San Diego Veterans Magazine April 2023

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Tips for managing the emotions and feelings of your family

Supporting Our Mighty Military Kids

Armed Services YMCA San Diego

Horse of the Sun Ranch

Honoring Military Aviation

SD Air & Space Museum

Resources & Support

MILITARY TO Law Enforcement

TRANSITION To Civilian Life

USS Midway Museum Honors

Vietnam War Veterans



Reclaiming Control

Vol. 6 • Number 4 • April 2023 M A G A Z I N E

US Navy (1987 – 1993) US Air Force (1993 – 2013)

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2 / April 2023
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Welcome to San Diego Veterans Magazine!

SDVM is a veteran-focused magazine throughout ALL San Diego & Southern California. It serves to assist all veterans, active military as well as their spouses and families.

It is the leading veteran magazine emphasizing resources & support and focusing on topics and issues facing today’s veteran community. SDVM focuses on resources, support, community, transition, mental health, inspiration and more...

The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with our veterans, service members, military families, and civilians.

The magazine is supported by the city of San Diego and a distinguishing list of veteran organizations & members, resource centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people.

Despite all the challenges, our team has upheld their focus and let not one opportunity go to provide resources and support to our veterans & military personnel.

On behalf of our team, we wanted to take this moment to say THANK YOU to the readers and our military-veteran community for supporting our magazine. With that support we aim to make a difference and continuing to make a profound impact on the quality of life for our veterans, military personnel and their families.

If you want to catch up on the current and past issues, please visit:

Publisher Editor-In-Chief

Mike Miller

Monthly Columns

What’s Next Transition

Eve Nasby • Kristin Hennessy

Human Resources

Paul Falcone

Veterans in Business

Barbara Eldridge

Successful Transitioning Stories

Dr. Julie Ducharme

Risky Business

Hadley Wood

Franchise Frontline

Rhonda Sanderson

Real Talk: Mental Health

Hope Phifer

PTSD: Reclaiming Control

Robert ‘Bob’ Cuyler, PhD

TLC Caregiving

Kie Copenhaver

Art & Healing

Amber Robinson

Legal Eagle

Kelly Bagla, Esq.

Family Law

Tana Landau, Esq.

Midway Magic

David Koontz

Veterans Chamber Commerce

Joe Molina

Contributing Writers

Wounded Warrior Project

Raquel G. Rivas, WWP

Disabled American Veterans

San Diego Veterans Coalition

Veteran Association North County

(In-House) Correspondents

Holly Shaffner

CJ Machado

4 / April 2023 San Diego Veterans Magazine 9528 Miramar Road, #41 San Diego, CA 92126 (858) 275-4281
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
EDITOR’S LETTER / April 2023 5 6 Miramar National Cemetery Avenue of Flags 8 Midway Magic - Honoring Vietnam War Veterans 10 GI Film Festival San Diego 12 SD Air & Space Museum 14 Coast Guard City 20 Month of the Military Child 21 Purple Up For Military Kids 22 Managing Emotions and Feelings 24 Armed Services YMCA San Diego 26 Military Child Education Coalition 28 Operation Bigs 30 Real Talk - Supporting Military Kids 32 TLC - The Military Child/Poem 34 Legally Speaking - Child Support 36 Real Estate Guide - Navigation Inflation 37 San Diego Veterans Coalition 38 VCC - Housing Crisis 40 PTSD: Exploring Treatment 43 Veterans Association of North County 44 What’s Next - Becoming Your Own Boss 46 Business for Veterans - Find The Gold 48 Human Resources - Workplace Benefits 52 Successful Transition - Kamin Samuel 54 Risky Busines - Working with Kids 55 Franchise Frontline - Ryan Showers 56 Veterans are Perfect for Cybersecurity 58 Legal Eagle - AB5 Law 62 Careers in Law Enforcement 64 Military to Police Office SDPD 66 From Navy Sailor to SFPD

Miramar National Cemetery Avenue of Flags

Just inside the entrance to Miramar National Cemetery is the Avenue of Flags. There are fifty brilliant 5x 8 foot red, white, and blue American Flags lining the Cemetery’s main drive from its entrance on Nobel Drive anchored at the Flag Assembly Area, where an immense garrison flag waves proudly. It flies over our Nation’s heroes and their families and is lowered to half-mast Monday through Friday as burials take place at the Cemetery.

The Avenue of Flags stand watch on these hallowed grounds - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation (MNCSF) uses donated funds for the upkeep and maintenance of the flags, poles, lanyards, and lighting.

The flags are subject to wear and tear sustained from the constant coastal breezes, or most recently, the fierce winds from storm, rain, and sleet. Normally, the Support Foundation replaces the 50 flags prior to Memorial Day and Veterans Day, but this year, due to the unprecedented blustery spring weather in Southern California, they were replaced in March.

The Support Foundation raised the initial funds to install the Avenue of Flags; and in January 2012, they served as the first gift to the Cemetery... Fun fact: Miramar NationalCemetery is the only National Cemetery in the country to have an Avenue of Flags!

The flags are a centerpiece for the Cemetery and a jewel for the local La Jolla area as they can be seen from I-805 and surrounding streets

“It was our honor to gift the Avenue of Flags to the Cemetery. They are a tribute to the men and women who served our country, and their families who support them,” said Sallay Kim, MNCSF President and CEO.

Miramar National Cemetery is located at 5795 Nobel Drive in San Diego. It is open to the public every day from sunrise to sunset. Family members can visit their loved ones, and guests can walk the grounds to pay tribute to the heroes and see the dedicated memorials.

To learn more about the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation, please visit:

6 / April 2023
“It was our honor to gift the Avenue of Flags to the Cemetery. They are a tribute to the men and women who served our country, and their families who support them.”
- Sallay Kim, MNCSF President and CEO


Invest in the future of Miramar National Cemetery

Hundreds of veterans, active duty military, families, businesses, and the public have invested in the future of Miramar National Cemetery.

Thanks to their generous contributions

The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation sponsors:

• Miramar National Cemetery Memorial Amphitheater

• The Avenue of Flags

• Veterans Tribute Tower & Carillon

• Annual Veterans Memorial Services

• Annual Veterans Day Observances

• Coordinates Veterans Memorial Monuments

Honor our past, present, and future military veterans!

Send your donation, today, to the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation

All contributions are fully tax deductible.

Help the Foundation Support Miramar National Cemetery.

Please go to and click on “Donate Now” for information about how you can donate to the Miramar National / April 2023 7

USS Midway Museum Honors Vietnam War Veterans

In 1963, Bob Werner lied about his age, and at 16 enlisted in the Navy. Joining the Navy was something he always wanted to do and he was excited to see the world.

Trained as a combat corpsman, Werner was ultimately assigned to a Marine Corps unit deployed to Vietnam. He did three tours “in country” and was wounded multiple times while saving the lives of countless Marines. He was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star for his bravery and courage, and the Purple Heart for his wounds. Werner was an American hero.

However, when he returned home to the United States after risking his life in defense of democracy, he was treated like dirt on the bottom of someone’s shoe. “We were not treated very well when we came back,” remembered Werner, a USS Midway Museum docent with more than 3,000 volunteer hours on the ship. “I personally was spat on and was called some very nasty names when I came back from Vietnam.”

The date of the ceremony was significant as it marked the 50th anniversary of when the last U.S. troops left Vietnam and the final group of American prisoners of war were freed and departed Hanoi. The commemoration featured several guest speakers who described how their heroic, harrowing and heartbreaking experiences during the war changed their lives and the lives of their families forever.

Roy Knight was only 11 years old when his dad, a U.S. Air Force pilot, was shot down and killed while on a combat mission over Laos in May 1967. For Roy, the loss was devastating.

“My dad was my hero,” he said before more than 700 people, mostly veterans, who attended the ceremony. “He was the person I admired the most and was the person I always wanted to emulate.”

By the end of the war, Roy and his family had lost hope that his father was still alive or that his remains would ever be found. In 2019, however, during the final investigation of the aircraft crash site, remains of Roy’s dad were finally located, positively identified and returned to the United States after 52 years.

In April 1975, 8-year-old Courtney Herrmann found her world crumbling around her as the North Vietnamese army attacked her home city of Saigon. Her family’s close connection to the United States made them targets. “Living under the rath of the Vietcong wasn’t an option,” said Herrmann, recalling the chaos of the moment nearly five decades ago.” My father, a former high-ranking officer in the South Vietnamese army, would have been subjected to torture and possibly death.”

On March 29, National Vietnam War Veterans Day, the USS Midway Museum held a large commemoration ceremony on its flight deck to publicly pay tribute to Vietnam War veterans. “It’s wonderful, finally, that 50 years later we’re starting to recognize the sacrifices that we all made,” said Werner, who has been volunteering for Midway since 2015. “It’s very special and dear to my heart.”

Gripped by fear, Herrmann and her family miraculously made their way into the Saigon airport where they were ultimately flown by military helicopter to the USS Midway stationed off the coast of South Vietnam during Operation Frequent Wind. It was the start of a long journey to a new life in the United States.

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The ceremony’s final speaker was retired U.S. Navy Commander Everett Alvarez. Shot down in August 1964 and captured by the North Vietnamese, he spent nearly nine years as a prisoner of war. He said that he survived imprisonment thanks to primarily his faith in God and the mutual support of the other prisoners

“Vietnam vets are a resilient group,” said Alvarez, an A-4C Skyhawk pilot during war. “But what stands out most in my mind, is that you have a brotherhood which is significant. We must always honor the service of our military men and women.”

The ceremony concluded with a wreath and flower laying that involved all of the veterans, as well as their family members, in attendance.

“As we commemorate the end of the Vietnam war, these gathering are really meaningful to me,” said Alvarez, who later became the acting head of the Veterans Administration under President Ronald Reagan. “I’m very appreciative for having the chance to be here.” / April 2023 9
For those interested in becoming a USS Midway Museum volunteer, more information along with the volunteer application can be found at:
“Freedom should never be taken for granted,” said Herrmann, who lives in Orange County. “I personally witnessed the best in humanity from so many in our armed forces, including veterans like you in attendance today, who came to Vietnam to save thousands, including an 8-year-old like me. I am therefore a grateful and forever a proud American.”

GI Film Festival San Diego opens with two documentaries about the strength, service and sacrifice of two local female veterans

Tickets are on sale now for the 2023 GI Film Festival San Diego, scheduled for May 15-20. All screenings will take place at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park.

Since 2015, the GI Film Festival San Diego has been a platform for military voices and experiences. This year, the six-day event will open with two documentary films spotlighting two local female veterans who challenged the notions of what it means to serve. The GI Film Festival San Diego will open Monday, May 15 at the Museum of Photographic Arts starting at 6 p.m.

Before the main screenings, the evening will kick off with the San Diego premiere of “The Making of TOPGUN 2,” directed by award-winning filmmaker and military veteran Mark Vizcarra. Vizcarra is a 4S Ranch resident and a longtime GI Film Festival San Diego participant.

His 30-minute documentary takes the audience behind the scenes of the U.S. Navy’s support of the making of the 2022 action drama “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Following Vizcarra’s screening will be a reception where festival attendees can socialize and enjoy small bites and refreshments. The event will continue with the dual screening of “Time for Change: The Kathy Bruyere Story,” and “Ultimate Sacrifices: CPT Jennifer Moreno.” Both films were directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker and Iraq War veteran Daniel Bernardi.

Making its U.S. premiere, “Time for Change: The Kathy Bruyere Story” details retired U.S. Navy Captain Kathy Bruyere’s determination to create more equitable

10 / April 2023
Image provided by KPBS. Photographer: Spark Photography Photo Courtesy: The Making of TOPGUN 2

opportunities for women serving in the military in the late 1970s. Bruyere, who lived and worked in San Diego, challenged centuries of Navy tradition and made history by fighting for the rights of female service members to serve at sea. She was a trailblazer who shattered glass ceilings and inspired countless military careers.

This year, 31 films will be shown at the festival. Other films with local ties include “Touch,” a narrative short that takes place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and features a cast and crew of San Diego residents; “Major,” a documentary short from San Diego filmmaker James Wright about one man’s post-911 journey from Hollywood actor to Army Major to retirement; “Let’s Talk About the War,” a documentary narrated by combat veteran and local film director Nick Betts; and “Echoes of Resilience,” a documentary short filmed in San Diego, about a series of PTSD-related tragedies that force a devoted mental health advocate to redefine her life.


pays homage to the life and career of U.S. Army Captain Jennifer Moreno. Moreno grew up in San Diego and was a leader in San Diego High School’s JROTC program. A core member of the Cultural Support Team in Afghanistan, Moreno and an elite female squad engaged in dangerous combat operations while providing allied forces a means to communicate with the local women. The documentary features interviews with Moreno’s close friends and family left behind after she made the ultimate sacrifice.

Both documentaries were filmed predominantly in San Diego at sites including Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Miramar National Cemetery and Coronado Island. In addition, these films exemplify the festival’s mission to showcase diverse stories for a transformative cinema experience and to help bridge the militarycivilian divide.

Director Daniel Bernardi’s military background lends a uniquely qualified filmmaking perspective. He served in Iraq, leading Combat Camera for U.S. Army 5th and 10th Special Forces Groups. Bernardi’s experiences in the Navy also included tours at sea, in Europe, South East Asia and Guantanamo Bay.

For seven years, the GI Film Festival San Diego, organized by KPBS in partnership with Film Consortium San Diego, has presented hundreds of films from national, international and San Diego area filmmakers and attracted thousands of audience members. “The festival provides opportunities for military experiences to be shared and to elevate the voices of those who have served. Some of these stories are being told for the first time at this event, or may not have otherwise been told,” says Nancy Worlie, Chief Content and Communications Officer, KPBS. “We’re excited to bring together new and returning festival-goers for a week of celebrating our military, veterans and their stories.”

The 2023 GI Film Festival San Diego box office is now open at Tickets start at just $8 for active military and veterans and $10 for general admission. Buy your tickets now and enjoy an unforgettable experience in film. / April 2023 11
Photo Ccurtesy: Time for Change: The Kathy Bruyere Story Sacrifices: CPT Jennifer Moreno’’ Photo Ccurtesy: Ultimate Sacrifices: CPT Jennifer Moreno Photo Ccurtesy: Let’s Talk About the War Photo Ccurtesy: Echoes of Resilience

Honoring Military Aviation at the San Diego Air and Space Museum

As the only Museum in Balboa Park that offers free admission to active duty military and their dependents, the San Diego Air & Space Museum is proud to honor the heritage of America’s armed services through its prestigious International Air & Space Hall of Fame. Figures from military history –where so many innovations in aviation advancements have taken place – are featured prominently in the International Space Hall of Fame.

Did you know? Many of America’s astronauts from the legendary Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs came from military backgrounds. Though technically a civilian when he joined NASA as an astronaut in 1962, Neil Armstrong previously had flown 78 combat missions as a Naval aviator in Korea before making history as the first man to set foot on the Moon in July 1969 during the momentous first lunar landing. Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin, Armstrong’s fellow moonwalker on Apollo 11, graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1951 with a bachelor’s of science degree and became a rated pilot in the United States Air Force by 1952. He later flew 66 combat missions in the Korean War and is credited with two confirmed victories.

Several of America’s most famous astronauts and Mission Control members also served in the military at some point in their careers, including, John Glenn (Marine Corps), Wally Schirra (Navy),. Walt Cunningham (Marine Corps), Bill Anders (Navy), Alan Bean (Navy), Jim Lovell (Navy), Charlie Duke (Air Force), Frank Borman (Air Force), Gene Cernan (Navy), Gene Kranz (Air Force), Gerry Griffin (Air Force), Tom Stafford (Air Force), Dave Scott (Air Force), Scott Carpenter (Navy), Michael Collins (Air Force), Al Worden (Air Force) and John Young (Navy), just to name a few.

The International Air & Space Hall of Fame also honors the diversity of America’s military aviation history, including tributes to the Tuskegee Airmen, the United States’ first all African-American unit, and one of its founding leaders Benjamin O. Davis, as well as Lloyd “Fig” Newton, the first African-American pilot for the United States Air Force’s elite Thunderbird flight demonstration team. Newton is a veteran of 269 Vietnam combat missions, and was the commander of three air wings and one air division, as well as the commander the Air Force Air Education and Training command.

To learn more about the Museum’s prestigious International Air & Space Hall of Fame visit

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Top Gun The Blue Angels Naval Aviation Coast Guard Aviation Marine Corps Aviation

Barbara Barrett, who was inducted into the Hall in 2020, served as the 25th United States Secretary of the United States Air Force. Barrett is also an instrumentrated pilot, and was the first civilian woman to land in an F/A-18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier. She also trained as an astronaut, and was the backup spaceflight participant for the Soyuz TMA-16 flight to the International Space Station.

Tammie Jo Shults, who also was inducted in 2020, is known for being one of the first female fighter pilots to serve in the United States Navy. Following active duty, she became a pilot for Southwest Airlines, retiring in 2020. While in the U.S. Navy, she served as an instructor pilot flying the F/A-18 Hornet and EA-6B Prowler, achieving the rank of lieutenant commander.

The Hall also honors several branches of, and units from, the United States Armed Forces, including Marine Corps Aviation, 100 Years of Coast Guard Aviation, U.S. Army Aviation, Top Gun, the Blue Angels, and Naval Aviation.

Several World War II American Aviators also figure prominently in the Hall, including Steve Pisanos, Dean “Diz” Laird, Bud Anderson, Curtiss LeMay, Ira Eaker, Robert Cardenas, Jimmy Doolittle, and former San Diego Padres announcer Jerry Coleman, the only MLB player to fly in combat in World War II and Korea.

Chuck Yeager, an ace with the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II who later made history by becoming the first person in history to break the sound barrier in level flight in the Bell X-1 on October 14, 1947, became one of the Hall’s earliest members when he was inducted in 1966. A replica of the Bell X-1, which was built in the Museum’s underground restoration shop by a team of skilled volunteer experts, hangs proudly in the Museum’s entrance Rotunda. Set in beautiful Balboa Park, the San Diego Air & Space Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. / April 2023 13


*Photo PA2 by Rob Simpson / *Photos by U.S. Coast Guard


AMERICA’S FINEST CITY is a Coast Guard City

Update from February 2020 - Since this article was published three years ago, San Diego Coast Guard City has continued to grow, thrive, and meet their mission. In fact, Mayor Gloria, the San Diego Coast Guard City Committee, and the local USCG submitted a request for redesignation as a Coast Guard City. Congress reviewed all that had been accomplished since 2017, and in 2022 San Diego was redesignated as a Coast Guard City! In June 2022 during a redesignation ceremony, they reported the committee had organized, participated, or collaborated on 90 items directly impacting their mission, that number today is around 100 events!

Many of the items the committee does for the activeduty members, falls under a newly designed initiative called, “The Family Enrichment Program.” Under that program, the committee works with community partners like the San Diego Yacht Club, Bicycle Warehouse, Horse of the Sun Ranch, and Next Level Sailing to treat the hard-working Coasties and their families to activities that are fun for the entire family, relax and enjoy a day together.

A new Chairman took the helm in 2021. Kimberly McKnight is an avid boater and mother of an activeduty Officer. She is keeping the committee focused on their mission developing the relationships between the USCG and the San Diego community. Lastly, as a final update, Congress and the U.S. Coast Guard have added two more cities to make 30 Coast Guard cities –the newest is Key West, Florida.

Who knew that San Diego was 1 of the nation’s 28 Coast Guard Cities? In fact, America’s Finest City is the largest Coast Guard City (by square miles) in the country! We were designated as the 23rd city on February 23, 2017 and this year we will celebrate our 3rd anniversary.

To earn this designation, a city must request it from Congress. It is an honor for a city to be approved for the designation as it shows the commitment of the city to the active duty, reserve, and retired Coast Guard and their families. To earn this designation, a city must request

16 / April 2023
“It’s important for the Coast Guard to know that the community supports them and that we are there for them,”
- Tony Teravainen

it from Congress. It is an honor for a city to be approved for the designation as it shows the commitment of the city to the active duty, reserve, and retired Coast Guard and their families. That commitment comes in the form of constructing monuments to the Coast Guard, organizing civic celebrations and offering special recognition to support USCG morale, welfare and recreational initiatives.

In 2022, San Diego will be reevaluated based on the support it has received and the accomplishments the city has made for the betterment of the Coast Guard and the community.

To ensure the city is pushing forward with initiatives, San Diego started a Coast Guard City Advisory Committee. The members are appointed by the office of the Mayor and consist of local military-affiliated nonprofits, the Harbor Police, Port Tenants Association, San Diego Yacht Club, San Diego State University as well as the Coast Guard and the Mayor’s office.

Their mission is simple, “To make the San Diego public aware of our Coast Guard, as well as make our Coast Guard aware of all the resources and support our community has to offer.”

The current volunteer chairman of the Advisory Committee is former Navy submariner, Tony Teravainen, who heads the local non-profit, Support the Enlisted Project.

“It’s important for the Coast Guard to know that the community supports them and that we are there for them,” said Teravainen.

That support was tested in December 2018 when the government shut down for 35 days and Coast Guard members did not receive paychecks.

Young junior enlisted members, many who live paycheck to paycheck, found themselves standing in food bank lines and wondering how they would afford diapers for their children and how they would put gas into their cars to go to work. According to Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s letter to San Diego Congressional Delegates in January 2019, locally, we had about 700 Coast Guard men and women who were affected by the shutdown.

The Coast Guard is not permitted to solicit for funds from the community so Chairman Teravainen stepped in to collect grocery and gas cards, and diapers to help the families make it until the government was reopened. During this time, Teravainen estimates that hundreds of Coasties were assisted. / April 2023 17
Who knew that San Diego was 1 of the nation’s 28 Coast Guard Cities?
Continued on next page >
America’s Finest City is the largest Coast Guard City (by square miles) in the country!

While the shutdown was challenging for the Coast Guard members and their families, there were some positives that came from it.

“We learned more about the Coast Guard than we ever have before,” said Teravainen. “And, through Coast Guard City we were able to coordinate services through organized channels because we all knew each other.”

And that support was crucial so that the local Coast Guard men and women could focus on their jobs and continue to rescue lives and protect our coastline.

Since Coast Guard City has been established, the local Coast Guard has…

• Conducted 2,500+ total missions

• Completed 1,200+ search and rescue missions

• Carried out 400+ law enforcement cases

• Seized $9 Million worth of illicit narcotics

• Assisted over 1,100 people

• Saved more than 250 lives

In less than three years since its designation, San Diego has had 52 community events and accomplishments that revolved around the Coast Guard or had Coast Guard participation to the community.

Some of the most substantial accomplishments were designing the advisory committee and developing the by-laws, establishing a partnership with the USS Midway museum and placing a plaque and exhibit on the flight deck featuring Sector San Diego, installing CG City light pole banners on Harbor Drive, being an active participant in the annual San Diego Fleet Week and having Mayor Faulconer speak about CG City at the commissioning of the Coast Guard Cutter Benjamin Bottoms.

Coming up in 2020 the committee will be holding a 3rd anniversary celebration in conjunction with a rededication ceremony of the newly renovated Cabrillo Lighthouse, and visitors to San Diego will be greeted at the airport with a video message from Mayor Faulconer and Captain Barelli, the San Diego Sector Commander.

Teravainen said that he is proud of what the committee has done in a short time but there’s still more work to do. “We want San Diego to stand out in the next Congressional review and show them the mutual support America’s Finest City has for our Coast Guard and what the Coast Guard is doing as Guardians of the Southwest.”

Our Coast Guard men and women live by their core values - Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.

To learn more about the Coast Guard, go to: and to find out more about San Diego’s Coast Guard City, go to:

You can follow the local Coast Guard on Facebook @USCoastGuardCalifornia and follow the hashtag #SDCoastGuardCity

Semper Paratus!

18 / April 2023 / April 2023 19
20 / April 2023 SD Veterans Magazine APRIL 2023 / April 2023 21

Tips for managing the emotions and feelings of your family

Serving in the military is oftentimes perceived as an act of service by an individual. As true as this is, when the member is married and has children, at Kids’ Turn San Diego, we see this honorary service as one by the entire family. In recognition of the month of the military child, we offer this article as a new perspective. Imagine for a minute, that the family is a system and whenever something happens with one person in the family, that it travels through the whole system. From this perspective, the mom, the dad, the children and even the dog and cat would be impacted by this one event.

Let’s consider the event of a deployment. The family is enjoying their time together, parents work in or outside the home and the children go to school. The family system is working. The children are happy little kids that love their teachers and the teachers love them. Then the orders arrive. We have been told by parents in our programs that deployments tend to begin with orders, then pre-deployment meetings, preparation and a pre-deployment event that the parents gain support and resources, and the children get to jump in jumpy houses, get their face painted, see juggling acts and get balloon animals. They have tons of fun and then learn later that one or both of their parents are leaving for six months.

So how do the orders of deployment affect the family system? From those we work with, many military families have told us that couples tend to start arguing and fighting the minute they learn of the orders. Some have months to prepare, so months of fighting, while with others, the time is brief but more intense.

Why is this so common? Perhaps it is due to unspoken feelings of sadness, anger, powerlessness, fear or worry. Perhaps it is because as a family system, these emotions travel through the system like an electric shock and they affect each person.

For a pre-school age child, they may developmentally regress, like having potty accidents, wetting the bed, or pushing siblings or other classmates. For an elementary age child, they may be a happy kid who becomes angry and aggressive. But why is this so common? It’s common because children learn everything from their parents. When a parent is happy, the child tends to be happy. When a parent is sad, the child tends to be sad. When the parent is anxious and stressed, the children begin to worry. Young children do not understand why their parents are different. They don’t understand the arguing or the fighting. They don’t understand a parent packing, leaving and not coming home that day from work. They don’t understand why their parent who is home keeps crying or yelling at them.

Emotions are real and natural for every human. Some people share them with grace while others wear them on their sleeves. Some stuff them so deep that they use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate or to avoid their feelings at all costs, while others become explosive and unpredictable. When we consider a family as a system, when something happens to one part of the system, the entire system is affected. So, what do we do about it?

Remember, children are always watching, and they learn everything from their parents. Your children will adjust as well as you adjust. Your children will do what you do. If you are late all the time, they will learn to be late. If you yell at them (which is a common parenting behavior so if you yell sometimes, you are not alone!), they will yell at others. If you are angry, they will be angry.

22 / April 2023

We honor military families and military-connected children. Here are some tips for managing the emotions and feelings of your family system:

1. Your children are not responsible for your emotional well-being. If you tell your children how you are feeling or expect them to take care of you because you are sad, angry or using substances to self-medicate, these behaviors could result in your children feeling like they need to take care of you. Instead, reach out to friends, family, support groups, counselors or other adults who will listen without judgement. Your feelings are valid and important, but they are not your children’s responsibility to manage.

2. Have you ever asked your child a question and five minutes later, when you ask it again, has your child said, “I already told you”? Parents are busy people, and we forget how to really listen, especially during times of high emotions or stress.

There are many ways to listen. When your children want to tell you something, listen with your body language by kneeling down so you are eye level with your child and leave your arms open (crossed arms tell others that you do not want to hear what they have to say). Repeat back in your own words what your child is telling you (Oh, so what I hear you saying is…). Ask questions and seek to understand (I’m not sure I understand, do you mean or are you saying?). Suspend the urge to give advice (this is a hard one for a lot of parents!) Instead of offering advice, ask your child, what are you going to do or do you want some suggestions? If they say no, respect what they say. No matter what your child tells you, do not get angry or overly emotional. Your children are coming to you because they trust you. If you overdo it with emotions, they will not come back.

3. Use “I Feel Statements”. How to begin? Google feeling face sheets, then find one you like and print it out. Show it to your children and begin a conversation about the feeling faces. Even three-year-olds can point out a feeling face they like or don’t like. Have fun by making the feeling faces at each other and guess the feeling, then put the feeling words into sentences. “I feel (happy) when you (listen to me). Please (listen to me more and give me hugs at the end).” This is a great communication strategy, and it works for people of all ages.

For more information about Kids’ Turn San Diego, please visit In honor of month of the military child, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! / April 2023 23

The Armed Services YMCA San Diego

San Diego might be 1,168 miles from Texas, but cowboy boots still get put to work in good ol’ Southern California. If you head out east where the hills are tall and the air is crisp, you’ll find a hidden gem where military families find respite.

The Armed Services YMCA San Diego’s Horse of the Sun Ranch is the prime location for rejuvenation for military members and their families. With an array of equestrian and ranch activities, military families spend time strengthening their bond. Nestled in the foothills of the Cuyamaca Mountains in Pine Valley, California the Horse of the Sun Ranch immerses the body’s five senses into tranquility that focuses on the spirit, mind, and body.

The ASYMCA San Diego is principally focused on enhancing military members and their families in spirit, mind and body through programs relevant to the unique challenges of military life. As a source of respite, the ranch also serves as a place for military families to expand their community while participating in fun activities. With frequent moves, finding a way to meet new people can be challenging at times. Military families from various branches have the opportunity to meet new families who share their unique experiences. Our activities serve as ice breakers and connection builders to help families easily establish new friendships. These new found relationships can create lucrative networks for military members and their families to rely on for years.

Those who visit the ranch have the opportunity to participate in equestrian experiences. The workshops include leather-making, horseshoeing, roping, horse grooming and care, archery, gardening, hiking and more. In addition, the ranch hosts one of the largest festivals in Pine Valley. Families can interact with llamas, play laser tag, jump on bounce houses, learn line dancing, eat delicious food, shop and more. Along with events, the ranch provides a full-time horseback riding school for children and adults. Participants learn how to ride and care for a horse with our Certified Horsemanship Association instructors. All of these excellent programs and events at the Horse of the Sun Ranch help strengthen military families across Southern California.

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Current Offerings:

Equestrian Day Camp

Children are constantly interacting in digital spaces at school, home, and with friends. Our captivating Equestrian Day Camp allows children to disconnect from the digital world, and engage in nature. Children spend the day outdoors participating in educational activities with new friends. Activities include: horseback riding, feeding and grooming horses, archery, gardening, leather crafts, hiking and much more!

Horseback Riding Program

Learning to ride a horse is a great way to exercise while learning how to be a compassionate community member. Horseback riding lessons are a great way to physically and mentally exercise with our CHA certified instructors. This impacts a person’s social, emotional and physical health. In the Horse of the Sun Ranch’s horseback riding program, our students are taught how to care for the horses. We teach them how certain steps impact the health and longevity of the horses. By having students learn to care for the horses outside of riding, students learn how their contributions to prepping for the next rider positively impacts their community.

Ranch Day

Our Ranch Day events strive to bring together a variety of military branches and lifestyles for a day of fun at the ranch. We work to ensure that our military members,

military families and military children have a variety of activities for different ages. Families find it easier to meet new people over activities like laser tag, horseback riding, archery, hiking, gardening, western crafts, playhouses, and games. Fun activities make it easier to build memories and make natural conversation with new people. We hope when they leave, they’ve added a couple of new contacts and photos to their phones.

Fall Festival

Fall Festival is the event of the season. With the help of our donors, partners and local vendors, we are able to provide our military families with memories that will last for a lifetime. Families enjoy our petting zoo, retail vendors, line dancing, rock climbing wall, food stations, laser tag course, horseback riding and more! Did we mention the pumpkin patch and numerous selfie stations? The Fall Festival will be held on October 21, 2023. This event is open to the general public.

Why travel to Tennessee, when the country life is up Old Highway 80? Enjoy the day with your family or friends at the Horse of the Sun Ranch where the views are spectacular!

Visit to register for our programs and events. / April 2023 25

Military Child Education Coalition Helping Kids Thrive is a Worldwide Mission

Did you know there’s a global non-profit that’s 100% devoted to helping smooth transitions and supports overall well-being for military kids and their families? It’s a massive mission that calls for considerable teamwork: The “coalition” in the name Military Child Education Coalition (or MCEC, for short) connects administrators, teachers, military officials, parents, and students (both military and civilian).

MCEC ( was founded 25 years ago when a school administrator in Killeen, Texas – near Fort Hood, one of the world’s largest military posts – saw the challenges military children faced, and the many ways these students chose to excel. That administrator, Dr. Mary Keller, founded MCEC in her office at the Killeen ISD. That program quickly became a model of support for military families.

Today, MCEC continues to serve children and families worldwide. The organization is there to support all branches of the Armed Services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Space Force, National Guard, and Reserves. MCEC also provides support to the ROTC Cadre and veterans’ families, too.

The organization works through a variety of innovative programs and services that provide inspiration, imagination, cooperation, and socialization. For example, the MCEC Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership Program invites select students to a weeklong, intensive, life-changing leadership program at the United States Military Academy (Westpoint) and the United States Air Force Academy. The MCEC Student 2

Student program trains both military and non-military children to serve as young ambassadors helping newcomers feel welcome at their new schools. And MCEC SchoolQuest, an online resource, makes it easier for parents to access transcripts and other essential information to prepare for their next school move.

MCEC’s holistic approach to its mission is rooted in empathy and understanding for military families. One of its signature programs, MCEC Call for the Arts, is an annual contest that invites students to use original, personal works of art to express what it means to be a military-connected child. The competition launched in 2002 and has expanded its categories by popular demand to allow for almost any form of art imaginable. This includes entries for paintings, drawings, sculptures, 3D art, poetry, personal stories, photography, video, and even performance art such as interpretive dance.

The entries received could (and perhaps should!) fill a museum. Submissions are categorized by grade level: Elementary (K-5), Middle (6-8), and High School (9-12). As you might expect, the artworks express everything from the innocence of young children to the raw emotions of adolescents and teens, and all the learning, hopes, achievements, losses, fears, and questions these amazing young artists experience in their everyday lives.

Curating and judging the works is a true labor of love for the MCEC family. Entries received from around the world are welcomed from children with direct military connections, and from non-military students who find themselves moved to express their support and perspectives on the experiences of their militaryconnected classmates. The results are a journey through the truths of these young artists, sometimes heartwrenching and other times heartwarming … but always powerful.

The works are often fascinating reflections of their moments in time. This has been especially evident in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. After years of even more isolation and separation than normal, opportunities for connection were more essential than ever. Military children found themselves going without goodbyes to teachers, classmates, and friends due to school shutdowns and remote learning. Or, when arriving to new hometowns, they faced challenges acclimating and forming new bonds due to school closures. In some cases, when schools reopened, it was time to move again.

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As you celebrate the military kids in your life, explore our Month of the Military Child toolkit and find free, downloadable resources.

The pandemic-era artworks MCEC received express the experiences of their young creators with vivid honesty that make it obvious that the competition created something powerful of its own: an outlet to channel emotions in ways that turned out to be healthy, restorative, and fulfilling. One 2021 winner commented, “It feels empowering that I am a voice for other military children ... and that we do not go unnoticed.”

Awareness and recognition for MCEC Call for the Arts is gaining considerable momentum. Selected entries are displayed at an installation at MCEC’s annual Global Training Summit in Washington, DC, and the top three winners in each grade category are invited to attend and be recognized at a special ceremony. In 2022, First Lady (and educator) Dr. Jill Biden met with the winners and presented their awards before a live audience of hundreds (and seen online worldwide).

Entries for the 2023 MCEC Call for the Arts close on April 6, 2023, but the competition will be fortified by another brand that serves millions of children (and parents) around the world: Kellogg’s. To celebrate April as Month of the Military Child, Kellogg’s is supporting a concurrent art contest from April 1-30, hosted by DeCA commissaries on every military installation.

Visit your commissary for details, or MCEC online at

There’s much more to MCEC’s work. Do you know someone who might benefit from MCEC’s programs, or would you like to help support our mission? Visit to find out more. / April 2023 27
There still time to enter Call for the Arts! Visit today! The MCEC Global Training Summit offers the resources, knowledge, and community to support military children. Join us July 24-26, 2023, in Washington, DC.
28 / April 2023 / April 2023 29

Real Talk: Mental Health

Supporting Our Mighty Military Kids

A military child can be described in various ways: strong, resilient, adaptable, puissant, and the list goes on. Yet, our mighty military kids are often forgotten in the whirlwind of the military world.

From inconsistent homestead to uncertainty of caregivers being present to “always being the new kid,” it is without doubt that our military children face unique challenges that are often misunderstood. When we lay out the experiences that a military child must endure, we can make parallels to the challenges that our foster youth face. Although not one of the same, the analogous comparison of inconsistency garners insight into the complex world that our smallest heroes face with an active-duty caregiver.

The unfortunate reality is our smallest ones are often left behind due to the limited resources provided to children and the collective family by the greater facet of the military. Although every child’s experience is a unique one, it is not rare for children to be visited by bouts of anxiety, fear, sadness, and anger as a result of the tough challenges of being a part of a military family.

So, what can we do to support our military children? Here are a few tips:

• Family Meetings. Stead and true, from both a personal and clinical perspective, unity and connection can be maintained with simple additives such as weekly family meetings. Family meetings can provide an opportunity for the whole family—even a potential service member that may be away via facetime—to share their weekly celebrations, grievances, or needs. It provides a sense of consistency when consistency may not be a commodity. To add in a little extra fun, the weekly meetings can swiftly roll into a family game night, where each family member can choose a game for everyone to participate in. It’s an uncomplicated way to build connection and foster closeness, despite the potential of being during physical disconnection and a complicated situation.

• Storytime. Children’s books discussing the reunification process, deployment, and emotional regulation are very powerful when reading these to

such population. Military children tend to make various connections across these books.

• Transitional objects included during the process of deployment and reunification seem to be an effective intervention that assists military children with coping through such process. For example, there might be a favorite blanket or other meaningful item or chosen possession that can be carried from one home to the next.

• Practice routines and encourage coping skills, among other things. Transitions are very challenging for military children, therefore interventions that involve using timers, alarms, prompting ahead of time, giving breaks or break cards, teaching/modeling/practicing coping skills and emotional regulation techniques with children and their families have shown to be very effective, especially during the deployment and reunification process.

Additionally, professional mental health care can be a key part in coping with military life for children. For example, military children can be receptive to play therapy interventions grounded on a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach by demonstrating ability to express safely feelings, thoughts, and behaviors impacting them when parents are deployed or returning home. Military children also tend to respond positively to deep breathing exercises, count downs, grounding exercises to manage feelings of anger, sadness, and other strong emotions linked to such adjustment and changes when parent is deployed.

30 / April 2023

Behavioral modification interventions, such a token economy and positive reinforcement could be a useful tool for helping military children find healthier ways of coping, making transitions, adjusting to changes, and finding a motivational factor to keep going. For example, a child will be asked what they would like to work for at the start of session and will earn tokens (i.e., stickers, or stars) each time they complete a preferred (i.e., playing a chosen game) and a non-preferred task (i.e., reading a book on regulating emotions, relaxation exercise etc.).

Also, through dollhouse play therapy intervention, military children seem to be able to “play out” the struggles home might be giving them with the deployment and reunification process and learn healthier ways to address or manage such challenges. Having conjoint sessions with military children’s parents and/or with their family unit can also be very effective when working with these children and can strengthen their support system and not feeling alone in the process.

The beauty of the Cohen Clinics with Cohen Veterans Network is that our clinicians understand the uniqueexperiences of military children and their families and can cater to every child’s individualized needs. With some clinicians who are children of servicemembers themselves, they can appreciate both the challenges and opportunities that come from being in this anomalous position. / April 2023 31 Therapy for Veterans, Service Members, and their Families Cohen Clinics provide therapy to post-9/11 veterans, service members, and their families, including National Guard / Reserves. LEARN MORE 8885 Rio San Diego Dr. Suite 301 3609 Ocean Ranch Blvd. Suite 120 CVN Telehealth, face-to-face video therapy available statewide. 20800 Madrona Avenue, Suite C-100, Torrance, CA San Diego Oceanside Los Angeles our CALIFORNIA locations

The Military Child

My neighbors down the street are a military family. Dad is active-duty Navy and holds very high rank within the aviation division. His wife, a retired Navy veteran, stays home with their three children ranging from 8 years old to 18 months old. Every day I see him drive down the street, off to work at what sounds to be a very demanding job. And every day I see his wife, kids and dog in tow, walking around the neighborhood. Mom is likely trying to tucker them out so she has a somewhat compliant “troop” when bedtime rolls around.

The military child, often referred to as a military “brat”, experiences a childhood that is much different than their non-military counterpart. And before anyone gets too flustered with the word “brat”, allow me to explain that the word originated with the British almost 100 years ago. According to, British Regiment Attached Travelers or BRATs were those members of a family traveling abroad with a soldier. And the name stuck for military children everywhere.

A few statistics about the military child. Military children, since the early 1970s, have outnumbered active-duty military by 1.4 to 1. This group of children and young adults have a higher rate of mental health issues, namely depression and anxiety, than non-military children likely due to multiple moves and the myriad of emotions felt when a parent is gone for long periods of time.

On the upside, these children have been found to be more resilient and resourceful as they move into young adulthood, adapting to change with greater ease. Finally, this special group of children and young adults are twice as likely to become members of the military once they are of age.

I would not be considered a military child by any stretch of the imagination, even though my father served in the Army. His time in the military was over by the time I came along and now that he is in his mid-80s, it is my turn to care for him in much the same way he cared for me growing up. The military child will, in turn, become an adult and may end up caring for the very parent or parents that gave them the distinction “military child”.

If you find yourself caring for an aging veteran – or anyone really – in addition to caring for their daily needs, ensure their documentation is in order. Make sure they have Power of Attorney documents, an Advance Directive, and perhaps a trust or will in place. Preparation today makes for a smoother tomorrow. Blessings to military children everywhere.

Military Child Poem

My hometown is nowhere.

My friends are everywhere.

I grew up with knowledge that home is where the heart is and the family is. Mobility is my way of life.

Some wonder about roots, yet they are as deep and strong as the mighty oak.

I sink them quickly, absorbing all an area offers and hopefully giving enrichment in return.

Travel has taught me to be open.

Shaking hands with the universe, I find brotherhood in all men.

Farewells are never easy.

Yes, even in sorrow comes strength and ability to face tomorrow with anticipation.

If when we leave one place, I feel that half my world is left behind, I also know that the other half is waiting to be met.

Friendships are formed in hours and kept for decades.

I will never grow up with someone, but I will mature with many.

Be it inevitable that paths part, there is a constant hope that they will meet again.

Love of country, respect and pride fill my being when Old Glory passes in review.

When I stand to honor the flag, so also do I stand in honor of all soldiers, And most especially, to the parents whose life created mine.

Because of this, I have shared in the rich heritage of military life.

~ Anonymous

32 / April 2023 / April 2023 33 / MAY 2022 33 FREE Consultation Call us to get started (619) 7879-1839 FREE Consultation Call us to get started (619) 789-1839

Legally Speaking

Military Focused Family Law Facts

Child Support Add-Ons

Child support is a monthly obligation that a parent pays to another parent to help cover the costs of raising a child, which includes everyday living expenses such as food, clothing, school supplies, housing etc.

Both parents have a duty to support their children in California, whether they’re married to one another or not. The California Child Support Guidelines lay out a complex formula to calculate child support that includes several factors. The two main factors include the disparity in the parent’s incomes and the disparity in the timeshare (parenting time of each party). In general, the greater the disparity between the parents’ incomes, the higher the child support obligation. Likewise, the greater the difference in the amount of time each parent spends with the children, the greater the child support payment.

In addition to guideline child support, parents can be ordered to contribute to specific additional expenses for the direct benefit of the child. These expenses are considered child support add-ons. There are mandatory child-support add-ons and discretionary ones.

Mandatory Child Support Add-Ons

There are two types of mandatory child support addons that the Court can order in addition to guideline child support. These mandatory child support add-ons are typically ordered to be shared equally between the parties. However, where there is a significant disparity in the parties’ incomes, a court can order these expenses to be apportioned based on the income difference.

1) Child-care costs related to employment or reasonably necessary education or training for employment: Childcare expenses need to be specifically related to employment or education/ training for employment. Babysitting expenses incurred for a parent’s social life are not part of the definition of a mandatory add-on expense. It is important to provide proof of childcare costs actually incurred through receipts and invoices and proof of payment.

2) Reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children: There is a procedure for reimbursement for uninsured health care costs. Health insurance should be used at all times to the extent that is available for the health care cost, and you should obtain the written agreement of the other party to go out of network if necessary. The parent incurring an uninsured medical expense must provide the other parent proof of payment and proof of the expense within 30 days of incurring the cost. Therefore, if a parent receives a bill for uninsured medical expenses, a copy must be provided to the other parent within 30 days of receipt. The parent receiving notice from the other parent that an uninsured health care cost has been incurred must pay his or her share within 30 days, unless otherwise agreed upon between the parents or ordered by the court.

Discretionary Child Support Add-Ons

There are three types of discretionary add-on expenses as follows:

1) Costs related to the educational or other special needs of the children: These would include, but are not limited to, costs such as tutoring, private school tuition, or preschool. The court has discretion to order the other parent to contribute to these costs. This does not mean that the Court will necessarily do so if the other parent disagrees. The Court will weigh several factors. These factors include: The incomes of both parents (Can the parents afford private school for example going forward?); The child’s previous education history (Has the child been attending the same private school

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for several years? Did they already start the school year, is it their final year, do all their friends attend, can another school meet their needs etc.); The religious background of the child and/or family; The extent to which the noncustodial parent was involved in the child’s education prior to the divorce (Did the parent agree for the child to be enrolled prior to divorce). The Court’s decision is a balancing act in the best interest of the child in light of the particular facts of each individual case.

2) Travel expenses for visitation: These costs become an issue when parents live far away from each other. Transportation costs can become very expensive for visitation. This is particularly the case when children are too young to fly without an adult. It is very common for a Court to divide these costs equally between the parents even when the costs are due to one parent unilaterally moving out of state. The court can apportion the costs based on a significant disparity in the parties’ incomes.

3) Extracurricular activities: These expenses are not listed in Family Code section 4062, which delineates the additional expenses that are child support add-ons. However, the court often treats extracurricular costs as a discretionary add-on expense. Typically, the parties will be ordered to equally share the costs of agreed upon extracurricular activities for the minor child.

If you are going through a divorce and your spouse is refusing to any of the above-mentioned expenses for your children, it would be wise to consult a family law attorney.

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

This article is intended only for informational purposes and should not be taken as legal advice. / April 2023 35 Legal Experts with Humanity Time for a Fresh Start. Call 858-720-8250 or visit to schedule a free consultation. Flat-fee law packages available. Military Divorce and Retirement, 20/20/20 Spouse, Survivor Benefit Plans, Support Orders, and more. No nonsense. No hidden fees. Discounts for service members. Move forward without breaking the bank. Our military expert family law attorneys are ready to push your case to the finish line.

Real Estate Tips for Veterans & Active Military

Navigating Rising Inflation When Buying a Home

Inflation is changing the face of the housing market. As financial pressure increases, the impact is far reaching, affecting everything from prices and home values to home sales, construction costs, and more.

Here are some tips for buying a home during inflationary periods:

• Research market trends – Although sales prices are declining in some areas, other areas remain steady. Nationally, Corelogic reports that home prices rose 5.5 percent year-over-year in January 2023. Some homeowners are choosing to hold off on selling which decreases inventory and spurs competition putting upward pressure on pricing.

• Assess your housing budget – Be realistic on the mortgage you can afford. Inflation increases costs for other items such as gas, food, clothing, etc. Allow a buffer to account for cost fluctuations.

• Increase your credit score and down payment –Inflation results in higher interest on savings accounts. Take advantage by putting your down payment savings into a high-yield account. The higher the down payment and credit score, the lower the rate offers you’ll receive.

• Consider other financing options – Consider an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) that allows you to refinance when interest rates stabilize or go down. Some lenders will even fund a temporary interest rate buydown at no cost.

• Buy sooner rather than later – Remember that all costs are going up, including rent. By purchasing now, you can lock in a fixed housing expense versus contending with annual rent increases and additional interest rate hikes.

Many believe that mortgage rates will pull back later this year. However, no one can predict when exactly inflation might ease. If you are ready to buy a home, don’t let rising inflation keep you from making your move!

36 / April 2023
Real estate Guide ~

Serving Veterans and their Families!

The San Diego Veterans Coalition was organized in 2009 and using the Collective Impact Model, SDVC is a premier San Diego County-wide monthly convener of over 160 unique member and participating organizations, businesses, and agencies. The Collective Impact Model is based on leveraging relationships with other veteran and family serving organizations so that we may provide veterans and their families with a complete array of services and other opportunities.

The purpose of the San Diego Veterans Coalition (SDVC) is to serve the needs of San Diego regional Veterans, their families and significant others. We intend to improve collaboration and coordination among community service providers so that delivery of services is more comprehensive and Veteran Family-centric.

The vision of the SDVC is to honor the nation’s commitment to veterans, their families and significant others by leading collaboration among all potential partners, making the San Diego region a national model for a comprehensive, integrated system of community services.

The SDVC is a catalyst that inspires collaboration and cooperation among service partners to deliver premier support for Veterans in the San Diego region.

At the SDVC we have found that collaboration is the key to addressing the needs of San Diego Veterans, their families and significant others. We have four Action Groups:

• Physical and Emotional Health Action Group (PEH)

• Family Life Action Group (FLAG)

• Veterans: Empowered, Successful, and Thriving Action Group (VEST)

• Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship Action Group (E3)

Through these Action Groups we are identifying gaps and creating measurable outcomes to resolve them. These groups are made up of our members and together we are working to strengthen our community. / April 2023 37

Veterans Chamber of Commerce

New Families and the Housing Crisis

Housing costs in the United States have risen dramatically, making it increasingly difficult for many Americans to afford a place to live and achieve the American Dream.

One of the main reasons for the rise in housing costs is a shift in demographics. In recent years, the United States has experienced a significant increase in population, particularly in urban areas. This has led to a shortage of available housing, as developers struggle to keep up with the demand for new homes and apartments. As a result, prices have skyrocketed, making it difficult for many people to find affordable housing.

Another factor contributing to the rise in housing costs is the overall state of the economy. In recent years, the US has experienced a period of economic growth, with rising wages and low unemployment rates. While this has been good news for many Americans, it has also led to an increase in the cost of living, including housing. With more people able to afford homes, demand has increased, driving up prices.

There are also a number of structural factors that have contributed to the rise in housing costs. For example, zoning laws and building codes can make it difficult and expensive to build new housing in certain areas. This has led to a shortage of available housing, particularly in urban areas where demand is high.

Finally, there are a number of cultural factors that have contributed to the rise in housing costs. For example, there is a cultural expectation that homeownership is a sign of success and stability, which has led to an increased demand for housing. Additionally, there is a perception that certain areas are more desirable than others, which has led to an increase in demand for housing in those areas, driving up prices.

There are a number of factors that have contributed to the rise in housing costs in the United States. These include demographic changes, economic factors, policy decisions, structural factors, and cultural factors.

While there is no easy solution to this problem, it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable housing.

Ultimately, it will require a concerted effort by government, business, and individuals to address this pressing issue and ensure that all Americans have a place to call home. One program that is making an impact in providing a reasonable and achievable solution is the Real Property Fund™ which helps friends, family, and neighbors to come together in support of a new family and help them achieve the American Dream of owning a home. This program is ideal for young families, first time home buyers and veteran parents. The program can help make down payment easier and makes it possible for friends and family to participate in a business-like approach.

In Conclusion, there are many factors that have made housing expensive and out of reach for many, but it is up to all of us to help our now adult children starting new families achieve their American Dream. Contact us if you would like to learn more about the Real Property Fund™

Nominate a Hero: The National Veterans Chamber Radio Show

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

• Would you like to share your story?

Be our guest on the show – Here is the REQUEST FORM. (

• If you have any ideas or a project that you would like to Develop in collaboration with the National Veterans Chamber, send your ideas to:

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PTSD: Reclaiming Control

Exploring Treatment

Although the psychological impact of war has been known for thousands of years, the ‘official’ diagnosis of PTSD was only formalized forty years ago. So it should come as no surprise that treatments for PTSD are still evolving and too often are not effective enough.

Let’s take a look at the treatment options we have available, how they work and how individuals can choose the treatments that best fit their needs.

The COVID pandemic placed PTSD front and center in the public eye, and people began understanding that trauma from serious illness, combat, crime, sexual assault, accidents and abuse can negatively affect both civilians and veterans. With many veterans choosing second careers as first-responders (in law enforcement, fire departments, EMS, etc.), exposure to new trauma can aggravate previous trauma.

However, there is hope on the horizon and newer options that widen the choices available for seeking help. These can also address some of the reasons why someone might refuse to get help - fear, stigma surrounding PTSD, and confidentiality issues among them.

(Part 2 of 2)

The Veterans Administration’s National Center for PTSD recommends several forms of psychotherapy as preferable over psychiatric medications, with a lower risk of side effects or negative reactions to drugs. Trauma-focused therapies considered to be the most effective include:

• Prolonged exposure therapy (PE)

• Cognitive processing therapy (CPT)

• Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

These therapies tend to have better and longer-lasting benefits than medications and general counseling.

But one of the challenges with these treatments is that they involve recalling traumatic memories, and this ‘re-experiencing’ is both necessary and difficult in these therapies. This can be a ‘hard sell’ for many who suffer from PTSD since they usually attempt to avoid traumatic memories. This is one of the reasons why roughly 50% of participants drop out of exposure-based therapies before completion.

For veterans seeking help for PTSD, there are many challenges to getting access to care. In fact, most veterans with PTSD receive no therapy at all, whether due to personal choice, a lack of available therapists nearby, or having tried therapy before without seeing significant benefit. There are also only a limited number of therapists in the VA health system and in our communities with specialized training in trauma therapy.

Telemedicine has been an important factor in making therapy available to veterans who don’t live near a VA center. There’s also ongoing research on the use of psychedelics, but since it comes with risks and will require careful regulation and supervision of its use, widespread availability will likely be slow.

Digital therapeutics that offer in-home, confidential treatment and don’t involve repeated exposure to traumatic memories are another option. When combined with support from a coach who can guide you remotely via weekly check-ins, published studies prove their effectiveness not just in reducing the symptoms of PTSD but also in improving how often people stick with it and benefit from it.

Cuyler is chief clinical officer of Freespira, an FDA-cleared non-medication treatment that helps people with panic and PTSD manage their symptoms by learning how to regulate their breathing. -

40 / April 2023


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

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


Resources & Articles available at: / April 2023 41
Support. Inspiration.
current and past
Diego Veterans Magazine you can visit our website for all
articles relating to PTSD, symptoms, and resources.
42 / April 2023 Whether your disability is obvious or invisible, Canine Support Teams can help you reclaim your independence. Canine Support Teams is proud to offer the PAWZ for Wounded Veterans program, which provides specially trained service dogs, at no charge , to the brave men and women who have faithfully served our country. caninesupportteams @k9supportteams Apply for a service dog today at Or Call 951.301.3625

Welcome to the Veterans Association of North County


Here you will find several resources, programs, services and opportunities for Veterans, Service Members and their families. Our goal is to be your one stop shop for all things, so don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. Programs and services vary, and include additional information for each. We have two Veteran Services Representatives (VSR) here at VANC, read all about them below in Addtional Services at: (


VANC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created and operated by Veterans as a one-stop resource center for all active-duty military, Veterans, and their families. We centralize services from diverse agencies to assist with jobs, education, finances, health, and wellness.


We seek to honor and support those who have served our country, bridging the past, present, and future. VANC is a vibrant gathering place in North San Diego County, where all Veterans, active-duty military, and their loved ones can reach out for help and community. VANC engages and informs local Veterans organizations, service providers, and individuals, helping them work together. VANC seeks to be a model for other organizations that serve the military community.


There’s always engaging things happening at VANC and with our partners. Check our calendar here for regularly scheduled events, meetings and opportunities here at VANC (

WE LOVE OUR ASSOCIATION MEMBERS AND THEY’RE HERE FOR YOU TOO. VANC is open to all military, veterans and friends of the military. If you would like to become a Veterans Association member, Contact Lori at to learn more. / April 2023 43


Transition to Civilian Life

Transitioning to Becoming Your Own Boss

We write this article to provide tips and tricks to help you land that next job out of the military. But what if you don’t want to just get a job? Maybe you are built to be an entrepreneur! Whether you see a need in the market or have a specific passion you want to fulfill, you just need to know the right resources.

Did you know that there are thousands of resources out there for veterans to start their own businesses? Veterans and veteran spouses are purpose driven, so they tend to make great entrepreneurs.

We connected with veteran entrepreneur Luc-Rikardo Fils who is the Founder and CEO of DomumGym toget his first hand advice on creating your own business following your transition.

Overcoming Mental Barriers

It’s common for veterans to experience mental barriers that can hinder their success in the civilian workforce. The feeling of isolation is very common. Military life is highly communal, and veterans may feel disconnected from the civilian world. Connecting with other veterans and building a new network is the simplest way to combat this.

Then there’s the feeling of not being valued. Veterans may feel that their skills and experiences are not recognized or appreciated in the civilian workforce, but that’s not the case at all. Your experiences are highly valued and coveted in the business world.

Finally, veterans may struggle with adapting to the less structured and more fluid environment of civilian life. Developing new routines and practicing them daily will help you feel more structured and purposeful.

Starting a business isn’t overnight, and success isn’t guaranteed, but it does provide a way to lead a different kind of mission that can provide you value and structure in a way that works for you, instead of others.

Finding Your Own Value

Luc and his wife came up with their idea as a result of their own struggle with physical fitness and isolation during the pandemic. Specifically, Luc saw his wife struggle with fitness programs that just did not match her needs on many levels.

“We looked around the Thanksgiving table and we were the only ones not in great shape. My brother-in-law is a ranger, and the rest are all athletes. Then there was my wife and I. We needed to do something differently.”

Luc continues,” It was difficult for us to ‘get out’ to the gym especially as parents of young children. Though it would be great to look like Maverick with the oiled-up abs in the Top Gun beach scene, that’s just not our style or need.”

So, they created DomumGym, a virtual gym online designed for regular folks. They now have a national and international presence and are growing. It truly has brought a sense of value and purpose to Luc and his family. (

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Together, they decided to fix this problem and jump into being their own bosses and changing the way that itness online gets done.

If you’re looking to solve a problem by way of creating a business, he suggests keeping 3 things in mind.

1. Choose your team wisely.

“A Navy runs on its belly.”- Napoleon.

On a ship, the nuclear department needs the supply department because the supply department provides the food. Everyone needs food on a ship. If you are pursuing entrepreneurship, make sure you find a wellconnected team. Be extensive in searching for the team to make sure that they share common goals and interests, but not necessarily common temperaments. Discord can be good as long as you have healthy ways to overcome disagreements.

2. Make sure you have security

Always make sure you have capital and a network. Don’t quit your day job to work your own business unless you have capital. His team has been able to find great partnerships and leverage the SBA and SCORE who provide free business mentors. They can be your “Obi-Wan” to your Luke Skywalker. They also may be able to lead you to investors.

3. Persevere

He encourages us to remember that Mark Zuckerberg started out in his dorm and Jeff Bezos in his garage 20 years ago. It may take a while to get off the ground, but perseverance is key. You have the ability to create something of benefit to billions of people if you persevere.

Financial Resources:

Starting a business can be expensive, and it’s understandable that veterans transitioning out may not have the financial resources to get started. However, there are options available, such as loans and grants specifically designed for veteran-owned businesses.

Some resources include:

• Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) is a resource for veterans who are interested in starting or growing a business

• Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Veteran’s Advantage program provides fee waivers and discounts on SBA loans for veterans who own businesses as well as access to training and counseling services that can help veterans succeed in entrepreneurship.

Need help with your transition? Have questions?

Link up with Eve on Linked In today. / April 2023 45


We use Goal Setting for various broad areas of our life … why not set a goal to master prospecting, to be a champion Prospector, an expert on the subject, or the World’s Best?

But just like Athletes, musicians, mechanics, writers; it takes practice. As solopreneurs there is little time to spend practicing, when you wear all the hats –bookkeeper, marketer, sales rep, manager, and producer.

If you have ever observed the activities of a young child, you know that their learning process is based on the principle of spaced repetition. They learn new words, begin to grasp their meaning, use the words whenever they can, until the words become a part of their vocabulary. Spaced repetition is one of the most effective forms for upping the game. To be a Master Prospector takes practice.

Start with a database system/CRM, one that allows you to group each name based on their value to you and how often you want to follow up with them. Get all those business cards off your desk and into a system. It will only produce Successful RESULTS! If you Use it!!!

Having your referral talk ready will be easier with every connection, learn it by heart. Develop the skill to draw people out. For a thought stimulator ask for specific leads, the kind you have identified as your ideal client. Have you tapped all the sources you have for prospecting, Strategic Alliances, Clients, Centers of Influence?

Get over the reluctance of picking up the phone. Use of the phone in Prospecting is a must. Use the phone to call your best friend –ask for a lead. Use the phone to call your best Center of influence – ask for more leads –express your thanks for those he/she gave you before, that are now customers and clients.

Organized activity and Maintained Enthusiasm go hand-in-hand. Being consistent is a must part of becoming a “Pro” at Prospecting.

Practice gives you mastery of your follow up system. When you think about – and plan to have a funnel full of leads and prospects – they must be filed, categorized, classified, rotated and always up to date!

The database funnel becomes your POT of GOLD!

So as a Master Prospector what else should we be practicing?

• Asking sales questions: Take the time to create a list of relevant and meaningful questions that help you discover the problems your target audience faces. Having a list of insightful questions will serve you well, time and time again. Your questions will support you in your quest to differentiate yourself and establish credibility and trust. They will open up new opportunities.

• Listening: Perhaps your most important skill; learning what a person’s needs and wants are, help to reveal if you can truly work together.

• Sales Process: Every step along the sales path, from prospecting to closing the sale is an opportunity to tweak your technique. Once you find the right combination of words that bring the best results, you then practice them over and over again.

If you have ever been to the batting cages, were made to practice the piano, or remember learning the multiplication tables, you know that practice is the foundation for any skill. Prospecting is a high priority high payoff skill. Does your prospecting tool box need sharpening? If you haven’t checked yourself out lately, you may be surprised that you are leaving something important out or have made a change that has caused you to be less effective. Look first at the high-priority, high-pay-off activities that drive business growth and practice, practice, practice.

Barbara Eldridge has built a solid reputation as a Results 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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Prospect Your Way to Greater Success / April 2023 47 Continue the Dream! Helping today's heroes achieve success by making it easier to run a small business. Contact Eve Nasby, Band of Hands president and passionate military supporter to learn more. Medical benefits and 401K for your employees at no additional cost to you Compliance with employment Laws Unemployment claim handling Workers Comp claim handling D o M o r e . S t r e s s L e s s . If it's related to employment, we handle it for you. We also provide: A Veteran Owned Business proudly supporting Veterans, Military Spouses and active duty Military looking for work and employers needing great workers We do all this for you. We've got your back. Employment is a challenge. Our one-stop shop turnkey employment solution makes it simple and affordable to hire, employ and remain compliant.

Transition to Business HUMAN RESOURCES

Family-Friendly Workplace Benefits

April is the Month of the Military Child. What better time is there to discuss family-friendly health and wellness benefits in the workplace? Once you transition from the military to the private sector, you’ll likely have some questions, concerns, and ah-ha moments about how benefits work at different companies.

Accommodating families is actually a key focus for many organizations, primarily to recruit and retain workers and achieve higher levels of employee engagement and satisfaction. But healthcare expenses weigh heavily on company budgets and are often regulated by the state, so finding the right mix for the employee population is always a challenge for the employer.

With parents making up 40 percent of the workforce, offering a benefits package that supports employees in different life stages is essential. If a private sector employer offers any particular family-friendly benefits, they’ll typically advertise them broadly in their recruitment advertising campaigns and career portals, especially benefits that are designed to be advantageous to career-oriented working mothers—a segment of the working population particularly hard hit by the pandemic and not returning to the workplace as quickly as other segments of the population. This may include paid maternity and paternity leave, alternative career paths, extended leave, flextime, job sharing, relaxed dress codes, summer hours, elder care flexibility, and telecommuting.

Some organizations provide take-home meals for those working overtime, subsidize babysitting, or offer jobfinding assistance for spouses of employees who are relocating. Requiring workers to shut off their mobile devices after hours is another perk that organizations are increasingly giving to their employees. All help recipients balance career and family. All square with Gen Y (Millennial) and Gen Z’s (Zoomers) desires for greater work-life-family balance, harmony, and control. And all help organizations raise the support they can provide to working parents while their employees raise their little ones or care for their elders.

Let’s take a bit of a deeper look into what some of these benefits are and how they work. . .

• Paid Parental Leave

• Flexible Work Schedules

• Childcare Assistance

• Dependent Care FSAs

• Adoption Assistance

• Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

• Wellness Programs

• Financial Wellness Benefits

• Paid Parental Leave

Paid parental leave is a benefit that allows new parents to take time off from work to bond with their newborn child. It is often offered to both moms and dads (but sometimes just for mothers), and companies often follow state law in determining how baby bonding works, for how long, and how it is compensated.

• Flexible Work Schedules

Hybrid work schedules are on the rise; fully onsite and fully remote work schedules are on the wane. While there’s much debate about “productivity paranoia” from CEOs and how “managing the unseen” can be accomplished effectively, hybrid work arrangements are providing the best of both worlds: consistent performance and productivity for employers and a healthy balance of autonomy and accountability for workers. Flexible start and stop times as well as job sharing round out this category, which can return workers who have remained on the sidelines since the pandemic back into the office or onto the shop floor.

• Childcare Assistance

If a company helps with childcare programs, it could include onsite daycare, subsidies for daycare costs, and reimbursement for daycare expenses. Broader benefits are generally found with the largest employers, but small to mid-sized organizations may be competitive in this space as well in order to attract and retain talent.

• Dependent Care FSAs

Flexible spending accounts permit you to set aside pretax dollars to fund eligible dependent care expenses, including daycare, after-school programs, and in some cases, summer camp.

48 / April 2023

• Adoption Assistance

Adoption assistance benefits, when available, are intended to cover adoption-related expenses and provide paid time off for bonding with the new child.

• Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

EAPs offer counseling, support, and referral services to help workers with personal and family problems that may affect their job performance. Services typically cover mental health and depression, substance abuse, legal and financial aid, and other family-friendly services that help balance personal challenges that can sometimes flow over into work performance.

• Wellness Programs

Gen-Z Zoomers (the 25-and-under crowd) are testing out as the most isolated and depressed generation on the planet thanks to their consumption of digital media, among other things. That’s why you’re hearing so much about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Programs in this area typically include gym memberships, health coaching, yoga classes, smoking cessation, teletherapy, and similar benefits.

• Financial Wellness Benefits

Inviting guest speakers from local financial institutions to discuss employee financial wellness benefits often begins with leading workshops on household budgeting, investment and retirement savings, and estate planning (e.g., wills and trusts). Speakers and their services help workers gain financial acumen that translates into greater security and peace of mind. Likewise, pay-anyday solutions grant employees access to their earned wages (up to 50%) between pay periods. Keep an eye out for this and other digital solutions that are intended to make your work-life balance that much easier.

Companies offer benefits like these to retain staff and produce a more productive, happier workforce. It’s also the right thing to do in the face of today’s pressing family challenges. Look to these and other solutions that are being developed and rolled out as we speak. The goal is to help workers balance their work and family commitments, reduce anxiety and stress, and ultimately increase job satisfaction and retention. Those are noble goals for any employer and something that workers can leverage to their and their families’ benefit.

You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at

Paul Falcone ( is a management trainer, executive coach, and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development. / April 2023 49
50 / April 2023 Become a certified IT professional in 15 weeks with no prior experience necessary! Talk to our friendly veterans admissions counselor today! • GI Bill & MyCAA Approved • Flexible Schedule • Online & In-person Hybrid Classes • Small Class Size • Hands-on Training • Lifelong Job Placement and Career Counseling • Technical Support Specialist • IT Support Technician • Network Administrator • Network Analyst • Systems Administrator Why ICOHS College? Career Outcomes: The median IT job salary in the US was about $88,000 last year. READY TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR CAREER? (858)581-9460 / April 2023 51 L E A R N M O R E Ready for your next career step? The Knauss School of Business at the University of San Diego offers flexible graduate programs to help you advance your career, bring your values to enterprise and prepare you for a lifetime of impact. And as a 100% Yellow Ribbon School, tuition is fully covered for most military-connected students Flexible programs, F O R M O S T M I L I T A R Y 1 0 0 % C O V E R E D

Successful Transitioning Stories

Kamin Samuel

Kamin Samuel started her professional career as the U.S. Navy’s first female AfricanAmerican helicopter pilot. She transitioned to having several small businesses and then to corporate as a web developer at a computer electronics company. Kamin moved up quickly working for several organizations, even serving as Vice President of Online Merchandising and Vice President of Global Website Operations at a billiondollar company.

Kamin is now an International Business and Executive Life Coach, and an IMPAQ B STATE® Coach, helping professionals increase their wealth mindset, improve performance, develop Breakthrough leadership skills, and create strategies to expand their opportunities. She assists her clients in identifying and clearing their inner blocks to achieving greater success in all areas of their lives.

Kamin holds a PhD in Positive Neuropsychology, a Masters of Science in Information Systems, a Masters of Arts in Spiritual Psychology, and a Masters of Science in Spiritual Science. Kamin’s unique background combines the technical and soft skills, allowing her to assist individuals in taking practical action in the real world that gets dramatic results. Kamin is a philanthropist and passionate about assisting educational organizations. She sits on the Board of EduCare Foundation, Los Angeles’ largest after school program. Kamin is passionate writer.

Did you feel pressure to be successful transitioning out because you were a barrier breaker?

Yes, I felt pressure as there had only been one other woman in aviation and that was Brenda Robinson, nobody in helicopters. They wanted to do a lot of press, but I had to get out to the fleet. I watched Devotion over the weekend and Life Magazine was interviewing him and that resonated with me as he didn’t want to be interviewed and as barrier breakers we just want to fit in. I wanted to make sure as a African American female aviator that I did not make mistakes that would hurt future female aviators. I wanted to make sure

I represented black females so they could never put a negative stereotype on us. I just wanted to make sure I did the best I could so any female behind me would always think she going to be great because they have only seen greatness.

Do you feel your military training helped equip you for your transition?

Yes, because going through the training to become a pilot was the toughest thing I ever did and just getting my commission was hard enough. I was not an athlete when I was there, so I had remedial on everything, even running. The things we had to do to get our commission taught me and helped me realize the grit and resilience that comes from my military training. The one decision I made when I entered into the military is that I would not give up, and that decision has carried me through my life. If you can tap into that, you’ve already survived so much being in the military, you can find that resilience and continue to push through in transition.

What barriers did you run into as you transitioned into business and as well creating your own business?

When I got out, I went into a business that was direct sales and it was not in alignment with who I am. It was not a natural fit and I failed epically; bankruptcy and loss of two homes. What I had to learn was what I am good at and focus on that and choose to recover and create from there. I was great at technology, and I looked at being a therapist. And I wanted to rebuild my self-esteem and my confidence with my natural talents. I found jobs that helped me excel in those areas. But I had to change my mindset to find what was in alignment to who I am and how I can channel that energy to make money and thrive.

What is it that you do to continue to empower your fellow women in military that are transitioning out?

I try to always answer the call whenever needed to speak or support. As much as I can I tell them all, they can do anything if they are willing to put in the work. Just like when I joined the military my decision was to not quit. The challenge coming out of the military is

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you don’t know who you are, you don’t know you can do anything. They could do anything on this planet because of the skills they learned in the military but often we don’t realize this as we transition out of the military. So, make sure to focus on your why and what you really want to do. Once you do that, you will find the right job and industry you want to move to.


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 helping you succeed in your transition.

To learn more on what Kamin is doing check out her website

For editorial & monthly columns regarding transitioning to civilian life, career advice, tips, workshops, transition to education, entrepreneurship, straight-forward legal tips for military and veteran business owners visit

To see how we help and support veterans transitioning out of the military check out our school / April 2023 53
out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce?

Insurance Info & Risk Management Tips

Working with Kids is Not All Fun & Games

• If a child has to be accompanied to the restroom or any private space, make sure there are 2 adults present withthe child (of the same sex as the child).

• Make sure at least one employee/team member is trained in CPR.

• Run through a mock emergency drill to make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.

And as a parent or guardian, you will want to make sure that the activities your child is involved in are doing their due diligence to ensure child safety.

If your business works with children in any capacity, don’t play around with your risk management. Whether it’s sports teams, day care, tutoring, photo sessions, hair stylists, and more – if your business involves interacting with children on a regular basis you will want to take extra precautions to ensure your business is protecting the children from bodily injury and/or abuse and molestation, and itself from costly legal harm.

A typical General Liability insurance policy for a business would not include coverage for abuse and molestation. This would be something you would want to add coverage for and there may be additional premium for this. Many business owners may think they do not need this, BUT in the event there is a claim against you or your employees (or even a third party onsite in your location space), legal defense and coverage would be denied due to this not being a “covered cause of loss” on your policy. So even if it was an accusation that was false, you could be left defending yourself out of pocket – which is costly!

The dynamics of working with children are different than working with adults and precautions should always be made from the business owner to create a safe space for them. Some considerations include:

• Encourage the parent/guardian to be there onsite while the child is at your business.

• Keep a daily sign in/sign out log and make sure the parent/guardian signs it.

• Set up cameras around the public locations to have a visual record of activities.

• Have a comprehensive emergency kit onsite.

• Visit the location and take note of the site security systems including working smoke alarms, fire. extinguishers, door lock system, trip/fall hazards, etc.

• Ask to see a copy of their current General Liability certificate.

• Ask about the ratio of adult to child supervision.

• Ask for references of current clients AND former clients and call them for feedback.

• Ask them about their emergency preparation and crisis procedures.

• Ask them about their disciplinary technique.

• If appropriate make sure the outside doors have an emergency bar to prevent children from leaving the premises unnoticed.

• Look the company up online for any unsavory comments or business infractions.

• If something feels off – always trust your instincts!

Claim Scenario

An after-school daycare center has 15 children in its program and 2 onsite supervisors. One of the supervisors goes to the backroom to get some snacks and the other is talking privately with one of the children. One of the children sneaks out the front door unnoticed. After more than an hour, the child’s disappearance is noticed resulting in panic. The child is finally found 1⁄2 a mile down the road walking alone. This could easily have been a very tragic scenario and one that happens more than you think. I know – it happened to me when I was 4!

For more information about me and my company, please visit

54 / April 2023

Franchise Frontline

Success Stories & Resources

Why Restoration, Recovery and Mitigation Services is Such a Booming Industry Right Now

A Q&A with Ryan Showers, Director of Franchise Development for Paul Davis Restoration

Q: Paul Davis seems like an excellent choice for a franchise for veterans. What are the advantages for them?

Franchising with Paul Davis for veterans offers numerous advantages, and our commitment to supporting veterans is an important part of our culture. One of the most significant benefits is our veteran discount which is 25% off the total franchise fee, this helps make the initial investment more affordable. Additionally, Paul Davis offers a reduced down payment of just 33% of the franchise fee with financing options for the remaining 67% over a four-year term. This allows veteran franchisees to invest more money into their business or keep it in their pocket, which is a significant advantage when compared to other franchise opportunities. Overall, Paul Davis offers a great opportunity for veterans to own their own business while receiving valuable support from a reputable company.

Q: How is business looking in the next 2 decades for restoration companies?

As the world continues to face natural disasters, fire damages, and water damages, the demand for efficient restoration services is never-ending. Over the next two decades, the business for restoration companies is looking very promising and the need for restoring the affected properties will continue to rise. Paul Davis has been operating for over five decades and we are projecting we will be a $2 billion organization with a network of more than 400 franchisees by 2027.

Q: Where are you focusing expansion currently?

Paul Davis is focusing heavily on the recruitment of franchisees in the California market for several reasons.

One of the most significant is our strong relationship with our insurance carrier partners, which is a driving force in developing California. The carriers trust and believe in Paul Davis, allowing us to provide outstanding services to their clients, and hence we are expanding our footprint further in California.

Weather events and climate conditions in California, such as mudslides, fires, and flooding, have increased drastically over the past few years. Tragically, Californians are no strangers to disasters, whether they are natural or man-made. These incidents have created an immense demand for our brand presence there, so we are searching for top quality candidates, both for ownership and employment in our network. There is a great need for technicians and team members who can meet our rigid standards.

Q: Why do veterans do so well with the franchise model in your opinion?

Veterans have a wealth of skills and experience that make them a natural fit for our franchise model. Their keen sense of service and dedication to a mission aligns perfectly with our culture of putting the needs of our customers first.

Moreover, veterans are well-equipped to thrive in our system and processes-driven environment. Their rigorous training and discipline make them excellent at executing tasks efficiently and precisely, which is critical in delivering quality service and maintaining a consistent customer experience across our franchises.

In addition, veterans bring with them a level of teamwork, leadership, and adaptability honed through their military experience, which translates seamlessly into our franchise model. They understand the importance of working collaboratively towards a common goal and can effectively communicate and execute on objectives.

Ryan Showers joined Paul Davis in 2017 and has proudly served the network in both an operation and sales capacity throughout his tenure. He can be reached at or go to for a complete list of available franchise opportunities. / April 2023 55

Why Veterans are Perfect for Cybersecurity

Veterans are mission-driven, protectors, and ready for action at a moment’s notice. They are respectful, dutiful, and have integrity. An estimated 55% of people transitioning to civilian life want to do something different than they did on active duty. This is according to LinkedIn’s recent Veteran Opportunity Report.

Are you on duty or a veteran seeking a meaningful new career after serving your country? If so, explore a fast-growing field for an urgent demand for many of the skills you have developed in the military — cyber security. This growing field requires many of the strengths often gained through military service and presents an opportunity to continue to serve your country in a new context: combating the widespread and ever-growing threat of cybercrime. Cybersecurity is a high-stakes field with a critical mission—protecting civilians and businesses from cyber-attacks. There are over 700,000 openings in America ( and 3.5 million worldwide. Cybersecurity is one of the highest-paying industries as tech has taken over our lives.

“Veterans bring a special breed of leadership and experience to the workforce, an unflappable presence during times of crisis and uncertainty,” said Dan Verton, Director of Content Marketing at Cybereason.

Ethical hackers actively work to ensure the security of their information systems, ensuring no outsider can gain access. In any information security job environment, your knowledge and a mindset of perseverance can put you ahead of the curve.

Whether it is a data breach, ransomware, or another form of systems attack when fighting cyber threats, every moment counts and could make the difference between success and failure.

Your training prepared you to be always ready to confront and neutralize a threat! Fighting any adversary means being able to think as they do. In combat, this means anticipating the strategy and next steps of the enemy. In cybersecurity jobs, it means doing the same against thousands of hostile organizations.

As a veteran, you know the success of a mission is always more important than one person. In the cybersecurity industry, teamwork is essential. This applies to the prevention of cybercrime and the need for ethical hackers.

Your military mindset, mentorship, and focus on outcomes, not excuses, will help other civilian employees to do better as you lead by example. Veterans are used to adapting to new orders, circumstances of living, and colleagues regularly. Cybersecurity is also a field that requires an adaptable work style. The University of Maryland reports that hackers attack every 39 seconds, and no matter where you end up working, your organization could become the next target. That means the long-term project you planned to work on that day may take a back seat, but then you will pick up right where you left off once the immediate threat is resolved.

If you think cybersecurity might be the right next move for you, your next step is to explore learning options and gain the foundational skills needed for the technical side of the job. Government agencies are intensifying their efforts to recruit military talent to fight the war on cybercrime.

The University of Louisville’s Cybersecurity Workforce Certificate Program offers several learning options to upskill the workforce in cybersecurity. The program partners with other universities across the country. This is not an academic program but a workforce development program. The certificate includes cryptography, database, artificial intelligence, analytics, blockchain and internet of things (IoT). Learn more:

56 / April 2023 / April 2023 57

legal Eagle

Straight-forward legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners


In California, a law called AB5 changed the rules for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. This law presumes a worker is an employee, and not an independent contractor, unless the worker satisfies a strict “ABC Test.” However, this law does not apply to all workers, and many are exempt from the ABC Test.


Workers in all the exempt categories must pass the Borello test to be classified as an independent contractor. Under the Borello test, the most significant factor is whether the hiring firm has control or the right to control the worker both as to the work done and the manner and means in which it is performed.

Workers Subject to the Borello Test: Workers in the following categories need to satisfy only the Borello Test to be an independent contractor and must have all required professional or occupational licenses:

• Physicians, Surgeons, Dentists, Podiatrists, Psychologists, Veterinarians

• Insurance Brokers, Underwriters, Premium Auditors, Risk Managers

• Lawyers

• Architects, Landscape Architects, Engineers

• Private Investigators

• Accountants

• Registered Securities Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers

• Direct Sales Salespeople

• Manufactured Housing Salespersons

Professional services exception applies to the following workers:

• Marketing Professionals

• Human Resources Administrators

• Graphic Designers

• Enrolled Agents

• Appraisers

• Home Inspectors

• Travel Agents

• Grant Writers

• Fine Artists

• Specialized performer hired by a performing arts company or organization to each a master class for no more than one week

Freelance Writers and Editors:

Freelance writers and editors qualify as independent contractors only if they meet additional requirements. The exception covers freelance writers, editors, translators, copy editors, illustrators, newspaper cartoonists, still photographers, photojournalists, videographers, and photo editors who:

• Work under a written contract that specifies the rate and time of pay

• Do not directly replace an employee who performed the same work at the same volume for the hiring entity, and

• Do not primarily perform the work at the hiring entity’s business location

Construction Subcontractors:

Construction industry subcontractors are exempt from the ABC test in California. They qualify as independent contractors if they pass the Borello test and satisfy the following criteria:

• The subcontract is in writing

• The subcontractor is licensed by the Contractors State License Board and the work is within the scope of that license

• The subcontractor has all required business licenses or business tax registration

• The subcontractor maintains a business location separate from the business or work location of the contractor

• The subcontractor has the authority to hire and fire other persons to provide or to assist in providing the services

• The subcontractor assumes financial responsibility for errors or omissions in labor or services by having insurance, legally authorized indemnity obligations, performance bond, or warranties for the labor or services provided

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• The subcontractor is customarily engaged in an independently established business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed

• The subcontractor has the right to control how the work is performed

Real Estate Licensees:

Licensed real estate salespeople and real estate brokers are not subject to the ABC test in California. For purposes other than unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance they must satisfy the Borello test to be independent contractors. For unemployment purposes, they are independent contractors if they:

• Are duly licensed

• Are paid based on sales, and

• Have a written independent contractor agreement

For an entrepreneur, there are countless considerations when starting a new business, and legal issues are not always top of mind. But an entrepreneur who understands what these issues are and how they arise is much more likely to address these issues before they become major problems. Staying on top of these issues and knowing when to involve a lawyer can play a significant role in the ultimate success of the business.

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 business falls on you.

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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 / April 2023 59 Legal Pearls! PEARLS OF WISDOM for Avoiding Business Litigation Award-winning attorney, Kelly Bagla shows you how to avoid legal pitfalls FROM DAY ONE! Legal Pearls! - The quick and easy guide for avoiding business litigation. Award-winning Attorney Kelly Bagla distills the legal information every business owner needs to know to avoid costly lawsuits and protect personal assets. Now every entrepreneur can apply the same legal steps and strategies used by top attorneys. • AVOID COSTLY BUSINESS LITIGATION • PROTECT YOUR HARD-EARNED ASSETS • BE READY WHEN LEGAL ISSUES ARISE NEW FROM KELLY BAGLA! Get your copy at amazon today!
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Military and law enforcement have had a longstanding relationship with overlaps in training exercises, equipment, and, most important, personnel.

It is not uncommon for a service member to make the jump from the military to law enforcement as both professions look for the same characteristics; leadership, fidelity, chain of command, and teamwork are all common themes in both professions.

Quite understandably, many American military veterans often gravitate to a career in law enforcement when the time comes to rejoin the civilian workforce.

The two professions have many fundamental similarities; from the uniforms they wear with pride, to the firm command structure they serve under, to great personal risk they endure while protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

The following agencies are actively hiring & proudly support our veterans, active military and the families that keep together.

62 / April 2023 JOBS FOR VETS Careers In Law Enforcement Visit Today For Law Enforcement Profiles & Job Openings JOBS FOR VETS LAW ENFORCEMENT
As a military service member or veteran making the transition to a new career path, law enforcement can feel like a natural fit. / April 2023 63 You’ve served your country, now serve your community! Opportunities In Law Enforcement

From Military to Police Officer

Why choose a law enforcement career?

Transition and career changes can be difficult at any point in life, so why not take out some of the unknowns? In the military, you have camaraderie between your brothers and sisters, there’s a mission to accomplish every day, the work can be challenging and exciting, plus you get to serve your country.

Much of the military work and values parallel to law enforcement work as well. This month, we interviewed San Diego Police Officer Bob Thatcher about his transition from military service to police service, and why it was an ideal fit for him.

Officer Thatcher served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and today as a Gunnery Sergeant, he continues to serve as a drilling reservist. He is in the infantry field and has deployed on several overseas tours to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Japan. At the 10-year mark, he had to decide about re-enlisting or releasing from active duty. For him, the decision was guided primarily on one thing – continuing to serve others and work for a greater good.

“I have always been big into service of others,” said Officer Thatcher. “I wanted to give back to my country, my community, and those who sacrificed for me.” For Officer Thatcher, his transition was from military fatigues to police uniform. He had done his research and met the requirements and deadlines to be selected for the police academy as soon as he left active duty.

Police departments often actively recruit for people leaving the military. San Diego Police Department Sergeant Jason Tsui said that in addition to important qualities such as work ethic, dedication, and integrity, military personnel also possess valuable life skills too. A good law enforcement candidate would be able to work in changing/fast-paced situations, in stressful conditions, can easily be part of a team, and be selfless. These are all attributes that most military men and women possess and learn during their military service.

When asked what the favorite part of his job was, Officer Thatcher said, “I like that my job is diverse. I am in the community every day, get to problem solve from call to call, and every day is different.”

Officer Thatcher’s advice to men and women looking to get into law enforcement:

• First, go on at least one ride along with law enforcement to see the different kind of calls and responses. Talk to the officers and ask questions.

• Be open and honest in your application and interviews.

• Keep at the process even if it takes a while to move along.

• Work hard each and every day to earn that spot.

• Go “all in” in everything you do.

• Academically, make the time to study.

• Physically, be able to run 5-6 miles at about an 8 minute/mile pace and do cross-fit exercise to build stamina.

Some of the benefits of working for the San Diego Police Department include:

A four-day work week, 11 paid holidays/year, 13-21 days of paid annual leave/year (depending on length of service), yearly uniform allowance, flexible benefits plan (Health, Dental, Vision), excellent retirement program, 401K/Deferred Compensation Plans, tuition reimbursement, and 30 days paid military leave/year. For more information about applying to SDPD, go to: or email:

64 / April 2023
San Diego Police Officer Bob Thatcher / April 2023 65

From Navy Sailor to San Francisco Police Officer

Changing careers can be exciting, exhilarating, and filled with trepidation. Meet Officer Cindy Ovares who has made the transition numerous times – from active-duty service member, to student, massage therapist, teacher, and now police officer.

The life experience she gained in those previous longterm jobs set her up to be successful today. She is doing what she’s always wanted to do – have a career that is challenging and rewarding.

Cindy was like many seniors in high school as she contemplated what she would do after graduation. When the Navy recruiter called the house looking for her brother, the recruiter instead got an eager, independent 17-year-old woman who wanted to find adventure. Just a few months later, she was off to “see the world” and start her first career.

As an Aviation Machinist’s Mate, Petty Officer Ovares was a jet engine mechanic. It was a male-dominated job, and she wanted to prove that anything a man could do, she could do better. She attended military schools in Florida and Virginia to learn her trade, and was later stationed in Lemoore, California. She was attached to VFA-22, an F/A-18 Super Hornet squadron, that deployed on ships. After serving four years on active duty, she earned Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits, and chose to leave the Navy to attend college.

After completing her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and being a fluent Spanish speaker, she was hired to be a high school Spanish teacher. The job was gratifying; but also, under resourced, understaffed, and had little room to grow professionally. She wanted something new and challenging, was drawn to the community where she grew up, so, in her late 30s she applied to be a police officer.

66 / April 2023
“Being able to talk to people, figure out what they are going through, and what they need is a huge portion of the job. I enjoy interacting with the public, and engaging in what I call verbal judo.”
Officer Cindy

Officer Ovares was accepted to the San Francisco Police Academy and has been an officer for the last three years. She is a foot patrol officer working in the Tenderloin District – a 50-block area that has a storied history, and has been known for homelessness, drugs, and crime.

“Being able to talk to people, figure out what they are going through, and what they need is a huge portion of the job. I enjoy interacting with the public, and engaging in what I call verbal judo,” said Officer Ovares.

For Officer Ovares, the parallels between serving in the military and serving in law enforcement made the transition go smoothly:

• Routine – You know what to expect before your shift begins (what time to report, what uniform to wear, the structure of the day).

• Camaraderie – The bond between fellow officers is like the bond between your fellow military brothers and sisters.

• Variety – Every day is different with different assignments and duties, so the job is never boring.

• Benefits – Include a competitive salary, paid vacation days, floating holidays, and sick days, healthcare, retirement, and special pay for certain assignments and being bilingual.

As a Latina giving back to her community, she admits that the job comes with highs and lows. Officer Ovares recommends a career in law enforcement for those military members looking to make a smooth transition to a new chapter.

To learn more about the San Francisco Police Department, or to connect with recruiter, go to: / April 2023 67
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