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AVOW Magazine Spring 2021

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MAGAZINESPRING 2021 — volume 3, issue 1FOR WOMEN VETERANS, BY WOMEN VETERANSWinemakersDistillers & EducatorsWoVeNWIMSAMinorityVeteransof America

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at theTropicana HotelLas Vegas THE UNEXPECTED

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You deserve a Medicare plan that has your back. UnitedHealthcare® has a wide range of Medicare Advantage plans designed to complement the health benefits you already receive for your service. The AARP® Medicare Advantage Patriot plan from UnitedHealthcare includes the freedom to visit doctors and hospitals in our large network for a $0 monthly premium. Additional plan benefits may include:Learn more about Medicare Advantage plans that complement your VA or TRICARE For Life benefits.It’s time to take advantage.Comprehensive dental services Allowance toward eyewearRoutine hearing exam plus hearing aids$0 monthly premiumChoose a Medicare plan designed to serve you.Benefits, features and/or devices vary by plan/area. Limitations and exclusions apply. You do not have to be a veteran to be eligible for this plan. Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company pays royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP and its affiliates are not insurers. You do not need to be an AARP member to enroll. AARP encourages you to consider your needs when selecting products and does not make specific product recommendations for individuals. AARP does not employ or endorse agents, producers or brokers. Other hearing exam providers are available in the UnitedHealthcare network. The plan only covers hearing aids from a UnitedHealthcare Hearing network provider. ©2020 United HealthCare Services, Inc. All rightsreserved.Y0066_2000910_031245_M SPRJ57947 0032BD01Laura DebuhrLicensed Sales Agent844-430-6300, TTY

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MAGAZINE SPRING 2021 volume 3 issue 1 WoVeN Minority Veterans of America WIMSA Winemakers Distillers Educators FOR WOMEN VETERANS BY WOMEN VETERANS

Page 5 • Spring 2021BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Truluck PhotographyKristina Truluck is a Floridian who combined her passions of horses, photography, and storytelling.I Got Your 6!Six quick and easy additions to your daily routine to ease anxiety and cope with stress.483039403652Ways To WellnessDr. Ruth Moore and Dr. Richard Matthews help us to create wellness within through a healthy gut and avoiding hidden gluten.High Performance &Implementing StrategiesBalancing the stress and strain of juggling cooking, cleaning, laundry, family work, and taking care of ourselves. BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: BuyVet.orgBuyVet is a national initiative designed to encourage Veteran entrepreneurship without our communities.DEPARTMENTS — ARTS/CULTURE/HISTORY/LIVING582040MILITARYMilitary SpotlightFeaturing Regina D. Rembert, M.Ed., SHRM-CP, PHR.

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6Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comChristina Wilkinson - USAFPUBLISHER Sheila L. Holmes - USAFEDITOR-IN-CHIEFSPECIAL ADVISORSGenevieve Chase - USA / American Women VeteransLindsay Church - USN / Minority Veterans of AmericaVR Small - USN / Women Veterans Enterprise CenterMelissa Washington - USN / Women Veterans AllianceCassie Gabelt - USN / Minority Veterans of AmericaAT-LARGEDanielle Johnson - USMCPat White - USMCCONTRIBUTORSWritersCREATIVE TEAMSabreDesign.comART DIRECTION/DESIGN/LAYOUTchris@sabredesign.comSocial MediaO: 209-841-8866 (Sabre Design)E: contact@AVOWMagazine.comAVOWMagazine.comCopyright © 2021 by AVOW Magazine. All rights reserved. The name AVOW™ and the AVOW logo are trademarks of AVOW Magazine © 2019, 2020, 2021 exclusively for the American Veteran Organization of Women Magazine which is published quarterly for women veterans of the United States of America. No part of this publication may be reproduced,distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, or in some instances with third party copyright holders.For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.Sabre Design & Publishing18737 Back Street #605Groveland CA 95321www.sabredesign.comProudly published and producedin the United States of AmericaA magazine for women veterans, by women veterans, and for the people who love them.Ruth Moore Angela Demaree Sheila L. HolmesTracie Rosado June Ritterbusch Christina WilkinsonCassie | | Truluck — Truluck PhotographyAaron BurdenEdu LautonLuke Barky

Page 7 • Spring 2021AVOW Magazine is now in print! Our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who have shared your experiences, referred women veterans to tell their story, and who have helped fund this milestone by purchasing subscriptions. This month, you’ll find articles about wine and spirits-making. I reminisced over the 13 years I worked in the cellar as a volunteer at some friends’ winery here in Pennsylvania. Reading about the wonderful ways in which women choose to make this craft uniquely their own, whether by being ever-present with the grapes available or by intentionally selecting ones that are ‘just so’ for a perfect bouquet and palate, I was greedy to remember all the little things that made those years of my past so enjoyable. It was also a treat to see women so advanced in knowledge simply enjoying their craft -stories that paired well with Maria Campbell Jones’ yoga relaxation techniques and Angela Demaree’s article on boundaries and self care followed by Dr. Ruth Moore’s educational piece on the intricacies of gut health, PTSD, food intolerances, and learned eating habits. It’s my hope that your journey through the pages helps nd and strengthen your own connections to our service sisters and their efforts to maintain healthy levels of self care as they nd their own successes. Sheila L. Holmes / Editor-in-ChiefAVOW MagazineAMERICAN VETERAN ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN MAGAZINEON THE COVER:DR. SHEILA ADAMS, OWNER OF KAI-SIMONE WINERY AND ERIN O’REILLY, WINE EDUCATOR.

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MAGAZINE SPRING 2021 volume 3 issue 1 WoVeN Minority Veterans of America WIMSA Winemakers Distillers Educators FOR WOMEN VETERANS BY WOMEN VETERANS

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MAGAZINE SPRING 2021 volume 3 issue 1 WoVeN Minority Veterans of America WIMSA Winemakers Distillers Educators FOR WOMEN VETERANS BY WOMEN VETERANS

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Page 11 • Spring 2021(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)In 1983, after the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II women veterans said that it was about time to honor them—“What about us? We served, too.” They approached former Ohio Rep. Mary Rose Oakar, who found that women were almost never included when the nation honored its veterans. The American Veterans Committee (AVC), a national group of veterans whose origins date back to 1944, were also discussing the lack of tribute to military women. When they learned that Congresswoman Oakar was holding hearings for a national women veterans memorial, they volunteered to contact veterans groups, the Departments of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and lobby to Congress.

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12Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comIn 1985, the Women In Military Service was formally incorporated as the Women In Military Service For America Memorial (WIMSA)Foundation. Resolutions and testi-mony followed, and on November 6, 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law PL-610—the bill that authorized the establish-ment of “a memorial on Federal lands in the District of Columbia and its environs to honor women who have served in the Armed Forc-es of the United States.” e law also charged WIMSA with conducting the public campaign on behalf of the Memorial.e original design, part of the Memori-al Bridge project, was dedicated in 1932 but never nished. It sat idle for 54 years until ob-tained by the Foundation.Construction began in June 1995 and opened to the public on October 18, 1997. e Memorial includes the Court of Valor with its re-ecting pool and a 200-jet fountain representing the sound of women’s voices. e upper terrace features stunning views of the Washington Mon-ument and Arlington National Cemetery as well as the Memorial’s signature arc of glass tablets with quotations by and about military women.e heart of the Memorial is the Register where visitors can pay tribute to specic women who have served and see their records of service. Visitors can access an interactive database, which holds the names, service data, memorable experi-ences, awards and decorations, and photographs of some 300,000 servicewomen registered with the Memorial. While likely the largest database related to military women in the world, this number represents less than 10 percent of the ap-proximately 3 million women who have served since the American Revolution. Incorporated into the design is the historic line that connects the Lincoln Memorial to Ar-lington House—symbolically linking the North and South after the Civil War and represented by a trail of pavers running from the Lincoln Memorial up the center of Memorial Bridge and Memorial Drive. e pavers extend onto the Women’s Memorial Court of Valor and intersect with the runnel connecting the pool and foun-tain projects the line through the Great Niche and into the Memorial, where it is picked up by a band of black granite leading to the Register Room. On this historic line, the individual sto-ries of women’s military service can be found. Four stairwells leading to the upper terrace breach the original wall and symbolize wom-en breaking through barriers in the military. Continuing onto the Court of Valor and inter-secting with the runnel that connects the pool

Page 13 • Spring 2021Military women have served the nation with valor and distinction for nearly two and a half centuries and along the way they’ve broken down barriers and shattered glass ceilings.These women patriots deserve to have their stories told—no matter where they served, how long they served, what job they held, or their military rank. Register her service for free at the Military Women’s Memorial by visiting 2.7 million military women’s stories have not been preserved for history. Know a servicewoman? Register her service for free at date, some 300,000 military women—past and present—have their stories of service told at the Military Women’s Memorial, but this only represents 10% of women who have served since the American Revolution. Help make their stories a permanent part of U.S. history by registering their service for free at us in helping the Military Women’s Memorial reach the 2.7 million military women whose stories of service to the nation have not been recorded and preserved for future generations. No matter where they served, how long they served, what job they held, or their military rank, these trailblazers have paved the way for expanded roles and equal rights in the military and civilian workplace and deserve to be recognized. Register her service for free at you a military woman or family member/friend of a military woman? Help her take her rightful place in U.S. history by registering her military service for free at the Military Women’s Memorial. Without her story, our nation’s history is incomplete. Find out more at fountain, the pavers extend the historic line through the Great Niche and into the Memori-al. Here, a band of black granite brings the line into the Register. It is on this historic line, where the individual stories of women’s military service can be found. It also features a 196-seat theater, a gift shop, and the Hall of Honor—where trib-ute is paid to servicewomen who were killed in action, died in the line of duty, held prisoner of war, or are recipients of our nation’s highest awards for service and bravery.

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16Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comI generally work with cabernet sauvignon, malbec, tempranillo, and merlot. Chardonnay is my favorite variety to work with because it is very consistent every year and easy to make in a variety of styles. I prefer to make chardonnay as fruity and tart as possible so that it is refresh-ing. We have hot weather much of the year and when wine enthusiasts approach a wine tasting in the afternoon and it is 105 degrees outside, I just don’t think a buttery, oaky chardonnay hits the spot. When I started in the wine industry, I ap-prenticed with Les Constable who founded Brushy Creek Vineyards in north Texas. He was a former naval submarine ocer and he well- understood the balance between the science of technical winemaking and the art of serendipi-tous winemaking. He was my mentor through much of my early winemaking. I am a big fan of the “Inside Winemaking” podcast by Jim Duane. With the coronavirus pandemic, I have had more than enough time to listen to other winemakers and glean ideas from them. I have a certicate in winemaking from Grayson Com-munity College in Sherman, Texas, an MBA from INSEAD in France, and a BA and MA in Economics from Boston University.I think if folks are interested in winemaking they should seek out their nearest winery and volunteer to help. Winemaking itself involves a fair amount of physical labor and isn’t always as romantic as people imagine. ere are win-eries in all 50 states, and wineries need lots of help during certain seasons such as pruning, harvesting, and bottling; there are other peri-ods that are fairly quiet, so wineries are always scrambling for temporary labor. I don’t believe in stressing about food and wine pairing. Eat and drink the food and wine you enjoy. When you were a kid, you probably debated with someone whether peanut butter is better with grape jelly or strawberry jelly. What does it matter? ere’s no chemical reaction that somehow changed the jelly and peanut butter when they touched, they simply go great to-gether and everyone has on opinion what kind of jelly is best on their nut butter. Folks can be even more passionate about creamy or crunchy, but at the end of the day we all agree peanut butter and jelly go together pretty well, and we respect our dierences in opinion. Our next project is a vermouth. Ver-mouth is a wine avored with herbs and spices and typically mixed in Manhattans. We’re excited to bring this wine to market as we have been working on it and perfecting our recipe since 2012!FIND SALADO WINERY ONLINE AT:

Page 17 • Spring 2021Kelly Everhart was a typical Minnesota kid who loved to skate, ski, hang out at the beach, and hit the lakes and rivers during the brief summers there. Other than a brief stint in Germany and New York City when her father was in the service, and during her own military tours in Germany and Maryland, she has lived in Minnesota her entire life. A Captain in the U.S. Army, she served for ve years active duty and ve years in the Reserves as a member of the Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) — primarily as a criminal trial attorney (defense and Chief of Prosecution). Her role models while serving were her parents, because they contributed greatly to her decision to join the military. Ever-hart said, “Right out of high school my father enlisted in the U.S. Army and brought my mom over from Minnesota to Germany, where I was born. ey had never really left the state, and they both moved across the world to start their new life,” she continued, “at was pretty gutsy on their part and has instilled in me a natural tendency toward risk-tak-ing.” Due to this risk-taking, Everhart said that it isn’t terribly surprising that her “retirement” job was to open a distillery.She is a military brat who is the oldest of two girls. Everhart met her husband at her rst duty station with the 8th Infantry Division in Bad Kreuznach. He was one of the Division Automation Ocers. Her father also was in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era; her grandfa-ther and uncle were both in the Navy during WWII; and her mother’s ance was in the U.S. Army in the Korean War. “My husband’s family also served, most notably his grandfather who was a Marine in the South Pacic during WWII,” she said. “I was born at Landstuhl Army hospital, and 27 years later I had my wisdom teeth removed in the same hospital,” Everhart told us. VETERANKELLY EVERHARTROYAL FOUNDRYCRAFT SPIRITSDISTILLERY(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)BY CHRISTINA WILKINSON

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Page 19 • Spring 2021Everhart said she got out of the military when she was slated to attend the advance course required to make Major, and she had just had her third baby in four years. She added, “e thought of heading to Charlottesville for the summer with a 4-week old, leaving two toddlers behind just didn’t make sense.” Although she had taken as many delays as they allowed her to, she said she was really sad that she couldn’t continue. A favorite experience that opened her eyes while serving is the diversity here in the United States. Everhart’s rst duty station was overseas and the of-cer who managed her defense counsel team was an attorney who taught her to be condent in her skills and in her abilities as a lawyer. She said, “He didn’t teach me condence as “woman” lawyer, but as a lawyer. He knew we were fresh out of law school with little experience, but he also respected us as smart, talented women who could -and did- proceed to prove through hard work and dedication that women military lawyers were as good, if not better than, the more numerous male attorneys we would meet in court on a daily basis.” About the DistilleryKelly Everhart started in the distillery business with business partner, Nikki McLain, because they had previously worked together. “As a commercial attorney, I had helped clients with corporate struc-turing. During the course of conversations with Nikki and her husband, Andy, about his concept for an American take on authentic British spirits, we agreed to go into business together,” Everhart continued, “We each bring core skills to the table: as Chief Executive Ocer, I am responsible for nance, human resources, and corporation oper-ations; Nikki is our Chief Marketing Ocer and Andy is our head Distiller.” WHAT IS YOUR DISTILLING STYLE? We focus on deliver-ing hand crafted, authentic, British inspired spirits, like American Single Malt (made in the Scottish tradition), Gin, Gin-based Liqueur and Rum, Spiced, and Navy Strength. WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE VARIETIES TO WORK WITH? Our gin is quite beautiful, fresh, oral, and not overly focused on the “juniper” element. We are still a London Dry style, but bring citrus and spice elements that ensure our gin makes a fabulous cocktail. DO YOU HAVE A DEGREE? Everything we do in operating our business is closely aligned with our skill set. There is an amazing amount of legal work involved in managing a distillery. My partner, Nikki, manages our events business, which drove close to 50% of our revenues pre-COVID.TIPS FOR THOSE JUST GETTING INTO THE BUSINESS OR THOSE INTERESTED IN STUDYING DISTILLING SPIRITS? Unlike beer and wine, making liquor at home is illegal in all but one country in the world. I recommend visiting some craft distilleries (here and abroad once we can travel again). The industry is friendly and will often agree to share processes and methods for success. Andy took an association-recommended hands-on course; and from there, has nurtured a number of close relationships with other distillers across the United States.WHAT IS ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS ABOUT DISTILLING YEAR-IN AND YEAR-OUT? It has been especially tough with shut downs required due to COVID. We’d only been open a year when we had our rst shutdown. We have learned a lot about resiliency through this process. WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST REWARDING THINGS ABOUT YOUR JOB? I truly enjoy spending time with our customers, leading tours of our facility, and talking about the distilling process. I hold a Level 2 Wine and Spirit Education Trust Certication and am working on my Society of Wine Educa-tors Certication in spirits education.WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT BEING A DISTILLERY OWNER? I love the passion that our customers bring to the bar! Many have passing knowledge of the liquor business but they are so interested in hearing our story.WHAT GOALS IN DISTILLING ARE YOU STILL WORKING TO ACHIEVE? We have one product in distribution at present. We plan on launching three more products this year and two ad-ditional products next year. We are hopeful that as things open up post-COVID we will see our events business pick back up. IS THERE A STORY BEHIND YOUR FAVORITE LIQUOR? We surprise our customers frequently when they learn that gin is a product of a high quality “grain neutral spirits” aka “vodka” which is infused through various methods with citrus, spice, and botanicals. It isn’t the same as a avored vodka because of the focus on juniper, but operates on the same principles.FIND ROYAL FOUNDRY CRAFT SPIRITS ONLINE AT: royalfoundrycraftspirits.comTop: Everhart with her son while stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland as Chief Prosecutor. Bottom: At her promotion ceremony at 8th Infantry Division JAG Ofces Court Room where she was a member of the Trial Defense team.

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Page 21 • Spring 202121(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)GETTING STARTED WITH WINE EDUCATIONe wine education world has three main paths: industry certications, formal academ-ic coursework, and on-the-job experience. For the rst option, industry certications, many alcohol beverage industry employers will in-vest in ongoing education for their employees and pay for these programs. Here in the U.S., the most widely recognized certifying bodies are the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and the Society of Wine Educators. Before choosing a certica-tion path, it’s worth doing a little research on each and choosing one that matches the role you’re interested in. For example, the Court of Master Sommeliers prepares people for hospi-tality and restaurant wine service, while the So-ciety of Wine Educators focuses on developing writing and speaking skills. Both certications ll dierent roles in the industry. ese pro-grams are not cheap, but they are portable and recognized across the U.S., and can help wom-en looking to get their rst job in the industry or when relocating to a new city. Did I mention you can use tuition assis-tance and your GI Bill for wine classes? I didn’t know this was a thing until just two years ago. If you want to take a wine sensory class at the local junior college, it’s likely covered under your GI Bill. Talk about an ‘Aha!’ moment when I learned you could use your tuition assistance dollars for wine tasting! My path would have been dierent had I known this 20 years ago. I’ve found that colleges and univer-sities with viticulture (vineyard management) and enology (winemaking) degree programs re-package their courses into certication pro-grams - think all of the wine-related course-work, without the general education history, art, and social science requirements. ese are perfect for cost-conscious women or those who already hold degrees and are looking for their next career move. Certication programs are generally covered under tuition assistance and can be a great way to network with those in the industry.Growing, producing, and selling wine is hard work. is is industrial agriculture and food manufacturing. Once you set aside the romantic lifestyle images of sipping wine at sunset surrounded by vineyards, you discover a community of hardworking men and women who share a common passion for wine. is community is open and willing to share their knowledge and give opportunities to anyone who is curious. e wine world has an active apprentice-ship culture. ere’s really nothing that can substitute for experience. Whether you nd yourself in a restaurant or working at a wine bar, employers typically provide in-house training. e more knowledgeable you are about their products, the better you are at tailoring the customer experience and selling wine. Apprenticeship doesn’t end here. Wine studies students have the opportuni-ty to travel to dierent growing regions to help with harvests for other producers. Harvest season is brutal - 20k ruck march brutal, everyday, for about 2 months without break - but incredibly rewarding. Because harvest happens at the op-posite time of year in the Southern hemisphere, students will often do a fall harvest in the US and then a second spring harvest in South America, New Zealand, South Africa, or Australia. Talk about a great way to see the world! DIVERSITY & INCLUSIONe wine world has a similar problem with di-versity as the U.S. military. Two major events have shaken the industry. First, the Black Lives Matter movement came with a focus on awareness-raising campaigns for black vision-aries and leaders, with calls to support diversi-ty eorts across the alcohol beverage industry. Second, systemic harassment in a quid-pro-quo hierarchy within the Court of Master Sommeliers hit the media last year leading to several high-prole Master Sommelier resig-nations and calls for new leadership. Today, in response to both of these events, organiza-tions and private companies have adopted the diversity cause and put signicant amounts of money into equity and diversity eorts. is means that there are numerous scholarship opportunities for women and women of col-WHAT IS A WINE EDUCATOR?Wine educators help consumers learn about wine - whether through formal group tastings, informal tasting room chats, or even wine writing. The wine world can be intimidating, with its own subculture of exclusivity, not to mention pretentious lifestyle marketing and obscure jargon. The majority of us didn’t grow up in wine country, even fewer of us can claim we come from wine families, and so we discover this vinous elixir later in life. There’s a natural curiosity and people have questions. My audience is anyone who has walked down the supermarket aisle and stared blankly at a wall of green glass only to turn around and walk away empty handed. I enjoy guiding consumers in learn-ing about wine in an open, approachable manner. If I can help even one person discover what she likes in a glass of wine, and maybe that will lead to more condent experimentation, then I’m thrilled. A good wine educator can help tease out your sen-sory experience and frame it in a way that allows you to better understand your likes and dislikes. There’s innite substitutability in wine - once you’ve found your preferences, it’s time to go explore!Wine educators are also storytellers. The humble grape has been humankind’s constant companion over the past 8,000 years. And with a history like that, you know that every wine and every vintage will have a story. Here in California, the Spanish missionaries planted the rst vineyards back in the late 1700s. We have a long and colorful history of winemaking in the state that often gets lost in glossy promotional pages featuring million-dollar wineries. I’d recommend that anyone interested in wine take a roadtrip to the old California missions and see if they can discover vestiges of the rst California wines. EDUCATOR

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22Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comor that cover everything from formal college courses, to wine certication programs, leader-ship development programs, and even stipend money for wine conference attendance and continuing education. One such organization is the Women of the Vine & Spirits Founda-tion, Ltd., whose mission it is to foster gender diversity and talent development across the al-cohol beverage industry. When facing these challenging issues of di-versity, equity, and inclusion, our veteran sis-ters bring tried and tested resiliency and inner strength to any job, and will likely nd they have the skills to lead change. NOT LOOKING FOR A CAREER TRANSITION?Even if you’re just a wine lover and not look-ing for a professional opportunity, check out the local junior college. Hospitality programs regularly oer wine and beverage courses and they may have classes on dierent wine regions that interest you. inking about that buck-et-list trip to France? Why not take a course in French wines before you leave? Another organization for wine lovers is the American Wine Society. eir membership ranges from industry professionals to wine en-thusiasts and speaks to wine lovers at all levels of expertise. ey have chapters across the US that host local educational events that are a fabulous way to connect with your community. WHERE IN THE WORLD DO YOUR FAVORITE WINES ORIGINATE?I’m on something of an Italian kick at the mo-ment. Italy is the bane of my wine studies. e Italian Registry of Grapes - which I imagine to be something like a faded family tree inked in the front of a massively ancient Bible - has more than 460 varieties listed, with over 370 native to Italy, which makes sense for a region rich in winemaking history. Yes, we all know and love our Chianti paired with spaghetti night, but every region - every town, it seems - has a special local grape and unique viticultural heritage. I love Nero d’Avola, a red wine from Sicily that can rival cabernet sauvignon, as well as orvieto, a white wine any pinot grigio lover will nd enchanting. WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE VARIETIES TO DRINK AND WHY?My go-to varietal is merlot, which may sur-prise some as it’s not particularly fashionable at the moment, but you wouldn’t know it by the amount that’s produced worldwide. merlot is one of the key varieties used in Bordeaux, and it makes a silky black-fruited wine without the grippy tannins of cabernet sauvignon or the pepper of Syrah which can

Page 23 • Spring 2021be more dicult for me to pair with every-day foods. Merlot pairs perfectly with my Wednesday night take-out burger and fries and my favorite taco truck tacos. If you have a generic California red wine that you en-joy without the varietal percentage on the label, it’s likely to be merlot-based. An all-around approachable, food-friendly grape. If you, too, enjoy merlot and are looking to try something new, I’d recommend bonarda from Argentina, a red wine that has a similar easy-drinking black fruit forward style. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY THIS WINE PAIRS WELL WITH THE FOOD I’M EATING?e fun answer is magic! e correct answer is chemistry. e molecules in your wine interact with the molecules in your food, and even the enzymes and protein molecules on the taste receptors that cover your tongue to create the sensory experience of that perfect (or imper-fect) wine and food pairing. A simple exam-ple is steak and cabernet sauvignon. First, take three quick sips of the cabernet and spit after each sip into a cup. e wine binds to your saliva when you spit and it comes out thick and viscous, almost like an egg white (also protein-based). You’ll nd the wine incredibly drying and rather unpleasant. e molecules in the wine are binding with your saliva caus-ing that drying sensation. Now take a bite of the steak, and suddenly the wine becomes soft and rich. e fat from the steak prevents the wine from binding with your saliva, et voilà! Perfect pairing. Other pairings that work well together:• Port and warm homemade brownies - date night winner.• O-dry riesling and spicy Asian take-out.• Pinot noir and dishes that use cream of mushroom soup as a base. e cream of mushroom provides rich umami avors that compliment pinot noir.• Moscato and lazy weekend afternoons. Moscato is light, fruity, slightly sweet, and low-alcohol - perfect for slow sipping.• Canned wines and sunset hikes. Glass is heavy. Whether you’ve got a rucksack or a backpack, who wants to carry an extra 3 lbs. of unnecessary weight? WHAT OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR ENJOYING WINE?Grapes are the only fruit that can express the aromas of dierent fruits, herbs, and even spices. Apple wine will always taste like ap-ples. Strawberry wine will taste like straw-berries. But there’s something special about Grapes are the only fruit that can express the aromas of dierent fruits, herbs, and even spices.(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

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24Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comgrapes. ey physically contain the same chemical compounds in them as the aroma you’re smelling. If your wine smells like vanil-la, it’s because it actually does have the same chemical compound as a vanilla bean. e same goes for cherry, green pepper, or even eucalyptus. e research tells us that women are bet-ter at picking up wine aromas than men. is is not because of some innate ability, but rather because we tend to be the ones doing the grocery shopping and cooking. By spending a larger amount of our lives around fresh ingredients, we develop more robust olfactory libraries. If you want to get better at picking up aromas in wine, take that extra minute to smell your ingredients, whether you’re at the famer’s market, local grocery store, or kitchen counter. And don’t be surprised if the next time you pour your-self a glass of wine that, yes, you are smelling watermelon bubblegum! SAVOR THE MOMENTere’s an expression that your enjoyment of wine is 50% what’s in the glass and 50% what’s outside the glass. We talk about cross-modal ef-fects when drinking wine, or how our senses in-teract and co-mingle in such a way that leads to our overall perceptions of an experience. e ca-rafe of divine red wine you shared with your lover over dinner at an Italian plaza may lose some-thing of its magic when you drink it from your living room sofa. If you nd a wine that speaks to you, think about everything else that’s happening in that moment. Capture the magic! WHAT CHARACTERIS-TICS CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE MOST RECENT/UPCOMING HARVEST?2020 was a brutal year for the wine industry. Restaurant sales dried up, along with revenue from tasting room closures. Every state has wineries. Small, family-owned businesses that produce 1,000 cases a year are expected to lose over 65% of their revenue. If you love wine, I’d encourage you to support your local wineries. On that note, we can expect amazing deals as small producers try to move inventory. Take advantage of discounted shipping, along with other special oers.We also had the apocalyptic West Coast re season that swept in at harvest time. Win-eries sourcing red grapes that may have been aected by the res likely decided to turn those A NOTE ON ALCOHOLFUN FACT: The Italian Navy gets wine served at mealtime on their ships; however, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the military and veteran populations have a complicated relationship with alcohol. Wine education programs require coursework on responsible service. Governments regulate the distribution and sale of alcohol through levying taxes, age and advertising restrictions. If you’re out tasting, learn to become comfortable with spitting. College wine programs require students to sign spit policies. Professional industry tasters can go through 50+ wines a day - spitting is definitely a requirement. It’s a little awkward at first, but soon you’ll be a pro. Please enjoy responsibly!

Page 25 • Spring 2021Erin O’Reilly was born and raised in Gardnerville, Nevada, and is third generation military: her grandfather served in the British Royal Navy in WWII, her father served in Vietnam, and after enlisting in the US Army at 18 years old, she served from 1998-2002. After her Basic Training graduation from Fort Jackson, South Carolina, she studied Arabic at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California. She then completed technical training at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, after which she was stationed in Fort Stewart, Georgia, as a Tactical Cryptologic Warfare Specialist on standby for war deployment with heavy tactical equipment to monitor enemy radio transmissions -during which she claims much time was spent working vehicle maintenance while waiting for a mis-sion. O’Reilly later deployed with the Multinational Forces and Observers to Sinai, Egypt, with the 10th Mountain Division out of Ft. Drum, New York, where she worked as an Arabic-English translator and interpreter. O’Reilly graduated Armstrong Atlantic State University with a Bachelor of Arts, and she holds both an MA from Arizona State University and a PhD from Northcentral University. After graduate school, she discovered wine when a few co-workers invited her to explore tasting rooms with them in Carmel Valley, California on the weekends. A curiosity soon turned into a hobby, and a hobby evolved into a genuine passion to keep learning more about all-things fermented grape. Over the past 15 years, she’s been an administrator in higher education while raising her two children as a single mom and pursuing her wine education. She is a Certied Specialist of Wine completing the Wine Mar-keting Program at Santa Rosa Junior College while also work-ing as a wine content writer for the Gold Medal Wine Club based in Santa Barbara, CA, and a freelance wine educator. O’Reilly recently launched Terravenos, a wine education ser-vice that embraces her philosophy of lifelong learning and giv-ing back to the community. Please visit Erin at Terravenos.comgrapes into a rosè instead of a red wine. Be-cause of how the fruit is processed for rosè, there’s less chance that the nal wine will be aected by smoke taint. Expect lots of pink this year. Producers are hedging their bets. ese wines shouldn’t be cellared. When a winery releases a rosè, the winemaker wants you to drink up. Enjoy it now! WHAT DOES THE NATIONAL SECURITY MISSION AND WINE HAVE IN COMMON?e September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks happened during my deployment in Egypt and the world changed overnight; one re-sult of the attacks is that all wine producers now must comply with bioterrorism laws that allow for traceability of all substances and production materials that come into contact with your wine - from grapes to corks. Today, you can nd serial numbers and lot stamps on your wine bottles to meet these laws. WHAT DO WINE AND THE MILITARY HAVE IN COMMON? e military does an amazing job of teach-ing you patience. e hurry up and wait experience that so permeates military cul-ture pretty much sums up wine production. Quality wine takes time. It takes 3 years to plant a vineyard from seedling until your rst harvest. It takes 12-24+ months from harvest to bottling, some wines may be aged for decades. ose in the industry tend to have a deep appreciation for history and legacy. e military taught me that you can do anything for ve years, and wine has re-inforced the importance of experiencing the seasons of life as they come. “Small, family-owned businesses that produce 1,000 cases a year are expected to lose over 65% of their revenue.”

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Page 27 • Spring 2021WINERY(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)SHEILA KAI-SIMONE (DR. SHEILA ADAMS) SERVED FOR 28 YEARS AND RETIRED IN 2016 AS A LIEUTENANT COLONEL. HER DUTY STATIONS INCLUDE FORTS MEADE, MEYER, SAM HOUSTON, BRAGG, HOOD, AS WELL AS IN KOREA AND KUWAIT AS A SOCIAL WORK OFFICER/BEHAVIORAL HEALTH OFFICER, AND OBTAINED HER PhD FROM UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN. Kai-Simone grew up in Dowagiac, Michi-gan, a small town in Southwest Michi-gan. She loved sports and hanging out with her friends and family. She also comes from a mili-tary family -her father having served as a medic in the Air Force during the Korean War, and she has two sisters who also served in the military. She shared that her best lesson learned while serving was to, “Be a good person, stand up for what is right, and be a strong leader. A leader is built to lead, but does not blindly follow. We do not have to agree all the time but we can be respectful in disagreement.” Kai-Simone has two daughters and has been married for over 25 years. Her husband is a re-tired military ocer as well. He is the co-owner of the business and helps with cellar operations and building and grounds management.She told us that she mentors those who encouraged and supported her throughout her career. Owner of Kai-Simone Winery, Dr. Adams, calculates the resulting Alcohol By Volume percentage (ABV%) using a hydrometer.

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28Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comWEBSITE: www.kaisimonewinery.comFACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: @kaisimonewineryWINE CLUB (ships to 32 states) AVAILABLE: Sauvignon BlancChardonnayViognierPink Sky RoseSangioveseMerlotCabernet SauvignonPetite SirahRed MelangeCocoberry KissWINES COMING THIS YEAR (MADE ONSITE): MoscatoRieslingRed ZinfadelPinot Noir

Page 29 • Spring 2021About the WineryIn the fall of 2019, the winery ocially opened their doors in Spring Branch, Texas. e winery is named after its founder, Dr. Sheila Ad-ams’, two daughters, whose middle names are Kai and Simone. Just like its namesakes, this endeavor is very near and dear to her heart. Bringing elegance and sophistication to the rustic Texas Hill Country, Kai-Simone promises a wonderful experience for everyone who visits. As the founder of Kai-Simone Winery, Dr. Adams is also the CEO and Manager of the Winery. She retired from the U.S. Army as a Behav-ioral Health Ocer after 28 years of service and is a proud veteran that loves to drink wine with friends and family, meet new people, explore new ventures, and host events. Her extensive experience is in management as well as event planning and hosting. Her next venture, “making great wine & pairing with wholesome foods.”HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE WINE BUSINESS? I had planned 10 years ago to start my own business but wasn’t sure what business venture to pursue. I started visiting wineries and talking to owners about the business. I then hired a wine consultant for two years -sort of a private tutor. After retiring from the military, I decided to get into the business. My consultant was instrumental in helping me learn about the winemaking process as well as setting up the business and my cellar.WHAT IS YOUR WINEMAKING STYLE? We aim to purchase the highest quality grape juices and ferment on site or at another winery offsite. I’m involved in the winemaking process for all the wines that we currently sell.HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE A PARTICULARLY GOOD VINTAGE? Customers love it and buy it; we sell out; we receive awards for wines, and I put my stamp of approval on it. WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE VARIETALS TO WORK WITH AND WHY? I’m new to the business and winemaking, so I nd the entire process interesting. I’m continuing to learn and grow. I have a winemaker that works once weekly on site, and I work with another winemaker off site. IN THE WORLD OF WINE, WHO DO YOU MOST ADMIRE AND WHY? WHO INFLUENCED YOU?I’m inspired by many ladies in the business that are blazing the trail.DO YOU HAVE A DEGREE IN WINEMAKING? No, this is a new career eld for me. I’ve taken classes and have worked in the cellar to learn the business.TIPS FOR THOSE JUST GETTING INTO WINEMAKING OR THOSE INTERESTED IN STUDYING WINE: Do your research, ask a lot of questions, talk to other wine owners and winemakers, and be sure to get consultation from a seasoned winemaker.DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE WINE OR VINTAGE THAT YOU HAVE MADE? I love wine with food so I can drink any of the wines we have. I also tend to drink more red wine in the cold season, and rosés and whites in the summer.WHAT IS ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS ABOUT WINEMAKING YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT? Making sure you avoid contamination and that your vintage holds up over time. Working in the cellar is a lot of work at certain times, so hiring a winemaker was a plus for me who ensures we have labs (correct chemistry) on our wines and manages the winemak-ing process with me. This frees me up to work on other tasks, such as interacting with customers and hosting events. WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST REWARDING THINGS ABOUT YOUR JOB?I set my own schedule and try to avoid overworking. I really enjoy meeting and talking to people as well as hosting events that are complimented with wine.WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT BEING A WINEMAKER? There is a lot to learn; however, I like the fact that I can make decisions throughout the process to ensure I have a unique product.WHAT GOALS IN WINEMAKING ARE YOU STILL WORKING TO ACHIEVE? Continuing to expand my knowledge, trying new vari-etals, and continuing to network and explore history. We are also working on establishing a vineyard on the property.WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE HARDEST PART OF HARVEST? I do not routinely participate in the harvest. I tell the vineyard which juices I’m interested in and have them shipped to me, or I pick them up after harvest. We will become more involved when we grow our grapes at the winery.WHERE IN THE WORLD DO YOUR FAVORITE WINES ORIGINATE? I’m a big fan of wines from all over. I do love various wines from Texas, California, Washington State, France, and Italy.IS THERE A STORY BEHIND YOUR FAVORITE WINE? Our last wine release was Sauvignon Blanc. I specically selected the wine from Yakima Valley because it has a citrus, lemon, and kiwi avor that I love. It’s light and crisp with medium acidity and is a great summer wine that will easily complement chicken or halibut with a lemon caper sauce.

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30Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comTRULUCK PHOTOGRAPHY


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34Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comTruluck had always been horse-crazy as a child, but couldn't do much until she started volunteer-ing at a horse rescue in 2014 while still active duty. It didn't take long for her to combine her biggest passions (horses, photography, and storytelling). At that time, she felt at peace photographing the horses, but it wasn't until years later that she made the leap into making it a business. When she was medically retired from the Army in late 2017, she took her boys to join her husband at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Tru-luck didn't adjust to civilian life well, and her husband saw that she was still struggling when he returned home from his own deployment. Her husband obtained lessons for her at Equine Assisted Transitions, a 501(c)3 in Cadiz, Ken-tucky, founded by Susan Garon. at was when she truly felt herself again. She volunteered at the nonprot as much as she could, and felt it very fullling to see students thrive and progress under Garon's instruction. In 2021, the family moved to Fort Bliss, Texas. Kristina says, “I can’t wait to start ex-ploring and meeting new people!”TRULUCKPHOTO.COM

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www.minorityvets.orgA collective voice that is bigger, stronger, and more capable of ghting for change by representing the needs, experiences, and spectrum of identities of the minority veteran community.Tell your story. Create change. Be your most authentic self.Connect. Understand. Serve.

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Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.com36“...we aren’t any good to our soldiers if we don’t rst take care of ourselves and be a role model.”discomfort over resentment

Page 37 • Spring 2021Seless Service and Mission First are two mantras many veterans not only remember from our time in service but are values we’ve embodied and taken with us into the civilian world. Many of us feel the stress and strain of juggling cooking, cleaning, laundry, family work, and taking care of ourselves. It’s that ever-elusive work-life balance — something that seemed to be so much easier and intuitive on active duty but which we just can’t quite seem to get the hang of in the civilian world. Why is that? It should be easier, right?BY ANGELA DEMAREE, DVM, MPH, CHPC(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)After years of coaching veterans and busy professionals through overwhelm and stress from their busy lives, I’ve learned that most stress and overwhelm comes from two places: either the failure to have, communicate, or maintain eective boundaries, or the failure to live in alignment with our values. As a vet-eran and high performance coach myself, I’m often asked, “How do I put in place eective boundaries AND still live these values of seless service in the civilian world?” Great question.First, it’s essential to take a look back on our active duty experiences or remember a time when that work-life balance seemed more ef-fortless, when life felt organized, you were in the ow, and you felt engaged and lit up both at work and at home. Be mindful not to get hung up on how it was easier, dierent, etc., back then; but instead, let’s just remember what it felt like.So often, it’s not our circumstances that are barriers to our success in this area, but our environment and boundaries. e culture and environment of active duty vs. a civilian work-place has a signicant impact on our perspective around what we can control. So let’s remember how our environment was set up for success. e military communicates clear bound-aries and often places a priority on health and wellness. If we are feeling tired and stressed at 3 p.m. each day, most often we can lead a physical training session or go work out without feeling guilty or that we are somehow skipping out on what we “should be doing.” ere’s often a cul-ture or emphasis placed on healthy eating or eating more fruits and vegetables. Great-look-ing fruits and veggies are usually readily avail-able at the commissary or while deployed. In the military, there is social pressure and social support to maintain our readiness in this area. I still have no idea why I had perfect fresh plums each day while deployed and cannot nd them outside of a few days per year here in the U.S., for example.Living on post, there may be a laundry ser-vice you can utilize, the doctor is nearby, the list goes on and on. In many respects, the military has taken the friction out of the basics or tak-en care of these basics for us so we can put our HighPerformance &ImplementingStrategies

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Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.com38focus on ‘Mission First.’ ere was even a culture or saying I remember as an ocer: We aren’t any good to our soldiers if we don’t rst take care of our-selves and be a role model.We learned three things in the military that we can apply to civilian life to continue to live in alignment with these values of Seless Service and Mission First without so much stress, guilt, or overwhelm.HAVE A ROLE MODEL MINDSETRemember how you set a great example as a military team member or as a leader of your team? We may no longer be deployable assets; however, veterans are assets to the civilian world. Who in your life is it vital for you to be a good role model? Who looks up to you? Who do you want to be a role model for? How can you live into that more fully each day and each week? Why is it necessary for you to be at your very best for them? ese are the questions we asked ourselves each day while in the military (even if subconsciously), and they are questions that still apply today in the civilian world.IMPLEMENT, COMMUNICATE AND MAINTAIN EFFECTIVE BOUNDARIESIt’s so hard and uncomfortable to say no to our bosses and coworkers when they ask for last-minute help. We had plans with our families and friends, even if they are over zoom or other COVID-19 friendly tasks like playing a board game after dinner, making pizza, cooking a nice meal while watching your favorite show, or working out. e point is that they were your plans, and they are important. It doesn’t matter what the plans are.What is more important is setting our inten-tions each day for what is and is not okay to be swayed. Somedays, it will be okay to stay late at work, and likely necessary. You’ve set and com-municated your boundaries and plans for your workday other days, and it’s okay to maintain that boundary. Brené Brown, author and research pro-fessor at University of Houston, said it best when she nds herself in a situation where she needs to maintain a boundary, she repeats to herself, “I choose discomfort over resentment.” Maintaining boundaries can be very uncomfortable; howev-er, she feels resentful when she fails to maintain a boundary. Setting clear intentions each day and thinking through your day in advance, including what might trip you up and how you can navigate that situation, can be incredibly empowering. CREATE THE SOCIAL SUPPORT NECESSARY FOR SUCCESSResearchers nd time and time again that people who are the most successful in achiev-ing their goals have a great support system, bat-tle buddy, coach, or network. Isn’t it true that when someone is waiting for you at the gym, you are more likely to go even if it’s cold and rainy outside? at you are more likely to arrive at work on time when you have a meeting rst thing in the morning, or you know your boss will already be there?Seems simple, right? But common sense isn’t ANGELA DEMAREE, DVM, MPH, CHPCDr. Angela Demaree is the CEO and Principal Consultant for PAWS Consulting, a public health and political con-sulting rm. Angela recently retired as a Major in the United States Army Reserves, is a Certied High Perfor-mance CoachTM and the host of Beyond the Stethosco-peTM, the podcast for veterinarians and busy profes-sionals who want actionable, implementable solutions surrounding work-life balance, accomplishing your goals and living your dreams. She spends her free time with her horse, Tommy, and teaching her Quaker Parrot the Purdue Fight Song. You can connect with Angela on Twitter and LinkedIn @DemareeDVM.always common practice. How many of these high performance habits are you im-plementing in your own life? Which ones would you like to try? How can you im-plement them in your busy day?Asking these questions and taking some time for reection can empower you to live more fully into your purpose each day and in alignment with your values. If you’d like to learn more about high performance and how to implement these strategies in your own life, sign up for a free strategy session at and get personalized support.

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MILITARY SPOTLIGHTChief Executive Ofcer – BuyVetExecutive Director – Brightstar Consulting, LLCHuman Resources Consultant – Federal Employment AdvocateRegina D. Rembert is currently a Human Resourc-es Specialist (Recruitment & Placement) for the Department of Veteran Aairs. Prior to assuming this role, her last assignment was Human Resources Specialist (Recruitment & Placement) for the 944th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. During her tenure at Luke, she assisted with the successful re-cruitment, and placement of more than 119 civilian and technical maintenance personnel. In addition, Ms. Rembert volunteered her time helping Veterans at the Veteran Success Center in Glendale, AZ. Ms. Rembert retired from the US Army Reserves in 2010 after a military career that spanned 22 years. During her military tenure, she held various roles, with her nal role being the Chief Paralegal Non-Commissioned Ocer, 416th eatre Engineer Command in Darien, Illinois. In addition to her military career, Ms. Rembert is the Chief Executive Ocer for BuyVet. BuyVet is a veteran centric 501(c)(3) Non-Prot Organization established in 2020 that advocates for, supports and promotes vet-eran owned businesses. Ms. Rembert has more than twenty-ve years of professional Human Resources ex-perience in union, non-union and government sectors. In the civilian sector, she served most recently as the Hu-man Resource Generalist at Luxottica Optical Manu-facturing, a global optical manufacturing conglomerate. Prior to that Ms. Rembert spent sixteen years at the JC Penney Logistics Facility in Columbus Ohio, her nal position as Human Resources Manager. Ms. Rembert is a certied Human Resources Professional earning this designation in 2008. In 2008, she started Brightstar Consulting, where she currently serves as the Executive Director. Brightstar oers Human Resource training, consulting, and career services to veterans, students, and business professionals. Ms. Rembert earned her Master’s in Education from Ashland University in 2016, and her Bachelors of Arts from e Ohio State University in 1992, and 2015 respec-tively. As a strong supporter and Member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Ms. Rembert has mentored many new Human Resource professionals throughout her career. e highlight of her life has always been her Faith, Family, Friends, and her continual desire to give back to her community. REGINA D. REMBERT, M.Ed., SHRM-CP, • Spring 2021

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(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)CREATING WELLNESS THROUGH OUR GUT HEALTHDid you know that the bacteria that live in your gut actually inuence how your brain works? In addition, those daily stresses can re-ally cause problems! e topic of Gut Health is the new “buzz” for popular self-help gurus, but this has been a long-standing interest in the Complementary and Integrative Medi-cine elds. Because many of our veterans have Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they live with multiple stressors and challenges, and struggle to nd their place in a non-military lifestyle. is article is devoted to understand-ing one of the major causes of physiological and psychological stresses: poor gut health (in-cluding poor gut function and imbalanced gut bacteria populations). Logically, because the gut aects the brain, and the brain aects the gut, we might ask “which problem came rst?” In truth, it does not matter which came rst; both must be addressed and helped in order to return a healthy balance to the brain-gut axis. When Dr. Matthews wrote his book, “e Symbiont Factor,” he researched and studied the relationship between our brains and our gut function. is book is about the complex Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.com40Way s toWellnessBY DR. RUTH MOORE AND DR. RICHARD MATTHEWS

Page 41 • Spring 2021With their dual approach, both doctors provide the necessary tools for woman veterans to recover, heal, gain strength, and live well. BY DR. RUTH MOORE AND DR. RICHARD MATTHEWS

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Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comand symbiotic relationships between our brains and gut health and he describes several ways to restore and maintain this health as we change our lifestyles. Don’t worry, it’s not written for PhD candidates, but actually for mainstream people. Dr. Moore studies how stress aects our health, and is in the process of publishing a self-help book on how to develop resiliency. Both providers have respective specialties in complementary medicine, and teach about the eects of stress on the body.AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM (ANS) e autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the part of the central nervous system that controls involuntary body functions, such as digestion or heart activity. It’s what controls the body so that we don’t have to remember to tell the heart to pump blood, or the stomach to digest food. It is comprised of the sympathetic (ght or ight) system and the parasympathetic (rest and digest) system. Dr. Matthews explains this system with the analogy that the sympathetic nervous system functions like a gas pedal in a car. It provides the body with energy so that it can respond to perceived dangers. Conversely, the parasympathetic nervous system acts like the brake pedal. It calms the body down after the danger has passed. Dr. Moore adds that when both systems are balanced, the body can handle various stresses including eustress (safe stresses like being excited about a date) and distress (stresses arising from perceived danger) in a more resilient way. One of the key players in this process is the vagus nerve that does most of the work for the parasympathetic system by helping our organs function properly when we are relaxed. It also regulates activation of the sympathetic (stress) system that adults are predisposed to, with the daily stresses they face. Because the vagus nerve sends signals to both the brain and the gut, traumatic and stressful events that aect the brain will also aect our gut function. We know that our collective gut (stomach and intestines) breaks down and digests food to fuel our bodies and brains, so changes in gut function result in changes to our gut bacteria populations. ere is a strong scientic support for the saying, “Follow your gut!” or “Listen to your gut instincts.”e circular stress cycle that veterans live with is easily seen through the dysbiosis, or imbalance, of gut bacteria. Our strong emo-tions and reactions to stressful events alters our gut bacteria, and imbalanced gut bacte-ria causes harmful changes to both the brain’s neurotransmitter levels and its ability to func-42AnxietyDepressionAlteredmicrobiomeAlteredgut functionHPA axisINFLUENCE ON:NeurotransmittersStress/AnxietyMood BehaviorINFLUENCEON:MotilitySecretionNutrient DeliveryMicrobial BalanceGUT-BRAIN AXISmicrobiota

Page 43 • Spring 2021(CONTINUED ON PAGE 44)tion at optimum levels. When both halves of this vicious cycle are completed, a person has a brain that keeps the gut unhealthy, and a gut that keeps the brain imbalanced. POST TRAUMATIC STRESS Since the time that Dr. Matthews pub-lished his book, an astronomical amount of newer research has been published to sub-stantiate his writings. Combined with Dr. Moore’s life progress from survivor to health care provider, this topic piqued his interest. Specically, his focus is how dysfunction in the gut-brain axis aects and plays a role in PTSD. From Dr. Moore’s history and his own research, Dr. Matthews knew that the trauma which is sustained during military service can cause abnormalities in gut health, immunity, and brain functions through this process. Re-search has now shown that imbalances in gut bacteria can make it more likely that a person develops PTSS/PTSD after experiencing trau-ma. As described above, the imbalanced gut bacteria aect the brain’s neurotransmitters, making the brain less able to “bounce back” after stressful or traumatic events. is is particularly signicant in the mili-tary populations. As all veterans know, active duty service begins with a stressful indoctrina-tion period that is meant to strip us of our in-dividuality and create unit cohesiveness. After this training, we then transition to military oc-cupational schools or to our rst units, where we are exposed to more stress as we adopt military bearing. During our later military ser-vice, we are exposed to normal occupational stresses that include interpersonal dynamics, varying command structures, dierences in followership and leadership and both diversi-ty and cultural competencies. If these factors did not induce a state of chronic stress, we can also consider that our country is still in a state of multiple hostile engagements and a global war on terrorism. e additional stresses of personal and global insecurity, combined with the other stresses, creates a physical cocktail of neurotransmitters and stress induced hor-mones that impact the gut-brain axis. Another signicant, and often overlooked, stress association from active duty is when emotional trauma is inicted on fellow soldiers through Military Sexual Trauma (MST). e betrayal from a military brother or sister who was supposed to protect them (part of the team cohesion) introduces a profound dynamic in the body. When the parasympathetic (relax, vagal) function is promoted by a sense of safety and peace within the military unit, MST destroys that security and creates a sense of hypervigilance and sympathetic activation. is promotes au-tonomic dysfunction and results in a very pro-found level of gut/brain dysfunction. In his practice, Dr. Matthews works with patients to improve both their gut and brain functions using specialized lab work and DNA analysis that the Veteran’s Administration does not use. ese tests help to identify dierent body systems that are functioning poorly, such as a food sensitivity or gut microbiome analysis. Armed with this information, patients can make

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Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comdietary changes to reduce systemic inammation and create a more hospitable environment for healthy bacteria in the gut. Dr. Moore then takes a behavioral and holistic approach to coach her patients in lifestyle wellness. Her goal is to teach them multiple ways to manage, reduce, or other-wise eliminate stress from their lives. With their dual approach, both doctors provide the neces-sary tools for female veterans to recover, heal, gain strength, and live well. THE ROLE OF FOOD INTOLERANCES Many veterans have not heard of function-al medicine, as this health eld is not a priority for the Veterans Health Administration, but from Dr. Matthews and Dr. Moore this is the key for veterans to take back their power and regain their health.One of the most common issues in func-tional medicine is food intolerances – and perhaps the most common sensitivity that impacts the immune system is gluten. Gluten is a protein that gives dough its elasticity and allows pizza to have a stretchy, chewy crust. It is also a product that is added to many foods to create density and improve texture/taste. Understanding gluten sensitivities can be chal-lenging because a person’s immune system can react to the whole grain (wheat for example) or it can react to just gluten. In many cases the immune system reacts to the many proteins that gluten breaks down into.Most commercial gluten sensitivity panels that mainstream physicians use fail to identify a person’s reactions to the proteins that gluten breaks down into, including molecules such as gliadins and transdynorphins. As a result of the tests not identifying the sensitivity, many people mistakenly believe that they are not gluten sensitive, when in fact they are. Gluten can aect both the brain and the gut and can also cause systemic inammation throughout the body. Both Dr. Matthews and Dr. Moore understand this struggle as they are each highly gluten sensitive. From experience, they know that this ingredient is used in many foods and personal care items including lotions, hair products, and even some brands of toothpaste.Once a gluten sensitivity is established, it be-comes important to understand how it can aect us. Gluten sensitivity combined with our earliest exposures to stress, as well as current stressors, provides a perfect pattern for gut dysfunction. is manifests as increased physical symptoms such as chronic pain, unexplained weight gain and bloating, diarrhea or constipation, and more stress-based illnesses in middle age. Emotional symptoms such as anxiety or depression, can also be a result of the combination of stress and gluten sensitivity and resultant gut dysfunction. ese early exposures to stress, combined with lifestyle patterns, activity levels, and acute stress episodes may explain why so many veterans are extremely gluten sensitive. THAT FINE, FINE, MILITARY FOOD One common military food item that is heavily laced with gluten or gluten derivatives is the ubiquitous Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE). When the doctors planned this article, Dr. Moore (a Navy veteran) literally cringed with the memory of her MRE days, muttering something to the eect of, “this gal survived on peanut butter and jelly packs and coee, rather than eating those (insert explicative) entrees.” At the time, her aversion to MREs was based on taste, but we wondered if she instinctively knew that they are heavily pro-cessed foods that contain high concentrations of gluten and preservatives. Dr. Matthews suggests that even now, while they are sold as convenience foods for camping and hik-ing, they also can cause mild to severe health problems for many people. Dr. Matthews and Dr. Moore also believe that many of the veterans whom they work with have strong gluten sensitivities that are (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE SIDEBAR)Gluten is insidious and ends up in many unsuspecting food items and personal care products. The website,, has a comprehensive list of foods, additives, condiments, and personal care products that contain gluten. It is a valuable resource for those who need to avoid all forms of gluten. For those who are new to a gluten free diet, below is a partial list of items that may have hidden forms of gluten: alcoholic beverages (malt liquor, wine coolers, some wines), articial coffee creamer, beer, bouillon cubes, broth/stocks, and gravies, candy and chewing gum, certain ground spices, certain veined cheeses, chips, cold cuts and hot dogs, condiments (ketchup and some mustard, relishes, mayonnaise), avored teas and coffees, instant hot beverages, avored rice, sh sticks and imitation seafood, french fries, pasta and pasta side dishes, roasted nuts, soy and teriyaki sauces, salad dressings, seitan (wheat gluten, used in meat substitutes), self-basting turkey, canned baked beans, tomato sauces, vegetable cooking spray, and veggie burgers.It also pays to read labels, as many ingredients or additives can have hidden gluten. These are: articial color, baking powder, barley extract or lipids, caramel color/avor-ing, (frequently made from barley), HIDDEN FORMS OF GLUTEN44

Page 45 • Spring 2021(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)citric acid (can be fermented from wheat, corn, molasses or beets), dextrins and maltodextrins (primarily corn and potato, but can come from wheat, rice, tapioca), diglycerides, emulsiers, enzymes, fermented grain extract, avorings, food starch, glucose syrup, glycerides, hydrolysate, hydrolyzed malt extract, hydrolyzed oat our or protein, hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), malt extract, mustard powder (some contain gluten), monosodium glutamate (MSG), modied food starch (source is either corn or wheat), natural juices or avorings, peptide bonded glutamine (hydrolyzed wheat gluten), rice malt (contains barley or koji), rice and brown rice syrups (contains barley enzymes), sulfonate, stabilizers and starches, triticum aestivum (common or bread wheat), wheat starch, whey protein concentrate, whey sodium caseinate, white vinegar or white grain vinegar, yeast extract.(continued...Hidden Forms of Gluten)45related to their former military diets. In re-cent research, the VHA has recognized the causality between stress and a range of un-healthy eating habits that women developed in the military. e following article high-lights the symptoms and potential gut issues that arise from the mess hall diet and the ‘Grab and Growl’ feeding habits that we had to embrace. ese habits began in our basic training days when we had “5 minutes and 5 minutes only to eat this ne, ne (Navy) chow.” Research in 2019 has shown that rushed eating habits and the quality of food (gluten and carb heavy) that is still served in these facilities negatively aects both diges-tion and metabolism, creating long-term or chronic health conditions. HTTPS://BLOGS.VA.GOV/VANTAGE/64047/EAT-STARVE-FOOD-STRESS-WOMEN-VETSRECOVERY AND RESILIENCY From a holistic standpoint, in order to recover from stressors, we must develop resiliency. is requires a bidirectional ap-proach to wellness. e rst part of devel-oping a wellness lifestyle is to identify our stressors and their eects on our health, as both are related. Dr. Matthews recommends identifying immune reactive foods and elim-inating them, because their absence is key to improving gut bacteria and reducing chron-ic issues like leaky gut syndrome. When the irritants are removed, the next step is to re-store gut health by looking at the bacteria levels of the gut microbiome. is is done via lab work that can genetically sequence the microbiome to determine if there is an im-balance of good versus bad bacteria. If there is an imbalance, specic probiotics (healthy bacteria “starter cultures”) are introduced via supplements and foods. Both Dr. Matthews and Dr. Moore recommend this kind of test before adding probiotics, as there are several dierent species and concentrations that are commercially available.In conjunction with identifying gut health and working to improve it, we can then adopt the second approach by honestly evaluating our lifestyle. Are we locked in drama, jumping from one hot situation to another? If so, this can be be-cause the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is locked in a sympathetic dominant stress state and the brain is overproducing epinephrines, the her-ald neurotransmitters associated with stress. If the opposite seems to be true, i.e. we are depressed and have no joy in our lives, the cause may be traced to our ANS being parasympathetic domi-nant where our brains are not producing enough serotonin and our bodies are producing way too much cortisol (the fat hormone). Dr. Ruth Moore at 220 lbs and on the right at 135 lbs today.

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Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comBehavioral health is a eld that all too many veterans are improperly exposed to through the VHA, because they are taught that narrative and talk therapies, as well as psycho-pharmaceuticals (psych drugs) are the only evidenced-based standards to eectively heal PTSD. Continuing research in Mind-Body Medicine is refuting the eective-ness of these long held (50+ years) treatment beliefs. New evidence is coming forward about brainwave activation or modulation via sound, light therapy, and regular mindfulness practic-es. e roles of exercise and neurotransmitters, empowered self-care, nutraceutical biohack-ing, and energy therapies like QiGong and Reiki on health are much better understood by today’s researchers. Some of these treatment methods are slowly being embraced at some VA facilities across the country under VA Di-rective 1137, the Provision of Complementary and Integrative Health (May 18, 2017). In Dr. Matthews and Dr. Moore’s approach-es to wellness, the gut microbiome is addressed through both lifestyle (diet and stress) and be-havioral health. Both approaches, when used to-gether, can improve the function of the gut-brain axis and open the door to further healing from PTSD. When we biohack our health and we practice mindfulness to live in the moment rath-er than living with stress, we are redening and supporting our brain with a balanced production of neurotransmitters. is promotes a healthier mind and a better functioning body, and is EX-ACTLY what both doctors have done in their lives. After doing tests and working closely with Dr. Matthews, Dr. Moore used a functional and behavioral approach to improve her gut health by changing her diet, losing 39% of her excess body-weight, and reversing both an impending stroke and an adult onset seizure disorder.NOT EVERY PROBIOTIC IS THE SAMEHow should we choose a probiotic supple-ment? e rst course of action is to determine why we would want (or need) to take a probiotic supplement. Probiotics Advisor ( lists several dierent factors to consider including a person’s health, contra-indications, and medications that are taken in addition to the various strains of pro-biotics. is site claries that not all probiotics are the same, and some individual strains can be helpful or detrimental to a person’s health. It is best to test the gut microbiome and work with a qualied practitioner to determine which pro-biotic bacteria strains would work best for our personal gut needs.In summary, our body systems are inseparable from our brain function and emotions. PTSD re-sults not only in altered emotional response, but also altered gut microbiome, altered immune response, and altered metabolism. Helping these body systems will in turn help the brain and emo-tions recover from PTSD. It is only by helping all of these systems to recover that we can reach our full health potential. Dr. Matthews can be reached atwww.neurodoc4u.comDr. Moore can be reached at Richard Matthews is a Board Certied Chiropractic Neurologist who specializes in brain based, vestibular health and functional medicine. Dr. Ruth Moore holds Fellow status with the Complementary Medical Association and is a Board Certied Clinical Aromatherapist and Integrative Practitioner who specializes in Cognitive Behaviorism and Holistic Health. Together they are The Integrative Docs. Each half of this professional team has their respective practices in Ellsworth, Maine; but as siblings, they serve as medical advisors to AVOW Magazine and collaborate as consultants for organizations around the country. RESOURCES Some gluten-sensitive soldiers have managed to nd or create alternatives, as this website explains. This soldier even has a cookbook now! > afghanistan/ Dr. Richard Matthews’ fascinating book that teaches about Gut Health in a fun and interesting way. >nes Humanity/dp/1500553948Dr Matthews’ blog: >

Page 47 • Summer 2020Active | Guard/Reserves | Veterans | True Stories | Real LifePUBLISHED QUARTERLYSUBSCRIBE TODAY FOR YOUR PRINTED SUBSCRIPTION OR FOR ONLINE READINGVISIT AVOWMAGAZINE.COMThe Premier Magazine for Women Veterans by Women Veterans

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Page 49 • Spring 2021(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)Six quick and easy additions to your daily routine to ease anxiety and cope with stressThe easiest and quickest way to nd immediate relief from the stressors of life and show yourself some love is to activate the para-sympathetic nervous system (PNS), considered the “rest and digest” response, and deactivate the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) we op-erate in daily, known as the “ght, ight, or freeze” state. Between the state of the world, the news, social media, work and school issues it’s easy to see how we are all feeling some kinda way!“You can’t be in growth and protection at the same time.” –DR. BRUCE LIPTONI GOTYOUR6BY MARIA CAMPBELL JONES, USAF

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50Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comIn most of my professional and personal conversations lately, my clients or friends get around to asking what they can do to reduce the stress and anxiety we are all feeling now-adays. My rst question to them is “What is your self-care strategy?” which is usually met with a long pause and deep thought. Lack of time seems to be one of the biggest obstacles for most people, but it doesn’t have to be. e next six suggestions will help you begin your journey towards self-care and healing, men-tally and physically. I got your six! (For those non-military folks, it’s our way of saying I’ve got your back)The One Minute MeditationTake a deep breathBreathing in through the nose,Breathing out through the mouth.Breathing in feeling the lungs expanding,Breathing out feeling a sense of letting go.Breathing in to feel the body getting fuller,Breathing out to feel the release of any tension.Breathing in feeling alive and awake,Breathing out feeling muscles relaxing.Breathing in that sense of fullness,Breathing out that unnecessary tension.Yin Yoga - Legs Up the Wall PoseSit sideways with your right side against the wall. Exhale and gently guide your legs up onto the wall, as your shoulders and head rest on the oor. Move your sit bones as close to the wall as is comfortable. Focus on the sensations you feel within the body. Slowly inhale and exhale. When you are ready, gently come out.Alternate Nostril BreathingSit in a comfortable position. Exhale com-pletely and then use your right thumb to close your right nostril. Inhale through your left nos-tril and then close the left nostril with your n-ger. Open the right nostril and exhale through this side. Inhale through the right nostril and then close this nostril. Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side. is is one cycle. Continue until calm is reached.Gratitude ExerciseTake some time every day to nd something about yourself that you love and write it down in your journal. Some of the benets of having gratitude as outlined in Psychology Today:Opens the door to new relationshipsImproves physical healthImproves psychological healthEnhances empathy and reduces aggressionBetter sleepImproves self-esteemIncreases mental strength

Page 51 • Spring 2021Maria Campbell Jones grew up in Decatur Alabama and attended the University of Alabama before entering the USAF. Maria received her NAVAIDS Equipment Specialist Training at Keesler AFB MS before being stationed at Dover AFB DE where she met and married her husband of 32 years, Bryan. Maria has been in the fitness industry for over 25 years and currently teaches private, studio and special event yoga classes as well as fitness training in Hartsville SC. She specializes in yoga for adaptive populations and power yoga, along with strength and flexibility training. She is an RYT-500 yoga instructor as well as a Reiki Master and is currently planning retreats for women over the age of 50, female veterans, and adaptive populations.Sing, Chant, or Hum“Nothing accesses the inner world of feelings, sensations, memories, and associations as directly as music does,” says Diane Austin, adjunct as-sociate professor of music therapy at New York University and executive director of the Music Psychotherapy Center in New York. “e voice is like a bridge from your heart to your head. Singing freely releases what’s locked up in your body.”Humming may be one of the sim-plest and easiest things to do and the benets are real and measurable. By humming your favorite tune or even just the sound of “Om” you can bring down your blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, help with sleep diculties, and reduce stress and anxiety.Wash Your Face with Cold WaterWashing your face with cold water activates cholinergic neurons through the vagus nerve. e vagus nerve is a wonderful drug-free alternative for treating inammatory response, low mood, depression and more. By stim-ulating the vagus nerve you can signal your body to relax, which can improve mood and a sense of well-being.

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Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.com52Letter from the Editor: I had the pleasure of connecting with Regina Rembert across LinkedIn and it struck me how the veteran community is truly seeking each other out and creating communities of care and support in so many ways I’ve never re-alized were available. Rembert’s example of how this can be done was eye-opening: She reached out to me about a different veteran’s organiza-tion I’m affiliated with; and after I provided her with their contact info, she asked for connections with other veteran businesses. Naturally, I mentioned AVOW Magazine. When we spoke, she connected to me not only with her service in the Army, but her husband’s service in the Air Force (of course I’m a bit partial having been in the Air Force myself). If she had not taken that extra step to seek beyond her task at hand, what opportunities would we both possibly have missed out on? Through our con-versation, I was able to connect with two additional veteran’s organizations and I provided contacts I hope are helpful to her own growth. As we trudge through this pandemic; as we see our veteran service sisters and brothers -whether struggling or succeeding in their endeavors, I en-courage each of us to ask that next question, request that next referral, find a way to connect, and work to bolster each other’s efforts. It is a unique ‘buddy check’ within our community that can only serve to make each of our endeavors stronger, more enriched, and successful.BUYVET.ORGOWNER/VETERAN:REGINA REMBERT BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTRegina Rembert of has big plans: a vet-eran-to-veteran app that connects the community; and while the company just lifted o the ground as a non-prot in January 2020, she has already connected with big names like to get that app in the hands of veteran-owned businesses who can make use of it. Rembert’s sight is on promoting the smaller business. She mentioned the nancial resources we all encounter with trying to gain visibility for our eorts -pay for space here, pay for referral there, and pay to be listed in which directory? Often, these costs can be exorbitant for the veteran with a side hustle, the family-owned business, or the independent contractor. at’s where Rembert’s vision becomes focused: making that connection visible to the individuals who can most use the resource referral. She practices what she preaches: she immediately connected me with a Phila-delphia-based veteran referral network, and she’s reached out to Washington, D.C. veterans networks. Initially an Ohio-based entity, is rapidly moving across the country. Is it working? We, here at AVOW certainly think so: Rembert already has the support of the Mayor of the City of Pickerington, Ohio, has the approval of her city coun-cil, and is propelling moving H. RES. 1211 Com-memorating and acknowledging veteran-owned small businesses through Congress. Keep your eye on -but even better: con-sider registering your support via their website. We have.

Page 53 • Spring | Owner/Veteran: Regina Rembert What is BuyVet?BuyVet is a national initiative designed to encourage Veteran entrepreneurship without our communities. BuyVet will accomplish this in three ways:1. By creating a comprehensive Vet-List to locate and identify veteran owned busi-nesses. This includes businesses owned and operated by the spouses of military veterans who serve(d) alongside with their veteran. We need to know where you are and what services you provide! 2. Create a Vet-Net i.e. veteran Network to bring veteran owned businesses together for mentorship, collaboration, and sharing best practices. We will accomplish this by hosting training events, coordinating social activities, and more.3. Advocate for a “Buy-Veteran” week each year in conjunction with Veterans Day as a way to honor our veterans and thank them for their service. In a recent article written in, more than than 2.4 million U.S. businesses are owned by veterans, about nine percent of all American rms. These are big numbers that represent the larger veteran owned conglomerates; however, many small businesses are not reected on a list, they are just getting by. Who are they; where are they? BuyVet will work to create a comprehensive all-encompassing list at no cost to the veteran to highlight where the businesses are located and what services they provide. Just think what would happen if we all supported each other and worked together to ensure each other’s success, three million strong? Veteran 2 Veteran (V2V) interaction, which means veterans supporting other veterans to help them grow and maintain their businesses. Our hope is that this initiative will revital-ize the esprit de corps among our veteran brothers and sisters in every city across America. Why BuyVet?The message is simple: “Veterans have put their lives on the line to protect and defend American freedom and values.” Brave men and women in uniform had to rely on each other on the battleeld, in the air, on land, and on the sea. Let’s continue to support and look out for each other. That is the Soldier’s creed. We will always be united by an unbreakable bond that is stronger than anything. Let’s support the three million American businesses owned by military veterans. Support our Troops and Support our Veterans!BuyVet Motto: “Veterans Winning Together through Teamwork and Collaboration”

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Page 55 • Spring 2021Uma Mishra-Newbery (she/her)U.S. Army Veteran, Interim ChairUma Mishra-Newbery serves as MVA’s Acting Chair. She is a global so-cial justice and women’s rights leader, transformative speaker, and the former Executive Director of Women’s March Global. She is the current campaign manager of the #FreeLoujain campaign and the initiator and lead facilitator of the Racial Equity Index. Katherine Pratt, PhD(she/her) U.S. Air Force Veteran, TreasurerKatherine Pratt, PhD is a Co-Founder of Minority Veterans of America. She cur-rently serves as a Program Manager, Ethics and Society at Microsoft who is dedicated to incorporating ethical and equitable prac-tices in technology development. She holds a PhD in electrical and computer engineer-ing (emphasis in privacy and policy) from the University of Washington, and has also worked closely with the ACLU and Congress as an advocate for diverse and intersec-tional veteran identities.Jordan Blisk(he/him)U.S. Air Force VeteranJordan Blisk is the Associate Di-rector of Chapters at the American Constitution Society and the Executive Director of the Colorado Name Change Project. Jordan also previously worked with Lambda Legal while attending law school. Jordan is an active mentor in the LGBTQ+ community and has dedicated his career to developing and executing programming and initiatives to protect and expand equality for marginalized groups. When Minority Veterans of America (MVA) was founded in 2017, Lind-say Church (current Executive Director) and Katherine Pratt (current Board Treasurer), committed to transforming the narrative of the American veteran by building an in-terconnected community, fostering greater understanding of their memberships’ iden-tities, and serving minority veterans through the development of targeted programming and advocacy. Church and Pratt realized that advocacy and representation of the needs, wants, and experiences of their members and community was imperative to changing the landscape of services for those who feel as though they have been forgotten in the veteran community. e group advocates for equity and justice, and their leadership mirrors the intersectional identities of their membership. In February of 2021, eight dynamic and proven leaders in the veteran space were in-stalled to form MVA’s newest and most di-verse Board of Directors to date. e Board (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

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56Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comMarci Hodge(she/her)U.S Army VeteranMarci Hodge is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department. She is a former sexual assault prevention and response program manager. Mar-ci brings 21 years of experience and a lifetime of advocacy for women’s rights and a drive to advance issues most im-portant to women and girls across the globe.Laila Ireland(she/her)U.S. Army VeteranLaila Ireland is a Healthcare Manage-ment and Administration Supervisor at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs sup-porting a Level III Trauma Center outpa-tient medical administration department. She is active with SPARTA and within local AAPI and LGBTQ communities. Laila also appeared in the Emmy-nominated short lm “Transgender, at War and in Love” fol-lowed by the 2017 SXSW Film Festival Best Feature Documentary Audience Award “Transmilitary”. Kristine Reeves(she/her/ella)Veteran Supporter,Military Family MemberKristine Reeves is a Consultant and Legislative Director at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and pre-viously served as a WA State Congressional Representative. She is also a member of the Truman National Security Project. She brings a dedication to addressing issues on state and local level with a clear focus on putting people rst, navigating political, so-cial, and economic challenges with an eye on the personal impact. brings unique and varied experience to the organization, as well as a steadfast commit-ment to meeting the needs of the millions of minority veterans who have historically been marginalized, underserved, and underrepre-sented.MVA’s newest Board members are Uma Mishra-Newbery (she/her), Katherine Pratt (she/her), Jordan Blisk (he/him), Marci Hodge (she/her), Laila Ireland (she/her), Kristine Reeves (she/her/ella), and Fawn Sanchez (she/her), Lourdes Tiglao (she/her).“I could not be more excited to welcome our newest Board members,” said Lindsay Church, MVA’s Co-Founder and Executive Director. “Each of these individuals brings a wealth of knowledge, deep understanding of marginalized communities, and the empathy and lived experiences that will serve our mem-bers and all minority veterans well. MVA’s mission is rooted in pushing boundaries and nding innovative solutions to the greatest challenges we face as a community. Each of these tremendous individuals represents a rev-olutionary addition to that process.”“As MVA continues to grow leaps and bounds, it nds itself well-positioned to ascend to the next level — building on its strong foundation to increase programming, expand services, and continue to grow a community that its members, new and old, feel welcomed in and proud to belong to,” said Uma Mishra-Newbery, Interim Chair. “is board represents so much, but espe-cially the crucial intersectionality and com-mitment to the MVA community of vet-erans at large. is new Board, the rst of its kind, made up of Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and gender-di-

Page 57 • Spring 2021Fawn Sanchez(she/her)U.S. Army VeteranFawn Sanchez is Shoshone Bannock from Fort Hall, Idaho, and Carizzo-Come-crudo, an Indigenous tribe in Mexico. Fawn is an AWS Program Manager & Senior Cur-riculum Developer for Enterprise Support Training at Amazon. As a proven leader who connects with all with an unrivaled passion and caring nature, she is a steadfast advo-cate for indigenous people and approaches diversity with a lens that focuses on lifting the stories and voices of those often mar-ginalized and underrepresented. Lourdes Tiglao(she/her)U.S. Air Force VeteranLourdes Tiglao works on Global Partnerships at Airbnb. She previously was a Clay Hunt Fellow at Team Rubi-con. During her time at TR, Lourdes created regional projects to amplify and increase diversity in the 6 state region including social media engagement, local panel discussions, and increased minority recruitment through online and offline channels and platforms. She also is a Chapter Director for the National Truman Security Project.verse veterans, is leadership that looks like the community it serves, which in times like this cannot be understated. On behalf of the rest of the Board, I look forward to continu-ing the great work that the community of volunteers and the MVA family have been committed to from its humble beginnings just a handful of years ago.”“Every solution we, as an organization, build will be guided by experiences from an entirely BIPOC and gender diverse board including women and transgender veterans,” Lindsay Church continued. “ese are prov-en leaders, problem solvers, and strong voices who have pushed boundaries in spite of ex-isting in a community where their identities and lived experiences have often been dis-counted or tokenized. By making their voices heard loud and clear, we can continue to push for real and substantive change for minority veterans.”MVA and its members are an intersec-tional movement of minority veterans and allies that represent the needs and spectrum of experiences of the minority veteran com-munity, and have become a collective voice that is bigger, stronger, and more capable of ghting for change. ey are a non-partisan, non-prot organization that was designed to create belonging and advance equity for un-derrepresented veterans, including women, people of color, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ), and reli-gious minorities.Minority Veterans of America advocates equity, respect, and justice for all minority veterans. To learn more, visit them online at https://www.minorityvets.orgCASSIE GABELT, M.P.S.(she/her/hers)Communications Manager for Minority Veterans of AmericaCassie Gabelt is a mother, a trained mediator, a college professor, and proud Navy veteran. She served from 2008-2012, spent her first two years at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and her second two years at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. At the end of her enlistment, she returned to her home state of Ohio, and re-enrolled to complete her undergraduate degree in French. She earned her Master’s in Political Management (M.P.S.) through The George Washington University in 2017.Cassie believes it is the duty of our country to honor the sacrifices made by our troops, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin or citizenship status, sex, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, or military status, and the best way to do so is to promote social, political, and economic justice for all. She is committed to upholding, promoting, and advancing the principles of diversity and social justice under any and all circumstances.

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Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.com58WOMENVETERANSNETWORKWoVeNBY TRACIE ROSADOTrainers and the WoVeN Team at the U.S.S. Midway in San Diego, CA

Page 59 • Spring 2021“WoVeN for life!” “WoVeN Strong!” “I found my tribe!” are just a few of the catchphrases that echo from women Veterans across the country who have become a part of the WoVeN sisterhood. Women Veterans from near and far have been coming togeth-er for the last four years to support WoVeN’s mission to provide a unique social network of women Veterans designed to foster connec-tions and build relationships in local com-munities and across the nation. WoVeN pro-vides a place for women Veterans of all ages, branches, and service eras to come together and share their experiences in a supportive environment. Any woman who served in the United States military is welcome. WoVeN was founded in 2017 by Tara Galovski, Ph.D. and Amy Street, Ph.D. of Boston University School of Medicine and the VA National Center for PTSD, Women’s Health Science Division. WoVeN’s mission is to connect women Veterans in our national social support network and empower them with information, education, and resources that are central to improving their quality of life. WoVeN accomplishes this in a number of dierent ways. Our small, intimate groups of about 6-10 women are truly the heart and soul of the WoVeN community. ese groups, which are led by pairs of peer lead-ers who are trained by WoVeN leadership, provide a safe and open environment for WoVeN group members. Groups originally began in-person in cities and towns across the country; however, due to social restric-tions owed to the global pandemic, we have recently pivoted to an online format and hold groups over Zoom. is has actually been ex-citing for WoVeN because we discovered that Zoom works just as well and also provides the opportunity for more women to access the program and for connections and relation-ships to be forged nationwide. e WoVeN program consists of 8 weeks of 90-minute weekly groups that each center around topics of interest to women Veterans including themes like esteem, stress manage-ment, nding life balance, and connections among others. WoVeN also includes an op-tional research component designed to assess the success of the program in achieving its (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)WoVeN National Consultants lower the ag at Disney World (left to right, Cat, Tracie)

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60Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.comaims of increasing support and improved vet-eran well-being and functioning. e results of our ongoing assessments inform programmat-ic modications and contribute to our model of continuous improvement.Questions that have been asked time af-ter time include, “What happens after the 8 weeks?” What will we do next?” at question can be answered in many ways; but truly, the choice is up to that woman Veteran. Many women continue their relationships forged in the WoVeN program with additional so-cial and philanthropic activities. To meet this continued need and to help women develop additional connections beyond their original WoVeN group, WoVeN has also developed new alumni groups where group members from around the country who have completed a WoVeN group can pick a topic of discussion (e.g. Enlistment, Choices, Empowerment, Hope, Communication, etc.) and pick a time to gather again. Most women also remain an The WoVeN Timeline and Milestones2017• Focus Groups in San Antonio, TX, Charlotte, NC and Pittsburgh, PA to hear from women Veterans about their challenges and successes, and the importance of building connections with other women Veterans (May 2017)• Selection of the first group of 6 Pioneer Peer Leaders from San Antonio, Charlotte, and Pittsburgh (June 2017) who were trained in the full WoVeN curriculum at our first Peer Leader Training in St. Louis, MO (August 2017)• The first WoVeN pilot groups kick off in San Antonio, TX, Charlotte, NC and Pittsburgh, PA (September 2017)2018• Peer Leader Training in New Orleans, LA (March 2018)• Peer Leader Training in Houston, TX (October 2018)2019• First Train the Trainers Workshop and Peer Leader Training in Washington DC. Experienced Peer Leaders were trained as National WoVeN Trainers and the trained new Peer Leaders in the full WoVeN curriculum (April 2019)• Train the Trainers Workshop and Peer Leader Training in Orlando, FL (December 2019)• WoVeN groups are first offered in an online format, increasing accessibility to WoVeN groups for more Women Veterans (October 2019) Peer Leaders, YoLonda and Leandra, with their WoVeN group in San Angelo, TXPeer Leaders, Love and April, with their WoVeN group in Washington, D.C.

Page 61 • Spring 2021active part of the national WoVeN communi-ty by staying connected through our WoVeN website and taking advantages of the vetted resources and opportunities for women Veter-ans provided by WoVeN and our partnering organizations. WoVeN highlights and pro-motes women Veteran-owned businesses and products on our website – so there are always opportunities to support other women Veter-ans. Women subscribe to our WoVeN newslet-ter to read interviews about amazing women Veterans and to learn about upcoming WoVeN activities, events and news. Of course, women always stay connected through our various so-cial media platforms including our community page on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Finally, there is also the opportunity for group members to continue on their WoVeN path by applying to become a WoVeN peer leader and for peer leaders to go on to become national WoVeN trainers of future peer leaders. Also echoed among many WoVeN wom-The WoVeN Timeline and Milestones ...continued2020• Train the Trainers Workshop and Peer Leader Training San Diego, CA (February 2020)• WoVeN Peer Leader training online (June 2020)• WoVeN Peer Leader training online (July 2020)• WoVeN Peer Leader training online (August 2020)• WoVeN Peer Leader training online (September 2020)• WoVeN Peer Leader training online (October 2020)2021• WoVeN launches the BRIDGES program (January 2021)• WoVeN introduces Alumni group material to experienced WoVeN Peer Leaders at a WoVeN Galentines Day online training event (February 2021)• WoVeN Alumni online training & WoVeN’s 4th Birthday event (March 2021)Selection of the first two outstanding WoVeN Trainers and Peer Leaders as National Consul-tants, Tracie Rosado and Cat Corchado chosen to provide mentorship and leadership to the WoVeN community at large. (December 2019)WoVeN’s rst group of Trainers at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Top L to R: Brandy, Tracie, Cat, Love. Bottom L to R: Leah, Billiekai, Tina, Valerie, Leandra)WoVeN Trainers and Co-Director, Amy, at Mt. Soledad in San Diego, CATrainer and National Consultant at training event in San Diego, CA (L to R: Becca, Tracie)

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Spring 2021 • www.AVOWMagazine.com62en are memories of the distance they felt be-tween themselves and their Veteran identities after separating from the military. Seeing a need for continued support and camarade-rie among women transitioning out of the military, WoVeN developed BRIDGES (Building ReIntegration from Dreams and Goals to Execution and Success). BRIDGES is an expansion of WoVeN designed to support women who are on the brink of transitioning out of military service and reintegrating into civilian life in the near future. e overarching goal of BRIDGES is to provide support and connections throughout the transition period and into reintegration. In their last year of service, servicewomen have the opportunity to attend a structured retreat experience de-signed to encourage servicewomen to consid-er their dreams and goals for life after service and to identify strengths and existing supports that will help them achieve these goals. Each BRIDGES servicemember is paired with a WoVeN Veteran Guide to navigate the ser-vicewoman’s rst year of reintegration together as Battle Buddies. With the support of their Battle Buddies in BRIDGES, transitioning servicewomen prepare for transition, celebrate accomplishments, address unexpected chal-lenges, and nd ways to embrace civilian life. is consistent and reliable source of support by women Veterans who have walked this path themselves can be critical during reintegration -a time characterized by change and uncertain-ty. Being supported by an entire network of women Veterans nationwide can make all the dierence. WoVeN Trainers in Orlando, FL excited to welcome new Peer Leaders to the WoVeN family.LINKTREE FOR WOVEN WEBSITEAND SOCIALS.LINKTR.EE/WOVEN-WOMENVETS

Page 63 • Spring 2021American Women Veterans Foundation believes that women have always been the catalyst for change within our homes, our communities and the world. We envision a society in which the legacy of America’s servicewomen, veterans, and their families is celebrated and carried on to future generations of powerful and inspiring women. We strive to Serve, Honor, and Empower women from all branches of service with a continued sense of pride and community service which enables them to continue to reach their full potential and contribute as they always have, in making America stronger.AWVGEAR.COMShop and SupportServe. Honor. Empower.AMERICANWOMENVETERANS.ORGAmerican Women Veterans is the nation’s preeminent, non-partisan,501(c)3 non-prot organization dedicated to serving, honoring,and empowering military women, veterans, and their families. AWV welcomes veterans and supporters from all eras and branches of service.

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