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My Orientation

Friday, January 02, 2009 17:33 | Deleted user

Shortly after the towers fell on Sept. 11, I met Albert Renteria, a retired Marine Warrant Officer 4 with 26 years of service that wanted to lend a helping hand. While working with him on a project, called Operation Interdependence, that sent packages to the deployed troops, I too felt we had to reach out to those in need.

Recently I reunited with Al and when he told me 23 to 40 percent of the homeless are veterans.  Even though the majority is Vietnam veterans, we are now seeking all homeless vets, especially those coming out of the two Gulf Wars. As a Vietnam veteran myself, it was alarming to learn that these veterans served and protected our country and are now being neglected by our government.

Al’s mission now is to prevent the homeless veteran. He introduced me to a 14-level-reintegration program and asked for a commitment to participate. The program is designed to help the veteran learn more about him and develop training skills that will help him succeed in life. “It is through this commitment that the veteran will increase his strength through knowledge and during this time will have other veterans assist him as he goes through the program,” Al said.

As this program develops with more learners, there is an excellent opportunity for mentoring and encouraged success.  With this information, he convinced me to make a commitment that will reach out and help veterans.

My father was a WWII Veteran and I had 6 uncles that served in WWII.  One uncle was killed in the Battle of the Bulge and a second uncle was killed when his ship was hit by a Japanese suicide bomber.  Many veterans have sacrificed their lives for our country’s freedom, and it is important that we support those who have served. The ones that survived need to be treated with respect and properly cared for by our government.

After committing to the program, I can relate to what Al was saying. “Out of this program we have a mission to prevent homelessness. Our vision is to develop guiding principles with our most important resource in our community, our veterans,” said Al.

Al desires a commitment from the veterans with his willingness to compose thoughts.  His credibility is his image, he served and brand-served honorably. To provide guidance for this commitment, Al presented me with several business models to communicate the success of his new organization, the Southwest Veteran Business Resource Center.


Strength-Your Knowledge, Community Support

Weakness—Anger, Competitor, Homeless

Opportunity-Create, Need, Reach Out

Threats-Lack of Safety Measures, No Knowledge, Need to Document


Situation--What is happening?

Mission--What is your intent?

Execution--What is your plan of attack?

Administration--Who is to be involved?

Communication--By What Mechanism do I Communicate?


Al believes that you need a plan.  It must be alive, not read and not static. His mission’s intent is to aim for 2035 ending homeless vets.

Sigmund Freud describes an individual as to having sexual, physical, intellectual and emotional components.  By having the sexual component equal in the center, the individual is more sound.

Freud’s background is very interesting.  In the 1890’s when he first began to practice, he experimented with hypnosis.  Freud knew very little about hypnosis was a poor operator and had the mistaken idea that a deep trance was necessary for good results. He gave up on hypnosis and sought other methods such as free association and dream interpretation.

Although Freud’s contributions to our knowledge of the mind and of psychotherapy are great, his abandoning hypnosis was harmful, for he blocked hypnotherapy for nearly 50 years.

Our success will be determined by:

Building Professionalism, Teamwork and Safety

Building a Veteran Force and preventing Homelessness

Quality service which is centered on the Family and Commitment

Structured and Disciplined Resource Decisions.

Sound Business Decisions

Commitment, Coordination and Cooperation is critical to our success

Continuous improvement is essential to quality service and the vet’s success.

The proper use of time is an excellent return on investment.  A well thought out long term investment is usually more successful than the minimum short term investment.

Veterans don’t become homeless overnight.  Usually by the time they’re homeless, they are not earning enough money and have worn out their family and friends, now they are forced out onto the streets.

In dealing with employment, they need skills in order to get a job again.  The skills that they acquired in the military may not be transferable to the civilian sector.

The highest priority is to get more homeless vets off the streets and into housing and treatment programs.  There is an entire continuum of care available, but it starts with outreach and trust building.

This 14-step program which Al developed is an excellent opportunity for the learner to expand on his life story. As well as, determine what his interests are, set goals, explore the many benefits and resources there are to learn how to network, prepare for an interview and develop a viable business plan. The vet is given the help and guidance by other vets to assure his success in developing his skills and self-confidence.


  • Saturday, January 03, 2009 08:10 | Lyndon Dellis
    Excellent analysis Doctor Cloonan. So very happy to see you involved in the process. I know your contributions will be priceless. Thanks for caring.
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    • Saturday, January 10, 2009 14:37 | Deleted user
      Thank you. I am looking forward to helping this organization grow.
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  • Saturday, January 03, 2009 08:58 | Daniel Boothe
    Dr. Cloonan, even if I come off as know-it-all snot-nosed youngster, I ALWAYS learn something new from you everytime we meet. I continue to pull from your unique experiences reading your blog and look forward to spending more time with you and reading your future posts. Together we can make this center the solution to our nation's neglected veterans. Quoting the great Sigmund Freud," Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy!"
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    • Saturday, January 10, 2009 14:39 | Deleted user
      Thank you. I believe that organization will grow and become a strong force in helping our veterans.
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  • Saturday, January 03, 2009 12:22 | Chris Thayer
    Dear Richard,
    First of all, thank you for your service and for providing a wonderful example for other veterans. I read your business website also and you are doing some amazing things in dentistry that help others. I am excited to see that you have joined the veteran's program and am looking forward to reading future posts. I believe in you!

    I have to say that this is so amazing to be able to sit in the comfort of my home and on my laptop and feel like I am contributing and being supportive of our veterans. I recently asked Al Renteria what I could do to be more supportive of our veterans and the programs at SWVBRC (as cash is a little tight but I want to help). He said it is very helpful and so important to contribute by responding to the Learner's posts online. This is part of their growth process and part of the growth process for the community. The added benefit is I feel good about contributing, it warms my heart to learn more about each veteran, and I am helping the center grow which will serve future veterans.

    Sometimes I feel silly writing something for all to see but I am in an online school right now and I am learning that everyone feels that way and needs to be encouraged. It actually is very helpful to read other people's posts so we can realize that we all have a common thread of humanity that runs through us, and it is very validating to share with others. I encourage those who have not shared yet to please do so. I am looking forward to learning from you also. God Bless, chris
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    • Saturday, January 10, 2009 14:44 | Deleted user
      Thank you. I appreciate your comments and everyone needs positive strokes and by replying to the blogs, you are helping this organization grow by giving the learners the incentive to share their story.
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  • Tuesday, January 06, 2009 16:51 | Jeffrey Backus
    Dr Cloonan, I enjoyed talking to you the day you signed your charter. Your words are sound and wise.
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    • Saturday, January 10, 2009 14:46 | Deleted user
      Thank you. It is important that we veterans support each other and help this organization grow.
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  • Wednesday, January 07, 2009 09:31 | LeRoy Scheller Jr
    Excellent comments regarding the goal of the center and our homeless veterans problems. We need to assist where ever possible to prevent more veterans becoming homeless and your comments points out a means of achieving this. I look forward to reading more of your views and suggestions on solving the veteran homeless issue. Keep up the good work.
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    • Saturday, January 10, 2009 14:50 | Deleted user
      Thank you. What may appear to be a monumental task is achievable through this organization as we care and are supporting out veterans.
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  • Thursday, January 08, 2009 15:06 | Liz Turner
    Richard, I enjoyed reading your motivating thoughts! It made me realize how important a "plan" is. It's not always easy to convince others of the necessity of a "plan". I'm happy to be working with another motivator.
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    • Saturday, January 10, 2009 14:54 | Deleted user
      Thank you. When you have a compassion and caring for your fellow veterans, along with a plan of action, then your goals are achievable.
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  • Saturday, January 17, 2009 18:31 | Samuel Luna
    Dr.Cloonan,you seem to be a caring man.I look forward to getting to know you better.Thanks for being involved with vets by sending care packets.The act of giving to others is a very special way of showing apreciation.I'm sure they will be thankful and remember you for that.
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    • Saturday, February 28, 2009 15:01 | Deleted user
      Sam, It was payback time as I was very appreciative of the care packages that were sent to me when I was in Vietnam.
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  • Sunday, January 18, 2009 08:49 | Fielden Coleman
    It's been a pleasure getting to know you and reading your blog. You motivated me to be more informative on the actual orientation and my feelings on the process. I look forward to reading your next post. Good luck to you.
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    • Saturday, February 28, 2009 15:03 | Deleted user
      Fielden, It was a pleasure getting to know you as well. Together we can make positive changes in helping our veteran brothers.
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  • Thursday, January 22, 2009 10:10 | Wes Koehler
    Thursday, Jan. 22nd, 1502 hrs. Richard: I look forward to reading your posts as your story progresses. We are all proud veterans. My father was a WWII pilot and all my uncles served. Only one died as a result of the Bataan Death March in the P.I. Together we can all make a difference through the Southwest Veterans' Business Resource Center in Fallbrook. I'm proud to be a part of the founding team with all you guys. WES
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    • Saturday, February 28, 2009 15:05 | Deleted user
      Wes, It is a pleasure getting to know you and you are right, we can make a diiference by working together.
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  • Thursday, January 22, 2009 18:03 | Karen Meadows-McGraw
    Gosh, what can I say that has not already been said. You have articulated the program very well. I am sure there is alot you will bring to this community. I look forward to reading more from you.
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    • Saturday, February 28, 2009 15:07 | Deleted user
      Karen, Thank you for those kind words. Working together, we can all bring a lot to this community.
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  • Thursday, January 29, 2009 04:00 | Laurel Ho
    Hello Richard,
    I look forward to meeting you at one of the many Events that will be taking place this year. I enjoyed reading your 1st Chapter. I love your understanding and your commitment to the program that Al has launched. I look forward to hearing more about you, the man so willing to help our Vet's. I read a lot about Al, the program and the wonderful Military History in your family, and your dedication to our Vet's, but I look forward to hearing more about what makes you tick and what you expect to take away from this 14 step exercise. Look forward to your next post! Laurel
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    • Saturday, February 28, 2009 15:11 | Deleted user
      Laurel, Thanks for those kind words. It helps to motivate me to continue to write chapters and progress through this program as we all have to work together to help our fellow veterans.
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DOD Welcome home-small.jpg A welcoming home for our Troops.

Welcoming home our men and women doesn't end after the crowd disperses, it MUST continue on for the life of the Veteran! They've served us, now we will serve them with programs that work so they reintegrate into society.

We are a national public benefit nonprofit organization that educates American Communities about best practices to serve Veterans.  We honor their service by empowering Veterans to apply their training and skills to successfully transition to productive careers and enterprises.

We provide free vocational training 24/7 to all of our members through our website, in addition to local events.  We believe the tenet that American Communities are the ultimate beneficiaries when Veterans claim their benefits and invest in productive endeavors.

The SWVBRC enlists the support of members of local Communities like you to increase Veteran awareness of the value of obtaining a VA card and receiving earned benefits.

Sponsorships, donations, volunteers and support from communities like yours enable us to reach out to Veterans and empower them to transition back into successful, productive enterprises that ultimately benefit all Americans and support future generations.

The Internal Revenue Service has determined that Southwest Veterans' Business Resource Center, Inc. is an organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A donation to SWVBRC, Inc. is deductible to the extent permitted under law.

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