San Diego Veterans Magazine 2021

Page 1


Vol. 3 Number 12 • December 2021




San Diego

Veterans of the Month

Golden Eagle

Takes Final Flight SD Veterans Magazine The Covers of 2021



What’s next

Holiday Health Christmas Soldier



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

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

2 / DECEMBER 2021

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

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

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

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

Earn Up to 1.75% Cash Back on Every Purchase1 Plus, enjoy:





Apply today!


Our Members Are the Mission

Insured by NCUA. 1cashRewards credit cards earn 1.75% cash back on net purchases for cardholders with direct deposit at Navy Federal, or 1.5% cash back for cardholders without direct deposit. Rewards are earned on eligible net purchases. “Net purchases” means the sum of your eligible purchase transactions minus returns and refunds. Eligible purchase transactions do not include, and rewards are not earned for, the following transactions: cash advances, convenience checks, balance transfers, gambling, or fees of any kind, including finance charges, late fees, returned check fees, and ATM cash advance fees. Cash equivalent transactions, such as the purchase, loading, or reloading of gift and prepaid cards (e.g., money orders, Visa® Buxx Cards, GO Prepaid Cards and other cash equivalent gift cards), may not be eligible purchase transactions and may not earn rewards. To be eligible to receive 1.75% cash back on net purchases with your cashRewards card, you must either currently have direct deposit at Navy Federal or must set up and maintain direct deposit at Navy Federal. Direct deposit is defined as a recurring ACH from your employer deposited into your Navy Federal deposit account. You will start earning 1.75% cash back once we confirm you have direct deposit at Navy Federal. 2Offer valid for cardholders issued new cashRewards credit card accounts. To be eligible for the $250 cash back, you must make $2,500 or more in net purchases within 90 days of account opening. Rewards are earned on eligible net purchases. “Net purchases” means the sum of your eligible purchase transactions minus returns and refunds. Eligible purchase transactions do not include, and rewards are not earned for, the following transactions: cash advances, convenience checks, balance transfers, gambling, or fees of any kind, including finance charges, late fees, returned check fees, ATM cash advance fees, and annual fees, if any. Cash equivalent transactions, such as the purchase, loading, or reloading of gift and prepaid cards (e.g., money orders, Visa Buxx Cards, GO Prepaid Cards, and other cash equivalent gift cards), may not be eligible purchase transactions and may not earn rewards. Please allow up to eight weeks after the 90-day period for the bonus cash back to post to your rewards balance. Account must be open and not in default at the time the bonus cash back posts to your rewards balance. Limit of one promotional offer at account opening. Offer valid for accounts applied for from 10/5/21 to 1/3/22. 3As of 5/1/2020, rates range from 9.65% APR to 18.00% APR, are based on creditworthiness, and will vary with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate. ATM cash advance fees: None, if performed at a Navy Federal branch or ATM. Otherwise, $0.50 per domestic transaction or $1.00 per foreign transaction. © 2021 Navy Federal NFCU 14055 (9-21) / DECEMBER 2021




Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Jenny Lynne Stroup Real Talk: Mental Health

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

SD Vets & Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Tana Landau, Esq. Legally Speaking Greetings and a warm welcome to San Diego Veterans Magazine! Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. The Magazine focuses on San Diego resources, support, community, and inspiration for our veterans and the military families that keep it together.

Joe Molina

Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby

What’s Next - Transitioning

Amber Robinson Arts & Healing

Eva Stimson Veteran Advocate

Paul Falcone

Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with our veterans, service members, military families, and civilians.

Human Resources

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

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

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

Mike Miller Editor-In-Chief 4 / DECEMBER 2021

David Koontz Midway Magic

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

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


INSIDE THIS ISSUE 3 NORAD Tracks Santa 6 Veterans of the Month (2021) 8 Holidays of the USS Midway 10 Golden Eagle Takes Final Flight 14 Wreaths Across America 16 Miramar National Cemetery 18 A Soldier’s Christmas 20 SD Vets Magazine - The Covers of 2021 24 Holiday Health 26 Real Talk: Resolution Wagon 28 LENS - Healthy New Year 30 Shelter to Soldier Partnership 33 VA Research - Treatments for PTSD 35 Why Art - Art Therapy 38 What’s Next: The Young Maverick 40 HR - Leadership 42 Treating Hearing Loss 44 Steps To Sustain Success 46 Transitioning is a Process 48 YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP 52 Legal Eagle - End of Year Checklist 54 Legally Speaking - Military & Divorce 56 Money Matters - Now or Later 58 SDVC - Veterans Legal Task Force 60 VANC - Serve Our Veterans / DECEMBER 2021



May 2021

Ron Stark

Sallay Kim

U.S. Navy Retired

Major U.S. Army (retired)

Veteran of the Month

February 2021

June 2021

Luis Moret, Jr.

Joseph Molina

Gunnery Sergeant, USMC

U.S. Army

March 2021

July 2021

Casey Meehan

Nico Marcolongo

Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Marine Corps Veteran

April 2021

August 2021

Matt Shillingburg

Ashley Tatum

Captain, U.S. Army (ret.)

U.S. Navy Veteran

Veteran of the Month

Veteran of the Month

Veteran of the Month


Veteran of the Month / DECEMBER 2021

Veteran of the Month

Veteran of the Month

Veteran of the Month

(2021) September 2021

Veteran of the Month

Jude Litzenberger U.S. Navy Veteran Retired

San Diego

October 2021

Veteran of the Month

Jessica Quezada

Veteran Resources & Organizations

Marine Veteran

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

November 2021

Veteran of the Month

At San Diego Veterans Magazine you can find Veteran organizations and private nonprofits with resources for veterans that can help ease the process of attaining earned benefits, coping with the lasting effects of service-connected injuries and finding programs and services that meet your specific needs.

Phil Kendro USMC Marine Veteran

Honoring in Memory

December 2019

San Diego Veteran Resources & Organizations available at

Veteran of the Month

Stuart Noble Hedley Chief Petty Officer U.S. Navy Retired

San Diego Veterans Magazine

A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans October 21, 1921 - August 4, 2021 / DECEMBER 2021


Holidays on the USS Midway Special Christmas Dinners Kept Crew Spirits Merry and Bright During the 47 years the USS Midway was defending American democracy around the world, food in the galleys and wardrooms wasn’t intended to be fancy, farm-to-table, low-calorie or even gluten free. Meals were basic, and sometimes a mystery. The goal was to keep the bellies of its thousands of hard-working sailors full. The Army wasn’t the only branch of service that “marched on its stomach.” On Christmas Day, however, regardless of whether the ship was in port or at sea, Midway treated its crew to a holiday banquet that was fit for royalty. “Holidays are the hardest time for sailors who have to spend long periods away from their families,” said Rudy Shappee, who served aboard three aircraft carriers during his 20-year career in the Navy. “The meals served on Christmas have special significance for sailors at sea because it brings at least a part of the celebration of these special days they experienced with their family.” The stress on sailors at sea is magnified during Christmas by the thoughts of being away from their loved ones over the holiday. They know their chair at the table back home is empty. To help soften some of the melancholy sailors experienced when separated from family and friends while deployed during the holidays, Midway created culinary magic each year with a Christmas feast. “The holiday meals were the most important events of the year for the cooks in the general mess, chief petty officer’s mess and the officer’s wardroom,” said Jim Reily, who was the supply officer on the USS Midway from 1989 to 1991. “That was particularly so when we were deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.” Much like their families at home, preparations for Christmas dinner on Midway began days in advance. 8 / DECEMBER 2021

Everything that was expected of a gourmet Christmas dinner was on the menu, from turkey and roast beef, to mash potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce. “It was the special items like sweet potatoes and extra desserts that often hit the spot with the young sailors,” said Shappee, who is an assistant director for special projects in the museum’s education department. “Some would even go through the mess lines a second time to be able to have an additional serving of ice cream or another piece of berry pie.” It wasn’t unusual for sailors working on Midway, especially on the flight deck or in the engineering spaces, to burn more than 4,000 calories each day, so the chance to stuff themselves during Christmas was not wasted. “Meal hours were extended and there were few if any leftovers,” said Reily, who now directs the museum’s volunteer docent program. “Our sailors could consume two and half tons of turkey, more than a 1,000 pounds of baked ham, nearly 150 gallons of gravy and and 6,000 slices of pumpkin pie.” “For most sailors, there are three things to do at sea: work, eat, and sleep,” said Shappee, who in 2007 published “Beef Stew for 2,500,” a book about how the U.S. Navy fed its crews from the Revolutionary War to today. “Sailors may not look forward to working 12 hours or more each day seven days a week, or sleeping in a crowded and noisy berthing compartment, but they all looked forward to good chow.” Christmas dinner for all Midway sailors was not only good chow, but it also played an important role in lifting their spirits. “At the heart of good morale aboard ship is good food,” said Shappee, who was also an aircrewman flying in naval helicopters and patrol aircraft during his time in the Navy. While dining on Christmas dinner was a welcome holiday respite for Midway’s crew, the hundreds of sailors who spent days preparing the special meal also felt tremendous satisfaction.

“The look on the crew’s faces as they sat down to consume the enormous piles of food on their trays and dishes was priceless,” said Reily, who retired from the Navy in 1997 after 25 years of service. “For the ship’s cooks, having the opportunity to bring happiness and a little bit of home to the crew made those long hours of the prep work worthwhile.”

Christmas Dinner Menu 1949

Christmas Dinner Menu 1964

Christmas Dinner Menu 1990 / DECEMBER 2021


Doniphan Shelton Rear Admiral USN, Retired May 22, 1921 - October 31st, 2021

10 / DECEMBER 2021

Golden Eagle Takes Final Flight By, CJ Machado – Photojournalist & Veteran Advocate Three war combat veteran, Rear Admiral Doniphan Shelton, USN, Retired, took his final flight at 100 years of age. On Sunday, October 31, 2021, Shelton passed away peacefully in his home of 42 years located in Del Mar, California overlooking the ocean and surrounded by his loving family under hospice care. He was very well respected and admired for his high-spirited and tenacious/determined personality. He lived every day to the fullest and was an icon in the naval community.

His favorite aircraft being the Corsair. In early 1951 he deployed with the first Night Fighter Detachment, flying the F4U-5N for combat duty. He flew night interdiction missions to then land on a straight deck carrier with only the illumination of flashlights reflecting off dust pans to guide him in. An incomprehensible feat in comparison to today’s aircraft carrier operations. His most notable flying experiences included March 2, 1951 a successful pre-dawn dead-stick carrier landing in his stricken F4U on the first available deck, the USS Princeton, a sea story he always loved to share, and as a test pilot on February 1, 1956 he performed the first F3H Demon flame-out approach and landing during the F3H Indoctrination Program.

RADM Shelton served during WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. His career spanned for over 4 decades, precisely 40 years, 1 month, 27 days and 3 hours, Shelton would often joke then follow up with “And I’d do it again!” He flew over 40 different types of aircraft, many as a test pilot. His significant contributions to early naval aviation earned him the coveted Golden Eagle wings. Shelton was raised in the mid-west in Springfield, MO during the Great Depression. He graduated from Springfield High School and after just having turned 18 years old, he enlisted in the Navy on 06 August 1939. He completed Boot Camp at the Navy Training Center in San Diego, CA in October 1939, initially reporting as a Seaman aboard the battleship, USS New Mexico. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD as a midshipman and was commissioned an Ensign in June 1944 as a member of the accelerated class because of the U.S. involvement in WWII. In November 1944 aboard the U.S.S. St. Louis, Ensign Shelton witnessed four Kamikaze direct hits during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Shelton remembers having to carry a shipmate on his shoulders from the smoke-filled corridors and after nearly being sunk, he recalled “The ship took weeks to limp back to safety.” As the war ended, he successfully applied for flight training and received his Wings of Gold on February 7, 1947. Shelton quickly excelled as an all-weather/night fighter pilot flying both the Hellcat and the F4U-5N Corsair. / DECEMBER 2021


At the end of the Vietnam War, April through July 1975, RADM Shelton supervised the initial planning and then coordinated the on-going operations for “Operation New Life,” the processing of 43,000 evacuees and refugees from South Vietnam through Subic Bay. He established facilities on Grande Island and personally directed every facet of operations, from induction, to boarding and feeding, through transportation to the final destination for these thousands of displaced families. He took great pride in that operation and would often emphatically state “To change the course of a person’s life for the better is a remarkable accomplishment. Everyone deserves Freedom, but it must be done legally with appropriate processing.” “Operation New Life” still remains the most wellconstructed processing of refugees into the United States of America. Shelton eventually retired to San Diego from active duty with his wife Peggy and up until his passing, U.S. citizens that were once Vietnamese refugees would come by his home, showering him with gifts and thanks for their freedom and the opportunity he gave them.

In June 1967 he became Commanding Officer of the ammunition ship, USS Paricutin and deployed to WESTPAC and the Tonkin Gulf for operations in support of carrier operations during the most intense carrier air strike operations of the war in Vietnam, matched only in 1972.

After retirement, Shelton remained an active ambassador for Naval Aviation and was an extremely proud member of the Golden Eagles for over 23 years. He was involved in several naval aviation film projects, such as the short film “The Forgotten Hero” based on fellow Golden Eagle, CAPT E. Royce Williams, USN (Ret.) Korean War MiG engagement. On that project, he served as the Korean War military advisor to aircraft carrier operations, in-air combat, and advised on the expected demeanor of an Admiral from that era. During rehearsal, he exclaimed “Hot Damn!” when his model F4U Corsair landed on the carrier deck he built out of a wooden plank and craft wire while demonstrating to the film team the correct way to make a successful landing.

CAPT Royce Williams with RADM Shelton Photo Courtesy Ranch and Coast Magazine 12 / DECEMBER 2021

Shelton was among the early members and life-long supporters of the Tailhook Association. He recently attended the reunion of Tailhook 2021 and received the “Most Straight Deck Night Traps” Aircraft Carrier Award. His service was so instrumental in shaping naval aviation of today, his stories were recently captured in the Tailhook Association’s “Legends of Carrier Aviation” documentary. The Godfather of Top Gun, Dan Pedersen referred to the Admiral as “The Great Shelton” and said it best during the recent filming, “Let them see what it can really be like with great leadership like Shelton” when referring to our current administration. Admiral Shelton was also an active member of the American Legion Post 416 and was revered by their members. During his weekly Friday afternoon visits, the post rewarded his attendance by announcing his arrival and departure with traditional bells and applause of members standing at attention. In support of Shelton’s relentless effort to obtain the Medal of Honor for CAPT E. Royce Williams, the Post submitted his research as a doctoral thesis for which was granted his PhD by National University in the 99th year of his life.

He was truly loved and respected by all of our veterans. The Post is formalizing a fitting lasting tribute within our building in his honor. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. He now has slipped the surly bonds of earth and has touched the face of God (High Flight). God steer thee well Admiral you touched us all with your life so well lived.” -Post 416 Commander, CAPT Peter-Rolf Ohnstad. Shelton was predeceased by Peggy in May 2019, and he is survived by daughter Donna and her husband Mike, and daughter Deborah and her husband Tom, three grandchildren, Megan Colburn, Robert Torpey III, and Tiffany Cunningham; four great-grandchildren, Marc Colburn, Camden Cunningham, Paige Torpey, Declan Torpey; and great-great grandchild, Ryker Colburn.

“American Legion Post 416 was gifted by Admiral Shelton’s membership and enthusiastic support of our Post activities.

Photo Courtesy Times of San Diego

RADM Don Shelton lived a courageous and fulfilling life of over 100 years. His lifetime of service, both in the military and the community has impacted all who’ve had the honor in knowing him. He will be greatly missed. Services for RADM Doniphan Shelton will be held on December 13th 11:00 a.m. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church 334 14th St. Del Mar, CA Masks are required. Parking is limited at the church. There is street parking and parking at the Del Mar Plaza across from the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the US Naval Academy Foundation, 274 Wood Road Annapolis, MD 21402 -

CJ Machado & RADM Shelton San Diego Veterans Magazine September 2020 / DECEMBER 2021


The American Dream is Not Lost…It Is Remembered! By WAA Staff Sean Sullivan and Amber Caron Wreaths Across America (WAA) is a national nonprofit organization best known for remembering fallen veterans with wreaths placed each December at Arlington National Cemetery. However, the organization is much more. As of 2020, the nonprofit placed more than 1.7 million sponsored veterans’ wreaths at over 2557 participating locations nationwide while offering various year-long programs. These programs help live a mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. In the beginning, founder, Morrill Worcester, a 12-year-old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News, won a trip to Washington D.C., where Arlington National Cemetery became an inspirational location. His pilgrimage served as a consistent reminder, through career and life, that opportunities stemmed from the values and freedom afforded to us by our nation’s veterans. After years of hard work, Morrill founded Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine. In 1992, Worcester Wreath had a surplus. Morrill saw this as his opportunity to honor our veterans with hopes of returning to Arlington. With the aid of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe (ret.), the first 5,000 wreaths were placed that year at Arlington National Cemetery. As plans were underway, other individuals and organizations shared Morrill’s spirit and working together built an annual mission that went unnoticed for many years. In 2005, a photo surfaced of Arlington covered in snow, adorned with wreaths. This picture became a viral internet sensation before there was even such a marketing term. After, thousands of requests poured in, from people wanting to help emulate the Arlington success on the local level, prompting the official formation of Wreaths Across America the national nonprofit in 2007. The newly formed 501c3 began its national effort by sending seven ceremonial wreaths to every state (one for each branch of the military, and for POW/ MIAs). The ceremonies took place in nearly all of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., with a focus on family during the holidays. As the organization grew from volunteer support, a network of local groups and cemetery locations began to emerge.

14 / DECEMBER 2021

“To be killed in war is not

the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst that can happen…to be forgotten is the worst.” - Pierre Claeyssens, who was rescued by U.S. Forces in Belgium

Simultaneously, groups began to escort the wreaths to Arlington. This started an annual tradition called “The Veterans Honor Parade” which travels the east coast in early December. This part of the mission grew into a multi-mile long convoy which acts as an ambassador by stopping at schools, monuments, veterans’ homes and local communities as the mission of the organization is shared. In 2008, over 60,000 volunteers helped move the mission, placing 100,000 wreaths on veterans’ headstones. Recognizing the organizations impact, the United States Congress unanimously voted to declare “National Wreaths Across America Day” to be held annually, on the second or third Saturday of December. British street artist Bansky once wrote, “They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, when somebody says your name for the last time.” So, it wasn’t enough to say “we covered Arlington” because that’s a mission half completed. When a volunteer places a wreath on a veteran’s headstone, WAA encourages them to speak that veteran’s name aloud, thank them for their service and sacrifice, reflect on their life as person and member of a loving family and never let that service member die a second time, including all 226,525 at Arlington starting in 2014, and millions more at cemeteries nationwide. Presently a small, but dedicated staff and more than 7,000 core volunteers across the country, work tirelessly on year-long programs that help accomplish this ongoing mission. That number grows to more than 2 million, a third of whom are children, who participate in the annual wreath laying events nationwide! These programs are designed to help highlight the aweinspiring work of our volunteer groups and locations, civic groups, supporters, donors, and others that enable this mission to flourish regardless of challenges and changes. / DECEMBER 2021


Saturday, 18 Dec. Miramar National Cemetery, Wreaths Across America (WAA) Saturday 18 Dec. is the national day of remembrance for our veterans as thousands and thousands of volunteers visit over three-thousand veteran & private cemeteries to place millions of remembrance wreaths. The National Cemetery Administration has issued guidelines for this year’s remembrance activity. To adhere to the guidelines, the WAA Miramar committee with the Miramar National Cemetery leadership has created a schedule to place thousands of wreaths at the graves of our veterans asleep beneath the green sod of a nation they swore to defend.

WAA Miramar encourages corporate, civilian and military organizations and individuals to visit the “worker volunteer” registration gateway to enroll. And, we earnestly ask recipients forward this announcement to other organizations and individuals. Per the amended Miramar WAA schedule, “worker volunteer” support is needed for the two identified functions in the time slots shown. Parking for worker volunteers is in the unpaved (dirt) lot just past Columbarium Plaza South and across from Committal Shelter B. Those with disabled person placards upon entry to Miramar, from Nobel Dr., turn immediately right into the cortege lanes and park alongside the ADMIN Building, as directed.

To support the remembrance event, the Miramar WAA is seeking “worker” volunteers:

Volunteers may wish to bring comfort items, such as water bottles, coffee/tea thermos, snacks and perhaps a folding chair.

(1) to assist in guiding (traffic/parking) the many “placement” volunteers as they arrive to obtain and then place wreaths at designated locations;

All volunteers shall receive an email such that entry to Miramar is accommodated regardless of congestion.

(2) to unbox and distribute wreaths to these “placement” volunteers from the wreath depots (and to collapse boxes for collection).

And, all volunteers shall receive a suitable name tag.

We encourage, “worker volunteers”, if possible, to “register” for more than one time slot

Ted Tomaszewicz WAA Committee, Navy Veteran & Patriot Guard Rider

Thanks in advance for your support.

Kindly visit our WAA registration website and enroll in a time slot and function. 16 / DECEMBER 2021

Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater

A Vision for Miramar National Cemetery More than 20,000 veterans and their loved ones are interred at Miramar National Cemetery. The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation holds services in the Flag Assembly Area on Memorial Day weekend and on Veterans Day to honor our veterans. The Flag Assembly Area has no permanent seating. The Support Foundation plans to build the Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater with permanent guest seating in a beautifully landscaped setting. This will be the Support Foundation’s biggest project yet. Its cost—for construction and permanent maintenance—is estimated at $600,000 Contributions from corporations, veterans groups, civic organizations, local government, and the public are needed to make this vision reality at Miramar National Cemetery.

Please Contribute Today! Make the Vision a Reality

Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater Any contribution amount counts!

To donate, please go to and Click on “Donate Now” or by check to Amphitheater Fund, c/o 2500 6th Ave., Unit 803, San Diego, CA 92103 The Support Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity. All donations are tax deductible. Tax ID #65-1277308. You will receive an acknowledgment for your contribution. / DECEMBER 2021


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

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

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

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

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

I looked all about, a strange sight I did see: no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand; on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands. With medals and badges, awards of all kinds, a sober thought came through my mind. For this house was different, it was dark and dreary. I found the home of a soldier, at once I could see clearly. The soldier lay sleeping; silent, alone, curled up on the floor, in this one bedroom home. Not how I pictured a US soldier.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice, “Santa, don’t cry. This life is my choice. I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more; my life is my God, my country, my corps.” The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep; I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep. I kept watch for hours, so silent and still, and we both shivered from the cold night’s chill. I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night, this guardian of honor, so willing to fight.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read, curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure, whispered, “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”

I realized the families that I saw this night, owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

One look at my watch and I knew he was right, “Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.”

Soon ‘round the world, the children would play and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas Day. They all enjoyed freedom, each month of the year, because of the soldiers like the one lying here.

18 / DECEMBER 2021

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

A Soldier’s christmas / DECEMBER 2021




The Covers of 2021 All 2021 Issues available at: 20 / DECEMBER 2021

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021

April 2021 / DECEMBER 2021


May 2021

June 2021

September 2021

October 2021

22 / DECEMBER 2021

July 2021

August 2021

November 2021

December 2021 / DECEMBER 2021


A Veterans’ Guide for Navigating Your Mental Health During the Holidays San Diego Veterans Magazine had a chance to sit down with Air Force Veteran Jay Russell. He is a fourth-generation military member in his family and a Veteran Liaison for American Addiction Centers.

It doesn’t mean I don’t struggle at times, but I’ve learned to still make it a joyous time of year. - What wisdom can you share from your journey? First, I learned that you have to put effort into your happiness. It doesn’t just happen. You have to fight for it. You can’t cave into the feelings of loneliness and wanting to isolate yourself. While it may be challenging, I can tell you it’s worth it. Here are five tips I recommend during the holidays to help boost your spirits. • Take yourself out to dinner - Even if you choose to eat alone, being in an environment where other people are can often boost your mood. It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant, just a place with an open dining room. I don’t care if it is McDonald’s as long as you are in contact with other humans. You have to take baby steps, and this is a great one that has worked for me. This has allowed me to get more comfortable socializing and develop the habit of being around other people. The more you do it, the easier it will become over time. Research has shown that socialization can improve your mental health and increase your confidence and selfesteem.

- Why are the holidays challenging for Veterans? Since leaving the military, some veterans struggle with personal relationships, and the holidays are when social gatherings are happening more often. During my first few years out of the military, I was a train wreck and felt like a fish out of water. Adjusting to civilian life was challenging, and it impacted my ability to nurture the relationships in my life. I dealt with depression and isolated myself from others. Many Veterans also battle PTSD, which leads them to further retreat from others. The holidays are also a reminder of the life you don’t have. You’ve sacrificed a lot, yet things didn’t turn out how you envisioned. At the same time, on social media, you are bombarded with images of seemingly happy people living their best lives, which only compounds your feelings of loneliness and sadness. However, over the years, I’ve learned to navigate the holidays. 24 / DECEMBER 2021

• Decorate your home - When I grew up, decorating for the holidays was a big deal. However, I got away from the tradition until I realized how much better it made me feel. Decorating my home allowed me to be a part of the holiday season still even if I was celebrating alone that year. I found coming home to a bland house when everyone else on the block was into the joy of the holiday season was depressing. Now, I put on my own light show. You might be amazed at the difference a few decorations can have on your state of mind. • Be of service to others - Whether it’s donating a toy to a child in need or volunteering at your local soup kitchen, being of service to others has its mental health benefits. When you give your time and resources to those who are less fortunate, it reminds you of how blessed you are despite how you feel at the moment. Positive psychology research has shown that gratitude can make you happier. Not to mention, volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and a mission again. In the military, we often say, “We got your six.” I believe that oath doesn’t have an expiration date and extends to the community at large.

• Honor your sacrifice - The holidays are often a time of life reflection as we prepare for a new year. As Veterans, this is a great time to remind yourself that what you sacrificed during your years of service made a difference. While you may not hear “thank you for your service” every day, it’s important to take time to take pride in yourself because it impacts how you feel about yourself and your self-worth.


Addiction Treatment For Veterans Proud Veterans Affair Community Care Provider & Partners

For more information, call


We have someone available 24/7 to answer your call

For veterans dealing with substance abuse, PTSD and other mental health disorders, our Salute to Recovery Program is designed specifically for you. Built on camaraderie, trust and evidence-based therapies, the program provides a place of healing among fellow veterans to get you on the path to recovery faster. Treatment includes:

• Seek professional help - In the military, it is ingrained in us to be strong and not show weakness. While it’s beneficial on the battlefield, this mentality has kept many Veterans from getting professional help when they need it. The truth is, it takes courage to seek help, and it’s a sign of strength to admit you can’t bear this alone anymore. Far too many Veterans are struggling in silence at a time when overdose deaths are at an all-time high, and suicide rates among Veterans are also on the rise. I’m a suicide survivor. My advice to any Veteran in the grips of addiction or a mental health crisis this holiday season is to reach out for help right away. I’m so grateful I did, and I’m alive today to share my story.

• Trauma Groups

• Relapse Prevention

• Emotion Regulation

• Motivational Interviewing

• Grief & Loss

• Cognitive Processing

• Pain Management

• EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

• Coping Skills • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

• 12-Step

• Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

• Art & Music Therapy

AdCare, Desert Hope, Recovery First, River Oaks, Sunrise House, Oxford, and Greenhouse are part of American Addiction Centers’ National Network of Treatment Centers.

To contact Jay Russell, email him at / DECEMBER 2021


Real Talk: Mental Health By Leslie McCaddon, Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD

Jumping on the Resolution Wagon Dear reader, The holidays are upon us and if you’re like me your new journal and your new pen are already poised and in position to postulate a perfected new prototype of yourself (at least on paper) all before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. Though we all may pretend that we aren’t turning into pumpkins (not because of an end to a spell, but most likely because of Grandma’s homemade stuffing and Aunt Julia’s apple crumble pie), the truth is rather humblingly predictable. I’ve been every version of a new version of myself on January 1st. I’ve been the health enthusiast, the fad diet nutritionist, the kick the habit/build the habit optimist, the better wife/better life, never-to-yell-again mom and many other shiny new things I have dreamt up for my personality and personal growth. I jump on that bandwagon of the New Year resolutions, and I jump hard. If I’m honest, none of my well-meaning resolutions have amounted to much—at least not in the ways I expected. Like most well-meaning humans, I start out strong, hit a few road blocks, craft a few well-worded

26 / DECEMBER 2021

justifications, and fall off the wagon by March (at the latest) with a thud. One may ask, why then would I repeat this insanity every single New Year’s Eve year upon year? It isn’t so that I’ll finally lose the weight. Or lose the attitude. Or finally become the kind of writer who finishes more than a neat 1200-word column a month. It isn’t just because I’m an optimist and an idealist and that I truly believe in Disney Happily Ever After Endings (even if my life has teetered more often towards a fairy tale by Grimm). It is because if there is one thing I have learned in my life so far it is that we continue in the direction in which we mean to go. What we prioritize gets our attention. And what we neglect to remember, we neglect to do. So, even if I’m yet to achieve all my resolutions, I am confident that my overall trajectory (albeit a bit bumpy at times on the graph), is trending towards the things I want it to. Without resolutions, I’m afraid my life would become a life of only reactions. My priorities would be dictated by the furniture my dog chews, the messes my teenagers leave in the family room, and the never-ending (and I mean never-ending) piles of dishes and laundry a family provides for me to “manage.” There is a reason “no more yelling” makes the resolutions list most years!

If I didn’t take time to remember my own personal dreams, desires, and priorities, they wouldn’t stand a chance in this year or the next. Or even the year after that. To keep my own dreams and priorities on a steady climb that reflects growth, I at the very least need to take the time to remember them, to write them down, and to set the intention of making progress. Though my goals may be Olympic-like in December, and look unrecognizable by March, they are still there. They are still remembered. They are written down. They are tucked inside my heart to keep coming back to once my perfectionism and pride settle down. So, before you push away your pen too early this year, before you wonder if making those resolutions are simply a gimmick or a waste of time, I’d like to invite you to reframe the process for yourself. Instead of dreaming up new realities, take the time to acknowledge and remember long-standing hopes and dreams. Review how in the last year, after your recovered from the wind being knocked out of you last time you fell off the resolution wagon, you actually DID create a new habit, or achieved a new goal, or half a goal, or one step of a goal. And none of that could have happened if you hadn’t had a resolution to begin with. And this year, instead of beating yourself up for the inevitable fall from the resolution wagon, anticipate it with this new promise to yourself: to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go about the process of moving forward at whatever pace that ends up being for you. And unapologetically pull out your pen again next December—and record what a different place you are starting from after all.

Leslie McCaddon serves as part of the outreach team at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD. She is the Gold Star Widow of Army CPT Michael McCaddon, MD. To learn how therapy can help with mental health challenges, visit / DECEMBER 2021


A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain, LCSW

Healthy New Year! As I began to write this column, I have to admit, COVID is always on my mind. It is hard to stay positive at times when we are consistently told what we cannot do. Many of the things that are restricted are healthy for our mind and body. I.E physical workouts and social gatherings (mental connectedness). I never thought COVID would still have such an impact on our lives in December much less going into 2022. It does not look like we will be back to ‘normal’ anytime soon. In December most of us are thinking about the new year and resolutions we would like to set. This year I encourage you to think about these three things to incorporate or continue in your new year.

Activity It is so important to stay physically and mentally active. We may not be able to do the same workouts as before

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

Connected It is important to stay connected to family and friends. This connection can bring a feeling of closeness, provide emotional support and intellectual stimulation.

28 / DECEMBER 2021

A recent study showed the positive benefits of staying connected: • Improved memory/ cognitive skills • Happier

San Diego Community News

• Stronger immune system • Decrease stress hormones There are lots of ways to stay connected while maintaining all COVID safety precautions: • Video Chats (zoom, MS Teams, Facetime etc…) • Social Media • Phone calls (old school) • Letters/Cards

Grace In 2021 ‘grace’ has been my motto. As a Christian and a girl born and raised in the south grace was always a familiar term to me. During the season of COVID, grace has taken on a new meaning for me. I embrace it as a form of meeting people where they are at. I had to take a step back and understand that this pandemic is truly effecting people in many ways and people are really struggling. I have learned to have grace with others when things are not done the way I expect them or the way I think they should be done. I have a whole new level of understanding and truly seeing people as individuals with distinct needs and challenges. I have adopted grace with others …..but most importantly I have adopted grace with myself. I have found that every day does not have to be perfect. In fact-some of the best days are unplanned. I have learned to have grace with myself when I make mistakes and be more compassionate to my own situation and challenges. As you move into 2022, find the resolution that works for you! I encourage you to stay active, What’s Happening? • Community Events • Community Press Releases • Entertainment & more... Military & Veteran Organizations • Post Your Events • Upcoming Programs • Resources - Donations - Inspirations

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

Have a safe and healthy holiday - see you in 2022!

San Diego Veterans Magazine Your best source for San Diego military, veteran breaking and local news, press releases, community events, media, entertainment and more… / DECEMBER 2021


Veteran-Owned Business Announce Philanthropic Partnership with Shelter to Soldier By Eva M. Stimson Jax & Moonie, a veteran-owned custom dog collar company have announced their first fundraising outreach campaign with the San Diego non-profit organization, Shelter to Soldier (STS), to benefit US veterans suffering from psychological combat wounds. The goal of the partnership is to raise funds and awareness of the STS program through the launch of Jax & Moonie’s new, Limited Edition Matte Black Rescue Collars, and customized Military Collar Tags. The partnership was announced on Veteran’s Day 2021, and all products are currently available for purchase online at 20 percent of proceeds from all Limited Edition Matte Black Rescue Collars sold through February 15, 2022 (coinciding with George Washington’s Birthday), will be donated to STS, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the customized Military Collar Tag purchases will be donated to STS on an ongoing basis. The Military Collar Tags will be added to the full-time collection. Online shoppers will also be given the option to donate directly to STS upon checkout.

Brinley - Photos by Jax & Moonie LLC 30 / DECEMBER 2021

Jax & Moonie is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Meilani and Matt Punzone (US Navy veteran). Matt joined the Navy in 2015 and went to BUD/S. After being rolled back in 1st phase twice, he was then able to make it through Hell Week on his third attempt. He went on to complete the Second phase of BUD/S and got halfway through 3rd phase before being dropped from the program. Afterwards, Matt was medically discharged from the Navy in 2018. Jax & Moonie Co-Owner, Matt Punzone, has a distinguished military career and he was seeking a way to give back. According to Matt, “After being dropped from BUD/S and medically discharged from the military, I realized the hard truth that I wasn’t going to fulfill my extended duty of deploying for this country. On top of that, my teammates were going on to deploy without me and I was unable to be with them. I felt like a failure and completely helpless. To divert my focus from these thoughts, my wife [Meilani] had the idea to take my leather crafting skills, (which were taught to me by my late father), and create a product that would bond owners with their dogs. When I became aware of Shelter to Soldier’s mission, Meilani and I agreed that it was the perfect partnership for us to give back to a community that we feel close to. Not only that, but it helps me provide for the service members that deployed and performed the ultimate duty that I was unable to fully complete myself.” The collars and personalized tags are compassionately handcrafted by Jax & Moonie with each dog owner/pup relationship in mind. Meilani Punzone, Co-Owner of Jax & Moonie explains thatthe collars and tags bring owners and their pups a lifetime of joy through bonding. “At Jax & Moonie, we believe the relationship between a dog and their collar should last a lifetime…the same as the relationship between a dog and their partner. That’s why we have created a unique product designed to personally connect owners to their pup, and the path they travel together.”

Photo by Allison Shamrell Pet Photography

Shelter to Soldier Vice President Kyrie’ Bloem elaborates, “We’re honored to have support from Jax & Moonie, who have taken a centuries-old leather craftsmanship art to a new level to commemorate all the wonderful journeys and milestones owners of dogs experience with their devoted pup companions. This project exemplifies the bond we create with our veterans and their service dogs…we’re particularly excited that the launch of this partnership coincides with veteran-related celebrations and the upcoming holiday gift-giving season.” Shelter to Soldier is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other psychological injuries. The program also places Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) with active duty military and veterans, and deploys their Shelter to Soldier Canine Ambassadors, a team of therapy dogs, to provide visits of love and comfort to active duty military, veterans and their families as well as community partners throughout Southern California. Shelter to Soldier Co Founder, Graham Bloem, is the recipient of the American Red Cross Real Heroes Award, 10News Leadership Award, CBS8 News Change It Up Award, Honeywell Life Safety Award, and the 2016 Waggy Award. Additionally, Shelter to Soldier is accredited by the Patriot’s Initiative. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call 760-870-5338 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility.

San Diego Veteran Resources & Organizations

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

San Diego Veteran Resources & Organizations available at

San Diego Veterans Magazine

A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans / DECEMBER 2021



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


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




Support. Inspiration.


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

Resources & Articles available at:

The colors of gratitude

32 / DECEMBER 2021


Complementary and Alternative Treatments for PTSD By Gage Chu and Ariel Lang, PhD, MPH Those who live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) know it is a condition that can be as physical as it is mental. When someone with PTSD recalls a traumatic event, the memories of that event don’t just live in their mind—their body responds to the memories, too. Past traumatic events are often perceived by the body as present threats, causing it to release “fight or flight” chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline. Physical responses like these can put people with PTSD in a state of “hyperarousal,” which some describe as being overly alert, on edge, or jumpy. These physical responses lie at the root of some of PTSD’s most painful and treatment-resistant symptoms, such as trouble sleeping or feeling irritable or on edge. Many with PTSD find relief from leading treatments like Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy (available at any VA and many community locations) to improve their symptoms. But, while these psychotherapeutic treatments are safe and often helpful, some Veterans may prefer interventions that focus on the connection between the mind and body.

By layering conventional and complementary treatment methods, Veterans may be able to address their own unique symptoms and improve their quality of life. Fortunately, recovery from PTSD is possible, and comprehensive, whole-health treatment options are available and in demand: 16-38% of Veterans say they’ve used complementary and alternative approaches in the past 12 months. Studies show that Veterans with PTSD may benefit from several different types of meditation, yoga and other exercise programs, and acupuncture. Here are some steps to follow if you would like to start… Step 1: Identify your options: talk to your provider or reach out to the VA about what kinds of programs are available and are a good fit for you. Beware of costly programs that make big promises. Step 2: Set a goal: many complementary treatments need to become part of your lifestyle. One or two days won’t tell you much, but one or two months might. Decide what is a fair test of its benefit for you. Step 3: Define success: pick a specific, measurable change that would let you know you are doing better. This might be “I’ll sleep at least 4 hours a night” or “I’ll lose my temper and yell less than once a week.” Step 4: Don’t get defeated. If the first thing you try doesn’t meet your needs go back to step 1…

VA Research: Exercise/Yoga for PTSD Participate from home. Includes 12 weeks of Yoga OR Strength and Flexibility Training online or livestreamed classes. Looking for veterans currently bothered by PTSD symptoms Compensation up to $250. For more information, please call the Research Coordinator at (858) 257-6003.

VA San Diego Healthcare System IRB NUMBER: H180029 IRB APPROVAL DATE: 09/17/2021

VA San Diego IRB#H180029 / DECEMBER 2021


34 / DECEMBER 2021

Why Art? By Amber Robinson

Those of us who are born artists would scoff at a question like “Why Art?” Why NOT art is the real question. Those of us born with the natural inclination to take paint to canvas, put our hands to instruments or our bodies into motion or music understand the grounding effects of art. It is that grounding effect that makes art the beautiful healer that it is. I’ve met so many people throughout my life who tell me they are not artistic or creative. But, I believe we all are. No matter how we build our lives, it is through our own creativity and ingenuity that we do so. But, there is something especially grounding about making art for the sake of its beauty. The world of dance, theater, paint and poetry is fraught with avenues of healing one can take. In a study published in Art Therapy Magazine, 39 healthy people were tested for cortisol before and after 45 minutes of art making. For those who don’t know, cortisol is a stress hormone that your adrenal glands make. A body saturated in cortisol is a body very stressed and undergoing deterioration.

The blog also says that art is the only activity that forces us to forge a connection between body and mind. Through those connections back to dormant parts of self, we find healing, or wholeness. In fact, the blog even goes so far as to suggest asking your art to communicate with you! As you connect your different parts of self, art is a messenger between them. What is your art trying to communicate to you about yourself?

According to the study, cortisol levels were notably lower after art making. Participants were able to create with an array of materials and reported feelings of calm, peace, and better focus. They also wrote that they felt the art session was helpful for learning about new aspects of self, in helping conflict resolution and in understanding the concept of “being in flow”.

In my experience, art has always been my saving grace. From poetry as an angsty teen to abstract painting as a war-mottled veteran, art has always been where I have met myself again and again. You meet yourself within the process somehow and that is how we heal. The person we were before life messed us up is always inside of us. Art is like a magical key that opens the door to that person again. Art allows us to be new again.

So what is it about art that lowers our stress levels and connects us more deeply to ourselves? According to a thoughtful blog on the Henry Ford Health System website, through art and creativity we are able to connect to our “inner child”, usually the part of ourselves that is most pure and unscarred.

As we all end 2021 I encourage everyone to create some holiday art; paint a painting, write poetry or sculpt! Get eccentric with trimming the tree and with holiday food. And, If holiday stress starts to raise those cortisol levels, you know to reach for the markers and paper, not the vodka. / DECEMBER 2021

35 Career Resources Available Now Hiring Management and Direct Service Positions - 36 / DECEMBER 2021

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

Support the Cohen Clinic

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

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

Make a gift today: / DECEMBER 2021


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

The Young Maverick

Working backwards works

He was 9 years old sitting in a New York city movie theater with his Dad watching what is arguably one of the greatest movies of all time, “Top Gun”. As the theme song played out its last stanza and the credits rolled up the screen, he thoughtfully placed his empty popcorn bowl aside and turned to his Dad and said, “THAT’s what I want to do. “ His Dad responded, “You’re a kid from Brooklyn. Is that what you really want to do?” Wisely, on the drive home his Dad continued the conversation and laid out a plan and a path for him to achieve his starry-eyed goal. “So, you want to be an aviator? Great! You may want to consider going into the Naval Academy. That means as of today you need to be thinking about being a good community leader and getting good grades. Do you really want to do that between now and your 18th Birthday?”

Jeremy took the lessons learned from his Dad’s conversation and his subsequent entry into the Academy and made it a life pattern, including his transition out of the military. Begin with the end in mind. Jeremy, though he is gainfully employed at a large company helping veterans, feels that he is still in transition. He notes, “I’m still developing my postmilitary life. My family is still adjusting to me coming home at night. I’m lucky that I’ve found my purpose through my company, helping veterans but I do miss my sense of purpose that I had in the military. “ What made the difference for you? “I began my transition interviewing 2-3 months before I actually separated. I joined veteran transition programs that had connections to companies that I wanted to work with. “

Jeremy literally took business classes just to learn the language of business so he could effectively communicate within this new culture called, the “Civilian Workplace”. He learned to stop speaking in acronyms, and began using the word “I” versus “we”. He notes that veterans lose their sense of self and need to learn to speak in the “I”. One of the programs that helped him the most was the Deloitte Core Leadership Program. The Program participants access Deloitte’s award-winning leadership development curriculum, and learn how to identify their unique edge and make a career choice based on their personal passions. Specifically, the CORE Leadership Program helps veterans and armed forces members: 1. Define their personal brand, identify their strengths, and be able tell their own story. 2. Learn innovative networking strategies and communication techniques, which include best practices in using social media, through personalized and repetitive employment simulations.

38 / DECEMBER 2021

3. Interact and network, from the start of the program, with Deloitte leaders as well as professionals from the public and private sectors. 4. Gain access to other alumni of the CORE Leadership Program. This program helped Jeremy realize the value of what he did and was exposed to in the military. It also made him more competitive in his interviews. Pulling out of a Flat Spin Every military family has stress. When you are in transition that stress increases 10 fold. The fear of the unknown can reign over every thought. Where will we live? What will our finances look like? Schools for the kids? Benefits? The list goes on. Add to that having a beautiful new baby born weighing 1 lb 11 ounces with a disability that commands more time and focus than most can understand. Jeremy and his wife were blessed to have the support of their Navy and natural family to help them and this is what he suggests every transitioning individual should pursue. A community. Zero 800 Where can you find a community that truly understands the 360 degree stress of transition? If you are in San Diego, Jeremy recommends If you are a year out or a year into your post military career, Zero800 is for you. Anyone related to the military regardless of our discharge status can find assistance with food security, housing, work and much more.

They host a virtual month-long program designed to help you successfully land a role in tech and build your professional network. A new cohort kicks off every week. During the program, you will attend 4 – 6 hours of programming a week alongside a cohort of peers. Sessions include hands-on workshops, in-depth discussions with industry leaders, and an inside look at top tech companies. Do over? Jeremy goes on to say that his biggest regret is not saving more money. He would have been in a better position to get a job out of the military and it would have afforded him more time to take off with his family in between his transition. Jeremy did not make it to Top Gun to train as an F-14 pilot, but he did fly helicopters and jet trainers. At 9 years old he had a goal in mind and worked backwards from there. What’s your goal? Need help defining it? Reach out to Jeremy who volunteers a few hours a week outside of his “day job” as the Military Program Manager for Amazon’s Workforce Staffing to help those in transition as well as spouses of those in the military define their path.

He also recommends the San Diego Workforce Partnership. You are able to receive great training for a new career. He cites the example of “Coding Boot Camp”. Many transitioning people do not want to ‘do’ the same thing that they ‘did’ in the military. For instance, a Corpsman wants to join a tech company. Tech companies don’t hire EMT’s. He suggests that you think about a degree program or a coding boot camp. San Diego Workforce Partnership offers direct financial support for these programs. It’s a great opportunity to spread your wings and learn and try new things. Another great nationally recognized resource that he heralds is BreakLine, an organization that “prepares top performers for careers in tech”. Band of Hands For more information or help transitioning, contact Eve Nasby at, or call 619-244-3000

BreakLine provides education and coaching for exceptional, high-performing veterans who are interested in pivoting into the tech industry. / DECEMBER 2021


HUMAN RESOURCES Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

Inspirational Leadership and Workplace Wisdom: Some Thoughts to Close Out the Year

“Change your perspective and you’ll change your perception”

2021, like 2020, turned out to be a time we all prepared for but hoped we would never have to face, thanks to COVID. Combined with the rapid changes in technology and globalization, divisive politics, and so much “noise” emanating from TV and radio shock jocks, it’s time to calm the room. We all need to see ourselves in a quieter light, recognizing that evolutionary change at revolutionary speed is simply part of our species’ challenge at the present moment. Yet we control the reality we wish to experience, if only by changing our perspective to alter our perception of global events. It’s time for us to end the year by going within so that we don’t end up going without. Inspirational leadership is within your reach. It’s not a far-off, idealistic fantasy. Yet, inspirational leadership reveals itself in many quiet ways, not only by what we do but, more importantly, by who we are. A key leadership wisdom is that beingness trumps doingness, meaning that people respect you and are motivated and inspired by you primarily because of who you are as a leader, as a listener, and as a caring human being, not because of what you’re doing at any given time. There’s no need to try to figure out what to do, when in reality, the simplest things, done in kindness and selflessness, help us stand out among our peers. Coaching Leadership Books on management offer myriad ways of motivating employees, but the truth is that workers motivate themselves. Your job is simply to create an environment where they can do so. Discussions about change and transformation are typically called for in times of crisis. But wouldn’t it be easier to come from the wisdom that says that creating the right work environment from the outset is all that’s really needed? Simply make the space for others to motivate themselves and offer a guiding hand when they feel stuck. That’s what coaching leadership is all about.

40 / DECEMBER 2021

Servant Leadership “What you want for yourself, give to another” is an additional workplace wisdom that makes life in leadership amazingly simple and rewarding. Selfless leadership, also known as servant leadership, places others’ needs before your own, expecting them to respond in kind. It can be practiced regularly in your office or on your shop floor. No matter where you work or what you do, you can be the best boss that your staffers have ever had. You can be that person who influenced and supported them to become better people and stronger contributors. You can be that caring person who encourages, that experienced mentor who guides, and that engaged leader who motivates.

“Change your perspective and you’ll change your perception”. Look at the world through a different

lens and, while the objective outcomes of the reality surrounding you may not change, your experience of them can actually change immensely. This doesn’t mean sticking your head in the sand and refusing to recognize reality. It does mean, however, that despite the pressures you experience personally, you can shield your subordinates or coworkers from those complexities. You can reason that the buck stops with you. You’re the line of demarcation between the drama

above you and what your team members get to experience under your leadership. Most important, you can teach them the values of selflessness, ethics, and gratitude. You can practice the kind of role model leadership that they can strive to achieve throughout the rest of their careers. Transformational Leadership It all stems from simply changing your sponsoring thought about who you are as a leader, a motivator, and talent developer. Make it your goal to bring out the best in each of your subordinates—not to fix all their shortcomings but to harvest the best of the strengths that they have to offer. You know intuitively that successful leadership focuses on building on strengths rather than shoring up weaknesses, so find new ways of bringing out those strengths and inspiring employee engagement. Have fun. Consider lightening up just a bit. Understand that life is a gift, and for a significant portion of your lifetime, working will make up a major part of it. Know that at the end of it all, however, nothing will stick with you more than the people you’ve helped, the careers you’ve developed, and the team members along the way who thanked you for all you did to help them excel and reach their personal best. That’s why leadership is the greatest gift that the workplace offers—because of its innate ability to help you touch others’ lives and make the work world a better place. That’s the secret to all of this. That’s the secret sauce of great leaders and inspirational leadership. It’s not the end state—it’s your trip along the way. Make the most of your career and your work life through people, not despite them. Teach what you choose to learn. Encourage others to take healthy risks. Be there when they make mistakes and offer support when they feel vulnerable. Understand that no one does anything wrong given their model of the world and, when in doubt, err on the side of compassion. Become the kind of leader you choose to be—the kind that can change people’s lives and careers along the way. So go ahead and reinvent yourself. The world is waiting to see—and receive—that gift of leadership, of personal and career development, and of selflessness that you’re about to display. Happy Holidays to you all, and here’s to a happy and healthy new year for all of us. You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at Paul Falcone ( is a human resources executive and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development. / DECEMBER 2021


Treating Hearing Loss & Tinnitus Can Ease Transition to Civilian Life Don’t let hearing conditions hold you back. Solutions are readily available and can make all the difference for veterans in transition. By Hope Lanter, Au.D., lead audiologist,

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Millions of veterans suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus, which often create serious disruption and torment that impacts daily life. Given the constant service-related exposure to hazardous noise levels from loud machinery, gunfire, explosions, etc., it’s no wonder that over 1.3 million vets receive VA disability compensation for hearing loss and another 2.3 million for tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or clicking in the ears. But considering that more half of U.S. soldiers have hearing loss, it’s likely the number of veterans with hearing conditions far exceeds those who seek treatment and compensation. Even beyond the military, hearing loss impacts over 37 million Americans and tinnitus another 50 million more. While some veterans may feel embarrassed or ashamed by the thought of wearing a hearing aid, others who deal with significant disabilities, PTSD, etc. may see their hearing issues as a much lower priority—after all, it’s not a life-threatening condition. But hearing issues can create substantial stress, anxiety, depression and social withdrawal, all of which can compound PTSD and interfere with healing. Not to mention, left untreated, hearing problems can worsen over time, especially tinnitus, and there can be a point of diminishing returns: if you wait too long, treatment may be less effective.

Veterans face a number of obstacles in transitioning to civilian life. From adjusting to life with less structure to finding a new career, or even managing issues like PTSD, substance use disorder, injuries or disabilities, it can be a lot to handle. But if you’re also struggling to hear in normal conversations or avoiding quality time with friends or social situations because you can’t hear, or you’re tortured by a constant ringing or buzzing sound in your ears, it can only compound transition challenges, making it even more difficult to settle into a life you love. 42 / DECEMBER 2021

If you’re a veteran who’s suffering with hearing loss or tinnitus, you should know there are ample solutions available to help, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed or wait to seek treatment. Hearing issues could be a “low hanging fruit”—a situation that’s easily resolved so that you can concentrate on getting back to a life you love. For hearing loss, hearing aids are the obvious solution, and the technology has improved drastically from what you may remember. These are not your grandfather’s hearing aids. Modern options now include on-demand adjustability for different settings, Bluetooth connectivity that turns them into sleek earbuds, and even high-performance dirt- and sweatresistant models built for active individuals.

Not Just A Smaller Hearing Aid,

BUT A SMARTER ONE. While tinnitus is a bit more complex, hearing aids can also help. These work by amplifying sounds to correctly stimulate damaged nerves, or by simply masking the sound with white noise or a pitch that counteracts the tinnitus. In addition, relaxation, meditation and sound therapies can help you better cope with tinnitus to minimize its impact on your life. And, while there are some over-the-counter (OTC) remedies that claim to work miracles, many of these are “snake oil” treatments that do nothing more than waste your money. Unfortunately, nothing OTC is FDA approved yet. Fortunately, the VA offers ample resources and hearing loss benefits, including free hearing aids to those who qualify. And despite some skepticism, the hearing aids provided by the VA are premium technology, so certainly, you should start there in seeking treatment for service-related hearing loss and tinnitus. If you find you don’t qualify through the VA, visit an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist or audiologist for an evaluation. Many providers offer veterans’ discounts that can reduce the out-of-pocket cost for hearing loss treatment. The bottom line is that, for many veterans, hearing loss and tinnitus could be quite easily treated, so there’s no reason to suffer in silence. Resolving hearing-related issues could be an important piece of easing your transition to civilian life, and improving your career prospects, family life and overall physical and mental wellbeing. To find out more about how treating hearing loss can improve quality of life and the benefits available to U.S. service veterans, visit or call 786-520-2456 for a FREE consultation and to find a provider near you.


PEOPLE ARE IN LOVE WITH THESE HEARING AIDS TINY DESIGN, BIG PERFORMANCE The most inconspicuous hearing aid ever, Horizon offers effortless hearing without anyone knowing you’re wearing them.

CLEARER, BETTER CONVERSATIONS Horizon hearing aids are the first to offer an innovative Speech Focus to help you hear every word clearly.

NOTHING BUT, NATURAL SOUND Horizon ensures you’ll hear the most natural 360-degree sound from the dinner table to the trails.

PERSONALIZED HEARING EXPERIENCE Our top, handpicked hearing experts will program your hearing aid settings to your individual hearing needs and preferences.

GET YOUR GROOVE BACK — OR ALL OF YOUR MONEY If you and your ears aren’t happy, we’ll refund all of your money back — no questions asked. There’s absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain!

Here's how you can get started: Visit: Call: (844) 4-HEARCOM or (844) 443-2726 / DECEMBER 2021



It’s Time to Celebrate: Steps to Sustain Success

As the year winds down are you excited for what is ahead in 2022? Research has proven over and over that the more you consciously acknowledge your achievements, accomplishments, victories and completions the more of a foundation you have for ongoing success. Just like workers creating the foundation for a new building site by laying out cinder blocks, they must then place cement between them before they can proceed to add others to build up to another level. We too need build on our successes, achievements and things we have learned in order to lay a foundation for on-going success. Jack Canfield says “the more you acknowledge your past successes, the

more confident you become in taking on and successfully accomplishing new ones”. Too often we go straight from the finish line to the starting line without pausing to acknowledge what actually happened and what we learned from it. Yes it is a busy time, working to finish the year on top of the goals you set, while enjoying all the holiday celebrations. This is your time to stop and reflect because it is so easy to under appreciate the things that have been accomplished. Yet many can only recall all the mistakes and failures that occurred. This is especially important now, with so much chatter about what’s good and bad in the economy. If you only remember what hasn’t been accomplished, then the foundation to take on new risks will be shaky indeed.

Confidence and expectations in your abilities comes with building on the images of success. It isn’t enough to just think about what you have accomplished; it is important to write down your accomplishments. When reading some one’s’ resume it is amazing how little they remember about the results and accomplishments they brought to a company. They list out job descriptions, rather than the outcomes of their work. The same is true for you, as a business owner you must keep your mind focused and filled with images of your achievements, which only happens when you take the time to write them down. One of the best sources of encouragement is to record your achievements. Reviewing them as you plan each month helps to maintain a high level of motivation and an ever-increasing keenness for achievement. Consider all areas of your life, they add to your belief in your potential and your motivation to achieve even more. Just remembering the mistakes and failures won’t prepare you to take risks that will lead to your ongoing success. Build yourself-esteem by recalling ALL the ways you have succeeded, and your brain will be filled with images of you making your achievements happen again and again. Then surround yourself with reminders of your success. Put up pictures, articles, trophies, awards, and other pieces that bring attention to your success. Make your environment speak to you about your achievements. Be proud of them! People like to be around those who have a healthy selfesteem and who are achieving their goals. Commit to acknowledging your achievements and your brain will begin to tell you the truth...that you can do ANYTHING! Barbara Eldridge has built a solid reputation as a Success strategies specialist, within industry and business over the past 40 years. Her unique message, since starting Mind Masters 30 years ago for entrepreneurs and small business owners, continually stresses vision, purpose and values as the key elements of business philosophy.

44 / DECEMBER 2021



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

ENROLL NOW AT WFW.ORG CAD/CAM Programming CNC Machining Welding DoD SkillBridge Organization

Call us at (619) 550-1620. / DECEMBER 2021


Transitioning is a Process – Take it Slow and Share it with Others By: Dr. Keita Franklin Whether a veteran has served in the military for 4 years or 25, transitioning into civilian life is often a difficult and stressful process. For a veteran, civilian transition is so much more than a change in vocation…it’s a change in identity. So much of a veteran’s identity is invested in their role as a soldier, sailor, airman marine, or guardian. Leaving the military can cause veterans to lose a sense of connection with this familiar identity. Who am I if I’m not a Colonel in the United States Army? What is my utility if I’m not putting my life on the line in defense of this Nation? Veterans often struggle with these and other existential questions during their transition to civilian life. This is why, it is important that we ensure veterans are prepared for such feeling and emotions well in advance of their transition. We need every veteran to understand that while we will remain eternally grateful for their service to this Nation, we also value and honor their many other roles. Their roles as a community member, a father, a son, a wife, sister, and so many others offer countless opportunities for veterans to continue their service while leveraging their unique skills, impeccable values, and unwavering commitment. The challenges veterans face when transitioning from military service to civilian life are many. Often for veterans who have worked in high-tempo operational environments for extended periods of time, can find it extremely difficult to “slow down” to the normal pace of civilian life. These veterans may interpret this slower pace as indicating they are not adding value to their new mission, or they may feel the activities involving these slower processes must not be important because it is not infused with wartime urgency, which they are accustomed. Other veterans may suppress their emotions tied to traumatic experiences while serving on active duty, mainly because they perceived the stigma of weakness when asking for help while on active duty. In many cases, the transition to civilian life will trigger debilitating emotions and there can be a delayed onset of symptoms related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) surfacing all at once – making it overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable to overcome. In addition to triggering suppressed emotions, finding employment outside of the military can be a significant stressor – particularly when a veteran is asked to start at an entry level position. Some veterans question how well their skills acquired on active duty will transition to 46 / DECEMBER 2021

the private sector, but they do not expect to start at the bottom. In some cases, veterans take a job because they need one, however, they are not happy or are left feeling unfulfilled by the work they do because they believe they are starting from scratch. In other cases, veterans crave the high-tempo operational work environments. The intensity of the military environment can cause a constant state of adrenaline for people – and service members often report not being able to find that same intensity in their civilian jobs, making them feel sluggish and unmotivated by their jobs.

Another issue veterans confront when transitioning from service is finding a new sense of mission. While on active duty, service members have a very strong sense of mission and belongingness, and as they prepare for transitioning, it is important to make sure they understand and appreciate their new mission in life. This means finding a meaningful job that brings them purpose, as well as a strong circle of friends or colleagues who they can rely on when civilian life becomes difficult to navigate. To make transitioning easier, service members need to take that sense of mission while on active duty and adjust it to their mission in civilian life. Veterans must understand that while their mission has changed, who they are, their personality, skills, values, and dedication, has not. Put simply, what made these veterans successful in the military, makes them equally valuable in their civilian roles. Finally, we must recognize that civilian transition is difficult not just for the transitioning member, but for the whole family. Spouses and kids of transitioning

veterans require time and guidance to adjust as well. Working with kids before this major life event occurs is essential, as well as ensuring spouses are prepared to adjust to civilian life. We must assist these families in obtaining suitable employment, adjusting to a new community, accessing services outside of the military community, and so much more. Transitioning is a difficult part of a service member’s life, however, there are ways to make it easier. Connecting with friends and family to aid in returning to civilian life, as well as communication with other service members who have similar experiences allows emotions to be shared and a solid team to rely on for support. Transitioning into civilian life is a process and not something that happens overnight. Taking it slow and being kind to yourself during the process can make it seem a little less daunting.



About the Author Dr. Keita Franklin serves as the Chief Clinical Officer at Loyal Source Government Services where she leads the company’s Behavior Health line of practice. Expanding Loyal Source’s already impressive service portfolio, she is responsible for designing, implementing, and overseeing contract mental health programs focused on prevention and treatment services for at-risk individuals. A nationally renowned suicide prevention expert, Dr. Franklin also serves as the Co-Director of the Columbia Lighthouse Project, a Columbia University NY State Psychiatric Institute initiative focused on reducing suicide risk. Prior to joining Loyal Source, Dr. Franklin worked extensively with military and Veteran populations serving in several senior positions within Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In her role as Senior Executive Director, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Department of Veteran Affairs, she led a U.S.-wide team of subject matter experts in the development and execution of a national public health program targeted toward advancing care for 20 million Veterans. Dr. Franklin is widely credited with implementing an innovative public health approach to suicide prevention in both the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs.

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




“Establish a Youth Entrepreneurship Program”:

By: Joseph Molina National Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Creating a Youth entrepreneurship program is easy. Youth programs can be located at a local school or at a community college. You only need a group of passionate teachers, parents and/or volunteers who will commit to supporting the idea

It has been my experience that today’s youth and especially those coming from a military environment tend to start businesses in areas of personal interest including types of businesses that represent a rewarding aspect of their lives, which result in businesses that are full of innovation, out of the box ideas that hit a home run! I had the pleasure of experiencing one the most remarkable business plan presentations from a group of Jr. High School students on “The process of starting a business” it was clear to me that these young students were prepared with the knowledge and passion needed to be an entrepreneur. I realized that these entrepreneurial kids could not do it alone, they needed assistance, mentorship, and guidance and most of all our support. Here is how we can help. “Promote an Entrepreneurial Environment”: To promote entrepreneurship, the birth of new ideas, we need to have an “Entrepreneurial Mind-Set” – a way of thinking that perceives entrepreneurship as a “New Opportunity”, a way to find and create new solutions to old problems or new solutions to new problems. Having the right mind-set will encourage the right environment that welcomes entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial ideas. • Allow Youth to try new things: With the understanding that mistakes and or failures are just part of a business cycle. They are nothing more than opportunities to try something in a different way. • Provide resources: Be ready to invest time and money in a few tools, resources and or training. • Create a platform of business opportunities: Connect with businesses and organizations in the community to bring potential opportunities to the youth encouraging them to learn as well as contributing to a business. • Make kids be accountable and responsible for money earned: It is important that they learn how to manage money. This becomes a crucial skill as the business grows • Be a mentor or a business coach: Mentors are key to the success of these young entrepreneurs. Mentors/ business coaches are essential to the development of business ideas and business concepts. Mentors/ business coaches help by guiding and directing the business process, brainstorming ideas and identify solutions to potential obstacles. 48 / DECEMBER 2021

1. “Business Idea Pitch It Competition”: This project allows for students to present their business idea in front of a panel of judges providing constructive feedback. 2. “Take it to the Market”: This gives a group of students the experience and skills to create and implement a sales strategy for a product or service as well as identify its market potential. 3. “Marketing Plan Competition”: The business community submits a “Project” for a group of students to work on. These are real life scenarios/issues that students help identify solutions to solve the problem. 4. Invention and Innovation: Students submit “a prototype” of an idea or product that currently does NOT exist but could be created and possibly developed. Students showcase their prototype in front of a panel of judges. MEET SOME YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS Catherine Cook After looking at her brother’s yearbook, Catherine Cook, the youngest of the Cook siblings, came up with the idea of creating a social media website that functioned as an online version of a person’s yearbook. MyYearbook merged with an ad-supported site that allowed users to post and take online quizzes. Venture capital funding for the site reached $4.1 million by 2006. Hart Main When he was 13, Hart Main came up with the idea of macho-scented candles. Hart and his parents put in small amounts of money to start the business, and they collaborated to create the ManCan candles. ManCan candles, which come in aromas like Campfire, Bacon, Sawdust, Fresh Cut Grass, and Grandpa’s Pipe. Hart’s candles may be found in retailers around the country, with yearly sales topping six figures. In Summary, the youth of today have an amazing entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit, an unlimited source of ideas and a potential for greatness. Let’s come together and create platforms for “opportunities” that can be utilized by our next generation of Entrepreneurs.


Military spouses social Media Incubator




PREPARE FOR YOUR CALL TO SERVE { Become a military chaplain by earning a


{ Proven record of more than 200 chaplain graduates


50 / DECEMBER 2021

READY TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR CAREER? Talk to our friendly veterans admissions counselor today! (858)581-9460 Become a certified IT professional in 15 weeks with no prior experience necessary!

Why ICOHS College?

Career Outcomes:

• GI Bill & MyCAA Approved

• Technical Support Specialist

• Flexible Schedule

• IT Support Technician

• Online & In-person Hybrid Classes

• Network Administrator

• Small Class Size

• Network Analyst

• Hands-on Training

• Systems Administrator

• Lifelong Job Placement and Career

The median IT job salary in the US was about $88,000 last year.

Counseling / DECEMBER 2021


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


At this meeting, you’ll also reappoint the directors and the directors reappoint the officer. To stay compliant with corporate law, it’s important that you treat your corporation separately from yourself and holding annual minutes is one way of complying with the law.

The year is quickly coming to an end and as a small business owner, you’re probably already thinking about the new year and all of the exciting projects you have lined up. But before you get in too deep with future plans, be sure that your business is currently in good standing before the year ends. Here are some important steps to complete on your end of year legal checklist: ANNUAL MEETING: If you’re a corporation, it’s important that you hold an annual meeting before the year ends, if you have not done so already. This is where you make important decisions for the year and make sure the shareholders and board members are all on the same page. An important part of holding annual meetings is recordkeeping through corporate minutes. These minutes summarize what’s been decided and what’s been discussed at these meetings. Each state has its own code sections for your business to comply with so make sure you are listing the right code section in your corporate minutes.


52 / DECEMBER 2021

STATEMENT OF INFORMATION: A Statement of Information is usually required from all business entities in most states. The Statement of Information is filed with your state’s Secretary of State and contains updates on important information about your business, including the names of your directors, members, and registered agent. If your state requires you to file a Statement of Information, there is usually a specific due date (usually the anniversary of your business’s incorporate date). If you miss this filing, you can be subject to penalties and late fees. OWNERSHIP: With the global pandemic we all have experienced, no doubt your business has been affected too where you may have undergone a number of internal changes, such as co-owners leaving, retiring or simply took a reduced salary. Your company’s governing documents should be updated to accurately memorialize any changes in ownership, including any new or revised agreements between owners.

CONTRACTS: The end of the year is an ideal time to review all of the company’s outstanding contracts and current relationship with vendors. All outstanding contracts should be reviewed to determine whether their stated term expires in the upcoming calendar year, so you can determine whether or not to seek a renewal or look for another vendor. This is also a perfect time to renegotiate some terms to be more favorable for your company.

Go Legal Yourself ® Know Your Business Legal Lifecycle

2nd Edition NOW AVAILABLE!

INSURANCE POLICIES: As your business operations grow and otherwise change from year to year, it is likely that your company’s insurance needs will likewise evolve. You should take some time to reevaluate the coverage and to determine whether your current insurance polices are sufficient for your growth and expansion. In addition to the business insurance coverage, you should also look into getting some ‘key man’ insurance that will help the company financially if one of the owners or a ‘key person’ leaves or dies. With this insurance, your company could continue without any interruptions and will provide you time to fill that ‘key person’ role. While the end of each calendar year is a busy time for everyone, especially business owners, taking some time to review your legal checklist will save you both time and money. We are always available to answer any questions that you may have and to assist you in conducting the annual legal review of your 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 follow your passion. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very Prosperous New Year!

For more information on how to legally start and grow your business please visit my website at

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

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

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

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

Get your copy at amazon today! / DECEMBER 2021


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

HOLIDAY VISITATION AND COPARENTING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS It’s that time of year again - the holidays are approaching. For some, it is the most magical time of the year, but for others it can be stressful when faced with coparenting issues. If you are divorced or separated and have children, there are ways to make the holidays less stressful and more memorable for everyone despite your situation. You may find these coparenting tips particularly helpful if your family is transitioning from a one to two household family as the holidays are approaching. Tip #1: Create a Holiday Visitation Schedule Every family and former partner or spouse have different dynamics. Some people find that they are capable of effectively coparenting as best friends. Other find themselves in a high conflict situation with their former partner. Some parents live close together while other lives across states. Making sure you have a specific holiday schedule creates certainty for you, your children, and your former partner. It also helps prevent any on-going conflict over who your children will be with for each holiday. Creating a well thought out holiday visitation schedule that maintains a certain level of flexibility can help both you, your children, and your former partner or spouse enjoy the holidays without any added stress. You may consider alternating the holidays in odd and even numbered years, splitting each holiday evenly, or sharing some holidays together. Of course, depending on your dynamics with the other parent and your circumstances you could consider alternating some holidays while splitting or sharing others. 54 / DECEMBER 2021

Tip #2: Let Your Children Develop and Experience Holiday Traditions with Both Parents and Extended Families It is imperative to remember that no matter what situation you find yourself in, it is important for your children to develop and experience holiday traditions with both of their parents and their extended families. Encourage holiday traditions in both your home and the other partner’s home. Let the other parent share their own holiday traditions they may have with your children, but also be willing to share your traditions if they are something they would like to continue to do in their home despite no longer sharing the same household. Don’t speak negatively about the other parent’s traditions. Don’t discourage traditions in the other parent’s home. It is important to alternate or share holidays so your children can develop and experience holiday traditions in both homes. Tip #3: Don’t Make it a Competition Do not make the holidays a competition between you and the other parent. You want your children to equally enjoy the holidays with both of you. Trying to outdo the other parent does more harm than good to your children’s well-being. Instead work with the other parent to make the holidays memorable no matter which parent they are with. Remember your children love you both equally. For example, if you are sharing the Christmas holiday, be willing to share with the other parent what your children have put on their Christmas list. Work together in buying them things. Let them bring those gifts freely back and forth between both homes during the holiday. If they receive something from “Santa” they really loved in your home and they are spending the other half of the day with the other parent, don’t tell them it has to stay at mommy or daddy’s house. Tip #4: Stay Flexible Stay flexible. Be willing to make accommodations. The more you and the other parent are willing to work together, the more likely you will have a successful

coparenting relationship and the less difficult holidays will be for you and your children transitioning between two households. Tip #5: Communicate Keep the door to communication open. If you don’t have a holiday visitation schedule in place, then it is important that you plan ahead and communicate with the other parent. If you have plans to travel when it is your holiday with the children, share your travel information with the other parent sooner rather than later. If the other parent shows interest in what holiday traditions you are doing in your home, share them freely with the other parent. If you and the other parent disagree on any issue regarding the holidays, be considerate in your communications with the other parent. It benefits everyone when you can work through something by open, considerate, and respectful communications. As you head into the holidays, be mindful of fostering the other parent’s relationship with your child even if it is your holiday. Let them Facetime or Skype with the other parent. Work together when you can. It benefits both you and your children. Happy Holidays and Happy Coparenting!

Time for a Fresh Start.

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

Military Divorce and Retirement, 20/20/20 Spouse, Survivor Benefit Plans, Support Orders, and more. No nonsense. No hidden fees. Discounts for service members.

Call 858-720-8250 or visit to schedule a free consultation. Flat-fee law packages available. For more information sharing custody 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.

Legal Experts with Humanity / DECEMBER 2021


Money Matters Expert Advice on VA Lending & Personal Finance By Phil Jawny, MIRM, CMP, CSP

Now or Later: Determining the Right Time to Buy Question: The housing market seems so crazy, is now the right time to buy or should I wait until later in 2022? Answer: This is a great question and while the answer varies somewhat depending on your personal financial picture, there are three important things to consider when you make the decision for your family. #1 Mortgage Rates: What are mortgage rates and where are they projected to go in the new year? In January 2021 the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the United States was 2.65%, making it the lowest rate in 50 years. As you might expect, it can’t stay that way. Analysts from both Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association expect home loan interest rates to go up in 2022. The MBA’s quarterly mortgage rate forecast projects the following increases: • Q4, 2021 — 3.7% • Q1, 2022 — 3.9% • Q2, 2022 — 4.1% • Q3, 2022 — 4.3% • Q4, 2022 — 4.4% While these are only projections, analysts agree an increase is on the way. For consumers, these seemingly small percentage increases equate to an increase in monthly mortgage payments, depending on the price of the home. The good news is, compared to mortgage trends over the last decade, these are still historically low rates even as they increase in 2022. The rates you see right now won’t last; they will stay low but remember — as they rise so does your mortgage payment.

56 / DECEMBER 2021

#2 Home Values: Will the price of homes rise? Will it be more advantageous to rent or own? While rates have dropped, home sales have soared and so have home values. The raging housing market may make some potential buyers shy away from entering the ring in hopes that the market will cool off and create more favorable buying conditions. It’s understandable to be cautious and a real estate agent who specializes in supporting military families can help simplify the process if you do decide to consider it. But because it’s still a seller’s market, it’s unreasonable to expect competition to decrease and home prices to dip. According to CoreLogic, real estate will still appreciate at a faster-than-average rate through late 2021. Home prices nationwide from 2020 to 2021 increased by 18.1%, marking the largest annual gain in home prices in 45 years. A recent report from Zillow suggests more of the same, with home values projected to climb by double digits by summer 2022. That presents an opportunity for homebuyers to benefit from this surge and gain value from their investment faster when combined with low interest rates if they can make a move sooner rather than later.

Likewise, renters should consider rental projections in their area to see if it makes more financial sense to buy. Rent growth in 2021 so far is outpacing prepandemic averages in 98 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, with most seeing double digit increases. When comparing rental payments to mortgage payments at the low interest rates and the projected increases in home values, renters may be surprised that they can own a home for the cost of renting. This is particularly true when using a VA loan, which includes these benefits: • May not need a down payment • No maximum loan limit *county/city loan limits do apply • Typically provides lower interest rates than Conventional or FHA financing • Lower closing costs • Qualify with lower credit scores and higher debt to income ratios than other loan types • No monthly mortgage insurance • Use your VA loan multiple times #3 BAH Allowance: The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is set based on a servicemember’s duty location. Each year that BAH is adjusted to reflect housing costs and align with the market. The 2021 BAH average increase was 2.9% and the projected increase for 2022 is set to 2.7%. Historically, the BAH increase over the last several years has ranged from less than 1% to 2.5%. These healthy BAH increases can help give military families the best opportunity to buy. Phil Jawny is a professional lender with 20 years of experience in the business and the founder of GoVA Loans. His industry knowledge is extensive, spanning from loan reorganization to selling and managing VA Loans. Phil has a passion for serving military families. His goal is simple — to help make the loan process easier for families so they can get the loans they deserve and build wealth through real estate without the hassle.

Change Your Financial Outlook in 2022 Put Your VA Loan Benefit to Work! Are you taking advantage of all your VA benefits? Our team of experts is here to share advice and guide you down the path toward financial stability. One conversation can set you on the best financial path. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today!

To get ongoing advice or to submit a question for the “Money Matters” column, visit or follow @ GoVALoans on Instagram & Twitter.

Source:,, The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)’s Rent Payment Tracker @GoVALoans (833) 825-6261 / DECEMBER 2021


The San Diego Veterans Coalition (SDVC) supports California Veterans Legal Task Force! California Veterans Legal Task Force Statewide Mission The California Veterans Legal Task Force is a nonprofit corporation established under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)3 with a mission to assist California counties in establishing and sustaining veteran’s treatment courts and to conduct legal assistance clinics. These courts operate to encourage and provide treatment for veterans with diagnosed psychological conditions stemming from their military service. Veterans’ Treatment Courts operate in California under Penal Code Section 1170.9, which provides state courts the power to defer jail sentences for qualifying veterans convicted of a crime and to restore their civil rights upon successful completion of their program, providing certain condition are found by the judge. California Veterans Legal Task Force San Diego County Mission The Veterans Legal Assistance and Referral Clinic (VLARC) is a cooperative partnership with the California Veterans Legal Task Force, the Department of Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, and local law students and paralegals. CVLTF forms a collaborative team consisting of VA social workers and treatment providers, attorneys and legal professionals, and peer support (“Battle Buddies”) to assist veterans receiving mental health treatment from the VA in successful aftercare programs. The activities include providing legal assistance and referrals to veterans who are receiving case management services through the Veterans Justice Outreach Program (VJOP) and the Vista Detention Facility’s Veterans Moving Forward Module. CVLTF addresses unmet legal needs within their scope of practice and provide local law students with practice-orientated legal education opportunities. In providing these services, veterans are able to focus on treatment and aftercare without the added stress of legal issues. In addition, students gain valuable experience in providing legal assessments, experience with mental health issues, and knowledge about veterans’ legal needs. CVLTF is privileged to work with many volunteers including attorneys, paralegals, and Battle Buddies who all serve under the California Veterans Legal Task Force umbrella. 58 / DECEMBER 2021

Helping Veterans with Legal Issues If you qualify for free legal services, California Veterans Legal Task Force (CVLTF) will help you with small legal issues like bankruptcy, denial of VA benefits, Discharge Upgrades, and family law such as child support or custody issues. CVLTF is not a full-service law firm. They are a nonprofit assisting veterans and their attorneys with legal needs. If you have been charged with a crime, CVLTF will assist your attorney, whether Public Defender or private attorney, with specific CA statutes pertaining to veterans. Veterans Legal Assistance & Referral Clinic (VLARC) CVLTF conducts several legal clinics with volunteers at locations throughout San Diego County. These clinics assist veterans who have legal needs while they are being treated for mental health conditions through the local Department of Veterans Affairs. CVLTF Criteria for Services. The veteran must live in San Diego County, earn $28,500 or less per year AND be in mental health treatment or willing to enter treatment. How To Apply for Services. The veteran must come in to one of CVLTF’s Military & Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) offices, ask the receptionist for an application, fill it out completely and return it to the receptionist. CVLTF will contact the veteran for an appointment if qualified for free services. Incomplete applications, phone calls and emails will delay the application. Applications are not permitted to be emailed - they must be completed and submitted in person to one of our three office locations. Veterans Legal Assistance & Referral Clinic (VLARC) for Legal Matters Criteria for free services: Must earned $28,500, or less per year AND be in Mental Health treatment San Diego Residents Only List of legal Needs Below is a list of legal needs that CVLTF may assist you with or give you referrals on where to get more help. • Housing-Related Issues • Military & Benefits Issues • Family-Related Issues • Financial & Business Issues • Work-Related Issues • Life Planning For additional information, please visit “”

The SDVC Proudly Supports the California Veterans Task Force / DECEMBER 2021



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

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

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

Keshia Javis-Jones / DECEMBER 2021

Jodie Grenier

Holly Shaffner

Jack Harkins

Dixon Smith

Brittany Fuller

Ashish Yosh Kakkad

Randee McLain

Adam Heyde

Leo Tanaka

Pegah Parsi


Jim Gruny

Nina Sughrue Hutton

Cinnamon Clark

Shawn VanDiver / DECEMBER 2021


62 / DECEMBER 2021



Resources Support Transition HEALTH Community

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

Voted 2019 & 2020 Best San Diego resource, support magazine for veterans, transitioning military personnel, active military, military families & veteran organizations / DECEMBER 2021


Welcome Aboard!


Volunteer Opportunities Now Available!

910 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 544-9600 •

64 / DECEMBER 2021 / DECEMBER 2021


HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Your gift of Workforce Mechanics is here!

Job Board & Automated Recruiting

Payroll & Tax Services

HR Services

Employer of Record

Onboarding & Compliance

Time & Attendance

We handle it all for only $10/week per employee. Contact Eve Nasby, Band of Hands president and passionate military supporter to get started today. 66 / DECEMBER 2021