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Vol. 2 Number 12 • December 2020



A Soldier’s christmas The Night Before Christmas

Healthy Holiday: Stay Safe During a Pandemic

MENTAL HEALTH Holiday Anxiety A Healthy New Year Covid-19 Playbook



San Diego Veterans of the Month 2019 - 2020

What’s Next Transition to Civilian Life

SD Organizations STEP up for the Holidays / DECEMBER 2020


1155 Grand Avenue, San Marcos | 760-753-7907 |

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2 / DECEMBER 2020

Happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful new year. - San Diego Veterans Magazine / DECEMBER 2020


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

If you know a WWII or Korean War Veteran who has not been on their Honor Flight, we want them to go on our flight in 2021. There is no cost to the veteran. Please go to: to complete an application, send an email to or call (800) 655-6997 4 / DECEMBER 2020

Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater

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

Please Contribute Today! Make the Vision a Reality

Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater Any contribution amount counts!

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




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 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

Arts & Healing

Eva Stimson Veteran Advocate

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

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

(858) 275-4281 Contact us at: 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.

6 / DECEMBER 2020

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


8 San Diego Veterans of the Month (2019-2020) 10 Healthy Holiday: Stay Safe During a Pandemic 11 NORAD Tracks Santa 12 A Soldier’s Christmas 14 SDVM - The Covers of 2020 16 Relevant in a COVID environment 18 Operation Gratitude 22 Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) 24 MIDWAY Magic - 75 Years of Serving America 26 Real Talk: Anxiety during the holidays 28 LENS: Healthy New Year 30 Arts & Healing - COVID-19 Playbook 32 A Family’s Perspective 34 Legally Speaking: Holiday Visitation 40 What’s Next - 5 Gifts for you 44 Workshops For Warriors 46 Human Resources - 2021 Mindset 48 Enlisted to Entrepreneur - Working from Home 52 Veterans - Invaluable Values 54 Legal Eagle: Winning in 2021 56 Veterans Chamber - 2021 Planning Ahead 60 San Diego Veterans Coalition 62 Veterans Association of North County 64 Team Rubicon 2020 Recap / DECEMBER 2020



May 2020

Veteran of the Month: Major Glenn Ferguson

Veteran of the Month: Maurice Wilson


Article available at:

Article available at:

February 2020

June 2020

Veteran of the Month: Emery Langley

Veteran of the Month: Tavarus “TJ� Dunbar

Article available at:

Article available at:

March 2020

July 2020

Veteran of the Month: Billiekai Boughton

Veteran of the Month: Ray Flores

Article available at:

Article available at:

April 2020


Veteran of the Month: U.S. Army Veteran Amber Robinson

Veteran of the Month: Paul Carr

Article available at:

Article available at:

8 / DECEMBER 2020

San Diego Veterans Magazine (2019 - 2020) September 2020

November 2019

Veteran of the Month: Brad McKinley

Veteran of the Month: Povas Miknaitis Article available at:

Article available at:

October 2019

October 2020

Veteran of the Month: Mark Kaleimamahu

Veteran of the Month: Phil Eakin

Article available at:

September 2019

Article available at:

Veteran of the Month: Holly Shaffner Article available at:

November 2020 Veteran of the Month: RanDee McLain

August 2019 Veteran of the Month: Bob Cardenas

Article available at:

Honoring ALL our “Veterns of the Month� From Conception- (July 2019 - November 2020)

Article available at:

December 2019

July 2019

Veteran of the Month: Stu Hedley

Veteran of the Month: Armstrong Pierre-Charles

Article available at:

Article available at: / DECEMBER 2020


Healthy Holidays:

How To Gather Safely During a Pandemic By Katie Lange, DOD News Celebrating the holidays while you’re in the military can already be a tough experience when you’re away from family and friends. For many, celebrating this year during COVID-19 may be even tougher. The pandemic has brought on more stress and isolation than usual, and that isn’t likely to change from Thanksgiving into the New Year. Health officials are urging people to modify their gatherings during the holidays – even for small groups of people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered some ideas to help slow the spread of COVID-19 while you’re with people who aren’t in your immediate household. The following tips supplement existing guidance from military installation orders and combatant command disease prevention guidelines. Keep in mind, these considerations are meant to supplement -- NOT replace – the state, local, territorial and tribal health and safety laws, rules and regulations which all gatherings must comply with. Then there are more in-depth ways to keep yourself safe: • Avoid going in and out of areas where food is being prepared or handled. If you’re involved in the prep, wear a mask while doing so. • Use single-use options such as salad dressing and condiment packets, as well as disposable items such as food containers, plates, cups and utensils. How To Limit the Spread

If You’re Hosting Limit the number of guests. Make sure you explain your COVID-19 plan ahead of time to those who are coming so they know what to expect. Also, consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contact tracing needs. Set up tables and chairs with social distancing in mind. If possible, do so outside. If you’re celebrating inside, open some windows. If you’re setting up a tent outside, remember that enclosed four-wall tents have less air circulation than open-air tents. If outdoor temperatures or weather forces you to put up the tent sidewalls, consider leaving one or more sides open, or roll up the bottom 12 inches of each sidewall to enhance ventilation while still providing a windbreak. Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. Keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard. Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items, and clean and disinfect those surfaces and items between each use when possible. Going Virtual If you still can’t physically be with the ones you love, host a meal virtually. Share recipes ahead of time and have everyone show off what they made, or play games together. You can also make one of your favorite dishes and deliver it without contact to your family, friends or neighbors who can’t be with you in person. We’re sure they’ll appreciate it!

There are the standard rules and recommendations:

There’s Help If You Need It

• Wear a mask with two or more layers. Make sure it covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly against the sides of your face. If you’re with members of different households, be sure to wear it at all times, except when eating or drinking.

While this year’s celebrations aren’t going to be like those in the past, remember that many people are struggling through this. If you need support during this trying time, visit Military OneSource ( for guidance, counseling and other resources.

• Remember to stay 6 feet apart from people who aren’t normally in your immediate household. • Keep up the handwashing and use of hand sanitizers whenever possible. • Forgo the hugs, fist bumps and handshakes this year. A simple wave will do! 10 / DECEMBER 2020

And don’t forget to have a safe and happy holiday season!

NORAD Tracks Santa 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, NORAD tracks everything that flies in and around North America in defense of our homelands. On Dec. 24, we have the very special mission of also tracking Santa. NORAD has been tracking Santa since 1955 when a young child accidently dialed the unlisted phone number of the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, believing she was calling Santa Claus after seeing a promotion in a local newspaper.

Though the program began due to a misdialed number, NORAD Tracks Santa has flourished and is recognized as one of the Department of Defense’s largest community outreach programs. Each year, the NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site receives nearly fifteen million unique visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Volunteers receive more than 130,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline from children around the globe. This year, children and the young-at-heart are able to track Santa through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, the commander on duty that night, was quick to realize a mistake had been made, and assured the youngster that CONAD would guarantee Santa a safe journey from the North Pole. Thus a tradition was born that rolled over to NORAD when it was formed in 1958. Each year since, NORAD has dutifully reported Santa’s location on Dec. 24 to millions across the globe. Thanks to the services and resources generously provided by numerous corporate contributors and volunteers, NORAD Tracks Santa has persevered for more than 60 years.

For more information about NORAD Tracks Santa, please visit For more information about NORAD, please visit

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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.

12 / DECEMBER 2020

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 2020




January 2020

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

June 2020 / DECEMBER 2020

A Veteran Magazine by Veterans for Veterans

July 2020

August 2020

September 2020


Vol. 2 Number 12 • December 2020



a soldier’s christmas The Night Before Christmas

Healthy Holiday: Stay Safe During a Pandemic

MENTAL HEALTH Holiday Anxiety A Healthy New Year Covid-19 Playbook



What’s Next

San Diego

Transition to Civilian Life

SD Organizations

Veterans of the Month 2019 - 2020

STEP up for the Holidays / DECEMBER 2020

October 2020

November 2020


December 2020

Current & Past Issues Available at: / DECEMBER 2020


How to stay relevant in a COVID environment By Holly Shaffner The year of 2020 has been unlike any other year in our history. Since the middle of March, our world has been turned upside down as we deal with death, loss of jobs, and homeschooling children. We have been through a roller coaster of emotions worried about a virus that does not discriminate and has made us all change the way we do everything. For many organizations, the challenge has been how to raise money, how to stay engaged with their supporters, how to host safe events, and how to stay relevant. For the organization I volunteer with, Honor Flight San Diego, the struggle is real. Our mission is to take the nation’s most senior veterans, currently WWII and Korea era veterans, on a trip to Washington, D.C. These veterans are over the age of 85 and are in the most vulnerable demographic for the virus. We had two trips planned for 2020, and spring 2021 – all three have been postponed. There are 120 WWII and Korea veterans on our waiting list ready to go. So how can we keep this elderly population engaged, focused on staying healthy, and motivated for a trip that may happen in 10 months from now?

It is all about innovation and creativity. As early as April 1st, we had to rethink in-person events and it started with a drive-by birthday party for a 104-year-old Marine. Ruth Gallivan is believed to be the oldest living female Marine West of the Mississippi. When her in-person birthday party had to be canceled, we stepped in and gave her a drive-by party which went viral and made news around the world. Ruth had already been on our flight, so what about those men and women on our waiting list? In the military, we LOVED getting letters while on deployment, so in July, we created Operation Mail Call. We used social media and connections with our supporters to solicit for letters and cards thanking our veterans for their service. We received over 2,500 letters and packaged them into 120 envelopes. We mailed the packages, and two veterans got a surprise when their package was hand delivered by our chairman and our founder.

Parade Pictures by: Greg Siller 16 / DECEMBER 2020

To thank our veterans for their service and let them know they have not been forgotten in 2020, we held a drivethru, no-contact, socially-distanced Parade of Honor for Veterans Day. As the veterans arrived at the parking lot where we staged, they were greeted by community partners holding patriotic signs, posterboard cutouts of WWII veterans, and waved to every veteran driving through. We partnered with Operation Gratitude who supplied the care package items for 1,000 packages. The veterans stayed in their car as they drive through the lanes of well-wishers. We honored over 500 veterans that day and the remaining packages went to community organizations who serve active duty and veterans.

& Organizations Navigating the resources available to veterans can be confusing, but San Diego Veterans Magazine believes no veteran should have to go it alone.

For these events, we invited the media so they can share the stories and we did Facebook Live to show our supporters what we were doing. These events were well received and helped us to stay relevant in a COVID environment. It has been a lot of work to revamp the way we do business. For Honor Flight San Diego, to hear the families say how much their mom or dad was looking forward the day and how our events brightened their day and lifted their spirits‌that is why we do what we do. To follow Honor Flight San Diego on Facebook, go to @HonorFlightSanDiego

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.

San Diego Veteran Resources & Organizations available at:

San Diego Veterans Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans / DECEMBER 2020



Operation Gratitude’s mission is to forge strong bonds between Americans and their Military and First Responder Heroes through volunteer service projects, acts of gratitude, and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide. This is primarily accomplished by bringing communities together for the assembly and delivery of a tangible symbol of gratitude -- the signature Operation Gratitude Care Package. More than 17 years ago, Operation Gratitude sent its first four Care Packages to deployed Service Members in Iraq. Since then, the nonprofit has allowed millions of Americans to express appreciation through hands-on volunteerism and has lifted the spirits of more than 1.8 million deployed troops, also evolving to impact another 1.2 million recruit graduates, veterans, military families, first responders, and healthcare heroes. Multiple programs exist at Operation Gratitude, allowing grateful Americans everywhere to show appreciation for and connect with all those who serve in a meaningful way. Deployed troops Each year, Operation Gratitude sends hundreds of thousands of Care Packages to troops deployed around the world. Generous citizens and corporate partners donate high quality “wish list” items, “handmade with love” items, and letters of support to fill the care packages. A sailor aboard the USS San Jacinto was a recent recipient of an Operation Gratitude care package. He shared, “This little ray of sunshine was much needed, as the unfortunate spread of the Coronavirus has stopped all of our possible port visits. Right now, we have been underway for 61 consecutive days and are expecting another 50+ before we get a break.

18 / DECEMBER 2020

We are all so thankful for your generosity. What you do makes what we do a little easier, and it means a lot to every one of us.” Recruit graduates Operation Gratitude welcomes the nation’s newest service members with the help of devoted community volunteers by delivering Care Pouches at Boot Camp graduations across the country. During the pandemic, volunteers continue to give through virtual volunteerism opportunities. Military families Operation Gratitude sends trademarked “Battalion Buddy” bears to the children of deployed service members. These comfort items are hand stuffed by volunteers at events nationwide. The Operation Gratitude team and volunteers are often invited to handdeliver these bears, where they have the opportunity to show these brave young warriors and their parents that a grateful nation stands with them during difficult times. Veterans Operation Gratitude coordinates with VA hospitals, Veteran and nursing homes, Veterans Services Organizations, and other best-in-class nonprofits to provide care packages to Veterans of all generations. Receiving a Care Package shows veterans, often for the first time, that their service and sacrifices are appreciated and never forgotten. Wounded Heroes and Caregivers To honor the service and sacrifice of Wounded Heroes from all eras and their often unseen Caregivers, Operation Gratitude provides custom Care Packages to acknowledge and thank each of them in a unique way. These Care Packages are delivered directly to their homes or given out at group events. First Responders The delivery of Care Packages to hundreds of departments across the U.S. allows Operation Gratitude team members, volunteers, donors, and corporate partners to thank the local First Responders who honorably protect and serve their communities.

Operation Gratitude began as a grassroots movement to provide every American with the opportunity to say “thank you” to all who serve. Now a national nonprofit, Operation Gratitude has grown significantly to meet the military’s evolving needs, first responder, and healthcare heroes at the core of its mission. Volunteers remain the heart and soul of the organization. The millions of volunteers nationwide who take the time to contribute to a Care Package make a connection and an impact, as expressed in an email from a deployed soldier with the 82nd airborne last year, upon receiving Operation Gratitude Care Packages for his entire unit: “Thank you to all the Men, Women, and children for your hard work and words of encouragement. We appreciate you and will continue to keep our patriotic citizens safe and keep our spirits high. With this kind of support and appreciation, we can never fail to know that you all have our back when times get tough.”



COVID-19 Response On March 22, 2020, Operation Gratitude launched one of the most extensive coordinated efforts in the country to support the brave men and women on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the form of critically needed items and handwritten letters of appreciation, this support directly impacts their ability to serve and protect our communities and the citizens who rely on them. “As we have all seen recently, the world can turn upside down in a matter of days. One thing that we can always count on during a crisis is our military and first responders on the frontlines,” said the CEO of Operation Gratitude, retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Schmiegel. “While they continue to serve, we will continue to support them. Together, we will deliver millions of critically needed items and letters of appreciation globally to those who need it most.” For more information, please visit us at or:

Solidarity of Service, a new podcast hosted by Operation Gratitude CEO and Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Schmiegel and the Chief Strategy and Operations Officer for NAMI, Retired Marine Chief Warrant Officer-2 Sherman Gillums, Jr is now available. The show explores inspiring stories about community, connection, and service, featuring true American patriots from all walks of life. The inspiration for the Solidarity of Service came from the two friends’ conversations about their desire to help heal a divided nation and the power of

service in uniting communities. Visit or Search “Solidarity of Service” on your favorite Podcast App. / DECEMBER 2020



WHO SERVE WHO WE ARE Serving since 2003, Operation Gratitude is the largest and most impactful nonprofit in the country for hands-on volunteerism in support of Military, Veterans, and First Responders.

Deployed Troops

First Responders


Military, Veterans and First Responders Impacted



OUR MISSION To forge strong bonds between Americans and their Military and First Responder heroes through volunteer service projects, acts of Veterans

Recruit Graduates

gratitude and meaningful engagements in communities Nationwide.

WE BELIEVE Actions speak louder than words Saying “thank you for your service” is the start of a conversation that leads to a better understanding of service Hands-on volunteerism, acts of gratitude and meaningful engageWounded Heroes and Caregivers

Military Families

ments are the best ways to bridge the civilian-service divide We focus on empathy, resilience, service, and sacrifice rather than sympathy, challenges, needs, and pity

20 / DECEMBER 2020

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

24/7 Access to Resources and Peer Support

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


@CourageToCall @CourageToCall / DECEMBER 2020


SDVM Spotlight

Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) Few other jobs, if any, require greater risk, personal sacrifice, family disruption, emotional distress, time demands, and psychological impact than the job of a Coast Guardsman, Marine, a Sailor, an Airman, or a Soldier in today’s military. In 2012, Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) started as an organization that wanted to support the most vulnerable in the military – young, junior enlisted service members who are asked to do dangerous, important jobs, with some of the lowest incomes in the country. They wanted to ensure everyone had their basic needs met in order to always be mission-ready. Since then, STEP has evolved from supporting basic, urgent needs, to include working one-on-one with families to find their own path to financial self-sufficiency. They help navigate an imminent financial crisis, ensure no basic need is lost, while simultaneously work on an individualized plan for their overall financial well-being.

22 / DECEMBER 2020

Founded by Veterans, STEP understands the demands of the job both on the service member, and their family. They know many getting into the military do not have financial literacy skills to navigate the low-pay and financial demands of the job: frequent moves without 100% reimbursements, high-cost-of-living areas, lack of childcare options, low spousal employment or under employed. The program is designed to set up these families for success, even when living paycheck-topaycheck. For the service member and Veteran to succeed, they must be ready for change and willing to make the sacrifices needed to prepare for the future, even when circumstances are outside their control. In April, as the pandemic continued to shut down much of our world, a Marine family was struggling to pay rent when his wife was let go from her $15.50 hour job. Now rent was not the biggest concern but ensuring food on the table was. They came to STEP for help and a social worker, certified in financial counseling, worked with them to develop a plan they could survive on until she was able to find work again.

“We were pretty good with money. There wasn’t a lot of it, so we lived month-to-month with a small savings. When my wife lost her job that all changed, and I went to STEP for help. After paying two months of our rent and getting us groceries, we were able to breath and focus on what came next. And by February 2021 we’ll be able to start saving money again, even with my wife’s new part-time job. It’s a good feeling to be back in control.” – Marco, E4 Evictions, utility disconnects, food insecurity, and other financial crises are on the rise among our military community as the COVID-19 crisis exposes and deepens their everyday challenges. The team at STEP shifted gears quickly in March and have since served over 9,000 individuals through their no-contact food distributions through San Diego and Orange County. Many of the families have been quarantining since the beginning with spouses deployed and little to no support network. To-date over 110,000 pounds of food, 150,000 diapers and other hygiene products have been distributed. All thanks to strong partnerships, generous donors, and hard-working volunteers. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on our service members and Veterans has yet to be seen and STEP is preparing for the long-haul toward recovery. Applications for support increased 30% in November as the increase in COVID-19 cases are on the rise, even within our active duty community. “What we learned this year is that our program is designed for a crisis like this. With the community’s support, we have been able to answer the call for these critical needs, but also plant the seeds of prudent financial management along the way,” shared Tony Teravainen, CEO & C0-Founder of STEP and recent recipient of San Diego County’s Veteran of the Year award. “I am really proud of my team as they manage our clients needs and their own during this time. And, I am always grateful for the generosity of our community.”

STEP is a privately funded, 4-Star Charity Navigator rated non-profit that serves all E1-E6 active duty and transitioning Veterans in Southern California. In January 2021 they will be formally expanding to serve the same population in Washington State. To learn how you can assist their programs through advocacy, volunteering or financial support, go to: and follow them at @stepsocal. / DECEMBER 2020


USS Midway Marks 75 Years of Serving America

“In both instances, the ship undertook massive modernization overhauls enabling her to support the rapidly evolving needs of naval tactical aviation,” said Karl Zingheim, ship historian for the Midway Museum in San Diego. “These lengthy maintenance periods also extended the service life of the carrier.” Both overhauls also dramatically changed how the ship looked. “The first upgrade transformed Midway in the mid1950s from a straight-deck to an angled-deck carrier allowing her to operate the latest supersonic aircraft,” said Zingheim. “A second, even more ambitious rebuild, stretched from 1965 to 1970.” Right Place at the Right Time

1945 Christening of USS Midway

Creating the Legend The early years of World War II showed how vulnerable U.S. aircraft carriers were. Fragile steel hulls and wooden flight decks were easily penetrated by enemy bombs and torpedoes. The Navy needed a new class of carrier that was designed to take a licking and keep on ticking. Enter USS Midway. Named for the decisive World War II naval battle, Midway was the first U.S. aircraft carrier with an armored flight deck and thicker steel hull plating. The largest warship ever built; she was considered a super carrier when commissioned in September 1945 boasting the survivability of a battleship with the speed of a cruiser.

Taiwan Straits Crisis – In 1958, communist-led Chinese forces launched massive artillery barrages against two small islands off the coast of Taiwan. The United States, as part of its defense treaty with Taiwan, sent the Navy to deter further aggression. Midway, with its nuclear-strike capability, was the taskforce’s flagship. “We had a treaty that committed us to Taiwan’s defense,” said Richard Setlowe, a strike controller on Midway. “It was Midway that brought the Navy back as a nuclear deterrent.” In the face of the overwhelming naval response led by Midway, the communist Chinese decided to negotiate peace and the crisis ended. “It was a feature of that incredible Cold War,” said Setlowe. “The whole incident in the Taiwan Straits pushed us to the brink of nuclear war.”

Midway served 47 years, from 1945 to 1992, longer than any other U.S. carrier during the 20th century. During her illustrious career, she would be America’s ‘tip of the spear’ seeing combat action in Southeast Asia and Middle East, acting as a forward-deployed deterrent during the Cold War, and playing critical roles in some of world’s largest humanitarian operations.

Operation Frequent Wind – In April 1975, the North Vietnamese Army invaded Saigon. Midway and a flotilla of other naval warships were called upon to rescue thousands of Americans and South Vietnamese citizens trapped in the city. Midway was at the heart of the evacuation with dozens of helicopters flying refugees non-stop to the carrier.

Not long after her commissioning, however, the Navy saw that Midway’s original design could not keep pace with naval aviation advancements.

“It was the most dangerous 30 hours I’d ever seen on a carrier,” said retired Cmdr. Vern Jumper, Midway’s Air Boss during the evacuation. “At one time, I counted 26 helicopters circling the ship. I was afraid one of them would flame out and crash on our deck.”

Two major upgrades allowed Midway to serve for nearly five decades. 24 / DECEMBER 2020

“I just remember that chaos was everywhere,” said Courtney Herrmann, only eight years old when she and her family were evacuated by helicopter to Midway from Saigon. After more than a day of continuous flight operations, thousands of Vietnamese refugees were flown to Midway and their freedom. “It was a miracle and the proudest moment of my life,” said the 88-year-old Jumper. “We saved 3,073 souls, and no one lost their life. “Midway sailors represent the best of humanity,” said Herrmann. “They’re always going to be my heroes. They saved us.” Operation Desert Storm – On Jan. 15, 1991, the United Nations deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait came and went. Two days later, Midway, positioned in the Persian Gulf, started the extensive aerial bombing campaign marking the beginning of the liberation of Kuwait. “It was most intense aviation operation I ever experienced,” said retired Capt. Jim Reilly, Midway’s supply officer during Operation Desert Storm. “We launched the first strikes at 2 a.m. and continued combat actions for nearly a month and a half. The best measure of our air campaign’s success was that the ground war lasted only 100 hours before Iraqi forces were ousted from Kuwait.” Midway was the flagship for naval air forces in thePersian Gulf. The carrier’s air wing flew nearly 3,400 combat sorties during the war losing no aircraft or personnel. The Legacy Lives On Although Midway was decommissioned on April 11, 1992, she was not done serving the country. Following a 10year effort by the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum Association, the carrier emerged from retirement and is now the most visited naval ship museum in the world. Bruce Rainey

Opening in 2004, 16 million guests have walked Midway’s decks, marveled at her extensive collection of aircraft and learned about the importance of naval history and tradition. The museum’s world-famous Midway volunteers bring the ship alive with tales of their adventures on the high seas. After 75 years, USS Midway continues to proudly serve and share her stories with the world. Questions about the USS Midway Museum’s volunteer program can be directed to the museum’s volunteer office at (619) 398-8289 or / DECEMBER 2020


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

“Coping with anxiety during the holidays” The holidays–a time of joy, light, and festivities. If I’m honest, that’s how I would love to characterize them one hundred percent of the time. But the reality is that although the holidays can be those things, they can also be a time of heightened anxiety, especially in a year as tumultuous as this one.

Enjoy the little things

For me, my anxiety creeps a little higher as the days become shorter and the expectations of a “perfect” holiday season grow bigger. This year is no exception. In some ways, the pressure is off since there may not be the constant pulse of activities and parties to rush to and from, but in their absence, the pressure to make this holiday season special, magical, or joyous is perhaps a bit elevated because I feel like it’s all on me. As a full-time, work-from-home mom of two and an active duty spouse, how am I going to infuse holiday cheer into a home we haven’t left in nine months? The answer is: take care of myself first. It’s cliché, but we can’t draw from an empty well. During this season of shortened days and heightened expectations, there are several ways I help myself stay mentally healthy and keep my anxiety at bay. These may be helpful for you as well: • Get outside​— Even for just a few minutes twice a day during daylight hours. • Walk! — ​Even if walking looks like laps around your house when on a phone call. • Limit screen time ​— For me, this means reading a book before bed rather than watching TV. It can also mean converting Zoom meetings to conference calls. • Learning and practicing mindfulness​— Cohen Veterans Network’s “​Tools for Managing Stress and Worry​“ free, ​self-paced course was specifically created for military family members to help manage stress and worry through a series of brief and flexible educational modules.

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• Enjoy the little things​— Things that used to be more routine, pre-pandemic, can be soothing, and lower the level of anxiety you feel. I’m talking about connecting with nature, Calling a friend or family, or simply grabbing a to-go cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop. • Rest — ​Holidays and pandemic life require more mental space than pre-COVID days. • Goal setting​— Set definable, minimal, and achievable goals each day. Anxiety tends to increase distractibility, irritability, and agitation and decrease concentration and short-term memory recall. • Do something that makes you smile​— For me, it’s art. Coloring and painting relax me and the colors on the page lift my spirits. • Ask for help​— If you find that regular activities like work, sleep, and being in relationships is more challenging, talk to a mental healthcare professional for more support.

I know this list may look and feel daunting, but In addition to these tips and tricks, I also want to offer a word of encouragement. As someone who lives with anxiety, I often find myself looking at other people’s lists, and I can feel my shoulders draw together and my neck tighten up–sure signs for me that my anxiety is rising– because it feels like I can never accomplish all of the items, which in turn makes me feel like I’ve failed before I’ve even begun. What I have to remind myself of in those moments is that I can take what I like and leave the rest. It is entirely possible that all of those suggestions, while good, are not for me. I am also reminded of a term I learned in the writing world: “chunk time.” I can take my day and my self-care in chunks or small bits. I am not expected to do the whole list right now. Little by little, I learn where those tools serve me well. They don’t all serve me at the same time or even on the same day, but practicing them a chunk at a time, lowers my anxiety.

This holiday season the best gift you can give yourself is peace of mind–even if it’s in small packages. Contributions made to this column by Shari FinneyHouser, Clinic Director at the Cohen Clinic at VVSD.

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


A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain, LCSW

Healthy New Year! As I began to write this column, California was yet again going back into a super restrictive state. Due to COVID and the increased numbers of those infected-San Diego County is in the purple tier. It is hard to stay positive at times when we are consistently told what we can not do. Many of the things that are restricted are healthy for our mind and body. I.E physical workouts (gyms closed) and social gatherings (mental connectedness). In March, I never thought COVID would still have such an impact on our lives in December much less going into 2021. It does not look like we will be back to ‘normal’ anytime soon. In December most of us are thinking about the new year and resolutions we would like to set. This year I encourage you to think about these three things to incorporate or continue in your new year.

Active It is so important to stay physically and mentally active. We may not be able to do the same workouts as before but carving out a little time each day to be active will support a healthy body and mind. Moving your body and getting fresh air can help you stay happy and healthy.

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There are still outdoor activities that are free and can be socially distanced. • Hiking • Walking • Bicycling • Swimming If getting outside is a challenge for you at this time, there is a lot of ways to stay active while indoors. • Walking – consider pacing while on calls • Free online workout classes • Stretching • Stand up every 30 minutes In the beginning of COVID when we were in a stay at home order, I did virtual workouts with my girlfriends. We would pick out a video and stream it in our own homes while being on zoom. We actually completed a remote Spartan race (clearly not the same). This was a great way to be both active and stay connected with my friends. There are several benefits to staying active that include: • Reduced stress • Maintaining a healthy weight • Boost immune system • Mental clarity Being active is very important but also very important during this time is connectiveness.

Connected It is important to stay connected to family and friends. This connection can bring a feeling of closeness, provide emotional support and intellectual stimulation. A recent study showed the positive benefits of staying connected: • Improved memory/ cognitive skills • Happier • Stronger immune system • Decrease stress hormones There are lots of ways to stay connected while maintaining all COVID safety precautions: • Video Chats (zoom, MS Teams, Facetime ect…) • Social Media (be careful to not consume too much) • Phone calls • Letters/Cards

Grace In 2020 ‘grace’ has been my motto. As a Christian and a girl born and raised in the south grace was always a familiar term to me.

During the season of COVID, grace has taken on a new meaning for me. I embrace it as a form of meeting people where they are at. I had to take a step back and understand that this pandemic is truly effecting people in many ways and people are really struggling. I have learned to have grace with others when things are not done the way I expect them or the way I think they should be done. I have a whole new level of understanding and truly seeing people as individuals with distinct needs and challenges. I have adopted grace with others …..but most importantly I have adopted grace with myself. I have found that every day does not have to be perfect. In fact-some of the best days are unplanned. I have learned to have grace with myself when I make mistakes and be more compassionate to my own situation and challenges. As you move into 2021, find the resolution that works for you! I encourage you to stay active, socially connected and give yourself grace!! Have a safe and socially distanced holiday -see you in 2021!!

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Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans By Amber Robinson

A creative’s COVID19 silver linings playbook As we all get ready for a more isolated-than-normal holiday season, I sense many of you out there are getting excited to see 2020 come to its flaming close. As we all look forward to and hope for a better 2021, I hope we don’t overlook the silver linings this challenging year has given us. In the Army I once heard, “don’t let a crisis go to waste”, which means don’t let hard times fail in what they can teach us. On a global level some of those silver linings were medical advancements made in the name of finding a cure as well as a new level of global cooperation to help slow the spread. On a national level I saw Americans start to worry about each other more. All of a sudden it became a public mandate for citizens to think about how their actions could affect others. The well-being of the sick, disabled and elderly became a communal concern. Compassion deepened within many. As an immune-compromised disabled veteran who lives alone, my already small world became even more small and isolated. And thus, San Diego Veteran Artist Spotlight was born. It gave me the opportunity to find connection with other artists and become buoyed and inspired in how they each used art to heal and grow. I hoped their creative actions would inspire the closed-in masses to turn to art, using it to express the year’s pain and heal it too. And, happily, I watched as so many people have turned to art during the quarantine. I could tell where the kids in my neighborhood lived because chalk drawings began to fill the sidewalks in front of their homes. Stick figures, flowers, big sunshines and clumsily written names sprawled within my complex’s cement common areas. Parents now in charge of their kids’ education curriculum realized how easy and fun it was to implement art. Parent-run art projects became a consistent occurrence. I saw a big uptick in different versions of “10 fun and creative things to do with your kids during quarantine” lists and information videos.

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As always I turned to my own art of writing as a way to contend with the frustrations. Spending time alone has never been hard for me. A natural introvert, on most occasions I choose my own company above anyone else’s. But even I began to feel the knaw of loneliness. Any socialization I encountered came from a computer screen. So I wrote poetry about Zoom burnout and loneliness and it was lyrical enough to soothe me. Even within my world of community theatre through my small nonprofit, I saw creativity and unity flourish. With no live shows allowed, theatres across San Diego created alliances and began to discuss how they could collectively weather COVID19 together. Without the capacity to share live theatre, a new world of online theatre opened up. Some theatres perfected the creative art of theatrical Zoom shows. Over the months performances have evolved to outside, socially distanced shows or full shows rehearsed on Zoom then filmed. Prior to filming cast members are now required to have a negative COVID19 test. No matter where I looked, I could see silver linings of creativity, innovation and compassion peeping around the dark clouds of the pandemic and the political and civil unrest. Whether we are stepping out or staying in for 2021, I have faith that we’ll do so with new eyes. I have faith that our creative spirits will carry us and that our artful selves will be the ones creating and quickly adapting to our new, and maybe a little improved, normal.

COVID19 silver linings playbook / DECEMBER 2020


A Family’s Perspective: Love, Service, Resilience, and Wounds By Hannah Hutler-Boyd, Chief Program Officer at Camp Corral Camp Corral has the privilege of serving military families across the country, providing programs that offer respite and peer-connections for children and families of wounded, ill, injured, and fallen military personnel. Families serve as the support system carrying service members and veterans forward through the good and challenging times. We are honored to share one family’s story of perseverance -- how they learned to roll with the punches both individually and as a family unit. During a recent interview, they shared how they have embraced their family’s legacy of service in their own ways. Scott, Amie and their children Justice (16) and Liberty Grayce (10) are a veteran family living in Louisiana. Through their 17 years of service with the National Guard, the family has experienced the roller coaster of military life that many military families understand. Gone for 18 months just days after the birth of his son, Scott served in a combat role during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). During his duties, he suffered an injury to his knee and then later was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that continues to impact the family.

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Through it all, Scott’s family continues to support him as he deals with the aftermath of combat and military service. What would you want the civilian community to understand about what it means to be part of a veteran family? - The oath never dies. Scott, “When I took that oath 20 some odd years ago, I never knew until I went overseas and fought for my country that the oath never dies. Our love for our family, our country, and God are top of our minds. And we’re different.” The family also demonstrates this sentiment through their continued commitment to service within their community. The whole family is driven to continue their service. With several hurricanes impacting their community, there is a lot to be done and they chip in wherever and whenever possible. Liberty, “I like to donate to food banks, or make Christmas boxes, or do anything like that because I know we are not the only ones. We don’t have a lot, but they don’t have as much as we do. It makes me feel good when I do it.”

Liberty is also involved with 4-H Club and Be Strong. The opportunities to give back continues to instill a sense of purpose, not only for Scott, but for everyone in the family. What differences do you see in your kids that you attribute to the military aspect of your family? - Military kids are different from their peers, they must be resilient. Amie, “We’ve always tried to instill in our kids to just to do what is right. That is kind of the motto that we live by -- just do what’s right. Even though we were not fulltime military, the kids are just as resilient, and they have a different mindset. They see what Scott goes through, they pick up on his mannerisms, and they jump in to help when needed.” - Children of wounded warriors often take on more responsibility than their average peer. Liberty and Justice have stepped up to help take care of the family by jumping into roles beyond their years and finding ways to cope with their father’s invisible wounds. Nearly 50% of their peers who attend Camp Corral also have a parent coping with PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In addition, more than 30% of all Camp Corral participants take on caregiving responsibilities in their home. They help their parents with household chores, make sure they are managing their medications, assist with mobility and so much more. The children in these families are vital and productive members offering support. Liberty, “I help around the house and make sure my dad takes his medicine, so he isn’t angry. It’s a challenge trying not to scream at the person who is screaming. I work really hard to control my emotions.” Amie, “Justice had to write a letter for Scott’s PTSD hearing. For a child, having to write such a testimony for a parent is tough.” Scott, “Our kids are different. After my son was born, I was able to see him for a few days before I left for Iraq. When I came home 18 months later, he was too young to really know the difference. Thank God for that. As the oldest he has had to endure the worst of it. I regret it, but I think he understands. At least I hope he understands what was going on with me. My son has had to endure some rough times with me.”

Justice, “It’s different, but it’s not a challenge. I don’t know anything different other than having to deal with anger issues” Justice sums it up well, “For the children of wounded warriors, this is just what you do – all of this is a normal part of life.” Either way, these added stressors and responsibilities are not easy and these kids need additional support. Justice learned to cope through music, playing the drums as an outlet for stress. As a community, we must give them the opportunity to better understand their parent’s injury, provide avenues to learn positive coping skills, allow them to take time for respite, and provide connections with peers who can better relate and support them. What advice do you have for families just starting down this road? - Seek out programs to support your family. Amie, ‘It was only within the last couple years that we have found out about programs like Camp Corral. I wish we would have known about programs like this ten years ago. They made such a difference in our lives and for our kids. I wish we would have known about more military programs…I think it would have been such a great help” Military families are strong, and often only have each other for support. With the resources and support of programs like Camp Corral, they can continue to work through the ever-evolving challenges of life. Children of wounded warriors benefit from the opportunity for peer-connections and respite. They serve as essential and contributing members of their families but are often left out of services that could make a great deal of long-term impact. It is critical to understand that military families, especially those living with the wounds of war, thrive when given the opportunity to take respite away from daily stressors. Social connections and the benefit of a community support is therapeutic for most of us; however, military children, veterans, and their families rely heavily on the emotional and social support of others who can relate with their challenges and celebrate their successes. We are honored to share one family’s story as a highlight of the veteran community. Camp Corral is a 501c3, serving children of wounded, ill, injured, and fallen military heroes. To learn more, visit / DECEMBER 2020


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

HOLIDAY VISITATION SCHEDULES Getting into the Spirit of Cooperation

Some people find that they are capable of effectively coparenting as best friends. Other find themselves in a high conflict situation with their former partner. Some parents live close together while other lives across states. It is imperative to remember that no matter what situation you find yourself in, it is important for your children to develop and experience holiday traditions with both of their parents and their extended families. Below are some typical holiday timeshare arrangements that may work for your family depending on your geographic relationship to the other parent, work schedule, how amicable you are as co-parents, and other circumstances:

The holidays are approaching fast and while many are in a festive spirit, this can be a stressful time for some. If you are going through a separation or divorce, that stress multiplies. One of the biggest issues for divorcing people with children is custody and visitation. This can become exponentially more contentious during the holidays. When most people who are going through a separation or divorce think about custody and visitation, they think about the routine schedule for each week. But forgetting to consider the holiday schedule is a big mistake, as it can lead to unnecessary and costly disputes with your ex. Creating a well thought out holiday visitation schedule that maintains a certain level of flexibility can help both you, your children, and your former partner or spouse enjoy the holidays without any added stress. You may not only want to address the major holidays but additional breaks as well such as President’s Day, Memorial Day, or Spring Break. What are some holiday schedules that work? Every family and former partner or spouse have different dynamics. 34 / DECEMBER 2020

- Alternate the holidays in odd and even numbered year: for example, one parent gets Thanksgiving in even numbered years while the other parent gets Christmas. In odd numbered years the schedule would reverse. This schedule is the most common schedule and may be best if you live far form the other parent or if either parent wishes to travel during the holidays to see family. - Split each holiday evenly: both parents get a set number of hours on the holiday. For example, one parent has the child for the morning hours on Christmas while the other parent gets the child for the evening hours. You may find this schedule appealing if you live close to the other parent and you both want to experience your holiday traditions with your child every year. - Share some holidays together: if you find that you and the other coparent are very amicable, you may consider sharing some holidays together. For example, you both spend Halloween trick or treating with your child together or you both spend Christmas morning at one of your homes with your child opening presents. - Alternate, split, and share different holidays: depending on your dynamics with the other parent and your individual circumstances, you could consider alternating some holidays while splitting or sharing others.

Whichever schedule you think may be a good fit for your situation, be open and flexible, as life can throw you curveballs. It is very common that holiday visitation schedules must be adjusted over time as circumstances change. Someone may move away or get a new job that effects the schedule. You may agree to a certain holiday visitation schedule based on your child’s age and find as they get older, another schedule is more appropriate.

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What happens if your regular parenting time falls on a holiday? If the holiday falls on your parenting time, it is important to understand that the holiday schedule takes precedence over the regular parenting schedule. If your normal parenting time falls on Christmas, for example, and it is the other parent’s year to have the holiday, you will lose that time. It can be frustrating to the parent whose normal visitation time is being impacted by the holiday time. However, you should be mindful that the other parent will also have their parenting time negatively impacted as well at some point. The most important thing to remember is that you are both fostering the other parent’s relationship with your child by giving them the opportunity to experience the holidays with both of you. As you head into the holidays, here are some final thoughts on coparenting to get you through the season without issue. Plan ahead and communicate with the other parent if you don’t have a visitation schedule in place. Be flexible, considerate, and foster the other parent’s relationship. If it’s your holiday with your child, let them Facetime or Skype with the other parent. Don’t make gift giving a competition. Work together when you can; it benefits both you and your children.

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Happy Holidays and Happy Coparenting….

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

Legal Experts with Humanity / DECEMBER 2020



WOUNDS WE CANNOT SEE Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not always allow the affected to seek help. Lend a hand and provide them with methods of help, listen and be a friend.


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

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The colors of gratitude

36 / DECEMBER 2020



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



38 / DECEMBER 2020 / DECEMBER 2020


WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Kristin Hennessey

5 GIFTS For YOU this Holiday Season Transitioning is difficult no matter what season it is. In the spirit of the holidays, it’s easy to focus on giving gifts to others. The TV networks, holiday movies and stores are all focused on gifts for others. Embracing the joy of giving to others is part of the spirit, however it’s easy to forget the simple, yet important GIFTS you can give to yourself. A Great resume, Interview practice, Forming a network, Taking a course and Strengths assessments are gifts to yourself that will help you be more prepared and confident during transition. Gift 1: A Great resume The transition stories profiled in each month’s article have a common theme. “How can I create a relevant resume when I have no corporate experience?” Remember, your military experience IS a gift and is extremely relevant! Position it to your advantage. Aside from transferable skills, your experience can clearly show that you’re a team player, disciplined, and learn quickly. These are skills that aren’t “teachable” and are invaluable to employers. Starting a resume from scratch can be overwhelming. Luckily there are plenty of free resources to help. Some examples of Veteran resume resources include Hiring Our Heroes, Vets Beyond the Uniform and These resources, among many others, will help you translate your experience into accomplishments that resonate and speak directly to hiring managers. Gift 2: Interview practice Interview questions can be overwhelming. You want to be relatable and succinct, but it can be hard to do that off the cuff. It’s easy to ramble and forget the purpose of the question. Interviewers can quickly lose confidence if they don’t get a clear answer. Sometimes you’re asked questions rather abruptly or awkwardly, and it can be really tough to answer clearly and confidently. Here’s where a simple format will allow you to be a STAR:

If you are asked to give an example of how you dealt with conflict, or lead a team, or were faced with a difficult decision, following the STAR method will keep you on track. STAR is an acronym for “Situation, Task, Action, Result.” In practice, the answer format goes as follows: Open with a brief situation of the environment you’re about to explain. Next, state the task you needed to accomplish. Then, the specific action you took to accomplish this task. Finally, state the result in a way that shows a quantitative or qualitative measurement of your accomplishment. This may seem contrived, but it’s a great way to keep your answers succinct and relevant so the interviewer follows your story and hears your “result” as the last, memorable part of your answer. Before you go into any interview, jot down all of the interview questions that you think would be asked that relate to the job description. For each one, have a few different scenarios written down in the STAR format that tie back to that question. Keep practicing your answers. Practice in front of a mirror, record yourself answering them, or ask a friend to be a mock-interviewer. The more you practice and can confidently answer your own experiences in a succinct way, the more comfortable and prepared you’ll be for the interview. Gift 3: Forming a Network One of the most common responses to what Veterans miss most about being in the service is the camaraderie. Transitioning out into civilian life feels like you’ve lost your network and support group. It’s natural to fear feeling completely out of place in an office job or starting over with younger, unmotivated students getting a college degree. It can be very isolating to feel that suddenly, no one really “gets you.” Form a network. It sounds overwhelming, but it isn’t. Take one step at a time - join one group. Meet one person. You’ll be surprised how fast that network expands. So how does that work in practice? Here are a few examples: Dave Grundies

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Almost any college or educational program has a Student Veterans Organization. Most Employers have something similar called an Employee Resource Group for Veterans to help attract and retain Veteran employees. Just being around others with a similar background will help you feel in your element. Talk to others, hear their experiences, ask questions. Outside of those, there are more than 45,000 nonprofits that exist in the U.S. to provide services to Veterans. Not sure where to start? Find a local Veteran group on Facebook or ask someone at your place of worship. If you’re not ready to be networking “in-person” due to COVID or just aren’t mentally ready, starting online and chatting there is a great start. Gift 4: Take a course or free online class The gift of learning new skills is enlightening! It’s easy to get bogged down in what we already know and trying to apply that to job postings or life can be frustrating. When you’re thinking about your next opportunity or career move, it can be demotivating to see required skills that you don’t already possess. But, in this time of COVID and the online era, there are many ways to expand your skill set on your own. Not only will you likely learn something new, but you’ll be able to speak to it in interviews to show how you’re proactively staying current on new trends or technologies. Maybe you’re not sure what you are interested in, and that’s OK. There’s no downside to trying a few free online classes to find out before you get too far down a job search in a particular category. offers 200 free online courses to veterans. Gift 5: Strengths Assessment According to the Veterans’ Employment Challenges study, 69% of veterans indicated finding a job the greatest challenge they face during transition. There are many factors that contribute to this, but a top factor is the concern that the skills learned in the military do not directly translate to specific job skills. It’s time to debunk this concern. First, the skills you acquired in the service are invaluable. The skills most often cited by veterans include a strong work ethic, discipline, teamwork, leadership, management, mental toughness, and adaptation to challenges. These are often the most important qualities an employer is looking for and can be the most difficult to find in a candidate.

Now, think about your own experience. Think about the positions you held in the military and what you achieved. Write those achievements down. Let’s say you had a military logistics background. You have hands-on experience moving troops and thousands of pounds of supplies to different locations. That’s honorable in and of itself, but also extremely relatable to say, a supply chain role at a corporation. Also think about what you really enjoy doing as well as what you don’t enjoy doing. If what you really enjoy doing requires taking a few steps back to develop new skills, that’s okay too. If you’re struggling to identify what exactly your strengths are, there are many free online tools to help you. The DISC assessment is a free online personality indicator widely used by corporations to improve management, communication and productivity. DiSC is an acronym that stands for the four main personality profiles: (D)ominance, (i)nfluence, (S)teadiness and (C) onscientiousness. Just taking a few minutes on your own to discover your personality profile can help you better assess your strengths and self-awareness. Happy Holidays! Sometimes just taking the first step towards gifting yourself with starting something new is the hardest part of the process. We hope these ideas and resources help make that first step a little easier.

Finding a job in the civilian world may seem easy at first. After all, you have learned skills, practiced leadership and demonstrated initiative that will make you successful wherever you go. The reality, though, is that it can be difficult. In fact, it can be down right depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned. The What’s Next column is dedicated to you and to helping you succeed in your transition. If you need help with your career transition, you can connect with Eve at LinkedIn. For advice, tips and programs you can read Eve’s monthly column at San Diego Veterans Magazine. What’s Next – Transition columns available at: / DECEMBER 2020


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

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


SDVM Spotlight

“We can rebuild America’s advanced

manufacturing workforce together; Workshops for Warriors will teach you how.” - Keshia Javis-Jones

To my fellow veterans and those that are in transition, I am writing this to you so that you know you are not alone. Taking off the uniform is not easy. The civilian world is hard to navigate, but there are so many amazing opportunities available to you. I want to share my story and one organization that is there to support you in finding a sustainable career while still serving the Nation without combat boots on. I was inspired to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps by my grandfather, an Army veteran who served honorably in WWII. I served for a total of 10 years, completing two combat tours – Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom – and was honored to have held the titles of Funeral Honors Coordinator, Female Search Team Advisor, and USMC Toys for Tots Coordinator. When the time came to leave active duty I was a single mother, and despite all of the great skills and experience I gained during my time in the Marine Corps, I ended up working low-paying administrative jobs that lacked purpose. Supporting a family on minimum wage is daunting, and I discovered how challenging transitioning can really be.

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Living the struggle first-hand, I was determined to help my brothers and sisters in arms through their experience leaving the service. We all deserve a better transition and career path. Three years ago, I had the honor to join the admissions team at Workshops for Warriors, a San Diego-based nonprofit that trains, certifies and helps place veterans and transitioning service members into advanced manufacturing careers. As Administrative Director of Education Programs, my staff and I are directly responsible for admissions and employment skills. Workshops for Warriors’ talented team is made of driven and mission-focused veterans who dedicate themselves daily to providing veterans and transitioning service members with skills and credentials that lead to life-changing careers all over our Nation – in just four months. It starts when you apply for our Welding or CNC Machining programs on our website ( and you have your first call with our admissions team. Like our Founder & CEO, Hernán Luis y Prado, a Navy combat veteran, you quickly realize that the people at Workshops for Warriors genuinely want to help.

We are all committed to getting you to the finish line where you will find yourself with nationally-recognized certifications and job offers that average $60,000* per year plus benefits. All of this in four intense months that only those who have served could conquer! The comradery you felt in the military thrives in our halls. The health and welfare of our students and their families is of utmost importance to us. If there is a challenge you face that might stop you from participating, please give us a call. We want to work with you to adapt and overcome any obstacles that may get in the way of your path to success. Every day, I am proud to see us deliver on the big promises we make to our students. As I write this, more than 750 graduates are working in every state of our Nation. We can rebuild America’s advanced manufacturing workforce together; Workshops for Warriors will teach you how.


I look forward to the prospect of meeting you, assisting you in your admissions steps and boasting about your accomplishments. Respectfully, Keshia Javis-Jones Marine Corps Veteran Administrative Director of Education Programs Workshops for Warriors Read some student stories and see videos about our program on our website at:

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

Workshops for Warriors provides veterans and transitioning service members with handson training and nationally-recognized credentials in CNC machining, CAD/CAM programming, and welding. Call us at (619) 550-1620. / DECEMBER 2020


HUMAN RESOURCES Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

Having a Successful and Healthy 2021 Mindset


Success & Health 2020 sounded so hopeful back in 2019. It was an even number and a cool sounding year, and it was even associated with the famous ABC News primetime news magazine of the same name. For most of us stateside, however, the fun ended pretty quickly when COVID-19 became part of our vocabularies that winter. Before too long, we realized it was a global pandemic, affecting our service men and women overseas as well. Looking back on the lessons learned as well as forward to a vaccine that will put this behind us hopefully soon, there are a number of business lessons that may provide some solace and give us renewed hope as we prepare to enter 2021.


First, a premise to guide this article: Our society generally has lost the ability to sit around the campfire and tell stories, passing down the wisdom of the elders to the younger generation. Resist that. Appreciate the importance of one 1-on-1 and group communication. Early last century, silent movies got in the way and jealously stole our attention. Before too long, network television made its way onto the scene (broadcasting), followed by cable TV (narrow casting), and ultimately social media (mono-casting) stole our time. 46 / DECEMBER 2020

But we can’t lose touch with those around us, and we should work hard at ensuring that we’re in connection, listening actively, and demonstrating that we care through our participation with others. That goes for military, business, and most importantly, family. The isolation from the global pandemic has created a newfound appreciation for social “otherness,” and we’ll benefit tremendously as a society if we focus on making this part of who we are and what we stand for. Second, what the United States remains best recognized for is innovation. That’s been the case since World War II and remains our greatest contribution to the planet. Innovation and creativity are on steroids right now, demonstrating a trajectory in response to the pandemic that’s changing the world around us. Think about it: Most of us never heard of Zoom before last spring, and now many of us live in that software ecosystem. It’s not only permitting work-from-home as a viable alternative to driving into the office every day, but it’s likewise creating opportunities for remote family get-togethers, a platform for international conferences, and a tool to make the world so much smaller and closer. We’ll continue to lead the world in Zoom-like innovation, and life will come much easier to those who embrace and welcome change rather than resist it. Third, demographics is destiny. While the Baby Boom (i.e., those born between 1946 and 1964) took the world by storm with its 77 million newborns, the Millennial / Gen-Y (1981-1996) and Gen-Z (1997-2010) cohorts will together top 90 million. As a generational influence, their goals appear to be fairly steady and consistent: good corporate citizenship, a diverse and equitable workplace, and a focus on the environment. Study this cohort, which includes many of you: It’s where the future lies for marketing, sales, operations, finance, IT, and human resources. Finally, find your mantras and stick with them. The changes coming our way, thanks in part to innovation, will appear to come faster than you can sometimes handle. Get out of the weeds and fly up to the 30,000foot level in your mind so you can see the goings-on below more objectively and dispassionately. Raise your awareness of who you and who you choose to be relative to the challenges before you, and remember. . .

• What you want for yourself, give to another • Change your perspective and you’ll change your perception • Each to his own without judgment • When in doubt, err on the side of compassion • Teach what you choose to learn If you’re getting the sense that a spiritual mindset has a place in the business world, you would be correct. You can be a good, moral, and ethical person and have a completely successful career. Whoever told you that the business world consists of sharks was wrong: people respect competence, but they more importantly respect integrity. Whether you’re remaining in the military or preparing to transition into the private sector, remember these simple truths. Make of your life a gift. Put others’ needs ahead of your own and expect them to respond in kind. And life is for giving, not for getting. Embrace these truths, no matter which path your future follows, and you’ll be walking with masters. Communication, community, and peace of mind represent the highest forms of living and experiencing what this planet has to offer. Go ahead—be the first domino. You set the example for everyone else to follow. That’s what successful leadership is all about. And employ these simple wisdoms to welcome a new year that holds tremendous potential but that will likewise be fraught with peril, both external and selfmade. The world is waiting for you. And I have no doubt that you’ll rise to the occasion. For more information, the best book I can recommend is Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. Find your inner peace now. The business world thrives on good, selfless, leaders, just as the military does. Know that you’re in good company and that you touch more lives than you could ever imagine. I may be a business executive and a business author, but the core of my writing and my message always stems from sharing and passing on spiritual wisdom. Happy Holidays and thank you for your service to our great nation. Your military career choice and selflessness already place you into a position of power and influence. The greatest part is that the best is yet to come.

Paul Falcone ( is a human resources executive and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development. / DECEMBER 2020



Tips for Working from Home Successfully There was a time when working from home was a pipe dream. No office to drive to. Refrigerator close at hand. Nap whenever you like. Ah-h-h…in fact, that may be one of the major reasons to start your own business. Many years ago, my assistant turned to me and said “you know, you could save $1000 a month if you started working from home. Duh. That was a motivator. Now everybody is doing it, and in many ways that has made it easier. As usual, the internet supplies whatever you need, even if you didn’t know you needed it. Office supply deliveries and come to mind. If you’re not an organized person (let’s call it “spontaneous”) or easily distracted (that would be me) working from home can present some challenges. Kids, dogs, domestic partners…they respect no boundaries. Really, I do want to talk about the faucet valve that blew out while I’m adding up that list of figures. How is it that pets can scream pick me up, pick me up, pick me up without uttering a word? It’s the greatest working arrangement you could hope for. It can work if you take charge of it. A Few Tips to Make You a Successful Home Bound CEO 1. Routine is Your Friend. Start at the same time every day, in the same way. Hanging out in the bed can be addictive, getting worse the more often you do it. Want to go to the coffee shop every day first, fine. Build into your routine. 2. Get Dressed. You don’t have to dress up like you would at an office, but wearing nice, comfortable clothes have the odd effect of making you feel ready to work. 3. Know When to Quit. Just one more thing to do. One more email to answer. You look up and you’ve been working for 10 hours. This is not good for your inner clock or the dog. 4. Turn to the Internet for Help. Apps are around that can help you in real-time in a variety of ways. Rescuetime. com for instance helps to track your activities automatically. 48 / DECEMBER 2020

It also has an internal ability you set up to avoid distractions called Focus Time, interfacing with Google, Calendar, and Outlook with team working abilities. Reports on your productivity abound. Fortunately, you don’t have to report that to the Boss, because you are the Boss. 5. Create Boundaries. If you have a door shut it. You probably have seen video of a very important person on a Zoom call and an adorable, but terribly distracting tot wanders in. If you don’t have a door, tell everyone a hammer will fall if they approach without permission, or during certain times. Mention Darth Vader. Be strict and you will benefit. 6. Declutter. Visual distractions can be, well, distracting. Make it look like an office, not a space carved out of your kitchen where the dishes, food, and reminders of what you need to cook for dinner grab your eye. 7. Consider the Lighting. Natural light through the windows can be wonderful, but it can cause glare on your computer screen. You might think the view is delicious, but if you’re really working, you will never look at it. Try pulling the blinds and flipping on the light switch. Table lamps and desk lamps can provide the focus you might like. 8. Focus, Focus, Focus. Working from home can blur the lines between work and home stuff. If you’re disciplined

and can tune out distractions, working from home could be great for you. Know yourself. If you can’t focus, rent a closet in a business co-working space where you actually need to get in the car and drive somewhere.

Starting a Business as a Veteran?

9. Remove Social Media from Your Toolbar. Social Media is designed to interrupt you and seduce you into focusing on it. There have been studies on how social media is fracturing our ability to concentrate leading to wasted time. DON’T SURRENDER TO IT. 10. Take Scheduled Breaks. Sitting is the new smoking. Get up from that tyrannical screen, off that chair and give yourself adequate free time during the day. Walk away from the phone. Take a lunch break. You will be more creative if you do. Build in two 15-minute breaks to get off your bootie. Your spine will thank you.

“Sitting is the New Smoking” 11. Find an Enforcer. SmartBreak helps prevent eye strain and mental stress by reminding and enforcing you to take regular breaks. Unlike similar reminder tools which prompt you to take breaks at fixed intervals, SmartBreak actively analyses the way you spend time on your computer and then prompts you to rest at the appropriate time. Free at

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.

12. Buy the Best Office Chair You Can Afford. Consider an adjustable standing desk or one that converts your current desk to a standing option. Users find it amazingly energizing, and report stronger leg muscles, better digestion, weight loss, and back pain reduction, and better sex (I made that up). Having the option to go from sitting to standing while at work is a great way to add more exercise into your daily routine, too. If you must sit all the time, investing is a great chair is worth it.

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

13. Leave the Building. Loneliness, disconnect, and isolation are common problems in remote work life. A trip to the grocery store, Home Depot, or the pet store where you can talk to strangers, even for a few minutes, can refresh you and bring out your creativity. The dog park is a good way to meet and talk at length to strangers because people love to talk about their dogs. Or check out a local “Cat Café,” where you can experience the pleasure of petting a kitty and leave without kitty litter concerns.

If you or someone you know is a veteran looking to start a business, please feel free to contact Vicki Garcia.

Research is showing that many businesses will find it more economical to turn employees into “freelancers” working from home. Get ahead of the curve by getting comfortable working from home.

“The strength and power of veteran entrepreneurs comes from other veteran entrepreneurs” Unlike most highly competitive entrepreneurial environments, veteran entrepreneurs share information much more easily.

Enlisted To Entrepreneur Column available 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 one-on-one mentoring at Join the California Veterans Chamber of Commerce for FREE at Email Vicki with column ideas at / DECEMBER 2020


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“The Invaluable Values that Veterans Convey into the Job Place” By Brianne Houck While military service can be, undoubtedly, demanding and require an inordinate amount of sacrifice; there certainly are benefits to serving in one of the branches of the United States Armed Forces - one of them being the universally-applicable attributes that are acquired. These attributes, which will be explicated further, are very desirable in a potential employee, as one can already imagine. For that reason (and others), many employers want to hire Veterans to be part of their workforce. Consequently, the Veteran unemployment rate in the United States perpetually decreased through 2019 amongst more than a decade prior in comparison (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020). In fact, per the U.S. Department of Labor (2020), 2019 had the lowest Veteran unemployment rate (3.1%) since the year 2000. Furthermore, despite 2020 being a year of precariousness and transition in the job market; many employers continue to have an affinity for hiring Veterans. So what are those valuable characteristics that Veterans will “bring to the table” in a civilian organization to assuredly bolster its performance?

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Below is a glimpse of just several of the reasons. First and foremost, Veterans are inarguably disciplined, as they had to be as a basic requirement for military service. From the first day of boot camp, service members are taught to not move (along with almost everything else perhaps with the exception of breathing) without command; to organize and maintain their barracks room in a particular manner; and to always appear in a pristine uniform with attention right down to every minute detail in how that uniform should appear (to maintain just that: the uniformity of the unit in appearance). And, this is just the beginning. Boot camp and the formative portion of military service really serve as an indoctrination for laying the foundation for what will be needed for the future, and part of the basis of that is discipline. This translates to a civilian job in that a former service member is going to pay very close attention to the details in what they need to do to get the job done and be meticulous, yet efficient about it. Furthermore, no one knows the criticality of punctuality quite like a Veteran. As many former service members can attest: To be early is to be on-time and to be on-time is to be late, as per military standards. To a civilian, the scrupulous attention to detail and high standards can almost seem pedantic; however, they impart the discipline that will be needed for that service member, which then, henceforth, follows them even after departure from military service.

A second added value that Veterans bring to the civilian job arena is that of teamwork and unit cohesion. Service members are taught, again very early on, that they look out for their team members always. This is what the commonly-known expression “got your six” implies and embodies. As corroborated by such publications as the Washington Examiner, the origin of that metaphor derives from World War I fighter pilots in which the rear of the plane (the most vulnerable position for attack) correlates to the six o’clock position; hence, “got your six” has become an omnipresent expression throughout the military to mean “I got your back” (Wenstrup, 2019). The reason teamwork is crucial (as current and former service members know) is that a team can be the difference between life and death, as well as the mission being a success or a failure – the stakes are high to say the least. Thus, Veterans know the value of a team in accomplishing even a workplace “mission” and gives that entity its due respect.

Transitioning out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce?

Finally, Veterans carry with them from their time in service an inborn integrity. To reiterate - due to the tendency of stakes being high in a military environment, a service member has to be able to unequivocally trust their unit mates regardless of the situation. To have built that level of trust, a service member has to be honest and all-around ethical. This is not to imply that every person who has ever served was/is infallible from an ethical perspective, but certainly integrity is indispensable right from the inception of military service. It, like discipline, provides a crucial framework from which specific skills will then build from. This unwavering integrity is then carried with Veterans into the civilian career environment. With just the aforementioned characteristics, one could easily ascertain the exceptional values (in addition to skills) that Veterans could add to a workplace. Hopefully, this continues to inspire even more businesses to incorporate transitioning Veterans into their workforce. As they have unique values to add to a workplace; a business can in turn give back to the men and women who have served by helping them transition to their next “mission” in a civilian job role.

Finding a job in the civilian world may seem easy at first. After all, you have learned skills, practiced leadership and demonstrated initiative that will make you successful wherever you go. The reality, though, is that it can be difficult. In fact, it can be downright depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned. Veterans In Transition is dedicated to you and to helping you succeed in your transition. For editorial & monthly columns regarding transitioning to business, career advice, tips, workshops, transition to education, entrepreneurship, straight-forward legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners and more visit



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


Businesses bolted into 2020 with firm plans and optimistic outlooks. All that evaporated by mid-March as the focus turned from thriving to surviving for most companies. Now, as this turbulent year enters its final months, a new question lies just over the horizon. What will 2021 bring? The simple answer is: what will you do to grab 2021 by the pearls and own it? There is one way you can win in 2021 and that is becoming your own boss. Knowing you can’t get laid off during hard times and knowing yours and your family’s future is your hands can be a win in 2021. Here’s a great question to ask yourself: Are you the one who always desired to start a business, but struggled in articulating a perfect business idea? Well, if you want to become an entrepreneur, you need to have a great business idea to start with. Choosing the one business idea which suits your lifestyle and has room for growth is a tough decision. Nowadays, and especially during this global pandemic, online business is the most appealing kind of business. It is so powerful that it lets you reach anywhere to anyone across the world. It is the trendiest way of connecting online with the right customers at the right time. Considering the boons of digital advancements, the following is the list of the ideas for starting small businesses. FREELANCE WRITING, DESIGNING, OR DEVELOPING The idea of starting a business in the field of writing, designing, and developing completely depends on the 54 / DECEMBER 2020

talent of the individuals. People can utilize their skills in helping people across the world with their projects. Freelancing means, you don’t have to commit yourself to long-term projects instead you can work as per your free time. So, you can easily select something which suits your schedule. In freelancing people get to work on whatever project they want, and they can set time for projects as per their schedule. In freelancing, you get paid for what you are good at. It helps in building up your portfolio and attaining experience in different kinds of industries. BLOGGING One of the trendiest small business ideas is to start your blog. You can make enough money by hosting third party ads, selling your product, posting sponsored posts, etc. The only thing that is crucial for a successful blog is to have an engaged and loyal audience. You have to adopt an audience-centric approach where your audience trusts you with everything you post. This trust will help you earn maximum revenues. This field has unlimited growth potential. You can expand your business with eCommerce, marketing, and other business venture related ideas. It is a long-term business as the internet will only grow in the future. So, this business is more sustainable. ONLINE TEACHING COURSE Online teaching course is another option that requires less investment and also generates higher income. For this, one just needs to have thorough knowledge about the subject and a personal website or a channel. Online teaching may require extra efforts of designing a website and then creating high-quality video tutorial series but the income that it generates is worth putting extra efforts into. In an online teaching course, you not only teach for the sake of good returns, but it is a way of helping others which gives a satisfying experience itself. You don’t have to put extra effort into learning something new. You just share what you already know. You just have to pay attention to build your site or app, create budgets, and run a campaign. VIRTUAL ASSISTANT Are you someone who loves to work behind the scenes? Then working as a virtual assistant is the best option for you. The job of a virtual assistant is to help the entrepreneurs, executives, and business owners to organize both their personal and professional lives.

They perform a broad range of duties which begins from scheduling appointments to marketing management. They perform all these activities online. You can work with your ideal client, get to interact with a lot of people, and grow your business into the networks of virtual assistants.


VIRTUAL ASSISTANT Are you someone who loves to work behind the scenes? Then working as a virtual assistant is the best option for you. The job of a virtual assistant is to help the entrepreneurs, executives, and business owners to organize both their personal and professional lives. They perform a broad range of duties which begins from scheduling appointments to marketing management. They perform all these activities online. You can work with your ideal client, get to interact with a lot of people, and grow your business into the networks of virtual assistants. APPS AND WEBSITE BUILDING For those who are tech-savvy and have required coding skills, the best business idea for you would be apps or website building. You can create mobile apps or websites for the sale of products and services. Technology is something that will always grow and the demand for people possessing such technical skills will also grow. PODCAST Launching a podcast is also a great business idea. I have one, called Go Legal Yourself Podcast and it was just ranked in the top 20 law podcasts. One just requires a high-quality microphone, audio recording software, and call recording software and you can start your own podcast show. These days’ podcasts are gaining immense popularity. Many people are sharing their thoughts and views about various topics using podcasts and listeners are enjoying it. So, the podcast brings endless opportunities if you have something really exciting to share. These are the business ideas that people can consider for the commencement of their own business. Whatever business idea you choose, you can set yourself up for success in 2021. Merry Christmas and Here’s to a great 2021. Cheers!

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Veterans Chamber of Commerce By Joseph Molina

2021 PLANNING AHEAD Financing Options to Start a Business The financial aspect of starting a business can be a bit challenging if you don’t know how to go about it. One thing every business owner can agree on regardless of the type of business is that money for start-up or expansion is usually a constraint. However, in this post we will look at 5 financing options to start (or grow) your business and what you should know about them. 1. Bank loans Although, the availability of loans from banks for business have become a bit scarce and the standards quite tight, financial institutions (Traditional Lenders) still offer additional funding for small businesses. Not all banks are the same: Every bank has its own criteria and what they will lend to. Large banks are a great match for large start-ups as they usually prefer businesses who need larger amounts and most likely the bank is going to ask for Collateral. Meet with several banks to see what they require before applying.

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2. Crowdfunding There are so many nice and effective crowding sites out there. Using one of them like can be a fun and exciting option to finance your small-scale business. You must set some goals and plan on how you want to raise the money before you get your family and friends to start pledging. Timing is very important for guidance. You can decide to raise $1000 within 30 days. Crowdfunding has been used to fund thousands of projects including documentaries, audio albums, and so on. This is not a long-term financing option, it’s best for a one-time project or capital to get your relatively low-cost business running. Some business owners may decide to offer incentives to motivate people to pledge. These incentives range from free tickets to shows, free books, free products, and so on, depending on the type of business. There is no long-term return on investment for pledgers, yet, this doesn’t deter people. If you are looking to start a relatively low-cost business, crowdfunding is a viable option. The key with this option is to have a clear presentation that people can emotionally and financially connect with.

3. Credit Cards Using a credit card to finance your business is risky for many reasons. Ideally, you are meant to pay back at a particular period but contingencies play their part and you find out that you are either behind schedule or unable to pay completely, which only means two things: you credit card score gets whacked, or you create a hole you will have difficulties getting out of. If you need to use this option, make sure payments are below 50% of what you can afford to make on monthly payments and only use less than 50% of the awarded Credit Limit * Avoid getting Cash advances on credit cards, the interest rates are to the roof!!! Credit cards are helpful when used wisely. They can deliver you during occasional hitches and jams in your business and can also be used to buffer cash flow, but Avoid this option as a Long Term strategy.

• Acquire some experience. Grey hairs are still respected especially by investors who are looking to back you. Knowing you have some experience on your management team will help alleviate their concerns about your ability to handle tough situations. Investors want to know their money are in trusted hands, so having an experienced member on your team will go a long way to convince. • Be thorough. It’s not enough to have an effective business plan on paper alone, you must know your stuff. That includes market assessment, solid sales plan, competitive analysis, and so on. • Stay in touch. An angel may not appear very interested in your business for one reason or the other, but this shouldn’t deter you immediately. This is mostly because they are sceptical about your lack of testimonials and a track record of success. • Community Angels (Investors) are a great option

4. Try SBA loans Recently loans granted by U.S Small Business Administration have become the ‘hotcake’ since banks grew reluctant to risk the release of money due to prevalent credit crises. SBA loans are accessible to every small business, however, to qualify for these loans, there are certain conditions you need to fulfil: • Under the law, SBA loans are not given to business that are able to obtain the money on their own. This means that the business must’ve applied to banks or investors and gotten turned down. • Another criteria is that your business must meet the U.S government specifications of a small business in the industry your business operates. This is important because the scale of your business will be decided based on standards of your industry. • Also, depending on the type or size of loan you are seeking, your business may need to satisfy some additional conditions. * Keep in mind that the SBA is Not a Lender, The SBA provides a guarantee to the bank on behalf of the Business. 5. Attract an angel investor

for Micro/Small businesses who have a buyer but lack the cash to purchase product for resell. These are not Loans rather “Revenue Sharing” opportunity. You as the business owner Do Not have to “give-up” equity of your company. This is a great way for those who are entrepreneurial/Merchant minded and can buy and sell easily. It requires NO out of pocket on your part, Credit is not an issue and there is no collateral (since it is not a loan) – This option is the best of both worlds. For a list of Community/Investors contact the Veterans Chamber –

The Veterans Chamber of Commerce Radio Show • Would you like to Nominate a Hero in your Community? Let us know and we will announce it on the show. • Would you like to share your story? Be our guest on the show.

Given the economic situation over the years the game of winning an investor has becomes a bit more complicated, however, the old rules still apply till date. Avoid jargon, be straightforward and have a clear and applicable business strategy, all these are yet powerful tips that can help you land an angel investor. Because the process has gotten a bit trickier, here are some cues that can tip the balance to your favour:

Here’s our REQUEST FORM for you to fill out and send back to us. If you have any ideas or project that you would like to see Developed by the Veterans Chamber send your idea to: Request Form - / DECEMBER 2020


How it Works:

In partnership with: 58 / DECEMBER 2020

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December 2020

The San Diego Veterans Coalition Salutes Patriot Golf Since Patriot Golf Equipment ( first started building custom golf clubs in August 2020, the company has been committed to supporting and serving veterans and their families in their community and across the nation. Locally, Patriot Golf is a veteran friendly employer looking to provide a veteran with more than just a job, but with the unique skills and experience that it takes to be a highly successful custom golf club professional. Patriot Golf’s CEO, Paul Villanueva, has worked in the custom golf club industry for the last 22 years. When he opened the doors to Patriot Golf this year, he knew that his company would be providing more than just high-quality golf equipment but an opportunity to make a significant and long-lasting impact on veterans and their families. Patriot Golf was formed by a team of golf industry professionals who wanted to do something special for our country and honor the brave men and women who serve it. Patriot Golf is a veteran friendly employer who seeks to teach and mentor veterans entering the work force and they are very proud that every club they produce is assembled right here in the U.S.A. by US Veterans.

Patriot Golf’s dedication to the veteran community has been demonstrated locally and nationally through their support of veteran events and golf tournaments. Patriot Golf is committed to assisting charity organizations in raising funds and awareness through their “United We Golf” initiative which helps to support various charity golf tournaments and special events. Patriot Golf believes that the game of golf can be used as a great platform to help unite us together and make a powerful impact in our communities and country. Most recently, the United We Golf initiative supported the inaugural San Diego County American Legion Baseball charity golf tournament on September 25th at Twin Oaks Golf Course In San Marcos. Thirty-two teams consisting of 128 golfers participated and enjoyed a beautiful COVID compliant day out on the golf course to raise funds for the 2021 American Legion baseball season. Through their extensive national network of professional and amateur golfers, Patriot Golf helped spread the word about this fundraising golf event and helped increase the events visibility, participation by veteran players, and enhanced the tournaments very successful fundraising efforts. The tournaments success would not have been possible without the support of organizations like Patriot Golf. Through their support and donations, the American Legion will be able to field 28 high school teams playing elite level baseball at no cost to the players or their families. The Legions “No Pay To Play” concept has promoted the benefits of youth sports, family and community values and increased participation among inner-city schools.

Patriot Golf currently has five veterans employed today. Gary Dickson - US Marines E3 - Vietnam Veteran Purple Heart Recipient Jose Cardoso - US Marines Sgt Juan Diaz - US Marines LCPL Jesus Diaz - US Marines LCPL Matthew Pentlicki - US Army E4 These veterans proudly build custom golf clubs every day at Patriot Golfs Southern California facility.

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Patriot Golf Equipment’s commitment across-theboard in supporting the veteran community on every occasion and every opportunity is saluted proudly by the San Diego Veterans Coalition. For additional information, please visit / DECEMBER 2020


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

December 2020


Here’s to the end of 2020!

I can say, for the record, I have never looked more forward to the end of a year than 2020. Last year, I broke 4 ribs, suffered through pneumonia and a Staff Infection and would still prefer to relive that year then go through a year like this... I believe it is the grinding loss of so many of the freedoms that we take for granted. Going to our favorite restaurant, seeing our friends and family and going to our place of worship have been altered or stopped outright. And the government has never been more up in your grill. Remember “14 days to get the virus under control” back in March? Eight months and counting, the virus not under control (like we ever had a shot of controlling a Pandemic). More and more egregious rules designed to ensure we interact with no one while businesses and individuals struggle to keep their heads above water. Meanwhile more and more examples of elected leaders behaving badly like the Governor having dinner with strangers at an expensive restaurant, no mask, and no social distancing. It is enough to try men’s souls (and the ladies too). By the way, if someone knows how a curfew at night keeps us safe from the ‘Rona, please e-mail me at cuz’ I don’t get it. 62 / DECEMBER 2020 A few bright spots in my memory was the people who attended the food distributions at VANC on the second Friday of each month. The last one was huge and we gave away roughly 600 turkeys to our active duty and veteran families. Our volunteers were Association members from the Legion 760, the Buffalo Soldiers, Team Rubicon, Women Marines, Team Souther, Marine corps league. augmented by The Longboard Association as well as 23 active duty marines and sailors. In total this year we have served 17,946 citizens and 85% of them were active duty. We gave away 168,805 diapers and provided 18,270 volunteer hours from April, with a few more months to go. Next one is on the second Friday of the December (12/11/20) check in at Our Golf tournament in October was a highlight. First because it was the only golf I played this year, and the opportunity to get out with a group of friends and not have to wear masks…except at the club house… and riding in the cart…and during the picture of our foursome…Really? We had fun, and we look forward to doing our golf tournament again every year. Our Veterans Emergency Financial Aid (VEFA) served 100 veterans in need when, it seemed, no one else could. We paid for hotels, utility bills, cellphones, car repairs, and related to get people to the next month. So many more people have been experiencing financial hardship as solutions fail to come from Congress. For 10 years We have worked in San Diego County in support of our active duty and veterans. Many of them have been good years; a few like 2020 not so good. But we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish. We continue to work side by side with other veteran service organizations working to make a difference in our community. For those that recognized us with awards in the County and in the State for our service to our veteran community, we thank you. We look forward to getting out there and making a difference in 2021. / DECEMBER 2020


Team Rubicon



By Bryan Prest

After the Holy Fire in late 2018 burned over 23,000

acres between Orange and Riverside counties, the subsequent winter rains brought heavy atmospheric troughs triggering dangerous flood, mud and debris flows eventually leading to a federal disaster declaration in Riverside county. A public-private relationship developed between Team Rubicon and Riverside County Emergency Management Department, Transportation Land Management Agency and the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. This collaboration allowed Team Rubicon to identify and fulfill the unmet needs of residents in the Lake Elsinore area. Without the partnership, which repeatedly cleared and restored the stream’s capacity, many more residents and homes would have been at risk. With the established relationship, Riverside County requested Team Rubicon’s assistance when they recognized a need for further flood mitigation. Still related to the nine inches of rain that fell on February 14, 2019, Team Rubicon responded to a situation ten months later and was able to respond to the situation that had developed on an absentee owner’s property that was endangering 4 homes on the reverse side of the watercourse. With the county supplying the fill material, direction and flood control expertise, Team Rubicon was able to fortify the embankments and eliminate the threat to local homeowners in a three-day project using heavy equipment and chainsaw crews. On March 21, 2020, Riverside County’s Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) was asked by the California State Operations Center to respond by standing up an Emergency Operations Center to assist Riverside County in the growing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, the VOAD consisted of three active members, two of which were compromised due to CDC guidance in response to the pandemic. The remaining member, who happened to also be a Team Rubicon volunteer, responded as requested. From March 21st to May 22nd, Team Rubicon took on multiple assignments including spontaneous volunteer and clothing donation management, food distribution, and streamlining the assistance from other agencies such as American Red Cross and Salvation Army. During that time, Team Rubicon also assisted in 64 / DECEMBER 2020

300 food boxes to residents in a senior living community. From late-March to mid-April, Team Rubicon deployed two volunteers to assist the City of El Segundo in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The highly trained Team Rubicon volunteers were able to provide subject matter expertise in the Incident Command System, Incident Action Plan development, and served as the Planning Section Chief for operational periods from March 25 to April 14, 2020. This ensured personnel continuity, stabilization, and relief for the City of El Segundo All-Hazards Incident Management Team to enable effective command and coordination, completed documentation, and donated labor for nonFederal cost share for the response to COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic provided Team Rubicon new opportunities to expand the organization’s service to local communities and develop new core capabilities. From March to August 2020, Team Rubicon launched contingent supportive operations and an emergent food delivery campaign to support food banks, food pantries, and California’s Emergency Food Assistance Program with a goal of serving individuals whose lives have been impacted by the pandemic. Team Rubicon volunteers packed food boxes, delivered and served meals, and managed food points of distribution (POD). From San Diego to San Luis Obispo, traveling as far inland as Landers and Hinkley, over 350 Team Rubicon volunteers worked with 9 major food banks and 5 pantries to pack over 200,000 boxes of food, and deliver 20,000 boxes to at-risk populations. Volunteers also conducted phone bank operations, placing over 18,700 calls to recipients, and operated over 120 total days of PODs. A total of 1,000,000 pounds of food was packaged and delivered across Southern California. Beginning in May 2020, Team Rubicon partnered with Verily Life Sciences and the State of California to serve over 40 communities by providing COVID-19 testing, both at static and mobile sites. The Verily Medical Testing site located at Exposition Park, Los Angeles provided Team Rubicon the opportunity to foster trusting and working relationships with the community members and local agencies such as Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Exposition Park Department of Public Safety, and the California Office of Emergency Services. Team Rubicon volunteers greet each testing participant at the entry gate and are subsequently guided through the testing process from start-to-finish by a volunteer. Team Rubicon was well received by the Exposition Park Events Management staff, Los Angeles Football Club and Everpark staff. Setting up these testing sites also allows

Team Rubicon volunteers to focus on providing POD capabilities to local communities and determine critical workflows to ensure maximum capacity. To date, the Verily Medical testing site at Exposition Park along with an additional two sites in Bell and Van Nuys have tested over 43,000 individuals. In June 2020, Team Rubicon deployed volunteers to Idyllwild, CA in Riverside county. Named the fifth most atrisk community for a catastrophic wildfire, Team Rubicon worked with Riverside County Emergency Management Department, Cal Fire and Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council (MCFS) in conducting fire mitigation for 14 homes. Team Rubicon responded with a daily work force of 25 volunteers to create the 30’ / 100’ spacing, per accepted guidelines, and processed over 30 trailer loads of debris. Working side by side with MCFS, the Team Rubicon sawyer crews provided approximately $23,000 of volunteer labor over the 10-day project contributing to a safer community. Team Rubicon continues to grow its fire mitigation capabilities by expanding training offerings to include wildland fire home ignition classes, increasing the organization’s equipment inventory with emphasis on specialty tools focused on fire mitigation, as well as working with low-income or elderly households in order to protect whole communities such as Orange and San Diego Counties. On June 28, 2020, an urban wildfire ran through the small farming community of Niland, CA burning 32 homes and displacing over 150 people. After consulting with California Office of Emergency Services (OES) debris management teams, Imperial County officials partnered with Team Rubicon on debris removal efforts to speed up the recovery time frame from 3-6 months to 1-3 months. Team Rubicon began clearing impacted properties of debris following Imperial County’s HHW testing and abatement process. From August 2nd to 24th, Team Rubicon responded with 3 heavy equipment teams and 74 total volunteers with an average daily force of 25 people. Over the three-week period, the task force was able to demolish remaining structures, scrape the property footprint, and separate debris by concrete, metal and soils/ash/building debris and place in haul-away bins provided by Imperial County. The task force removed a total of 4,270 tons of debris and completed the project on-time with an estimated savings to the County of over $200,000. / DECEMBER 2020


This holiday season do what’s best for you and your loved ones Being away from family and friends during the holidays can be hard.

Hard choices to be apart this year may mean that you can spend many more years with your loved ones.

When you talk with your friends and family about plans, it’s ok if you decide to stay home and remain apart from others.

51 px

Doing what’s best for you includes eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep. Do what is best for your health and the health of your loved ones. This year spend time with those in your own household.

Make time to take care of your body and stay active to lessen fatigue, anxiety, and sadness. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 321172-A

66 / DECEMBER 2020

Give the gift of Independence to your for

loved ones


There is nothing more empowering than being your own boss. Start your business on the right legal foot with the right legal

Startup Essentials Package.

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

STARTING A NEW BUSINESS? NEED THE RIGHT CONTRACTS? Go Legal Yourself® provides ATTORNEY-SELECTED legal packages to eliminate the GUESSWORK, UNCERTAINTY, and LIABILITY of setting up the right business with the right documents. / DECEMBER 2020



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

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10/25/18 2:57 / DECEMBER 2020 69 PM

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

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

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Resources Support Transition HEALTH Community

SAN DIEGO San Diego Veterans Magazine A Veterans Magazine by Veterans for Veterans 72 / DECEMBER 2020


San Diego Veterans Magazine December 2020  

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

San Diego Veterans Magazine December 2020  

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

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