San Diego Veterans Magazine May 2023

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The Month of the Military Caregiver

Strategies & Expectations

Successful Transitioning Stories

Careers in Law Enforcement


A Story of Two Marines


Resources & Support

SAN DIEGO Vol. 6 • Number 5 • May 2023 M A G A Z I N E
2 / May 2023 PRESENTED BY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FEATURED SPONSORS May 15-20, 2023 31 FILMS | 11 SHOWTIMES & EVENTS | 6 NIGHTS GET YOUR TICKETS NOW LOCAL | NATIONAL | INTERNATIONAL | PREMIERES | PANEL DISCUSSIONS | AWARDS CELEBRATION ULTIMATE SACRIFICES: CPT JENNIFER MORENO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE WAR BY MY SIDE JERRY’S LAST MISSION WELCOME HOME: OSCAR’S JOURNEY / May 2023 3 Celebrating the Commitment That Connects Us Learn more at MAY 1 - JUNE 1 Insured by NCUA. © 2022 Navy Federal NFCU 13985 (2-22) The Month of the Military Caregiver is observed in May each year to honor millions of caregivers in the United States. Paying tribute to the people who care for veterans is an important part of supporting troops and military families. But for some, it is also about recognizing the work they do that qualifies them as caregivers even if they do not think of themselves that way.

Welcome to San Diego Veterans Magazine!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Publisher Editor-In-Chief

Mike Miller

Monthly Columns

What’s Next Transition

Eve Nasby • Kristin Hennessy

Human Resources

Paul Falcone

Veterans in Business

Barbara Eldridge

Successful Transitioning Stories

Dr. Julie Ducharme

Risky Business

Hadley Wood

Franchise Frontline

Rhonda Sanderson

Real Talk: Mental Health

Hope Phifer

PTSD: Reclaiming Control

Robert ‘Bob’ Cuyler, PhD

TLC Caregiving

Kie Copenhaver

Art & Healing

Amber Robinson

Legal Eagle

Kelly Bagla, Esq.

Family Law

Tana Landau, Esq.

Midway Magic

David Koontz

Veterans Chamber Commerce

Joe Molina

Contributing Writers

Wounded Warrior Project

Raquel G. Rivas, WWP

Disabled American Veterans

San Diego Veterans Coalition

Veteran Association North County

(In-House) Correspondents

Holly Shaffner

CJ Machado

4 / May 2023 San Diego Veterans Magazine 9528 Miramar Road, #41 San Diego, CA 92126 (858) 275-4281
San Diego Veterans Magazine is published monthly. Submissions of photographs, Illustrations, drawings, and manuscripts are considered unsolicited materials and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the said items. All rights reserved
EDITOR’S LETTER / May 2023 5 6 Miramar National Cemetery - MEMORIAL DAY 8 Midway Magic - Asian Americans Contribute Mightily 10 GI Film Festival San Diego - Something for Everyone 13 Memorial Day History 14 Memorial Day - A Time for Heroes 18 Real Talk - Hidden Helpers 20 PTSD - How the Body Reacts to Trauma 22 TLC - The Only Constant is Change 24 National University Supports Military 26 What’s Next - Translate Your Experiences 28 Successful Transition - Grace Green 30 Human Resources - Employers & Veterans 34 Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit 36 Franchise Frontline - The Restoring Valor Project 38 Risky Busines - Cyber Hacking Risks 40 Veterans are Perfect for Cybersecurity 42 Business for Veterans - Avoid Undo Risk 44 Legal Eagle - Checklist for Legal Issues 46 Real Estate Guide - Selling Your Home 47 San Diego Veterans Coalition 49 Veterans Association of North County 50 VCC - Business with The Government 52 Legally Speaking -Divorce & Default 56 Local Military Hero Honored 57 Careers in Law Enforcement 58 SDPD Ride Along - A Story of Two Marines 62 From Navy Sailor to SFPD MAY INSIDE THE ISSUE
6 / May 2023
more information please call us at (214) 281- 8860 or visit
For / May 2023 7 12 Annual Memorial Day Ceremony For more information, go to: Please join us on Sunday, May 28 at 1 pm at Miramar National Cemetery *All events will be held in the outdoor Memorial Amphitheater. The event is FREE to attend and open to the public, with plenty of FREE parking. th th Please join us also at Miramar National Cemetery for a community Open House on Saturday, May 13, from 9 am – 2 pm. There will be tours, honor guard presentations, exhibits, and information about Burial and Memorial Benefits.

Asian Americans Contribute Mightily to the U.S. Military

In the spring of 1945, 2nd Lt. Daniel Inouye led his platoon on an assault of a heavily-defended, Germanheld ridge known as the Gothic Line near the village of San Terenzo, Italy. As he and his men stormed an enemy emplacement, he was shot in the torso, but continued to fight. He took out multiple German machine positions in close combat, however, while attempting to attack a third machine gun nest, Inouye was hit with a rifle-fired grenade that destroyed his right arm.

Evacuated to a field hospital, Inouye underwent multiple surgeries and blood transfusions over the next two weeks before doctors had to amputate his arm. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

Inouye was a member of the all-Japanese 442nd Regimental Combat Team. His regiment was the most highly decorated unit of its size in U.S. military history. While many of those in this unit were serving and sacrificing on foreign soil, their families back home in the states were interned in prison camps.

“Rarely has a nation been so well served by a people it has so ill-treated,” said President Bill Clinton on June 21, 2000 during a special ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House honoring the soldiers of the 442nd. “They risked their lives, above and beyond the call of duty. And in so doing, they did more than defend America; in the face of painful prejudice, they helped it to define America at its best.”

“We had an extra burden because it was not only serving our nation in uniform, but also proving and demonstrating a loyalty,” said Inouye, who would serve as U.S. Senator from Hawaii for nearly 50 years. “I’m glad to say my country has said we did.”

Each May, since 1992, the United States observes Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This commemoration not only honors the contributions made by those of Asian and Pacific islander ancestry, but celebrates how their unique and diverse cultures have strengthen the fabric of America.

”I think it is important that we as Americans take time to reflect on our unique backgrounds and how we all contribute to a strong American tapestry,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Tim Tran, a first-generation Vietnamese American who is currently a volunteer with the USS Midway Museum’s education department. “There is no singular Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage, but rather we all have different and valuable cultures that help define our identity.”

People with Asian lineage have served in or supported the American military dating back to the Continental Army during Revolutionary War. It was only in 1948, after World War II, that desegregation ended in the military allowing for a fully integrated armed forces.

“It’s important that our military reflects the great diversity of the American people,” said Tran, who was born in Anaheim and is a graduate of the University of Southern California.

“The U.S. military and the Navy in particular serve as ambassadors of our country to the rest of the world. Many other countries are much more homogenous and are surprised when they see American servicemembers of all different backgrounds, colors, religions, orientations, and origins able to work together as a team.”

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For Juanito Del Rosario, his American-dream journey started in San Jose City, Philippines shortly after World War II. Born into a poor family, he was able to enlist in the U.S. Navy in 1968 through a special military program. All foreign nationals, however, were barred from jobs that required access to classified information. For Filipino sailors like Del Rosario, they worked exclusively as food-service stewards in galleys and wardrooms on ships and at naval bases.

It wasn’t until the early 1970s that the policy changed allowing Del Rosario to become an electrician’s mate. From there his career took off rising through the ranks to chief petty officer and ultimately receiving his commission in 1983 as one of the Navy’s first Asian engineering duty officer.

“We are the minorities in this organization,” said Del Rosario, who served 38 years on active duty and in the Naval Reserves. “Despite being minorities, we can also do, perform and contribute something for the welfare, improvement and success of the military.”

A docent on Midway since 2018 with more than 2,400 volunteer hours, Del Rosario is proud that each year his adopted country salutes the contributions of all Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, whether or not they have served in the military.

“History is replete with evidence that Asian Americans have played important and vital roles in shaping our nation from participating and fighting in multiple wars and helping build our country’s infrastructure, to introducing and sharing our cultures,” said Del Rosario, who became a U.S. citizen in 1974 and spent 25 years as an electrical and design engineer with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. “Having this is a reminder that we, Asian Americans with an inherent link to our ethnic heritage, are important contributors to our society. Our good cultures blend with the nation’s other cultures for the better.”

For those interested in becoming a USS Midway Museum volunteer, more information along with the volunteer application can be found at: / May 2023 9

GI Film Festival San Diego Has ‘Something for Everyone’ in Diverse 2023 Film Lineup

From heart-wrenching documentaries to comedic shorts, the military-themed film festival offers a diverse selection of films that explore the military experience and celebrate our talented veteran filmmaker community.

Renowned filmmaker Ingmar Bergman said, “No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.”

Whether you enjoy the moving experience of watching a documentary or drama, or you prefer the levity that a comedy can provide, the lineup of 31 films at the 2023 GI Film Festival San Diego has something for everyone. The military-themed film festival is happening May 1520, and will bring active military, veterans, civilians and cinema lovers together at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park.

From serious to eccentric and everything in between, here’s a list of gems that you won’t want to miss in the 2023 GI Film Festival San Diego:

Nominated for Best Documentary Short and Founders’ Choice awards, “By My Side” is a 30-minute documentary directed by Vicki Topaz and Wynn Padula. This is an intimate portrait of three veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who ultimately find hope in the hearts of faithful service dogs. The veterans and their families share their experiences in their journeys from despair to hope. “BY MY SIDE” will make its world premiere on Friday, May 19 in the festival’s Doc Shorts block.

For audience members looking for a laugh, film director and military veteran John Mendoza takes viewers on a comedic journey through a zombie attack on Los Angeles in “Hollywood Post 43’s Last Stand.” Will the American Legion’s Hollywood Post 43 rally for the good of the region? Nominated for Best Comedy Short, this film will screen on Friday, May 19 in the Late Night Narrative Shorts block.

The documentary feature “Not My Enemy” will make its San Diego premiere at the GI Film Festival San Diego on Wednesday, May 17. In this film, African American director and choreographer Kehinde Ishangi seeks to uncover the truth about her absent father’s choices, only to reveal the real enemy as the Vietnam War. “Not My Enemy” paints a picture of the traumatic and dehumanizing impact of the Vietnam War through the experiences of African American soldiers. Nominated for Best First-Time Director, Nominated for Best

10 / May 2023
Photo Courtesy: By My Side Photo Courtesy: Hollywood Post 43s Last Stand Photo Courtesy: Not My Enemy

First-Time Director, in this film Ishangi examines the nightmare of combat, the deep psychological aftermath, and the effort to heal from these lifelong wounds.

Preceding “Not My Enemy” is the world premiere of “Welcome Home: Oscar’s Journey,” a documentary short that follows U.S. Army Ranger, Medic and Vietnam War veteran Oscar Bruno, and his trip from Chicago to Washington, D.C. where, after 50 years, he finally gets the emotional homecoming he always deserved. This 13-minute heartwarming film directed and edited by John Mogor will leave audience members in tears as they witness Oscar’s journey to healing.

Since 2015, the GI Film Festival San Diego has been a platform for military voices, experiences and talent. Organized by KPBS in partnership with Film Consortium San Diego, the festival has presented hundreds of films from national, international and San Diego area filmmakers and attracted thousands of audience members around the world.

“The Gentle Sex,” directed by John Adams and nominated for Best Comedy Short, depicts the story of Connie Brown (played by Dame Joan Collins), who for 45 years has lived a quiet life at the covert Stathie Manor in the English countryside where female secret agents trained during World War II. “The Gentle Sex” will make its San Diego premiere on Friday, May 19 in the Late Night Narrative Shorts block.

“Our advisory committee and event organizers curated a diverse lineup of films for all movie lovers. Whether you need a good laugh, cry, or to feel inspired, the GI Film Festival San Diego will deliver what you are looking for.”

The 2023 GI Film Festival San Diego box office is open at Tickets for most screenings start at just $8 for active military, veterans and KPBS members, and $10 for general admission. Secure your seat now for a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience. / May 2023 11
“The GI Film Festival San Diego offers the opportunity to not only watch films for and about our military, but also admire the immense talent and dedication to the art of moviemaking from veteran filmmakers both locally and nationally,”
- Jodi Cilley, founder and president, Film Consortium San Diego.
Photo Courtesy: Welcome Home: Oscar’s Journey Photo Courtesy: The Gentle Sex
12 / May 2023

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.

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.

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.


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.

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. / May 2023 13

Memorial Day A Time for Heroes

I leaned against an oak at the side of the road, wishing I were invisible, keeping my distance from my parents on their lawn chairs and my younger siblings scampering about.

I hoped none of my friends saw me there. God forbid they caught me waving one of the small American flags Mom bought at Ben Franklin for a dime. At 16, I was too old and definitely too cool for our small town’s Memorial Day parade. I ought to be at the lake, I brooded. But, no, the all-day festivities were mandatory in my family.

A high school band marched by, the girl in sequins missing her baton as it tumbled from the sky. Firemen blasted sirens in their polished red trucks. The uniforms on the troop of World War II veterans looked too snug on more than one member.

“Here comes Mama,” my father shouted.

Five black convertibles lumbered down the boulevard. The mayor was in the first, handing out programs. I didn’t need to look at one. I knew my uncle Bud’s name was printed on it, as it had been every year since he was killed in Italy. Our family’s war hero.

And I knew that perched on the backseat of one of the cars, waving and smiling, was Mama, my grandmother. She had a corsage on her lapel and a sign in gold embossed letters on the car door: “Gold Star Mother.”

I hid behind the tree so I wouldn’t have to meet her gaze. It wasn’t because I didn’t love her or appreciate her. She’d taught me how to sew, to call a strike in baseball. She made great cinnamon rolls, which we always ate after the parade.

What embarrassed me was all the attention she got for a son who had died 20 years earlier. With four other children and a dozen grandchildren, why linger over this one long-ago loss?

I peeked out from behind the oak just in time to see Mama wave and blow my family a kiss as the motorcade moved on. The purple ribbon on her hat fluttered in the breeze.

The rest of our Memorial Day ritual was equally scripted. No use trying to get out of it. I followed my family back to Mama’s house, where there was the usual baseball game in the backyard and the same old reminiscing about Uncle Bud in the kitchen.

Helping myself to a cinnamon roll, I retreated to the living room and plopped down on an armchair.

There I found myself staring at the Army photo of Bud on the bookcase. The uncle I’d never known. I must have looked at him a thousand times—so proud in his crested cap and knotted tie. His uniform was decorated with military emblems that I could never decode.

14 / May 2023
A teenager learns the importance of war veterans.

Funny, he was starting to look younger to me as I got older. Who were you, Uncle Bud? I nearly asked aloud.

I picked up the photo and turned it over. Yellowing tape held a prayer card that read: “Lloyd ‘Bud’ Heitzman, 19251944. A Great Hero.” Nineteen years old when he died, not much older than I was. But a great hero? How could you be a hero at 19?

The floorboards creaked behind me. I turned to see Mama coming in from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron.

I almost hid the photo because I didn’t want to listen to the same stories I’d heard year after year: “Your uncle Bud had this little rat-terrier named Jiggs. Good old Jiggs. How he loved that mutt! He wouldn’t go anywhere without Jiggs. He used to put him in the rumble seat of his Chevy coupe and drive all over town.

“Remember how hard Bud worked after we lost the farm? At haying season he worked all day, sunrise to sunset, baling for other farmers. Then he brought me all his wages. He’d say, ‘Mama, someday I’m going to buy you a brand-new farm. I promise.’ There wasn’t a better boy in the world!”

Sometimes I wondered about that boy dying alone in a muddy ditch in a foreign country he’d only read about. I thought of the scared kid who jumped out of a foxhole in front of an advancing enemy, only to be downed by a sniper. I couldn’t reconcile the image of the boy and his dog with that of the stalwart soldier.

Mama stood beside me for a while, looking at the photo. From outside came the sharp snap of an American flag flapping in the breeze and the voices of my cousins cheering my brother at bat. “Mama,” I asked, “what’s a hero?” Without a word she turned and walked down the hall to the back bedroom. I followed.

She opened a bureau drawer and took out a small metal box, then sank down onto the bed.

“These are Bud’s things,” she said. “They sent them to us after he died.” She opened the lid and handed me a telegram dated October 13, 1944. “The Secretary of State regrets to inform you that your son, Lloyd Heitzman, was killed in Italy.”

Your son! I imagined Mama reading that sentence for the first time. I didn’t know what I would have done if I’d gotten a telegram like that.

“Here’s Bud’s wallet,” she continued. Even after all those years, it was caked with dried mud. Inside was Bud’s driver’s license with the date of his sixteenth birthday. I compared it with the driver’s license I had just received. A photo of Bud holding a little spotted dog fell out of the wallet. Jiggs. Bud looked so pleased with his mutt. / May 2023 15
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16 / May 2023
“Remember how hard Bud worked after we lost the farm? At haying season he worked all day, sunrise to sunset, baling for other farmers. Then he brought me all his wages. He’d say, ‘Mama, someday I’m going to buy you a brandnew farm. I promise.’ There wasn’t a better boy in the world!”

There were other photos in the wallet: a laughing Bud standing arm in arm with two buddies, photos of my mom and aunt and uncle, another of Mama waving. This was the home Uncle Bud took with him, I thought.

I could see him in a foxhole, taking out these snapshots to remind himself of how much he was loved and missed.

“Who’s this?” I asked, pointing to a shot of a pretty dark-haired girl. “Marie. Bud dated her in high school. He wanted to marry her when he came home.” A girlfriend? Marriage? How heartbreaking to have a life, plans and hopes for the future, so brutally snuffed out.

Sitting on the bed, Mema and I sifted through the treasures in the box: a gold watch that had never been wound again. A sympathy letter from President Roosevelt, and one from Bud’s commander. A medal shaped like a heart, trimmed with a purple ribbon, and at the very bottom, the deed to Mama’s house.

“Why’s this here?” I asked.

“Because Bud bought this house for me.” She explained how after his death, the U.S. government gave her 10 thousand dollars, and with it she built the house she was still living in.“He kept his promise all right,” Mama said in a quiet voice I’d never heard before.

For a long while the two of us sat there on the bed. Then we put the wallet, the medal, the letters, the watch, the photos and the deed back into the metal box.

I finally understood why it was so important for Mama—and me—to remember Uncle Bud on this day. If he’d lived longer he might have built that house for Mama or married his high-school girlfriend.

There might have been children and grandchildren to remember him by.

As it was, there was only that box, the name in the program and the reminiscing around the kitchen table.

“I guess he was a hero because he gave everything for what he believed,” I said carefully.

“Yes, child,” Mama replied, wiping a tear with the back of her hand. “Don’t ever forget that.”

I haven’t. Even today with Mama gone, my husband and I take our lawn chairs to the tree-shaded boulevard on Memorial Day and give our daughters small American flags that I buy for a quarter at Ben Franklin.

I want them to remember that life isn’t just about getting what you want. Sometimes it involves giving up the things you love for what you love even more.

That many men and women did the same for their country—that’s what I think when I see the parade pass by now.

And if I close my eyes and imagine, I can still see Mama in her regal purple hat, honoring her son, a true American hero. / May 2023 17

Real Talk: Mental Health

Hidden Helpers

May is the Month of the Military Caregiver

Military caregivers are the all-too-often unsung heroes who play a critical role in the health and well-being of our military community.

Today, there are an estimated 5.5 million military caregivers nationwide. They are the spouses, parents, siblings, friends, and even children who step up in incredible ways to care for the wounded, ill, or injured veteran or service member in their life.

The wide spectrum of military caregiver support includes organizing medications, providing transportation to doctor’s appointments, monitoring medical conditions, assisting with daily tasks like getting dressed and bathing, communicating with health care providers, advocating on their behalf, helping with housework, meals, grocery shopping, and much more.

In many cases, caregivers don’t identify themselves as caregivers, and see this support as simply doing what needs to be done when someone they love needs help. Still, it is important to recognize that the additional physical and emotional strain of caregiving responsibilities can affect caregivers’ mental health, and acknowledge that in military households, the culture of sacrifice and selflessness can prevent caregivers from taking care of themselves.

Month of the Military Caregiver presents the perfect opportunity to encourage military caregivers to carve out time for themselves in support of their own mental health and wellness as they care for others. Self-care can include any activity or practice both big and small that have a positive impact on your mental health and well-being. While time and resources may be limited, there are self-care strategies anyone can practice on a regular basis:

Say “No” As a Form of Self-Care

There are times when you might be asked to do more than you can realistically give. If someone asks something of you, use a “tactical pause” to gather your thoughts and consider if it is doable. If it is not, practice self-care by saying “no.” You don’t need to apologize for it, “no” is a complete sentence.

Stressed Out? Take Action

If there is a clear, actionable thing that’s stressing you out, the best self-care you could possibly give yourself is to act. If the task is just too overwhelming to tackle all at once, then break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. In other words, you don’t need to climb the entire mountain in one day. Simply walk 10 ft. today, and then another 10 ft. again tomorrow. This approach can make projects less intimidating and more doable.

Ask for or Accept Help

If someone says, “Let me know if you need anything” take them up on their offer! It’s ok to let others help you carry the weight of what you’re experiencing. If you’re uncomfortable with receiving help, think about what you need in terms of your friends. If your friend asked you for help with the same thing, would you help them? If the answer is “yes”, then let your friend be a friend and help. Or, if it’s an acquaintance that’s helping, think of it as an opportunity for connection. They help you, then you help them all the while you’re building friendship and community.

18 / May 2023

Practice Grace with Yourself

Give yourself some credit! It is OK to not have all the answers. We often feel that we could have or should have done more. But instead of focusing on the things you didn’t get done in a day, focus on the things you did get done. Extend the same kindness you offer others. Practicing grace with yourself first is important.

At the Cohen Clinics at VVSD, part of Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), we are acutely aware that sometimes caregivers need someone to care for them, too. From the day our first clinic door opened, caregivers have been eligible for our high-quality, accessible mental health care. Last year, in partnership with Wounded Warrior Project, CVN extended our commitment to caregivers through a new initiative called “Hidden Helpers”. This initiative provides extended services to children who act as caregivers in military households, who are receiving care at any of our 23 Cohen Clinics around the country. Roughly 50% of all clients at CVN are military family members, and of that group 16% are children.

We are proud to have expanded our care to these remarkably resilient Hidden Helpers and look forward to continuing to serve.

To find care near you or to learn more, visit: / May 2023 19 Therapy for Veterans, Service Members, and their Families Cohen Clinics provide therapy to post-9/11 veterans, service members, and their families, including National Guard / Reserves. LEARN MORE 8885 Rio San Diego Dr. Suite 301 3609 Ocean Ranch Blvd. Suite 120 CVN Telehealth, face-to-face video therapy available statewide. 20800 Madrona Avenue, Suite C-100, Torrance, CA San Diego Oceanside Los Angeles our CALIFORNIA locations

PTSD: Reclaiming Control

How our body reacts to trauma

Most of us think about PTSD as emotional and mental distress following a traumatic event or series of events, and yes, of course this is true. However, PTSD goes beyond just the mind. It also impacts our body in multiple ways.

It’s not only the mind that is hyper-vigilant, constantly on the lookout for danger. This feeling of being tense, wound up and scanning the world for possible danger goes hand in hand with floods of stress hormones that affect us physically.

Regular exercise will help rebuild a sense of competence, and feeling like you’re back in control will help calm the stress hormones. Recognizing and challenging this retreat from life – those avoidance behaviors – is very important. Even small steps can help us recognize that avoidance compounds our problems, it does not solve them.

(Part 2 of 2)

This bodily stress can have both immediate and longterm effects. Rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, musculoskeletal pain, digestive discomfort, and sleep disturbance are all common. Surges of anxiety can be intensely unpleasant, and can lead to unhealthy coping styles such as alcohol use, which backfire.

Research indicates that about 60% to 75% of veterans have panic symptoms or attacks as part of PTSD symptoms. Rapid breathing, chest tightness, racing heart, dizziness, nausea, and shakiness are key signals of panic, which tend to come on very rapidly. While many people with panic disorder have panic attacks that seem to come ‘out of the blue’, with PTSD the surges of bodily anxiety more often come with reminders of trauma.

Crowds, sudden loud noises, thoughts or images that remind us of our trauma, or a nightmare can provoke panic. The intensity of the feelings and the bodily distress in these situations understandably makes us want to avoid trauma reminders. Shutting down emotionally – what we call ‘numbing’ – isolation, limiting activities, use of intoxicants, and irritability are some of the behaviors that can creep into our daily life as reactions to trauma.

So it’s not surprising then, that these experiences also lead to a sense of being out of control, when even a reminder of a traumatic event can create such sudden terror. Finding ways, both mentally and physically, to regain that sense of self-control is a vital step in living more effectively with PTSD.

New treatments for panic symptoms are showing benefit for individuals with PTSD, and interestingly are doing so without the need to revisit traumatic memories, which can be a big hurdle for many who try therapy. Our research shows that tackling an important underlying physical factor in panic attacks and PTSD episodes - a hypersensitivity to carbon dioxide that triggers dysregulated breathing – can be effective in reducing symptoms by learning how to regulate breathing patterns and to build self-management skills during times of stress or symptom surge.

20 / May 2023
Cuyler is chief clinical officer of Freespira, an FDA-cleared non-medication treatment that helps people with panic and PTSD manage their symptoms by learning how to regulate their breathing. -


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

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


Resources & Articles available at: / May 2023 21
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Veteran Caregivers

In the shadow of our veterans

In this magazine, we give much attention – and rightfully so – to the veterans who served or are currently serving our great country. This little corner of the magazine is dedicated to those often living in the shadow of our veterans, the military caregivers. So, while this column may be small, my intention is that its impact is mighty.

According to a recent study by the RAND Corporation, there are approximately 5.5 million military caregivers in the United States currently, caring for our veterans. And while caregiving – for veterans, the elderly, those with special needs, and children –can often look similar in the tasks being performed (bathing, grooming, meal preparation, housekeeping, and the like), caring for military personnel has some additional and unique challenges. These challenges become greater when caring for younger veterans who served in Iran, Afghanistan, and post-9/11. These military caregivers tend to be younger and are often juggling a full-time job, children, and caring for aging parents in addition to caring for the veteran. Often, these caregivers lack health insurance, are at an increased risk of depression and lack a robust support system that can assist with the many facets of caregiving. All of this is coupled with the fact that our current healthcare system is lacking in programs and resources for these military caregivers, such as

respite programs and proper caregiving training to address those unique needs of a veteran. Something’s gotta give and it cannot be you, dear caregiver!

In general, caregivers experience higher rates of negative health outcomes, suffer from strained family relationships, and face workplace difficulties which may explain why approximately 30-35% of the time, the primary caregiver (typically a spouse or family member) suffers a serious or fatal health issue while caregiving for another.

The VA offers the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC), to assist those veterans and their family members and loved ones with the varied and often demanding duties of caregiving for a service member. This program aims to provide support for one primary family caregiver and up to two additional secondary family caregivers, meaning those who provide back up and support when the primary family caregiver needs help. The program provides training and education, mental health counseling, and financial assistance when traveling with a veteran who is receiving care. The program also offers up to 30 days of respite care per year for the veteran, allowing the caregiver some much needed rest. If you or someone you know may be interested in PCAFC and its services, check out to read about the eligibility requirements and download the VA Form 10-10CG to get started.

My heartfelt thanks to all those who care for our military men and women. Remember to be good to yourself; if you are not good to yourself, you can’t be your best for others.

22 / May 2023 / May 2023 23 / MAY 2022 33 FREE Consultation Call us to get started (619) 7879-1839 FREE Consultation Call us to get started (619) 789-1839

National University Proudly Supports the U.S. Military

National University (NU) has nurtured strong ties to the San Diego community and the military since its founding in 1971 by U.S. Navy Captain David Chigos. He understood that military-affiliated students had a need for a quality, flexible, and accessible approach to education. Since its inception, NU has proudly served active-duty and veteran students from all military branches as they have earned their college degrees at home, on base, and abroad.

Today NU provides relevant education to 40,000+ students nationwide of which one in four are servicemembers or veterans. With credential-rich pathways and a holistic approach to student support, well-being, and success, NU delivers world-class student experiences and has prepared its 220,000+ graduates for the next chapter of their lives.

Supporting the Whole You

National University’s innovative approach to education is about supporting the whole student. This approach includes providing the financial, academic, emotional, career, and family support needed to succeed in today’s fast-paced world. “We understand how to meet students where they are and help them get on the pathway to be successful,” said Dr. Mark D. Milliron, president and CEO of National University. “We are committed to helping them change their lives, improve the future of their families, and impact their communities.”

Financial Support

As a top 10 percent Military Friendly and Yellow Ribbon school, National University is committed to delivering exceptional services and offering financial benefits and resources to assist with educational expenses. NU accepts the post 9/11 “Forever” GI Bill, which reduces education costs for veterans and active-duty students. NU also offers military-specific scholarships for activeduty service members and their dependents and for eligible veterans, their spouses, and dependents. Our Veterans Affairs office can help you navigate the many affordable options available to use your benefits with purpose and make your career goals a reality.

Academic Support

As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU has designed bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs specifically for military-affiliated students. NU’s flexible four-week and eight-week class formats are ideal for the deployment cycle of military personnel and help students reach their goals faster. NU offers transfer-friendly undergraduate and graduate degree programs to maximize as many previously earned credits as possible, including college credits from other accredited institutions, professional or technical certifications, and military training and experience.

Social & Emotional Support

National University is proud to create a culture that fosters success for student veterans and servicemembers. NU provides a comprehensive virtual and onsite Veterans Center staffed by military-affiliated employees to assist with the transition to campus life and an online learning format, as well as aid in the completion of educational and career goals. Further, our dedicated student wellness staff are trained to help military students address a variety of needs and provide a 360-degree supportive environment.

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Career Pathways

National University offers more than 190 online and oncampus programs, including these programs popular among the military community:

• Vets to BSN: Accelerated track to pursue a career in nursing.

• Cybersecurity/Criminal Justice/Homeland Security and Emergency Management

• MBA and Organizational Leadership program

• Education/teaching degrees and credentials

Family & Community Support

A few of the ways that National University provides support to family members and the community include:

• Member of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) to help military spouses advance their careers and educational opportunities.

• Commitment as a First Responder in Veteran Employment to support employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

• Facilitating an Employee Resource Group for military spouse employees to build rapport and share remote employee best practices.

This month, Joel Riley, a Marine Corps Veteran, and NU student, was one of two recipients of the American Council on Education Students of the Year Award. While in the Marine Corps, Riley enrolled at National University and was able to apply 135 Joint Services Credits gained from technical and leadership schools toward his degree. Riley remained in school while embarking on two combat deployments. “It was a true challenge, but my professors were gracious and understanding when factors out of my control presented challenges,” he said.

“Joel Riley exemplifies National University’s mission of providing an accessible, world-class student experience that ensures student success through meaningful learning,” President Milliron said. “We are very proud of the good work that Joel is doing, and he serves as a role model to us all.”

National University is committed to continuing our legacy of nationally recognized support for our military.

Reach out today and find out what makes National University one of the most trusted and respected top military-friendly colleges.

NU is proud to serve those who have served, and we have been proudly serving our military and veteran community for more than 50 years. / May 2023 25


Transition to Civilian Life

How to Translate Your Experiences From Combat

to Corporate

Transitioning from the military will undoubtedly be one of your most challenging tasks. You may feel a myriad of emotions including confusion, humility, frustration, and satisfaction, all in the same day. This is normal. Mike Ragsdale a Navy Veteran, can relate. He says, “I’ve been there too, and will probably be there again at some point. You’re not the first to feel these things, and you definitely won’t be the last. While this doesn’t make it any easier, hopefully it provides comfort.”

The transition process can be confusing and bureaucratic, and it may not even seem fair. However, if you want to transition successfully, you need to understand the private sector and help them understand you. Nix the mindset of, “I don’t owe an explanation to someone who’s never served” or, “I don’t need to prove myself to anyone.” While it’s great to be proud, this mindset will not get you anywhere.

To make your journey smoother, Ragsdale offers three pieces of advice.

1. The private sector has no idea what you’ve done or what you’ve seen.

When you sit across from a recruiter or hiring manager from the private sector, it’s important to recognize that they probably won’t fully understand what you’ve been through. Maybe they read books or watched movies about the military, but they haven’t experienced what you have. They haven’t smelled cordite after a machine gun just cut loose on a target or flown into Ramadi on New Year’s Eve with tracer rounds flying up in the distance. The fine, talcum powder-like dirt that’s everywhere and the feeling of never being clean are things they haven’t had to deal with.

You’ve been through crazy experiences that they can’t completely comprehend, and that’s okay. Just don’t downplay what you’ve been through just because it’s hard to explain. It’s important to own your experiences and recognize that they’re a big deal, even if others don’t fully understand. This leads to his next point.

2. Ask for help.

In the military, you’re taught to gut it out. You’ll figure it out on your own, right? If you ask for help, you’re weak. Flush this from your mentality. Ragsdale urges, “Ask for help. You don’t get bonus points for extra suffering. By doing this, you’re only hurting yourself. There are people out there who would absolutely love to help you figure this out. Trust me.”

Also, networking is not a scary word. There’s no need to suffer in silence when there are people who would be happy to lend a hand. It’s always beneficial to bounce ideas off of others and get their perspective, even if it feels like it might not lead anywhere.

Even when you don’t feel like having yet another conversation with someone, that may or may not go anywhere, DO IT! Because you never know when that will lead to your next “A-HA!” moment or your next opportunity. So, keep reaching out. And if someone doesn’t respond to your meeting request, it could be a red flag indicating what they’re like to work with, or suggest a negative culture. Don’t be afraid to keep asking for help and get as many perspectives as possible.

3. Get creative and translate your experience into the role you want at the company you want.

Unfortunately, companies don’t need someone who can kick doors down, interrogate a terrorist suspect, put a GBU-12 through the window of a house from 30,000 feet, or drive a Navy warship. While these are all incredible things, the companies you’re speaking with likely don’t need these skills. What they do need are the soft and hard skills that you possess that went into these feats, such as attention to detail, project/program management, operations, strategy development and implementation, influencing without authority, and leadership.

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So, think about what you’ve done and how that translates into the role you are applying for at the company. Here are some examples:

1. Let’s say you were a Marine Corps infantry NCO, and you were solely responsible for the care and the care and feeding of all your Marines. You had to man, train, equip, motivate, and mentor. This means you were like a COO running a small business unit! That’s how you translate your experience. You had to make sure everyone had everything they needed to successfully accomplish goals and objectives.

2. What if you were in Intelligence? You were surveying the battlefield to ascertain where the enemy was, what they looked like, and based on your findings, worked to determine attack strategy. This is sales and marketing! You’ve now translated your experience into relatable and desirable skills! Companies use these same concepts to “attack” their competition and increase their market share.

3. Were you in IT? Well, this one is pretty obvious. You’re valuable!

In closing, YOU GOT THIS! Trust your instincts, ask for help, and think! You’ve proven you’re successful in austere environments where the stakes don’t get much higher. If you’ve done it there, you can certainly do it when you’re talking to a hiring manager on a Zoom call in your bedroom with no one shooting at you.

Need help with your transition? Have questions? Link up with Eve on Linked In today. / May 2023 27

Successful Transitioning Stories

Grace Green

Grace Green attended the United States Naval Academy and was then commissioned into the Marine Corps. She served as a helicopter pilot and aircraft commander and deployed three times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Greene’s primary mission while deployed was medevac. In her civilian career, Greene has had broad experience in business in Alaska and across the country. She is currently the CEO of LifeMed Alaska.

How did you decide to go into the military?

I was introduced to the Navel Academy and played soccer there all 4 years and then after I graduated, I was selected to be a Marine Core Helicopter Pilot on Commissioning. I really loved all my experiences at the Navy Academy. I learned doing crazy things in the air was not meant for me and I really loved being in a team environment in a helicopter where I had a crew chief and some crew in the back. I was lucky to get my first choice which was CH46 Echo Helicopter stationed out of Miramar, CA.

When you decided to transition out of the military what was your experience like?

I loved my time in the Marine Corps; when I decided to get out it was because I was ready for the next chapter in my life. I had a serious boyfriend who became my husband, and I knew I wanted to have a family but unfortunately at the time the military op tempo was so high it didn’t matter if you were on active duty or reserves, you were getting deployed. This was around 2007, and I felt that if I started a family, I wasn’t sure if I could personally handle being deployed from my young children for so long, so I knew it was time for me to transition. Prior to fully transitioning out, I did complete 3 tours.

I remember very clearly my last day in the military. You get your papers; you go to the admin office, you sign some things, and then say bye, and that was a bit shocking. I remember driving out of the gate and thinking, ok what do I do now? The military is all present for you, you don’t have to think about anything because they take care of it and then suddenly

you have lost your people and are completely on your own. What was beneficial for me is I went back to my network at the Naval Academy and there are different conferences for different divisions that Veterans can attend. But I had moved to Alaska and there was not much opportunity to find due to that. But I kept networking and got connected with a Morgan Stanley that had an office in Alaska and that was the start of my civilian transition, but it didn’t stop there. It was often hard to see it at first, but the further I got into my career the more I saw how my skills in the military were transferable.

So where are you now in your business life?

Well, I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. After working at Morgan Stanley, I realized it wasn’t what I was what I was use to or would thrive in, I needed to work somewhere that had teams, a place to expand my network of colleagues and build camaraderie. So, I connected with a former Navy seal friend of mine and joined him doing consulting for DOD and working in the Pentagon at the time. Then I transitioned to work for Shell Oil where I was hired to

28 / May 2023

run their offshore logistics program with Aviation and Marine Maritime Program. Then I transition to president of TOTE Maritime Alaska for 8 years and currently I am the CEO of a company called LifeMed Alaska. I have come full circle and it is a med evac company and in the Marine Corp. I was doing med evac operations. I like to share my journey because it shows how I have evolved in my transition.

What tips can you give to transitioning veterans?

You’re going to underestimate yourself and because of your willingness to stand up and do something for your country you are in a whole other category and employers will see that.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would give my younger professional self, advice. I was comfortable being the only woman in the room and thought I had to be the only woman. I would tell myself to seek out other woman, get mentors, and build those relationships.

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 Veterans In Transition at

To see how we help and support veterans transitioning out of the military check out our school / May 2023 29
out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce?

Transition to Business HUMAN RESOURCES

Private Sector Employers and Veterans: A Growing Partnership

May is National Military Appreciation Month, and now is a good time to explore the relationship and partnership that exists between private sector employers and veterans. Many active military members will engage in a job search in the private sector at some point, so understanding the key touch points that connect veterans and private employers is definitely a healthy exercise. An important caveat, however: the guidelines that follow can be complex because of private versus public employer requirements, so this isn’t meant to be a legal treatise on all the ins and outs that impact the veteran population in the private sector. Instead, this is meant to provide you with high level interview of some important factors that can impact your career once you’re a full-fledged member of the private sector.

The Pre-Employment Process

First, let’s start with the basics. Often, veterans are considered valuable employees in the workplace as they tend to hold advanced skills in management, organization, task fulfillment, punctuality, adaptability, commitment, and team building. Certain organizations give hiring preference to veterans.

For some like the federal government, certain hiring practices may be required by law. For others, military and veteran outreach simply makes common sense for reasons that include a fresh source of talent, corporate social responsibility, and diversity outreach. Next, you are not required to disclose your military status. However, depending on the length of your service, it could leave an awkward gap in your employment history if you don’t.

In any event, you can expect private sector employers to include questions about veteran status on their job applications. That information helps companies comply with the recruiting and hiring requirements that apply to protected veterans.

Likewise, employers typically ask if an applicant is a “disabled veteran.” You are not required under the Americans with Disabilities Act or other law to disclose your disability status. However, federal contractors and subcontractors are governed by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to set a goal of maintaining seven percent of employees with disabilities across each of their job groups or across their entire workforce for those with one hundred or fewer employees. This seven percent disability utilization goal works in your favor during the hiring process, if applicable.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) prohibits all employers from discriminating against any veteran, reservist, or National Guard members because of their past, present, or future military obligations. Your military discharge papers are officially known as DD Form 214, or just DD-214. All veterans receive this Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty once they are out of the military. In a nutshell, the DD-214 is proof of your military service.

30 / May 2023

DD-214 reports will also provide your discharge type. However, employers are not permitted to ask candidates about their military discharge type or status during the hiring process.

Once Employment Begins

Gen-Y Millennials (43 and under) and Gen-Z Zoomers (25 and under) are considered the most studied generational cohorts in world history, and we know what they want: diversity of thoughts, ideas, and voices consistently ranks in their top five priorities. Wise employers look to trends like these to add to their employment programs in order to attract and retain top talent. Diversity is about appreciating our differences, equity is about providing equal access to opportunity, and inclusion is about fostering a sense of value and empowerment in employees.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives are directed toward diverse groups of workers based on classifications such as culture, age, gender, sexuality, disability, race, nationality, and pregnancy. What’s important for you to realize is that veterans are considered diversity hires, which again works to your advantage.

Finally, “affinity” groups, also known as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), are intended to create opportunities for employees with similar interests to come together to network and socialize with one another and benefit from opportunities like mentoring and coaching assignments, special projects, and the like. Be sure and research whether your next employer has a military/veteran ERG and, if not, look into starting one yourself for your organization (with Human Resources’ help).

Finally, remember that USERRA protects members of the uniformed services during employment as well. As a protected veteran, you have the right to work in an environment free of discrimination. You cannot be denied employment, harassed, demoted, terminated, paid less, or treated less favorably because of your veteran status. The fact that so many employers are looking to do the right thing and hire veterans— especially disabled veterans—for legal as well as goodwill purposes bodes well for your transition into the private sector when the time comes.

You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at

Paul Falcone ( is a management trainer, executive coach, and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development. / May 2023 31
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Healthcare Careers: A Perfect Fit for Military and Civilian Life

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.

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, (, the Allied Health training division of Carrus. ( / May 2023 35
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. Healthcare Training For Your Next Phase of Life For more information, call (877) 201-3470 or visit

Franchise Frontline

Success Stories & Resources


For those who like history with a little mystery, there is a delightful project in the works. The Restoring Valor Project is the brainchild of Brian Thomas, owner of Paul Davis of East Michigan. The launch date was April 10th and the cleaning and restoration of these objects will lead into Memorial Day and beyond.

The professionals at Paul Davis are certified in emergency restoration, reconstruction, and disaster mitigation and while the company has been around for over 55 years, Brian Thomas launched his Paul Davis business in 2021, only saying he wished he had done so sooner.

“While I enjoyed my former corporate career in marketing and branding some of the biggest names in the automotive world,” shared Brian, “this new career helps me with my passion, which is what The Restoring Valor Project is all about. The essence of the project is to restore precious & priceless items that many military veterans and their families have in their possession.

My father, Bruce Thomas, served in the Vietnam War. He was in the Army and was ‘in-country’ for two years (1967-68). After his first year, he was discharged from the military so that he could attain ‘civilian’ status.

This enabled him to join the CIA and serve as a military advisor to the South Vietnamese Army. He lived with members of that army for an entire year. At the end of his tour, he was re-enlisted into the military so that he could be formally discharged and sent home. He was awarded three Purple he was wounded three times in combat. His rank was Staff Sergeant and the things he had from those days gave me the idea for this special project.”

Brian is one of four boys born to Staff Sergeant Thomas. Brian explained that his Dad kept all of his items from the war in a box at home which is an oft heard practice for returning service members.

“Over the years, he slowly began to give some of these things to my brothers and I for safe-keeping. His dog tags at first. Then other things. He really did not talk about his service much until we were in our teens. Then a few of the stories came out...and photos...and I was genuinely blown away,” said Brian.

“The way my mind is wired,” Brian added, “I look for points of convergence between what we have expertise in and the genuine and real passions shared by people. For me...I’m now a guy who happens to own a business that specializes in restoring all kinds of property. We possess specialized technology and expertise in-house to do it. I’m also a guy who deeply reveres his father and grandfather...and have long been in awe of their military service.

It’s been a passion for me...and for many people in my life. The Restoring Valor Project makes me feel closer to my father, who passed away in November of 2007 after a very intense battle with Multiple Myeloma which has been associated with Agent Orange.”

When Brian heard from the local VFW recently, and found they were looking for experts in the area who could restore some of the precious objects they had been given over the years, he and his team stepped right up.

The restoration team even went to the VFW with trucks recently and packed up hundreds of pieces. Among them, dog tags, medals, pieces of equipment and other related items, many of which have been passed down from generation to generation and are imbued with deep sentimental value.

While these may be simple physical objects, they are also the irreplaceable symbolic embodiment of the military service and sacrifice of so many Americans and their families according to Brian.

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“These items represent the unrivaled valor and courage of the best among us and they deserve to be treated with extreme care and reverence.

One of the techniques we use in the restoration of many of the objects is Ultrasonic Cleaning. Technicians load soiled items into an ultrasonic device – which looks much like a large industrial washing machine – filled with cleaning solution. Ultrasonic sound frequencies – far above the level that humans can perceive – then buzz through the liquid. The sound waves, which can be seen as ripples on the surface, generate millions of incredibly tiny bubbles that churn through and against every surface to dislodge soot, bacteria, grime, and other contamination.”

To bring this lovely story to an even lovelier conclusion, Brian’s team got together discreetly and restored and shadow-boxed many of Bruce Thomas’ treasures he brought back from Viet Nam.

Thomas concluded, “I could not have been more touched. And now we are excited to see what other treasures might be uncovered and just how uplifting it will be for so many people around the Memorial Day holiday when we honor our vets.”

To learn more please visit;

“Brian’s team got together discreetly and restored and shadow-boxed many of Bruce Thomas’ treasures he brought back from Viet Nam” / May 2023 37

Insurance Info & Risk Management Tips

Cyber Hacking Risks

Cyber threats are real and everywhere. The government knows this, big business knows this, and any medical, civic institution and bank knows this. But did you know that 25% of cyber attacks are on small business owners?

Cyber-attacks are on the rise and most General Liability insurance policies offer limited, if any, cyber protection. Cyber insurance can protect the business from liability stemming from a breach of data that is controlled by the business owner. In simple terms, Cyber Coverage protects your business in case someone hacks into your data and uses that data to connect with your contacts, blackmail your contacts (or you), hijacks your bank accounts, creates harmful statements about your company and/or your clients, vendors, contacts and associates.

The Cyber Claims by % of incident, are currently:

If you have a business that creates, processes, stores or controls critical data, you will want to look into having Cyber coverage. It can be purchased as a stand-alone policy and the rates will be determined by the over all risk. If you see that Cyber coverage is included in your policy, make sure to ask your Broker about exclusions, coverage limits, monitoring tools and any deductibles that may apply.

A stand-alone (separate from your General Liability) Cyber Liability coverage policy should cover first and third-party damages. Meaning, it should cover your company and also any clients, vendors, subcontractors, etc., for damages the cyber-attack/data breach causes. Cyber coverage typically comes with access to IT experts, forensic specialists, proactive tools to consistently manage cyber risk, backend dark web monitoring services and more. Damages should include restoring lost data, business interruption costs, cost of notifying damaged parties, reputational repair, and more.

The dynamic world of cyber coverage changes every minute and is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the risk and to stay one step ahead of the evasive cyber criminals.

For more information about this or to speak with an experienced Cyber Liability insurance broker, please contact 760-828-0403 or visit

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“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and a few minutes of cyber-incident to ruin it.”

In Remembrance of those who served and protected our beautiful Country – Thank you.

Whether you have a seasoned business or are just starting out - if you own a business, you need to have the protection of proper insurance coverage and an experienced insurance broker to be there for you.

We work one-on-one with you to learn about your business, talk about your risks and exposures and discuss coverage options that meet your needs and budget.

Personal – Affordable – Reliable is our motto. And we take this seriously.

For over 20 years, we have offered all types of business insurance coverages for any type of business including: Construction – Manufacturing – Restaurants – Retail – Professionals – Non-Profits – Agriculture - Service Based –and more!

General Liability

Property Coverages

Contractors Coverages


Professional Liability/Errors & Omissions

Management Liability/Directors & Officers

Workers Comp

Cyber Liability

Commercial Auto

Drone Coverage Bonds / May 2023 39
To learn more about us please visit or call 760-828-0403. We offer special discounts to service members and veterans!

Why Veterans are Perfect for Cybersecurity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

40 / May 2023 / May 2023 41


Keeping up to date on legal matters is usually the last thing on the to-do list of most small business owners, unless of course we need a lawyer fast. At a Business Briefing I attended by a friend and business attorney, I found his overview of risk management sounding too corporate for the small business owners in the room, so the question that came up of course was, how risk management affects us?

Generally, Risk Management is the process of measuring, or assessing risk and then developing strategies to manage the risk. In general, there are several areas of business that business owners need to stay on top of.

Basically, we need to look at the structure of the business, which in some cases will dictate what kind and amount of insurance is needed to protect us and the business. The highest awards given by the courts is in the area of employee liability cases. So, keeping good personnel records can help avoid risk in the employment areas.

What risks do you take in your business practices?

Your propietary information should be protected with confidentiality agreements. Do you keep records on self renewing contracts? There was mention that some companies prohibit cell phones with cameras, so as to avoid theft of information.

One of the areas I have heard many horror stories about is in the financial area. When a Business owner has abdicated the bill paying, collections, check writing and even credit card use to one person, they have found out that thousands of dollars turn up missing. Create some checks and balances, even if you are doing it yourself, it is essential.

Another area we don’t often relate risk management to is marketing. Registering your business name, having copyrights designated or getting permission to use copyrighted material are all areas of marketing that put us at risk.

Here is a process for reviewing your risk:

1. Identify potential areas (Business Structure, Employment, Business Practices, Financial, Marketing).

2. Analyze the source of the risk or the cause of the potential problem.

3. Evaluate what steps can be taken, (there may be a way to transfer the risk, avoid it all together, reduce the amount or simply accept the risk)

In any case consult the appropriate people, an attorney, your insurance person, your advisors – remember your business is too important to leave to chance.

The Challenge: Take step one and identify a potential area where your business might be at risk.

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

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legal Eagle

Straight-forward legal tips for Military and Veteran Business Owners CHECKLIST FOR LEGAL ISSUES WHEN BUYING OR SELLING A BUSINESS

There are many legal issues to consider when buying or selling a business. It is a complicated and confusing process, so I created a quick checklist of legal issues to consider:

The Deal:

There are many variables that determine whether the deal is best structured as a stock purchase or an asset purchase. You must consider if the seller’s debt will be assumed by the new purchaser. You must consider if there are any encumbrances and liens on the assets preventing an asset purchase. You must consider possible regulatory hurdles, and you must consider securities laws and regulations implications.

Purchase Price:

The purchase price can be defined in many ways, for example: a lump sum of money being paid or received at the close of the deal, scheduled payments can be made via a promissory note with interest, stock

in the business can be issued in exchange for money, or payments can be made from future sales. Before a purchase price can be set, it is probably wise to obtain a professional appraisal. These are sometimes costly, but an appraisal can help manage your expectations concerning what is a fair sale/purchase price.

What Type of Business is Being Bought or Sold:

How the deal is structured and how the deal is priced depends on what type of business is being bought and sold. The following considerations should be analyzed when make the decision to sell or buy a business:

• Is the business a turnkey currently operating business expected to keep running in much the same manner?

• Is the business currently operating but only some parts of the business are thriving?

• Is the business in decline?

Assets Defined: How the deal is structured and priced depends on what assets are being bought or sold. The following assets should be part of the deal:

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• Domain names

• Intellectual property like patents, trademarks, and copyrights

• Customer list

• Tangible assets

• Talented employees

Required Documents:

Whether the deal is structured as a stock purchase or as an asset sale, various issues must be resolved which include timing, due diligence, condition precedent, seller representations and warranties, and buyer representations and warranties. These issues should be clearly stated and addressed in the stock sale and purchase or asset sale and purchase agreements. Other documents that are customary in these types of deals are as follows:

• Noncompete agreements

• Confidentiality agreements

• indemnity agreements

• Bill of sale and assignment for tangible property

• Assignment of intellectual property

Becoming a business owner, you control your own destiny, choose the people you work with, reap big rewards, challenge yourself, give back to the community, and you get to follow your passion. Knowing what you’re getting into is smart business because the responsibility of protecting your business falls on you.

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

Disclaimer: This information is made available by Bagla Law Firm, APC for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. / May 2023 45 Legal Pearls! PEARLS OF WISDOM for Avoiding Business Litigation Award-winning attorney, Kelly Bagla shows you how to avoid legal pitfalls FROM DAY ONE! Legal Pearls! - The quick and easy guide for avoiding business litigation. Award-winning Attorney Kelly Bagla distills the legal information every business owner needs to know to avoid costly lawsuits and protect personal assets. Now every entrepreneur can apply the same legal steps and strategies used by top attorneys. • AVOID COSTLY BUSINESS LITIGATION
Real property or leasehold interests

Real Estate Tips for Veterans & Active Military

Do’s and Don’ts When Selling Your Home

According to, late spring – specifically the month of May – is the best time to sell a home. Homes sell for a net 12.6 percent seller premium based on ATTOM’s analysis of single-family home and condo sales over the last 10 years.

While there is usually an ideal time of year to sell, military members won’t always have leeway due to PCS orders. So, it’s critical to avoid preventable mistakes in the selling process as well as consider ideas that will meet your timeline and/or improve your results.


• Ignore the Listing Agent – Your agent has a pulse on the market and will give you an objective opinion on the value of your home as well as recommendations to get it sold fast.

• Personalize the process – Don’t take it personally if you’re asked to declutter, or if the home inspector nitpicks every detail of your home, or if some offers are not what you expect.

• Leave No Room to Negotiate – Don’t be reluctant to budge in order to “win”. Flexibility will keep the deal moving forward resulting in your ultimate goal of selling the home.


• Hire a Realtor with relevant experience – A Military Relocation Professional (MRP) is certified through the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to work with military members and are familiar with the PCS process as well as markets surrounding military installations.

• Market your transferrable VA loan terms – In this environment of high interest rates, allowing eligible buyers to assume your existing VA loan terms will offer a competitive advantage.

• Have a contingency plan – Consider renting your home if you cannot sell in a reasonable amount of time.

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Real estate Guide

Serving Veterans and their Families!

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

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

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

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

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

• Physical and Emotional Health Action Group (PEH)

• Family Life Action Group (FLAG)

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

• Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship Action Group (E3)

Through these Action Groups we are identifying gaps and creating measurable outcomes to resolve them. These groups are made up of our members and together we are working to strengthen our community. / May 2023 47
48 / May 2023 Whether your disability is obvious or invisible, Canine Support Teams can help you reclaim your independence. Canine Support Teams is proud to offer the PAWZ for Wounded Veterans program, which provides specially trained service dogs, at no charge , to the brave men and women who have faithfully served our country. caninesupportteams @k9supportteams Apply for a service dog today at Or Call 951.301.3625

Welcome to the Veterans Association of North County


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


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


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


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

WE LOVE OUR ASSOCIATION MEMBERS AND THEY’RE HERE FOR YOU TOO. VANC is open to all military, veterans and friends of the military. If you would like to become a Veterans Association member, Contact Lori at to learn more. / May 2023 49

Veterans Chamber of Commerce


There are nearly 29 million small businesses in the United States, and 11% of them are owned by veterans, according to 2016 data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. More and more men and women are turning to entrepreneurship after serving in the military, increasing the number of veteranowned small businesses.

Offering your product or service to the government may provide you with new sources of revenue. Keep in mind that government contracting can be confusing if you try to navigate it alone.

Why reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to?

With the help of the SBA under the Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program (VFPETP), veteran business owners will acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in government contracting. As part of the program, the National Center for Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) offers three different courses based on your level of experience:

PTAC – Procurement Technical Assitance Center / APEX Accelerators

This is a Program that helps entrepreneurs enter government procurement by providing consultants and resources at no cost.

A Small Business Set-Aside Allows You to Directly Bid to

the Government.

Contracts set aside specifically for small businesses are called small business set-asides. Their goal is to help small business owners find, bid on, and win contracts with government agencies

Federal Business Opportunities Website

You can find government customers through the Federal Business Opportunities website. Business owners can register for free, which provides various benefits, including monitoring opportunities.

Government Procurement vs Private Sector Procurement

As a business owner you also may want to consider registering and acquiring a Private sector Designation/ Certification. Private companies who participate in Diversity programs and have a commitment to provide contracts to small companies. The Certification for private sector procurment may be a great option when entering the procurement field.

Who can apply for the Private Sector Procurement™

The private sector procurment verification and certificate is awared to companies who self-designate as VeteranOwned company Female-Veteran Owned company, Native American Veteran-Owned Company, Low Income Zone Entrepreneur, Micro/Solo Entrepreneur, WomenOwned Company and a few others. The verication and Certificate is awarded by the Veteran Diversity Supplier Council and the National Veterans Chamber.

The Process

Companies are requiered to submit documentation that verifies their status. Documentation is reviewed by Members of the Veterans Diversity Supplier Council. Once approved companies receive a certificate of validation.

Education and Training

It is critical that you become familiar with both markets, Government and Private Sector Procurement. Use Chat GPT to search for Locan and or National trainng courses and events where you will have the opportunity to learn and network with other likeminded entrepreneurs.

If you need assitance on where to start, just send us an email at: we will be happy to provide a free consultation and go over the different options for you.

The Veterans Show:

• Be our guest on the show – click the link:

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

50 / May 2023 / May 2023 51 Celebrating the Commitment That Connects Us Learn more at MAY 1 - JUNE 1 Insured by NCUA. © 2022 Navy Federal NFCU 13985 (2-22)

Legally Speaking

Military Focused Family Law Facts

Divorce and Default

Most people do not go into a marriage expecting it to end. Unfortunately, for many marriages that is the case. In California, there are two grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences and permanent legal incapacity to make decisions. Irreconcilable differences are when there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage and no efforts for reconciliation would be fruitful. It usually refers to situations where the spouses have fundamental differences in lifestyle, personality, or other areas that lead to a breakdown in marriage. This is the most common ground for divorce in California. While permanent legal incapacity is a ground for divorce, it is rarely used. A marriage can only be dissolved on the basis of permanent legal incapacity where it is proved by medical or psychiatric evidence that one spouse is unable to make decisions for his or herself and that inability to do so is permanent. This could be a result of traumatic injury, illness, or a psychological disorder.

To proceed with a divorce in California, there are also certain residency requirements that must be met. Residency requirements are separate from the grounds for divorce. Grounds for divorce refer to the reasons why a person is seeking to end their marriage. Residency requirements in divorce refers to the minimum length of time that a spouse has to be a resident of the state or county before they are eligible to file for divorce in that jurisdiction. In order to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in California, you and/or your spouse must have lived in California for at least six months. The filing party must also have lived in the county where the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed for at least 90 days.

But what happens if you have grounds for divorce and meet the residency requirements, but one party does not want the divorce? The short answer is the divorce can proceed regardless of whether one spouse is a willing participant or not. In other words, if your spouse ignores notice of the dissolution proceedings and chooses not to participate, you can obtain a divorce judgement anyway. You do not need their cooperation to get a divorce. The divorce proceedings proceed by way of default.

What is a True Default Divorce?

California is a “no fault “state. As such, you do not need to prove the fault of the other party to obtain a divorce. Since California is a considered a “no fault” state, California courts do not consider other grounds for divorce such as adultery, abandonment, cruelty and imprisonment which other states may recognize.

In California, the divorce proceedings begin when one spouse files a petition to dissolve the marriage. The other spouse must then be served with the dissolution paperwork according to the procedural rules. Once the non-filing spouse is served with the dissolution paperwork, they have 30 days from the date of service to file a response. A divorce by default occurs when the person who files for divorce does not receive a timely response from the other spouse. If the non-filing spouse receives the dissolution paperwork yet fails to issue a response within the deadline, the spouse who filed for divorce may proceed without the other party. This is a true default divorce.

A default can occur not only where the non-filing spouse may choose to not cooperate with the divorce or ignore the divorce, but also where they may be even unaware of it. This usually occurs in a situation where

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the non-filing spouse is evading service of paperwork and the filing spouse requests the court permit service by publication which is an alternate method of service under the circumstances.

Once the non-filing spouse fails to file a timely response to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the filing spouse can file a request to enter default. The Court can then proceed with the dissolution proceedings in the absence of the other party. The defaulted party loses the opportunity to make any arguments as to child custody and visitation, support, and division of the assets. Essentially, the filing spouse can put forward their position with no opposition and the matter proceeds to judgment without any input from the non-filing spouse.

The advantage of a default divorce is that it can save time and attorney’s fees for the filing party since the other party is not contesting any terms or issues to be considered by the Court. The disadvantage is that if the responding party honestly was not aware of the proceedings and did not participate, they may ask the court to set aside the default.

It is not uncommon as well for a party that failed to respond to attempt to intervene once they become aware of the request to enter default. However, it is difficult to set aside a default judgment of dissolution once it is entered.

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

This article is intended only for informational purposes and should not be taken as legal advice / May 2023 53 Legal Experts with Humanity Time for a Fresh Start. Call 858-720-8250 or visit to schedule a free consultation. Flat-fee law packages available. Military Divorce and Retirement, 20/20/20 Spouse, Survivor Benefit Plans, Support Orders, and more. No nonsense. No hidden fees. Discounts for service members. Move forward without breaking the bank. Our military expert family law attorneys are ready to push your case to the finish line.
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Local Military Hero Honored at San Diego Gulls Game

On February 19, 2023, veteran Thomas Girard was honored as the “Military Hero of the Game” by the American Hockey League’s San Diego Gulls. The Gulls fought valiantly as they took on the Bakersfield Condors.

In the roaring crowd was the Second District Supervisor for the County of San Diego, Joel Anderson. Supervisor Anderson commemorated Thomas Girard’s invaluable contributions and service to his country and the San Diego community by presenting him with a District Proclamation.

“Thomas Girard is the embodiment of dedication to one’s community,” Anderson proudly stated. “I am honored to recognize his service to our country abroad and his dedication to his community at home.”

For 10 years, Girard honorably served the United States Air Force (USAF) as a Security Forces Fire Team member in the Middle East and Europe. His father served in the USAF for 24 years and his grandfather served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years. Girard lived on a military installation for most of his life and came from a family of military heroes. The desire to protect and defend his country was in his blood.

After the 9/11 tragedy, Girard knew he had to do his part to serve his nation. In 2006, he joined the Air Force Security Forces where he manned security gates and control towers, served as military law enforcement, and searched the military installation for unexploded ordnance.

In recognition of Girard’s dedicated service, he received the Iraqi Campaign Medal for his valorous efforts during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was also presented with the Meritorious Unit Award, the National Defense Service Award, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal for his time in the Middle East.

Following his military service, Girard began a career in law enforcement as a police officer in Arizona. He then moved to San Diego where he excelled in the real estate field, now serving the community as a top 3% real estate agent in the county.

Today, many veterans struggle with employment and housing insecurity as they transition from military to civilian life. Girard drew upon his military discipline, organization, and compassion for his fellow veterans to focus on helping as many active-duty service members and veterans as he can.

“Specializing in that, knowing where they are coming from, knowing how to navigate the VA system, it really has allowed me to truly help our veterans get into homes,” Girard said.

Girard also currently serves the San Diego County Flood Control Advisory Board where he works diligently to ensure the safety of his fellow citizens in the event of a natural disaster.

Be it his bravery in serving our nation or his unyielding commitment to supporting his local community, Thomas Girard states that he will always live by the USAF Security Forces motto: “Defensor Fortis.”

Girard explained, “It means ‘Defenders of the Force.’ That’s kind of the motto I even use for real estate because I’m defending those who have served and [ensuring] that they’re well taken care of when it comes to real estate.”

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Supervisor Joel Anderson honoring Thomas Girard at the San Diego Gulls game. (Courtesy of Supervisor Anderson’s Office)

As a military service member or veteran making the transition to a new career path, law enforcement can feel like a natural fit.

SDPD Ride Along: A Story of Two Marines

When I asked to go on a ride along with the San Diego Police Department, making a special request for any veterans-turned-cops, I expected a really serious, possibly dangerous, afternoon of shadowing our city’s toughest crime fighters.

What I got was an afternoon of heartfelt service to our San Diego community, honorable humility and a lot of respect.

When I asked whether former Marine Sergeant Major, Mark Wright, and his partner, former Marine Staff Sergeant, Sean Bunch, had rank or titles he said their titles were just San Diego police officers. They are relatively new partners, but act like they’ve known each other for years, which is usually the case when you get Marines together.

Wright is a newer addition to the force, coming on board two years ago, with Bunch only having two years left.

Most of our particular day was cruising around beautiful Balboa Park running car tags to see if they were current, from cars not displaying proper plates and placards to those double parked. Bunch says they often catch parole violators or even stolen cars doing just this. I was struck as I watched both officers go out of their way to look in and around vehicles to find plates or disability placards not displayed correctly so as to avoid issuing superfluous tickets.

“We try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt,” said Wright. “We’re not out to get anybody.”

Although, both officers confirm that enforcing even the most basic of park rules can yield large payoffs. During a recent patrol Bunch spotted an individual smoking in the park, which is illegal. As he circled back round, the individual turned and rapidly tried to walk away, which activated immediate suspicion. He was detained and came back with a warrant for numerous kidnapping and child molestation charges.

Currently, these brothers-in-arms spend their days patrolling the entirety of Balboa Park.

Although neither men are taking fire or kicking in the enemy’s door on this beat, like during their time in Iraq or Afghanistan, they still work hard to serve their local community. Service which can range from tracking down criminals to answering questions from lost pedestrians, to giving out stickers to kids and never backing down from a chance to turn on those flashing red and blues just to make one of them smile.

Both men say a lot of what they do is talk with museum owners and those living in the neighborhoods surrounding the park about their concerns. A shared concern by all is the park’s homeless population.

Bunch says their posture towards the homeless is mostly that of assistance, adding there are many resources available for those who would take them.

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Officer Sean Bunch Officer Mark Wright

The city spends a lot of money on resources,” said Bunch. “The biggest problem we run into is whether or not the [homeless] people want them, and a lot of them don’t.”

Thus, the men tend to run into the same issues with the same people pretty often. Although frustrating, they have learned that respect goes a long way when challenged with these repeat offenders. Bunch recalls spotting one such offender in the park, who was in violation of his parole and wanted on warrant. He was unable to get to the offender immediately, but still apprehended him with a verbal request. The parolee waited patiently to be hand-cuffed and arrested, simply out of the respect he held for the law man.

“Being respectful of everyone despite their lot in life goes a long way in this job,” said Wright.

Both men say a huge part of their work is being able to connect and communicate with the myriad of people they meet daily.

Bunch says he feels he and Wright are lucky to come to the force later in life, given it means they have a wider frame of reference for those they meet and serve daily. “We deal with people who are going through all kinds of things in life,” said Bunch. “And it’s helpful to be able to say, ‘hey I know what you are going through, I’ve been there.”

As the day progressed, I realized that both gentlemen definitely had a long list of tough and unique life experiences to pull from. Both proudly served the United States Marines for years, traveling to war and all over the world, experiences that yield much wisdom as well as many a story.

Bunch, for instance, did not come to the force straight from the Marines, but from Hollywood. Surprisingly, he is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, working as a military advisor on various productions, like Lonestar 911, and appearing in some as well, such as one of the most recent Men in Black movies.

“I grew up outside of LA,” said Bunch. “So, I’ve always just kind of been around the business and found a place for myself there with all my military experience.”

Bunch hopes to return to work in Hollywood after he leaves the force, bringing with him a new level of experience and respect.

Wright, who retired from the Marines as a Sergeant Major never worked in Hollywood, but he does have plenty of stories about being a proud grandfather, father and new amputee. When I entered the Central Division Station and met him, he said he was just getting back to work after some time off after losing his leg.

Wright remained unscathed during his over-20-years in service, overseas deployments and endless combat train ups. It wasn’t until after service that he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident late one foggy night a little over a year ago. Wright says it had been an eventful second watch and he was leaving the station about 2 AM on his motorcycle when it happened.

“It was only about two minutes from work,” said Wright. “I was coming around a curve and entered into what I thought was fog, and as I’m entering, I see a headlight and side mirror in my lane.”

That headlight and mirror became an entire car that was blocking Wright’s entire side of the road.

“I was a heuy crew chief in the Marines and reverted to my training from that, grabbed my shoulders, braced for impact and went flying like a human lawn dart over my handlebars,” said Wright.

Wright landed in the ditch on the side of the road. He says he realized immediately that he had a back and leg issue. He learned that a bystander had called 911, but he requested they call back and state that the injured motorcycle rider was a policeman with the San Diego Police Department and expedite services. This one request would become pivotal in saving Wright’s life.

Continued on next page > / May 2023 59

“What I didn’t know at that time was that I had severed two arteries in my leg, and I was bleeding out,” said Wright.

What Wright would learn later is his heel had also been torn off on the wrecked car as he sailed past it into the ditch. After much pain and many surgeries, Wright would finally lose his leg from the knee down. says he doesn’t let it get him down, though. He’s proud to continue to serve as one of our city’s finest.

Both he and Bunch take much pride in their time as Marines and as San Diego Police Officers. Each officer comes from strong military stock, with Wright’s grandfather being a World War II veteran and Prisoner of War and Bunch’s father a decorated veteran of Vietnam.

All in all, this Army vet’s afternoon with two Marines was an impressive one. Both seasoned public servants, these honorable men have discovered you must give respect to get it, that violence is often not the answer and the most important thing to keep in mind along the way, is a good, human dose of empathy.

SDPD Ride Along

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For more information visit or email us at SDPD NOW HIRING
Officer Sean Bunch - Amber Robinson (SDVM) - Officer Mark Wright / May 2023 61

From Navy Sailor to San Francisco Police Officer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To learn more about the San Francisco Police Department, or to connect with recruiter, go to: / May 2023 63
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66 / May 2023 / May 2023 67 San Diego Veterans Magazine A Veterans Magazine by Veterans for Veterans Resources Support Transition HEALTH Community Voted 2020, 2021 & 2022 Best San Diego resource, support magazine for veterans, transitioning military personnel, active military, military families & veteran organizations