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VETERANS Vol. 3 Number 5 • May 2021

SAN DIEGO

MAGAZINE

San Diego

Joe Renteria:

Veteran of the Month

A Month of Living Dangerously

Runaway to Soldier, Sailor, Photographer and Hero

Healthcare Benefits Provide Peace of Mind

TRANSITION To Civilian Life

Bringing SSgt. Jimmie Doyle Home

MENTAL HEALTH

AWARENSS

Memorial Day REMEMBER AND HONOR

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MAY 1 - JUNE 1

Celebrating the Commitment That Connects Us Learn more at navyfederal.org/celebrate

Insured by NCUA.

© 2021 Navy Federal NFCU 13985 (3-21)

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Honor Flight San Diego’s “Operation Find Our Vets” We need your help to find our Southern California WWII and Korean War Veterans to go on their Honor Flight. Veterans from San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial Counties are invited! Next flight is scheduled for Oct 1-3, 2021. The 3-day trip to Washington, D.C. is no cost to the veteran and departs from San Diego.

Facts about Honor Flight San Diego:

• Since 2010, the hub has flown over 1,400 SoCal veterans • The hub typically takes two trips/year (pending funding) • Every veteran is paired with a guardian to assist them for the weekend

For more information about Honor Flight San Diego, go to: www.HonorFlightSanDiego.org or call (800) 655-6997

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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 https://gala.miramarcemetery.org/ 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.

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EDITOR’S

LETTER

Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller mikemiller@SDVetsMagazine.com mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com

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

www.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com 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

mikemiller@SDVetsMagazine.com mikemiller@HomelandMagazine.com 6

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David Koontz Midway Magic

(858) 275-4281 Contact us at: publisher@SDVetsMagazine.com 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.


MAY

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 8 Veteran of the Month 10 MIDWAY: Set Your Radio Dial 13 What’s the difference 14 History of Memorial Day 16 A Month of Living Dangerously 19 Navy Nurse Corps Association 20 Bringing SSgt. Jimmie Doyle Home 24 Soldier, Sailor, Photographer and Hero 28 GI Film Festival San Diego 32 Real Talk: Psychologically Elastic 34 Shelter to Soldier 36 Healthcare Benefits Provide Peace of Mind 38 Arts & Healing - Spec Ops to Poet 40 LENS: Anxiety thru Transition 42 What’s Next: The Spousal Success Guide 44 Leadership by Gratitude 46 Healthcare Careers 48 Enlisted to Entrepreneur: Books for Fun and Profit 54 Veterans Chamber: Women Veterans in Business 56 Legal Eagle: Supplemental Paid Sick Leave 58 Legally Speaking: Military Divorce 60 SDVC- Healing Wave Aquatics 62 We the People: Redistricting for California

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VETERan of the month San Diego - May 2021 By Holly Shaffner Sallay Kim, Major, U.S. Army (retired) Our Veteran of the Month can be defined as a trailblazer, and leader. Not only has she served her country for over 20 years (Enlisted to Officer), served in overseas assignments including in Iraq, but now she serves as the President and CEO of the Miramar Cemetery National Support Foundation and is the first woman in that position. We congratulate Major Sallay Kim on being this month’s selectee as Veteran of the Month. It all started in 1989 when the daughter of West African immigrants knew she would need to find a way to pay for college. She researched the military branches and chose the Army so she could “be all that you can be.” She had a goal early in her career to get educated and as a young Non-Commissioned Officer, she stood 12-hour shifts and took classes to chip away at her associates degree. Just like many young military men and women, she didn’t know where the hard work would lead her, but now looking back, she was setting herself up for success. The Army recognized her potential and selected her for a degree completion program for her bachelor’s degree and then for Officer Candidate School. She was designated as an Engineer and was assigned to Army Intelligence. She had several tours as an Intelligence Officer including a tour in Iraq while the U.S. was helping to rebuild the country. She cannot tell us everything she did in the sandbox, but she provided daily intelligence briefings to the most senior leaders in the region. Fast forward to retirement from the military and how do you know what your second career should be? For Sallay, she read some books, had some self-reflection on what she is good at and enjoys doing, and set her next goal on a master’s degree in Event Management.

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She enjoys being a problem solver and credits all those military briefs and planning exercises which led her to next chapter. She now owns her own event planning business called, Serenity Event Solutions, a company that plans and manages events in Southern California where her clients get “peace of mind, every time.” She uses her event planning skills and leadership experience in her volunteer work as well. Sallay has volunteered in many organizations over the years and currently gives her time to three local organizations. She volunteers with Military in Transition Firefighter for a Day which is for military members leaving active duty who want to see what it is like to be a firefighter, Veterans Association of North County where she helps to coordinate a monthly food distribution and then delivers food to her military brothers and sisters, and Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation. Sallay has been volunteering with the Foundation since her arrival to San Diego in 2015. She wanted to find a cause that gave back to veterans and this organization was a perfect fit as veterans go to their final assignment. The mission of the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation is to preserve the rich memories of our fallen brothers and sisters while beautifying the sacred land upon which they rest. She joined the nonprofit organization after she was recruited by the (then) President of the Board of Directors. She has risen through the ranks handling tasks from event planner to fundraising, secretary and Vice-President of the Board of Directors to President. “It is an extreme honor to continue my service to San Diego military veterans and their families,” said Sallay Kim. “I enjoy giving back to my community and it is a labor of love.”


This seating area will allow for hundreds of visitors seeking a place to rest during veteran’s events (currently visitors stand or sit on foldable chairs for ceremonies). The successful addition of amphitheater seating will benefit tens of thousands of veterans, their families, friends and the general public in future years. There is no federal funding for this project so the foundation must raise the funds through donations. The Foundation also hosts a Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremony every year. This year’s theme for Memorial Day is “Dear to My Heart: Honoring Military and VA Nurses” and will feature Brigadier General Jeannine M. Ryder, the Chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps. Due to the pandemic and restrictions on crowds, the event will be all-virtual with the recorded ceremony being posted on the Foundation’s website before Memorial Day.

“I enjoy giving back to my community and it is a labor of love.”

As Sallay moves to the next chapters of her life, she hopes to get more education and find some fun things to do like yoga in Hawaii, more rounds of golf, and making her Mother’s recipes come to life. She will continue to give back to her community and hopes to a mentor for young girls who look like her. She believes that “all things are possible” and will continue to spread that message. We have no doubt that Sallay will continue to inspire her community and will find innovative ways to fund that amphitheater for her military brothers and sisters – after all, she is a problem solver!

Sallay has an ambitious goal during her two-year tenure – If she can get the newly designed Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater at Miramar National Cemetery funded, and through the Veterans Affairs approval process, she will consider her tenure a success. She will need to raise about $600,000 to build permanent bench-like seating.

For more information about the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation or to donate to the amphitheater project, follow the organization on Facebook@MiramarCemetery or visit www.miramarcemetery.org

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / MAY 2021

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Set Your Radio Dial for the USS Midway Museum

As America’s Living Symbol of Freedom, the USS Midway Museum strives to preserve the legacy of those who are serving and have served in the military, as well as inspire and educate its guests. Like any museum, this is done primarily through in-person visits, formal educational programs and community outreach. Midway, however, also has a quiet behind-the-scenes program that has been reaching out to people all over the world for nearly two decades and it’s done the old fashion way – through RADIO. Once a month, Midway’s volunteer team of HAM radio operators take to the air waves to not only talk about the ship, both as a warfighter and museum, but about significant events in U.S. and military history. “We do active museum outreach, on the air, and engage with the amateur radio community,” said Rick Low, who heads up the museum’s radio team. “We enjoy being able to educate the public as ambassadors on the air.”

Rick Low 10

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The radio team initially switched on its “On Air” light shortly after the Midway opened its doors as a museum nearly 17 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2008 that the small group of volunteers started to get active. They operate Midway’s radio station, using call sign NI6IW, from three small spaces on the ship just below the flight deck. “Much of the original equipment was financed by a generous donor who wanted to ensure the museum had a radio voice that could bring the ship to life over the airwaves,” said Low, a former fast-attack submarine commander who served 30 years in the U.S. Navy. “We ended up with three state-of-the-art high frequency radios. Members of an amateur radio organization in Southern California later donated a VHF/UHF radio which extended our reach to amateur radio operators worldwide.” Made up of 20-25 active volunteers representing all the service branches, the radio team puts Midway “on the air” once a month leading discussions on a wide range of topics from the USS Midway’s commissioning in 1945 to Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. “On the second Saturday of the month, we’re generally active 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” said Low.

Randy Houk


“People I talk with really like hearing about Midway, and those who haven’t visited the ship have a great interest in doing so,” said Randy Houk, a member of the museum’s radio team since 2017. “They also like hearing the history of events we commemorate. All the time I hear ‘we must not let our history be forgotten,’ so I feel that it’s important to continue these monthly events.”

www.midway.org

While COVID brought much of the tourism industry to a screeching halt, Midway’s radio team continued broadcasting with several of its volunteers transmitting from their homes augmenting the efforts of those operators on board. “During the pandemic, many of our team operated from their home station bubbles,” said Low. “However, our goal is to eventually resume 100 percent operations from the ship and provide genuine contact with the museum itself.” It is not unusual for the radio team to interact with more than 400 contacts during their monthly events. Most of the conversations are within the United States, but the team regularly engages with people from all over the world – from Asia to Europe and as far south as South America, Australia and New Zealand. “Our team does outreach to other HAMs throughout the world, answering questions about the Midway,” said Bruce Hill, a museum volunteer since 2012 who retired as a senior chief radioman after a 22-year Navy career. “I have talked with many HAMs including people in Russia, South Korea and several other places.” Closer to home, the radio team also works with the Boy Scouts on a radio merit badge program. “We provide the instructors to help the scouts earn their radio merit badge,” said Low. “Through mentoring, instructing, and face-to-face interaction, we hope we’re planting the seed for future opportunities by establishing a measure of interest in wireless communications.” The Midway boasts a variety of different onboard volunteer opportunities, but the common thread is that they all connect the public to the museum and the important role played by the U.S. military. “We give back to the ship, its guests and the amateur radio community,” said Low about the satisfaction he and his team get through volunteering for the Midway. “Without exception, each monthly on-the-air event brings a multitude of ‘thanks’ from veterans and non-veterans who appreciate that we will never forget. And in an indirect way, we encourage people to come to San Diego and visit the ship.”

www.midway.org/give-join/volunteers

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COMMUNITY EVENTS

ENTERTAINMENT

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

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Memorial Day - Veterans Day

What’s the difference? Memorial Day: Celebrated the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military.

For nearly 150 years, Americans have gathered in late spring to honor the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in service to their country. What began with dozens of informal commemorations of those killed in the Civil War has grown to become one of the nation’s most solemn and hallowed holidays. “Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans -- the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) -- established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.

Veterans Day: This federal holiday falls on November 11 and is designated as a day to honor all who have served in the military. Veterans Day began as Armistice Day to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918.

“In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress -- at the urging of the veterans service organizations -- amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans,” the site says. “With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.”

Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.” The passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 by Congress made it an official holiday.

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Several cities currently claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Macon and Columbus, Georgia, Richmond, Virginia, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, Waterloo, New York and Carbondale, Illinois.

Memorial Day has become the traditional

kick off of summer, but the holiday has a much more significant purpose. Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the military. Among its traditions are ceremonies to honor those who lost their lives in service, with many people visiting cemeteries to place American flags on grave sites. A national moment of remembrance takes place across the country at 3 p.m. local time. The purpose of Memorial Day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day - commemorated on Nov. 11 each year - honors all those who have served in the U.S. military during times of war and peace. Armed Forces Day, which falls on May 20 each year, recognizes those who are currently serving in the military. History of Memorial Day Memorial Day traces its roots to the tradition of Decoration Day, a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. The first declaration of Decoration Day occurred on May 30, 1868, when Major Gen. John Logan declared the day would be a time to recognize those who lost their lives in the Civil War.

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The first large Decoration Day was held at Arlington National Cemetery that year. The ceremonies included mourning draping around the Arlington mansion of former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant presided over the ceremonies, which included speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the Granddaughters of the American Revolution placing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves. The Arlington tradition was built on longstanding ceremonies held throughout the South. Once of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss. on April 15, 1866, when a group of women decorated the graves of Confederate soldiers who died at the battle of Shiloh. Upon seeing the undecorated graves of Union soldiers who died in the battle, the women placed flowers at those headstones as well. Memorial Day continued to be celebrated at local events until after World War I, which it was expanded to honor those who died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays. In 2000, Congress passed “The National Remembrance Act,” which encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.


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A Month of Living Dangerously USS Midway pilot displays superior airmanship and survival skills during the Vietnam War By David Koontz

Lt. Paul Ilg is hoisted on the shoulders of fellow squadron pilots upon his safe return to the USS Midway By May of 1965, Lt. Paul Ilg was well on his way to becoming a seasoned combat pilot over the skies of Vietnam. Launching from the aircraft carrier USS Midway with Attack Squadron 22 (VA-22), Ilg had already flown more than 20 missions over enemy territory in an A-4 Skyhawk during his first two months on Yankee Station. But today’s mission was easy – a multi-aircraft formation flight heading into the Philippines for some well-deserved R&R. It was a 12-plane formation with Ilg flying the next-to-last aircraft. Yawn. Get me a beer.

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Tucked into the formation, Ilg’s world suddenly turned upside down when the final plane converged “too hot” and slammed into the underside of his fuselage. “I was unable to see number 12 approaching,” recalled Ilg, a 1960 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. “My first thoughts were to maintain control and not hit anyone else in the formation.” Unsure of the damage to his Skyhawk, Ilg saw his fuel gauge instantly drop to 200 pounds, barely enough gas for a few minutes of flying. Fortunately, two of the planes in the formation were configured as refueling tankers and one immediately joined up.


“I was losing fuel at an amazing rate,” said Ilg. “I didn’t realize what the reason for the fuel loss was until one of the tanker pilots joined on me and told me the vertical stabilizer from number 12 was wedge into my aircraft.” Plugged into the tanker, the two planes lined up on approach to the Midway. Ilg had only one chance for a perfect landing. Many things that could still go wrong: run out of fuel, loss of flight controls or even catch fire. Ilg, however, remained singularly focused on getting his wounded aircraft back on Midway. “I wasn’t overly concerned about running out of fuel because if the engine quit, I’d eject,” said the 82-year-old Ilg. “Maybe I should have been, but I wasn’t concerned about fire either. The flight-deck firefighters were ready.” Ilg separated from the tanker on final approach less than three miles behind Midway’s pitching deck. He was committed. Ilg made a textbook landing with his tailhook catching Midway’s number two arresting wire. His aircraft burst into flames on touch down, but the engine quickly flamed out and the fire extinguished on its own. “Great, no swimming today,” reflected Ilg. “I always had a great appreciation for the A-4. It’s like putting on a backpack and it goes wherever you want.” A Distinguished Flying Cross would be later awarded to Ilg for his superior flying skills and saving the aircraft, but his adventures while on Yankee Station were far from over. A few weeks later, his metal would be tested beyond anything he could imagine.

In early June, Ilg volunteered for a routine reconnaissance flight over Laos. He had been on a similar mission previously with no enemy contact. “I had flown the same mission ten days prior with no sighting of trucks and anti-aircraft fire,” said Ilg. “That mission probably dulled my anxiety.” This day would be different. While flying at low over northeast Laos, Ilg felt a tremendous jolt. Hit by antiaircraft fire (AAA), his aircraft immediately started an uncontrollable roll to the left. He was barely able to eject before his plane was inverted. The automatic ripcord release on his parachute failed. He rocketed towards the ground. “No time to think. Auto response was to go after my manual ripcord”, said Ilg. “My chute was stuck in the trees, but my feet reached the ground.” The enemy saw Ilg eject and they immediately began searching for him. After gathering his gear and treating a wound on his wrist, he had his first close encounter. Hiding under some bushes, two armed soldiers came within 15 feet of his position. “They thrashed around the area, yelling back and forth, for two hours,” said Ilg. “I thought it was all over three times while on the ground and that was one of them.” Ilg began moving slowly and quietly to get away from his landing site. By nightfall, he came out of a tangled growth of trees near an enemy encampment.

He had a critical decision to make – proceed through the campsite or go around. “The bivouac area was right in my path and too large to make it around before daylight, so I waited until things quieted down and went through the middle of the bivouac area,” recalled Ilg. The next morning, Midway aircraft began circling overhead as part of a recuse combat air patrol. “It was a very welcome sound,” said Ilg. “Little did I know then what the next 34 hours would have in store.” Lt. Paul Ilg is greeted by his squadron commanding officer, Cmdr. Don Wyland, upon his safe return to the USS Midway following his rescue after being shot down.

Continued on next page >

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After evading for nearly a day, Ilg was finally able to assess his situation and consider the options that best set him up for a rescue attempt and avoid being captured. “Evading enemy soldiers and getting further away from the AAA to enable rescue,” said Ilg. “I think crossing the bivouac area was fortuitous because the enemy search was focused on the other side.” Ilg knew, however, that he was far from being rescued and he prepared for a second night evading the enemy. In early morning, he once again spotted some soldiers nearby after seeing their flashlights. Laying as still as possible in a bamboo thicket with his knife across his chest, Ilg again thought he might be captured. After a few tense hours, he was able to doze off while being chilled to the bone by rain. On the morning of the third day, Midway aircraft were back in the skies near his position.

“I reflect, not with darkness, but with thankfulness that I wasn’t made to endure the POW situation that so many of my friends had done,” said Ilg, who was awarded the Bronze Star. “I think often of squadron mates who were excellent aviators and continued very successful careers and more sadly of those that didn’t make it back.”

“I was able to communicate with the planes overhead and soon thereafter talked to Air America,” said Ilg. “When contact was made he told me to move further south to get over a ridgeline away from the AAA.” Air America was operated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which supported covert operations in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and frequently launch search and rescue missions for downed pilots. Ilg continued communication with the rescue coordinator while making his way to a position suitable for a helicopter rescue. “There was no planned pickup time as everything was pretty fluid,” said Ilg. “When I thought I was far enough away from enemy fire, I let the coordinator know.” Late that afternoon, Ilg came to a less heavily wooded area. He climbed a fallen tree to get some elevation and alerted Air America. “They brought the helo in from the backside but couldn’t see me,” said Ilg. “I directed the helo overhead by its sound. They finally saw me, and I donned the horse collar they dropped for the ride up.” Returning to Midway a few days later, Ilg received a hero’s welcome. Even after 56 years, he still reflects on his month of living dangerously, especially the 47 hours spent evading enemy capture in Laos.

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Ilg served a 31-year naval career retiring as a vice admiral in 1991.


Navy Nurse Corps Association of Southern California By Holly Shaffner On May 13th, the Navy Nurse Corps will celebrate its 113th birthday and even after a century of service to their communities, there is still more work to be done. In Southern California, we have a local chapter whose area of responsibility extends from San Diego County, north to Ventura County and Nevada, and east to Arizona. The Navy Nurse Association of Southern California (NNCASC) is 1 of 13 chapters across the U.S. and the Southern California chapter is the largest in the country. Back in the early 1980’s, an article ran in a newspaper looking for Navy nurses. Forty-eight nurses responded and here we are four decades later. The organization has grown to 170 members strong – but their work is not done as they still need to find their fellow nurses. Current NNCASC President, Becky Nulty said, “Our #1 challenge is sustainment. We know there are Navy Nurses out there and we want to locate them.”

The association collects donations, reviews scholarship applications, and awards in upwards of $8-10K per year to deserving college students. The organization also does an oral history program where Navy nurses can share their story, and after it is recorded, it is sent to the Library of Congress. To date, they have collected over 135 stories and are looking for more stories from Navy nurses, especially from the Gulf War, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan. One of their largest accomplishments was establishing the first Navy Nurse Corps Memorial. It is a granite memorial dedicated to all Navy nurses who served on land, at sea, or in the air and located at Miramar National Cemetery. The inscription reads:

In Honor of The United States Navy Nurse Corps while caring for members of all military service branches, their families, and people throughout the world, whether on the sea, in the air, at home, or on foreign soil, during periods of war or times of peace, nursing excellence and tireless dedication to duty will be their legacy for all generations that follow.

Members can be active duty, reserve, retired, and former Navy Nurses. The generations range from WWII to today’s active duty. In fact, this chapter’s oldest member is a WWII veteran who is 101 years old! The NNCASC became an official chapter in 1993 and what started as a means for camaraderie almost 30 years ago has developed into giving back to their community, their fellow veterans, and helping to grow the next generation of nurses. The NNCASC holds quarterly meetings and as part of their veteran’s community outreach program, they invite local organizations to present about their cause. The association donates monetarily as well as specifically needed items. Some of the organizations that have benefitted are Support the Enlisted Project, Homes for our Troops, Archie’s Acres, and Operation Dress Code. For more information about the Navy Nurse Corps Association, visit: www.NNCA.org.

The association has donated more than $44K over the years! Another program they are proud of is the scholarship program for nursing students attending accredited Southern California colleges.

To connect with or join the Southern California chapter, contact Georgene at (760)722-0724 or via email at: georgene.waecker@gmail.com. WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / MAY 2021

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Bringing SSgt. Jimmie Doyle Home Finding the ‘Arnett B-24’ By: Lauren Trecosta On the day of his final mission, SSgt. Jimmie Doyle was 25 years old. He wore his wife’s wedding ring on a gold chain around his neck along with his military-issued dog tags. He wrote loving letters to his wife nearly every day. Jimmie had a little boy, Tommy, who was almost two years old. Jimmie hoped to go home on leave soon. Jimmie put on his aviator sunglasses and felt the weight of the coins from his wife’s coin collection in his pocket: a Morgan silver dollar, a Lady Liberty half dollar, and an Australian penny. He climbed into the nose turret. Until recently, he had been a tail gunner. He’d shot down an enemy plane three weeks previously and was proud of this move.

On September 1, 1944, the B-24J Liberator, piloted by 2nd Lt. Jack S. M. Arnett, from the 424th Bombardment Squadron, 307th Bombardment Group, took off from Wakde Island. They were on a mission to bomb welldefended enemy positions in Koror, Palau. Before they dropped their payload, Jimmie’s plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. The number 2 engine caught fire. Then the left-wing folded and broke off the plane. The plane went into a spin, broke the fuselage in two, and crashed into the sea. Eight crew went down with the plane. Three parachuted out. It is believed they were captured and executed.

Jimmie Doyle (top row, 3rd from left) and the ‘453 crew. Three crew members were subbed out for the final mission. Photo: Courtesy of Doyle Family 20

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No one knew what happened to SSgt. Jimmie Doyle except that he was Missing In Action. After the war, some of Jimmie’s family were convinced he’d survived and started a new family in California.

From that day forward, Pat made it his personal mission to help bring MIAs home. Just one year in, Pat was busy creating a team and learning how big of a job his new commitment really was.

Tommy grew up fatherless, under the shadow of uncertainty. He vacillated between faith and doubt; between what he wanted to be true and what others told him was true. For nearly six decades, Tommy knew next to nothing about his dad.

Project Recover is now global in its search for MIAs and even helps with recovery missions. In the early days, though, the team focused exclusively on finding World War II crash sites associated with MIAs in Palau.

Fifty years later, Pat Scannon, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder of Project Recover (formerly The BentProp Project) began searching for the Arnett B-24 in Palau. Pat had already had two emotional experiences in Palau. The first was a happy feeling that came from success. Pat had helped find the Japanese trawler sunk by George H. W. Bush in 1944. The second was a feeling of grief that changed his life. It came from seeing a B-24 wing in a mangrove swamp with no accompanying remembrance or information.

The team had the Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) from the Arnett B-24. It had a thumbnail-sized World War II map of Palau with an X marking where the plane went down. It appeared to be lost within an enclosed section of water, about two square kilometers in size. Pat was optimistic. The team searched for the Arnett B-24 on multiple missions over nine years. They used the best equipment. Compared to the innovative technology they use today, however, it was rudimentary.

L-R) Nancy Doyle, Pat Scannon, Tommy Doyle in Palau. Tommy Doyle is there to dive on his father’s crash site. Photo: Project Recover

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Finally, after ten years of searching, the team found the aircraft. At Project Recover’s invitation, Jimmie’s son, Tommy, flew to Palau. Newly certified and escorted by Project Recover team members, Tommy dove on his dad’s crash site. “That’s about emotional as it gets,” Tommy said, “We made a connection right there,”

Tommy received a box with his dad’s aviator sunglasses, dog tags, and bits of leather from his wallet. He also received Myrle’s wedding ring, the chain Jimmie wore around his neck, and the coins from Myrle’s collection: a Morgan silver dollar, a Lady Liberty half dollar, and an Australian penny.

JPAC (the precursor to DPAA) excavated the site in 2005, 2007, and 2008. In 2009, it was official. Eight of the missing crew from the Arnett B-24 were identified and returned home. One of them was SSgt. Jimmie Doyle.

Tommy Doyle reflective after diving his dad’s WWII crash site in Palau.

Tommy holds the American and Palauan flags folded over his dad’s WWII crash site

Tommy Doyle (R) after diving on his dad’s WWII crash 22

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On April 29, 2009, SSgt. Jimmie Doyle was buried in Lamesa Memorial Park in the only available spot left. It happened to be next to his beloved wife and the tombstone which bore their names. One year later, a burial ceremony was held for all eight repatriated MIAs from the Arnett B-24 at Arlington National Cemetery. Jimmie’s grandson, Casey Doyle (Lt Col, USMC) became a Project Recover team member. He wanted to do for other families what Project Recover had done for his.

Jimmie Doyle was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with his repatriated crewmates and beside his wife in Lamesa, Texas. Project Recover has helped repatriate 15 MIAs and located 80+ that are awaiting recovery. To date, Project Recover has conducted 60+ missions in 20 countries and territories, locating 50+ aircraft associated with 170+ MIAs. In an agreement with DPAA, Project Recover will begin recovery efforts in 2021. Watch the video of Project Recover finding the Arnet B-24 and Tommy diving his dad’s crash site here: www.projectrecover.org/doyle/

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Joe Renteria: Runaway to Soldier, Sailor, Photographer and Hero

Renteria said given he was a Native American he was strapped with night watches and kitchen duties more than other soldiers.

By Amber Robinson

“I peeled twice as many potatoes as any of ‘em,” Renteria says matter-of-factly. “It was racism.”

Even though 104-year-old World War II veteran and Native American, Joe Renteria, is now getting up there in years, there is no lapse in his memory when sharing the many stories of his adventurous and willful life. Whether he is talking about his training as an Army Soldier, a Navy intel photographer or his life prior to service where his survival and wits moved him along, he is sharp as a tack on the details. Renteria sits in his vaulted dining room, coolly recounting his life. The high ceilings and walls are made of beautiful shining wood that he nailed up himself, along with every other thing that comprises the home. Built for his wife, Jill, whom Joe lost several years prior, sits on a hill in Ocean Beach and is filled to the brim with mementos of his incredible life. He lives here with his youngest and only son, Michael Renteria and his daughter-in-law, Susan. As we settle in at the dining room table, Susan sets up a camera to capture him for the several hours he speaks. At the age of 104, he is walking history and everything he says is a treasure. Renteria entered the Army in 1936. After completing Basic Training in Omaha, Nebraska, he was sent to be part of a rifle unit, but the rifle kicked too hard for his small frame. So they gave him a pistol, and moved him to a machine gun unit, given it is a mounted weapon. He never saw conflict during his time in the Army, but he did do a month of field training each year in different locations, where he was given a variety of jobs. He recounts being a scout for where to put machine gun nests, he was a runner and took messages all over the training area, and even took care of the mule that carried all his unit’s equipment. 24

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But, despite catching all the worst duties and being ostracized, Renteria still persevered, making “Expert Machine Gunner” and getting out of kitchen duty and guard by having the neatest uniform and cleanest weapon. His work ethic, high standards and wit kept him a step ahead during his time in the Army, but that was only the beginning. He left the Army in 1939, but not before he met the love of his life, Jill. In his last year of service to the Army the Mississippi flooded and Renteria was sent as part of the flood relief. Close to where his unit was living in their tents, Jill owned a roller skating rink. When Renteria finally got some time he decided to go check it out. There he laid eyes on Jill. He rolled around her rink a couple of times, then rolled up to her. “Let’s you and I swing around, kiddo,” said Joe. She agreed and after a few times around the rink Joe asked her for a date the next day. She said she’d go but he had to go to church with her. Not usually a churchgoing man, Renteria sure did show up for services the next day. They only got a few dates in before Renteria had to leave. He and Jill continued to write and eventually she rejoined him as he graduated from Navy bootcamp up near the Great Lakes. As Renteria finished training, Jill took an apartment near the base. Renteria learned light signaling, then taught it to the men in his unit...as well as Jill. Given she was unable to come on the base during his training, they communicated through the light signals Joe had taught her. Unfortunately, someone turned Joe in for signalling to someone off base. Joe explained he was signaling to his girlfriend, but his command was not so sure. So they called Jill onto the base. In front of eight officers, of all ranks, Jill moved to a distance and signaled her future husband a message. Everyone looked to Renteria and asked what she had said. “She signaled to me ‘that officer up there with the blue tie...it’s crooked!,” laughed Renteria, remembering her showing up all those high ranking men.


Renteria began his service in the Navy as a plane mechanic up in North Island, but was soon moved to Oahu, Hawaii. He helped to overhaul planes there, but also began to take photographs during various missions. Finally Renteria asked to be sent to school for photography. Just two months prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Jill and Renteria left for Pensacola, Florida, where he would learn the skill that would truly change his life. After his training he asked to go right back to Hawaii. Jill was unable to go but he bartered for her to be able to stay on an Army base in California with their first child, Jeanette, while he went back to support the new war effort. While there, Jill also leant her services to the war effort. Being small as well, she got a job painting the inside of torpedoes. Initially when Renteria returned to Hawaii he and his fellow photographers were put out of the way.

That is, until he raised enough of a ruckus that they gave him a job, But, not holding a camera. They put Renteria in charge of 22 men who were transporting large ammunition rounds from trains, to trucks, then into silos that protected them from Japanese attack. Only a Petty Officer 3rd Class, he managed that number of men and the physically demanding mission without a complaint. As American forces began to move onto Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, Renteria finally began taking photographs. His destination and mission were always Top Secret, his orders sealed where even he could not see them. Often leaving with recon forces on secret missions at midnight or 3 am under the veil of darkness, his job was always to photograph land and sea in search of German or Japanese sea vessels, camps or aircraft. Renteria would often depart with the Navy SEALS on their stealth missions. The men would silently swim into suspected areas, Renteria swimming in with them.

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“Well, I didn’t really swim,” confesses Renteria. “They towed me in.”

After listening to Renteria talk for hours, at that point, I knew she was right.

In fact, Renteria says he couldn’t swim.

He’d never set up a photo lab before. But, as always, he stepped forward like he was a much bigger man with much more rank and confiscated a large building. With little resources he still managed to create a highspeed photo lab for the important missions at hand.

“I barely passed my swimming test into the Navy!” he said. Renteria would wear a “Mae West”, what they called a life preserver then, and the SEALS would tow him in to take recon photos. Being small in stature helped that cause, but the job he did was never small. Eventually he was sent to where he would spend most of World War II, a small island off the coast of Australia named New Caledonia. Out of all the photographers in his squad with more rank and experience, Renteria was chosen to go set up a photo lab for South Pacific photo operations. He swears they sent him to get rid of him there in Hawaii, since he was so demanding with so little rank. But his daughter-in-law, Susan, feels it was his work ethic. “I say it was because of all the jobs they gave you to do, you got them done well,” she argues. 26

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Eventually an officer was sent to oversee him but the officer let him do all the work. The officer was also too afraid to take the intel Renteria gathered to the high ranking Admiral. “He was scared, but I wasn’t!” said Renteria. “I just took my photos right into him.” When you grow up as an orphan on the rails, I guess there isn’t much that sways you. Soon he was well known by all for his high standard of work, courage and ingenuity. The Admiral had a nice photo lab built for him and for the rest of the war he never had to make a ruckus to do his job. No longer needed, his supervising officer was sent back to the East coast.


When the war ended he was finally able to reunite with Jill and his daughter who he’d been separated from for most of the conflict. But, that didn’t mean his work became less exciting. Renteria returned to Hawaii with his family and began his new mission, capturing the atom bomb testing at Bikini Atoll. He established a new lab on Quadjalain, from where the bomb testing missions launched. Just as always, he found innovative ways to support the historic mission and make a name for himself. Renteria finally retired from service in 1957. He, Jill and their four children continued to live in San Diego, with Renteria working as, you guessed it, a photographer. He worked with Channel 8 for years, then for San Diego State University, now making a name for himself within the civilian community for his ethic and standards. It wasn’t until the interview was almost finished that Renteria mentioned he’d run away from a Catholic orphanage at age 8 to start hopping trains. Susan then mentioned he went from hopping trains to working for the circus, Barnum and Bailey’s, at the age of 10. The main skill he learned from circus work was walking on stilts. “I still have my stilts out there!,” said Renteria, gesturing towards his outdoor shed. In fact, on his 90th birthday, much to the alarm of many a party goer, he got up on those stilts to show folks how it was done. As a wayward runaway he eventually landed in Father Flanagan’s famous home for orphan boys, which would eventually become Boys Town. From that foothold Joe was able to get into school and join the service. The rest is American history, Renteria a living, breathing carrier of it.

& 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: www.MiramarPostalPlus.com

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San Diego Veterans Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans

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Women warriors take center stage in military film festival

“The Invisible Project” is one of nine films that focus on women in the military, which include “Budding Creativity,” “Charlotte Mansfield: a Woman Photographer Goes to War,” and “Guide On.” A Women Warriors film block closes out the festival on Sunday, May 23 to celebrate the contributions of women service members over the years.

GI Film Festival San Diego is May 18-23, 2021, live online showtimes and video on demand rentals available With San Diego’s multi-faceted military history and seven major bases between the Navy, Marines, and the Coast Guard, it’s only fitting that our region is home to one of the largest military film festivals in the United States. Established in 2006 and brought to San Diego in 2015, the GI Film Festival San Diego is back full force to amplify underrepresented voices and remarkable stories for, by and about military service members and veterans. Typically, the festival welcomes guests for an in-person experience, but in 2021 organizers invite attendees from beyond the region to screen films at home from their own devices. The festival’s virtual format provides the opportunity for attendees around the world to watch 38 films -- the highest ever to be included -- either live or on demand. The World Premiere of “The Invisible Project” opens the festival, taking a closer look at the female military experience. Directed by Pacifica J. Sauer, a filmmaker from Houston, Texas and a U.S. Navy veteran, the film follows the lives of four women as they work to change public perception of women veterans in America. The documentary demonstrates that service matters and continues when you come home, regardless of your gender. “The role of women in the military is forever changing and the battle spaces have evolved,” says Sauer. “There is a drive to create an awareness of the concept of a woman veteran, and what she looks like. The needs for services and recognition can’t be www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org overstated, and people from everywhere are answering the call to stand for women veterans.” 28

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“As the granddaughter of veterans, it is important to me to provide an avenue for these underrepresented stories to be told and retold,” says Nancy Worlie, interim general manager, KPBS. “When I helped bring the festival to San Diego in 2015, I dreamed we would create an everlasting experience to showcase the creative talents of emerging and established filmmakers from around the world, and give attendees a chance to gain meaningful insight into what it means to serve our country. I am very proud that San Diego is the home of the national, juried festival and now we can share these great stories to more guests regardless of time zone or geographic location in our virtual format.” By the numbers In 2021, more than half of the films in the current lineup are made by or starring active duty military or veterans. In total, 11 films are helmed by female directors; eight directed by first-time filmmakers; and another eight created by students. Festival organizers also reviewed a significant number of international film submissions this year, with four making the official selection. This year’s 38-film lineup includes powerful stories about the Black military experience, the lasting impacts of the Normandy liberation, post traumatic growth, and caregiver experiences.


The GI Film Festival San Diego also honors local filmmakers, local heroes, and local productions through the Local Film Showcase, organized in partnership with the Film Consortium San Diego. This year, six films round out the popular showcase, including the return of award-winning veteran filmmakers Mark Vizcarra, Devin and Jeanne Scott, Tracie Hunter, Kyle Olson, and RJ Nevens.

The festival moves online, with live and on demand options available The GI Film Festival San Diego features nightly online screenings followed by live discussions with filmmakers, film subjects, and subject-matter experts. These showtimes and discussions will provide audiences the experience to watch together and participate in the discussion in real time in a virtual auditorium – all from the safety and comfort of their homes. General admission is $10 and $8 for military, veterans, and students per screening. Attendees can choose to either attend an online showtime for a synchronized watch or rent and watch on-demand, which begins the day after its festival debut through May 26. This provides guests the flexibility to participate and enjoy the films whenever they choose within the rental window. Each option requires a separate fee. All Access passes are also available for $125 for festivalgoers interested in attending every showtime and event, including the online Awards Celebration on Saturday, May 22. The All Access pass holders are also granted one video on demand (VOD) rental for each film or film block in the lineup, and receive a Festival Fun Box in the mail, which includes festival gear and other goodies. All Access passes must be purchased by May 7, and proceeds support the festival. A fleet of military support (no pun intended) The films selected for the festival are curated by members of a community advisory committee. Members of the advisory committee represent prominent militaryrelated organizations and come from various military backgrounds, including veterans of the US Marine Corps, US Air Force, US Navy, US Army, US Coast Guard, as well as Air Force Reserves, and several military spouses. Committee members volunteer their time, talent, and expertise to ensure the festival provides an authentic view of the military experience and engages its audience through post-screening discussions. “With support from community partners like the Film Consortium San Diego, California Arts Council, National University and Scatena Daniels Communications, we have the opportunity to continue bringing authentic storytelling to not only the big screen, but now into homes around the world,” says Worlie. “Our team at KPBS looks forward to screening extraordinary films and innovative discussion.”

The box office is now open at www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org

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R E S O U

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

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

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Resources.

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Support. Inspiration.

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

Resources & Articles available at:

www.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com

The colors of gratitude

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FIGHTING PTSD


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

Psychologically Elastic Resilient. It’s a word we’ve all heard more times than we can count. It’s the word that echoes in the comments from acquaintances like, “I don’t know how you do it,” or, “You’re a stronger person that me.” They don’t actually say the word resilient but it’s there- lingering- a qualifier of military life. If I’m being honest, this qualifier often feels like a burden. I don’t want to be resilient. I am tired and my resiliency reserves are low. But, I continue to be congratulated for my resilience every time the washer breaks, during a work call, while simultaneously teaching my fourth grader math.

“Look at you, handling all the things,” remarks the well-intentioned compliment giver, “You are amazing, so resilient.” But in that moment, I don’t want to be resilient, I want to lay on the floor and have someone else take care of all the things. I want Mary Poppins to come floating out of the sky with her umbrella. I want her to open her magical carpetbag and with a snap of her fingers put all the things in the places they should go. Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Shauna Springer speak about the many transitions in military life and how hard, and often traumatic, they can be.

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She called out the overuse of the term resilient, suggesting that maybe it isn’t the best descriptor of military families. Instead, she offered a new term she coined as, “psychologically elastic.” As I listened to her give reasons for coining the term and using it in place of resilient, I could feel my whole body relax. I relaxed because these days I don’t feel resilient. I feel tired and resilient feels like one more thing I’m failing to live up to. But psychologically elastic- I am that. Even though my body is weary, and my soul is tired, my mind continues to formulate plans, lists, and ways to cope with everchanging circumstances. My mind continues to rebound, replan, and reorganize when plans A through T don’t work and I continue to show up and work on solutions to the problems I am facing. I’m able to bend and stretch mentally even when my body feels like it can’t take another step. I am psychologically elastic. In honor of both Military Appreciation Month and Mental Health Awareness month, I want to gift this term to you, the reader of this column. I imagine that you, like me, have been “resilient” for a really long time. I understand that the ups and downs and transitions of military life probably taxed you in more ways than you can count, yet you are psychologically elastic. You demonstrate your elasticity every time you read this column or any other article in this magazine-you are willing to learn new things about yourself and how to live this life well. Your mind continues to rebound, replan, and reorganize when what you thought was going to happen changed. You continue to show up for yourself and work through solutions for whatever you are facing. You are psychologically elastic.

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

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One Paw In Front Of The Other --- Shelter to Soldier Service Dogs Help Veterans Find Peace and Independence By Eva M. Stimson For US veterans struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), anxiety, hyper vigilance, environmental triggers, depression and difficulty sleeping, (among other challenges) the support of a loving, trained service dog can provide a lasting impact. While service dogs are not a “magic fix”, they provide a level of support, alternative therapy, connection, and customized training cues that nothing else can provide. Their keen ability to sense their handler’s emotional state and willingness to respond in a supportive, comforting and non-judgmental manner make service dogs a great tool for veterans in need. 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 PostTraumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other injuries associated with traumatic service experiences. STS provides task-trained psychiatric service dogs at no charge to post 9/11 combat veterans who have been recommended a service animal as a component of their treatment and support a plan to improve their quality of life and assist recovery along with their integrated healing journey.

“During my military career my MOS was an 11B (Infantry) and I was retired from service due to injuries sustained while at war as an E-3. My favorite part of being in the military was the camaraderie and closeness among guys that you risked your life with. I was deployed to Southern Afghanistan. I have been diagnosed with severe and chronic depression, PTSD, and multiple traumatic brain injuries while in service. I had tremendous issues getting out of the house where the walls felt like they were closing in on me, lots of anxiety, depression, night terrors every night and issues in social situations. Jade [my STS service dog] has had a tremendous impact on my life. I do not know if I would still be around today if it were not for her. She has helped with a lot of the social anxiety; she grounds me during times I had flashbacks out in public. This [STS] program and Jade that was sponsored to me has given me my life back and I will never be able to repay what this program has done to help me across all aspects of my life.”

Service dogs help veterans venture out into the community more often with confidence and an increased sense of security with another set of eyes and ears watching out for them. According to Kyrie’ Bloem, Shelter to Soldier Vice President, “We’re honored to be a small part of their larger story of victory that allows veterans to live life to the fullest, despite experiencing extreme trauma. We are equally dedicated to rescuing shelter dogs to train them for a life of new purpose.” STS testimonials provide renewed optimism to veterans facing afflictions. Chris-Meyer-Ontiveros, US Army (Ret.) shares his journey of recovery regarding the transformation he experienced through Shelter to Soldier by being paired with his service dog, Jade.

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Chris & Jade


Additionally, Richard Slack, US Army (Ret.), elaborates on his STS experience with his service dog, Seth. “I was a 68W (combat medic) in the U.S. ARMY for four years. Our Brigade deployed to Iraq from 2005-2006. We operated in Mosul and Tal Afar. After 12 months in the country, we were set to redeploy back to the U.S., but after help was needed in Baghdad, we were stopped from coming home and sent to Baghdad to assist the 101st airborne division. We did about 16 months total in Iraq. My favorite part of the military isn’t just one thing. My proudest moments in life were in uniform. So were my scariest. Waking up in the morning with the obligation to represent our nation’s military was a great honor. Facing the fear of signing up with the possibility of going to war was a decision that molded the man I am today. Serving my country was a life dream that I am thankful to have experienced. My Father served in Vietnam, which set the future for my calling to duty. After I got out of the military, I realized over a period of time that things weren’t thesame. I got out of the military fairly soon after I got back from Iraq. Slowly I slipped towards a bad place. Not one thing ever seemed normal after coming home. I couldn’t last more than a short period in stores. I’d swerve away from things in the road in fear that it might be a roadside bomb. Everything started to scare me.

Crowds, loud noises, fear of being attacked, fear of being alone, walking outside early in the morning and not seeing what’s around me when it’s dark. Everyday started to feel like it was my last day. When I applied for Shelter to Soldier it was at the end of my road. The day I got accepted to STS was a day I’ll never forget. I teared-up with joy after the call. It was a long road of traveling and training with Seth (my service dog). The training was my new hobby. It was a new kind of boot camp. Once I finally got to bring Seth home it was like bringing the new baby from the hospital. Nervous, excited, thankful, ready for the new chapter. I’m not alone anymore. It’s like I got a battle buddy watching my back. In the military you’re never alone. There is always at least one other person with you. When you return your weapon and leave the military, it’s like taking your armor off. Now you’re vulnerable. Seth helps me feel protected again in a calming way. “His closeness and shadowing he does for me gives me a sense of being safer. The love Seth provides me with has tremendous benefits. Seth is like having a person keep watch over me to make sure I’m good.”

The Shelter to Soldier team encourages veterans who have been recommended a service dog by a mental health professional to reach out for support. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call (760) 870-5338 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility or visit the website www.sheltertosoldier.org and click on the “Apply Now” button. Richard & Seth with Graham Bloem

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Healthcare Benefits Provide Peace of Mind By Janet Clancy, Communications Officer, The Elizabeth Hospice The demands of military life can take a toll on a person’s physical, emotional and spiritual health. The Elizabeth Hospice cares deeply about the people who have dedicated their lives to protecting our safety and freedom. As the leading provider of hospice care in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County and a We Honor Veterans Level 5 Partner, The Elizabeth Hospice is committed to ensuring that veterans are aware of their healthcare options, feel appreciated and receive the medical support and attention they need and deserve. In partnership with the San Diego County Office of Military & Veterans Affairs, The Elizabeth Hospice provides veterans with information about how to apply for Veterans Administration (VA) benefits. When our in-person presentations at adult residential facilities were interrupted by the pandemic, we created Veterans Heathcare: Eligibiilty and Benefits, a virtual way to provide this valuable information to veterans. In this 11-minute video, Jerraldeane Quon, Veterans Service Representative for the County of San Diego Office of Military & Veterans Affairs explains the VA eligibility requirements and the range of benefits available to veterans. Her presentation covers Aid & Attendance, extended care programs, burial assistance, survivor benefits, and much more. The video also includes a message from Marine Corps Veteran Jerome Newberry and his daughter Linda. Jerome joined the military in 1954 at the age of 18, serving as a communications lineman.

Jerome Newberry joined the military in 1954 at the age of 18, serving as a communications lineman while stationed in Japan. 36

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During his battle with cancer, he received the comprehensive medical and emotional support he needed by accessing his VA benefits. This included doctor visits, medications and supplies. When Jerome and his daughter decided to stop curative treatments, they chose The Elizabeth Hospice to provide his end-of-life care. “Quality of life’ was more important than ‘quantity of life,” said Linda.“I had never been down this road before. Whenever I had concerns or was unsure about what to do for my dad, I reached out to The Elizabeth Hospice. They were available 24/7 to answer my questions, send help and provide equipment. And they helped us gain access to healthcare benefits from the VA. These benefits made life better for my dad and our family. The combination of The Elizabeth Hospice and VA benefits provided peace of mind.” To view Veterans Heathcare: Eligibiilty and Benefits, visit www.elizabethhospice.org/veterans. If you are unsure where to find help, need aid to get started or are just unsure of your entitled benefits, you can call the Office of Military & Veterans Affairs. An accredited Office of Military & Veterans Affairs Representative will assist you or direct you to the appropriate resource. Visit www.sandiegocounty.gov/hhsa/programs/ais/ veterans_services/. Information about the We Honor Veterans Program is available at www.wehonorveterans.org. To learn about the many ways The Elizabeth supports our community’s veterans, contact Lisa Marcolongo, Veterans Specialist, at Lisa.Marcolongo@ehospice.org or (760) 644.4426

Marine Corps Veteran, Jerome, was presented with a personalized certificate of appreciation and a We Honor Veterans lapel pin.


Caring for our veterans

Veterans facing the challenges associated with a life-limiting illness can rely on The Elizabeth Hospice for the medical, emotional and spiritual support they need and deserve. Our skilled, compassionate caregivers are trained to address post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, survivor’s guilt, and soul injury. Complementary therapies, including physical therapy, music therapy, aromatherapy and pet visits, are used in combination with medical support to help alleviate pain. We celebrate and thank our patients for their service pinning ceremonies officiated by a veteran or active duty service member. Since 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice has touched the lives of more than 115,000 people in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County. To learn more about our hospice care, palliative care and grief support services for veterans, call 800.797.2050 or visit www.elizabethhospice.org.

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

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Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans By Amber Robinson

From Spec Ops to Poet, OEF Marine finds solace in haikus Zach Love was only two weeks away from starting college to study Art History when he decided to become a Marine instead. “Last minute I second guessed going to college and decided I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing,” said Love. “Instead I decided I wanted to serve my country and fight.” So, right out of highschool Love joined the military as a Force Reconnaissance Marine. When I met Zach he was reading haikus as the featured poet at Poets Underground, a poetry gathering that happened once a month at a basement venue downtown called The Acid Vault. Listening to Love read his oddly profound little messages about pizza, drinking and depression, I would have never guessed he was once the Marine’s equivalent to a Navy SEAL. Slight of build, wearing rumpled clothes, quiet yet comical, one wouldn’t think he had been trained to kill, survive in the jungle or jump out of airplanes above the atmosphere.

As special forces, their base was situated on the outskirts of their area of operations. According to Love their location had no air support, therefore no guns from the sky to save them if things got bad. They shared a small base with the Afghan National Army, who they were supposed to train. But, that mission was often derailed by the more immediate need to fight. “It was like the wild west out there,” said Love. “We were constantly getting attacked.” It was during this deployment that Love received a traumatic brain injury during the notorious Battle of Shewan on August 8, 2008. As part of a complex insurgent attack on Marine forces near the village of Shewan that day, his convoy was pelted with rocket propelled grenades and heavy gun fire. His hummvee was hit with RPG fire, knocking him out, and another hummvee in the lineup caught fire, recalls Love. Maybe a little bit more intense than the Wild West, one could say. It was also during this deployment that Love wrote his first poem.

Treading into the heart of despairWill my dreams become reality? Riding off into the night; Only returning to count the days left. Dreaming of gentle coastline breezes But interrupted by death’s cold stare. One question I repeatedly ask Is will I return to see you again?

Love joined the Marines in 2006. His first deployment was in 2008 to Afghanistan. Deployed with only a week’s notice, Love and his small unit were sent to the volatile Helmand Province in the southern region. 38

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“Alot of change happened in Afghanistan,” said Love. “You are just seeing these horrible, atrocious things, like kids getting killed.”


Love’s next deployment was on a boat to the Horn of Africa. As they travelled through the South Pacific, they executed training with foreign forces and fought piracy. According to Love, illegal activity on the water is often due to fishermen being pushed out of their trade due to overfishing. Pirates will take over a ship and crew and then force their insurance companies to pay up. Not many people can say they have squared off with a pack of pirates, but Love can. As part of his South Pacific deployment they recovered a merchant ship taken by pirates. He also recounts the jungle training he did in Indonesia where they learned how to survive on things like snake and even monkey. “I didn’t mind eating snake, that wasn’t bad,” said Love, “but I can’t recommend eating monkeys.” Love finally left the service in 2011. Like most veterans after service, Love felt lost. So he began to wander. He hiked the Pacific Crest trail first, which stretches the entire length of California, over 2500 miles. It was there he met some nurses that inspired him to get into nursing as a post-service profession. For a while he lived with his best friend from Afghanistan in San Diego, drinking a great deal and continuing to write poetry. But, unable to stay still for long, Love and he took off for Alaska for a Summer as Salmon fishermen. Eventually Love left San Diego for a nursing program in Seattle. He was now in school, but the wayward, poetic wandering continued. In the Summer of 2015 he biked across the United States from Seattle to Maine in 42 days. It was during this trip that Love began to struggle with depression.

“I still experience symptoms like hypervigilance,” said Love. “I’m easily startled, I don’t like fireworks.” He says he also experiences issues with mood, nightmares and flashbacks. Some of this is reflected in his work. Although Love’s poems are usually short, they often convey feelings of depression or unsettledness. And pizza. “Yea, pizza is definitely a recurring theme,” said Love. A couple of years back Love finally found the San Diego poetry community through Poets Underground, The community inspired him and he decided to make a chat book of his short poems and haikus. “It seems like everyone had something, their own book or had been published,” said Love. So he collected about 300 of his haikus and printed them onto tiny sheets of paper. He then bound them in black construction paper and put a picture of a typewriter on it, which he often uses to type his poems. “It types in cursive,” Love brags. Although Love stumbled into poetry through his best friend handing him a Jack Kerouac book in Afghanistan, I would posit he was born with a wayward, poet’s soul. His current goals are to finish his nurse practitioner’s degree in psychiatry and help others like him. He also plans to put together yet another homemade chat book. Whether it be through poetry or medicine, Doctor Love will have it covered.

“I would just bike as far as I could during the day,” said Love, “and then end up at these bars at night, sitting there all sad, just drinking with my bike helmet still on.” After nursing school he ended up working hard hours in emergency rooms. He realized this wasn’t his style but found interest in what nurse practitioners did. Currently he is finishing up a Nurse Practitioner’s program at the University of San Diego that will earn him a doctorate. It was through his education in the medical community that he finally began to realize his own PTSD. Although it took 4 to 5 years to emerge, Love can look back now and realize his symptoms such as risky behavior, drinking and depression.

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A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain

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

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

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

1-2-3-4 You Got This!


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WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby

Married to the Military - The Spousal Success Guide The definition of transition is “the process or state of changing from one condition to another.” Ice Cold and Iced Out Imagine this. You’re a successful female executive at a huge corporation, as well as a supportive spouse to your husband in the Navy. Suddenly, your husband gets orders to go to Iceland. You now have to resign from your position, with hopes that you can find something comparable - in Iceland. Nope. Instead, you end up working in a grocery store and as a waitress. Because that’s really all that’s available there. Then, you finally return to the company where you made such an impact, only to find your position is gone and you find yourself working for those who used to work for you. Transition that! This is a true story. Deb Kloeppel went through this exact scenario. Transitioning from a highly coveted leadership position to stocking shelves in a grocery store in Iceland. Quite the definition of “changing from one condition to another.” While she had high hopes that her value would remain top of mind at the company from which she had to resign, it didn’t.

The Uncomfortable Defrost

Changing the Status Quo

What happens when you’re trying to return to the workforce after being “just a military spouse?” No medals, no impressive leadership experience and bravery to highlight and reframe during interviews. Just a life of constant upheaval and restarting over. Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. It can be the same for a parent who stayed home to raise kids, and tries to return to the workforce many years later, only to have no recent, marketable skills.

Deb used her challenges from Iceland to her advantage, and was determined to make the transition path easier for future spouses. She founded the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network and Corporate America Supports You (CASY). These organizations provide personalized one-on-one job placement services, customized career exploration, and a ground-breaking industry specific Train2Hire™ program. They have placed over 67,000 veterans and military spouses into jobs since her program began.

Mind the Gap, then Close It A military spouse or stay at home parent means significant time gaps in the resume. Unfortunately, this time gap can be perceived as useless to employers. But you can fix it. Deb encourages spouses to “Be on top of what it will take for you to get back into your industry. Think bigger than the industry job you left. Be proactive. If you have time to volunteer, learn a new skill while you are in this time of flux to stay relevant. Consider enrolling in a training course in your field of interest.” Fortunately, many programs have been created to get military spouses prepped and ready for success. 42

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“Military spouses are the most unique workforce on the planet and they are remarkably well educated. During their down time, they enroll in classes for free and continue their education,” Deb says. Lauren Ramos, Military Spouse Fellowship Program Manager at Hiring Our Heroes and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, agrees. “The resumes of spouses boast multiple degrees in various areas of study as they choose to take advantage of their free time to enhance their skills.” The Chamber’s biggest focus is closing the unemployment gap of 24%. Dave Grundies


Over half of working military spouses left the workforce or cut back their hours in 2020. The Military Spouse Fellowship Program is available to any and all spouses of those who have served both current and past. This program provides professional training, networking and hands on experience. The direct connections to local employers within the program enable military spouses to quickly build their networks and gain localized job experience. The Hiring Our Heroes Amplify program is a 2-day event designed to empower and prepare military spouses to tackle the workforce. During this intensive workshop, spouses get hands-on training for resume writing, creating a LinkedIn presence, and interviewing. They’re also paired up with an executive currently working in their industry/career of interest on day two, getting protips on how to get a job in that field. Both virtual and in-person options are available. For more information visit website at: www.hiringourheroes.org Fear Not When asked what the biggest fear is of spouses looking for work, Lauren answers, “Spouses are nervous that they are not going to be seen for all that they are capable of. Their resume often doesn’t reflect the reality of their skills. Through all the moves and transitions they feel that they somehow have lost value. That’s not true and we help them rediscover who they are to help them become all that they are meant to become.” Whether you’ve been stocking shelves in Iceland, changing diapers, or are just stuck in a rut of not knowing how to get back in the workforce, these are wonderful resources to give military spouses the confidence and leverage to be all they can, and want, to be. Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (www.msccn.org) and Corporate America Supports You (www.casy.us) (CASY) remains free for both companies and the workers. To help support the continued success of employing military spouses, they are actively looking for generous donors. Want more information? Need help with hiring or getting hired? Contact Eve Nasby: eve@bandofhands.com Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/eve-nasby-given-hiring-expert

www.bandofhands.com

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HUMAN RESOURCES Transition to Business By Paul Falcone

Leadership by Gratitude May is National Military Appreciation Month, and what better way to celebrate spring than by honoring those active military and veterans who continue to give so much to our country? I typically write about leadership, communication, and teambuilding, whether in the context of effective hiring or performance management. Today, however, I’d like to share a story that I tell in all business classes that I teach—not so much because it’s a “business story,” per se, but because it’s such an integral part of leadership and team dynamics. So often, business leaders question how to pierce employees’ hearts and make them want to perform at their highest level—not because they have to but because they want to for themselves. Part of that responsibility will always lie with the team leader, of course, in creating a workplace where others can motivate themselves. Motivation is internal, not external, so a key wisdom in the workplace can always be found in creating the right environment where people can thrive according to their own internal motivators (that hopefully mesh with your organization’s external motivators).

In my experience as a human resources executive and business school lecturer, when it comes to building strong teams, nothing comes close to teaching the importance of thankfulness, appreciation, and gratitude. My instruction to student leaders (i.e., operational business leaders) is to take time to discuss the importance of gratitude as well as its opposite: “not enoughness.” Gratitude is a matter of perspective, of course, and your key responsibility as a team or department leader is to help people change their perspective, which in turn changes their perception. In other words, if their perspective is clear and purposeful, their experience of everything around them will be cast in a different light. Here’s an example to make that point: An oncologist at a prestigious cancer center was diagnosed with a malignant tumor himself. He explained that when he and his wife first got the tragic news, his initial reaction was one of pure thankfulness. “After all,” he reasoned, “I work around cancer every day—pediatric oncology, in fact—and I see how difficult it is for parents to shepherd their children through the trials and tribulations of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. I feel for them so much, and I always say a prayer of thanks that my children are healthy.”

Thankfulness, Appreciation, and Gratitude 44

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“When the day came that I was diagnosed with cancer myself, my immediate thought to my wife was, ‘Thank God it’s me and it’s not the kids. If it was either of the kids, my only prayer would be to take it away from them and give it to me. And that prayer was just answered right now. I’m so grateful that I’ll go through this journey rather than them. And I’ll be alright, Honey. This isn’t going to be my last stand by any means. We have far too much to do yet!’” And literally in the moment he was diagnosed with cancer, he said a prayer of thankfulness and appreciation because his “perspective” was so healthy. He literally saw the cancer as a gift that would spare his children. And while it’s true that the surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy he was about to undergo would be no easy walk in the park, his “perception” of the whole experience changed: He accepted it willingly, if for no other reason than to spare his children of such a horrific disease. As a society, we’ve lost the ability to sit around the campfire and tell stories—to pass wisdom down from the elders to the younger generation. Storytelling was replaced well over a century ago with film, which then expanded into broadcasting (network television), narrow casting (cable), and mono casting (digital marketing). We’ve been listening to others’ stories rather than telling our own ever since. We need to discuss important life lessons in the boardroom and at the kitchen table. A discussion surrounding thankfulness and gratitude is a great place to start. True, there may be “not enough” of everything we want or need—time, money, resources, and yes, even love— but countering that concept with one of gratitude is a key leadership strategy that alters perspectives and perceptions better than just about anything else. Share your story with your team (and family), ask them to share theirs, and build optimistic teams that come from thankfulness and appreciation. You’ll be setting a foundation for true teamwork, camaraderie, and support that keeps teams performing at their best— and happy to do so not because they have to but because they want to. You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/paulfalcone1 Books available at your favorite retailer or at www.HarperCollinsLeadership.com

Paul Falcone (www.PaulFalconeHR.com) is a human resources executive and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development.

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Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit for Military and Civilian Life By Stephanie Lee, Air Force Veteran & Enrollment Manager, CareerStep Sometimes, the sense of division between life in the military and life as a civilian feels like a vast chasm. In fact, for military families, this sense of division joins a long list of challenges that specifically impact the men and women who sacrifice so much for the country. These challenges couldn’t be more apparent than when it comes to finding a post-military career or one that is flexible enough to align with military spouses’ unique needs—a career that checks all the right boxes: satisfaction, security, and stability. Finding industries and employers that understand the skills of veterans and their families can seem like an uphill climb at times, and it shows. For example, the unemployment rate for veterans rose to 6.5% in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Reasons for this vary, but one contributing factor could be that lessons learned under the harsh conditions of combat don’t always translate to private-sector jobs. And for military spouses—60% of which say they’re looking for full- or part-time work—finding a profession that’s both portable and in-demand is increasingly difficult.

However, there is hope and there are opportunities. First, it’s important to consider key reasons why a career in healthcare—the fastest-growing sector in the U.S. economy according to BLS data—might just be what bridges that expansive gap between military and civilian life. 1. Meaningful Work Most who enter the military are looking for fulfilling work—an opportunity to make a difference. A real difference. But few civilian careers allow veterans to make as much of a difference as those found in healthcare. That’s because working in this particular field, regardless of the role, provides the opportunity to impact peoples’ lives in profound ways. From mending wounds and healing minds to saving lives, the difference healthcare workers make is undeniable. 2. Transferable Skills There’s a reason healthcare is an overwhelmingly popular career choice for veterans and their spouses: it’s an industry in which military-specific skills are undeniably relevant. Creative problem solving, adaptability, and effective communication—they’re all valuable skills that healthcare organizations can’t ignore if they want to provide the best possible service and care to their patients. And they’re all skills that veterans and their spouses already possess. 3. In-Demand Careers People need healthcare. In turn, the industry needs people willing to step up to the proverbial plate.

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Economic and labor experts believe we need to hire 2.3 million new healthcare workers by 2025 if we’re going to keep pace with the needs of our aging population. But a persistent shortage of skilled workers with exceptional knowledge and training means hundreds of thousands of positions will remain unfilled. Home health aides, medical assistants, lab technicians, and more are all in high demand. 4. Portable Jobs For a working military spouse, it can be difficult to cultivate a strong professional network, and when the time comes to pack up and move to a new city, the wrong vocation can leave even the most talented pro scrambling to start over. That’s why job portability is so important. Healthcare training provides the skills and certifications that employers are looking for in highgrowth, high-demand fields in virtually every city in the entire world. Supportive Training for Success These days, there are multiple training options for learners to pave their road to success. These organizations often have hiring network relationships, so it’s important to keep in contact and inform them when certification is achieved. It’s especially important for members of the healthcare sector to be fully qualified and properly trained. An early step is to start by choosing a specific discipline and then find a provider that can help learners develop the concrete job skills employers are looking for. The good news is that there’s a significant amount of trusted providers who specialize in transforming entrylevel learners into high-performing, certified healthcare professionals. And they all do this with expansive catalogs of fully online career training programs that are fast, portable, and eligible for military education grants—often covering up to 100% of the cost.

Healthcare Training For Your Next Phase of Life Our online training programs are approved for military education funding—all designed to help military members and their spouses build skills and thrive in careers that are portable, in-demand, and rewarding. Start training today so you can be prepared for meaningful work tomorrow.

Finding the right fit takes a little time and it is important to explore the possibilities. Doing the research is crucial as it can improve the learning experience—and potentially lead to faster employment. Deciding to pursue a career in healthcare is a fulfilling and viable option for veterans and their spouses. About the Author: Stephanie Lee served in the Air Force for 11 years as a Munitions Systems Craftsman. She now serves as an Enrollment Manager for CareerStep, (www.careerstep.com/military/), the Allied Health training division of Carrus. (www.carruslearn.com)

For more information, call (877) 201-3470 or visit www.careerstep.com/military

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ENLISTED TO ENTREPRENEUR By Vicki Garcia veteransinbiz@gmail.com

Low Content Books for Fun and Profit In past columns, I’ve suggested writing a book to become an authority in your field. Instead, this column is about how to make money quickly and for free with Low Content Books, possibly with knowledge you already have. Or not. You don’t need to be a writer, a niche genius, or a graphic designer. Low Content Books are paperback books with very little content – books like journals, workbooks, study guides, prayer books, coloring books, step-by-step instructions, and even comic books. Bestselling titles are stupefyingly simple, such as a gratitude journal or the title “People I want to Punch in the Face” (seriously, there scores of these for sale). There are also No Content Books that allow the “reader” to fill in all the blanks themselves. You can create Low Content Books and publish them right on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). An Amazon listing gives your LCB a high perceived value. With its massive reach and lucrative royalties, Amazon KDP is an exciting, easy way to get your book out there. Here are the basic steps – 1. Sign up for an Amazon KDP account for free at www.kdp.amazon.com/en_US/ Get to market fast, takes less than 5 minutes and your book appears on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours. Royalties are up to 70%, keep control over your rights, make changes at any time, publish in digital and print. Amazon will assign you an ISBN number. 2. Decide on Your Topic. Do a little research on what is already available and what sells well. Evergreen niches do very well on Amazon. So, think about people’s passions, sports, professions, and hobbies but think narrow and obscure. Tip: Stick to under 3. Create the Interior. 200 pages, and 100 Remember, the best Low pages even better. Content Books are made of easy to absorb, one or two-sentence pages with lines for notes. The easiest way recommended to create your interior is by using PowerPoint, which is free. Investigate others if you want. 48

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Tip: An ISBN number is used by publishers, bookstores, libraries, etc. and is important for ordering, sales reporting, and inventory control. An ISBN increases the chances that your book will be found. 4. Check Your Content on www.grammarly.com for Free, which will help you from looking like a total grammar and punctuation idiot. 5. Create a Cover. Amazon has a helpful “Cover Creator.” You can also find a cover designer for pennies at www.fiverr.com Simple covers sell best. 6. Marketing Your Low Content Book. Your marketing is made much easier with the right topic, title, and cover. Amazon has helpful tools, free and otherwise. Use all the social media tools available to you. Check out the many Tip: Keep the price low. how-to videos on You This about volume sales. Tube. Be sure to load up your listing with keywords. Try to avoid software sellers who are targeting you, but they may offer something, So, you don’t need to be a writer to be an author! Get into the Low Content Books game for fun and profit.

Tip: Be sure to follow the Amazon rules or they will kick you off, which means game over.

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & the owner of a marketing firm for over 30 years. Email her at www.veteransinbiz@gmail.com and register for free coaching at www.veteransinbiz.com. If you have a business, join the California Veterans Chamber of Commerce for free at www.caveteranschamber.com/join.


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Veterans Chamber of Commerce By Joseph Molina www.vccsd.org

Women Veterans in Business The number of women veterans keep rising steadily over the years due to an increase in the number of women entering and leaving the military. Women long before they were recognized officially have served in the military since the days of the revolutionary war, showing patriotism, sacrifice, courage, tenacity, leadership, sound judgment, resilience, all special qualities that are valued in military service.

Women have been a crucial asset to the military and we at the National Veterans Chamber want Honor and show our gratitude for their contribution. Unique challenges of women veterans in business Veterans who exit the military service may also have a hard time fitting with civilian life. Women may encounter more difficulties compared to their male counterparts. According to a survey conducted by the VA, the result shows that only about 1.4% of female Americans have served in the military in comparison with growth rate expected to increase to 16% by 2043, women are the fastest-growing segment in the veteran community. This may bring some unique challenges faced by women veterans, because of the steady increase in number. Women veterans are more likely to become entrepreneurs, maybe this is as a result of a necessity. Women veterans have an unemployment rate 4% higher than other women. While younger women veterans face a stark of over 20%. All these, in addition to the stigma from the society that makes it difficult to go from soldier to what the society expects to appropriate female behavior. Also, at the end of their service, unlike male counterparts who are easily seen as heroes and warriors, women have a harder time identifying as veterans. Another challenge female-veterans encounter in business is a lack of capital. 54

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Women veterans are more likely than males to secure government contracts. This was revealed in a recent study where women are less likely to go for loans even when their financial profiles were far better than their male counterparts. This may be in large part due to fear of being denied. How do women veterans fare in business? What we do know is that women veterans who are given the necessary tools, they end up doing great things in business. Women have proven to be a better risk factor when it comes to loans, women tend to make payments on time and are less likely to default. The traits that make women veterans successful in service are what makes them thrive in business too. Integrity, the ability to take initiative, a resilient spirit that adapts to changing and evolving situations, all unique traits that make successful business owners. Despite the challenges, the veterans who make it are twice as successful in terms of revenue and longevity.


According to statistics by the department of labor in 2012 alone, women veterans contributed to about 20b a 26% increase since 2007. Representing about 400,000 women veteran-owned businesses as of 2012 makes them the fastest-growing segment in the entrepreneurship community. To makes the picture clearer, this is over 200% increase from 2007. As a nation with futuristic ideals, it is not only a moral imperative but an economic one, that we take care of women veterans. These women reinvest and rededicate themselves to the future of our country, through service and through entrepreneurship. We must consider the unique challenges they face, and we should work towards adopting a better system that works to empower more women veterans immediately after service. Women veterans & business traits Some veterans are born with special personality traits that make them outstanding leaders coupled with the military training they undergo. This also plays a key role in how they take on their businesses. What they learn and the culture they embrace during service such as the ability to work as teams, leadership growth, early leadership, progress after failure, focus and execution, curious and knowledge seeker, action-oriented, thoroughly trained, are what makes an outstanding entrepreneur. In Summary: It is no surprise that women veterans are successful business owners. It is our duty as a Nation and as Veterans to support all Veteran-Entrepreneurs and to provide the tools and the set of skills one needs to succeed. Women-Veterans have demonstrated a unique ability to succeed in business and have shown to possess a set of skills and traits that are crucial to Entrepreneurial Success. The Veterans Chamber of Commerce Radio Show • Would you like to Nominate a Hero? Let us know and we will announce it on the show. • Would you like to share your story? Be our guest on the show – Complete the REQUEST FORM. • If you have any ideas or project that you would like to see Developed by the Veterans Chamber send your idea to: veteransccsd@gmail.com

2021

GOALS www.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com

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 > www.tinyurl.com/Veterans-In-Transition

VETERANS IN TRANSITION

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

2021 COVID-19 SUPPLEMENTAL PAID SICK LEAVE

Companies with 25 or more Employees

With the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law, which became law effective March 29, 2021, many qualifying employees now have access to 80 hours of paid time off for virus-related reasons. Covered employees in the public or private sectors who work for employers with more than 25 employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of COVID-19 related sick leave. Here’s what workers are now entitled to, and what employers are obligated to do in response to the law:

Employees who cannot work or telework due to COVID-19 related reasons are entitled to paid sick leave if they work for an employer with more than 25 employees. The Supplement covers the period of time between January 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. This means that employees who took qualifying leave prior to the law taking effect can request retroactive payment. Employees are entitled to up to a maximum of $511 per day and $5,110 as a whole as part of the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Covered Employee

Companies with less than 25 Employees

A covered employee may take leave if the employee is unable to work or telework for any of the following reasons:

Those who work for employers with under 25 employees are not entitled to the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. Workers may be able to get partial pay through programs such as state disability insurance and paid family leave.

• Caring for Yourself – the employee is subject to quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 • Caring for Family Member – the employee is caring for a family member who is subject to the COVID-19 quarantine or isolation period, or is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19. • Vaccine Related – the employee is attending a vaccine appointment or cannot work or telework due to vaccine related symptoms.

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Employer Obligations Employers with more than 25 employees must provide 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave, including retroactive payments for qualified leave that was taken going back to January 1, 2021. Employers are obligated to make the leave available to covered employees immediately upon the employee’s oral or written


request and must provide payment for the leave no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the employee took the leave. Employers are required to make retroactive payments only if the employee makes an oral or written request to be paid for the leave. The retroactive payment must be made by the payday for the next full pay period after the worker requests payment, and the employer is obligated to indicate how many 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave hours are left to the employee on their itemized wage statement.

Go Legal Yourself ® Know Your Business Legal Lifecycle

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2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave must be made available in addition to regular paid sick leave, and employers are required to list it separately from regular paid sick leave on employees’ itemized pay stubs or in separate writing when wages are paid. Burden on Employers The new paid sick leave requirement is challenging for employers. One issue is the relatively short period of time employers have had to come into compliance with the rules. Another issue relates to the retroactive payment to employees as employers going back in time, may or may not have done a very good job on documenting the reasons why employees were out. And trying to reconstruct that to see whether it meets one of the qualified reasons is going to be a challenge. The 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave poster must be displayed where employees can easily read it or disseminated to employees electronically.

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

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.

www.GoLegalYourself.com

Get your copy at amazon today! WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / MAY 2021

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

Military Divorce: What Benefits Can a Former Spouse Receive? Serving in the military comes with certain benefits. During a marriage, the non-military spouse is able to enjoy many of these benefits. What happens when the military member and non-military spouse end their marriage? Is your spouse still entitled to anything? Until a final decree of dissolution is issued, a civilian spouse separated from a military member retains full military privileges, including medical, their ID card, military exchange, commissary, etc. Once there is a final decree, the spouse of the service member may be entitled to retain benefits. Whether the civilian spouse can retain benefits depends on if they meet certain requirements. 20/20/20 Rule for Benefits to Former Spouse

20/20/15 Transitional Benefits Rule

Pursuant to 10 U.S. Code § 1072(2)(F), a former spouse of a service member is defined as a dependent. As such, a former spouse of the service member is entitled to medical benefits, exchange, and commissary benefits for life (as long as they do not remarry), if they meet the following criteria:

A former spouse is entitled to up to one year of TRICARE full coverage if they meet the following criteria:

1) Married for twenty (20) years to the service member;

6) There were at least fifteen (15) years of marriage that overlapped with the period of military service.

2) The service member had at least twenty (20) years of creditable service toward retirement and; 3) There were at least twenty (20) years of marriage that overlapped with twenty (20) years of creditable service. The years of marriage need not be consecutive. If the parties were legally separated during the marriage and later reconciled, the former spouse can still qualify as long as the total years of marriage add up to 20 and there are 20 years of overlap. If these criteria are met, the former spouse will be eligible for TRICARE medical benefits under their own social security number as their own sponsor. They do not remain on the service member’s policy. The former spouse should contact DEERS to advise of the dissolution and arrange for the change in “sponsor.” They will be issued a new ID card with their own name and Social Security number listed as the “sponsor Social Security number.” Therefore, if the service member remarries, it has no effect on the former spouse’s eligibility for their benefits. 58

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4) Married for twenty (20) years to the service member; 5) The service member had at least twenty (20) years of creditable service toward retirement and;

Pursuant to 10 U.S. Code § 1072(2)(G) & (H), a former spouse who meets the 20/20/15 criteria is a dependent solely for purposes of military medical care only and receives one year of transitional medical benefits. The former spouse is not entitled to exchange, base, or commissary privileges.


Time for a Fresh Start.

Losing Eligibility A former spouse will lose eligibility under both scenarios if they remarry. Their medical benefits will be terminated and their other benefits (exchange, commissary etc.) will be suspended for the length of marriage. The suspended benefits are reinstated should that subsequent marriage be terminated by death or dissolution.

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

A former spouse will also lose eligibility for medical benefits if they obtain employer sponsored health insurance. The former spouse’s eligibility is only suspended. Should they lose the employer sponsored health insurance, their TRICARE coverage can be reinstated. Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) If a former spouse does not qualify under the 20/20/20 Rule or 20/20/15 Rule, they may still retain medical coverage under TRICARE for a period of time while they transition to a civilian health insurance plan. Similar to COBRA for private health insurance programs, TRICARE will provide divorced spouses who are not remarried with transitional health insurance called the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP). The Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) was designed to act as a bridge between military and civilian health care insurance to avoid any gaps in coverage. This coverage is not free and comes at a cost. Former spouses who wish to enroll in CHCBP must apply within 60 days from losing TRICARE coverage. Pursuant to 10 U.S. Code § 1078a, up to 36 months of coverage is ordinarily available, unless specific factors are met which would allow the former spouse to retain CHCBP coverage for as long as he or she elects. Since eligibility for CHCBP coverage begins with the loss of dependency status and not dissolution, someone receiving transitional medical benefits under the 20/20/15 rule, can then opt for 3 years of coverage after they lost their one year of full coverage.

For more information about how we can help with your military divorce, check out our website: www.frfamilylaw.com or call (858) 720-8250 and ask to speak with military family law attorney Tana Landau.

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

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

Legal Experts with Humanity

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com / MAY 2021

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SERVING VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES

www.sdvetscoalition.org

May 2021

San Diego Veterans Coalition Highlights Healing Wave Aquatics Have you heard of Healing Wave Aquatics? Formerly Wave Academy, the new name reflects their commitment to help with healing. Healing wave’s mission remains the same: to help active-duty military and veterans heal from post-traumatic stress through thier unique, research-based program of warm water therapy. Dave Towe founded the organization in 2010 on the premise that warm water therapy has the power to heal and transform lives. As a result, Healing Wave Aquatics is focused on making trauma-informed aquatic therapy more accessible to the vulnerable, low-income, at-risk populations. In addition to service members and veterans, Healing Wave Academy welcome caregivers to support whole family wellness.

To get the facility ready for clients, Healing Wave is conducting a $1M Capital Campaign for major tenant improvements. Construction will begin in the summer and should be complete for a grand opening in December. The location of the facility is in a prime location to serve our clients and community. For clients who come from Veterans Village San Diego and the Aspire Center, Healing wave can be reached along the new trolley line between Old Town and VA Healthcare. The new state of the art facility will include offices, kitchenette, multi-purpose meeting room, shower rooms, restrooms, storage area, and two private therapy pools in a serene setting.

Clients qualify for Healing Wave’s program if they are: a) an active-military, veteran status or caregiver, b) proof of PTSD through a disability rating or note from a psychologist, and c) verification of low-income per HUD guidelines. Clients are offered 1 hour of trauma informed aquatic therapy for 8 weeks with an assigned practitioner. At the end of the program clients are also offered a free booster session to be used within one year when needed.

Healing Wave Academy is excited for the opportunity to expand the number of sessions at their new facility and to double the amount of clients they can serve, especially during their 10-year anniversary! Healing Wave knows the need is great in San Diego where 24,500 veterans live with post-traumatic stress symptoms. Healing Wave Aquatics is committed to empowering their clients heal from their PTSD, learn to trust oneself and others, gain coping skills to feel calm when stressed, and build a life of self-sufficiency. www.bats4boys.com

The Healing Wave program allows the client to be immersed in 96-degree water, where a licensed aquatic practitioner supports and gently guides them through graceful, fluid movements while applying pressure to specific points on the body and lightly massaging muscles. This thoroughly stretches the spine and body, while promoting a sense of peace and relaxation.

Healing Wave’s goal is to reduce PTSD symptoms by at least 20%. This is measured through a pre- and post-assessment. Client comments often tell it best. Here is one success stories after the first session: “The experience is hard to explain…very comfortable, maternal, relaxing, unencumbering, free. One of the nicest experiences I have had in many years.” Post-911 veteran, who survived a suicide bomber.

On this 10th year anniversary milestone, Healing Wave Academy received the keys to their future home on January 22nd, 2021. The facility is a 3,125 square foot end-unit located in Mount Soledad Business Park at 2657 Ariane Dr. San Diego, CA 92117.

Do you know of someone who is dealing with symptoms of post-traumatic stress, such as: depression, anxiety, isolation, and pain? They may qualify for the Healing wave Academy program at no-cost, no-talk, non-invasive aquatic therapy program. Please connect them to: www.healingwaveaquatics.org.

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The Healing SDVC salutes Psycharmor Institute Wave Aquatics

Healing Wave Aquatics mission is to help active-duty military and veterans heal from post-traumatic stress through our unique, research-based program of warm water therapy. Our service welcomes caregivers to support whole family wellness.

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We the People: Redistricting for California Because “We the People” should select our representatives and not the other way around, the independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC) was established in 2008 by a citizen initiative. The 14-member Commission is made up of five Republicans, five Democrats, and 4 not affiliated with either of those two parties, and is tasked with drawing the district lines in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create fair representation for all Californians. For the CRC to draft fair and representative Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and Board of Equalization district maps, we need communities to tell us about themselves. We also need Census 2020 data, including the number of Congressional districts allocated to California (“reapportionment data”). Due to delays in receiving data from the United States Census, communities of interest will have more time to identify where they are located, how they are connected, and why it is crucial to be represented in the same district. The CRC is working with diverse stakeholders to develop a timeline that ensures that the CRC has adequate time for significant public input in the process and the review of draft maps while enabling the state to implement the 2022 elections effectively and without delay. While the Commission waits for Census data to begin drawing district maps, we are taking the time to educate communities about the redistricting process and are taking Communities of Interest input online, which will help us identify community boundaries. This new tool is meant to increase participation in the redistricting process and is available for all Californians to use. Visit: www.drawmycacommunity.org/ The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that California has the highest veteran population in the nation for 2020, ranked at number one. San Diego is a strong military community. The VA also ranks San Diego and neighboring counties among the top five regions in 62

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the country for returning veterans as of 2010. San Diego County’s active and veteran communities make up 39% of the county’s population. With such strong representation in the region, the Veteran community must be heard in the redistricting process. The CRC is committed to creating an open, accessible, and transparent process for ALL Californians. To achieve this, we need to hear from your community through our community input process. Communities are groups of people with strong connections. Those connections can be cultural, economic, geographic, or social. Given the various types of communities, individuals can belong to more than one community. For instance, a group of women who fish in Lake B and who are concerned with keeping their lake free of pollution could identify themselves as a community of interest. We encourage you to talk with your neighbors and others in your communities to identify what makes your community special. What is your community’s identity? And what issues bind you together? The CRC will use community input along with the Census data to draw the lines for up to 177 districts – approximately 53 Congressional districts (depending on the reapportionment data), 40 State Senate districts, 80 State Assembly districts, and 4 State Board of Equalization districts. We invite you to share your communities’ stories and locations through our Community of Interest Tool (www.DrawMyCACommunity.org). If you prefer paper and pen, we will be distributing a paper Community of Interest Tool to complete and return to the Commission. Finally, our website lists other ways you can connect with the CRC. Visit us at: www.wedrawthelinesca.org/ We look forward to hearing from you soon! Thank you for your service. Patricia Sinay & Isra Ahmad California Citizens Redistrcting Commission San Diego-Imperial County Outreach Subcommittee


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How it Works:

In partnership with: 64

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Remembering Our Heroes www.bandofhands.com

Helping today's heroes achieve success by making it easier to run your small business.

Job Board & Automated Recruiting

Payroll & Tax Services

HR Services

Employer of Record

Onboarding & Compliance

Time & Attendance

Contact Eve Nasby, Band of Hands president and passionate military supporter to get started today. eve@bandofhands.com 66

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Choose a Medicare plan that serves those who served You deserve a Medicare plan that always has your back. That’s why UnitedHealthcare® has a wide range of Medicare Advantage plans designed to complement the health benefits you already receive for your service. The UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Patriot plan includes the freedom to visit doctors and hospitals in our large network for a $0 monthly premium.

It’s time to take advantage.

Learn more about Medicare Advantage plans designed to complement your VA or TRICARE For Life benefits.

1-855-322-1158, TTY 711 UHCPatriotPlan.com You do not have to be a veteran to be eligible for this plan. Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. Benefits, features and/or devices vary by plan/area. Limitations and exclusions apply. Network size varies by market. ©2020 United HealthCare Services, Inc. All rights reserved. Y0066_200911_104349_M SRPJ59083

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Profile for HOMELAND MAGAZINE

San Diego Veterans Magazine May 2021  

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

San Diego Veterans Magazine May 2021  

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

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