San Diego Veterans Magazine November 2022

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M A G A Z I N E VSAN DIEGO Vol. 5 • Number 11 • November 2022 Veteran Business Careers in Law Enforcement SAN DIEGO VETERANS Support & Community Resources HONORING ALL WHO SERVED VETERANS DAY NOVEMBER 11 TRANSITION MENTAL HEALTH Strategies & Expectations th Crypto for Good Invisible Wounds of War A Better Way to Your MBA
2 / November 2022 / November 2022 3 Your Service Inspires Ours Everything we do is inspired by the military service and sacrifice of our members. We’re grateful for our 1.8 million+ veteran members and their commitment to our country—and we’re proud to support them with special o ers, financial resources and award-winning service. See All We Do for You Insured by NCUA. © 2022 Navy Federal NFCU 14044 (10-22) 14044_NFCU_VeteransDay_17_HP4C_8x5-0625_Oct2022.indd 1 9/14/22 10:51 PM

Please take some time to get to know

that keep it

Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future.

content is the driving force behind

makes with our veterans,

and the connection

members, military families, and civilians.

The magazine is supported by a distinguishing list of San Diego


centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more.

We are honored to share the work of so many




We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of San Diego


4 / November 2022 Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate David Koontz Midway Magic RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens Jenny Lynne Stroup Real Talk: Mental Health Barbara Eldridge Business For Veterans CJ Machado SD Vets & Homeland Photojournalist Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle Tana Landau, Esq. Legally Speaking Joe Molina Veterans Chamber of Commerce Eve Nasby What’s Next - Transitioning Amber Robinson Arts & Healing Paul Falcone Human Resources Dr. Julie Ducharme Successful Transitioning Stories *Guest Writers Includie Local & National Veteran Organizations, & Advocates San Diego Veterans Magazine 9528 Miramar Road, #41 San Diego, CA 92126 (858) 275-4281 EDITOR’S LETTER Greetings and a warm welcome to San Diego Veterans Magazine!
the layout of our magazine. The Magazine focuses on San Diego resources, support, community, and inspiration for our veterans and the military families
our magazine
Diego Veterans Magazine is a veterans magazine for veterans by veterans.
Veterans Magazine. Mike Miller Editor-In-Chief
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. www.San / November 2022 5 8 Midway Magic - Veteran Still Serving 10 Surviving BATAAN 12 Veterans Day/Memorial Day: The Difference 14 Caregiving TLC: Veterans Day 16 Warriors Research Project 18 Community Spotlight: Military Spouce 19 San Diego Veterans Coalition 20 Devil Dogs is Using Crypto for Good 23 Veterans Association of North County 24 Shelter to Soldier: Women Veterans Fair 26 Flashback - Why Art 28 Real Talk: Gratitude Can Build Resilience 30 Treating the Invisible Wounds of War 32 Transition: Why Addiction Rates Increase 34 What’s Next: Should I Stay or Should I Go 36 A Better Way to Your MBA 40 SDPD: Military to Police Officer 42 HR: Stress Relief in Action 44 Successful Transitioning Stories 46 Business for Veterans: Keeping Score 48 Risky Business: Insurance & Risky Management 50 Franchise Frontline 52 Legal Eagle: Entrepreneur Laws 54 Legally Speaking: Child Support Modifications 56 Innovative Employee Benefits 61 Careers in Law Enforcement NOVEMBER INSIDE THE ISSUE
6 / November 2022 As a partner of the We Honor Veterans Program, Hospice of the North Coast is dedicated to providing optimal end-of-life care to the honored men and women who have fought for the freedom and security of our nation. 2525 Pio Pico Dr., Suite 301, Carlsbad, CA 92008 | Veterans Program Call 760.431.4100 COM M I T T E D TO VETERANS / November 2022 7 HONOR OUR VETERANS! Invest in the future of Miramar National Cemetery Hundreds of veterans, active duty military, families, businesses, and the public have invested in the future of Miramar National Cemetery. Thanks to their generous contributions The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation sponsors: • Miramar National Cemetery Memorial Amphitheater • The Avenue of Flags • Veterans Tribute Tower & Carillon • Annual Veterans Memorial Services • Annual Veterans Day Observances • Coordinates Veterans Memorial Monuments Honor our past, present, and future military veterans! Send your donation, today, to the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation All contributions are fully tax deductible. Please go to and click on “Donate Now” for information about how you can donate to the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation. Help the Foundation Support Miramar National Cemetery.

World War II Veteran Still Serving on Midway

He had just turned 14 when the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. Like many Americans, he wanted to “join the fight,” but Joe Neves was too young. The wait seemed like an eternity, but as soon has he turned 17, he convinced his father to sign a permission slip so that he could enlist in the Navy.

It was late 1944 when Neves put on the uniform of his country for the first time, and he was ready to go.

“I was sent to an accelerated six-week boot camp in at Sampson Naval Training Station on Seneca Lake in New York,” said Neves, who was excited to finally be doing his part to defend his country. “I was then sent to gunnery school for two months in Oklahoma.”

After joining his first squadron flying in the PB4Y2 Privateer patrol bomber, the Navy’s version of the B-24 Liberator bomber, Neves’ unit was sent north to Alaska.

“We spent three very cold months patrolling for Japanese around the Aleutian Islands,” recalled Neves.

By the end of 1945, Neves joined the aircraft carrier USS Princeton (CV-37) as a tail gunner and radioman in an SB2C Helldiver in one of the carrier’s dive bomber squadrons.

A milestone in Neves’ naval career happened in 1946 when he was transferred to world-famous Tophatters of Navy Bombing Squadron 4 (VB-4) flying off the USS Tarawa (CV-40). Established in 1919, the legendary Tophatters are the Navy’s oldest active aviation squadron. Today, however, the Tophatters are known as Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

“I never expected that I would join the oldest squadron in the U.S. Navy,” said Neves, who was still only 19 years old at the time. “Wow, I’m in the Tophatters I thought to myself. I was so thrilled.”

Flying again as a tail gunner in a Helldiver, the Tophatters’ post-World War II tasking consisted mainly of flying what Neves called “clean-up” patrols in the western Pacific near Saipan and the Mariana Islands.

“We flew scouting and search missions, patrolling to find submarines,” said Neves, who is currently the oldest living Tophatter. “Even though the war was over, we were still flying out to the Japanese islands to see if there were any troops left over who might still be trying to fight.”

The flying duty was long and tough, but Neves loved being part of the squadron.

“Every pilot in the squadron treated us as one of them,” remembered Neves with a smile. “They were the greatest guys. They really took care of us.” As the fighting between the Chinese Nationalists and the Chinese Communists continued to escalate in the late 1940s, Neves and the Tophatters found themselves on the periphery of a Chinese civil war. In October 1948, the Tarawa’s crew and airwing spent five weeks off the coast of northern China observing the strife enveloping the region.

Whether deployed overseas or back in the States, the nearly three years Neves was with the Tophatters were highlight of his time in the Navy. “I just have a strong love for that squadron,” said Neves, who left the Navy in 1949.

“I spent most of my time in the Navy with the Tophatters, and I’ve never met a greater group than the guys in that squadron. I was so lucky to be a Tophatter.”

After leaving the Navy in 1949, Neves worked in the aerospace industry as well as with the U.S. Department of Commerce before retiring in 1997.

Although retired, Neves wasn’t ready to hang up his spurs. He felt he still had much to share. In 2004, he found the USS Midway Museum.

“I was visiting the Midway with my family shortly after it had opened,” said Neves. “I was on the flight deck describing some of the planes to my grandson when I noticed there was a big crowd gathered around me listening to what I was saying. My daughter told me I should become a volunteer on the ship.”

8 / November 2022

Neves did just that and over the last 18 years has accumulated more than 5,800 volunteer hours on Midway as a docent and currently gives talks to museum guests every Tuesday morning about his Navy experience during and after World War II.

For Neves, becoming a Midway volunteer has been a blessing.

“I think becoming a docent has given me long life,” said Neves, who recently celebrated his 95th birthday. “Being a volunteer on Midway is the greatest thing I could think of after retiring. I’m alive now and I can say that honestly that I owe it all to the Midway. If there wasn’t a Midway Museum, there may not be a Joe Neves still kicking around today.”

For those interested in becoming a USS Midway Museum volunteer, more information along with the volunteer application can be found at / November 2022 9
Joe Neves


DAV member, former Japanese POW confronts his past

Paul Kerchum has dodged death at every turn. He came of age during the Great Depression, survived the nightmarish Bataan Death March and endured three and a half years as a prisoner of war in Japan during World War II.

Now, at 102, Kerchum is one of the last remaining survivors of the bloodcurdling march up the Bataan Peninsula on Luzon, the Philippines’ largest island. Japan stormed the archipelago’s beaches at the end of December 1941, hoping to oust Allied forces. As Japanese troops advanced through the rainforest, Kerchum’s unit, the 31st Infantry Regiment, was ordered to cover friendly units making their way to the peninsula.

However, by April, after months of fierce fighting, malnourishment, disease, and dwindling ammo and other crucial supplies, the regiment had no choice but to surrender to their soon-to-be captors. That’s when an estimated 10,000 Americans and 66,000 Filipinos were forcibly marched to an enemy-held POW camp— Camp O’Donnell.

Seventy years after slogging through the thick jungle, Kerchum vividly remembers what he and the others suffered.

“During the march, we were formed in three lines, and I was always in the middle line because the

10 / November 2022
Left: Paul Kerchum poses for an official Army photo in 1946. He had endured life as a Japanese POW during nearly all of World War II. Right: Kerchum is pictured wearing his service dress uniform at a POW/MIA event. Following the war, he retired from the Air Force after 21 additional years of service.

Japanese trucks were coming up, and they would whack people in the far line with their rifles or whatever they had in their hand,” recalled Kerchum, a DAV life member of Chapter 26 in Benson, Arizona. “So I found out, stay in the middle line, and I just watched the shoes in front of me.”

Official estimates of the horrendous trek range from 60 to 70 miles. Up to 10,000 prisoners were beaten; shot; bayoneted; and, in many cased, beheaded by the Japanese along the way. “I could hear the shots, I could hear the screams,” added Kerchum.

Today, he remains one of only a handful, at most, of Bataan Death March survivors. Rather than shying away from his brutal past, he often shares the remarkable yet horrific account of what he witnessed, though his candidness about those experiences is a relatively new development.

“He never talked about it—never,” said his daughter, Paula Desmarais. “He’s very open about it now, and he goes to schools to give talks.”

“Paul is living history, and his strength and resolve as a survivor of some of the most ghastly events from World War II is constantly on display,” said DAV National Commander Joe Parsetich. “By teaching the younger generations about what he and others suffered, he is ensuring that other survivors, and those who perished, will never be forgotten.”

Kerchum’s talks also include stories about his time aboard a Japanese “hell ship.”

Japan used these merchant vessels to relocate American POWs from the Philippines to other regions of Japanese-occupied territory. However, as the war raged at sea, American warplanes and submarines had no way of knowing their fellow countrymen laid tightly packed below the ships’ lower decks. In “Death on the Hellships: Prisoners at Sea in the Pacific War,” author Gregory Michno assessed that more than 21,000 Americans were unknowingly injured or killed by friendly fire.

After a year of captivity, which included building an airfield for Japan in the Philippines, Kerchum boarded

the hell ship Haru Maru with 1,100 other captive Americans.

“The holes were covered. We remained in complete darkness,” said Kerchum. “All I kept hearing was the explosions from depth charges from the Japanese destroyer escort, and there was constant zigzagging of our ship.”

By November 1944, Kerchum was in a prison camp in northern Japan, working at Mitsubishi mine No. 11. To supplement the wartime labor shortage, Japan forced more than 1,000 Americans to exert themselves by extracting critical resources.

The POWs lived in a state of constant hunger, squalor and fear. On one occasion, they were forced to eat dog, after their Japanese guards provided the Americans with a single puppy. Each man received just a morsel to satiate his empty stomach.

The American POWs were elated when they got word of Japan’s unconditional surrender on Sept. 2, 1945. The next day, American B-29 bombers flew over the camp, dropping food, clothing and medicine. “They kept dropping us stuff, and we ate pretty good,” said Kerchum. “And after 30 days, I was no longer a lightweight.”

Despite the astonishing hardships during World War II, Kerchum decided to stay in uniform. He served for another 21 years with the Army Air Forces, later the U.S. Air Force. While he finished his career with high marks, the years immediately following his liberation were marred by insubordination—a relic, Kerchum suspects, of lingering mental health issues.

“We were complete basket cases,” he added, speaking of the 29 other former POWs assigned to the same unit. “We probably had PTSD, but it was unheard of at the time.”

But now, enough years have passed that Kerchum has made peace with his experiences.

“I asked him about God in the prison camp, and he said to me, ‘There was no God,’” said Paula. “But now, I think that’s what brought him to the point of forgiving and then letting go. It’s his faith.” n / November 2022 11
We were complete basket cases. We probably had PTSD, but it was unheard of at the time.
12 / November 2022
“I’m happier with myself. Having been in therapy, period, has helped me be in a better place now.”
Rogelio “Roger” Rodriguez, Jr US Navy (1987 – 1993) US Air Force (1993 – 2013)
treatment can turn your life around. For
more information visit:

Veterans Day - Memorial Day

What’s The Difference

Veterans Day: Honoring All Those Who Served in the Military

Veterans Day, a federal holiday that falls on November 11, is designated as a day to honor the more than 19 million men and women who have served in the U.S. military.

It was first observed on November 11, 1919, as Armistice Day in honor of the first anniversary of the end of World War I, which officially ended on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918. In 1926, Congress called for an annual observance of the anniversary and by 1938 it was an official federal holiday. A few decades later, in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day, as it is currently known today.

Thanks to the Uniform Holiday Act of 1968, the holiday was moved from its November 11 date to a less-defined “fourth Monday in October” so workers could enjoy a long weekend. However, this move didn’t last long. In 1975, President Gerald Ford returned the solemn day back to its original November 11 to honor the global historical significance of the day.

While it is important to thank all those who have served or are serving on a regular basis, on Veterans Day it’s especially important to take an extra moment to show military members gratitude for their sacrifice.

Memorial Day: Honoring Those Who Died in Military Service

Memorial Day, which is celebrated on the last Monday in May, honors service members who have died in military service to the nation. The holiday has roots dating back to the post-Civil War era, when citizens would informally place spring flower memorials on the graves of fallen soldiers.

On May 20, 1868, over 5,000 first-ever National Decoration Day participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. By the late 1800s, cities and communities across the United States began to observe the day and several states declared it a legal holiday. Over the next few decades, the day transitioned from being called Decoration Day to its current name of Memorial Day.

In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May instead of a set calendar day. By 1971, the three-day weekend for federal employees went into full effect.

Today, Memorial Day is often associated with the start of summer, discount sales and cookouts with friends. But you have the power to educate those around you and take a few moments to pay tribute to the fallen while still enjoying the sunshine and outdoors. / November 2022 13

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is Friday, November 11, 2022. This day is an opportunity for us all to pay tribute to the men and women – living or dead – who have served our country; but specially to honor those living veterans who served to protect our freedoms.

San Diego is home to over 240,000 veterans, one of the nation’s largest concentrations of veterans. And with roughly 100,000 active service members, San Diego is a highly desirable destination for active and retired service members from all branches of the military. With such a large population of military members and their families, programs like the VA Homemaker/Home Health Aide Program, In-Home Respite Care Program, and the Aid and Attendance benefit program can play a significant role in caring for our veterans.

The VA Homemaker/Home Health Aid Program will pay a partnered in-home care agency for non-skilled assistance services with activities of daily living (ADLs) provided directly to the veteran.

Theses ADLs include



such as:


Eligibility for this service is assessed and determined by VA staff and a VA social worker will coordinate with the veteran and/or family member to set up services once approved.

The VA In-Home Respite Care Program provides much needed respite (a break) for an unpaid family caregiver, who is often the significant other or spouse of the veteran. The veteran is eligible to receive up to 30 days of 6 hours per day respite per calendar year. A VA Social Worker will initiate this service and the approval process is the same as the VA Homemaker/Home Health Aid Program. Additional respite days can be requested, and approval will be determined by VA staff.

The VA Aid and Attendance benefit provides veterans or surviving spouses monthly financial assistance to help pay for the costs of in-home care (assistance with activities of daily living) or offset the cost of an assisted living home or community. The Homebound allowance provides financial assistance for those veterans who are receiving a VA pension and spend most of their time at home due to a permanent disability.

To find out more about any of these veteran benefits, contact your local VA representative or call us. We can help find an VA approved vendor who can assist with eligibility and the application process. Often, these VA approved vendors can get applications submitted and benefits approved in a fraction of the time the process typically takes. Get the help you need. Get the help you deserve. You answered the call to serve our country; now it’s time to make the call and make your health and well-being a priority.

RetirementWhat’s Next

14 / November 2022
Bathing and personal care
Assistance with dressing and grooming
shaving, brushing teeth, hair care)
Verbal medication reminders
Meal preparation and feeding (if needed)
Light laundry related
incontinence care
program is very specific to services provided directly to the veteran and does not include the following:
Companionship services
Travel services or mileage reimbursement
Heavy or non-essential housekeeping
Yard care
Medication dispensing
Services when veteran is away from home
Services outside of the veteran’s place of residence
Services provided for other persons or pets in the residence / November 2022 / MAY 2022 33 FREE Consultation Call us to get started (619) 7879-1839 FREE Consultation Call us to get started (619) 789-1839

Warrior Resource Project

When we think of “basic necessities” in life, most people would tell you that includes food, water, and shelter. While it’s true that these items are essential for survival, surviving does not necessarily translate to living. By providing local San Diego Veterans and their families with reliable transportation, Warrior Resource Project is giving these families a resource that will allow them to engage with their communities and be a part of something bigger than themselves!

Warrior Resource Project had the pleasure of presenting a Ford F-150 pickup truck to Steven Greene, a local Navy Veteran, in front of upwards of fifty community members and supporters early last month at WRP’s very first Vehicle Donation Ceremony. The event was held at founding partner Del Mar Social’s venue in San Diego and featured plates of freshly cooked food for purchase along with drinks and games for the kids!

At the event, Warrior Resource Project shared with the audience how Steven came across their organization while doing a quick internet search for resources in the area that could possibly help him obtain a new vehicle.

After applying, Steven went through a series of interviews where the team learned that he had been limited to working at a restaurant close to his home, despite having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, due to lack of transportation. They then learned that Steven had been driving a motorcycle which was stolen from a repair shop while it was being serviced not too long before applying.

Warrior Resource Project admired Steven’s positive attitude and desire to keep pushing forward despite all of the adversity he had faced since being honorably discharged from the Navy in 2012. Steven went on to speak on the impact his new vehicle will have on his life including the opportunity to explore better employment options and the ability to take someone out on a date!

While Steven opened up and shared more of his story, everyone in attendance quickly realized all of the small things that most people take for granted in day-to-day life.

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Why it’s important

In most cases, the Veterans that come through WRP’s application process spend upwards of 20 hours each week waiting on public transportation. When WRP recognized the gap between services available and physically getting Veterans to their resources, they realized something had to be done! It’s extremely difficult to get to-and-from doctors appointments, let alone extra therapies and activities that were developed to help Veterans re engage in our society following their service.

Warrior Resource Project’s Vision is to create a robust network to solely and collectively improve the quality of life of military Veteran families.

How it works

It all starts with a vehicle donation! When Warrior Resource Project (WRP) receives a donated vehicle, we then partner with one of the mechanic shops in our network to run diagnostic tests and determine what work needs to be done in order to make the vehicle reliable for the recipient.

Then, the WRP network of mechanics, autobody specialists, and others in the vehicle service and/or products industry donate their time and parts to fix the repairs needed to get the vehicle running and looking great. You’re able to identify a WRP supporting business by the designating decal in the window and the Official WRP Team Certificate hanging on their wall.

Once the WRP Team is pleased with the condition of the vehicle, it will be donated to a deserving veteran San Diego family - who desperately needs a vehicle to better their quality of life. WRP will also cover the cost of the transfer of ownership, taxes and any fees. The only thing that the recipient is responsible for obtaining is their own insurance. WRP will also cover the cost of all scheduled maintenance for 1 year.

Warrior Resource Project’s Mission is to gather the community, to rally around a vehicle that represents and offers hope; and as a community, to give a Veteran family that desperately needs a vehicle,a life changing gift.

San Diego / November 2022 17
San Diego Veteran Resources & Organizations available at: San Diego Veterans Magazine A Veterans Magazine for Veterans by Veterans Navigating the resources available to veterans can be confusing, but San Diego Veterans Magazine believes no veteran should have to go it alone. At San Diego Veterans Magazine you can find Veteran organizations and private nonprofits with resources for veterans that can help ease the process of attaining earned benefits, coping with the lasting effects of service-connected injuries and finding programs and services that meet your specific needs.
Veteran Resources & Organizations

Michelle Muniz

Military Spouse

For over 25 years, Michelle has helped friends, neighbors and their referrals buy, sell and invest in residential real estate. Starting her real estate journey in San Diego in 1996, she continued her career in Virginia Beach where her husband, a retired U.S. Naval Aviator, was stationed. Today, she focuses on investments (including rehabilitation of distressed properties), residential sales and property management in both Virginia and California, and also works as a Relocation Specialist with the military community.

Michelle has experience with commercial and residential acquisitions, multifamily new construction development and rehabilitation, as well as affordable housing finance and compliance. Michelle holds a Masters Degree in Real Estate from the University of San Diego and has earned a Military Relocation Professional (MRP) designation from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). She currently resides in San Diego County, CA with her husband of 20 years and has three beautiful children.

Working With The Military Community

My business was built working with first time homebuyers, especially within the military community. Today, my success is based on referrals from past clients, with whom I’ve built strong and trusting relationships.Buying, selling, investing, and even renting a property can take you on an emotional roller coaster. I can relate!

My goal is to keep you grounded while getting you the results you want. I alleviate the stress of the buying and selling process by acting as a consultant to bring you the most current and relevant information to help you make informed decisions. No pressure... just results!

Whether you’re buying, selling, or renting your property, I’m here to serve you.

Every client is unique and important to me. Regardless of what your goal is, I confidently guarantee that I will go above and beyond and give you my all!

For more information, please visit:


(619) 214-0131 P.O.Box 45404, San Diego, CA 92145

18 / November 2022
Community Spotlight
“As a military spouse who has had to move several times (both stateside and overseas), I get emotional too! Every transaction has its risks and takes an incredible amount of time, money and energy. Rest assured...I understand. “

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:


Group (VEST)

Group (E3)

Group (PEH)

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. / November 2022 19 Serving Veterans and their Families! www.warriorresourceproject.orgSAN DIEGO VETERANS COALITION COLLABORATING TO BETTER SERVE OUR COMMUNITY’S VETERAN FAMILIES COMMUNITY • COLLABORATION • COOPERATION FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @SDVeteransCoalition @sd_vc @SDVetsCoalition LIVE WELL SAN DIEGO COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY
Emotional Health Action
• Family Life Action Group (FLAG)
Veterans: Empowered, Successful, and Thriving Action
Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship Action

Devil Dogs is Using Crypto for Good

Confused about NFTs/blockchains/cryptocurrency/ Web3? Is it a scam or legit? DVL.DGS (Devil Dogs) has some answers.

The DVL.DGS (Devil Dogs) Cause-Driven Crypto Club is out to harness the confusing world of Web3 for good—and its first campaign is supporting veteran nonprofits. Dave Grannan, a USMC Gulf War veteran and tech executive, launched the DVL.DGS NFT (NonFungible Token) collection on October 1, with all profits going to veteran wellness nonprofits.

Non-Fungible Token?

“Token” means a digital file. “Fungible” means “interchangeable.” So NFTs are “not interchangeable digital files” meaning no two are alike. Each is unique.

The DVL.DGS NFT collection features 1775 unique bulldog warrior digital art pieces commemorating the U.S. Marines. Here are a few examples. Note each is unique—it may be a man or a woman, it may have desert or woodland camouflage, each is a different color, it may or may not have a collar or tattoo, and it can be any rank.

They are selling for $65 each (.05 ETH), and all profits go to four veteran-related nonprofit partners. When you “buy an NFT” you are buying a unique digital artwork. Think of it like buying a challenge coin where the profits go to charity, but you are donating by buying a digital good.

OK, so what am I really buying and why are NFTs better for charitable causes than a physical challenge coin?

Here’s some background:

- NFTs are digital goods with ownership recorded on a “blockchain.” A blockchain is a large network of computers managing “who owns what” collectively with no one organization in charge.

20 / November 2022 DVL.DGS: This Veterans DVL.DGS NFT! Buy with a DVL.DGS website. Go to Cause-Driven initiatives for All profits go the San Diego

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum are built using blockchains, and people can buy and sell digital goods (NFTs) built on top of blockchains. (DVL.DGS is built on the Ethereum blockchain.)

Web3 refers to the next iteration of the internet, which incorporates all the above.

- The most popular site for buying NFTs is — an “Ebay” for NFTs.

- NFTs are a great fit for charitable causes for two reasons: transparency and annuity income. Contrary to the perception that cryptocurrency is used by criminals to hide their activity, the reality is every blockchain transaction is transparent. Donors can see in real time how much money is being raised. Plus, every time NFTs are resold on OpenSea, the original creator receives a royalty that goes back to the charities.

- Most NFTs must be purchased with cryptocurrency— but DVL.DGS allows donors the option to buy with a credit card if they want to explore crypto before committing.

With DVL.DGS, Grannan is bridging conventional donation-based fundraising with the world of NFT technology. All profits go to the Irreverent Warriors, The 38 Challenge, Marines’ Memorial Association & Foundation, and the San Diego Veterans Coalition— all chosen based on their mission and willingness to embrace cutting-edge technology.

DVL.DGS, based in San Francisco, was born from the intersection of Grannan’s frustration at the lack of adequate support for veterans and his interest in blockchain technology.

“Though our government is now acknowledging our troops’ exposure to toxins, more needs to be done,” says Grannan. “I have firsthand experience with exposure. I was there when the oil wells burned at Saddam Hussein’s order. I remember my young Marines asking if they should take the experimental anti-nerve agents. Unfortunately, for many who served, the mental and physical issues linger.”

To learn more about DVL.DGS, visit, or email them at / November 2022 21
Visit to Learn More DVL.DGS: USING CRYPTO FOR GOOD This Veterans Day, support our Veterans with a DVL.DGS NFT! Buy with a credit card or mint one from the DVL.DGS website. Go to to learn how the DVL.DGS Cause-Driven Crypto Club is supporting health initiatives for service members past and present. All profits go to four non-profit charities, including the San Diego Veterans Coalition. to Learn More DVL.DGS: USING CRYPTO FOR GOOD Veterans Day, support our Veterans with a NFT! credit card or mint one from the website. to learn how the DVL.DGS Cause-Driven Crypto Club is supporting health for service members past and present. go to four non-profit charities, including Diego Veterans Coalition.
22 / November 2022

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. / November 2022 23 WWW.VANC.ME

Shelter to Soldier to Host Inaugural Women Veterans Fair in collaboration with San Diego Women Veterans Network

Shelter to Soldier (STS) is a California-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping post-9/11 veterans overcome psychological wounds by providing trained service dogs free of charge. STS is committed to serving veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Military Sexual Trauma (MST). STS, in partnership with San Diego Women Veterans Network, will be hosting their Inaugural Women Veteran’s Fair on November 6, 2022 at the Mission Beach Women’s Club, located at 840 Santa Clara Place, San Diego, CA 92109 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The event is dedicated to celebrating female veterans while providing them resources from community programs and organizations to help them thrive. Guests will enjoy small bites, giveaways, optional mini facials and brows from KAT Beauty, and camaraderie as well as fun activities at this waterfront venue. Contact kyrie@ to reserve an exhibitor space or for more information to attend as a guest.

According to Kyrie’ Bloem, Vice President of Shelter to Soldier, “Shelter to Soldier Women Veterans Fair is a new and important community, non-fundraising event that brings together organizations that serve female veterans in the region to provide them with resources related to mental health, well-being, housing assistance, education, family support and more. This event will be held annually in November, and the goal is to connect veterans with community partners and support services available in our region.”

Tommy Moore, STS Community and Veteran Outreach Representative elaborates, “The San Diego Women Veterans Network (SDWVN) supports belonging and community for women veterans…they also engage service providers for women veterans through collaboration and they have established a network of support for women veterans in San Diego County. The number one request of female veterans is to meet and engage with other female veterans --- the STS program addresses those needs through this inaugural event.

In addition to the San Diego Women’s Veteran Network under the guidance of Founder, Billie Kai, we have

support from a variety of vendors for the November 6th event that include the Mission Beach Women’s Club, Red White and Badass Brew, Dr. Jen, KAT Beauty, Chula Vista Vet Center, Griffin Funding, and Team Red White and Blue (Team RWB).”

During the event, the Shelter to Soldier Canine Ambassadors Therapy Dog Team will engage with guests, providing love and comfort to active-duty military, veterans and their families. This specialized team has effectively broadened the program’s reach to larger populations of military and veterans in the region.

Shelter to Soldier stands committed to serving veterans throughout Southern California through their psychiatric service dog, emotional support animal, and therapy dog programs, and hopes to raise awareness for veterans’ mental health. In early 2022, the Shelter to Soldier Board of Directors moved to include Military Sexual Trauma (MST) as a qualifying diagnosis as part of the application criteria for their programs, not just combat-related mental health diagnoses as STS had operated in the past.

By expanding the STS program to include veterans who have experienced MST, STS has seen an increase in applicants in need of a support animal and it is expected that this trend will continue. In collaboration with dedicated partners, community members and ongoing philanthropic efforts, STS remains focused and committed to increasing awareness for the prevalence of MST in military veterans; STS has pledged to serve as a conduit to ensure these survivors are able to thrive in their personal lives after military service.

MST survivors located in Southern California who have been recommended a service dog or emotional support animal are encouraged to reach out for support through the Shelter to Soldier program by visiting their website

The non-profit mission of Shelter to Soldier (STS) is to adopt dogs from local shelters and rescue organizations, and then train them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

24 / November 2022

The non-profit mission of Shelter to Soldier (STS) is to adopt dogs from local shelters and rescue organizations, and then train them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

The program also provides emotional support animals to active military and veterans, and deploys their STS Canine Ambassadors therapy dog team to provide visits of love and support to local military, veterans and their families.

On average, 20 US veterans commit suicide every day and approximately 1,800 dogs are euthanized. These staggering statistics inspire the entire STS team to do all they can do to support those served by the STS program, both canine and human Saving Lives, Two at a Time.”™

Visit To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call 760-870-5338 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility. / November 2022 25

Why Art?

Those of us who are born artists would scoff at a question like “Why Art?” Why NOT art is the real question. Those of us born with the natural inclination to take paint to canvas, put our hands to instruments or our bodies into motion or music understand the grounding effects of art. It is that grounding effect that makes art the beautiful healer that it is.

I’ve met so many people throughout my life who tell me they are not artistic or creative. But, I believe we all are. No matter how we build our lives, it is through our own creativity and ingenuity that we do so. But, there is something especially grounding about making art for the sake of its beauty. The world of dance, theater, paint and poetry is fraught with avenues of healing one can take.

In a study published in Art Therapy Magazine, 39 healthy people were tested for cortisol before and after 45 minutes of art making. For those who don’t know, cortisol is a stress hormone that your adrenal glands make. A body saturated in cortisol is a body very stressed and undergoing deterioration.

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

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

The blog also says that art is the only activity that forces us to forge a connection between body and mind. Through those connections back to dormant parts of self, we find healing, or wholeness.

In fact, the blog even goes so far as to suggest asking your art to communicate with you! As you connect your different parts of self, art is a messenger between them. What is your art trying to communicate to you about yourself?

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

As we all end 2022 I encourage everyone to create some holiday art; paint a painting, write poetry or sculpt! Get eccentric with trimming the tree and with holiday food. And, If holiday stress starts to raise those cortisol levels, you know to reach for the markers and paper, not the vodka.

26 / November 2022

Real Talk: Mental Health

How Practicing Gratitude Can Build Resilience


Resiliency. The definition of resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness. That is something that was taught during my time in service, but I do not know if this word was ever used.

In the military, you can feel like you are kicked over and over but it is not about getting kicked, it is about getting back up again and becoming stronger each time. I remember thinking that I was always given hard tasks and put in situations where I was scared, and I was not happy about it at the time. But those were some of my most character building and mentally and physically strengthening moments of my career. Additionally, I learned gratitude, which came from recognizing the small things and how important they are in the grand scheme of things.

When I was deployed, there were days without water to shower or air conditioning. I found ways to be grateful for the things I did have. I served for a total of nine years, between active duty and reserves, and deployed twice to Iraq with 27 months overseas. I turned 20, 21 and 23 years old while deployed. While other people were off at college, I was learning and getting my education in other ways in the military.

After active duty, I went to college and received a degree in nursing. I remember thinking that all my classmates were so much younger than me, not just by age but by maturity level because they had not experienced the same kind of responsibility and resiliency that I had with my time in the service. It was hard to relate to them because they did not know what it was like, for example, to sleep on concrete in Iraq.

But, if anything, I was able to do one thing with my classmates – show them what resiliency looked like. It was not until I was about to graduate when I had a conversation with a few of my friends and they told me they were watching me and the way I handled things. When there was a hard day in clinicals or after a particularly hard test, I would be there to boost everyone back up.

As my senior year approached, we found out my husband would be stationed four hours away for the remainder of my degree. I had to live a single mom life with our three-year-old. This built some serious resiliency and my classmates noticed. I was taken aback because during school, I tried not to bring up my military service. I considered myself a silent professional.

28 / November 2022

In addition to resiliency, I was also told that I helped my friends practice gratitude. Whenever one of my friends had a difficult day, I was there to show them how to be grateful. Someone else was complaining about a minor inconvenience, so we talked about how lucky we were to have this minor inconvenience because some people do not even have access to the things that we do, like running water and a warm place to sleep at night.

I went into nursing after the military because I love giving back to people and I love helping them. Now, I have gone in a different direction. I still help people, but this time by promoting mental health care and self-care as an Outreach Director with the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD, as part of Cohen Veterans Network, which provides high-quality, accessible, evidence-based care to veterans, service members and military families throughout the country.

Cohen Veterans Network caught my eye not only for the mission it serves, but also the population that is so near and dear to my heart. With my own health journey, and the obstacles I have faced, I am now able to help clear a way for the next person reaching out for help.

If you do not take care of yourself, you have nothing. And there is so much to be thankful for when it comes to our own bodies and our mind. So, take a minute today to practice gratitude and be proud of your resiliency, even if you are still working on it. The fact that you can recognize that you are resilient or want to be resilient is light years

ahead of some who are still trying to figure this idea out. Sometimes you do not know what you do not know, so here is your friendly reminder to look inward, be proud of what you have accomplished and continue to shine for yourself first and foremost.

As I reflect on Veterans Day this year, I cannot help but focus my attention on the gratitude I have for those I am surrounded by in my life. The support I have through, not only my organization I work for but also within the veteran community in southern California, has made such an impact on me! And I can feel major impact coming, helping others build resiliency for themselves and practice gratitude in all areas of their lives.

Sadie Tollberg is a U.S. Army veteran and a spouse to an active-duty U.S. Army soldier. She served nine years with two deployments to Iraq in active and reserve as a Chemical Operation Specialist. As the Outreach Director for the Cohen Clinic at VVSD, Los Angeles, Sadie says she gets to live out her passion daily by meeting new people, creating community through events and spreading awareness far and wide. When she is not working on something health related, Sadie loves to travel with her family and see different cultures and nature throughout the world. She loves being outdoors and under water! “I am grateful for every day I am on this earth,” she said.

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.

CVN Telehealth, face-to-face video therapy available statewide.

8885 Rio San Diego Dr. Suite 301

3609 Ocean Ranch Blvd. Suite 120

Coming Soon San Diego Oceanside Los Angeles

Treating the Invisible Wounds of War

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line by dialing 988 (press 1) or texting 838255.

Because every person’s experience with PTSD and depression is different, treatment for invisible wounds can come in many forms.

“Warriors tell us they want to feel like themselves again after service, but too often they face fears or barriers when seeking help,” said Ryan Kules, Army veteran and director of Wounded Warrior Project’s adventure-based mental health program, Project Odyssey.

“Wounded Warrior Project has many options. We help match warriors to programs that fit their unique path to feeling in control of their thoughts and feelings.”

Some of Wounded Warrior Project’s options include:

• WWP Talk: WWP Talk helps warriors and family support members plan individualized paths toward personal growth. During a weekly phone call, participants receive emotional support and help setting goals. These calls help break down the barriers of isolation.

• Warrior Care Network: This is a partnership between WWP and four academic medical centers to treat PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Innovative therapies pack a years-worth of treatment into two- to three-week intensive outpatient program.

• Project Odyssey: A 12-week mental health program that uses adventure-based learning to help warriors manage and overcome their invisible wounds while building connections with fellow warriors.

• Peer Support: Year-round events happening across the country to help warriors reconnect and bond with other veterans who understand their obstacles and give them a shoulder to lean on.

• Family Support: Warriors aren’t the only ones with invisible wounds of war, so family and caregiver support programs give a warrior’s loved ones tools to heal and feel empowered.

• Career and Financial Wellness: Worrying about how to pay the bills can contribute to mental stress. WWP has financial education programs to help warriors feel in control, and Warriors to Work can help warriors and family members find employment and career counseling.

• Benefits Services: Navigating the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can be overwhelming. WWP Benefits Services’ VA-accredited representatives assist warriors with filing for benefits, including health care benefits, disability compensation, and caregiver benefits.

How to Start

Asking for help can feel intimidating. If you feel that way, you are not alone.

“Warriors often feel other people have it worse, or they’re intimidated to ask for help, but thousands of warriors make that ask every year and get support. It’s a big step, and it can change your life,” Kules said.

Veterans and their loved ones can contact WWP to learn about free programs and support designed for post-9/11 veterans. Call the WWP Resource Center at 888-997-2586 or email

Learn more about how WWP helps warriors, family members, and caregivers through mental health support programs at

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Hope and Healing for Active-Duty Personnel and Veterans through Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) provides active-duty personnel, veterans, and their family support members with opportunities to connect with others who will listen and help – a community that champions your success. It starts with becoming a WWP-registered warrior or registering as a family support member or caregiver. WWP can connect warriors to people who know what they are experiencing.

Mental Wellness

Through interactive programs, rehabilitative retreats, and professional services, veterans coping with the invisible wounds of war can build resilience to help overcome mental health challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma (MST), and traumatic brain injury (TBI). WWP offers various mental health programs and services for veterans, including Warrior Care Network®, Project Odyssey®, and WWP Talk.

Physical Wellness

Move better. Eat better. Feel better. Sleep better. Through coaching, nutritional education, shared physical activities, adaptive sports, goal setting, and skill building, warriors are empowered to make long-term changes toward a healthier life.

Career and VA Benefits Counseling

Transitioning to civilian life is difficult. That is why WWP is here to help veterans and their families every step of the way. Whether it’s understanding the VA benefits process or pinpointing a new career path, WWP is here to serve those who served us.

Independence Program

This program provides long-term support to catastrophically wounded veterans living with injuries that impact independence, such as a moderate to severe brain injury, spinal cord injury, or neurological conditions. The Independence program also serves warriors who manage illnesses such as stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.

The Independence Program aims to empower all warriors, family members, and caregivers, no matter their status.

Learn more about how WWP helps warriors, family members, and caregivers at

In 2004, on only his third day in Afghanistan, Chris suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during Humvee rollover training. But, like many TBIs at the time, it went undiagnosed, and he was sent back to work. A few days later, Chris’ unit lost six soldiers.

After returning home, Chris’ post-traumatic stress disorder sent him into a downward spiral and he contemplated taking his own life.

He believes that Wounded Warrior Project® Warrior Care Network and the more than 170 hours of intensive mental health treatments he received saved his life.

“I am a ten times different person today because of how the program is structured. I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t gone.”

You don’t have to go it alone — find the treatments, connection, and support you need to heal at: / November 2022 31
Warrior Care Network® has helped countless veterans take back their lives. “

From Military to Civilian Life: Why Addiction Rates Increase

Among Veterans in treatment, 65% report having a problem with alcohol, a rate nearly double that of civilians. A problem of this magnitude means we must address it urgently. It starts with understanding why addiction rates increase and educating veterans on the resources available.

Why The Transition from Active Duty to Civilian Life Is Challenging

Although many veterans are grateful to be returning home, they may find it difficult to relate and connect to others who have not experienced life in the military. Life as we knew it isn’t the same: families may have created new routines and traditions during their time away. In the military, your schedule is rigid and pre-determined; now, veterans must plan their own routines and time. Service members might have a hard time determining how the skills and job duties they carried out in the military translate to jobs in civilian life. It’s all overwhelming.

I would know. When I left the military, I experienced intense feelings of guilt. Although I was medically discharged, I felt guilty that I couldn’t extend my service.

Unfortunately, those transitioning from active duty to civilian life are at high risk of substance use. Veterans may turn to alcohol and drug use as an unhealthy way of coping with trauma, anxiety, depression, physical pain, injury, and other lasting effects from combat.

After spending several years in the military, I witnessed a lot. Yet, one of the hardest parts of my career happened when it was all over: the transition back to civilian life.

A back injury led me to reliance on prescription pain pills and alcohol to cope. I had family who supported me; however, I chose to keep my addiction a secret.

The discharge process was purely transactional: sign this, sign that. Looking back, I should have asked more questions, but I didn’t know what to ask.

This isn’t a new trend—for years, military veterans have come home traumatized from their experiences and needed to acclimate to civilian life with little to no help. But today, help exists. And although there is a still a strong stigma in the military to getting help, especially for mental health, we have better resources available.

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are one of the most frequently encountered health issues among veterans, and more than 1.1. million vets are treated for SUDs or mental health disorders annually. Between 4.7% and 19.9% of veterans experience PTSD, while 44% to 72% experience high levels of stress when returning home from active duty. Experiencing the symptoms of transitional stress, PTSD, other mental health disorders such as depression, as well as pain and physical injuries, contribute to service members’ high risk of substance use.

Resources for Veterans Are Available

Knowing when to get help can be difficult, especially because the military encourages you not to show emotion. Some signs to look for when determining if you should seek external support during the transition to civilian life include: difficulty sleeping or eating, inability to turn off your brain, environmental factors like lack of sufficient housing or employment, increased anger, and more.

32 / November 2022

For veterans who make the brave decision to seek support, recognize that the road to recovery may be bumpy—and anticipate those challenges. Some resources to consider:

• The MISSION Act and community care gives veterans more options and a great range of health care providers to see. The program provides veterans the ability to receive healthcare from community providers in specific situations. For example, veterans diagnosed with a SUD or mental illness can seek treatment from specialist in their area though community care providers.

• American Addiction Centers (AAC) offers the Salute to Recovery program—which I lead at Desert Hope Treatment Center— that is tailored for veterans who have substance use and co-occurring mental health issues. (

It’s an intensive program where we meet with other veterans and people can share elements of their experience they may not be comfortable sharing with the general population. Upon arrival, about 35% of veterans are reluctant, but in a matter of hours, almost all start to recognize that recovery is possible.

My own struggle came to a head when I realized I didn’t want to die from my addiction. I began to educate myself. I tapped into a higher power to direct my path. I practiced mindfulness. This November, as we honor those who served our country on Veterans’ Day, my hope is that anyone struggling to adapt to civilian life knows their feelings are common.

For those experiencing addiction or those who are in recovery, do not give up. Grow in your recovery, recognize your triggers, and stay connected to sober people.

This transition can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to happen alone.

C.J. Jemison is an Alcohol & Drug Counselor at Desert Hope Treatment Center in Las Vegas (

Jemison oversees the Salute to Recovery program where veterans learn about the disease of addiction, co-occurring mental health conditions and develop the coping skills needed for a life in recovery. Jemison is an Army veteran who is 10 years sober / November 2022 33
866.605.3022 For more information, call Proud Veterans Affairs Community Care Provider & Partner VETERANS PROGRAM Our treatment team understands that life in service can put individuals at high risk for developing substance use and mental health disorders. The Salute to Recovery program was created with these unique challenges in mind and is dedicated to military veterans and first responders whose lives have changed and become unmanageable due to a substance use disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. Through our program, they develop solid strategies to promote positive decision-making and permanent healthy lifestyle changes. AdCare, Desert Hope, Recovery First, River Oaks, Sunrise House, Oxford, and Greenhouse are part of American Addiction Centers Nation Network of Treatment Centers.


Transition to Civilian Life

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

The Clash was singing about an indecisive woman. We’re singing (ok, writing) about the decision to stay or leave a civilian job you don’t love.

Meet Brad Garner

He transitioned out 10 years ago. He’s on his 4th different job in the civilian world. He has no shame in this.

He is a legend in the Southern California arena for helping veterans, is a sought-out panelist and speaker on transition and he has great life lessons on “what not to do.” He is a Talent Acquisition professional and has worked for the best Defense, Health Care, Non Profit and Internet Retail companies in the world. It took him 3 previous tries in different jobs to get there.

Often veterans take a job they don’t love when they leave the military. They don’t leave the job for fear of feeling like a failure. Civilian employment isn’t the military. You don’t need to stay in your job until someone else tells you to leave.

Brad Garner is no stranger to transition. On the eve of his 50th birthday, he provided us with insightful tips to help you make the best decisions.

When do you know it’s time to leave your civilian job?

“As soon as you know, truly know, things are not going to change and long term employment in the situation will impact your mental or physical health, you need to take the needed steps to find another job.“

What are the reasons to leave?

“Anytime the role is not aligned with your morals and values or if it negatively impacts your mental health, it’s time to go.

For example: If you are in a role where character assassination attempts are plentiful to the point where imposter syndrome is creating hurdles in your everyday life, its time to make a change. It should go without saying that any mentally or verbally abusive environment calls for your immediate reaction and egress from the situation.”

When should you stay?

“Stay when the good outweighs the bad. If the challenge is just tied to poor leadership, but everything else is ok, I feel we can gut it out to build success.

Business cycles or the typical ups and downs may rock your boat temporarily and may not be a good reason to leave. Businesses cycle every few years, and with any cycle, it will shift back to normal workloads shortly. If your department is temporarily short-staffed, your workload may increase. This burden will change with additional headcount…unless your company is running off employees.”

How do you process making a move out of your current role and ensure that it’s not based on emotion?

“Write down what you don’t agree with or what you believe is compromising your values. Then look for WHY this is. Is what’s bugging you a simple business cycle and short-term crisis, or is it rooted in toxicity and part of the overarching culture you find yourself in?

Then, talk it out. If you start to question yourself, reach out to your network and get feedback. This helps keep you grounded in logic rather than emotions.”

How do I know I’m not making an emotional decision?

“Talk it over with those you trust and be open to hearing different perspectives. Hold a conversation with your leadership about what you are encountering and ask a lot of questions.

Take the time to be sure and measure the good vs. bad. What can and can’t be fixed? Use a pro/con list and take a moment to ensure that you are not creating another problem by leaving one bad situation for another.

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If you’ve been with the company for under a year, make sure you’ve dug deep to examine all potential areas for improving the situation.

This will help you make sure you’re not making a hasty “I Quit” decision that can’t be reversed.”

What personal experience and advice can you share about a similar situation?

“I made a big mistake in my journey. I became enamored with the mission of a company and neglected talking about the opportunity with my network. After accepting the new role things quickly started to unwind. I went to my mentors and network and what they told me shocked me. 100% of those who I trust, and value told me that they knew this would happen and that they knew the culture at this company was not aligned with my core values.

If I would have just used the simple process of communicating with my network of those I trust, the entire situation would have been avoided. I left the role, but the experience left me unsure of myself. The past success I had created didn’t matter, as this short time with the new employer strangely gutted my confidence and shook my very foundation.“

Lesson learned: Talk to others and seek to know what happens behind the curtains before accepting an offer, regardless of your emotional excitement. Favorite interview question: “Give me an example of when you failed at something.”

When the person answers, I don’t want to hear “If I had only.” I want to hear “I failed and moved on.”

So now you know if you should stay or if you should go!

Brad continues to offer his selfless service to those in transition both in, teaching Onward to Opportunity classes and doing one-on-one mentoring. / November 2022 35

University of San Diego: A Better Way to Your MBA

USD’s MBA is more flexible than ever — and tuition is fully covered for most military-connected students.

For both active duty service members and those transitioning out of the military, an MBA degree can be a powerful next step. The right program can help you take the skills you’ve already developed — discipline, teamwork and problem-solving — and add the business acumen required to make you a confident business leader. While a traditional MBA program can seem out of reach for a variety of reasons, the University of San Diego’s Knauss School of Business offers a newly revamped Flex MBA program that’s perfect for active duty service members and veterans.

Tuition Fully Covered for Most Military-Connected Students

For veterans considering an MBA, one major factor is being able to afford a highly ranked program. To address this, the University of San Diego took steps this year to ensure tuition is fully covered for most militaryconnected students. As a 100% Yellow Ribbon School, USD contributes funds towards tuition that the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill doesn’t cover.

“This additional investment in the Yellow Ribbon Program deepens our commitment to our active-duty

military, veterans and other military-connected students,” says Charlotte Johnson, JD, vice president for student affairs at USD. “The University of San Diego honors the sacrifice of these students and their families and I am so pleased we are able to support their education in this way.”

Ideal MBA Format for Military Members and Veterans

The time commitment to pursue an MBA can seem daunting for active duty or post-military members, especially for those who have families, don’t live near a reputable university, or aren’t able to make school a fulltime commitment. And while fully online MBA programs are available, they often can’t offer the same in-depth experience that an in-person program offers.

The Flex MBA at USD’s Knauss School of Business offers the best of both worlds. It is a part-time program with outstanding faculty that only requires students to come to campus in San Diego one weekend per month. The remaining coursework takes place online. The program begins spring semester and takes just 20-24 months to complete.

Being deployed or required to change duty stations in the middle of a semester is another common fear for active duty service members. USD’s Flex MBA offers practical accommodations for this situation, providing an option to finish classes fully online if the need arises.

36 / November 2022

Military-Friendly Campus

As a military-friendly campus, USD offers the supportive environment and resources that military-connected students need to succeed personally and academically. Currently, there are over 800 military-connected students studying at USD including active-duty, veterans, spouses, dependents and Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) members. (Plus, USD has served as headquarters for the San Diego NROTC program since 1982!)

Along with meeting like-minded peers at USD, veterans can find dedicated resources and military student support at the university’s Military and Veterans Program. The center serves as a welcoming space for students to study, mingle with peers or get some R&R between classes. In addition, those enrolled in the Flex MBA program at the Knauss School of Business are assigned a student professional development manager who will offer industry-specific career guidance and networking insights to find your perfect next step after graduation.

Military Transition Conference on November 12

Active duty and veterans who are looking to transition into civilian careers should consider attending USD’s upcoming Military Transition Conference on November 12. The event will be held on campus at the University of San Diego, and include resume and LinkedIn reviews, interview prep and a presentation on military benefits. Plus, learn more about the Flex MBA program and apply for Spring 2023. Register at / November 2022 37
38 / November 2022 Become a certified IT professional in 15 weeks with no prior experience necessary! Talk to our friendly veterans admissions counselor today! • GI Bill & MyCAA Approved • Flexible Schedule • Online & In-person Hybrid Classes • Small Class Size • Hands-on Training • Lifelong Job Placement and Career Counseling • Technical Support Specialist • IT Support Technician • Network Administrator • Network Analyst • Systems Administrator Why ICOHS College? Career Outcomes: The median IT job salary in the US was about $88,000 last year. READY TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR CAREER? (858)581-9460 / November 2022 39 Need support transitioning to a post military professional career? Y O H A N N I S S W A B Y Human Resources Specialist, US Navy Project Manager, Northrop Grumman J O R G E M U N I Z A S H L Y W I S N I E W S K I Assistant Supply Chain Officer, US Navy SCAN TO REGISTER S A T U R D A Y , N O V E M B E R 1 2 8 a . m . - 1 2 p . m . U N I V E R S I T Y O F S A N D I E G O USD Military T R A N S I T I O N C O N F E R E N C E Resume and LinkedIn reviews Interview preparation VA education benefits info session Learn about USD's MBA P A N E L I S T S Join us at the University of San Diego for the Military Transition Conference. No cost to attend, register today!

From Military to Police Officer

Why choose a law enforcement career?

Transition and career changes can be difficult at any point in life, so why not take out some of the unknowns?

In the military, you have camaraderie between your brothers and sisters, there’s a mission to accomplish every day, the work can be challenging and exciting, plus you get to serve your country.

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

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

“I have always been big into service of others,” said Officer Thatcher. “I wanted to give back to my country, my community, and those who sacrificed for me.”

For Officer Thatcher, his transition was from military fatigues to police uniform. He had done his research and met the requirements and deadlines to be selected for the police academy as soon as he left active duty.

Police departments often actively recruit for people leaving the military. San Diego Police Department

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

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

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

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

• Be open and honest in your application and interviews.

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

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

• Go “all in” in everything you do.

• Academically, make the time to study.

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

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

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

For more information about applying to SDPD, go to: or email:

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San Diego Police Officer Bob Thatcher / November 2022 41


Transition to Business

Stress Relief in Action

The Importance of the 30,000-Foot View

Stress cannot be avoided. How you respond and react to stress, however, is in your control. First, some perspective. Most of what seems stressful to you at this point in your career will dissipate over time. It’s often the case that someone’s inexperience causes stress. Think about your first test for driver’s ed. The first time you got behind the wheel, your knuckles were likely white, you were overthinking everything, and you left nothing to chance. By trying to control everything, you likely had a fairly miserable experience, wondering whether you’d be able to convince the instructor that you had what it takes to operate the vehicle safely and pass the licensing test. Several years later, you barely think about the mechanics behind driving: it becomes as simple and natural as riding a bike.

Let’s face it: There’s enough stress in the world right now to sink a battleship. And I’m not exaggerating. Most people out there—military, veteran, or civilian—will tell you that these are some of the most stressful times they’ve experienced in their lifetimes. Geopolitics, social justice issues, pandemic responses, and inflation worries are real. So, if you’re feeling an exorbitant amount of stress right now, you’re the norm, not the exception. And corporate America is spending billions on employee wellness and the “whole health organization” concept to try and get ahead of this mental health epidemic.

Whether you’re currently looking to transition into the private sector or you’re already there, corporate America is no exception to the sweeping changes before us. Workers often have difficulty remaining calm and avoiding extreme anxiety due to feeling overloaded, especially in light of double shifts and overtime. They can’t leave their feelings at the office or shop floor door any more than adults can avoid taking their frustrations home with them every night. Fear not. We’ve got some techniques that will help you cope with the significant pressures associated with some of the challenges you may be facing right now.

Life is sort of like that in a lot of ways: once you gain experience, the threatening becomes the predictable. You normalize the anxiety that comes with something new. However, it becomes critical that you get your mind out of the weeds from time to time and gain perspective from the 3,000-foot level in terms of what’s going on. Literally take yourself above the action to look deeply into what’s really happening around you. With that “mental breath” from the fray, you can safely return to the weeds with a broader—and more understanding— perspective.

React to the Problem, Not to the Stress Next, think about how to convert the fear of a stressful situation into the challenge of solving it. When you’re feeling anxious, take four deep breaths, each lasting four seconds. Oxygenate your blood. Then take a fresh look both at the challenge you may be facing and the stress it’s causing. Next, remember the old age, First things first. Reduce the situation to two or three key items that can be handled right away. That naturally lessens the urgency of the moment, especially when what’s causing you stress seems like an insurmountable 10,000-pound elephant. Elephants can only be eaten one bite at a time, so focus on your next few bites and check them off your to-do list.

Likewise, seek advice when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious in general. Ask your commanding officer or

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your boss or a trusted colleagues outside of your immediate department for guidance and suggestions, especially if they’re dealing with the same challenges that you are.

There’s power in numbers and sharing your concerns and asking for help is a healthy step forward.

Wisdom = Knowledge Applied

Finally, come from wisdom. Visualize wisdom. Be wisdom. See yourself as an actor playing the role of the wise, calm, and decisive leader. We’re not talking “fake it till you make it” here: we’re talking about taking knowledge to the next level. Knowledge is great, but it won’t get you to inner peace of mind. Apply your knowledge so that it takes you to the level of wisdom: a place where you gain the perspective to see things objectively, appreciate that you’ll master the situation once you gain more experience, and use your resources—mentors and peers—appropriately. Lighten up. This too shall pass. And, most important, pay it forward: help others tackle their stress issues and rely on you as a colleague and mentor. After all, the universe tells us that you cannot give away anything that you do not already possess. You may just find that the “stress” that you’ve been battling is a gift that helps you stand out among your peers by having others’ backs and providing peace of mind to all.

You can connect with Paul on LinkedIn at Paul Falcone ( is a leadership consultant, trainer, and bestselling author on hiring, performance management, and leadership development. / November 2022 43

Successful Transitioning Stories


Travis Wilson

Travis Wilson is a 21-year military veteran who spent 13 years as a U.S.Army Green Beret. Travis entered the Army in 1995 as an Airborne Medic with the goal of one day becoming an 18D Green Beret Medic. After 6 years in the service, Travis left the Army to attend Boise State University, where he studied Exercise Science and played hockey for the ACHA club hockey program. After completing school, Travis returned to the Army to complete his special forces training and was chosen to be an 18E Communications Specialist. He was then assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group out of Colorado Springs where he remained until his retirement in 2017.

While serving as a Green Beret Travis also started a supplement nutrition store called Caliber Nutrition. After juggling the challenges of active duty and a supplement store along with multiple deployments, Travis decided that it was time to retire and start his own product line, called Alpha Elite Performance – a brand founded upon the consummate professionalism and high physical fitness standards characteristic of the Special Forces community.

When you were transitioning what are some tips you can give veterans interested in moving into the entrepreneurship pathway?

My transition was very different from others. I started a business while I was still active duty. I started a nutrition store selling other people’s products. Then I hired personal trainers to train other people. I have always been an entrepreneur.

Typically in the military you get a year before you transition and a lot of people don’t take advantage of it. I actually started planning 5 years out. I wanted to know where my career was going to take me as a Green Beret and what my future would be. That year you should be planning for your future. You need to plan financially,

for work and family. Everything you learned in the military from A to Z you will need for this transition and more. Because civilian employers do not look at military experience the same and when they see a military person’s resume they are typically confused and not sure what to do with it.

What training did you do to help you in your transitional journey into entrepreneurship?

I went to UCCS they have a program for veteran entrepreneurs. There are several universities that have these programs, Syracuse and Texas A&M. At UCCS, I worked with the instructors there for several months and went over a business plan they helped me write. They even helped me look at from 1 year to 6 years of growth. It was a wonderful program. I always tell veterans if they want to be an entrepreneur they need to seek out these programs and this type of help because most of the time it is free.

What barrier did you face when you transitioned out?

I had to deal with divorce, and losing a family. That was a massive wrench thrown into my plan. That’s why I stayed in an extra year and took a hiatus and worked out of Lithuania and worked out of an Embassy while still running my business. This gave me the ability to regroup on my exit strategy. I honestly feel part of the reason my transition was successful was because I built a network of people who helped me with my transition. You have to have a good network, friends and family and help support you as you transition out. Whether it be mental, physical, or more.

I even went to the DAV and I set up my medical a year before I got out, so I got my disability in the first three months. That has to be part of your plan thinking about those barriers that might arise and be able to combat those early.

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Leaning forward in the fox hole is what I like to tell people. If you’re leaning forward in the fox hole and getting ahead of any issues that arises then you’ll stay ahead of it.

What’s new and exciting things that are coming up for you?

I have started a new nonprofit called AEP outdoors, we honor the service of our special operations veterans by providing them with adrenaline outdoor adventures and fellowship. It was that brotherhood while they served that kept them alive and it’s the brotherhood that will continue to do so. We’re not here to raise awareness, we already know what the problems are, so we’re just here providing a solution.

I am getting ready to start a new business Mutant Munition, an Ammo Company that will be up and running soon. So make sure to Google us in the next month.

Final tips

Don’t be discouraged and always reach out for help. There are always people everywhere that will help you especially if you are a veteran. And there are so many programs out there that will help you as well.

Coming soon Mutant Munition

For more help on active duty transition, education, and more click the link below

TAKE YOUR BEST NEXT STEP Flexible online degree programs We accept military tuition assistance Yellow ribbon-approved 855.700.0785


Know the Game You Are In: Keep Score

Did you spend hours pulling together your tax records in preparation for filing your October tax return? It was agonizing watching one of my clients, a CPA, trying to get his clients to get him last year’s work? Or worse yet hearing his frustration in the 11th hour when a client owed the IRS more money because they had failed to confer with him ahead of time to plan the right strategies.

Where is your business now in relation to this year’s financial goals? Is your business surviving or thriving? Do you have your finger on the financial aspects of the business? As a small business owner with so many conflicting priorities, and so much information out there selling you the next most important idea, gadget, or technology, how do you make good decisions and concentrate on the critical matters?

Creating a successful business, demands focus on the truly essential areas, in particular the effective and strategic management of your business finances. This can be straightforward and simple. The challenge is often more in establishing the routine and habits of a good financial manager. The reason most small businesses fail is because of poor accounting practices. In other words, you have never taken the time and planning to do what a wise owner should do: monthly take account of the revenues and expenses, the cash flow, and the budget forecasts, this is crucial.

It does not require a degree in accounting or an MBA, but the basics must be in place and practiced! To be a truly effective “manager” of your business, you should organize your information, so it is easy to review and even easier to present to your Tax accountant at year end.

Knowing the state of your cash flow and expenses at all times, gives you the clarity of how much money you are actually earning, and the profitability of your business. Once you have established good accounting practices you can sleep better and make wiser decisions based on your knowledge.

The Challenge: Take time now to organize your accounting records and make an appointment to review them with your tax person sooner rather than later.

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. Her undying compassion for the entrepreneur’s journey, her tireless capacity to listen, and her sincere enthusiasm for other’s success have insured her growing influence and her own mastery with MIND MASTERS.

the state of your cash flow and expenses.

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Know / November 2022 47 Continue the Dream! Helping today's heroes achieve success by making it easier to run a small business. We handle it all for only $10/week per employee. Talent Acquisition Contact Eve Nasby, Band of Hands president and passionate military supporter to get started today. Hiring & Onboarding Filling shifts Payroll HR Policies Compliance with Employment Laws Unemployment Claims Workers Comp Claims Hand over the burdens of: HR Services Employer of Record Onboarding & Compliance Payroll & Tax Services Job Board & Automated Recruiting Time & Attendance Continue the dream. Helping today's heroes achieve success by making it easier to run a small business. A Veteran Owned Business proudly supporting Veterans, Military Spouses and active duty Military looking for work and employers needing great workers

Insurance Info & Risk Management Tips

I’m Hadley Wood, a Business Insurance Specialist, a Certified Risk Manager and the Founder & CEO of H. Linwood Insurance Services in Carlsbad CA. I am so excited to be able to share my 20+ years of knowledge and experience in the insurance industry with all the Veteran-owned businesses out there through my new monthly column.

As a business owner myself, I am keenly aware of the challenges small business owners face today. Often, we are required to wear many hats and be proficient in a variety of areas – much of which, are far from the nuts and bolts of our operation. Small business owners are sometimes faced with playing the roles of HR Manager, Social Media Marketer, Contract Administrator, Bookkeeper and more. One area that many owners do not tackle is Risk Management, although proper understanding of business exposures and risk coverage can protect your business and personal assets, especially in the litigious world we live in today.

I have learned so much about what-to-do and notto-do from my company start-up in 2010. All the entrepreneurs, seasoned business owners and strategic business associates I have worked with have contributed to my knowledge bank over the years. Yet sometimes trial and error and falling flat on my face was the painful way the lesson stuck.

I’ve worked with all kinds of clients and have seen a variety of successes and failures along the way. It has been proven over and over that knowledge is important BUT persistence, grit, resourcefulness and the will to succeed is the key. As a business owner, you will have hair-pulling days and not enough rest; you may encounter people that want to keep you down and revel in your missteps; you will likely work weekends and nights and friends and family may not understand your drive and intensity. And to cap it off, if you’re in business long enough, chances are you will face some type of legal claim or issue with a client, employee, vendor or partner.

The journey is not for everyone, and it is definitely not easy, but is it worth it? Heck yeah! But it IS risky, and the Risk Business is what I specialize in.

My goal is to provide readers with key insight related to the most common business insurance concerns and offer my risk management tips to help navigate the ups and downs of owning a business.

Upcoming monthly column topics will include:

· What Kind of Businesses Insurance Should I Have.

· What Should I Expect from my Broker/Agent.

· Uninsurable Business Exposures.

· Commercial Auto Coverages.

· Liability Coverage – the Nuts & Bolts.

· 1099 Subcontractors and Insurance.

· Insurance vs Bonds – What is the Difference.

· No – Your Homeowners Policy Does Not Cover Your Business.

· Employment Practices Insurance – Lawsuits from Employees.

· Non-Profit Organization Risks.

· Workers Comp and Employee Injury.

· Cyber Liability.

· What the Claims Process Involves.

· Business Growth & Safely Scaling Up.

· Tail Coverage when Selling a Business.

Each month I will include a ‘Strange but True’ claim filing that I have come across and some of these are funny, eye-opening or just plain crazy.

I hope you will find the information relevant and helpful, and I am always open to questions and welcome feedback.

For more information about me and my company, please visit

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Veterans Thank You

out of the Military into the


Finding a job in the civilian world may seem easy at first. After all, you have learned skills, practiced leadership and demonstrated initiative that will make you successful wherever you go.

The reality, though, is that it can be difficult. In fact, it can be downright depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned.

Veterans In Transition is dedicated to you and helping you succeed in your transition.

For editorial & monthly columns regarding transitioning to civilian life, career advice, tips, workshops, transition to education, entrepreneurship, straight-forward legal tips for military and veteran business owners visit / November 2022 49

Franchise Frontline

Successful Stories & Resources

Paul Davis Restoration and its Difference Makers™ Encourage Business and Personal Success

There is always reason for joy when the good overcomes the strife. Graham Pulliam is a Southern Californian and Esmatullah Sharif is an Afghan, who both served their respective countries honorably during America’s longest war in Afghanistan. Sharif served with the Afghan National Army for 12 years before resigning to work for the U.S. Department of State in 2014. Pulliam was twice deployed to Afghanistan between 2009 and 2012, first as a U.S. Marine Corps Captain whose four-man team lived and patrolled with Afghan Army units and second as a company commander for the storied 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Today, Sharif is the warehouse manager of Paul Davis Restoration of Pasadena CA, in a 9,600-square-foot space owned and operated by Pulliam.

It’s a wonderful ending to a dastardly beginning and none of it would have been possible without the benevolence of many in the Southern California community who have opened their arms to Afghan refugees as our country celebrates Veterans Day and all members of the United States Armed Forces.

Philanthropy is also at the forefront of the hundreds of locations across North America of Paul Davis Restoration, ( recognized as one of the most trusted brands in the insurance restoration industry, whose teams are recognized as Difference Makers™, honoring daily the company’s mission to “deliver an experience of extraordinary care while serving people in their time of need.”

“When my wife and I found out that there was an Afghan family in need of help and support through my church, we needed to be involved. Having served there, I knew what these families had gone through to get out of Afghanistan. When I found out that the patriarch of this particular family had served in the Afghan National Army and had worked for the U.S. Department of State there in security, I had an instant sense of camaraderie and was glad to be able to do my part as an ally.”

Pulliam, who also earned an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School of Management, said he chose Paul Davis because “it was the best opportunity and a remarkable group of people aligned with my core values, which are still honor, courage, and commitment.”

His father was a noted architect and urban planner who taught at the USC School of Architecture. “I grew up on job sites,” said Pulliam, who before joining Paul Davis served as Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President for a full-service commercial construction contractor in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

“Esmatullah and his family endured much in their journey from Afghanistan to a new life and a promising fresh start with Paul Davis, a company with rock solid values that mirror our own. Building my own team and creating opportunities for my community were fundamental motivators compelling this entrepreneurial leap. I’m humbled by Esmatullah on a daily basis and honored to have him on our team. Some things are just meant to be.”

Rhonda Sanderson is a franchise PR expert specializing in traditional, social media and crisis PR in the franchise space since 1986. Her new column for Homeland Magazine will feature profiles of veterans who have delved into franchising and transitioned into career independence through this popular business model. Tips, reference materials and resources will also be part of this new advice feature.

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Esmatullah Sharif (left) and Graham Pulliam (right)

We are free Because ofYou! To express our appreciation, Go Legal Yourself® is offering a SPECIAL DISCOUNT to all veterans during the month of November: Receive an additional 10% off any thing on our website, including discounted packages! Use CODE: VETERAN at checkout. STARTING A NEW BUSINESS? NEED THE RIGHT CONTRACTS? Go Legal Yourself® provides ATTORNEY SELECTED legal packages to eliminate the GUESSWORK, UNCERTAINTY, and LIABILITY of setting up the right business with the right documents. Start and grow your business the right way without the hassle of worry of searching for the right documents. From Startup to Successful – Everything Legal Your Company Needs VISIT OUR WEBSITE Start your own business with the right legal documents drafted by an attorney. To express our appreciation, is offering a Special Discount to all veterans during the month of November. Receive an additional 10% off any legal package on the website. To place your order, please call (760) 579-6789.

legal Eagle

• “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

• “Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.”

– President Ronald Reagan

• “Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” – Douglas MacArthur

• “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”


Any day is a good day to thank a veteran for his or her service. Veterans Day is a legal holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars. In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. One year later, in November 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.

Armistice Day was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated. In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Bagla Law Firm, APC, Business Formation and Asset Protection firm would like to honor our soldiers past and present by sharing these patriotic quotes about our military:

• “The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.”

– George S. Patton Jr.

– Winston Churchill

• “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

• “America without her soldiers would be like God without his angels.” – Claudia Pemberton

• “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” – Lee Greenwood “God Bless the U.S.A.

• “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

• “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” – President George Washington

• “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”

– George S. Patton Jr.

Veterans Day is a good time to remember that our freedom isn’t guaranteed. It’s protected by the men and women in our Armed Services. To those who secure our way of life… and especially my Marine Husband, Brent Waters, and our Marine Son, Legend Waters –thank you and Semper Fi!

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Bagla Law Firm, APC is proud to be a monthly legal contributor who provides legal business help to all veterans starting, growing, and selling their business.

This month we wanted to just say “Thank You.” We always provide a 20% discount on all legal services to our veterans and active military. Its what we can do for you since you did so much for us.

As a fellow entrepreneur, I have authored four books that educate and support business owners in starting, running, and growing a business. I’m particularly excited to announce the launch of my new book called Legal Pearls, Pearls of Wisdom for Avoiding Business Litigation, releasing in November 2022. 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 yourself and your family falls on you.

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.

Legal Yourself / November 2022 53 Go
® Know Your Business Legal Lifecycle The last thing an entrepreneur wants is to spend valuable time and resources on legal issues, which is why they often drop to the bottom of the pile. But this can be a COSTLY MISTAKE—and Go Legal Yourself is here to make sure it’s one you avoid. • Gather the right documentation • Protect your brand • Avoid expensive legal pitfalls • Plan and manage growth competatively Rest assured that no nasty legal surprises will stand between you and your success. Get your copy at amazon today! 2nd Edition NOW AVAILABLE! Award-winning attorney, Kelly Bagla shows you how to avoid legal pitfalls FROM DAY ONE!

Legally Speaking

Child Support Modifications

The actual child support formula is as follows:

CS = K[HN – (H%)(TN)]

- CS = the amount of child support

- K = the amount of both parents’ incomes that is allocated for child support;

- HN = the high earning parent’s net monthly disposable income;

- H% = the high earning parent’s approximate timeshare with the child;

- TN = the total net monthly disposable income of both parents

If you obtain a child support order, it is not uncommon for that order to be modified at some point in time. One common question often asked is when can child support be changed. In order to modify a child support order, you typically must show a material change in circumstances. There are certain situations where a child support order may be modified without a substantial change of circumstances, such as when the parties stipulated to an amount below the state guidelines set forth in Family Code. In that case, no change of circumstances need be demonstrated to obtain a modification of the child support order to the applicable guideline level or above.

What Factors Does the Court Consider in Setting Child Support?

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

The formula is too difficult for the average person to utilize and apply. Therefore, there are a number of computer software programs designed to calculate guideline child support. One of the most common programs utilized in San Diego is DissoMaster. These programs just require the user to input the proper information and they will calculate child support for you.

What Reasons Can be a Material Change in Circumstances?

There are many reasons why child support may be modified which include, but are not limited to, the following:

• A change in income for either parent: The change in income can be due to loss of employment or reduced hours at no fault of that parent. One parent may have increased income due to new employment, a pay raise, or is receiving additional income from another source.

• A change in parenting time: If your child custody and visitation orders are changed, the court may modify the child support orders. For example, if one parent now has more time then when the child support order was made, or their time has significantly decreased.

• A change in family size: If you have a child from another relationship, the Court can consider this factor in modifying support due to the additional expenses you may incur.

• Imprisonment: If one parent is incarcerated, the Court can modify child support due to the loss of income.

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• A change in the child’s needs: If the child’s care, education or healthcare needs have significantly changed, the Court can modify support. One example is a child may receive medical care for a new illness or condition that justifies a change in support. Another example is where a child needs special support or therapy for a physical or learning disability. These factors can all impact child support payments.

When Does Child Support Legally End?

In most situations, child support ends upon the first of the following:

• The child reaches the age of 18, “age of majority”. However, there is an exception to this law when an 18-year-old child is still a full-time high school student. In such situations, child support ends when the child turns 19 or graduates from high school, whichever is sooner.

• The child marries;

• The child joins the military;

• The child is legally emancipated; or

• The child dies.

There is an exception for child support extending beyond the age of majority or 19 years of age when still in high school if a child can be found to be incapacitated from earning a living and without sufficient means. For example, an if an adult child has a severe mental or physical disability that prevents the child from being able to work, that child may be found as incapacitated. In those cases, the law requires both parents to equally share the responsibility of continuing to support their incapacitated child. Child support can also extend beyond the age of majority where the parents agree to it such as an agreement to pay college tuition and living expenses for their children while attending college.

The Most Common Mistake for Modifying Child Support Parents often wait, to their detriment, to try to modify child support. Many parents wait to file a formal motion and are disappointed to learn the Court cannot modify child support retroactively beyond the date of filing.

Pursuant to Family Code, the earliest a child support order can be modified is the date of filing of a motion to change it. There are no exceptions to this law. Therefore, a judge cannot modify the amount of child support until a parent formally requests that change.

For more information about choosing an attorney 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. / November 2022 55 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.

Innovative Employee Benefits to Help attract more Veterans

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans notes that employers are getting creative by developing new benefits to keep employees happy and healthy and attract new talent. As baby boomers continue to retire, organizations need to recruit highly qualified people to fill vital roles.

Providing enhanced benefits can help an organization’s bottom line by creating goodwill within the workforce, which can result in better customer service and higher productivity. So here are a few popular incentive ideas, presented to you by The National Veterans Chamber.

Coaching and Mentorship

Mentoring can be beneficial in helping entry-level employees learn their roles and develop their skills. Additionally, it assists long-term workers who are moving to new positions. The process encourages personal growth, builds strong leaders, and increases job satisfaction, enabling the organization to retain talent, cost-effectively manage knowledge transfer to new hires, and strengthen leadership within teams.

Tuition Coverage/Reimbursement

More companies have realized the benefits of helping employees pay for college. Employees have the chance to advance their careers, while employers can put that new knowledge to work for the business. By offering to help pay for college tuition, you’ll be showing your staff that professional development is important to your company, and you can engender a lot of good will and loyalty. Consider also promoting online colleges so your staff can more easily balance work and their personal lives when going back to school.

Empower a Remote Workforce

Today’s business environment has already embraced a remote workforce, so give employees as many remote work options as possible. This is very appealing to those who love to travel and want the freedom to work from anywhere. All they’ll need is a laptop, a cell phone, and a secure internet and/or satellite connection.

On-Site Fitness Classes

A growing number of organizations are offering onsite fitness classes as a benefit. As Corporate Wellness magazine points out, this supports the organization’s

culture and encourages healthy lifestyles, reduces absenteeism due to illness, improves team communication and productivity, and builds company pride by giving employees a shared experience that brings people together.

Improved Work Environment

Offering free healthy snacks in the break area can make employees happier. Healthy snacks are better for them than candy or microwaveable meals. The organization benefits because healthier workers take fewer sick days, require less medical insurance coverage, produce higher quality work, have decreased absenteeism rates, and have higher morale.

On-Site Mental Health Support

Employers are considering various ways to provide mental health support in the workplace. This can be a considerable asset in raising awareness, destigmatizing mental illness, and encouraging people from all walks of life to feel comfortable opening up about their conditions. Employees have access to an intellectually safe environment for sharing their challenges without fear of being judged or ridiculed, which leads to increased productivity and more substantial retention rates.

Childcare Support

More employers are offering childcare support to help recruit and retain talented employees. This can be a strong differentiator when trying to compete with other companies. In today’s highly competitive job market, employees have many choices for employment and can be selective about which companies get their time and expertise.

Pet-Friendly Offices

Pets make humans happier and healthier. Studies show that spending time with furry friends increases morale, alleviates stress and anxiety, improves blood pressure and heart rate, speeds up recovery from illness or injury, reduces loneliness, and encourages physical activity. Organizations that offer pet-friendly office areas benefit because they demonstrate a willingness to accommodate a broad range of employee needs, build camaraderie among the workforce, and improve employee retention.

Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Many companies conduct an employee satisfaction survey each year to give employers the necessary information to implement changes and keep employees happy. These anonymous reviews are ideal for measuring how employees feel about specific programs and acquiring ideas for new incentives.

56 / November 2022 / November 2022 57 NATIONAL VETERANS J o b - B o a r d V e t e r a n - F r i e n d l y E m p l o y e r N o w H i r i n g B u i l d W e b s i t e s C r e a t e V i d e o G a m e s B u i l d A p p s V e t e r a n s Learn more
58 / November 2022 Career Resources Available Now Hiring Management and Direct Service Positions -
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Military and law enforcement have had a longstanding relationship with overlaps in training exercises, equipment, and, most important, personnel.

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

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As a military service member or veteran making the transition to a new career path, law enforcement can feel like a natural fit. / November 2022 61 You’ve served your country, now serve your community! Opportunities In Law Enforcement
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Diego Veterans
A Veterans Magazine by Veterans for Veterans Resources Support Transition HEALTH Community Voted 2020 & 2021 Best San Diego resource, support magazine for veterans, transitioning military personnel, active military, military families & veteran organizations

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Articles inside

Risky Business

pages 48-49

Innovative Employee Benefits

pages 56-60

Legal Eagle: Entrepreneur Laws

pages 52-53

Business for Veterans: Keeping Score

pages 46-47

Franchise Frontline

pages 50-51

Successful Transitioning Stories

pages 44-45

SDPD: Military to Police Officer

pages 40-41

A Better Way to Your MBA

pages 36-39

What’s Next: Stay or Go

pages 34-35

Flashback - In Art

pages 26-27

Real Talk: Gratitude Can Build Resilience

pages 28-29

Shelter To Soldier: Women Veterans Fair

pages 24-25

Treating the Invisible Wounds of War

pages 30-31

Veterans Association of North County

page 23

Veterans Day/Memorial Day: The Difference

pages 12-13

Caregiving TLC: Veterans Day

pages 14-15

Surving Bataan

pages 10-11

Community Spotlight: Military Spouce

page 18

Warriors Research Project

pages 16-17

Midway Magic - Veteran Still Serving

pages 8-9

Devil Dogs is Using Crypto for Good

pages 20-22

San Diego Veterans Coalition

page 19
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