SDVM Editorial Spotlight Samples

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VETERANSSAN DIEGO

FREE Editorial Spotlight with Half-Page Ad

THE NONPROFIT VETERANS INITIATIVE PROGRAM

San Diego Veterans Magazine through the Nonprofit Veterans Initiative Program offers a FREE editorial spotlight & FREE half-page ad for Nonprofit Veteran Organizations, & Approved For-Purpose Businesses that provide services, programs, assistance, and career opportunities to veterans and U.S. Military Personnel. The editorial spotlight is a 2-page editorial spread with images and LIVE URL links, plus an attached FREE half-page ad. This is your editorial spotlight, it can include your mission, services, events, programs, donation opportunities, memberships, etc.

Support The Enlisted Project (STEP)

Few other jobs, if any, require greater risk, personal sacrifice, family disruption, emotional distress, time demands, and psychological impact than the job of a Coast Guardsman, Marine, a Sailor, an Airman, or a Soldier in today’s military.

In 2012, Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) started as an organization that wanted to support the most vulnerable in the military – young, junior enlisted service members who are asked to do dangerous, important jobs, with some of the lowest incomes in the country. They wanted to ensure everyone had their basic needs met in order to always be mission-ready.

Since then, STEP has evolved from supporting basic, urgent needs, to include working one-on-one with families to find their own path to financial self-sufficiency. They help navigate an imminent financial crisis, ensure no basic need is lost, while simultaneously work on an individualized plan for their overall financial well-being.

Founded by Veterans, STEP understands the demands of the job both on the service member, and their family. They know many getting into the military do not have financial literacy skills to navigate the low-pay and financial demands of the job: frequent moves without 100% reimbursements, high-cost-of-living areas, lack of childcare options, low spousal employment or under employed. The program is designed to set up these families for success, even when living paycheck-topaycheck.

For the service member and Veteran to succeed, they must be ready for change and willing to make the sacrifices needed to prepare for the future, even when circumstances are outside their control.

In April, as the pandemic continued to shut down much of our world, a Marine family was struggling to pay rent when his wife was let go from her $15.50 hour job. Now rent was not the biggest concern but ensuring food on the table was. They came to STEP for help and a social worker, certified in financial counseling, worked with them to develop a plan they could survive on until she was able to find work again.

“We were pretty good with money. There wasn’t a lot of it, so we lived month-to-month with a small savings. When my wife lost her job that all changed, and I went to STEP for help. After paying two months of our rent and getting us groceries, we were able to breath and focus on what came next. And by February 2021 we’ll be able to start saving money again, even with my wife’s new part-time job. It’s a good feeling to be back in control.” – Marco, E4

Evictions, utility disconnects, food insecurity, and other financial crises are on the rise among our military community as the COVID-19 crisis exposes and deepens their everyday challenges. The team at STEP shifted gears quickly in March and have since served over 9,000 individuals through their no-contact food distributions through San Diego and Orange County. Many of the families have been quarantining since the beginning with spouses deployed and little to no support network. To-date over 110,000 pounds of food, 150,000 diapers and other hygiene products have been distributed. All thanks to strong partnerships, generous donors, and hard-working volunteers.

The long-term effects of COVID-19 on our service members and Veterans has yet to be seen and STEP is preparing for the long-haul toward recovery. Applications for support increased 30% in November as the increase in COVID-19 cases are on the rise, even within our active duty community.

“What we learned this year is that our program is designed for a crisis like this. With the community’s support, we have been able to answer the call for these critical needs, but also plant the seeds of prudent financial management along the way,” shared Tony Teravainen, CEO & C0-Founder of STEP and recent recipient of San Diego County’s Veteran of the Year award. “I am really proud of my team as they manage our clients needs and their own during this time. And, I am always grateful for the generosity of our community.”

STEP is a privately funded, 4-Star Charity Navigator rated non-profit that serves all E1-E6 active duty and transitioning Veterans in Southern California. In January 2021 they will be formally expanding to serve the same population in Washington State.

To learn how you can assist their programs through advocacy, volunteering or financial support, go to: www.stepsocal.org and follow them at @stepsocal

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com
M A G A Z I N E
EDITORIAL SPOTLIGHT SAMPLES
WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com

FREE Editorial Spotlight with FREE Half-Page Ad THE NONPROFIT VETERANS INITIATIVE PROGRAM

San Diego Veterans Magazine is a veteran-focused magazines, serving veterans, military personnel & families with resources, support,mental health, transition, monthly columns and more…

• HOW DOES IT WORK?

(1) The first thing to do is contact us at (858) 275-4281 mikemiller@sdvetsmagazine.com, or mikemiller@homelandmagazine.com

At this point you can review our editorial calendar and choose a preferred month you would like to have your editorial spotlight/ad to run. The month of your spotlight will depend on availability. It’s best to contact us ASAP in order to reserve your preferred monthly position – we can work out the details once we connect.

(2) FYI, the editorial spotlight is provided by your organization in a word doc., edited and ready to go. (Our team will layout the spotlight) *Some organizations will have their own writer, others will use their website content and add any new information, (upcoming events, new programs, etc.) *If you need assistance with that, we can refer you to nonprofit writer.

If you decide you don’t need the FREE half-page ad, it’s OK, we can use the extra space for more images and or a larger word count. (Just let us know)

• THE DETAILS

Word Count: The word count should be between 700-850 words. (Edited and ready to go. (no need to format)

• Images: Include Images with captions (if possible) and logo. (Please send images & logo separately – hi-res if possible)

• Deadline Dates: We will give you a deadline date to provide us with your material. (It’s usually the 22nd to 23rd prior to the month of publishing.

• FREE Half-Page Ad: (JPG/PDF) We will send you the half-page ad specs.

If you have any questions, we can work out the details once we connect.

*Note - Please contact us before you start putting your editorial spotlight together.

San Diego Veterans Magazine www.SanDiegoVeternsMagazine.com (858) 275-4281

Editorial Samples

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Support The Enlisted Project (STEP)

Few other jobs, if any, require greater risk, personal sacrifice, family disruption, emotional distress, time demands, and psychological impact than the job of a Coast Guardsman, Marine, a Sailor, an Airman, or a Soldier in today’s military.

In 2012, Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) started as an organization that wanted to support the most vulnerable in the military – young, junior enlisted service members who are asked to do dangerous, important jobs, with some of the lowest incomes in the country. They wanted to ensure everyone had their basic needs met in order to always be mission-ready.

Since then, STEP has evolved from supporting basic, urgent needs, to include working one-on-one with families to find their own path to financial self-sufficiency. They help navigate an imminent financial crisis, ensure no basic need is lost, while simultaneously work on an individualized plan for their overall financial well-being.

Founded by Veterans, STEP understands the demands of the job both on the service member, and their family. They know many getting into the military do not have financial literacy skills to navigate the low-pay and financial demands of the job: frequent moves without 100% reimbursements, high-cost-of-living areas, lack of childcare options, low spousal employment or under employed. The program is designed to set up these families for success, even when living paycheck-topaycheck.

For the service member and Veteran to succeed, they must be ready for change and willing to make the sacrifices needed to prepare for the future, even when circumstances are outside their control.

In April, as the pandemic continued to shut down much of our world, a Marine family was struggling to pay rent when his wife was let go from her $15.50 hour job. Now rent was not the biggest concern but ensuring food on the table was. They came to STEP for help and a social worker, certified in financial counseling, worked with them to develop a plan they could survive on until she was able to find work again.

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com

“We were pretty good with money. There wasn’t a lot of it, so we lived month-to-month with a small savings. When my wife lost her job that all changed, and I went to STEP for help. After paying two months of our rent and getting us groceries, we were able to breath and focus on what came next. And by February 2021 we’ll be able to start saving money again, even with my wife’s new part-time job. It’s a good feeling to be back in control.” – Marco, E4

Evictions, utility disconnects, food insecurity, and other financial crises are on the rise among our military community as the COVID-19 crisis exposes and deepens their everyday challenges. The team at STEP shifted gears quickly in March and have since served over 9,000 individuals through their no-contact food distributions through San Diego and Orange County. Many of the families have been quarantining since the beginning with spouses deployed and little to no support network. To-date over 110,000 pounds of food, 150,000 diapers and other hygiene products have been distributed. All thanks to strong partnerships, generous donors, and hard-working volunteers.

The long-term effects of COVID-19 on our service members and Veterans has yet to be seen and STEP is preparing for the long-haul toward recovery. Applications for support increased 30% in November as the increase in COVID-19 cases are on the rise, even within our active duty community.

“What we learned this year is that our program is designed for a crisis like this. With the community’s support, we have been able to answer the call for these critical needs, but also plant the seeds of prudent financial management along the way,” shared Tony Teravainen, CEO & C0-Founder of STEP and recent recipient of San Diego County’s Veteran of the Year award. “I am really proud of my team as they manage our clients needs and their own during this time. And, I am always grateful for the generosity of our community.”

STEP is a privately funded, 4-Star Charity Navigator rated non-profit that serves all E1-E6 active duty and transitioning Veterans in Southern California. In January 2021 they will be formally expanding to serve the same population in Washington State.

To learn how you can assist their programs through advocacy, volunteering or financial support, go to: www.stepsocal.org and follow them at @stepsocal.

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com

Operation Gratitude’s mission is to forge strong bonds between Americans and their Military and First Responder Heroes through volunteer service projects, acts of gratitude, and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide. This is primarily accomplished by bringing communities together for the assembly and delivery of a tangible symbol of gratitude -- the signature Operation Gratitude Care Package.

More than 17 years ago, Operation Gratitude sent its first four Care Packages to deployed Service Members in Iraq. Since then, the nonprofit has allowed millions of Americans to express appreciation through hands-on volunteerism and has lifted the spirits of more than 1.8 million deployed troops, also evolving to impact another 1.2 million recruit graduates, veterans, military families, first responders, and healthcare heroes.

Multiple programs exist at Operation Gratitude, allowing grateful Americans everywhere to show appreciation for and connect with all those who serve in a meaningful way.

Deployed troops

Each year, Operation Gratitude sends hundreds of thousands of Care Packages to troops deployed around the world. Generous citizens and corporate partners donate high quality “wish list” items, “handmade with love” items, and letters of support to fill the care packages.

A sailor aboard the USS San Jacinto was a recent recipient of an Operation Gratitude care package. He shared, “This little ray of sunshine was much needed, as the unfortunate spread of the Coronavirus has stopped all of our possible port visits. Right now, we have been underway for 61 consecutive days and are expecting another 50+ before we get a break.

We are all so thankful for your generosity. What you do makes what we do a little easier, and it means a lot to every one of us.”

Recruit graduates

Operation Gratitude welcomes the nation’s newest service members with the help of devoted community volunteers by delivering Care Pouches at Boot Camp graduations across the country. During the pandemic, volunteers continue to give through virtual volunteerism opportunities.

Military families

Operation Gratitude sends trademarked “Battalion Buddy” bears to the children of deployed service members. These comfort items are hand stuffed by volunteers at events nationwide. The Operation Gratitude team and volunteers are often invited to handdeliver these bears, where they have the opportunity to show these brave young warriors and their parents that a grateful nation stands with them during difficult times.

Veterans

Operation Gratitude coordinates with VA hospitals, Veteran and nursing homes, Veterans Services Organizations, and other best-in-class nonprofits to provide care packages to Veterans of all generations. Receiving a Care Package shows veterans, often for the first time, that their service and sacrifices are appreciated and never forgotten.

Wounded Heroes and Caregivers

To honor the service and sacrifice of Wounded Heroes from all eras and their often unseen Caregivers, Operation Gratitude provides custom Care Packages to acknowledge and thank each of them in a unique way. These Care Packages are delivered directly to their homes or given out at group events.

First Responders

The delivery of Care Packages to hundreds of departments across the U.S. allows Operation Gratitude team members, volunteers, donors, and corporate partners to thank the local First Responders who honorably protect and serve their communities.

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com

Operation Gratitude began as a grassroots movement to provide every American with the opportunity to say “thank you” to all who serve. Now a national nonprofit, Operation Gratitude has grown significantly to meet the military’s evolving needs, first responder, and healthcare heroes at the core of its mission. Volunteers remain the heart and soul of the organization. The millions of volunteers nationwide who take the time to contribute to a Care Package make a connection and an impact, as expressed in an email from a deployed soldier with the 82nd airborne last year, upon receiving Operation Gratitude Care Packages for his entire unit: “Thank you to all the Men, Women, and children for your hard work and words of encouragement. We appreciate you and will continue to keep our patriotic citizens safe and keep our spirits high. With this kind of support and appreciation, we can never fail to know that you all have our back when times get tough.”

COVID-19 Response

On March 22, 2020, Operation Gratitude launched one of the most extensive coordinated efforts in the country to support the brave men and women on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the form of critically needed items and handwritten letters of appreciation, this support directly impacts their ability to serve and protect our communities and the citizens who rely on them. “As we have all seen recently, the world can turn upside down in a matter of days.

One thing that we can always count on during a crisis is our military and first responders on the frontlines,” said the CEO of Operation Gratitude, retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Schmiegel. “While they continue to serve, we will continue to support them. Together, we will deliver millions of critically needed items and letters of appreciation globally to those who need it most.”

CONVERSATIONS ABOUT

Solidarity of Service, a new podcast hosted by Operation Gratitude CEO and Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Schmiegel and the Chief Strategy and Operations Officer for NAMI, Retired Marine Chief Warrant Officer-2 Sherman Gillums, Jr is now available.

The show explores inspiring stories about community, connection, and service, featuring true American patriots from all walks of life. The inspiration for the Solidarity of Service came from the two friends’ conversations about their desire to help heal a divided nation and the power of service in uniting communities.

For more information, please visit us at www.operationgratitude.com www.operationgratitude.com

facebook.com/OperationGratitude twitter.com/OpGratitude linkedin.com/companies/operation-gratitude Instagram.com/opgratitude

Visit www.operationgratitude.com or Search “Solidarity of Service” on your favorite Podcast App.

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com
SERVICE

For those who call San Diego their new Duty Station, military families often come in with excitement ready to explore their new surroundings, meet new people, and hit the beach! But what some families may not be aware of is that this duty station can come with its own set of unique challenges in terms of knowing where to turn for support when times get tough and understanding how to navigate life off base as most live within different pockets of San Diego. So, the number one thing that service providers hear from military families when faced with a challenging situation is, “I don’t know where to start…”. As often is the case, it can be overwhelming coming into this region, experiencing the high cost of living, and knowing where to turn to if you run into a snag. This may include needing emergency financial assistance, identifying childcare, seeking food assistance/diapers if in a pinch, or the many more situations that arise as a result of military family life. These reasons sum up why the San Diego Military Family Collaborative (SDMFC) was created.

SDMFC’s STORY:

In 2010, SDMFC came together as a grouping of 6 military service organizations, led by nonprofit SAY San Diego, who felt that they all could do more to support military family life by coming together to share resources and information allowing military families to easily gain access to services. Over time, SDMFC has grown to represent over 150 active participating organizations dedicated to supporting

San Diego’s Military Community through SDMFC’s mission of “Education, Advocacy, and Engagement” in an effort to “Build a Stronger Military Community.” In this effort, SDMFC convenes a community of Service Members, Military Spouses, DoD Partners, Government Reps, and Nonprofit Organizations who together collectively reach over 1,000 individuals annually through workshops, convenings, and communications.

CONVENINGS:

How is all that possible? Well, through collaboration, no pun intended. SDMFC utilizes monthly convenings to discuss issues impacting the military community like “Spouse Employment, EFMP resources, Relationship Building, Mental Health Services, and Youth-Centric Programs/Activities for Military Youth!” For these topics, we bring in “Boots on the Ground,” organizations that can share trends from what they are seeing among military families in need of their services. Through expert panels, networking, and activities SDMFC’s audience forges interconnections and collectively amass support so that when a family is in need, they are better informed of who to turn to for support and easily get plugged into a resource or program. A first-time Service Member Participant shared, “I had no idea that all of this existed.” All are welcome to attend convenings on the 4th Friday of each month from 1000 - 1130.

WORKSHOPS:

Not only does SDMFC convene monthly, but also offers workshops for military family engagement related to two primary fields: Transition from the Services, an Mil teen/parent forums to discuss “tough to talk about issues.”

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SDMFC’s transition workshop called, “Military Transition: the Spouse Edition,” is intended for military spouses to learn the “Roadmap of Transition,” so that the family can be prepared for all decisions regarding their transition to civilian life as service members do not transition alone. SDMFC creates a virtual workshop with speakers from DoD partners and community members to help families navigate the challenges of transition so that more conversations occur prior to hanging up the uniform. Participants have tuned in from all over for this virtual program offering including up the coast from duty stations in Central/Northern California, Washington, to East Coast including Virginia and Florida, and spanning as far away as Pacific Samoa. One military spouse shared, “Glad I started the learning process early. This will be a lot to move through and having enough time to not be overwhelmed/miss something is comforting.”To register, visit: www.sdmilitaryfamily.org/transitions

SDMFC’s mil teen/parent workshops are called, “What I Wish My Parents Knew,” and is a way for teens to share insights into their world and express how topics like, “Relationships, Stress, and Next Steps Following Graduation,” impact their lives. There, parents can better understand how these challenges present themselves in their child’s life and allow them to learn from student leaders who voice concerns, insights, and successes. Community experts on the topics also share new st rategies and approaches to communication for parents. These listening sessions for parents can open new doors to communication channels that may have been closed by their child so that conversations can once again occur at the dinner table instead of being caught behind their smartphone. A parent participant shared, “Student presenters speaking from their own personal experience are quite articulate and very insightful.”

COMMUNICATIONS

Finally, SDMFC offers a great opportunity to learn more about community programs and resources from our bi-monthly newsletters and social media platforms. To get connected, visit: www.sdmilitaryfamily.org/sdmfc-newsletter/ or follow our handle on social media: @sdmilfam.

All are welcome to participate in all program offerings at no cost, so connect with us TODAY to experience and support a “Stronger Military Community” together!

For more information, please visit: www.sdmilitaryfamily.org

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com

Challenged Athletes Foundation Operation Rebound

CAF Operation Rebound provides grants year-around to active duty service members, honorably discharged veterans and first responders with permanent physical injuries for sports equipment, competition and training expenses in the sport or recreational activity of their own choosing. This unique support model is effective in improving both physical and psychological well-being as it allows veterans and first responders to determine their own course towards healing and, in so doing, promotes independence in other aspects of their lives. The program supports nationwide and does not restrict support based upon geography, time of year or type of sport in which an individual chooses to engage. Since 2005, the program has supported over 3,000 individuals experience the healing power of sports.

The U.S. cares for 9.1 million veterans at a medical cost of $69 billion per year. Approximately 78% of these veterans are overweight or obese, the annual care for whom costs over $2.6 billion; a cost that is entirely preventable. Of the veterans receiving VA care over 90,000 have permanent physical injuries. Many of whom are at greater risk of becoming obese due to a lack of physical activity. This lack of activity contributes to a higher prevalence of chronic disease risk among veterans with disabilities. Fitness programs help veterans become healthy and make them feel that they are a member of a team again. However, barriers, primarily economic, can prevent many from engaging. Sports equipment, travel and training can be cost-prohibitive for veterans. Without financial support many disabled veterans are left on the sidelines, unable to engage in activities that are proven cost-effective interventions for addressing the obesity epidemic. With proper support, veterans can thrive as demonstrated by the following testimonial:

“My family and I have been hiking almost every day. I have been able to see trails I’ve never been able to make it too without the off-road chair. Hiking has quickly become a family favorite outing. My boys wake in the morning and say, where can we take Mama today. Once again thank you so much for my chair. It has been the best gift for my entire family. We are all very grateful.”

-Ixchel Pirlo, U.S. Army Veteran

Closing the fitness gap between disabled veterans and their able-bodied peers leads to more equitable health outcomes, less dependence on the healthcare system and more community engagement among disabled veterans.

Many CAF Operation Rebound athletes are active duty, military retirees and first responders. They were in top physical shape upon entering the service and often times, in an instant, faced the life- altering challenge. Their motivates them to face their injury as a challenge to overcome instead of a life-limiting disability. Through participation in sports, they demonstrate to others and prove to themselves that they not only have the ability to overcome their challenges, but to excel in a sport that they thought they would never be able to participate in again. Wether participating in a local recreational league or competing at international competition, CAF Operation Rebound provides the resources necessary to reach their sporting goals. The Operation Rebound motto is Frontline to Finish Line.” The motto underlines the program’s importance, embodying the ethos of both independence and team work.

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com

One such athlete who embodies the ethos of the Operation Rebound program is Captain Eric McElvenny, USMC (ret.) Eric excelled in both baseball and football throughout high school and went on to major in Mechanical Engineering at the U.S Naval Academy. He carried on his love for sports as a member of the Naval Academy Rugby team. Following graduation and Marine Corps training, Eric deployed three times to the Middle East. On this third deployment to Afghanistan, Eric was working with Afghan soldiers and stepped on an IED in December 2011, suffering the loss of his right leg below the knee in the explosion. It was difficult for Eric to leave his fellow marines behind and return early from deployment, but after a few months of physical therapy, Eric is back in action - this time in the world of triathlon.

With the support of the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Operation Rebound program, Eric raced in his first two triathlons just 6 months after taking his first post-injury steps. Eric hopes to “inspire and motivate others, disabled or able bodied, athletes or not, to get out there, be active, accomplish goals, overcome adversities, build confidence and enjoy life”. In 2021, Eric earned a spot on the U.S. Para-Triathlon team, and is one of 10 CAF Operation Rebound athletes representing our country at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Eric has not only become an elite athlete in his own right but a mentor for others. “I hope to give back to others as much as Operation Rebound has given to me.”, said Eric, summing up his selfless focus on helping others to adapt to and overcome their own challenges in pursuit of self-improvement.

For more information visit www.operationrebound.org or contact nico@challengedathletes.org

GETTING INJURED VETERANS AND FIRST RESPONDERS BACK INTO THE GAME OF LIFE THROUGH SPORTS

CAF’s Operation Rebound® program strengthens the mental and physical well-being of veterans, military personnel, and first responders with permanent physical injuries by providing them opportunities to use sports and fitness to reintegrate into our communities and by empowering them through sports.

Through Operation Rebound-specific grant requests and sport clinics, CAF is there to support our service members from Frontline to Finish Line.

Learn more at www.challengedathletes.org

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Give an Hour Proudly Serves Service Members, Veterans and Families by Making Mental Health a Priority

While Veterans Day is a great opportunity to publicly acknowledge the service and sacrifice given to the United States by brave men and women, Give an Hour appreciates our military, veterans and their loved ones every single day of the year. November is also Men’s Mental Health month and with an active duty military force made up of roughly 82% men, it‘s a good reminder that mental health is equally as important as physical health.

Is My Family Eligible?

If a family member or loved one is suffering due to the military member or veteran’s service (or consequences of) and is in need of care, they are eligible for one-onone counseling, as well.

Finding a Provider: Next Steps

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Give an Hour® is a nonprofit organization that provides no-cost counseling through a network of licensed, volunteer, mental health professionals. Founded in 2005 to address the gap in mental health care available to military service members, veterans

a p s y c h o l o g i s t w h o s a w m e f o r

What happens next is up to you. Are you ready to receive help? Before beginning your search for the right provider for you, we encourage you to visit the Frequently Asked Questions on our website to familiarize yourself with our process and what you can expect.

G I V E A N H O U R C L I E N T N . B E R K www.giveanhour.org

Providers in our network agree to offer one hour per week of service, per Give an Hour client until it’s

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As one might expect, the pandemic has caused more people to seek out the services of mental health professionals so, as with any specialist, there may be some wait time.

It’s also important to note that care is not one-size-fitsall. Not everyone needs to see a counselor and there are other resources available such as Emotional Life Skills courses and peer support and Give an Hour will help you navigate what is appropriate for you.

How You Can Help

PROUD TO

1. Key to helping yourself, a friend or loved one who may be experiencing distress is making yourself familiar with Give an Hour’s Five Signs of Emotional Suffering. Recognizing early that someone may be in pain could make all the difference in getting them help.

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2. Peer support is also an important tool for service members, veterans and their families or loved ones. Reach out to a battle buddy and let him know he matters. Staying connected and feeling supported benefits both of you. Become a Give an Hour Wellness Ambassador and be the person in your community who is willing to advocate for mental health.

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Blue Star Families is Military Families

Blue Star Families is the most trusted and farthest reaching Chapter-based military family support organization that seeks to make military life awesome by fostering connections — both virtually and in person — within communities to create a sense of belonging for military families nationwide. Founded by military spouses in 2009, we're committed to improving the quality of life for the All-Volunteer Force and their families by connecting them with their neighbors — individuals and organizations — to create vibrant communities of mutual support. We believe we're all stronger when we take care of each other.

Establishing trust:

Fifteen years ago, our organization was the first to ask questions about the experiences of military families. Now, our groundbreaking research is raising the nation's awareness of the unique challenges of military family life. With the help of neighbors across the country, we are overcoming the isolation and alienation of frequent moves, deployments, food insecurity, and addressing military spouse employment hurdles. Blue Star Families’ Military Family Lifestyle Survey (MFLS) is our community’s largest and longest-running survey that informs critical policy reform each year. In 2023, we reached a milestone of 100,000 military family respondents to date. This year, the survey is open from March 27th to May 15th, 2024.

Driving innovation:

Our most recent survey found that three-quarters of active-duty family respondents (76%) are engaging entirely or mostly virtually when considering their three closest relationships outside of their spouse or children.1 It also found a direct correlation between connectedness and well-being. Those who interact more frequently with close contacts — whether virtual or in person — report greater well-being than those who interact less frequently.

Blue Star Families’ answer is The Neighborhood, an online community to connect military and Veteran families with resources and local community members.

It serves as an all-inclusive access point for member discounts and perks, giveaways from military-friendly partners, local and virtual events, interest-based chat groups, career support, volunteer opportunities, and direct connection with military and Veteran service organization resources from across the country.

Creating connection:

With approximately 275,000 members in our network, we touch more than 1.5 million military family members each year. Through our research and program partnerships, we ensure that wherever American military families go, they can always feel connected, supported, and empowered to thrive — in every community, across the nation, and around the globe. Our Chapters and Outposts join members to resources and events, career opportunities, resources, perks from top brands, and so much more. We currently have 13 Chapters nationwide and 13 Outpost locations opening in 2024!

Empowering networks:

Dedication, resilience, and sacrifice characterize the lives of our military personnel and their families. However, significant mental health struggles — and stigma surrounding conversations and access to resources that address these challenges often accompany the military lifestyle. Blue Star Families addresses these challenges head on and creates tools for caregivers, families, and neighbors to meet the needs of at-risk military Veterans. The Combat the Silence initiative connects our members with trusted experts like American Red Cross, Spiritune,

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PsychArmor, and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). The campaign aims to not only bring awareness to suicide prevention resources, but also to bridge the gap between recognition and intervention within the military-connected community.

Driving change:

If there’s one thing we’ve realized in the last 15 years, it’s that we cannot do this work alone. To see real change for military and Veteran families, we are developing solutions and clear pathways for everyone to Do Your Part to ensure the future and sustainability of the AllVolunteer Force. Join the Blue Star Families Chapter of San Diego to grow in the community, feel a better sense of belonging, and learn more about ways to get involved.

Join the San Diego Community, neighborhood. bluestarfam.org/topics/29308/feed

Interested in local partnerships?

Email sandiego@bluestarfam.org

Learn more about Blue Star Families, bluestarfam.org

Combat the Silence or Blue Star Support Circles, bluestarfam.org/blue-star-support-circles

Military Family Lifestyle Survey bluestarfam.org/research/mfls-survey-release-2024/

Maggie Meza is a marine spouse and mother of three who leads community efforts in the Blue Star Families Chapter of San Diego. She has over twenty five years of experience volunteering, advising, holding numerous executive board member positions, and fundraising for numerous organizations that advocate for military families. Maggie also has served as an Advisor for the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society Camp Pendleton and the Exceptional Family Member Program for Marine Corps Community Services.

Across Southern California, she facilitates engagement opportunities that create cross-sectoral dialogue between military and civilian communities. Maggie connects military and Veteran families to beautiful Southern California parks and beaches through the Outdoor Explorer for All Program, provides Caregivers an opportunity to connect with one another through Caregivers Encouraging Caregivers events, brings awareness of local resources to military spouses through monthly Coffee Connections, and encourages families to enjoy the Arts through the Blue Star Museum Program.

Blue Star Families is

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Military Families Most trusted. Farthest reaching. Making military life awesome. bluestarfam.org

Patriot Assist was started by siblings Will Jacoway and Leslie Jacoway Schneider, who are children of a proud marine and Vietnam veteran. Will and Leslie grew up in San Diego, CA and their extended family includes Army, Navy, Air Force and members of the US Congress.

Will and Leslie hold tremendous respect for veterans and the sacrifices they and their families make for our country and our personal freedoms. The inspiration behind starting Patriot Assist is their dad who separated from the marine corps with service-connected disabilities and went on to create a successful financial planning business. His pride in America and adherence to strict discipline learned from his time in the marine corps proved excellent role modeling for his family. Even now well into his 80s, he continues to dedicate his time and finances to supporting skills training organizations for veterans and creating military-honoring events in San Diego.

Patriot Assist’s mission is to honor veterans and their sacrifices by providing them with the documentation they need to feel confident when submitting their disability claim to the VA.

Too often, a veteran’s disability claim is denied or calculated at a lower rate than they expected. Claims officers handle a high volume of cases and mistakes can happen. It’s disappointing when the process takes longer than expected and incredibly stressful when veterans realize that the months or even years of trying to get appropriately compensated for their disabilities haven’t resulted in the outcome they hoped for. We review all the documents to see if errors were made and if we feel we can increase those ratings, we will commit to fighting for you.

Another area where Patriot Assist supports veterans is with those who have lived with their disabilities for a while and whose symptoms have worsened. We all know that our bodies degrade over time and if there is an injury or condition that has gotten worse, it may be appropriate to re-evaluate the disability rating with the VA. An increased rating can result in a revision of compensation and potentially significant additional dollars per month.

Our priority is delivering quality service and getting results. We equip veterans with the most effective Disability Benefit Questionnaires (DBQs) possible so that the process is simple. When you work with us, you have access to our nationwide network of physicians who work with your best interest in mind. These medical professionals are familiar with the VA claims process and are skilled at completing accurate DBQs. After your medical exams and a thorough final review of your signed documents, we provide you with completed paperwork plus helpful and detailed instructions for submitting your claim to the VA.

“I figured my VSO would have my back and take care of all the details I needed for my claim. When I got the decision letter saying I only got a 70% rating, I was pissed. Even the doctors told me I should have gotten a higher rating but I was trained to not complain and just get on with it. My wife met Will and Leslie at a meeting she went to and told me to call them. I did and explained my situation to them. After looking over all my paperwork they wanted to help. They spent a lot of time going through the process with me and set me up with their doctors who were close to my house and knew all about the VA process. I got my increased rating just like they said and now we can afford our mortgage and are building our savings.”

- Chuck, Navy Veteran

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Another area of support that Patriot Assist offers is creating Nexus letters. A Nexus letter is a letter written by a doctor or medical provider connecting a veteran’s condition to his or her military service. If the VA rejects a submitted claim, a Nexus letter can be used to appeal that decision and help receive serviceconnected compensation after all.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got that denial letter from the VA. I was stressed out and angry and was trying to figure out how to pay my bills. A coworker told me about Patriot Assist and what they do for veterans and I figured why not? I had nothing to lose. So, I called and talked to them and what they said made sense. I met with one of their doctors who wrote up an awesome Nexus letter for my claim. It didn’t happen overnight but I just got my new increased rating with back pay!

I was out of my mind when I got that check in the mail! Now I’m able to start planning for my future without all the financial stress I had before.”

- Seth, Marine Veteran

As a neutral third party, we have provided support for many veterans across the country in their pursuit of disability benefits, and we strive to provide individualized service for each client.

If you are seeking a revision of your disability rating and would like to discuss your situation, please reach out to us at Info@PatriotAssist.org or call us at (858) 461-9564.

GET CONNECTED

Get in touch

Simply call us, send an email, or fill out our contact form to get in touch. We are here to answer any questions you have.

For more information please visit our website www.patriotassist.org

www.patriotassist.org

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Cohen Veterans Network’s Mental Health Services

Now Available to More Veterans, Active-Duty Service Members and Military Families in California

“There’s no shame in asking for help.”

– Laura, Iraq War Veteran

“My hopes for the future are very high.”

– Darcel, Army National Guard

“I am better equipped to cope.”

– Matt, Air National Guard Veteran

“I am happier.”

– Rebecca, Military Spouse and Caregiver

Cohen Veterans Network’s (CVN) mission is to help veterans, active-duty service members and their families through their unique challenges, including transitioning from active military service back to civilian life, and beyond. With high-quality, accessible care available, regardless of discharge status or role in service, CVN’s Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics provide specialized therapy for depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other challenges. They also provide relationship counseling and help with children’s behavioral issues to support the entire military family.

To meet the increasing mental health needs of the veteran and military community, CVN will open two additional clinics in California, one in Oceanside and another in Los Angeles. These will be the second and third Cohen Clinics in the state; a San Diego clinic opened in 2019.

This effort is another step toward CVN meeting the $275M commitment set forth by financier philanthropist Steven A. Cohen to help reduce veteran suicide and increase care for active-duty service members and military families throughout the country. More than 33,000 post-9/11 veterans, nearly 40,000 active-duty service members, and more than 31,000 military family members will be eligible for care at the Cohen Clinic in Oceanside. Greater than 52,000 post-9/11 veterans, 6,000 active-duty service members, and 10,000 military family members will be eligible for care at the Cohen Clinic in Los Angeles.

CVN’s partner for these clinics is Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), which is its current partner at the Cohen Clinic in San Diego, located in Mission Valley.

VVSD has served veterans since 1981 and is dedicated to “Leave No One Behind.” Each year, VVSD provides services to more than 3,000 military veterans throughout San Diego County.

“There are many factors in play these days which are negatively impacting our mental health, including the continued challenges of COVID-19 and the possibilities of future deployments. We are here to serve veterans, active duty and families throughout the entire state of California,” said Dr. Anthony Hassan, President & CEO of CVN. “We are expanding on our proven success in San Diego and scaling up to the meet the additional need.”

In addition to providing care to those within reach of the Oceanside and Los Angeles locations, the new Cohen Clinics will also offer telehealth services statewide to more than 655,000 potential clients. CVN Telehealth is face-to-face video therapy where the client can receive treatment from the privacy and comfort of their own home.

“The ability to provide telehealth services is critical and a game changer, especially in southern California

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where we have seen the number of COVID-19 cases rise significantly in recent months,” said Akilah Templeton, CEO of VVSD. “Telehealth provides a great option for veterans, service members and their families who want to stay connected to a trusted provider, regardless of location. Our partnership with CVN has helped to expand our reach and build out VVSD’s continuum of care so that the entire military family has access to high-quality outpatient mental health services and supports for years to come.”

The Oceanside Cohen Clinic is located at: 3609 Ocean Ranch Blvd, Suite 120, while the Los Angeles location will be unveiled in the coming months.

Each location has begun hiring staff members, with open positions available. www.cohenveteransnetwork.org/our-team/careers

Since its inception in April 2016, CVN has built 21 Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics across the country and has treated more than 30,000 clients.

Your generous tax-deductible donation to the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD enables our mental health clinics to make the lives of veterans and military families better. Your support will sustain and advance our Cohen Clinics now and into the future, and as we reach additional clients in rural areas via CVN Telehealth.

www.cohenveteransnetwork.org/telehealth

Here are some examples of what your gift will allow us to do:

• Family or Couple Therapy Session: $500

• Individual Therapy Session: $250

• Local Referral Support: $100

• Youth Therapy Supplies: $50

• Providing Childcare: $25

To donate, visit www.vvsd.net/cohenclinics

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com Therapy for Veterans, Service Members, and their Families Cohen Clinics provide therapy to post-9/11 veterans, service members, and their families, including National Guard / Reserves. LEARN MORE vvsd.net/cohenclinics 8885 Rio San Diego Dr. Suite 301 OUR LOCATIONS 3609 Ocean Ranch Blvd. Suite 120 CVN Telehealth, face-to-face video therapy available statewide. Coming Soon San Diego Oceanside Los Angeles

University of San Diego: A Better Way to Your MBA

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

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

Tuition Fully Covered for Most Military-Connected Students

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

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

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

Ideal MBA Format for Military Members and Veterans

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

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

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

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Military-Friendly Campus

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

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

Military Transition Conference on November 12

Active duty and veterans who are looking to transition into civilian careers should consider attending USD’s upcoming Military Transition Conference on November 12. The event will be held on campus at the University of San Diego, and include resume and LinkedIn reviews, interview prep and a presentation on military benefits. Plus, learn more about the Flex MBA program and apply for Spring 2023. Register at www.sandiego.edu/flexmba

www.sandiego.edu/flexmba

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National University Proudly Supports the U.S. Military

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

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

Supporting the Whole You

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

Financial Support

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

Academic Support

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

Social & Emotional Support

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

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Career Pathways

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

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

• Cybersecurity/Criminal Justice/Homeland Security and Emergency Management

• MBA and Organizational Leadership program

• Education/teaching degrees and credentials

Family & Community Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reach out today and find out what makes National University one of the most trusted and respected top military-friendly colleges. (NU.edu/veteran)

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

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The Armed Services Arts

Partnership (ASAP) builds communities where veterans and their families thrive through the arts. What does that look like? Veterans, service members, military spouses, family members, and caregivers can take free stand-up comedy, improv comedy, creative writing, and storytelling classes through ASAP.

In just a few years, ASAP has blossomed into the nation’s largest community arts organization serving the military community, with over 2,500 alumni stretching across the country.

If you step into one of our classrooms, it’s easy to see why.

“The sense of community ASAP gave me, it provided such a sense of identity. It reminded me of my worth, showed me what I could accomplish, and gave me a sense of being.”

– Monica Daly, US Army Veteran, Comedy Bootcamp Alumna and Instructor.

To step into an ASAP classroom is to enter into a sacred space. It is a space where individuals from all corners of this country gather, from progressives to conservatives, first-time creators to seasoned artists, military families to Marines and everyone in between. Though our backgrounds and experiences may be different, we are united by common purpose: to develop new skills, to share our stories, to do something that likely scares the sh*t out of us. From this group of individuals materializes a collective, a community, or, as one of our alumni put it, “a damn near family.”

Veterans, military family members, and caregivers in the San Diego area can take ASAP’s Comedy Bootcamp, Storytelling Bootcamp, Operation Improv, or Creative Writing: Word Rebel classes for free.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ASAP also offers classes to folks in D.C, Hampton Roads, VA, Indianapolis, IN, and virtually— for everyone in between.

Multi-week classes culminate in a graduation show, where participants can showcase all their craft to friends and family. For some, this show is just the beginning.

ASAP alumni put on open mics around the country, including here in San Diego. Comics can practice their set and test new jokes out on these stages.

Comedy Bootcamp graduates have gone on to perform on some of the world’s biggest stages: Caroline’s on Broadway, Gotham Comedy Club, DC Improv, Warner Theater, the National Press Club, and the White House.

ASAP classes are free and bring a wide variety of arts programming to the military population, but we might not always have what someone’s looking for.

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To give veterans and their families even more access to the benefits of the arts, we developed a Scholarship Fund.

Veterans and mil families can fill out our quick and simple application, and we’ll cover the cost of art education classes, workshops, seminars, intensives, retreats, or individual lessons. Anyone who has taken an ASAP class or workshop before is eligible for a scholarship.

To get a better understanding of how Comedy Bootcamp impacts our veteran participants, we conducted a mixed-methods research study.

The study determined that Comedy Bootcamp develops a healthy sense of humor — called “selfenhancing humor style” — and in turn, that improves veterans’ well-being in a variety of ways.

When using self-enhancing humor, a person regulates their emotions and copes with adversity by reframing difficult events in humorous ways. Ultimately, veterans who take Comedy Bootcamp improve their selfesteem, resilience, depression, and stress. Better yet — these benefits last over time.

“It changed how I dealt with my stress and frustration. Instead of internalizing my frustration, I was able to put it on paper, take control of my experience, turn a negative to a positive, and bring joy to others.”

– Michael Carrasquillo, U.S. Army Veteran, Comedy Bootcamp Alumnus.

https://asapasap.org

https://asapasap.org

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One of the largest military communities on the west coast with close to 380,000 military active-duty and veterans call San Diego County home. The Veterans Writing Group, San Diego County supports activeduty, military veterans, and family members in the passionate pursuit of “writing” and “telling” our stories. We are military veterans learning to write about our experiences. Membership is free. At monthly meetings the writers express themselves through the art of writing in any style: poetry, personal essay or short story, fiction and more.

WHO WE ARE

We are active duty or military veterans, and family members who write, or aspire to write. Our members span all conflicts, services, and eras supporting each other’s writing and experiences. We have the “fight to get home” desire to help each other achieve our writing goals. We write for many reasons. Mostly, we come together for personal and professional growth, comradery or just to share...We do this, with the help of professional mentors, industry leaders and guest speakers that help us learn more writing skills. Most importantly, get connect. Veterans of all writing skill levels are welcome to learn, share, and writing their story.

WHAT WE DO

We meet at the Veterans Association of North County (VANC), in Oceanside the third Saturday each month to share our experiences through the act and art of writing. Not all of us in the group started with the ability to write. One member claims he is the worst writer. He says, “To this day, it takes me three days to write one paragraph.” From the mind, through the pen and on to paper, writing can be cathartic for military people. Our group’s artistic expression of writing falls in line with other skills of imagination, that employ creative characteristics, like painting, theatre, music, and dance. The act of writing allows the person to convey unique military experiences through the art or storytelling.

THE VWG STORY

Founded in 2010, the VWG monthly meetings were held at the Oceanside Library, Mission Branch. Fast forward to 2012. We moved the meetings to the VANC located in the old Police Department building on Mission Ave. Our mission is to strive to help each other write our stories as well as provide entertainment to our readers and members. We trust our writing will help readers understand “the military active duty and veteran’s experience” through “their stories.”

A PERSONAL STORY

“I joined the Veterans’ Writing Group via Zoom just as COVID-19’s claws were strangling our abilities to safely meet in person. As a novice writer, each week I have had many opportunities to learn this craft. One unexpected benefit is that I am learning how to critique other people’s work. I recently used this new skill by providing constructive feedback on both story line content and grammar for my granddaughter’s college application essays. Thank you VWG! I can’t wait to meet all of you in person one day.”

~ Sue Steven

OUTREACH PROGRAMS & EVENTS

The Veterans Writing Group outreach campaign desires to connect to as many communities as possible. A new and important effort is the women’s writing subgroup which started in 2019 focusing exclusively on the unique military woman’s experience. Additional outreach includes presentations that have been conducted at several locations about our writing group’s mission. In 2018 we briefed approximately 100 sailors and ship personnel in the hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway. Annually, collaborating with Mira Costa

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College in Oceanside, we ask active duty, or military veteran, college students to submit a short story to compete for scholarships. Recently, April 2022, we presented an overview of our writing group to the quarterly Arts Commission Committee meeting in Oceanside. Literature and writing fall into the category of Visual Arts using creative writing expression. Oceanside is considered an Art District and our writing group is nested under that art umbrella.

The Veteran’s Writing Group of San Diego County has published four anthology books: Away for the Holidays, LISTEN UP! Things I Learned from the Military, Stories That Must BeTold, and AT EASE!

Now That I have Time to Think About It, which can be purchased from Amazon (direct link at our website) www.VeteransWritingGroup.org

Each copy we sell of these deeply personal and intimately relatable works allows us to donate two copies to veterans’ organizations, military hospitals and clinics, local libraries, and USO’s to help our fellow veterans and family heal and grow from our shared experiences. Our stories are sometimes hilarious, at other times heart wrenching, but always ring true and are unique to military members who sacrificed, volunteered, and served our country faithfully.

Veterans Writing Group of San Diego County are veterans, military family, supporters, and mentors helping one another tell our stories and grow as authors. All are welcome. We all have a story to tell. Join us. Let’s write together!

Social Media Connections

www.veteranswritinggroup.org

Facebook - @VWGSDCounty

Twitter - @VWG_SDCounty

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Celebrating Women’s History Month

Women Veterans Alliance is the premier national network focused on directly impacting the quality of life of women veterans. We do this successfully through transforming the way the community networks to bring people and programs directly together through a reliable and resourceful platform.

Our vision is to CONNECT over 2 million Women Veterans (and our supporters) globally for the PURPOSE of sharing our gifts, talents, resources and experience. We are committed to creating a community that Equips, Empowers & Encourages women that have served our country with knowledge, resources, mentorship, and career opportunities to discover & fulfill their greatest potential.

We have created a community both online and off-line including local women veteran networking groups, community events and national conferences worldwide which provide opportunities to connect and grow.

• Directory of Women Veteran Owned Business to promote or connect with local and global businesses.

• Assist women that are looking to start or expand a business.

• Allies directory of networking groups, meetups, support groups, veteran service organizations, councils and advisory committees that are specifically for women veterans

• Comprehensive directory of resources for veterans

• Online event calendar of nationwide events

• Online store of items such as t-shirts, jewelry, hats, books, pins and more!

• Our annual Signature event, The Unconference September 8-10th Tropicana Resort in Las Vegas

• Wednesday Webinar Series with great information being shared each week.

Visit us www.WomenVeteransAlliance.com to get more information and to sign up for updates Stay connected follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

Women Veterans Alliance is a woman, disabled veteran owned small business, that was founded in 2015, by Melissa A. Washington a Navy Veteran who saw a need to bring women veterans together to equip, empower and encourage each other.

Join us on Saturday, June 11, 2022 for the Red White & Blue Fun Run and our annual Boots & Ball Gowns Gala

After being awarded the Melissa Washington Small Business Award in 2020, Jennifer was able to invest in critical resources to help grow her business and make her dreams of being a successful entrepreneur come true! We have awarded over $15,000 to date!

Ways to help us help her — Donate: One Time, Monthly, Round Up, or Volunteer www.WomenVeteransGiving.org/donate

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APPLICATION PERIOD OPENS ON JUNE 1ST

Guide Dogs of America

At Guide Dogs of America, we transform lives through partnerships with service dogs. We breed, raise, and train guide dogs for individuals who are blind/ visually impaired and service dogs for veterans and children with autism. We also place facility dogs with professionals in hospitals, schools, and courtrooms. Our highly skilled canines become trusted companions that increase people’s confidence, mobility, and independence. All programs and services, including transportation, personalized training, room/board, and postgraduate support, are provided at no cost to the recipient.

This heartfelt note is from US combat Vietnam Veteran. Jim served with the 173rd Airborne for 18 months. He was exposed to Agent Orange and suffers from PTSD.

“My name’s Jim Reed, and this is my friend Triton. It’s been a long time since I had a friend, and even longer since I wanted one. When I first got here, I was real nervous. Which I am now. But, I’ve felt the feeling of easiness and calmness that I thought I left somewhere in the past.

Like I said, I have PTSD and a few things that agent orange had to offer. At night when the dark dreams come, and 1968 comes looking for me just like it always does, now Triton will be there to wake me up and bring me home. And for that, I’d like to thank everyone involved in this program from the bottom of my heart.

I’ve been told a few times since I’ve been here that Triton is a tool to help me navigate through life, which he is, but I like to think of him as my guardian angel.”

Volunteers Needed

www.guidedogsofamerica.org

WWW.SanDiegoVeteransMagazine.com
Open your home and your heart, to a future service dog in-training VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Text “PUPPY” to 51555 Or Call: (818) 362-5834 www.guidedogsofamerica.org RAISE A PUPPY... CHANGE A LIFE!

VSAN DIEGO

“San Diego’s BEST Community Resource for All Veterans, Transitioning Military Personnel and Military Families”

- San Diego Office of Military and Veteran Affairs

San Diego Veterans Magazine

Voted BEST San Diego Resource-Support Magazine for Veterans, Active Military & Military-Veteran Families (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)

M A G A Z I N E

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