San Diego Veterans Magazine May 2020

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Vol. 2 Number 5 • May 2020


Memorial Day A Time for Heroes

Memorial Day Veterans Day Remember the Difference

San Diego

Remembering Those Who Sacrificed for America

Veteran of the Month

25,000 ‘Soldiers for Life’

What’s Next

Respond to Nation’s Call


Mental Health - COVID-19 Enlisted To Entrepreneur


104-year-old San Diego Marine gets a surprise drive-by birthday party! / MAY 2020


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Publisher Editor-In-Chief Mike Miller

Contributing Writers Holly Shaffner Veteran Advocate - Honor Flight SD

RanDee McLain, LCSW A Different Lens

Vicki Garcia

Enlisted to Entrepreneur

CJ Machado

SD Vets & Homeland Photojournalist

Kelly Bagla, Esq. Legal Eagle

Joe Molina Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Eve Nasby

What’s Next - Transitioning

Amber Robinson Greetings and a warm welcome to San Diego Veterans Magazine! Please take some time to get to know the layout of our magazine. The Magazine focuses on San Diego resources, support, community, and inspiration for our veterans and the military families that keep it together. Our magazine is driven by passion, vision, reflection and the future. The content is the driving force behind our magazine and the connection it makes with our veterans, service members, military families, and civilians. The magazine is supported by a distinguishing list of San Diego veteran organizations, resource centers, coalitions, veteran advocates, and more. We are honored to share the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. San Diego Veterans Magazine is a veterans magazine for veterans by veterans. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of San Diego Veterans Magazine.

Mike Miller Editor-In-Chief

Arts & Healing

Collaborative Organizations Shelter To Soldier - Eva Stimson VANC- Lori Boody Honor Flight San Diego - Holly Shaffner • DAV • Father Joe’s Village • VetCTAP • Flying Leathernecks • Give An Hour • UCSD • Courage To Call • • Veteran & “For Purpose” Organizations • Veteran Advocates & Guest Writers • And many more...

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

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 6 San Diego Veteran of the Month 8 104-year-old Marine Gets Drive-By 12 25,000 ‘Soldiers for Life’ 16 Remember The Difference 18 Remembering Those Who Sacrificed 20 A Time for Heroes 24 Post 760 - Secret Warrior’s Name 28 VANC Supporting the Community 30 A Different Lens - COVID-19 32 Arts & Healing - Memorial Day 36 What’s Next - A Descendant of Change 38 Enlisted to Entrepreneur - Active Duty 42 FEAR (And How to Deal with it) 44 Promising Moment (DAV) 48 Legal Eagle - CHESS 52 Shelter To Soldier 54 A LYONS’ Heart (DAV) 60 SD Vets 2020 Editorial Calendar / MAY 2020


VETERAN OF THE MONTH San Diego - May 2020 By Eve Nasby Maurice Wilson A Champion of Change Standing on the loading dock in 1981, heart pounding and mind racing, HM1 Wilson watched Lt. Commander Shockley disappear down the hall after announcing that a freshly unloaded pile of 20 mystery boxes labeled “Z100’s” were his project. Maurice Wilson was assigned as an Occupational Preventative Health expert, not a computer expert, probably because “computer” hadn’t quite made it to Websters in the early 80’s. Lt. Shockley, however, knew that HM1 Wilson was a world class tinkerer, one who liked to take things apart and figure out the “how”. After Lt. Shockley’s silhouette faded away, Maurice did the most obvious thing he could do and something that his Mother would say he actually did since he could walk. After unpacking these “Zenith 100’s” he flipped one upside down and grabbed a screwdriver. Yes. He took this thing called a “computer” apart and then stayed up all night reading the manual. Mother board, hard drive, CPU. He had to know ‘how it worked’ and was a selftaught expert by sunrise. Maurice’s insatiable desire to figure out the ‘how’ is woven into his DNA. He’s a nationally recognized advocate for helping veterans succeed from the inside out. In 2010, he partnered with Admiral Ronne Froman to form REBOOT, which helps transitioning veterans analyze how they are uniquely assembled, and then determine how they can be successful based on their own individual CPU’s. When you meet Maurice in person you quickly see that he is a man of action. A lot of action! In fact, he doesn’t stop. Ever! He is quick to jump into solve problems, issues and then is on to the next challenge. He proudly notes that his inspiration, his Aunt Manita, was a gritty street-smart woman with down home common sense who always knew how to inspire and motivate. She had the gift of knowing how to size people up and give them what they need and move on.

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Maurice has that same street smart, ‘get things done’ mentality as he dreams big and acts on those dreams until they become reality. He remains humble about his achievements. He will tell you that he did not do it by himself and quickly credits his team with the ultimate success of the program. How did he go from booting up twenty Z100’s to helping twenty nine hundred veterans and spouses REBOOT their lives? After serving this great nation for over 25 years, Maurice left the Navy in 1998 and continued to serve his fellow Americans as the Executive Vice President and COO of the San Diego Urban League. During his 14 year tenure at the Urban League, Maurice transitioned from volunteer to Director of MIS to Employment and Training to Diversity Summit Director to Business and Workforce Development. He never stopped moving up the organization and along the way he never stopped helping other people succeed. Through all of this experience, Maurice saw a need to help our veterans transition well and started REBOOT. He was concerned about the homelessness, unemployment, suicide rate and drug abuse issues with our veterans connected to transitioning from military work life to civilian work life. In a nutshell, REBOOT gives transitioning veterans a mental screwdriver in the form of tests, classes and exercises to effectively take apart who they are and understand how they work. After 3 weeks, they become experts of themselves. With this new perspective they determine their best career and life path outside of the military. Maurice is also the Champion for Education, Employment and Entrepreneurs Action Group within the San Diego Veterans Coalition. Here he helps facilitate an organization that is an “ inclusive partnership of community service providers, veteran organizations, and interested professionals from throughout San Diego County who work together to enhance the support of

veterans across the area by improving communications, providing leadership, promoting collaboration, and facilitating quality services.” If that wasn’t enough, for the last ten years, Maurice has also been a Board Member with the Call of Duty Endowment (CODE), a non-profit public benefit corporation, which helps soldiers transition to civilian careers after their military service. CODE focuses its resources on assisting organizations that provide job placement and training to veterans, as well as engaging the media and public forums to raise awareness about the issue. He’s a valued expert featured on innumerable local and national TV and radio shows on the topic of Veterans in Transition and is a sought-out expert not only in Sacramento, but in Washington, DC. In fact, several years ago he was recognized by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his work with REBOOT, and subsequently invited to meet with Michelle Obama during halftime at the 2011 Carrier Classic aboard the USS Carl Vincent To his younger self he would say, “Study more and spend more time in the books.” Maurice notes that he is very good intuitively but believes that if he would have spent his younger days reading more philosophy he would have gotten to where he is today a whole lot sooner.

He also wishes he had learned the value of saving versus spending during his formative years. He says spending doesn’t make you happy. At the end of the day, saving is what makes you happy and laments that if he had started saving at 16 he’d be a millionaire today. With all of this great success, Maurice rests not on what he’s accomplished, but presses onward as there is much left to do. His next hill is virtual learning for veterans. With our increased interest in internet learning and virtual classrooms, he’s (of course) recently renovated his garage with a green screen, cameras and mics to now facilitate on line classes for transitioning veterans. “We are going through a massive “change” in behavior across America, and must learn how to adapt to the new norm (change in our mindset). This is exactly what REBOOT has been about – changing from a military mindset to the civilian way of thinking – or the “new norm.” This is remarkably difficult for those who have not been REBOOTed. During REBOOT we make reference to “out of order, into order” in that one has to step back and look at how parts of their life make up the “whole person.” Then they need the “mental tools” to manage their thoughts. Hence, we help veterans holistically rebuild their lives from the inside out.”

Interested in grabbing your mental screwdriver and learning more about turning your box upside down? Reach out to Maurice and his team at REBOOT by going to today and begin your journey to the new happy very successful you. Langley L-Rand Jason Langley & Emery / MAY 2020


104-year-old Marine gets a surprise drive-by birthday party! By Holly Shaffner


hen you have lived 103 years and are getting ready to make your 104th trip around the sun, every birthday is special. So, when Honor Flight San Diego heard that one of their veterans was sad that her birthday parties (yes plural) had to be canceled due to coronavirus concerns, they stepped into action. In April, a socially distanced party was thrown for WWII USMC veteran, Ruth Gallivan. Approximately 60 people drove to her house and surprised her with a drive-by birthday parade. And just like any parade, there were decorated cars, drivers beeped and waved out their windows, there was live music, and huge American and USMC flags were flown by her fellow female Marines. The party kicked off with a local trumpeter leading the well-wishers in “Happy Birthday” then “God Bless America” and ended with the Marine Corps Hymn. 8 / MAY 2020

“My favorite part of the day was when I came out of the house and saw everyone in their cars,” said Ruth Gallivan. “I was surprised, and it was beautifully planned.” Like most WWII veterans, Ruth is a bit of a rockstar. But what makes her famous is that she is believed to be the oldest living female Marine West of the Mississippi, certainly in the State of California. Ruth blazed the trails for the female Marines serving after her. Her service began in 1944 when she enlisted in the Marine Corps and was sent to Camp Lejeune, NC for training. After boot camp, she was assigned to MCAS Miramar, however, there were no women’s barracks at that time. She was tasked with setting up a place for women to be stationed there. She was honorably discharged in 1946 when all the female Marines were released from service.

After the war ended, Ruth settled in San Diego, got married, raised a family, and worked at Marine Corps Recruit Depot for several decades as the Commanding General’s Assistant. San Diego is fortunate to have wonderful collaborative partners and local organizations came out to represent including the San Diego Veterans Coalition, Veterans Village of San Diego, San Diego Gulls, San Diego Veterans Magazine and volunteers from Honor Flight San Diego. Local media outlets were there as well, and Ruth’s story appeared on networks around the country.

Honor Flight San Diego broadcasted the parade live on Facebook and Ruth received over 100 well-wishes from across the United States. Before the story aired, Ruth had already received birthday cards, balloons and flowers. The local Women Marines Association of San Diego volunteered to collect birthday cards and deliver them to her. At last count, Ruth had received over 170 cards to commemorate this special day and certainly a birthday she will never forget. With the global pandemic making headlines every day, there hasn’t been much positivity in our daily lives. Sometimes we just all need an uplifting story to get us through the doom and gloom - and for a few days in April, Ruth was our ray of sunshine. / MAY 2020



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25,000 ‘Soldiers for Life’ Respond to Nation’s Call By Thomas Brading, Army News Service As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, many civilian medical providers’ capabilities are being stretched thin. To help fill this gap, the Army has deployed its own medical professionals to the field and is now calling on former soldiers to join the battle. Last month, the Army reached out to about 800,000 retired “gray-area” and Individual Ready Reserve soldiers, asking them to join the response effort. So far, roughly 25,000 from numerous backgrounds have volunteered to rejoin the Army team, said Brig. Gen. Twanda E. Young, U.S. Army Human Resources Command deputy commanding general and reserve personnel management director at Fort Knox, Ky.

Many nonmedical respondents volunteered through the command’s website, Young said. Once screened, qualified individuals will provide additional capabilities to support the COVID-19 pandemic response, she said. “This effort seems very simplistic — soldiers volunteer and we just bring them back on active duty — but it requires a specialized team of professionals knowledgeable in reserve policy, which the reserve personnel management directorate provides,” Young said. This is a herculean effort, she added. “We understand the urgency,” she said, “thus, we are working multiple shifts to sift through screening volunteers to get them at the point of need.”

Army Spc. Montana Naccarato of Mount Gretna, Pa., assigned to the New York Army National Guard’s 69th Infantry Regiment, checks a motorist’s identification at a drive-through COVID-19 sampling site outside the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, N.Y., April 6, 2020. 12 / MAY 2020

“soldier When we talk about someone being a for life, I don’t think you can get any better example than these individuals.

- Brig. Gen. Twanda E. Young Soldiers who are currently licensed in medical fields are preferred, but Army officials are encouraging all soldiers to step up in the fight against COVID-19. “Army health care providers are heroes in the fight against COVID-19. Protecting our citizens from the novel coronavirus requires a vital call to action, and we need the help of many of our retired or recently separated medical professionals,” Army officials stated in a news release.

“If individuals are already serving in their local communities, we are proud of their service, and want them to continue serving in those communities, as this effort is not to detract from current community support, but to enhance it,” she said. Potential volunteers may include medical students, retired doctors, or former soldiers not involved in the medical community. Key medical military occupational specialties needed include critical care nurses, anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, critical care nurses, nurse practitioners, emergency room nurses and respiratory specialists, Young said. Who is accepted and where they will go is decided case by case, depending on the Army’s needs of the Army, she added. Although 25,000 former soldiers have stepped up to the plate so far, Young said, she expects that number to continue to increase as more people reach out every day.

However, the Army doesn’t plan to mobilize veterans currently in medical jobs, Young said.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Charmain Tolbert, mobilization operations noncommissioned officer in charge, Army Human Resources Command, speaks with a former soldier volunteering to return as an active duty medic in support of combating COVID-19. / MAY 2020


“When we talk about someone being a soldier for life, I don’t think you can get any better example than these individuals,” she said. “These soldiers are willing to rejoin the team and continue to serve.” After HRC receives volunteer requests, officials sift through and validate initial requests, then sort them by specialty, Young said. The duration of the orders is open-ended. “These are individuals who are putting their lives on hold,” Young said. “Even though we want to get them on as quickly as possible, we have to take into consideration they must get life affairs straight and give them the necessary time.” After combing through volunteers’ credentials, the next step is matching them to what the Army needs, then getting the volunteers on orders, Young said. The vetting process works like a funnel, Young said, and filters the volunteers into smaller numbers based on their credentials, requirements, background checks and capabilities. Occasionally, “life happens,” and some qualified volunteers are unable to commit to the Army’s requirements.

The goal is to get volunteers on-board quickly so the Army can get them to the places where their skills, expertise and knowledge are needed the most, Young said. “Requirements are changing for what is needed,” she said. “When we talk to soldiers and explain that we are looking to bring them on, we caveat that statement by ensuring they understand this is at the point of what the Army needs, and acceptance to be recalled is voluntary.” Individuals who don’t volunteer are no less of a soldier for life, Young said. “Our word is that we will take care of soldiers and make sure that they and their families are taken care of,” the general added. These soldiers have gone through the gauntlet, she said, and the Army is proud of their service. They are skilled to operate in some very uncertain and complex times. “It makes me proud to be a soldier — not just a general officer — but a soldier in America’s Army, to see the level of commitment and dedication of those currently serving and those who have served, and their willingness to rejoin the team,” Young said.

Brig. Gen. Twanda E. Young, left, deputy commanding general of Army Human Resources Command and reserve personnel management director, discusses strategies to bring soldiers back into the force at Fort Knox, Ky., April 7, 2020

Soldiers who are interested should provide their information using the COVID-19 voluntary recall survey on the HRC website. 14 / MAY 2020



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San Diego Veterans Magazine Your best source for San Diego military - veteran local news, press releases, community events, media, entertainment and more… / MAY 2020


REMEMBER THE DIFFERENCE Memorial Day: Celebrated the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military.

Veterans Day: This federal holiday falls on November 11 and is designated as a day to honor all who have served in the military.

“Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union Veterans -- the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) -- established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.”

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918.

The passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 by Congress made it an official holiday.

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

For nearly 150 years, Americans have gathered in late spring to honor the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in service to their country. What began with dozens of informal commemorations of those killed in the Civil War has grown to become one of the nation’s most solemn and hallowed holidays. Memorial Day has become the traditional kick off of summer but the holiday has a much more significant purpose. Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the military. Among its traditions are ceremonies to honor those who lost their lives in service, with many people visiting cemeteries to place American flags on grave sites. A national moment of remembrance takes place across the country at 3 p.m. local time. The purpose of Memorial Day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day commemorated on Nov. 11 each year - honors all those who have served in the U.S. military during times of war and peace. Armed Forces Day, which falls on May 20 each year, recognizes those who are currently serving in the military.

History of Memorial Day Memorial Day traces its roots to the tradition of Decoration Day, a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. The first declaration of Decoration Day occurred on May 30, 1868, when Major Gen. John Logan declared the day would be a time to recognize those who lost their lives in the Civil War. The first large Decoration Day was held at Arlington National Cemetery that year. The ceremonies included mourning draping around the Arlington mansion of former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant presided over the ceremonies, which included speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the Granddaughters of the American Revolution placing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves. The Arlington tradition was built on longstanding ceremonies held throughout the South. Once of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss. on April 15, 1866, when a group of women decorated the graves of Confederate soldiers who died at the battle of Shiloh. Upon seeing the undecorated graves of Union soldiers who died in the battle, the women placed flowers at those headstones as well. Several cities currently claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Macon and Columbus, Georgia, Richmond, Virginia, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, Waterloo, New York and Carbondale, Illinois. Memorial Day continued to be celebrated at local events until after World War I, which it was expanded to honor those who died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays. In 2000, Congress passed “The National Remembrance Act,” which encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. / MAY 2020


Remembering Those Who Sacrificed for America BY JIM GARAMONE When Jane Horton hears someone say “Happy Memorial Day,” it makes every one of her nerves stand on end. “That’s not what the day is about,” the Defense Department’s senior advisor for Gold Star and surviving family members matters. Sure, Memorial Day marks the traditional beginning of the summer vacation season. The three-day weekend involves picnics and barbecues and family trips, but it is also about acknowledging the debt Americans owe those who died to protect the country. Memorial Day is a time for Americans to reflect on the sacrifices of so many to secure the country and protect its citizens. Since the country was founded, well over 1 million Americans died in the nation’s wars. Service members are still in harm’s way in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Jane Horton, widow of Army Spc. Christopher David Horton, walks through Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Feb. 25, 2015 - Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton

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Memorial Day grew out of the carnage of the Civil War, when more than 600,000 Union service members died giving the nation, as President Abraham Lincoln said, a “new birth of freedom.” After such an overwhelming loss, Americans in the North and the South remembered those killed. Arlington National Cemetery — created in 1864 to bury those killed in the Civil War’s Overland campaign — was the site of family picnics on Memorial Day, as families from all over the country visited to place flowers on the graves of their loved ones. Those who have paid that price were like Jane’s husband, Army Spc. Christopher Horton, an Army sniper killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 9, 2011. Chris would want people to enjoy their long weekend, she said. “But they should take some time to remember, and understand why they are free,” she added. “That doesn’t mean they have to be somber or they have to obsess over it. But they should keep the sacrifice in the back of their heads.” The best way to honor the fallen is to live the best life possible — especially for service members, she said. “That’s what I try to do,” she added.

A veteran reads the Glass Wall that contains the names of 58,229 Americans killed during the Vietnam War during a Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day ceremony at the Onslow Vietnam Veterans Memorial. - Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Isaiah Gomez

“I have fun, go fishing, live the American dream, and remember, and learn different stories of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for me.”

Horton is worried that Americans are almost divorced from the losses suffered by those in uniform. “People don’t understand that this is real,” she said. “They don’t understand that people really do go to defend us so the enemy doesn’t come here, and sometimes they die.” Horton is working on care and support to Gold Star and surviving families, “because we can always do better,” she said. “I’m also working to give more senior leaders access to Gold Star and surviving families,” she added. Horton said she wants senior leaders to understand how strong these families are, and that “the force needs to see that strength of the families left behind, and how we want to continue supporting the missions our loved ones gave their lives for.” Finally, Horton suggested that families know the names and know the stories of those who sacrificed for Americans they never met. “Learn a name this weekend,” she said. “Teach your kids a story about that loss. Then go and have fun.”

Air Force Staff Sgt. Jared Arehart salutes the graves of fallen service members at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, Pa., May 20, 2019. - Photo By: Joshua Seybert, Air Force

Sue Pollard, first vice president of American Gold Star Mothers Inc., speaks during a commemorative ceremony for Gold Star Mother’s Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Sept. 25, 2016. - Photo By: Rachel Larue, Army

Gold Star Mothers Mission - Finding strength in the fellowship of other Gold Star Mothers who strive to keep the memory of our sons and daughters alive by working to help veterans, those currently serving in the military, their families and our communities. / MAY 2020


Memorial Day A Time for Heroes By Nancy Sullivan Geng, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota I leaned against an oak at the side of the road, wishing I were invisible, keeping my distance from my parents on their lawn chairs and my younger siblings scampering about. I hoped none of my friends saw me there. God forbid they caught me waving one of the small American flags Mom bought at Ben Franklin for a dime. At 16, I was too old and definitely too cool for our small town’s Memorial Day parade. I ought to be at the lake, I brooded. But, no, the all-day festivities were mandatory in my family. A high school band marched by, the girl in sequins missing her baton as it tumbled from the sky. Firemen blasted sirens in their polished red trucks. The uniforms on the troop of World War II veterans looked too snug on more than one member. “Here comes Mama,” my father shouted. Five black convertibles lumbered down the boulevard. The mayor was in the first, handing out programs. I didn’t need to look at one. I knew my uncle Bud’s name was printed on it, as it had been every year since he was killed in Italy. Our family’s war hero. And I knew that perched on the backseat of one of the cars, waving and smiling, was Mama, my grandmother. She had a corsage on her lapel and a sign in gold embossed letters on the car door: “Gold Star Mother.” I hid behind the tree so I wouldn’t have to meet her gaze. It wasn’t because I didn’t love her or appreciate her. She’d taught me how to sew, to call a strike in baseball. She made great cinnamon rolls, which we always ate after the parade. What embarrassed me was all the attention she got for a son who had died 20 years earlier. With four other children and a dozen grandchildren, why linger over this one long-ago loss?

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A teenager learns the importance of war veterans. I peeked out from behind the oak just in time to see Mama wave and blow my family a kiss as the motorcade moved on. The purple ribbon on her hat fluttered in the breeze. The rest of our Memorial Day ritual was equally scripted. No use trying to get out of it. I followed my family back to Mama’s house, where there was the usual baseball game in the backyard and the same old reminiscing about Uncle Bud in the kitchen. Helping myself to a cinnamon roll, I retreated to the living room and plopped down on an armchair. There I found myself staring at the Army photo of Bud on the bookcase. The uncle I’d never known. I must have looked at him a thousand times—so proud in his crested cap and knotted tie. His uniform was decorated with military emblems that I could never decode.

“Remember how hard Bud worked after we lost the farm? At haying season he worked all day, sunrise to sunset, baling for other farmers. Then he brought me all his wages. He’d say, ‘Mama, someday I’m going to buy you a brand-new farm. I promise.’ There wasn’t a better boy in the world!” Sometimes I wondered about that boy dying alone in a muddy ditch in a foreign country he’d only read about. I thought of the scared kid who jumped out of a foxhole in front of an advancing enemy, only to be downed by a sniper. I couldn’t reconcile the image of the boy and his dog with that of the stalwart soldier. Mama stood beside me for a while, looking at the photo. From outside came the sharp snap of an American flag flapping in the breeze and the voices of my cousins cheering my brother at bat. “Mama,” I asked, “what’s a hero?” Without a word she turned and walked down the hall to the back bedroom. I followed. She opened a bureau drawer and took out a small metal box, then sank down onto the bed. “These are Bud’s things,” she said. “They sent them to us after he died.” She opened the lid and handed me a telegram dated October 13, 1944. “The Secretary of State regrets to inform you that your son, Lloyd Heitzman, was killed in Italy.”

Funny, he was starting to look younger to me as I got older. Who were you, Uncle Bud? I nearly asked aloud. I picked up the photo and turned it over. Yellowing tape held a prayer card that read: “Lloyd ‘Bud’ Heitzman, 19251944. A Great Hero.” Nineteen years old when he died, not much older than I was. But a great hero? How could you be a hero at 19? The floorboards creaked behind me. I turned to see Mama coming in from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron. I almost hid the photo because I didn’t want to listen to the same stories I’d heard year after year: “Your uncle Bud had this little rat-terrier named Jiggs. Good old Jiggs. How he loved that mutt! He wouldn’t go anywhere without Jiggs. He used to put him in the rumble seat of his Chevy coupe and drive all over town.

Your son! I imagined Mama reading that sentence for the first time. I didn’t know what I would have done if I’d gotten a telegram like that. “Here’s Bud’s wallet,” she continued. Even after all those years, it was caked with dried mud. Inside was Bud’s driver’s license with the date of his sixteenth birthday. I compared it with the driver’s license I had just received. A photo of Bud holding a little spotted dog fell out of the wallet. Jiggs. Bud looked so pleased with his mutt. Continued on next page > / MAY 2020


There were other photos in the wallet: a laughing Bud standing arm in arm with two buddies, photos of my mom and aunt and uncle, another of Mama waving. This was the home Uncle Bud took with him, I thought. I could see him in a foxhole, taking out these snapshots to remind himself of how much he was loved and missed. “Who’s this?” I asked, pointing to a shot of a pretty dark-haired girl. “Marie. Bud dated her in high school. He wanted to marry her when he came home.” A girlfriend? Marriage? How heartbreaking to have a life, plans and hopes for the future, so brutally snuffed out. Sitting on the bed, Mema and I sifted through the treasures in the box: a gold watch that had never been wound again. A sympathy letter from President Roosevelt, and one from Bud’s commander. A medal shaped like a heart, trimmed with a purple ribbon, and at the very bottom, the deed to Mama’s house. “Why’s this here?” I asked. “Because Bud bought this house for me.” She explained how after his death, the U.S. government gave her 10 thousand dollars, and with it she built the house she was still living in.“He kept his promise all right,” Mama said in a quiet voice I’d never heard before.

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

For a long while the two of us sat there on the bed. Then we put the wallet, the medal, the letters, the watch, the photos and the deed back into the metal box. I finally understood why it was so important for Mama—and me—to remember Uncle Bud on this day. If he’d lived longer he might have built that house for Mama or married his high-school girlfriend. There might have been children and grandchildren to remember him by. As it was, there was only that box, the name in the program and the reminiscing around the kitchen table.“I guess he was a hero because he gave everything for what he believed,” I said carefully. “Yes, child,” Mama replied, wiping a tear with the back of her hand. “Don’t ever forget that.”

22 / MAY 2020

I want them to remember that life isn’t just about getting what you want. Sometimes it involves giving up the things you love for what you love even more. That many men and women did the same for their country—that’s what I think when I see the parade pass by now. And if I close my eyes and imagine, I can still see Mama in her regal purple hat, honoring her son, a true American hero. / MAY 2020


Post 760 Adopts Secret Warrior’s Name By John Meyer At its second meeting of 2020, the members of American Legion Post 760 in Oceanside, CA voted unanimously to name the post after charter member Doug “The Frenchman” LeTourneau who died suddenly July 25, 2019 in Texas. LeTourneau served three years in the Army during the Vietnam War, completing one tour of duty as a Green Beret in the secret war conducted far from the conventional war in S. Vietnam and media and Congressional and family knowledge.

John Meyer & Doug LeTourneau Nov. 11, 2011 Gallatin, TN - Doug received the Purple Heart for wounds received in November 1968 while on a mission.

After Post 760 Commander Chuck Atkinson called to order the first meeting of the newly minted post in early 2019, I called LeTourneau to explain its unique origin and mission: To help fellow veterans, service members and families, to perform community outreach while always moving forward in patriotic efforts to honor our country. LeTourneau’s response was quick, and surprising: “Sign me up, I’m going to be moving out to Southern California to live with my sister soon and I want to be a part of an American Legion post that is proactive, not a post that sits around the bar all day telling lies and war stories. Sign me up.” Thus Doug and I became charter members of the new post. On July 8, 2019, we visited Post 760 in the spacious Veterans Resource Center in the Veterans Association of North (San Diego) County (VANC) at 1617 Mission Ave., in Oceanside, CA. When he walked in he was amazed at what he saw. “It’s one thing to see pictures of this building and where Post 760 meets,” he said, “but it’s another thing to actually see it in full operation and

to finally meet Post Commander Chuck (Atkinson). I’m looking forward to being a working member of this post.” A day later, LeTourneau and I drove to San Diego to record a podcast with retired Navy SEAL Lt. Cmdr. Jocko Willink. The interview was an outstanding success. This is the link to that interview: (See direct link below) It was posted July 17, 2019. A week later, LeTourneau passed away in Texas following a bout with heat exhaustion and a scorpion sting. At a following Post 760 meeting I explained that LeTourneau was an Eagle Boy Scout raised in Van Nuys, CA, where he was president of the Future Farmers of America, competed in intercollegiate rodeo in high school and while attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. On Sept. 1, 1967, one day after reading the book The Green Berets by Robin Moore, he enlisted in the Army and graduated from Special Forces Training Group in the summer of 1968. I first met LeTourneau in October 1968 at the top secret MACV-SOG compound in Phu Bai, FOB 1. SOG was the eight-year secret war conducted across the fence in Laos, Cambodia and N. Vietnam. That unit sustained the highest casualty rate during the Vietnam War. Letourneau had volunteered to join fellow Green Berets in conducting clandestine top-secret missions far behind enemy lines without conventional artillery or ground support troops. It was the beginning of a long friendship and bond between the skinny 135-pound California cowboy and fellow SOG recon men at FOB 1 and later at CCN in Da Nang. The year 1968 was a landmark year for the U.S. in Vietnam, it was the year of highest casualties both in conventional forces and among SOG recon teams and Hatchet Force troops. When I reported to FOB 1 in May 1968, there were 30 recon teams listed on base, by October, only a few were fully operational.

From left: Capt. Mike O’Byrne, Hung, Doug LeTourneau and Hiep - the team interpreter.

Interview -

24 / MAY 2020

In the operations across the fence in Laos, the NVA had more than 40,000 troops plus indentured indigenous personnel forced to support the communists.

Fortunately, the chopper lifted up as the rest of the team jumped to the ground. From the moment the chopper first arrived, it received enemy gunfire.

At the end of October, LeTourneau joined recon team ST Virginia. It didn’t take long for LeTourneau to ingratiate himself with the indigenous team members of ST Virginia. One night, while LeTourneau was recording a taped message to his parents on his portable cassette player, Lap – the young point man on ST Virginia -- came into his room and spoke into the recorder: “I want to tell you parents of Private LeTourneau, not to worry about him. We respect him and I’ll keep an eye out for him. And, don’t worry; if an enemy shoots at him, I’ll catch the bullets with my body. I’ll protect your son. Thank you for sending him to Vietnam. He’s a good soldier.”

Team Leader Lynne M. Black Jr. and Le Tourneau set about the grisly task of trying to extricate two dead Air Force pilots from an O-2 observation plane that crashed into a berm that was covered with elephant grass. NVA soldiers swarmed in and around the crash site firing rounds at RT Idaho. Black recounted in admiration how calm Le Tourneau was under fire, and how he took charge of setting up team defensive positions before trying to extract the bodies from the twisted wreckage of the crushed Cessna. It was apparent to Black the pilots were dead and that it was impossible to free the bodies of the pilots. The bodies were so tightly wedged into the small aircraft’s mangled fuselage that it would take cutting torches and crowbars to get them out.

In late November, on the third day in Laos, LeTourneau earned his unique spot in SOG history: as he rose from a sitting position he slung his rucksack on his back. Just as it hit his back, enemy AK-47s opened fire. LeTourneau was suddenly slammed to the ground face first. The impact was so severe he thought he had broken his nose. The NVA left him for dead. LeTourneau removed the rucksack to discover that four AK-47 rounds had ripped through it and the PRC-25 FM radio inside of it. Shortly the NVA launched several attacks against ST Virginia. NVA soldiers advanced toward LeTourneau and ST Virginia team member nicknamed Cowboy. As they moved toward an LZ they fired their weapons. Without saying a word, the two men took turns firing at the enemy while moving down hill. Rotating around each other. Cowboy and LeTourneau would fire several bursts from their CAR-15s, and then reload. ST Virginia was finally extracted from the target by South Vietnamese-piloted H-34 choppers, codenamed Kingbees. The entire team was lifted out of the jungle on ropes from the helicopter, where team members were peppered with shrapnel from enemy rocket fire. A few weeks after that mission, fellow recon men marveled as medics pulled out pieces of shrapnel from his arms, neck, head which had become infected. This was the first of 13 SOG recon missions and one Bright Light mission that LeTourneau would run during his one-year tour of duty in Vietnam. The last mission LeTourneau ran with RT Idaho, to recover two downed Air Force pilots. On that day in early October, a powerful HH-3 chopper took the team straight in to the LZ. LeTourneau was the first one out of the chopper. As he jumped, the chopper lurched upward momentarily and descended back to ground, with the right wheel landing on LeTourneau’s chest. “I was lying there and couldn’t move. I was afraid I was going to die right there,” he said.

They were ordered to recover any items from the plane that had intelligence value and prepare for an immediate extraction. LeTourneau added: “During all of this, I looked across to Lynne and said, ‘I don’t think we’re going to make it out of here. They (the NVA) are closing in on us, the weather is clouding over….’ Lynne looked back at me and agreed. I’ll never forget that moment. We didn’t think we’d get outta there alive. I took the pilot’s watch, it stopped at 10:10 a.m., the moment they crashed, so his family would have it.” As Black recovered maps, secret documents, codes, and personal information from the pilots, LeTourneau called in a series of deadly airstrikes on the NVA. Finally, it was time for extraction, the Jolly Green Giant couldn’t land, but dropped ropes down for extraction. “Every mission I ran, we were pulled out on strings, this one was no different,” LeTourneau said. An A-1 Skyraider punctuated that mission with a special display of flying verve and skill: As RT Idaho was being lifted out of the jungle on ropes, an A-1 flew underneath the team, bringing in an airstrike on the downed aircraft and enemy soldiers. “I’ll never forget it, he flew underneath us, I could see inside his canopy. Damn, that was close.” Once the team was out, airstrikes destroyed the aircraft and kept the NVA from getting their hands on the bodies of the airmen. No member of RT Idaho was injured. A couple of days later, LeTourneau returned to “the world”, his last memory of a SOG mission being of a honorable but ultimately futile effort to reclaim the bodies of some of America’s finest airmen. Continued on next page > / MAY 2020


Green Berets who served with Doug LeTourneau during the secret war, and his son LJ LeTourneau render a final salute on August 7, at LeTourneau’s grave site in the Pierce Bros. Valley Oaks Cemetery in Westlake Village, CA.

He went on to become a master carpenter, builder, eventually building everything from stylized log cabins to massive Wal-Marts, a bank and hundreds of homes in northern California. LeTourneau also earned his fixedwing and rotor pilots licenses, while returning to his first love from his FFA days, showing his prized Hereford cattle around the country.

He attended a Chapter 78 July 13 meeting where he shared some of those stories and of his growing up in Southern California, attending Van Nuys High School, where another alumnus, Chapter member MG (Ret.) John K. Singlaub attended before WW-II. During that meeting he spoke of his friendship with fellow recon man Eldon Bargewell.

However, like many Green Beret combat veterans, the thing that he was most proud of, after his loving family, was his service in the secret war under the aegis of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group, or simply SOG, for that one-year tour of duty with RT Virginia and then with RT Idaho at FOB 1 and CCN. Because it was a secret war he couldn’t talk about it with his family for years, but he was proud to finally share those stories, especially with him his father, a B-17 pilot during WW II who flew 13 missions over Europe before being shot down on April 13, 1944 and serving the remaining 13 months of WW II in a German POW camp.

We all met at FOB 1 in 1968, we all ran recon. And Eldon survived getting shot in the chest by an NVA soldier in Laos, which LeTourneau notes: “Eldon and I always joked about how we both got shot by the NVA with AK-47s and lived to talk about it. It was an unique, little club.”

LeTourneau was also a member of the Special Operations Association and Special Forces Association Chapter 78. 26 / MAY 2020

Lynne M. Black Jr., who served in SOG for two years including running 10 missions with LeTourneau, said this: “Doug was the most professional One-One I operated with during my two years in SOG.” For more LeTourneau exploits, read Meyer’s accounts of the secret war in “Across The Fence, The Secret War in Vietnam – Expanded Edition,” and “On The Ground, The Secret War in Vietnam.” “Across The Fence” is also available as an audiobook with Audible.


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“The men and women who serve our Nation deserve our support — Today, Tomorrow, Always —”

VANC Supporting the Community We are still staffing the phones and providing answers, helping with casework and questions related to the VA or other veteran services and needs. Give us a call and ask your questions. Scott is still helping people weave their way through the complexities of our VA programs and services and Lori and her volunteers are making sure that your calls are answered and your needs are filled to the best of our abilities.

VANC After a few weeks locked up in the house and everything we had scheduled having fallen off our calendars, it is good to know that great things are still happening for our veterans. Veterans Association of North County (VANC), the American Legion “Doug Le Tourneau” Post 760, and members of Team Rubicon have gotten together To deliver Food to those in our community who are having a hard time getting food. Come on down to 1617 Mission Blvd on the Second Friday of every month starting April 10 and pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods, whatever the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank brought us and we will share it with our active duty and veteran families to ensure they have plenty of good fresh food.

28 / MAY 2020

We appreciate our first responders, doctors, nurses, researchers, as they help us all find our way to the end of this health crisis. We appreciate the everyday good work from our truckers, those in our supply chain and our grocery store employees making sure that if they have it they are putting it on the shelves or ringing it up so you can stop worrying about the toilet paper. We are very grateful that our community responded so overwhelmingly to doing the right thing and accept the self-exile from public that the government requested. We are extremely hopeful for a very bright future that is just beyond our current crisis and we pray for those in our community that experienced this pandemic in their own families. We hope that, as our world returns to normal in the coming weeks, that we have the opportunity to serve you here at VANC. We are, and will continue to be here for our Active Duty, Veteran and community family. Be well, and wash your hands…

VANC is a non-profit resource center for our military families, and our veterans. It is a place for military and non-military to build relationships, and provide solutions, not only for our military members, but solutions to the community as well. / MAY 2020


A Different Lens Mental Health Monthly By RanDee McLain, LCSW

COVID-19 Fear of Unknown and Loss of Control 2020 has turned out to be a challenging year so far… and it is only May! COVID-19 has challenged us in our daily activities both in our personal lives and our work lives. The line between these two worlds have become blurred for many people during this pandemic. As a social worker - I teach individuals, clients and staff about boundaries and finding a healthy work/life balance. COVID-19 has turned this thought process on its side. It is a lot harder to leave work when it is done from your kitchen table. We used to be able to say leave work at work when you go home for the day. How do we do that when over 70% of working San Diegans are now working from home? It is important to find ways to set up boundaries even when working from home. Here are a few helpful tips for those working remote: Routine: • It is important to start your day like you would on a normal workday. Take a shower; get dressed (do not stay in PJs -though it may be tempting). • Try to have set start/stop times (normal work hours) • Regular breaks; take a walk; do not eat in work area Work Space: • Have a designated work area • Reduce distractions if possible (children, pets ect…) • Use an actual desk or table (versus a couch or bed) Boundaries: • Limit checking work emails/calls after hours • Place phone/ email alerts on silent during off hours • Limit amount of negative information/ news Remember, a lot of us love the work we do but it is important for sustainability to find balance. I still go to the office 5 days a week, so the remote challenges are not the same for me.

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I will say it is quiet in the office these days though. The challenge I had to address is loss of control. It is funny how I find ease in typing that, but it took a staff member pointing it out for me to realize it. We are about six weeks into COVID-19 at least the super restrictive semi-lock down status. Like I said, I am still in office and handling client issues so at first, I just felt busier. People asked me often how I was doing and how was I feeling. I was ‘feeling’ super busy….and slightly overwhelmed. One night about 3 weeks ago I woke up about 0100I was crying. Those who know me best know that I’m not overly emotional and generally pretty insightful about my stress levels and anxiety. I was so confused. I was overwhelmed with emotion and couldn’t stop crying but had no idea why. This happened at least 3 more times in the following weeks. One of the times I was just in my office and became overwhelmed with emotion for what I perceived as no reason. I realized it was because in my mind I had lost control. I take pride in usually knowing what is going on and having a plan. COVID-19 has taught me, now more than ever, that I have to be ok with not knowing. Not knowing when life will return to normal, not knowing about job security of myself or my team, not knowing if my family or myself have been exposed to the virus….so much not knowing….so much I am not in control of. I am the person whose calendar goes out at least 18 months. My best friend puts herself on my calendar so we can hangout. Clearly, I am a planner….but myself along with all other Americans are in a state of hurry up and wait. Good thing the Navy taught me how to do that well. We will get through COVID-19 and we will be stronger for it. Please have patience and grace for yourself and others as we continue to navigate our new normal. Take a breath, do a virtual hangout with friends and find some ways to take care of you!

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@CourageToCall @CourageToCall / MAY 2020


Arts & Healing Arts for Military Veterans By Amber Robinson

A creative’s guide to a meaningful Memorial Day As Memorial Day approaches, I know many of us veterans begin to think about those lost. For us, Memorial Day often holds a much deeper meaning than it does for those who have not served. We have all been to our share of military memorials, whether for a friend, someone we know or just one for Memorial Day. Many of us have also had to face death on different levels during deployment. We come to understand that it is simply a part of what we do. As an Army photojournalist I spent three deployments photographing memorials for brave soldiers I did and did not know. On Memorial Day I think about the men and women I photographed during those events. I have photographed a lot of pain over the years. It haunts me at times, as you can imagine. I can only guess what some of you out there think about. This year may be even more difficult as many of us will be in COVID19 isolation. Here are a few creative things you can do to help channel negative (and positive) emotions as well as honor those lost. Write: As I have said in my last column, the action of mindful writing can do wonders for a troubled mind and heart. Write about the ones that you have lost and mourn. If you feel brave, you can write about how they were lost. Writing out traumatic events can help us to face them, thus allowing us to heal. But, it’s also an exercise in healing to write about why they were great, why you miss them. Write out feelings of anger, sadness or despair. Draw/Paint: If you don’t think you can dig up the words to express how you feel, go grab a canvas, a sketch pad or a piece of typing paper and markers and channel how you feel into a Memorial Day masterpiece. That can just be different colors of blue, black and red smears in paint, a drawing of someone lost or a special memorial creation integrating their name and/or your shared unit crest. You make up the rules on how it can be expressed. Choose your medium and just feel it out. 32 / MAY 2020

Cook: Memorial Day is usually filled with cookouts and lots of food. Grilling food and tossing back some beers may be the best way for you to remember and honor lost comrades. As I believe, it’s probably what our fallen would want for us to do, and what they’d be doing with us if they were around. You can get creative in a different way here, and whip up an awesome Memorial Day feast to honor them. If they loved burgers with jalapenos, make some. If they loved Red Stripe beer, go get that (wear your mask!). You will be surprised how close you can feel to one lost just by preparing and eating foods you know they loved. All it takes is a little creativity to turn Memorial Day into a time to not only honor those lost but heal from their loss as well. Our fallen would not want for us to struggle or continue to carry the pain of their loss. But, for many of us, it is hard not to. Therefore, if you are struggling, pick up that pen, those markers or grab those jalapenos and Red Stripe and go create something special. / MAY 2020


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WHAT’S NEXT Transition to Civilian Life By Eve Nasby

A Descendant of Change

Phil is a passionate supporter of our transitioning military and he also served as the Chief People Officer of The Honor Foundation. Like Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Phil is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion and has dedicated his career to Human Resources. Transition can be as unforgiving as at tumultuous sea, but with the right equipment, expertise and crew you can enjoy a successful passage. Phil’s Top 4 Transition Tips 1. Start Early How early? Some say 1 years 2 years but Phil admits that he doesn’t know if there is a right answer. If you have opportunity to take the Predictive Index or Gallup Strengths assessments, he recommends doing it as he is a big fan. He also suggests using a software system that does a 360 review of you. If you don’t have access to that, swallow your pride and interview people around you that will candidly tell you what your perceived strengths and opportunities are. He recommends interviewing a lot of people to get a true picture. Friends, family, coworkers and others who have crossed over the transitioning bridge before you make the best interviewees. 2. Choose Wisely

Transition Advice from Phil Dana Richard Henry Dana, Jr (1815-1882) was a well-traveled seaman, a graduate of Harvard and the author of “Two Years Before the Mast” (1840). He journaled his travels from Boston around Cape Horn to California on a Merchant Ship named, “Pilgrim”. In fact, Dana Point, CA is named after this adventurer and 138 years later we are thrilled to have an audience with his direct descendent, Philip Dana to learn about transitioning well. As an enlisted sailor and Naval Academy Graduate, Phil Dana followed in his Civil War Era relative’s love of ocean-going travel by adventuring around the world by Navy ship. After 14 years in the Navy, Phil transitioned out and has worked for some of the top companies in the US like Amazon, Intuit, Life Technologies, Dendreon and others. 36 / MAY 2020

There are over 4,000 organizations that have been set up to help veterans transition. He recommends getting engaged in a few and glean from the hard lessons learned by others. He warns that the events that the organizations will facilitate will offer many different flavors of opinion. He quips, “ You will find people who will still try and convince you to wear a red tie to an interview, and will coach you to have an elevator pitch that makes you sounds like a robot. So, proceed with caution but proceed.” Phil wishes that he would have spent more effort connecting with people who had a better track record of success when he invested the time to network. Phil notes, “You will find instructors in both for profit and not for profit transition help organizations who have never been in the military and who have never personally transitioned successfully.” Dave Grundies

He suggests, “Pay attention to people who have a proven track record of success. Have they lived the transition? Do they have the job that they have always wanted or have they settled for less and are now offering you bad advice?”


3. No Cattle Calls Please Phil cautions against getting caught up in going to massive veteran support events where you are one of many veterans in a loud room filled with well-meaning veteran supporters. He suggests, rather, to find a small CEO group or an Executives in HR networking group where you will meet decision-makers who have the power and authority to hire you or refer you to someone who can do so immediately. He says, “Contrast a room full of people who want to help and a room full of people with open jobs to fill. Where would you rather be? “ 4. Want the Job? Speak to the Heart. Phil’s number one interview question is, “So tell me about yourself.” He has yet to have a veteran produce an answer that hit it out of the park on their first try. Don’t say, “I’m a 25-year veteran looking for a job in project management. “ “Instead, if you are interviewing for a cancer technology company, talk about how your father fought cancer and lived an additional 4 years because of an innovative therapy or technology. Say, ‘ Because your technology and team does that, Mr. Employer, you have my full attention.’ If you talk to the CEO, hit the heart not the brain. Transitioning veterans need to hit at the heart of the person with whom they are interviewing. Study your interviewer before you go to the interview. Check out their LinkedIn profile. Do they like golf? Scotch? Jesus? Bridge the gap in your conversation.”

Transitioning Out of the Military into the Civilian Workforce? Finding a job in the civilian world may seem easy at first. After all, you have learned skills, practiced leadership and demonstrated initiative that will make you successful wherever you go. The reality, though, is that it can be difficult. In fact, it can be down right depressing, demotivating and you may feel totally disillusioned. This column is dedicated to you and to helping you succeed in your transition. Eve is a seasoned recruiting executive and business owner. She is driven to help people find the right job for and to help companies find the right talent. She is especially passionate about helping military professionals transition into the civilian workforce.

As the top HR Executive at Dendreon, Phil’s time is in demand, but he purposefully maintains time on his calendar to help those who are serious about succeeding in their transition.

If you need help with your career transition, connect with her on LinkedIn.

Feel free to connect with Phil on LinkedIn.

Your adventure of transition will carry you to new places. Have your waypoints charted out and seek out seasoned people to have aboard with you that will help you journey well. And as always, if you need help in your transition, connect with Eve on LinkedIn at : or connect with her at LinkedIn

For advice, tips and programs you can read Eve’s monthly column at San Diego Veterans Magazine or visit and click the What’s Next Web Banner.

WhAT’s NEXT Transition to Civilian Life / MAY 2020



Active Duty Entrepreneur Imagine you’re in a remote, obscure corner of the world with the mission of making sure military aircraft can fly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Plus, you’re tasked with making sure those under your command have everything they need to do their jobs. And now, imagine, if you can, that you’re running an active business in San Diego. Easy huh? Not really. Kevin Post is one of those guys who knows anything is possible if you believe in yourself and find your purpose in life. And Kevin is leading a big, purposeful life. Kevin Eats Challenges for Breakfast He enlisted in the Marines in June of 2007 out of Toms River, NJ, and quickly found himself in San Diego training to become an Avionics Tech for the MV-22B Osprey. He knew nothing about airplanes. Now he holds almost all the qualifications possible on his aircraft. When Kevin decided to enlist in the Marines, he thought all Marines just went to the front lines and had infantry type jobs, slept in the dirt, showered every few days, and only ate when food was available. He had heard all the horror stories about the Marines. Because few can do it was exactly what attracted him to the challenge. He quickly discovered that despite all those stories being true, it was not as bad as everyone made it out to be. The Marines do go to war and expect a lot from you. But this assignment took him to over 13 different countries and introduced him to hundreds of different cultures “It allowed me to encounter many unique people from many diverse places,” he says. After 13 years and now on his fourth deployment, Kevin started thinking about life post-separation when he leaves in November 2020. While home in March 2019, Kevin returned to look for a place to live with a few Marine roommates. Sharon Rios, a long-time native of San Diego, happened by with some friends and offered them unused furniture. Kismet, fate, destiny…. long story short, Sharon and Kevin became fast friends.

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Together Sharon and Kevin built their company, Esteemed Movers, a residential and commercial moving company from the ground up, dedicated to customer satisfaction. Sharon literally “holds down the fort” while Kevin is deployed. Always interested in business, she obtained her degree in that field. She had been a contract specialist for a big company for 8 years where she bid on and won over 100 million dollars’ worth of contracts including a contract for over 20 million dollars for work on Camp Pendleton. Sharon comes from a family of entrepreneurs. A highly motivated person, she sets her goals extremely high (like a Marine) and Kevin trusts her with the operation while he is gone. Applying Military Experience to the Business World Being able to command Marines from different backgrounds and leading them in different situations all over the world has helped him in business. In 2014 the Corps decided that Kevin would make a great Marine Corps recruiter. Serving as a recruiter from August 2014 until August 2017 in Burlington County, NJ helped him network with like-minded individuals as well allowing him how to meet civilians unfamiliar with the military. All the military jargon spoken in the Marines had to give way to improving his communication skills. It also taught him how to network, build his brand, and interact with clients. Becoming a veteran, active military, or civilian entrepreneur has its challenges. Kevin says “getting into something I had never ever done before, taking the risk that many are scared to take, and starting a company from nothing” were in his way. He overcame those internal roadblocks through the perseverance learned in the Marines. It’s not over. It’s not ever over when you own a business. You’ve got to learn to oversee the cash flow while investing in the company, paying bills, and managing payroll for your employees. Figuring out the complex world of marketing is a work in progress. Relying on his Marine experience Kevin set out to build a team. It might look easy, but it requires finding the right employees whose values align with the company. Keen on hiring veterans, their “top guy” is a Marine. They instinctively continue to lead and train their team to be the best they can be. The goal is to grow their company big enough to have a staff full of veterans.

It’s Not All Boxes and Brawn Kevin is passionate about the Marines and building his company. That’s what keeps him going with his balancing act. He depends on Sharon, but it’s not simple when he’s on the other side of the world. When he is up America is sleeping and when America is up, he’s sleeping. Like a Marine, he pushes through the challenges and looks for opportunities. Social media and building relationships with important influencers like realtors can be done from afar. Somehow this marine has held on to his heart. Understanding that moving is stressful and no two moves are alike, they customize each move to each client’s specific needs. When one client went into labor early, they rescheduled the moving date at the last minute to accommodate her. The crew stayed after and helped up the bed and unpack a bit. Kevin and Sharon stopped by as the movers were getting ready to leave and brought a basket full of baby items. Kindness as well as muscle are what makes the company special.

Operation Vetrepreneur is proud to support Esteemed Movers growth and success. The City of San Diego grant has paid for Operation Vetrepreneur under National Veterans Transition Services, Inc to help launch and support veteran (Military & Spouse) startups and growing businesses. Working with highly experienced entrepreneurs, and using a unique brainstorming high-touch model, you get mentoring and info while in the company of other like-minded veterans. Tell us about yourself and any needs you have at, sign up for a workshop at

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 30+ -year- old marketing consulting firm. Apply to join Operation Vetrepreneur’s FREE Think Tank Groups or one-on-one mentoring at

Applying Military Experience to the Business World / MAY 2020


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Veterans Chamber of Commerce By Joseph Molina

FEAR And How to Deal with it

Is it normal to feel Fear? Yes, fear is as normal as any other emotion, feeling or sensation. Sometimes we may feel sad or happy, other times we may feel hesitant, and other times we may feel fear. But it is how we respond to the feeling, and how much we allow the emotion to influence our responses. Our reactions are the “markers” that tell us How Much impact or influence fear has on us. We also must gauge the “Degree of influence/Impact” of the fear we are feeling at the moment. This will help us determine the impact the feeling of fear will have on our behavior. What happens when we feel fear? So, let’s think about this. What happens the precise moment when we start to feel that emotion that we know of as fear? We know this is difficult since, in most instances, we don’t know fear is coming. However, if we were to slow down the process or to think back as to what happened in that Initial Moment and what can we learn from that experience - There is a great benefit from learning what takes place at that precise moment of “Fear Zero” (Fear Zero, the moment just before fear is felt). What are some of the most common types of fear? Have you ever thought of why we feel fear of some things but not others? This could mean that we may have created a preconceived notion, expectation or mindset about what something is or the effect it will have on us. Mind-projection, happens when we encounter a moment and the mind projects emotions, feelings or thoughts from a previous experience that defines the current moment. Mind-projection has a tremendous influence on when or at which types of moments we may feel fear. Below is a partial list of the most common types of fears: Fear of heights, fear of change, fear of public speaking, fear of success, fear of meeting new people, fear of flying, fear of insects, fear of dogs, needles, etc. 42 / MAY 2020

Can Fear be avoided? As we mentioned earlier, fear is as common as any other emotion, we should place our focus on: 1) identifying our type of fear, and 2) the degree of our fear. Not every fear has to be overcome, dealt with or eliminated, some fear may work to our advantage. The important factor here is to recognize we feel it, then we can move to step 2 and beyond. Can we use fear to our advantage? Of course, a low-level fear may be an asset for us. For example, feeling a little fear of an upcoming presentation, may help us prepare better. Feeling a little fear of being late to an appointment, may help us leave earlier. Of course these are just some examples, but when the feeling of fear obstructs our activities, it is then that fear has moved from low-level (positive) into an obstacle level (negative) To conquer fear, we must first understand what it is, how it works, and where it comes from and then learn how to use it, avoid it or overcome it. According to Merriam Webster fear could be defined as: “An unpleasant often strong emotion caused

by anticipation or awareness of danger (1) : an instance of this emotion (2) : a state marked by this emotion”. Is there anything we can do to control fear? Here are some steps that could help reduce it: 1. Think back to a time in the past when you have felt fear. 2. Capture the exact moment by picturing it in your mind. 3. What was your first thought (at the moment of Fear Zero)? 4. Was the emotion of fear appearing after the thought or before? 5. Recreate the scenario in your mind and see what it was that triggered the emotion of fear.

6. As you are recreating the scenario, imagine what it would be like if you had not felt fear at all and then imagine what you would have done. This may take some time to master. * We are talking about situations

Starting a Business as a Veteran?

that give us the feeling of fear, phobias are different and not covered in this article.

Steps that could help overcome situational fears: 1. Be aware of it 2. Know the trigger 3. Be intentional and tend to make choices that would not be based on fear In Summary: Fear is a normal, everyday emotion/feeling that can be overcome and or deal with. Fear can be positive or negative, constructive or destructive, depending on its degree or impact on our behavior. Excessive amounts of fear and/or continuous fear emotions may be best approached with the help of a professional. The content of this article is written from my personal experience. Share information for the purpose of helping some dealing with this emotion of fear. By all means please contact a professional to make sure your are dealing with the fear itself and will be able to receive professional assistance. No need to go alone.

The transition from military service to civilian life can be a difficult one, especially when it comes to your career. That’s why a growing number of veterans choose to forge their own path and become entrepreneurs after leaving the Armed Forces. While starting a business comes with numerous challenges, former service members do have one distinct advantage: the veteran community. “The strength and power of veteran entrepreneurs comes from other veteran entrepreneurs” Unlike most highly competitive entrepreneurial environments, veteran entrepreneurs share information much more easily. If you or someone you know is a veteran looking to start a business, please feel free to contact Vicki Garcia. Vicki is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 33+ -year- old marketing consulting firm. If you want support for starting up a business, email her at For advice, tips and programs you can read Vicki’s monthly column at Homeland Magazine or visit www.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine and click on the banner:



Marijuana’s Promising Moment By Matt Saintsing DAV Iraq veteran finds cannabis helpful as Washington debates how to move forward Like many veterans, service took a toll on Ryan Rasnick.

It’s a far cry from where he once stood. Less than a week after coming home from Iraq, Rasnick began self-medicating with alcohol. In less than six years, he’d racked up two drunken driving arrests. “Drinking would trigger my hyperawareness and chaos would ensue,” he said. “But I wanted to stop being destructive, so I got my drinking in check.” In 2017, he met with a psychiatrist at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Cleveland. “Within 15 minutes, I was prescribed lithium,” said Rasnick, a member of DAV Chapter 62 in Norwalk, Ohio. “It scared me and made me feel distrusted.” He later decided to stay away from prescription pills to deal with his wounds of war and committed to finding alternative treatments. Now, he is a daily medical cannabis user and says he also uses it at times to help him sleep.

Though he had not previously tried marijuana, Ryan Rasnick gave it a shot when he returned from Iraq carrying the physical and mental wounds of war. “I didn’t feel so intense anymore,” said Rasnick. “I wasn’t as hyperaware.”

While he was driving in western Anbar Province in Iraq in 2009, an RKG-3—a Russian-made anti-tank hand grenade—was hurled directly in front of his vehicle. Rasnick quickly slammed on the brakes. And while the maneuver likely saved his and other lives, it violently jostled his neck causing longterm damage. “My neck clicks every single day,” said Rasnick. “It’s something I’ll have to deal with probably forever.” Though he had never tried marijuana, he gave it a shot when he came back from Iraq. The results, he said, were immediate, helping with both physical pain and invisible scars. “I didn’t feel so intense anymore; I wasn’t as hyperaware,” said Rasnick. Today, he’s a disabled veteran, card-carrying medical cannabis patient and advocate for alternative medicine. Marijuana laws are rapidly changing across America as states experiment with varying degrees of cannabis legalization. To date, 33 states and the District of Columbia have a medical marijuana program, of which veterans like Rasnick are increasingly taking advantage.

And he certainly isn’t alone. According to a study published this May in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 80% of veterans surveyed reported using medical cannabis to treat both physical and mental health symptoms. More than 60% of respondents said they used it as a substitute for other substances, alcohol in particular, and half indicated they use it in place of prescription medications. According to the study’s authors, their research “confirms the findings of previous studies that have documented a trend in substitution behavior, where cannabis is substituted for other drugs.” While some states are looking to launch or expand a medical cannabis program for veterans, VA health care providers are not able to legally recommend or prescribe it for patients since marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration. However, veterans who use cannabis or its byproducts in a state-sanctioned medical program are not at risk of losing their VA benefits and are encouraged to discuss usage with their VA physicians to help inform their overall treatment plan.

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., agree that cannabis may be a promising alternative medicine for veterans. “I believe cannabis must be objectively researched,” Rep. Mark Takano of California, chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said in a hearing in June. Continued on page 47 >

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Cont’d from page 44 Several bills exist that would encourage and direct the VA to look into the issue more seriously. One is the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, which would direct the secretary of veterans affairs to carry out a clinical trial to determine if veterans suffering from chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder could benefit from medical cannabis. And the Veterans Equal Access Act would allow VA physicians to complete necessary paperwork for veterans to enroll in medical cannabis programs in their state. DAV supports VA research into the medical efficacy of cannabis for service-connected disabled veterans, which was reaffirmed at the organization’s 98th annual convention in Orlando, Fla., in August. However, Larry Mole, chief consultant for population health at the VA, told House Veterans’ Affairs Committee members in May that the VA is currently unable to support such legislation, as its health providers could be subject to criminal prosecution by the Justice Department for prescribing medical cannabis or referring veterans to state-run programs.

Still, the VA is currently funding research at the University of California San Diego to study if veterans with PTSD benefit from having cannabidiol as part of their care treatment plan. Other VA researchers funded by outside sources are also studying the issue, and according to Mole, one key part of the research process is having input from veterans service organizations. “VSOs have to be at the table when we’re having conversations about a research plan and what a full research portfolio would look like,” said Mole. “There needs to be engagement. We need to educate each other on what each other’s expectations are and define what those expectations would look like for that research plan.” Veteran Bill Ferguson, co-founder of the Veterans Cannabis Coalition, echoes the need for more research based on success that he’s seen. “Sleep, pain, anxiety—we see marijuana help all of these and more,” said Ferguson. “I haven’t seen anything better when dealing with hypervigilance. Still, it’s not a cure-all for everything, which is exactly why we need the research.”

WOUNDS WE CANNOT SEE Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not always allow the affected to seek help. Lend a hand and provide them with methods of help, listen and be a friend. San Diego Veterans Magazine works with nonprofit veteran organizations that help more than 1 million veterans in lifechanging ways each year.

Resources. Support. Inspiration. At San Diego Veterans Magazine you can visit our website for all current and past articles relating to PTSD, symptoms, resources and real stories of inspiration. Resources & Articles available at:



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

CHESS – A GAME OR REALITY? If you want to learn about running a successful business then you’ll find no better teacher than a chess board. Chess is a game of tactic and strategy and these tactics and strategies can be useful in the business world. Chess is a complicated mental game modelled after war, the struggle to achieve victory, but it can also be a tool to improve business skills. Business is all about position and strategy and you’ll be moving your business in the same ways you would chess pieces – with precision and accuracy.

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Below are some lessons you can learn from chess that will help you postion your business on the path to success: • Learn to look ahead Only those who can foresee several moves ahead can play a good game of chess. Taking the effort to plan for a good forecast is critical to the success of any business. • Learn to develop memory To be able to look ahead, you must learn how to memorize a large number of potential moves. Since memory is an essential element of thinking, it should be of help to ensure business decision making.

• Learn the value of patience In chess, you need time to place your pieces in the proper position before you can attack effectively as a premature attack may backfire. This is very similar in business where you must patiently restrain yourself from making rash moves until everything is set. You conduct market research and feasibility studies first before risking your capital.


• Learn to anticipate your competitors moves When making a move in chess, you must also anticipate the probable responses from your opponent because they are planning to defeat you. This idea of a thinking foe must be incorporated into the making of business plans. In the real world, competitors would react to your moves so you must be prepared for the counter attack. • Learn to think outside the box Although chess has strict rules, the expert player knows how to use this creativity to come up with surprise moves to defeat his opponent. An entrepreneur must come up with an innovative marketing campaign if he or she is to prevail against giant competitors. As business owners we all try to run a successful business but the ones that actually become successful businesses are the ones who plan, prepare and think outside the box. I’m the CEO of where we provide legal tools for savvy entrepreneurs and I’m proud to provide a limited time offer of 15% discount on our Startup Essentials Package. Please use the code Startup15 at checkout. For more information on how to legally protect your business please buy a copy of my bestselling book: ‘Go Legal Yourself’ on Amazon or 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.

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Shelter to Soldier Receives Donation For Turf Yards From The Patriots Connection Under Rancho Santa Fe Foundation By Eva Stimson

Shelter to Soldier has announced a generous

donation from The Patriots Connection under the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation to supply turf to build five new pet play yards and one new training yard at the Shelter to Soldier training facility in Oceanside, CA. The new training yards provide the Shelter to Soldier training team with ample space to observe, “social distancing” during the COVID-19 outbreak as well as increase space for dogs to relieve themselves for potty breaks and a new training yard to increase the amount of training sessions occurring simultaneously. Shelter to Soldier is taking extra precautions to protect both clients and team members during the pandemic. Thankfully, current evidence suggests that dogs are not affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Shelter to Soldier (STS) serves the post-9/11 veteran population by providing psychiatric service dogs at no charge to veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other injuries associated with wartime deployments. The national statistics in this category are startling: on average, 670,000 dogs are euthanized nationwide annually. Every day, an estimated 16 U.S. veterans lose their lives to suicide; and in 2018 alone, 6317 veterans succumbed to suicide. STS has achieved significant results to help alleviate the burden of mental illness for veterans and provide a new purpose for homeless dogs, documented by success stories on the STS website at According to Kyrié Bloem, Co Founder and Vice President of Shelter to Soldier, “We’re tremendously grateful to The Patriots Connection for providing us with funding for the additional turf needed to create the expanded space to train the dogs we adopt to help our veterans in need. Our overhead to feed, house, train and clean our facilities continues to grow along with the veteran population who need our services, so we are particularly grateful that The Patriots Connection has stepped up to assist us in meeting the demand.”

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Shelter to Soldier is fortunate to have a pet turf partner in Envirogreen, who has heavily discounted the product and installation for all of Shelter to Soldier’s turf projects to-date. Anthony (Tony) Gourlay, owner of Envirogreen, lost his son to suicide and has been a supporter of Shelter to Soldier for three years. Tony’s son, AJ, was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, a dearly loved son, brother, friend, and dad to his cherished dog, Gunner. Kyrie’ elaborates, “From the time of adoption, our service dog trainees spend, on average, 1218 months in our care, enjoying play and training sessions several times every day. The yards at our training facility are utilized to not only exercise our dogs, but also provide a place to receive elite service dog training and learn very important task work that will one day serve their veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), insomnia, memory loss, hyper vigilance, mobility assistance and more. With this grant from The Patriots Connection, we were able to build new yards and replace very outdated turf that was there when we took over the facility in September 2017.” Debbie Anderson, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation Programs Director explains, “The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation is honored to partner with Organizations of Distinction such as Shelter to Soldier. We, at the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, believe it’s very important to support our local military, veterans and their families and we are very thankful for the programs and expertise of our grantees in addressing our communities continual needs, particularly as they support these individuals.” Shelter to Soldier is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other psychological injuries. Shelter to Soldier Co Founder, Graham Bloem is the recipient of the American Red Cross Real Heroes Award,

10 News Leadership Award, CBS8 News Change It Up Award, Honeywell Life Safety Award, and the 2016 Waggy Award. Additionally, Shelter to Soldier is a gold participant of GuideStar and accredited by the Patriot’s Initiative. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call 760-870-5338 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility. The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation (RSF Foundation) is committed to honoring and supporting the members of the San Diego military community for their service to our nation. Through its grant making, The Patriots Connection (TPC) at RSF Foundation seeks to expand the capacity of San Diego area nonprofit programs that serve active duty military and veterans. Contact information: or 858-756-6557.

Graham & KyriĂŠ Bloem

Keeta, sponsored by Chris and Rick Fink, and (right) Thistle sponsored by Rennie Gabriel. / MAY 2020


A Lyons’


Combat-wounded veteran of Afghanistan finds purpose providing final honors for veterans By M. Todd Hunter


hen a high-value target failed to show up where Lance Cpl. Ed Lyons had been lying in wait for more than a day, the designated marksman of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, and his spotter were ordered to tactically egress from their hiding position in the Garmsir District of Afghanistan’s Helmand Province and rejoin their squad for the patrol back to their forward operating base. That order forever changed Lyons’ life. Just 200 yards from his unit, Lyons stepped on a pressure plate explosive device. “It was like the earth opened up and all hell broke loose,” said Lyons, who was seven weeks into his first combat deployment in November 2009. “I don’t remember anything other than the world going dark and feeling my body being thrown through the air and hitting the ground.” The blast took Lyons’ left hand, caused a traumatic brain injury and left him with various other internal injuries due to shrapnel in his abdomen. Medical personnel at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany had difficulty stabilizing him in the immediate days after, but he eventually became well enough to be transported back to the U.S. After 2 1/2 years recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Lyons was medically retired from the Marine Corps. The discharge paperwork stated that, due to his physical disabilities, he ‘would never render use in civilian or military industrial life. “For a 22-year-old, that was a punch to the gut,” said Lyons. Suffering from survivor’s guilt, Lyons struggled at

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Ed Lyons plants an American flag at the headstone of a grave in Fort Logan National Cemetery, where he worked as a caretaker.

times during his transition from a Marine infantryman to civilian. In 2014, Lyons’ brother, Gerard, an Army veteran of Iraq and then-manager of Yellowstone National Cemetery, invited him to attend the cemetery’s grand opening on Memorial Day. “I knew right then that this is what I was going to do for the rest of my life,” said Lyons. Initially turned down from the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), Lyons worked various manual labor jobs and persistently submitted applications, and he was eventually offered a caretaker position at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver. Just four years later, Lyons attended the NCA’s yearlong Cemetery Director Intern Program. From there, he was selected to serve in his current position as assistant director of the Sarasota National Cemetery in Florida. In 2019, Lyons received the Outstanding National Cemetery Administration Employee of the Year award at the DAV National Convention in Orlando. “Ed saw the worst of war and suffered tremendous personal losses,” said National Commander Butch Whitehead. “But he found his life’s purpose as an employee of the National Cemetery Administration, devoting himself fully to honoring our nation’s veterans and ensuring their families are cared for in life’s most difficult times.” Assisting veterans and their families has helped give Lyons closure for the friends who never made it home from Afghanistan. “It helped me overcome my own demons while making someone else’s worst day just a little bit better,” he said. ■

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: • The Avenue of Flags • Veterans Tribute Tower & Carillon • Annual Veterans Memorial Services • Annual Veterans Day Observances • Coordinates Veterans Memorial Monuments

Honor our past, present, and future military veterans! Send your donation, today, to the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation All contributions are fully tax deductible.

Help the Foundation Support Miramar National Cemetery. Please go to

and click on “Contribute” to donate to the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation, or mail a check to MNC Support Foundation, c/o 2500 6th Ave., Unit 803, San Diego, CA 92103. / MAY 2020


Caring for our veterans

Veterans facing the challenges associated with a life-threatening illness can rely on The Elizabeth Hospice for the medical, emotional and spiritual support they need and deserve. Our skilled, compassionate caregivers are trained to address PTSD, depression, anxiety, survivor’s guilt, and soul injury. Complementary therapies, including physical therapy, music therapy, aromatherapy and pet visits, are used in combination with medical support to help alleviate pain. We celebrate and thank our patients for their service at bedside pinning ceremonies officiated by a veteran or active duty service member. Since 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice has touched the lives of more than 100,000 people in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County. To learn more about our hospice care, palliative care and grief support services for veterans, call 800.797.2050 or visit

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

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We need your help to locate San Diego County World War II and Korea War Veterans for our upcoming 2020 trips. We want to honor them by taking them on a 3-day trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials built for their service and sacrifice. Since 2010, Honor Flight San Diego has taken over 1,400 veterans on this trip. Due to generous donors, the trip is no cost to the veteran.

“It was the best weekend of my life!� - WWII Veteran For more information, please call: (800) 655-6997 or email: / MAY 2020


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