San Diego Veterans Magazine April 2022

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Month of the Military Child PURPLE UP! FOR MILITARY KIDS

CHILDREN ARE A PRIORITY Helping Kids Cope with Divorce

San Diego


Vol. 4 Number 4 • APRIL 2022



Strategies & Expectations

Realities of Remote Work Especially for Working Parents



“I’m happier with myself. Having been in therapy, period, has helped me be in a better place now.” Rogelio “Roger” Rodriguez, Jr US Navy (1987 – 1993) US Air Force (1993 – 2013)

PTSD treatment can turn your life around. For more information visit:

2 / APRIL 2022

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12/29/21 4:23 PM


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

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



1231 Camino Del Rio South • 619-298-9571


1066 W. Valley Pkwy • 760-741-0441





Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Jenny Lynne Stroup Real Talk: Mental Health

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

SD Vets & Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Tana Landau, Esq. Legally Speaking 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.

Joe Molina

Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby

What’s Next - Transitioning

Amber Robinson Arts & Healing

Eva Stimson Veteran Advocate

Paul Falcone

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.

Human Resources

The magazine is supported by a distinguishing list of San Diego veteran organizations, resource centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more.

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

We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. San Diego Veterans Magazine is a veterans magazine for veterans by veterans. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of San Diego Veterans Magazine.

Mike Miller Editor-In-Chief 4 / APRIL 2022

David Koontz Midway Magic

(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.

Your Children Deserve the Best of You!


INSIDE THIS ISSUE 8 Midway Magic - Volunteers are the Shining Light 10 Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans 12 Local Marine Veteran Receives Gift of Life 14 DAV - Driven to Serve 16 Shelter to Soldier Announces Partnership 19 Guide Dogs of America 20 THE MONTH OF THE MILITARY CHILD 21 Children Are A Priority 22 ASYMCA Operation Little Learners 23 Purple Up For Kids 24 Real Talk: Month of the Military Child 26 Operation Bigs 28 SD Military Family Collaborative 30 SEALKIDS 32 Camp Corral: Military Veteran Children 34 Helping Kids Cope with Divorce 36 LENS: Military Separation 39 Veterans with a Substance Use Disorder 42 HR: Realities of Remote Work 44 What’s Next: Your Next Mission 46 Life After Military Service 48 Successful Transitioning Stories 50 Veterans in Business: Masterminds 52 Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship 52 Legal Eagle: Entrepreneur Trends 56 Celebrating Kelly Bagla, Esq. 57 VANC: You Can Serve our Veterans 58 SDVC: Salutes Confidential Recovery 60 Inside the Monthly Columns / APRIL 2022



MILITARY, VETERAN AND FAMILIES ADVISORY COUNCIL As part of his efforts to improve quality of life for all San Diegans, Mayor Todd Gloria is proud to announce the formation of the Military, Veteran and Families Advisory Council with the goal of making San Diego the most welcoming city in the nation for the military, veterans and their families.

As their first formal action, the Council will provide a list of recommendations to the Mayor to help actively support the local military, veterans, and their families.

Made up of eight females and seven males, the group includes representation from each service branch, as well as The advisory council will representatives meet quarterly, review spanning the the City of San Diego’s continuum of those with current policies and lived experiences, procedures and including a transitioning propose new active duty to veteran opportunities for the status representative, City to connect, mobilize veteran small business and empower San owner, a military Diego’s Veteran and spouse, and a veteran military communities, as and military family well as their caregivers. caregiver.

Keshia Javis-Jones / APRIL 2022

Jodie Grenier

Holly Shaffner

Jack Harkins

Dixon Smith

Brittany Fuller

Ashish Yosh Kakkad

Randee McLain

Adam Heyde

Leo Tanaka

Pegah Parsi


Jim Gruny

Nina Sughrue Hutton

Cinnamon Clark

Shawn VanDiver

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—is estimated at $600,000 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 the “Donate Now” button or by check to Amphitheater Fund, c/o 6906 Miramar Road, Set C-142, San Diego, CA 92121. 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. / APRIL 2022


Volunteers are the Shining Light of the USS Midway Museum “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi How often do you hear people say how much they enjoy being part of something bigger than themselves or giving someone a helping hand? For volunteers, selflessness without any expectation of compensation not only provides them with a sense of purpose, but also comes with the satisfaction that they are making a positive difference in their community. April is National Volunteer Month, which was established in 1991 as part of President George H. W. Bush’s 1000 Points of Light campaign. “There can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others,” said President Bush. “A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. The mobilization of volunteers across the country is an essential ingredient in making life better for those who have not had a shot at the American dream or did not have the quality of life that others have had.” For those volunteering for the USS Midway Museum, their experience is two-fold – continuing to give of themselves to the country they love while sharing the historic legacy of America’s Living Symbol of Freedom with millions of visitors to the museum. “The freedoms we enjoy today did not come free,” said Jim Reily, Midway’s director of docent programs. “They were purchased at great cost by the sailors, soldiers, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who have served our country over the past 250 years. Volunteers for the Midway Museum enable us to preserve and honor the legacy of those who served, especially those who paid the ultimate price to secure those freedoms.” 8 / APRIL 2022

“Volunteering has a way of providing enrichment to others as well as yourself,” said Paul “Chappie” Ward, who has more than 5,000 volunteer hours and supports multiple museum departments including docents, exhibits, curatorial and guest services. “The investing of one’s time, talent and energy for a cause that benefits others makes a lasting impact. Volunteering stretches you as a person resulting in growth.” Midway volunteers are often referred to as the life’s blood of the museum. With more than 700 volunteers working in nearly a dozen different departments, this group, more often than not, is directly engaging with ship visitors. “Volunteering is a contribution an individual should give freely and with a true desire to help a chosen cause and society in general,” said Phil Eakin, one of Midway’s volunteer research librarians who has been with the museum since 2006. “I enjoy the research involved helping another person find out more about their loved-one’s time in the Navy. I enjoy the very emotional responses and the gratitude people express for bringing them closer to their loved ones.” People volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it’s a chance to give back to their community, while for others it’s making a difference in someone’s life or developing new friendships. For all, however, there is no anticipation of financial benefit. “The volunteer mindset is so important to the strength and well-being of our communities,” said Robin Paine, a member of Midway’s volunteer outreach team since 2012. “Volunteering on the Midway is a win-win proposition.

It provides me, as a volunteer, possibilities to learn about other cultures and points of view while having loads of joyful fun.”

“It is the important, selfless act of giving without expecting any kind of monetary gain,” said Henry Schrik, who has been a Midway volunteer for two years. “Like the other 500 docents, I enjoy telling our guests, from around the world, about the many Midway Magic stories of its more than 75 years as a warship and world-class museum.” The museum is always eager to welcome new volunteers into their ranks. Scheduling flexibility allows volunteers the options to come any day of the week. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and able to volunteer for at least six months. Military experience is not required. “Volunteerism is the backbone of this country,” said Laurie Switzer, director of volunteer programs for Midway. “Throughout American history, there is a common thread; citizens have rolled up their sleeves to help one another. We are all important in what we each can offer our community. That no matter how small, you can do something about the problems around you.” “Most volunteers enjoy giving back to the community where they live,” said Angie Ginn, a Midway docent since 2004 with more than 32,000 volunteer hours. “It is most rewarding and that is reflected in the way we welcome and help our visitors to learn about what the Midway is all about.” For those interested in becoming a USS Midway Museum volunteer, more information along with the volunteer application can be found at: www.midway.orggive-join/volunteers.

USS Midway Museum / APRIL 2022


Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans! • They flew more day and night missions, and more combat missions than any other unit in Vietnam. They flew over 78,000 missions, accumulated over 131,000 flight hours, and flew 1,530 medical evacuations. • Their actions saved countless lives! For their bravery, courage, and heroism, they were awarded medals at the highest levels - 5 Navy Crosses, 31 Silver Star Medals, 2 Legion of Merit Medals, 5 Navy and Marine Corps Medals, 219 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 156 Purple Hearts, 101 Bronze Star Medals, 142 Gallantry Crosses, over 16,000 Air Medals, and many more awards. • Their service came at a price - 44 Seawolves were killed in action and over 200 were wounded.

Photo by Gary Ely

By Holly Shaffner This fall Honor Flight San Diego will open their “Tour of Honor” flight to Vietnam veterans for the first time. Approximately 100 Vietnam veterans will travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials built for their service and sacrifice. Since 2010, Honor Flight San Diego has been taking senior veterans (currently WWII and Korea era veterans), and veterans from any era with terminal illnesses on the three-day trip. The trip is no cost to the veteran and nearly 1,500 veterans have flown from San Diego.

• Their unit was not formally recognized until 38 years after the Vietnam War. They were finally recognized by Congress in House Resolution 1228 in July 2010. The Seawolves were established to provide close air support for the Navy’s Game Warden River Patrol Force (a.k.a. Brown Water Navy) in South Vietnam to take control of the rivers. Navy helicopterpilots, skilled at antisubmarine warfare and search and rescue operations which required a similar all-weather capability which was better able to cope with this environment than their Army counterparts.

In September, history will be made as the organization starts with the Vietnam era. The organization wanted to start with an extraordinary and unique group; they selected the Navy HA(L)-3 Seawolves. If you haven’t heard of the Seawolves, they were an all-volunteer squadron in the US Navy formed in support of Naval Special Warfare operations and Mobile Riverine Forces during the Vietnam War. They served in country from July 1966 to March 1972. Here’s a few facts about the Seawolves: • They are the most decorated Navy Squadron in the Vietnam War, and in all of Naval Aviation History. • They were the only rapid reaction armed helicopter squadron ever commissioned in the U.S. Navy and only Naval Unit to be commissioned and decommissioned in country during the Vietnam War. They had no U.S. home base during the war. 10 / APRIL 2022

Photo by Anthony Rosario

When units called in “Scramble Seawolves” on the radio, they were in the air within a few minutes. HAL-3 pilots flew the heavily armed helicopters and provided rapid reaction close-air support to a host of naval craft, and often provided dedicated armed reconnaissance and fire support for Navy SEAL operations. SEAL teams went in, backed by flotillas of river patrol boats (PBRs) - SEALs and SEAWOLVES became an inseparable and dominating warrior team in areas where they were co-located. Ultimately 2,556 men - pilots, maintainers, and aircrewmen would serve as “Seawolves” in the Vietnam War.

Photos by Anthony Rosario

Seawolf door gunner Gary Ely helped the organization reveal the announcement. When the media asked him about serving in Vietnam, he said, “I was just doing my job.”

He and his brothers are already looking forward to the trip. When we asked what it means to go on his Honor Flight, he said, “Being able to stand tall with my brothers when we go back is going to be a significant part of my life.” Honor Flight San Diego will visit the National WWII, Lincoln, Korea, Air Force, and Marine Corps Memorials, Arlington National Cemetery for Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the National Navy Museum. The most anticipated stop will be the visit to the Vietnam Wall. There, these men will spend as much as needed to visit their 44 brothers who did not make it home. Then on Sunday, these Vietnam veterans will return to San Diego to the homecoming they should have received when they came home from Vietnam. They will get the welcome home they deserve from about 1,000 San Diegans waving American Flags and saying thank you.

Walt Frazier & Gary Ely Photo by Chris Stone

Walt Frazier, a Seawolf door gunner on the Huey helicopter said to the media, “I am humbled they selected the Seawolves to go first. I’ve always wanted to go on an Honor Flight.” There is an estimated 60,000 Vietnam Veterans in San Diego County. For the fall flight, Honor Flight San Diego is ONLY accepting Vietnam veteran applications from Navy Seawolves. Seawolves can apply at: The organization learned of the Seawolves story after watching a documentary called, “Scramble the Seawolves.” It was the opening night film at the GI Film Festival in 2019 and it documents the history and legacy of the historic squadron.

Walt Frazier

To learn more about the Seawolves, go to: / APRIL 2022


Local Marine Corps Veteran Served by Easterseals Receives Gift of LifeChanging Power Chair from Bird Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Corporal Nicolas “Nick” Voss, 25, who lives in the South Park area of San Diego, felt that joining the military was his destiny. ‘When I was young, I always dressed up as a Soldier or a Marine for Halloween, so I think I always had it in me,” recalls Nick. “Also, my parents had dealings with the military. My dad helped design the first nuclear submarine for the Navy and my mom worked as an intern for the Air Force while she was in college. When I was in high school, I was looking at colleges and didn’t feel as if it was going to fulfill what I wanted to be … what I needed to be. In my mind, the Marine Corps is the best of the best. I wanted to join to make something of myself and be a part of something much bigger than myself.” After signing up with the Marine Corps in 2016 and attending boot camp at MCRD San Diego, Nick was deployed, during which time he suffered a spinal injury in a helicopter accident, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. “I knew immediately what had happened,” he recalls about the accident. “It was definitely a tough time. I was looking forward to spending more time in the Marine Corps. I didn’t feel I was done with my service or done doing what I joined to do. And I didn’t know where I was going.”

Since launching in 2014, the Easterseals program has served nearly 2,350 veterans and families with employment support and referrals, placing more than 1,200 with civilian positions and leading 196 to pursue academic degrees. The service is free to veterans. But as Nick was getting his life back on track, his mobility remained limited in a borrowed, manual wheelchair—despite his obvious skills in “popping a wheelie.” That’s when Easterseals stepped in and teamed up with Bird, a leader in environmentally friendly electric transportation, to make the lifechanging gift of a Bird-powered WHILL/Scootaround Ci2 power chair. “I’m young and I have a need for speed,” laughed Nick, quoting his favorite movie, Top Gun, after he was presented with the electric scooter March 10 near the Bob Hope memorial in the park in front of the U.S.S. Midway. “The scooter does add different aspects to mobility than a manual wheelchair,” he added a few weeks after receiving the vehicle. “It alleviates strain on my body; has easy, one-handed control; amazing turnaround; and some nice, off-road capabilities. It enables me to go places I couldn’t go with a manual wheelchair.

Following were 16 months in rehabilitation at San Diego’s Wounded Warrior Battalion Naval Hospital, the most trying time of his life. “It wasn’t easy,” says Nick, “but it enabled me to manage the mobility I have and definitely prepared me for getting out and living life as I am now, outside of the structured support of the military.” Nick then found a home at the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station, a transitional housing residence in the San Diego region where veterans can heal, pursue personal growth and prepare for the new opportunities that await in civilian life. He also began working with Easterseals Southern California’s Bob Hope Veterans Support Program, which provides one-on-one employment services, as well as referrals to other resources, to meet the unique needs of military personnel and veterans transitioning out of the military into other work.

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Pictured with Corporal Nicolas “Nick” Voss (L-R) are Blanca Laborde, Director of Government Partnerships, Bird, and Cynthia Marinaccio, Transition and Employment Specialist, Easterseals Southern California’s Bob Hope Veterans Support Program.

I have a lot of physical battles that I have to fight every day, so life is still very difficult for me, but this makes it a little easier. I go out to the store or just around the block to get to get some fresh air and sunshine without worrying.”“For now, I want to stay in San Diego,” he says about his future. “I love SoCal lot. I love the weather, living by the coast and the people. And I want to express my appreciation to all the organizations that have helped me since I got out of the Marine Corps because I think I’d be lost without them. They’ve had a massive impact on my life and I’m eternally grateful.” Bird announced an On-Demand Accessible Mobility program in July 2021 in partnership with Scootaround, a global leader in personal transportation solutions. The program makes three custom vehicle types available to Bird riders with disabilities or other mobility issues, who can rent the scooters for 1-14 days. Available in five cities across the country to date—including three cities in California—the program launched in San Diego in December 2021 and is expanding this year. Said Mark Whitley, president and CEO of Easterseals Southern California, “Mobility is a critical issue in the disability community and programs like Bird’s On-Demand Accessible Mobility are key to enabling people with disabilities to be fully included in their communities. We applaud Bird for not only assisting injured Marine Corps veteran Nick Voss but for launching this innovative program in San Diego and in cities across Southern California and the country.” “We are happy to offer this token of appreciation to Marine Corps veteran Nick Voss for his service,” commented Blanca Laborde, Director of Government Partnerships at Bird. “Bird is committed to improving environmentally friendly mobility access for everyone and partnering with Easterseals Southern California has helped us march toward that goal. We look forward to continuing to find innovative ways to work together as we expand access to personal transportation services in San Diego and beyond.”

Veterans or potential employers interested in learning more about the Easterseals Bob Hope Veterans Support Program, visit https://www.easterseals. com/southerncal/our-programs/military-veteransservices Bird offers discounts to service members and veterans. To learn more, visit articles/360030673252-Service-Members-andVeterans-Programs

San Diego Veteran Resources & Organizations

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

San Diego Veteran Resources & Organizations available at:

San Diego Veterans Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans / APRIL 2022


Driven to serve

Student volunteers from Godley Independent School District in Godley, Texas, load boxes filled with nearly 50 pounds of food into vehicles during a mobile food pantry at the Fort Worth VA Outpatient Clinic. The event served veterans in the area facing food insecurity.

Texas high school students volunteer with veteran mobile food pantry as part of DAV-supported leadership development program By Brian Buckwalter


ith the support of DAV and nonprofit Team America, a group of high school students from Godley Independent School District (ISD) in Godley, Texas, have partnered with the Fort Worth VA Outpatient Clinic and the Tarrant Area Food Bank to help distribute meals during a mobile food pantry event for area veterans facing food insecurity. RC Shields, a specialist with the VA North Texas Healthcare System Center for Development and Civic Engagement, organized the event—the first of its kind in the region for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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“The more that we collaborate with other organizations, the more that we collaborate with community, the greater that we can serve the vets,” said Shields. “Without the collaboration, we can’t serve vets to the fullest.” Jason Hill, a coach with Godley High School, said his school’s students were invited to participate because of their involvement with the Tomlinson Center for Leadership, a development program founded by former NFL football player and Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson as part of his Team America organization. DAV is a supporting partner of Team America. “Partnerships like the one DAV has with Team America are an effective way to introduce volunteering to a younger generation,” said DAV National Voluntary Services Director John Kleindienst. “The opportunity Godley’s students had to serve veterans in their community hopefully inspires them to seek out

Students from Godley Independent School District in Godley, Texas, had a chance to eat lunch and talk with veterans at the Fort Worth VA Outpatient Clinic after participating in a mobile food drive for food-insecure veterans. The students are part of the nonprofit Team America’s Tomlinson Center for Leadership program that partners with DAV for volunteer opportunities. Other organizations involved were the Tarrant Area Food Bank and the VA North Texas Healthcare System. (Photos by Aubrey McDade)

more ways to help veterans.” Kleindienst said there are plans to offer more schools participating in the Tomlinson Center for Leadership program opportunities to volunteer with veterans through DAV. For Hill, the hours the students spent volunteering that early Monday morning, which was a day off for the school district, are part of the push to develop them into elite citizens. “Leadership is about serving others,” said Hill. “And what better way to typify that than going and serving at the VA and being able to serve veterans.” Before the cars started lining up, the group of students worked together to fill boxes with nearly 50 pounds of food. Each box contained an assortment of fresh produce, eggs, dairy and dry goods, and the students handed out the boxes to recipients as they arrived. Organizers, including Shields and Team America representative Aubrey McDade, encouraged the students to not just hand food out but engage with the veterans as well. “A lot of the stories they had just in that short 30 to 45 seconds of them driving through … showed us how much they appreciated us being there,” said Nathan Wisely, a senior at Godley. Wisely said the appreciation veterans showed also helped keep the students’ energy up throughout the morning that, for them, started before sunrise. After food distribution ended, the students had time to eat lunch and talk with some of the veterans at the center. One veteran in particular was so impressed with the students’ genuine engagement and effort that he wrote an email to Hill.

“In this day and age, it does not seem like young people really have the time or interest, but I saw your group working early in the parking lot and then going around talking to different veterans,” wrote Steve Mix, who was at the VA that morning for a checkup. Sophomore Payton DeFoor said the day made her more thankful for what she has and helped her gain a better understanding of what some veterans have been through. McDade, a Marine veteran and Navy Cross recipient, said that Team America encourages volunteer events for students in its leadership development program because they have a transformational impact on students, help them learn that leadership means service and that they should strive to be people of character. He also said volunteer service ties into the organization’s hallmarks of inclusiveness, tolerance and character development. “They did an amazing job,” said McDade. For Shields, partnerships like the one between the VA and DAV are critical because they introduce new groups of people to the needs of veterans and fuel a passion for volunteerism. It’s DAV’s partnership with Team America that paved the way for Godley ISD’s participation during this mobile food pantry. “If we’re going to be successful for veterans, we’ve got to have everybody involved,” said Shields. “It takes a whole team to really serve veterans like they need to be served.” n

Learn More Online

For more information about Team America, visit To learn about volunteer opportunities with DAV, visit / APRIL 2022


Shelter to Soldier Announces Partnership with PupLid® By Eva Stimson

What do you get when you are a dog who loves the beach but have sun-sensitive eyes, and an Engineer Dad and a Veterinarian Mom? A custom designed hat that protects your eyes from the sun! PupLid®, a California-based small business with a mission to help dog families enhance the lives of their pets with their innovative dog hats has partnered with the non-profit organization, Shelter to Soldier (STS) to raise funds for post-9/11 veterans and rescued dogs supported by the STS psychiatric service program. PupLid has designed a special hat with a camouflage pattern (Camo PupLids) that shields the sun’s glare from dogs with sun-sensitive eyes. To commemorate their Camo launch, PupLid will give 20% of all proceeds from Camo PupLids and their matching Camo baseball caps for humans to STS through the month of April 2022. Kathy Burnell, DVM, a veterinarian who sought a solution for her dog, Buddy, that loves the beach but has sun-sensitive eyes, co-founded PupLid in 2014 with her engineer husband, Tony Choi. When she could not find Buddy a stylish hat that fit well, Kathy and her husband Tony designed and made a trucker hat for him. Buddy’s hat worked so well, that they patented the design in 2018 and made six sizes to fit dogs of all shapes and sizes, from two to 100 hundred pounds.

PupLid Co-Founders Kathy Burnell, their dog Buddy wearing a trucker hat and Tony Choi

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When PupLid created their Camo PupLids they wanted to utilize this product as a way to give back to U.S. veterans. Their familiarity with the exemplary work of Shelter to Soldier in Southern California and the large military community in San Diego, made supporting Shelter to Soldier their clear and very first choice. Kathy expresses her thoughts, “As a veterinarian, I’ve been so impressed with Shelter to Soldier, their dedication to their mission of ‘saving lives, two at a time’ [™] and their team. I feel fortunate that through PupLid, we can support Shelter to Soldier by raising awareness and funds for their amazing organization. Our PupLid team is truly inspired by their compassion and the veterans they support. We’re tremendously excited to announce this collaboration with Shelter to Soldier regarding the product launch of camouflage dog baseball caps with matching caps for people.” The six-panel Camo PupLid baseball cap for dogs is the latest addition to the PupLid product line for dogs that prefer a more adventure-ready look. Like PupLid’s trucker hats for dogs, the camouflagepattern baseball caps feature a patent-pending “Furfect Fit” system for maximum comfort, stability, and adjustability. PupLid also offers matching human hats so that dogs and their humans can look mutually coordinated. (


Join Us for Our

THIRD Annual Golf Tournament at Singing Hills Golf Resort. The 18 Hole Willow Glen Championship Course, with its dramatic scenery and elevation changes, is sure to provide the perfect backdrop for an exciting day of golf! Your participation will help us raise funds to adopt dogs, train them to become psychiatric service dogs, then place them with post 9/11 combat veterans with invisible wounds. Barley Kathy elaborates, “We know that bright sunlight can cause discomfort for our eyes, so most of us wear sunglasses or a hat on sunny days to avoid squinting and eye damage. The same is true for dogs; light sensitivity is especially common in dogs with blue and light-colored eyes. A little shade can go a long way to make them [dogs] more comfortable outdoors. There are also many eye conditions where sun protection is important, including pannus (chronic superficial keratitis), iris atrophy and sun-induced cancers of the eyes, eyelids and pigment around the eyes. For dogs with shorter noses that are shaded by the bill [of the PupLid], this can also help protect the nose from sunburn and reduce the risk for sun-induced skin cancers on the nose.” As with any new accessory for a pet, implementing positive reinforcement when introducing a dog to their PupLid is essential. An STS-PupLid instructional video link is provided at: Shelter to Soldier is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other psychological injuries. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS visit our website at call 760-870-5338 PupLid Still Photo by Allison Shamrell Pet Photography, Video courtesy of Shelter to Soldier | 760-870-5338 To learn more about our event, or to purchase tickets/reserve a foursome, please visit: PRESENTED BY

With Sponsors

Media Partners

Friday April 29, 2022 The tournament will be hosted at the beautiful

Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan / APRIL 2022


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

Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states, in all GEICO companies, or in all situations. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, DC 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2020 GEICO #0G11150

18 / APRIL 2022

Guide Dogs of America At Guide Dogs of America, we transform lives through partnerships with service dogs. We breed, raise, and train guide dogs for individuals who are blind/ visually impaired and service dogs for veterans and children with autism. We also place facility dogs with professionals in hospitals, schools, and courtrooms. Our highly skilled canines become trusted companions that increase people’s confidence, mobility, and independence. All programs and services, including transportation, personalized training, room/board, and postgraduate support, are provided at no cost to the recipient.

This heartfelt note is from US combat Vietnam Veteran. Jim served with the 173rd Airborne for 18 months. He was exposed to Agent Orange and suffers from PTSD. “My name’s Jim Reed, and this is my friend Triton. It’s been a long time since I had a friend, and even longer since I wanted one. When I first got here, I was real nervous. Which I am now. But, I’ve felt the feeling of easiness and calmness that I thought I left somewhere in the past.

RAISE A PUPPY... CHANGE A LIFE! Open your home and your heart, to a future service dog in-training Like I said, I have PTSD and a few things that agent orange had to offer. At night when the dark dreams come, and 1968 comes looking for me just like it always does, now Triton will be there to wake me up and bring me home. And for that, I’d like to thank everyone involved in this program from the bottom of my heart. I’ve been told a few times since I’ve been here that Triton is a tool to help me navigate through life, which he is, but I like to think of him as my guardian angel.” Volunteers Needed

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Text “PUPPY” to 51555 Or Call: (818) 362-5834 / APRIL 2022


SD Vets Magazine

APRIL 2022 20 / APRIL 2022

Holding space for your children is a priority! By: Cindy Grossman, LCSW, Executive Director, Kids’ Turn San Diego Did you know the divorce rate in military families tends to be about 75%? Kids’ Turn San Diego offers Family Workshops for Separated and Divorced Families and we have seen a significant increase in military connected families attending the program. In 2016, 54 military connected parents and their children participated in a Family Workshop, compared to 137 in 2021! Thank you to all the military families who sacrifice so much to keep us safe! Let’s take a minute to look back over the past two years. As our world shut down and everyone was ordered to “stay home”, most of us felt alone and scared. As time went on, we heard new fears from military families. Deployments typically have a beginning and an end. But what about those who had a spouse deployed when the pandemic surfaced? Did someone on the ship get COVID, were they exposed, would my partner ever return home? Many families were resilient, and others struggled. Divorce may be a decision for many military families but holding space for your children must be the priority!

You can choose how you are going to interact with your child’s other parent. You may not like it! You may feel like you are compromising or giving in, but this doesn’t mean that you are less than others or bad in any way. This means that you are putting your children first! Children want to see their parents, they want you to say nice things about their other parent, they want to see their relatives, they want their parents to get along. Your children want to be heard, understood and to feel important in the eyes of both their parents. Divorce may be a reality for you but support your children as they transition from one home to two. No matter how you feel about their other parent, show your children how to be kind. A smile (even if it is fake) or a brief wave is huge in your child’s eyes. Give them this gift! Virtual programming continues at Kids’ Turn San Diego so reach out for support from wherever you live. In honor of Month of the Military Child, we’re here if you need us Thank you for your service!

The number one theme we hear from children, month after month, is that they want their parents to stop fighting and yelling at each other. They want their parents to get along! Parents, you have no control over others, only yourself. Only you feel your feelings and understand your thoughts. Only you can choose your behavior. Are you reacting and sharing your frustrations through yelling and lashing out at others? Are you internalizing and using substances to manage your emotions? Are you distraught and immobilized? Do you tell your children your problems and hope they will help you solve them? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone! The good news is . . . YOU have control of your feelings and thoughts and your behaviors! You can choose to respond instead of react. You can choose to seek support from other adults (friends or professionals). / APRIL 2022


Armed Services YMCA San Diego’s Operation Little Learners Operation Little Learners is a core program of the Armed Services YMCA that provides a platform for military spouses and their young children to learn together and connect with other local military families. In San Diego, Operation Little Learners is a mobile program, bringing no-cost preschool learning into military housing neighborhoods across the county. Military spouses and their children ages 18 months to 5 years old participate in lessons designed to create stronger bonds between parents and children, develop a love of learning in young children, and build relationships with other families which lead to a solid foundation of support within their own neighborhoods. Through participation in this program, parents also gain awareness of community resources, and learn activities they can do to support their children’s development at home. Katie, a military spouse participant in the program, bonded with her toddler through the program and shared that she is “so happy to have learned how to engage my little one in open-ended activities that keep her busy and learning… Through Operation Little Learners, I have discovered what my daughter enjoys doing most and now I know how to provide options that she, as a busy toddler, will enjoy and learn from.” With 1800 children on the Navy’s waitlist for childcare here in San Diego, our military families struggle to find ways to engage their young children in valuable learning activities which are pivotal to their future success in school. Because the early childhood years set the tone for a lifetime of learning, the Armed Services YMCA San Diego provides this powerful

opportunity to engage military children in lessons that meet all components of Early Childhood Development and provide military spouses with an understanding of early learning, as well. In partnership with Liberty Military Housing, the program has operated out of 6 military housing locations for several years. During the pandemic, however, when in-person operations were not possible, Armed Services YMCA San Diego created a new format to ensure that military families remained connected and young children’s learning continued. With YouTube and Facebook Live, military families joined in from right here in San Diego and from places across the world like Japan and Switzerland. This program and others provided by Armed Services YMCA San Diego address the challenges of military life in a myriad of ways. Youth development has long been a focus of this organization. Huge life stressors like relocation every 2-3 years, long parent deployments, and the ever-present reality of war place military children in repeated scenarios of social isolation and falling behind in school. Military life impacts their social, academic, and emotional well-being and many times places these children at risk for greater challenges later in life. The Armed Services YMCA San Diego provides youth development which creates a platform for military children to create lasting social connections with peers, receive academic support and supplemental STEAMbased learning, eat healthy meals, get active, and learn coping strategies that can be applied to military life stressors. Day camps, after-school programs, parentchild interactive classes, and equestrian experiences at Horse of the Sun Ranch are all designed to support military children and families in meeting the challenges of military life through the application of core military values like Honor, Courage, Respect, and Self-less Service. The Armed Services YMCA San Diego is committed to the vision of Strengthening Our Military Family. This is an organization who has humbly been serving our nation’s warriors and families for over 100 years and will be honored to do so for another 100 more.

Operation Little Learners Live Program

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April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community. Sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, the Month of the Military Child is a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome. The Month of the Military Child is part of the legacy left by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. He established the Defense Department commemoration in 1986. San Diego Veterans Magazine joins the Department of Defense and the military community in celebrating April as the Month of the Military Child. In DoDEA communities around the world, our most essential strategic imperatives are: establishing an educational system that progressively builds the college and career readiness of all DoDEA students; and establishing the organizational capacity to operate more effectivelyand efficiently as a model, unifiedschool system. We aim to challenge each student to maximize his or her potential and to excel academically, socially, emotionally and physically for life, college and career readiness. / APRIL 2022


Real Talk: Mental Health By Giselle Vallejo, MA, LPCC, The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD

Celebrating the Month of the Military Child As we go into the month of April, let us take some time to recognize and celebrate the many strengths of a military child. A military child will sometimes, if not often, experience a permanent change of station (PCS) and move out of state or even across the world! With that comes starting a new school, making new friends, adjusting to a new culture, and having to leave friends and family behind. In addition, they may also experience being away from one or both caregivers (if both are serving in the military) due to assignments or deployments. All these changes can be extremely difficult for adults, let alone children. Although changes like these can be exciting, for some it can cause distress. Having increased awareness of how children typically express challenges can help us be more supportive. We often see children either shut down, keep to themselves more often, or become more concerned with trivial things. In other cases, they may experience an increase in anger outbursts, or we may see a shift in their grades and schoolwork. While this is a general list of some common changes, it is important to keep in mind that not all children’s behaviors will be expressed in these ways. So, what are some ways that caregivers and others in their community can help support military children as they adjust to their new environments and changes? Communicate:

- Praise the things they are doing well.

It can be difficult sometimes to recognize successes amid managing multiple responsibilities. Being able to praise children for those smaller successes can go a long way. It not only reinforces those positive behaviors but also lets them know that you are paying attention. For example, “Thank you for picking up your plate after dinner” or “You did such an amazing job at completing your homework all on you own!” You are letting them know that even though you have also been very busy, you are grateful for their ability to adapt and be flexible. 24 / APRIL 2022

- Validate how difficult change can be.

When your structure becomes unstructured, even for a second, those changes are difficult, and people can often feel alone. Therefore, when someone recognizes your challenges and validates your emotions, it feels pretty good. It is as if they are saying, “What you are feeling is okay to feel”. Military children learn to become flexible, adapt to changes well, and are extremely strong. Let them know it is okay to feel upset, angry, or sad.

- Name your emotions and model healthy coping strategies.

Being able to name your emotions in front of a child can really help them put a name to theirs. Even if you have not experienced a PCS or deployment, as the child’s teacher for example, you can express your frustration when something does not go your way during a lecture

and model appropriate ways to verbalize and cope with it. The same goes for the caregivers. Maybe dinner got slightly burnt and that was the cherry on top of having to deal with all the other tasks throughout the day. Practice breathing techniques, go for a walk with the family, or take five minutes to yourself to cool down. Modeling positive coping techniques can not only help you but also your family.

- Write letters to service members who are away.

When those phone calls or video calls are difficult to schedule, scheduling a time at home when the family writes letters to the service members can be a nice alternative. This helps children express and communicate their current feelings while also maintaining a sense of connection. When the child is not old enough to write, they can draw a picture to express what they would like to say instead. These letters can be shared amongst each other during this time, or they can be kept private. Providing them with the option to choose can give them the opportunity to share their feelings with the rest of the family.

- Provide some space for children to adjust.

We all adjust to changes to the beat of our own drum. And we also express ourselves differently too! Being patient and providing some compassion during the phases of adjustment can be extremely helpful. Some children adjust very quickly while others may have more difficulty. Remember to praise their successes, model how to name emotions when possible, and validate! If the pandemic taught us anything it is that normalizing and sharing our similarities can unite us. It reminds us that we are not alone! How can we help celebrate these resilient children? - Wear purple during Purple Up Day (April 19th) to visibly show support and thank them for their strengths and sacrifices.

Provide structure, stability, and a sense of security:

- Schedule family activities.

Sometimes service members’ work schedules can be challenging and inconsistent in comparison to civilian workers. Their work hours are constantly changing, and they may often work very long hours. Scheduling family events can provide stability and structure for military children. For example, maintaining a consistent dinner time (when possible) or scheduling family game nights in efforts to include all family members. While difficult schedules and deployments interfere with these attempts, continuing these events with the family at home can help children have stability and structure.

- Provide them with options.

Providing children with options can help create a sense of control and security. For some children, not having control can feel unstable. Children, just like adults, want to have some control in their daily activities. For example, how to wear their hair or choosing what they would like to wear. Providing options and control can be especially helpful in situations where they often have no control, like moving to a different city. One way to provide options in a situation such as a big move, can be allowing them to choose how they want to decorate their room. When that is not a feasible option, another approach can be to allow them to choose what they would like to have for dinner once a week. When their choices are endless it can be overwhelming. Instead, you can provide two options which can be less stressful. For example, letting them choose between pizza or spaghetti.

- If you are feeling concerned, confused, overwhelmed, or are unsure how to navigate these changes, The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD is here to help! Our therapists are experienced and knowledgeable with the many hurdles’ military families experience. They are there to help you and your child gain a better understanding of how to identify and implement the coping strategies you need. Remember that you are not alone! Let us help you strengthen your abilities. Giselle Vallejo is a bilingual clinician at the Cohen Clinic at VVSD. As a clinician she implements a traumainformed and person-centered approach when working with clients. Giselle believes every person has their own unique experience and has a strong passion for working with people who have intergenerational and complex trauma. For more information about the Cohen Clinic at VVSD, visit / APRIL 2022


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Back to Better: Mental Health Care for Veterans, Service Members, & their Families

Cohen Clinics provide therapy for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and transitional issues for post-9/11 veterans, service members, and military families, including National Guard / Reserves. CVN Telehealth, face-to-face video therapy available.

Support the Cohen Clinic Your donations help provide high-quality mental health care to veterans, service members, their families.

Make a gift today: / APRIL 2022


For those who call San Diego their new Duty Station, military families often come in with excitement ready to explore their new surroundings, meet new people, and hit the beach! But what some families may not be aware of is that this duty station can come with its own set of unique challenges in terms of knowing where to turn for support when times get tough and understanding how to navigate life off base as most live within different pockets of San Diego. So, the number one thing that service providers hear from military families when faced with a challenging situation is, “I don’t know where to start…”. As often is the case, it can be overwhelming coming into this region, experiencing the high cost of living, and knowing where to turn to if you run into a snag. This may include needing emergency financial assistance, identifying childcare, seeking food assistance/diapers if in a pinch, or the many more situations that arise as a result of military family life. These reasons sum up why the San Diego Military Family Collaborative (SDMFC) was created. SDMFC’s STORY: In 2010, SDMFC came together as a grouping of 6 military service organizations, led by nonprofit SAY San Diego, who felt that they all could do more to support military family life by coming together to share resources and information allowing military families to easily gain access to services. Over time, SDMFC has grown to represent over 150 active participating organizations dedicated to supporting

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San Diego’s Military Community through SDMFC’s mission of “Education, Advocacy, and Engagement” in an effort to “Build a Stronger Military Community.” In this effort, SDMFC convenes a community of Service Members, Military Spouses, DoD Partners, Government Reps, and Nonprofit Organizations who together collectively reach over 1,000 individuals annually through workshops, convenings, and communications. CONVENINGS: How is all that possible? Well, through collaboration, no pun intended. SDMFC utilizes monthly convenings to discuss issues impacting the military community like “Spouse Employment, EFMP resources, Relationship Building, Mental Health Services, and Youth-Centric Programs/Activities for Military Youth!” For these topics, we bring in “Boots on the Ground,” organizations that can share trends from what they are seeing among military families in need of their services. Through expert panels, networking, and activities SDMFC’s audience forges interconnections and collectively amass support so that when a family is in need, they are better informed of who to turn to for support and easily get plugged into a resource or program. A first-time Service Member Participant shared, “I had no idea that all of this existed.” All are welcome to attend convenings on the 4th Friday of each month from 1000 - 1130. WORKSHOPS: Not only does SDMFC convene monthly, but also offers workshops for military family engagement related to two primary fields: Transition from the Services, an Mil teen/parent forums to discuss “tough to talk about issues.”

SDMFC’s transition workshop called, “Military Transition: the Spouse Edition,” is intended for military spouses to learn the “Roadmap of Transition,” so that the family can be prepared for all decisions regarding their transition to civilian life as service members do not transition alone. SDMFC creates a virtual workshop with speakers from DoD partners and community members to help families navigate the challenges of transition so that more conversations occur prior to hanging up the uniform. Participants have tuned in from all over for this virtual program offering including up the coast from duty stations in Central/Northern California, Washington, to East Coast including Virginia and Florida, and spanning as far away as Pacific Samoa. One military spouse shared, “Glad I started the learning process early. This will be a lot to move through and having enough time to not be overwhelmed/miss something is comforting.”To register, visit: SDMFC’s mil teen/parent workshops are called, “What I Wish My Parents Knew,” and is a way for teens to share insights into their world and express how topics like, “Relationships, Stress, and Next Steps Following Graduation,” impact their lives. There, parents can better understand how these challenges present themselves in their child’s life and allow them to learn from student leaders who voice concerns, insights, and successes. Community experts on the topics also share new st rategies and approaches to communication for parents. These listening sessions for parents can open new doors to communication channels that may have been closed by their child so that conversations can once again occur at the dinner table instead of being caught behind their smartphone. A parent participant shared, “Student presenters speaking from their own personal experience are quite articulate and very insightful.” COMMUNICATIONS Finally, SDMFC offers a great opportunity to learn more about community programs and resources from our bi-monthly newsletters and social media platforms. To get connected, visit: or follow our handle on social media: @sdmilfam. All are welcome to participate in all program offerings at no cost, so connect with us TODAY to experience and support a “Stronger Military Community” together! For more information, please visit: / APRIL 2022


SEALKIDS By Dr. Gretchen McIntosh Executive Director, SEALKIDS, Inc. Navy SEALs are some of the most courageous and strong individuals in the world. SEALs make up just 1% of all Navy Personnel. While we may not always see what SEALs are up to because of their privacy and protection, SEALs are sent on missions daily that are unimaginable to most of us. SEALs spend up to 9 months of the year out of the home on mission and in training. With SEALs being gone for most of the year, their spouses and families must make sacrifices to keep SEALs on mission. Dad doesn’t get to come home at 5 pm and eat dinner with the family; SEAL families accept a unique normal and may need help to support children while one parent is away on life-threatening missions. Because even our bravest individuals need support, the National Nonprofit SEALKIDS exists to help provide additional team members and support for SEALs and their families.

Being an active-duty service member’s child is many things. Mostly it’s a challenge. I am so proud of my father for choosing to serve; but I won’t pretend it’s easy on the rest of the family. It’s a challenge in that deployments bring a natural fear of your parent not returning home. It’s hard when you see your friends lose loved ones. Emotional stress is always lurking around. We, military kids, learn to either push the stress down or use it to grow us. Deployments seemed harder the older I got. I moved a few times so changing schools had its challenges as well. Each school had new learning styles. I would often feel as though I needed to “catch up” to the new styles of learning. I was diagnosed with a neuro/ visual condition at a very young age that added to my struggles.

SEALs are never out of the fight, and neither is SEALKIDS. A SEALKIDS SUCCESS STORY Since 2011, SEALKIDS has helped over 1,000 children reach their academic goals across the USA. SEALKIDS works as a partner with parents, schools, and the Naval Special Warfare community to address the unique challenges faced by some of our heroes’ children. SEALKIDS, through its programs, supports the children of Naval Special Warfare—everyday kids living in extraordinary circumstances. This encompassing approach of academic testing, tutoring, therapy, advocacy, and enrichment fosters the success and wellbeing of the child, critically reducing family stresses and ultimately keeping today’s Navy SEAL in the fight. Lauren, a recent SEALKIDS graduate, shares her story: Being an active-duty service member’s child is many things. Mostly it’s a challenge. I am so proud of my father for choosing to serve; but I won’t pretend it’s easy on the rest of the family. It’s a challenge in that deployments bring a natural fear of your parent not returning home. It’s hard when you see your friends lose loved ones. Emotional stress is always lurking around. We, military kids, learn to either push the stress down or use it to grow us. 30 / APRIL 2022

Photo by Spring Dyer Photography

Once my mom found out about SEALKIDS and I began tutoring, things changed quickly and for the better. I learned SO much about learning different techniques, especially in math! It all began to click. My tutors were so smart and really plugged in to work with me several days a week until I graduated (in the top 5% of my class!). SEALKIDS made me feel honored. Heard. Important. SEALKIDS made all of the difference for me. They know a little help can go a long way. SEALKIDS provided me access to the necessary resources which fostered my growth and success. SEALKIDS knows the struggles and knows how to help us.



BATTLEFIELD We make sure that no child gets left behind.

Now, I am a fulltime college student at SMU in Dallas, TX on a pre-med/pre-law tract with a BioChem major and a minor in math. To handle the everyday challenges of military life, it takes teamwork and SEALKIDS became part of my team. SEALKIDS gave me the confidence to push myself harder and to excel in school, despite my obstacles. HOW TO JOIN THE SEALKIDS SQUAD SEALKIDS is able to work with the over 300 children they currently serve due to generous donors who have decided to sacrifice for those that sacrifice for us. By raising funds for SEALKIDS, you are helping the only non-profit organization devoted solely to children’s educational support and success in the Navy SEAL community. Your generosity will help children living in a world most cannot comprehend, improve their grades and confidence to pursue their own mission in life. You can fund their future. Ways to Get Involved With SEALKIDS: • Learn about SEALKIDS - • Attend local events - • Add SEALKIDS to your Amazon Smile

• Companies can reach out to to create a partnership with SEALKIDS to raise funds and awareness for SEALKIDS and their companies. IN NEED OF SERVICE? If you are in a SEAL family or know a SEAL family that could benefit from SEALKIDS services, please go to and fill out the form to request service.

SEALKIDS provides professional tutors that give a tactical advantage to the children of Navy SEALs, providing the academic skills necessary for a brighter future. Our tutoring services take aim at learning challenges and eliminate those issues with the precision of a designated marksman.





What do military and veteran children want us to know? Camp Corral supports kids by listening to them first National nonprofit, Camp Corral, serves the families of our nation’s military heroes by starting with their children. Since its inception in 2011, Camp Corral has recognized the very real hardships that go along with serving as a military-connected child, especially one who has experienced the trauma of having a parent who is wounded, ill or fallen because of their military service. As part of its vision to empower these children to live their best lives, Camp Corral develops and delivers specialized programming designed to meet their unique needs. Nearly 35,000 children from every state in the nation have participated in Camp Corral’s weeklong summer camps — all at no cost to their families. In addition to camps designed to offer respite, build peer-support networks, strengthen self-confidence and reinforce coping skills, Camp Corral plays an active role in advocating for military-connected children, particularly among non-military individuals who may not understand what it means to have a parent serving our nation. This past year, the nonprofit joined DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and PsychArmor Institute to share responses from more than 2,000 militaryconnected children and make their voices heard in an educational video titled “15 Things Military and Veterans’ Kids Want You to Know,” which can be viewed at and used as an educational resource. Highlights from the educational resource include the fact that military kids cope with stress in unique ways and process their feelings differently from other children. That stress can manifest as physical symptoms, such as a stomachache, which they may not want to share with others over worries of overburdening friends or family members. Stress and worry may also be amplified by the fact that military children often step up to serve as caregivers. Camp Corral surveys indicate that more than 70% of children who participate in its programs take on caregiving duties in their household. 32 / APRIL 2022

These kids may struggle to adapt as they care for a changed parent who returns from deployment with physical injury or mental trauma. Yet throughout these struggles, military children remain proud of who they are and the service their parents give to this country. These kids serve in their own way, and communities owe them the same respect they give their parents. It is in the spirit of honoring the sacrifice of these kids that Camp Corral hosts its annual week-long summer camp experiences, while also delivering holistic-focused programs that serve military families year-round. Such programs include virtual peer networks, which empower children to maintain the peer connections they make at camp throughout the rest of the year, and family camp retreats, which support the needs of the entire wounded warrior family. The value of summer programs designed specifically for military children can be seen in the days, weeks and months after a child participates in camp. One month after participating in a Camp Corral program, 60% of parents said they or their child were still in contact with friends they met at camp. Additionally, 70% of parents saw a positive impact on their child’s mental health after attending camp. The improved mental health and strong peer networks children receive from camp can help set them on the path towards improved self-confidence and academic performance. To maximize the reach of these resources, Camp Corral hosts programs throughout the country with new week-long camps and family retreats added every year. A full list of camp dates and locations are available on the Camp Corral website along with an application portal for families to apply for future camp openings. Most importantly, each of these programs are available to children and their families at no cost to them. This is made possible by the generous support of businesses, community leaders and individuals who offer donations to Camp Corral. For more information on Camp Corral programs, including opportunities to participate or support future camps, visit / APRIL 2022


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

HELPING KIDS COPE WITH DIVORCE Going through a divorce is never easy. It becomes even more difficult when children are involved. Children not only have to adjust from a one-household dynamic to a two-household dynamic, but they may also witness turmoil between their parents during the divorce process. Naturally, many parents worry how this will affect their children. There are several things you can do to protect your children’s emotional and psychological well-being during the divorce process. Many children will go through a roller coaster of emotions when they learn their parents are getting divorced. Some may see themselves as the reason for their parents’ divorce as kids tend to be “egocentric” and believe their actions or thoughts cause bad events.

It is important to let your children know that it is in no way their fault. Keep the line of communication open with them. Talk about the feelings that are natural under these circumstances. Let them know it is normal to feel sad or angry about a divorce. Your children should be able to talk freely with you about any fears or concerns they have. It is important not only that they can do so, but that they feel comfortable doing so.

Children also tend to keep their feelings inside because they don’t want to upset either parent, so it is always a good idea to check in with them frequently during the divorce process. If you have very young children or a child who tends to bottle up their emotions, it may be a good idea to get them to express their emotions through play. Children feel most comfortable while playing, so you can try role playing, drawing, or games.

One of the mistakes that you can make is to fail to validate your children’s emotions or demonstrate that you accept what they are feeling.

Reassure your children that they will always have your love and the other parent’s love. Do not ever talk badly about the other parent in front of your children.

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Time for a Fresh Start.

This is probably the biggest mistake parents make during the divorce process, and it can have profound effects on your child’s emotional and psychological well-being. You never want your child to feel like they must choose between either parent. When you speak negatively about the other parent in their presence, you are setting the stage for them to feel like they have to choose or that they are wrong for loving the other parent. They need to feel like both parents are valuable. When you place blame on the other parent in your child’s presence or speak badly of the other parent, you are also deterring your child from keeping an open dialogue with you. Remember, children keep their emotions to themselves when they are afraid to upset you.

Move forward without breaking the bank. Our military expert family law attorneys are ready to push your case to the finish line.

Explain what things will look like now so they have a sense of stability and certainty. For example, let them know what day they can expect to be with you and what day they will see the other parent. Keep a sense of familiarity in both homes. If this means them taking their favorite objects between homes, let them do it. Do not tell your children that stays at mommy’s house or it can’t go to daddy’s house. Show your children what good coparenting looks like. This is the hardest for most parents going through a divorce, but your children’s well-being should be a priority over your feelings toward your ex-spouse. If you can, keep the routines and discipline consistent between both households. This again takes both parents working to be the best coparents they can. If you are having difficulty doing so, try a coparenting app or take a coparenting class. Kids thrive on stability and consistency during a divorce. It’s the uncertainty, inconsistency, and negative interactions between parents that can disrupt a child’s well-being.

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Last, consider the benefits of therapy or counseling. You can work with an experienced therapist or counselor on not only how to handle addressing the divorce with your children, but also for assistance in processing your own feelings so that you can ultimately be a better coparent. Children can benefit greatly from therapy during the divorce process. Sometimes they can express themselves more freely with a therapist, sharing emotions or thoughts that they are worried will upset either parent. Children will often experience guilt, anxiety, behavior issues, regression, or become withdrawn during a divorce. If you think your child would benefit from therapy, don’t hesitate to make an appointment. For more information about how we can help with your military divorce or child custody case, check out our website: or call (858) 720-8250 and ask to speak with military family law attorney Tana Landau.

Military Divorce and Retirement, 20/20/20 Spouse, Survivor Benefit Plans, Support Orders, and more.

Call 858-720-8250 or visit to schedule a free consultation. Flat-fee law packages available.

Legal Experts with Humanity / APRIL 2022


A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly

By RanDee McLain, LCSW

Healthy Communication thru Military Separation I am officially about 6 weeks into being a geobachelor. As I mentioned before, my partner took orders overseas. These orders have us geographically separated for approximately 24 months. Once the shock wore off, we talked a lot about what that would look like and how we can best stay connected. Neither of us are new to the military life or extended time apart. He has over thirty-six years of military experience himself and I am a veteran as well. That does not make it easier. A few months ago, I talked about the rollercoaster of emotions involved in military transition and some strategies to get thru the difficult times. One of those strategies was healthy communication…. but what does that really mean? What does it mean to have healthy and effective communication and why is it so important? Let us start with the easier question of why it is so important. Healthy communication fosters healthy relationships. Healthy communications reduce misunderstandings and can elevate a sense of connectedness. When partners can communicate effectively even thru distance it can boost the overall moral of both individuals. I will reiterate what I said before BE INTENTIONAL. Set aside time for conversations and minimize the distractions. That may be hard with time difference but do your best. My partner and I have a 17-hour time difference. That means one of us is either waking up or going to sleep while the other is wide awake. That makes for interesting conversations. The other choice of time is right in the middle of my workday. Sometimes, I can schedule this for a convenient break. The challenge is actively working with veterans …. I can’t always schedule their crisis moments. So many times, a call in the middle of day isn’t feasible.

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The other challenge with the timing of calls is striving too not be superficial. It is easy to fall into the rut of …how are you? How is work? How was workout? …. the same series of questions on repeat. In my case we are usually in a time crunch, so we hit the basic. Even though we talk often there is a lack of substance at times. This is on me to be more intentional in my timing and communication. Here are a few ways to keep the communication going. Emails: Generally, emails are a quick and effective way to share information. Emails are great to give updates or keep your partner in the loop on current things going on. The challenge of emails is at times you can not truly understand the emotion or personalization that comes across in a phone call or video chat. You are not able to express the same level of connectedness. Care Packages: This is where you can be creative and let the kids in your life put input into the package. This can include cookies, photos, magazines, hygiene items…. really anything your loved one may be missing while they are away. This is especially impactful for holidays they may miss while they are away. Cards/Letters: These are inexpensive and meaningful. These can be re-read over time and used as mementos. It is a great surprise for your service member to receive. I recently learned that the dollar store has some great cards – very inexpensive. This is also great to include the kids and they each make a special card for your loved one. Phone/Video: There are various apps that can be used to video chat. WhatsApp is a free app that allows you to video chat and text with your loved one. This app only uses the data but no additional fees. This is great to actually see your loved one. There are many ways to stay connected. Find what works for you and your loved one and be intentional! Stay healthy…and stay communicating! Career Resources Available Now Hiring Management and Direct Service Positions - / APRIL 2022


Fentanyl Leaves No Margin for Error for Veterans with a Substance Use Disorder After spending the last forty years of my life helping people recover, I must acknowledge that we have recently entered a new era in the battle against addiction, and the main catalyst has been the widespread availability of the hyper-potent opioid fentanyl. There is simultaneously so much hope and despair in the field of addiction treatment. On the one hand, we have more tools than ever before to help people who are addicted to substances. On the other hand, the overdose epidemic has quietly run rampant and taken an unbelievable toll. Accidental overdose has emerged as the leading cause of death for people aged 18 to 45 (according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control). Some demographics are affected more than others, and younger people (aged 18-30) make up the majority of these overdose fatalities. Their ranks include active military members, as we are reminded by devastating stores like the four West Point cadets who overdosed last month on Spring Break. Of course, Veterans are a ‘high risk’ demographic, as they have traditionally struggled with substance abuse at a higher rate than civilians.

Encouraging Data and Signs for Hope The most encouraging development has been the positive outcomes we are getting for people who use medication assisted treatment (MAT). At Confidential Recovery, the outpatient drug rehab program that I founded in San Diego, we achieve the highest rates of recovery by combining MAT with counseling, and selfhelp programs. The appropriate use of medication (such as buprenorphine) minimizes cravings and withdrawal symptoms. For most clients, these medications produce no sedation or cognitive impairment. Research has shown that these medications have no adverse effects on a person’s intelligence, mental capability, physical functioning, or employability. This ‘whole patient’ approach helps the patient feel ‘well’ as quickly as possible, and supports their commitment to living free of drugs. By combining the medication with counseling and self-help programs (like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous), we give our clients the opportunity to profoundly change their lives. Studies conducted in the U.S. have shown that the success rate for medication assisted treatment can be 80% (or higher). Every Use is Potentially Deadly (So Take Action Now) I can’t over-emphasize the urgency with which you should address a substance abuse problem, especially if street drugs are being used that may contain fentanyl. Fentanyl is increasingly mixed in with other drugs, like cocaine. The result is so often deadly that every use should be considered potentially fatal. There is Hope Available Everywhere The good news is that addiction is a predictable beast, and the path to recovery is well-worn. When I get a call from a concerned family member of a Veteran who is slipping deeper into drug abuse, I have a proven playbook to get them started toward recovery. It can sometimes require an intervention, which is a process through which we organize the loved ones of the substance using individual, and offer them the gift of treatment. The process of recovery might not be easy, but it is simple. We can show you a proven design for living drug-free. It can be unfathomable to the user in the throes of addiction, but once they start recovering, momentum builds from every positive decision, and soon their life gets better than they imagined possible.

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Get Started by Seeking Professional Help If you have a cell phone, then hope is waiting for your call. If you know of a Veteran who is in Southern California area, you can contact me directly at (619) 993-2738. Confidential Recovery can help them, as we have with countless others. Our Operations Manager is Jay Wylie, who served our country as a Naval Officer for 22 years. If you are concerned about someone outside of the Southern California area, a good place to start is the

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMHSA) Treatment Locator. This government

resource catalogs providers in every city. They also have a toll-free number that is staffed 24/7. 12-Step Support Groups are Nearby As Well While there’s no substitute for professional help, there’s also free, 12-Step support groups for the substance user to attend. The most common groups are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, which are often a starting point for many who enter recovery. Another very powerful organization is Al-Anon, which is for family members of the substance abusing individual. Those of us with a substance addicted loved one often feel helpless and frustrated. The members of Al-Anon will help you cope with these feelings and help you learn how to avoid enabling your loved one to continue their addiction. The disease of addiction is deadly, but the solution is out there waiting for you – get started today! About the Author Scott H. Silverman was addicted to alcohol and illegal drugs when he “hit bottom”and pursued treatment in 1984. He’s been helping others recover from addiction ever since. In 2014, he founded Confidential Recovery, a drug treatment program in San Diego that specializes in helping Veterans overcome substance abuse. You can reach them at (619) 452-1200, or by visiting the Confidential Recovery website. / APRIL 2022



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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HUMAN RESOURCES Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

The New Realities of Remote Work, Especially for Working Parents Our April edition is dedicated to the “Month of the Military Child,” and that certainly conjures up ideas of the many changes coming children’s way in the near future. But those changes need to be filtered first through their parents’ experiences in raising families in the new normal of our COVID world. Remote work and closed school districts have caused intense disruption to families over the past two years, and they’ve caused human resources professionals many sleepless nights as well. After all, trying to keep employees happy, families safe, and business continually operating was no easy balancing act. The message from most organizations was to take care of your health and your family’s needs first. Organizations attempted to help in even the most nuanced ways, from purchasing groceries and paper products and masks for employees to standing up temporary onsite childcare centers to arranging for testing and vaccinations for all staff members. As we look back at the pandemic historically, however, we’ll find that we were fairly well prepared for its many challenges.

To this last point, COVID expedited a trend that was already well under way. Combined with the technology available for videoconferencing like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, our business world and society pieced everything together and fueled a new normal that many of us didn’t see coming—a non-9-to-5 work routine that was actually successful. Balancing Work and Family Remotely Which takes us to our next point: this new normal has created both challenges and opportunities for working families like never before. How do we balance working remotely while supporting our children whose schools may close on a moment’s notice? First, it’s critical that you separate work from family.

COVID Sped Up Trends Already Underway First, the flexibility of remote work met the needs of the Gen-Y Millennials (the 35 and under crowd) as well as the Gen-Z Zennials (25 and under). These are the two most studied generational cohorts in human history, and they currently make up around 45% of the U.S. workforce (and are growing rapidly, especially as Baby Boomers move into retirement at the pace of 10,000 people per day). What is it that this 35-and-under crowd wants in its top five priorities consistently across all surveys? • Diversity, equity, and inclusion • Corporate social responsibility • Environmentalism • Career and professional development • Work-life control and flexibility 42 / APRIL 2022

To try and do both simultaneously will likely lead to burnout and guilt. Employers should understand the new normal of working 9 – 5 with the kids at home, but if you suspect there’s any resentment or tension building, meet with your boss one-on-one and explain how you’re planning on managing your dual responsibilities, including pockets of time during normal business hours where you may need to dedicate your focus to family. Transparency is key, and we’re all doing our part to make remote working relationships succeed. Second, ensure that you’re using technology like Slack and that good old-fashioned telephone to connect with peers for staff meetings as well as non-business conversations. It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re

not in the office or on the shop floor, so staying connected is not only good for business—it’s good for your mental health. Finally, structure your day like you would in the office and keep a separate workspace for yourself at home, no matter how small or tight. You’re both a professional and a parent.


Maintaining space for yourself is critically important so that you can “serve both masters” without overstressing on what at times may feel like an impossible split. At a time when we’re focusing on the children while maintaining our work productivity, it’s critical that we take care of ourselves as parents first, which is the best way of guaranteeing that the kids’ needs are being met at most times as well. You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at Paul Falcone ( is a human resources executive and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development. / APRIL 2022


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

Your Next Mission is Transition: Tips from Sergeant Major Jack Tilley Sergeant Major Jack Tilley graduated high school at the early age of 17. A prodigy? Nope. At age 4, he’d follow his older brother to school, so his parents thought it was easier to just start him young. He had no idea what to do when he graduated, so when his buddy suggested they join the Army, Tilley said “OK.” Little did he know that meant actually fighting wars. He finished basic AIT Jump school, going straight to war in Vietnam. “I went from being 18 to 55 real quick,” says (bemoans)Tilley. He went from the 173rd Airborne and into his first infantry in 1967. Then the shock set in. His buddy had his stomach blown out and bled to death. This took a toll. He eventually decided to get out, but after 2 years, he realized he liked being a soldier vs a civilian, and went back for another 30 years. He was deployed across the Middle East and promoted to Sergeant Major in 2000. In DC, he walked out of the Pentagon minutes before the plane hit on 9/11. He ran back in to help, but the scene was too dangerous. What he saw would stay with him forever. After holding every key leadership position in the Army, he retired in 2004 as CEO for a company that specializes in placing military leaders into corporate America. Sergeant Major Tilley is well-equipped with advice to help those thinking about transition. 1. Start the process of transition about 2 years out. Use that time wisely. Network with everyone you can. Look for military associations and go to their annual meetings. They have vendors there looking for employees, so go meet them. Gather and keep business cards. Start reaching out to those contacts about a year out and testing the waters. 44 / APRIL 2022

2. Have 2 resumes: 1 military and 1 civilian. You’ll need one that can position your military experience into relatable skills and accomplishments for corporate America. But if you were to work for a DoD Contractor, your language can be military speak. Also, don’t use acronyms! Spell it out. And start floating your resume to your contacts early-on. 3. Get a mentor (or several). Mentors are invaluable. They can help you translate your military experiences into real-world accomplishments, and help guide you on where you want to go. Ask questions, get their feedback and input based on their experiences. 4. Complete your education. If you have a 2 year degree, get a 4 year degree. If you have a 4 year degree, get an advanced degree. This has a HUGE impact on your net worth. 5. Know your worth and understand your value. How can you know your worth if you haven’t had a salary to base it on? You ask your mentors and do your research. When Tilley was asked what he was worth, he had no idea! He assumed maybe $50-60K. His mentor informed him, “no, you’re worth WAY more than that.” And he was. Much, much more. It’s also important to understand upward mobility. Sometimes you take a job for less money to work your way up. 6. Figure out your niche. You have to be comfortable with what you’re doing. Take the time to really figure out what you love. Also, your niche doesn’t have to be limited on location. In this era, you can pretty much work from anywhere! 7. Keep your spouse involved in the transition process. They’re a good sounding board! And, they deserve input! Tilly notes,” if you’ve been in the military over 20 years, the person who makes the decision on where to live is your spouse.” When you get out, you want to pay your spouse back by giving her what she needs. He laughs as he recalls his wife saying “you used to have 1.3 million people under you, now you have me!”

8. Realize the importance of military connections. There’s a special connection to anyone who’s served in the military. You’re bonded for life. If you’re looking for a job, find out if the employer ever served in the military. You can use LinkedIn or other networking tools to look for employers that have senior execs that have served. 9. Know that it’s OK that you’ve experienced trauma. Tilley says the worst thing is people getting killed around you. Probably 1 in 5 have some form of PTSD. How do you buck up and keep moving forward? You have to bear down and continue forward so you don’t get depressed. Stay connected. TIlley is purposeful in maintaining his relationships with his military family, and makes sure to reach out to one of his comrades once a week to check on them. Even if 2 years have gone by, just keep connected. You won’t feel alone, because you’re not alone.

Tilley says, “Transition can be hard but it’s not the hardest thing you’ve ever done.” Jack Tilley served for almost 37 years in the United States Army, culminating in his appointment in 2000 as the 12th Sergeant Major of the Army, a post he held until his retirement on January 15, 2004. He was the last Vietnam War veteran to serve in that position. Additional information and resources: Bio: Book: Soldier for Life: Podcast Series: Your Next Mission is full of content about military experiences and transition. / APRIL 2022


Preparing for life after military service: Resources for Transitioning Service Members, Veterans, and Spouses By Tim Winter Transitioning out of the military can be daunting. There are so many significant decisions to be made, it can be extremely overwhelming. Such as, where are you going to live? What are you planning to do? Each year, more than 200,000 service members transition from military to civilian life. Understanding that service members may need assistance to plan for life after the military, Congress mandated that transitioning service members be required to participate in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) prior to leaving the military. TAP is a cooperative effort between the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Labor’s (DOL) Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, Small Business Administration, and Office of Personnel Management. VETS administers DOL’s portion of the program. DOL TAP provides information, tools, and no-cost training to ensure transitioning service members, veterans, and their spouses, are prepared for a civilian career.

VETS provides a multitude of resources including Employment Fundamentals of Career Transition (EFCT), a one-day employment preparation workshop for transitioning service members. VETS also offers the Wounded Warrior and Caregiver Employment Workshop to help wounded, ill, or injured service members and their caregivers find the perfect job. Whether they’re looking for general employment preparation or career exploration and credentialing, there is a DOL workshop that can help. DOL TAP workshops can be found at VETS also offers complementary employmentfocused training and services to assist veterans and their spouses. In 2021, more than 2,800 VETS’ staff, contractors, and grantees served over 370,000 transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses. Some of these resources include the Employment Navigator and Partnership Pilot (ENPP), Off-Base Transition Training (OBTT), and Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses and Caregivers (TEAMS). Employment Navigator and Partnership Pilot VETS designed this initiative to provide one-on-one assistance to transitioning service members and their spouses as a supplement to traditional DOL TAP workshops. Employment Navigators provide 46 / APRIL 2022

personalized support to review resumes, explore careers, provide referrals for mentorship, networking and employment opportunities. The pilot is available at select military installations worldwide and more information may be found at Off-Base Transition Training Are you a veteran looking to refresh that resume or build a profile on LinkedIn? OBTT may be a great place to start. OBTT is a series of workshops designed to help veterans (including those veterans currently serving in the Reserve Component (National Guard and Reserve members)) and their spouses plan for a meaningful career. In-person workshops are available in a few states, but all workshops (live and instructorled) are offered virtually. Employment Resource Coordinators in each state can also assist participants with connecting to local employment resources such as American Job Centers. Register for OBTT workshops at Transition Assistance Employment for Military Spouses (TEAMS) In 2021, military spouse unemployment reached 38 percent , and underemployment among the spouse community lingered between 30 to 50 percent . Military spouses have barriers to employment including frequent moves, licensing and credential barriers between states, and childcare needs. Understanding the needs of military spouses, DOL VETS developed TEAMS to provide employmentrelated assistance specifically for spouses. TEAMS workshops help spouses and caregivers of transitioning service members to identify and address common employment barriers. These virtual workshops explore employment resources at no cost to the attendee. Spouses and caregivers interested in registering for a TEAMS workshop can do so at Everyone that joins the military must eventually make the transition back to civilian life. VETS is there to facilitate a successful transition and enable your full potential in the workplace.

Tim Winter served eight years in the United States Marine Corps and is honored to continue his federal service as the Director of Transition Assistance Programs for DOL VETS.



Transitioning out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce? 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 the following link:




Transitioning Stories By Dr. Julie Ducharme

This month I was excited to interview Dr. Tiffany Tajiri, a retired Air Force officer. Dr. Tiffany Tajiri is a licensed, board-certified clinical psychologist, veteran U.S. Air Force officer and Special Operations-trained psychologist that has taken part in the selection and assessment of Special Forces personnel. Dr. Tajiri is the author of “Peace After Combat:

Healing the Spiritual and Psychological Wounds of War” – a book about recovery and restoration for military veterans and their families. Dr. Tajiri is currently chief of the largest behavioral health clinic serving Fort Bliss (El Paso, TX). She and her team work with soldiers providing behavioral health treatments to improve coping and resilience. When you were getting ready to transition what was your process:

Reality is we don’t know all the nuances that will spring up for us. We have to have a general idea of where we are going, the time, patience, practice and get educated on what we are doing and this will start opening new doors. When I was in the Air Force, I would not ever think I would write a book or create recovering programs, but I had an idea of where I wanted to be and that was in helping and serving other people. This guided me to all these other opportunities and accomplishments. Tips for Transitioning - Visualizing Your Future Our brains do not know the difference between a real or imagined experience. I tell veterans you have to see what you want for yourself. When you start doing this you start laying down new neural networks in your brain. And you start gravitating to the places you need to go. There is a book out there called The Secret of Attraction Secrets by Timothy Willlink and it echoes that what comes out in our thinking will also dictate the paths we are looking to go towards. Let me give you a great tidbit from research. There was a Doctor Kelly back in the day. She did a research project having one group do visualizing exercises, one that physically did the exercises and one that did not do them. 48 / APRIL 2022

In the end the ones who did the visualization exercises had clinical significant muscle gain for muscular strength. You think, how could this be? What you are doing in your visualizing is you are strengthening the neural connections in your motor cortex just by the process of visualization. Let’s talk about your book and how did you get inspired to write a book? This really goes back to my active duty days. This is about where is God in War and in Trauma. Faith and spiritually is the greatest protective factor when it comes to suicide prevention. I wanted to provide a book that would educate them on what trauma is and that it’s normal. How the brain functions and how the brain understands and deals with it. There are some very serious, raw, and graphic stories but it shows how the progress of how these service members are recovering from their trauma, rewiring their brains, and using visualization as a means of healing. When all we see is pain we have these pain blinders on; the memory is stored away in the amygdala, this is the fear center of the brain. We can only see with blinders on and we have to learn how to remove those blinders. Physical and Mental Health So when people are getting out of the military their battle rhythm or as we call is their operational tempo slows down and then what happens, the idle mind is the Devil’s playground. Everything that is unprocessed and unresolved from combat to life experiences causes chaos very quickly. Then they don’t know what to do, their means of coping before was immersing themselves into work. One of my greatest tips is take care of your physical needs before you get out. You need and take care of your spiritual and psychological health, go talk to a behavior health specialist and process these unresolved emotions. Final Tip - education I have a podcast called Peace After Combat to offer more education and tips for active military and as well veterans. I co-host this podcast with a VA psychologist where we cover all these topics such as: transitioning, trauma, and struggles, with the goal of continuing to help and provide support to our active duty and veterans. Feel free to find us on any place that you can get a podcast. To get education from Dr. Tiffany click link below To watch the Dr. Tiffany live interview click the link below For more help on active duty transition, education, and more click the link below

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commitment in place and serves as an insurance policy on your journey to success. Solo professionals often find themselves guilty of two things. First, they tend to minimize the story of their ‘doing’ and they rarely celebrate or acknowledge a success before they are off and running to the next thing. They tend to skim over the value and meaning they have just created. In a true ongoing regular “mastermind” there are people who help acknowledge or witness each other’s doing. Someone holding the space for them with empathy and encouragement to honor the work and the progress. People to remind them of the bigger vision - the why behind all the details.

What is a Mastermind? With the change in how we have had to conduct business, online “masterminds” have proliferated over the internet. Coaches have been challenged to work with groups. Subject matter experts have promoted their trainings by offering Facebook groups and Meetups’ that are showing up like masterminds. After spending almost 30 years facilitating “master mind” groups I have come to realize that many of those more recent groups bring different things to the table; but what is it that really works in a true “mastermind”? The real focus of in a true “mastermind” meeting is to address the challenges and opportunities confronting each individual in the group. The member partners ask clarifying questions and then give candid feedback and suggestions. It’s an amazing opportunity to share experiences and—more importantly— find solutions! It is a level of support that most small business owners do not ever get to experience in their entire lives!! It is about tapping into the experience and positive expectations of others that can give you that kick to take action. In addition, we know that accountability works. There is evidence that successful completion of a task increases dramatically when you commit to another that you will do it. It is the glue that holds a goal or 50 / APRIL 2022

When members in a group are accountable - they have a focus on what they say they will do but even more than that, they are excited to share what they accomplished. Sharing it, being acknowledged, gives it joy and meaning. And that creates motivation to do more and gives the doing greater value and is the beginning of a new success narrative. If you have never experienced a “real” mastermind, give it a try and experience the value of participating in the brainstorming experience. Napoleon Hill in his bestselling book Think and Grow Rick, says that a master mind is the “Coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony between two or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose” which he stresses is the necessary “POWER” to bring that purpose to fruition.

Barbara Eldridge has built a solid reputation as a Success strategies specialist, within industry and business over the past 40 years. Her unique message, since starting Mind Masters 30 years ago for entrepreneurs and small business owners, continually stresses vision, purpose and values as the key elements of business philosophy.

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Youth Programs Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship in Our Military Communities By: Joseph Molina National Veterans Chamber of Commerce It has been my experience that today’s youth and especially those coming from a military environment tend to start businesses in areas of personal interest including types of businesses that represent a rewarding aspect of their lives, which result in businesses that are full of innovation, out of the box ideas that hit a home run! I find it amazing that many of the students who have participated in business programs through their schools or community have little or no interest in limitation, but a huge interest in helping the world be a better place. They want to create products that help the elderly, people in pain and on and on. What drives them? Money is not the motivating factor but the social impact their ideas will have on society is. “Promote an Entrepreneurial Environment”: To promote entrepreneurship, the birth of new ideas, we need to have an “Entrepreneurial Mind-Set” – a way of thinking that perceives entrepreneurship as a “New Opportunity”, a way to find and create new solutions to old problems or new solutions to new problems. Having the right mind-set will encourage the right environment that welcomes entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial ideas. · Allow kids to try: With the understanding that mistakes and or failures are just part of a business cycle. They are nothing more than opportunities to try something in a different way. · Provide resources: Be ready to invest time and money in a few tools, resources and or training. · Create a platform of business opportunities: Connect with businesses and organizations in the community to bring potential opportunities to the youth encouraging them to learn as well as contributing to a business. This creates a work ethic and encourages self-esteem. There are so many ways we can engage and use the creativity and skills of our youth to foster entrepreneurship. · Make kids be accountable and responsible for money earned: It is important that they learn how to manage money. This becomes a crucial skill as the business grows. 52 / APRIL 2022

“Encourage and Coordinate Presentations to Potential Customers: Coordinate and schedule presentations with potential buyers such as local store owners, the local flower shop, the local coffee shop, etc. Selling is a skill that when provided that will greatly benefit our young business owners. · Be a mentor or a business coach: Mentors are key to the success of these young entrepreneurs. Mentors/ business coaches are essential to the development of business ideas and business concepts. Mentors/ business coaches help by guiding and directing the business process, brainstorming ideas and identify solutions to potential obstacles. “Establish a Youth Entrepreneurship Program”: Creating a Youth entrepreneurship program is easy. Youth programs can be located at a local school or at a city organization. It only needs to have one coordinator a group of passionate teachers, parents and/or volunteers who will be committed to developing programs and projects that will help students “test drive” their ideas. The program must establish a partnership with the local business community to help support and encourage the program. Here are some ideas of projects that are fun to organize and very effective in helping students discover their entrepreneurial potential: 1. “Business Idea Pitch It Competition”: This project allows for students to present their business idea in front of a panel of judges providing constructive feedback. 2. “Take it to the Market”: This gives a group of students the experience and skills to create and implement a sales strategy for a product or service as well as identify its market potential. 3. “Marketing Plan Competition”: The business community submits a “Project” for a group of students to work on. These are real life scenarios/issues that students help identify solutions to solve the problem. 4. Invention and Innovation: Students submit “a prototype” of an idea or product that currently does NOT exist, but could be created and possibly developed. Students showcase their prototype in front of a panel of judges. In Summary, the youth of today have an amazing entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit, an unlimited source of ideas and a potential for greatness. Let’s come together and see that we create “opportunities” that can be presented to our next generation of Entrepreneurs to encourage their greatness.



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

ENTREPRENEURSHIP TRENDS New technologies, evolving customer demands, societal shifts, and the COVID-19 pandemic are rapidly changing the business landscape. These factors paved the way for independent companies, niche markets, disruptive industries, as well as global reach. To reap the benefits that these changes have to offer, you must keep yourself up to date on the emerging entrepreneurship trends, as such you can keep your business moving forward in the changing times and keep your edge against the competition. Many people put entrepreneurship on a pedestal. However, it is really hard to become a successful entrepreneur. To illustrate, only half of new businesses survive five years or longer, while only a third reach the 10-year mark. This is attributed to the many hurdles and challenges that lurk in the everchanging business landscape.

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Many new entrepreneurs fail to keep up with their ever-evolving market, as external market forces are not the only things to overcome. Researchers have found that there are 5 top reasons why startups fail: 1. 42% of small businesses fail because there is no market need for the product or service. 2. 29% of small businesses fail because they run out of cash. 3. 23% of small businesses fail because they do not have the right people in the right positions to help advance the company. 4. 19% of small businesses fail because their competitors have out preformed. 5. 18% of small businesses fail because they have not budgeted for cost issues.

For a startup to thrive in today’s business world, it must be able to follow the trends, such as having the ability to work remotely. A few years ago, we started witnessing the rise of people working from home. A huge percentage of the workforce has chosen to work from home. This gives entrepreneurs more flexibility with their money as now they don’t have to pay for long expensive leases to rent offices, none to very little overhead costs, no electricity bill, and no equipment upkeep. Working remotely, can offer an opportunity to entrepreneurs to work from anywhere and be able to work for anyone on a global scale.

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Having the ability to work from anywhere and to work with anyone brings us to the next trend, which is actually working globally. With the level of connectivity that we have today, more and more businesses are choosing to go international to expand their customer reach. The truth is that globalism has been a general trend for many years already, but sometimes we mistake it to be just an option for bigger companies. This globalism trend is really hot in particular sectors especially media and professional services. Many businesses now, more or less, cater to customers worldwide. So, it makes sense that entrepreneurs build connections with people from across the globe to understand their target markets better. In years to come, working with a global mindset will largely continue to be the norm among top performing businesses. Becoming a business owner, you control your own destiny, choose the people you work with, reap big rewards, challenge yourself, give back to the community, and you get to follow your passion. Knowing what you’re getting into is smart business because the responsibility of protecting your family and yourself falls on you.

You can incorporate your business, find contracts, and download free resources from For more information on how to legally start and grow your business please visit my website at

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

Award-winning attorney, Kelly Bagla shows you how to avoid legal pitfalls FROM DAY ONE! The last thing an entrepreneur wants is to spend valuable time and resources on legal issues, which is why they often drop to the bottom of the pile. But this can be a COSTLY MISTAKE—and Go Legal Yourself is here to make sure it’s one you avoid. • • • •

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

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

Get your copy at amazon today! / APRIL 2022


legal Eagle Straight-forward legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners

Celebrating Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Columnist ( Legal Eagle) San Diego Veterans Magazine America is only the ‘land of the free’… “BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE.” The men and women who have volunteered to protect this magnificent country deserve our gratitude. I am a proud wife of a Marine and a mother to our son who currently serves in the Marines. Writing this column for the past 5 or so years has allowed me to give back to our veteran community by helping countless service members start and run their own businesses. As a business attorney my columns have helped provide legal guidance to anyone that wishes to enter the world of Entrepreneurship. The “tips and tricks” offered are unparalleled, and specifically geared to be conducive to those needs that would be unique to a United States Veteran.

It has been a long-standing practice to: “honor those who have honored us with their service”; and Bagla Law Firm, APC., will always provide 20% discount on all legal services to our active duty and veteran men and women. I am blessed to be acknowledged by several prestigious publications, awarded accolades by a number of different associations, and even to have been inducted into the “Business Hall of Fame” for being the ‘Best in Carlsbad’ three years running. I am honored, and I am blessed. The least I can do is pay it forward. Monthly “Legal Eagle” San Diego columns are available online at:

56 / APRIL 2022 / APRIL 2022



April 2022

The San Diego Veterans Coalition salutes Confidential Recovery! Confidential Recovery provides veterans and the community with confidential, long-term addiction treatment that supports sustainable recovery. Veterans and the community receive highly confidential treatment in a safe environment where they can address their challenges and learn skills to manage the everyday stressors that make recovery difficult. Confidential Recovery helps those in need escape the grasps of alcohol, opioid, fentanyl, and opiate addiction. Confidential Recovery’s Addiction Treatment Center Confidential Recovery’s outpatient program is designed for working adults who are employed and live at home. Generally, they are veterans and are high-functioning individuals who share the need for treatment in a confidential environment. Confidential Recovery provides long-term, sustainable treatment for substance abuse disorders. Confidential Recovery is an excellent option for continued treatment and support once individuals have been stabilized in a detox or a residential treatment program. From alcohol to opioids, Confidential Recovery patient’s treatment is tailored to their needs. They believe that “one size doesn’t fit all” when it comes to treatment approaches. Each individual will participate in the development of their own self-care plan, which is necessary for long-term sobriety and sustainable recovery. Confidential Recovery believes the stigma of addiction and treatment gets in the way of selfacceptance and treatment. That’s why they treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. Confidential Recovery works with their patients to address underlying issues that contribute to their substance abuse. 58 / APRIL 2022

Confidential Recovery’s Treatment Process Intensive Outpatient treatment is self-defining. After completing a comprehensive history and assessment with a licensed professional, the patient begins their journey to recovery. Confidential Recovery staff has a common goal for all patients – get sober, get healthy and get your life back. Sessions are held in the daytime and in the evenings from 6pm to 9pm, three to four days/nights per week for up to eight weeks initially. Patients will be engaged through a combination of individual and group therapy as well as mindfulness classes. Outside support groups such as SMART Recovery, Life Ring, or AA are a required part of ongoing treatment. How Confidential Recovery Can Help You Confidential Recovery recognizes that drug and alcohol addiction is complex and impacts individuals, families and communities. Their staff strongly believes in a harm reduction approach to treatment, meeting the individual “where they are” at and building a sound treatment program around them. The immediate goal is to create a safe environment in which to rebuild their lives. Successful completion of the treatment program provides the foundation for life long sobriety. To ease the transition to sobriety Confidential Recovery provides and supports Medicated Assisted Treatment, which is proven to increase the chances of long term recovery. Confidential Recovery facilities are tucked away in an area that was chosen to provide ultimate privacy in which patients feel secure while participating in their recovery program—just like the treatment program, the location was chosen to support it. For additional information, please visit

The SDVC Proudly Salutes Confidential Recovery / APRIL 2022


INSIDE THE MONTHLY COLUMNS San Diego Veterans Magazine features monthly columns & articles on topics of interest for today’s veterans, transitioning military personnel, active military, and the families that keep it together.

• Real Talk: Mental Health • A Different LENS Mental Health Monthly • Arts & Healing Arts Arts for Military Veterans

San Diego Veterans Magazine

• What’s Next Transition to Civilian Life • Human Resources Transition to Business • Business for Veterans • Legal Eagle Legal Business Tips • Legally Speaking Military Family Focused Law • National Veterans Chamber of Commerce Feel free to review & bookmark our supportive & resourceful monthly columns:

---------------------------------------------------------------Real Talk: Mental Health By Outreach and Clinical experts from the Cohen Clinic at VVSD Deployment, transition, reintegration – as a veteran, service member or military family member, you’ve likely had to face all three. The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD, part of Cohen Veterans Network, provides high-quality, evidence-based mental health care to the military community. Our Mental Health Column provides advice on various topics related to these challenges.

Learn more: 60 / APRIL 2022

A Different LENS Mental Health Monthly By Randee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens reflects on RanDee’s personal experiences as former law enforcement, Veteran, military spouse, and clinician. A Different Lens explores all things mental health related and the struggles our veterans and their families may face.

Connect with Randee at -------------------------------------------------------------Arts & Healing

Arts for Military Veterans By Amber Robinson Arts & Healing is a reflection of Amber’s personal experiences in healing through the arts as a disabled combat veteran as well as a reflection of our San Diego veteran artists and how they are using art to transform and heal, too.

You can read Amber’s columns at

What’s Next


Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby & Kristin Hennessy

Legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners By Kelly Bagla, Esq.

Transitioning from the military into the civilian work world can be anxiety-producing, depressing, and demoralizing without being prepped with the right mindset and tools for success. What’s Next shares stories, insights, tips, and resources from those who have transitioned, so those in the process (or thinking of starting the process) are armed and ready to find rewarding opportunities, ace the interview, and embark on a successful career journey.

Business Formation and Asset Protection Expertise. An all-inclusive comprehensive overview, of common expensive pitfalls business owners are subjected to, that YOU need to know about. Asset protection musthaves and unparalleled guidance through the Shark infested waters of Business Formation. Kelly Bagla, Esq. is an international award-winning corporate attorney who has been in the business of turning passion projects into profits for more than two decades. Trust an Expert.

You can connect with Eve at or ----------------------------------------------------------------

Contact Kelly at Websites:

Human Resources


Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

National Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Moving from the military into the private sector isn’t going to be seamless. The transition process can be difficult, particularly because the job search, interview, and onboarding processes are relatively new territory for many veterans. The HR Column offers a unique perspective on hot topics and relevant issues in corporate leadership and management today.

You can connect with Paul at or via his website at ----------------------------------------------------------------

By Joseph Molina The National Veterans Chamber (NVCC) helps connect Military/Veterans Community by housing organizations that serve the Veteran Community. We write about Entrepreneurship, Employment, Education, Wellness, Family and Faith. The NVCC was founded in 2017 with the simple goal of Empowering Individuals and Organizations that offer programs that will have a positive impact on the Veteran Community.

Business for Veterans

You can connect with Joe at or visit

By Barbara Eldridge


The Business for Veterans column is by Barbara Eldridge who has built a solid reputation as a Success strategies specialist, within industry and business over the past 40 years. Her unique message, since starting Mind Masters 30 years ago for entrepreneurs and small business owners, continually stresses vision, purpose and values as the key elements of business philosophy.

Lean more at -------------------------------------------------------------Legally Speaking Military Family Law By Tana Landau

SanLegal Experts with Humanity. For more information visit our website: or call (858) 720-8250 and ask to speak with military family law attorney Tana Landau.

San Diego Veterans Magazine Current & Past Issues are available at: / APRIL 2022


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Resources Support Transition HEALTH Community

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

Voted 2020 & 2021 Best San Diego resource, support magazine for veterans, transitioning military personnel, active military, military families & veteran organizations

Get Tickets at 64 / APRIL 2022

Articles inside

SDVC: Salutes Confidential Recovery

pages 58-59

Veterans in Business: Masterminds

pages 50-51

Successful Transitioning Stories

pages 48-49

Life After Military Service

pages 46-47

What’s Next: Your Next Mission

pages 44-45


pages 30-31

HR: Realities of Remote Work

pages 42-43

LENS: Military Separation

pages 36-38

Camp Corral: Military Veteran Children

pages 32-33

Real Talk: Month of the Military Child

pages 24-25

Helping Kids Cope with Divorce

pages 34-35

SD Military Family Collaborative

pages 28-29

Purple Up For Kids

page 23

Shelter to Soldier Announces Partnership

pages 16-18

Children Are A Priority

page 21

DAV - Driven to Serve

pages 14-15

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans

pages 10-11

ASYMCA Operation Little Learners

page 22

Midway Magic - Volunteers are the Shining Light

pages 8-9

Local Marine Veteran Receives Gift of Life

pages 12-13

Guide Dogs of America

page 19
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