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Show #70 Front & Center: Military Talk Radio for 15 July

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Front & Center: Military Talk Radio w/Rick Rogers

Show No. 70, July 15, 2012

Listen to show by clicking here.

Guests this week:

* Francisco Rodriguez, president of the MiraCosta College.

* Wayne Twaddell, a MiraCosta student studying business administration. He is a two-tour Marine combat vet and a peer advisor for other student veterans at MiraCosta.

* Mina Martinez, a veteran of the Army and the California National Guard. She is studying forensic science and plans to join law enforcement. She is also a peer advisor at MiraCosta.

* James Lasswell, president of the defense contracting firm Indus Technologies and a board member of the San Diego Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association.


Hello and welcome to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio, your source for local and national veterans’ and defense information.

I’m your host Rick Rogers.

On today’s show we’ll continue a theme we started last week and talk about education and veterans.

Joining me in studio will be two veterans studying at MiraCosta College as well as the president of the school Dr. Francisco Rodriguez.

Nationwide more than 600,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans go to school under the GI Bill and those numbers are expected to climb as the fighting ends in Afghanistan and Defense Department cuts some 100,000 troops in the coming years.

Locally 38,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans live in San Diego County; the largest such population in the country.

An additional 30,000 veterans leave the military each year in San Diego; many of them stay in Southern California.

Then in the second half of the show I’ll talk to James Laswell, president of the defense company Indus Technologies. He is also a board member of the San Diego Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association.

James Laswell is also known for keeping his peers updated on the latest news and policies concerning defense contractors.

We’ll talk about the defense industry and how veterans and others can break into this lucrative but tough business.

So a great show is coming your way. Hope you can stay tuned for the fastest hour in radio.

But if you can’t, podcasts of Front & Center: Military Talk Radio are ready when you are at:

Today’s show is episode is No. 70. Podcasts are also on iTunes. The subscription is free.


Before we bring out the guests, let’s take a look at stories making headlines last week on the Morning Report.

The Morning Report is brought to you by the law offices Haytham Farj, a nationally recognized attorney specializing in military and veterans’ law.

Free consultations available by calling 619-752-3950. You can visit his website at


This segment is also sponsored by Diversity Solutions, a San Diego company that hosts career fairs for veterans, troops and dependents across Southern California.

This Thursday, July 19, Diversity Solutions will host a job fair at the Doubletree Hotel near the Ontario Airport in the Inland Empire from 10 to 2.

On Aug. 15, Diversity Solutions will hold an event at the Scottish Rite Event Center in Mission Valley.

For more information call Diversity Solutions at (888) 313-5782.

And don’t forget to check out East County Magazine and the Military Press Magazine, where my columns are running.

This week I columnized that stronger regulations are needed to protect veterans from predatory educational institutions.

Read my column and so much more in the Military Press that goes to bases across Southern California delivering community news, entertainment and services.

And East County Magazine, an award winning online publication doing some of the best public-service reporting in Southern California.


To support our military and get your message out on a program serving 700,000 veterans, service members and dependents in Southern California, call at 760.445.3882.

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* So this past Monday I wrote that vets shouldn’t have to fight unscrupulous educators trying to sell them worthless services and very expensive worthless at that.

I didn’t name names, but Bridgepoint Education, a large for-profit institution located in San Diego, has long been under a cloud. They and Phoenix University have been faulted for low graduation rates, high expenses and high defaults.

So, I send the column out. The very next day the San Diego Union-Tribune published a story saying that one of Bridgepoint’s schools, Ashford University, had been denied regional accreditation in California by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

As a result Bridgepoint might be forced to leave San Diego. It’s stock got rocked. I mean it fell through the floor. Went from about $22 a share down to under $10 in a week.

The U-T story noted that Ashford University has a graduation rate of 22 percent. That compares with 85 percent at the University of California San Diego, 72 percent at San Diego State, 12 percent at the University of Phoenix and 26 percent at San Diego City College.

Problems at Ashford, included:

Not “applying resources and organizational structures to ensure sustainability”

Not “creating an organization committed to learning and improvement.”

The association – that would be the Western Association of Schools and Colleges — found fully a third of Ashford’s spending went to student recruitment, well above the amount the school spent on faculty and attendant student services.

* Today is the last day of 25th Stand Down sponsored by the Veterans Village and the VA and run by Dr. Jon Nachison. Last year a little more than 1,000 homeless vets attended and this year there were expected to be a few more that that. I hope to get someone on the show in the next few weeks to talk about this year’s Stand Down went.

* Last month the Supreme Court struck down the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a crime to lie about getting military honors

Now Sen. James Webb from Va., has introduced a bill that would criminalize lying about military service “for tangible benefit or personal gain.”

His Military Service Integrity Act would punish anyone who “with the intent of securing a tangible benefit or personal gain, knowingly, falsely and materially represents himself or herself through any written or oral communication (including a resume) to have served in the Armed Forces of the United States or to have been awarded any decoration, medal, ribbon or other device authorized by Congress or pursuant to Federal law for the Armed Forces of the United States.” The bill would also punish the unauthorized sale of military medals.

I’ll keep you updated on what comes out of this effort.

* How much does it cost to keep someone in uniform? I don’t mean keep them in uniform in Afghanistan, but just keep them in the service.

Well, according to the Defense Department it’s $158,000 and the cost is quickly rising. In fact, the cost has jumped 50 percent since 2001.

Personnel costs have climbed by $4,000 per person per year since 2001 but are expected to rise by  $4,700 a year in the coming years.

By 2017, Congressional Budget Office forecasts costs will be $170,000 per person.

* We’ve all see those late-night ads for supplements to bulk you up or slim you down. Well so have our service members.

Nearly half of all U.S. service members take dietary supplements, according to a recent study.

Marines were more likely than other service members to use bodybuilding, energy and weight-loss supplements.

Nearly 47 percent of U.S. troops used at least one supplement with 22 percent have used more than one.

* The Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is back in the news. You remember. He’s the soldier charged with going in a rampage in March and murdering 16 Afghanistan villagers.

A preliminary court hearing in the case is set for September.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will face a preliminary military hearing Sept. 17. The location is most likely Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where Bales was based.

Bales is accused of leaving his base in southern Afghanistan on March 11 and attacking sleeping villagers at two locations. He could face the death penalty.

* Mental disorders among active-duty troops – just the ones diagnosed – have jumped 65 percent in the past 12 years, according to a DOD report.

Since 2000, adjustment disorders — such as acute anxiety, worry or trouble sleeping — have topped the list of problems seen at military treatment facilities.

Post-traumatic stress, thought it has risen six-fold between 2003 and 2008, still ranks just sixth among the 10 major mental health woes found in 2011.

The Top 10 mental health issues are: 1. Adjustment Disorders; 2. Alcohol abuse and dependence disorders; 3. Substance abuse; 4. Dependence Disorders; 5. Anxiety Disorders; 6. PTSD; 7. Depressive Disorders; 8. Personality Disorders; 9. Schizophrenia; 10. Other mental health disorders.

From 2000 to 2011, 936,283 service members received at least one mental disorder diagnosis at a military treatment facility, and nearly half had more than one, according to “Mental Disorders and Mental Health Problems, Active Component, U.S Armed Forces, 2000-2011,” published in the June 2012 Medical Surveillance Monthly Report.

The Army had the highest rates of mental health diagnoses. In 2011, the Army’s rates were nearly twice that of the Marine Corps. So much for those year-long deployments. They don’t seem like such a good idea now.

Some military jobs had higher rates of mental illnesses than others. Health care workers had the highest rates of personality or adjustment disorders and anxiety; while troops in the combat arms fields had higher rates of substance abuse and depression.

Other findings: Women were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with an adjustment disorder, personality disorder, anxiety or schizophrenia, and more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men.

Men had higher rates of substance abuse and PTSD than women.

* This little item is sad but true.

Despite spending tens of millions of dollars on PTS ad TBI for the better part of a decade, the Defense Department has no idea if any of its treatments actually work.

Worse than that, fewer than half of all service members and veterans testing positive for PTS have received referrals for care, and of those, just 65 percent get help.

Studies show those who get treatment — evidence-based therapies such as cognitive or exposure therapy — can recover in half the time than those who don’t get treatment. About a third of PTSD victims never recover.

* The Navy is launching a marketing campaign to recruit more minorities into its special warfare community and will focus on Southern California and the mid-Atlantic states to do it.

The force today is about 85 percent white, so the Coronado-based Naval Special Warfare Command wants to bring in men of different ethnicities and races that more reflect U.S. society.

Doing so, officials have said, would enable its forces to blend into foreign places where they may operate and help build relationships with allies.

* Times they are a changin’. Just consider the Gerald R. Ford-class of carriers. For the first time, the Navy has designed an aircraft carrier that will have gender-neutral berthing and heads without urinals. A huge change from previous carriers.

* A federal judge in Maryland will hear a motion this week to dismiss lawsuits filed against Kellogg, Brown and Root and Halliburton for operating open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The motion calls for tossing out the lawsuits based on “derivative-sovereign immunity and preemption,” meaning the companies believe they are exempt from litigation because they were providing services to the government and thus enjoyed the same immunity as the government.

The case involves 43 lawsuits from 42 states charging that plaintiffs were harmed by toxic emissions and contaminated water resulting from burning waste in open pits Iraq and Afghanistan.

* Read a recent story in Time about the suicide epidemic sweeping our vets and active duty troops.

Maybe the easiest way to get help is to dial 211 San Diego. Another resource is the American Combat Veterans of War. They run a weekly “Safe Warrior” program from 7 to 9?p.m. each Tuesday at its Oceanside office at 3508 Seagate Way, Suite 160.

Discussions there are led by experienced combat veterans and are conducted anonymously.

The group also can be reached at 760-696-0460, and the Marine Corps has its own toll-free help line at 877-476-7734.

Music Bumper

The Morning Report was sponsored by the law offices of Haytham Farj, a nationally recognized attorney specializing in military and veterans’ law.

Visit his website at or call him at 619-752-3950.

The Morning Report was also sponsored by Diverse Solutions, which is holding military career this Thursday just up the road near the Ontario airport.

Diversity Solutions is holding another career fair on Aug. 15 in San Diego at the Scottish Rites event center in Mission Valley. Call 1.888.313-5782.

Time for a quick break, but stay tuned. Coming up an interview with student vets at MiraCosta College and the school’s president Dr. Francisco Rodriguez.

Learn what veterans should look for in a school and how their transition back to the civilian world is going.

You are listening to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio with Rick Rogers heard here every Sunday 11 to noon on AM 1170 and Monday’s 5 to 6 p.m. on AM 1320.

1st Commercial Break

Segment II

Welcome back to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio with Rick Rogers.

I’m here Sundays 11 to noon and Saturdays midnight to 1 a.m. on KCBQ AM 1170, the home of military in San Diego and Southern California.

The show is also aired Mondays, 5 to 6 p.m., on Palomar College’s KKSM AM 1320.

Podcasts of the show are at


More than half a million veterans are using their GI Bill to go to college.

Hundreds of thousands more will join them in the coming years. How they do will impact the entire country, especially San Diego County, which has more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans than anywhere else in the country.

But college life for student vets isn’t always as simple as registering for classes and buying books.

They often face challenges that other classmates do not.

From being targeted by unscrupulous educators to dealing with Post Traumatic Stress to simply not fitting with students with more mundane backgrounds.

Here to talk about transitioning from uniform to

classroom is Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, president of MiraCosta College, and two student-veterans there, Mina Martinez and Wayne Twaddell.

Welcome you all to the show.

Listen to interview here.

Time to take a quick time out, but after the break an interview with James Lasswell, president of the defense contracting firm Indus Technologies and a board member of the San Diego Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association

You are listening to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio with Rick Rogers on AM 1170 and AM 1320 the home of the military in Southern California.

2nd Commercial Break

Segment III

Welcome back to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio with Rick Rogers.

Heard Sundays 11 to noon and Saturdays midnight to 1 on KCBQ AM 1170.

Also aired Mondays, 5 to 6 p.m., on Palomar College’s KKSM AM 1320.

Podcasts at The website recently won first place from the Society of Professional Journalist.


It would be hard to overstate the importance of the military spending in San Diego County of Southern California.

San Diego County is home to the largest concentration of troops in the country and that presence is growing by about 15,000 in the coming years as the United States shifts its focus to the Pacific Theater.

Eight of the top 10 defense contractors in the United States also have substantial operations here.

A July 2009 study by National University estimated military spending in San Diego County at a staggering $22.3 billion. It is surely higher than that now.

That study said $1 of every $7 of regional economic activity – and nearly 475,000 jobs – is tied to defense dollars flowing here.

I’ve also seen reports that it’s even higher than that. Perhaps 20 percent of the region’s economy might hinges on military spending.

But there are clouds on the horizon. The United States can no longer afford to spend on the military like it has for more than a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here to talk about the changing face of defense industry is James Lasswell, a Navy vet and the owner of the San Diego defense firm Indus Technologies. He is also a board member of the San Diego Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association and does his best to keep everyone up to date on the latest policy and regulatory decisions.

James Lasswell, welcome to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio.

Listen to interview here.


Well that wraps up another edition of Front & Center: Military Talk Radio with Rick Rogers.

Want to thank my guests Francisco Rodriguez from MiraCosta College and student veterans Wayne Twaddell and Mina Martinez. And James Lasswell.

Don’t forget that Diverse Solutions is holding military career and resource fairs July 19 in Ontario and Aug. 15 down here in San Diego. Call 1.888.313-5782.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Military Press at your favorite base, where you can read my column. Also take a look at the online publication East County Magazine.

Hope you enjoyed today’s show. Podcasts should be up in a matter of hours.

Please join me next Sunday 11 to noon on KCBQ AM 1170 as we talk about military and veterans’ issues that matter right here, right now in San Diego County, Southern California and across the country.

Don’t forget to check out the website at

See you on the beach.

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