Santo Road in Murphy Canyon. That area has the largest concentration of military families in San Diego County. There are six elementary schools within a six-mile radius. On average, those schools have student populations made up of at least 74% military kids. “Our goal is to eventually serve all six elementary schools in this area as well as the two middle schools,” says Ney, who adds that this program creates coverage for kids both when they are in school and during all school breaks. (Camp Hero camps are available during school vacations.) “Kids can stay engaged all year long with ASYMCA programs!” For more information about the Afterschool Achievement Academy, go to:









858-751-5755 INFOSD@ASYMCA.ORG 858-751-5755















1441 Encinitas Blvd., #110 • 760-944-1534

DEL MAR (Across from the Fairgrounds) 15555 Jimmy Durante Blvd • 858-794-9676



1231 Camino Del Rio South • 619-298-9571


1066 W. Valley Pkwy • 760-741-0441


56 / DECEMBER 2019

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

It’s been one battle after another. But thanks to Father Joe’s Villages, Mark has a roof over his head, his health under control, and a song in his heart. Help people like Mark leave homelessness behind. (619) HOMELESS (466-3537)

#HomelessNotHopeless / DECEMBER 2019


58 / DECEMBER 2019 / DECEMBER 2019


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JAN 17–21 California Center for the Arts, Escondido | JAN 24–26 san diEgo Civic Theatre

A Perfect Gift. Get Tickets Today! 888.973-7469 | 60 / DECEMBER 2019


San Diego Veterans Magazine DEC 2019  

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

San Diego Veterans Magazine DEC 2019  

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

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