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Friday, July 10, 2009 00:34 | Deleted user



My husband and I decided to move our business to a new location. We opened a legal document business a year ago in town. It just didn’t seem to gain much exposure above JJ Purtys, a tavern on main street, and besides; we could hear quite a few private conversations from the bar area up thru the vent, (don’t worry, we keep secrets), and the music, although my time, 60’s and 70’s and some pretty good, old time rock and roll, just wasn’t really making the divorcee, or bankruptcy client too happy.

And so,on this particular June day I was rushing here and there looking at office rentals, as our lease was up soon. After hours of running around Fallbrook looking at office space, I walked into Southwest Veterans’ Business Resource Center quite by accident. Albert Renteria, the founder of the organization and LeRoy Scheller, the office manager greeted me as I walked in the door. I looked around and immediately figured I had walked into the wrong office. Out the door I headed, but before the door closed, I turned and asked, “what do you guys do here anyways”. They explained that they were a resource center for veterans. I told them my husband and I were veterans and I was out looking for office space. I smiled, shut the door and headed to the next office.

After seeing that I didn’t want to rent space next door, I did a double step to my car in anticipation of my favorite drink, a triple latte at Café Primo’s where I would end my day. It definitely was time for a pick me up. I still had to grocery shop and figure out dinner.

I was almost to my car, when I heard my name called, it was Albert. (Surprised he remembered my name). He asked if I had a minute to come back up to the office. Having no idea what was up, I went up and sat down for a minute with him and LeRoy. I was totally shocked and really taken aback when they offered the Resource center as a space for my husband and I to use for our business; we could pay what we could on the utilities, and otherwise, meet clients, etc. What a wonderful offer, I thought. And, these guys don’t even know my husband or I. All they knew was that we were veterans.

I really was very surprised and humbled by the whole experience that afternoon, especially the kindness.   Honestly, I’ve never had someone be so genuinely kind and caring for the mere fact that I served my country. (It came down to this – they didn’t even really know who we were.)

What I learned of this organization through a brief conversation with both Albert and LeRoy was this; they care deeply for veterans and that they will absolutely go out of their way to help them get on their feet and find a job as they reintegrate into civilian life. Their goal is to eradicate veteran homelessness. They told me that up to 40 percent of the homeless population are veterans. Is this just an unbelievable statistic? How can this be? The United States is one of the richest countries in the world. How can service members offer up their lives for this great country and then end up on the streets? We must be doing something wrong. If you have answers or ideas of why this is happening, please share. I was really shocked and really rattled by these stats.

After talking a bit more and hearing of the 14 level program they offer, the free career counseling, and stipends paid to those who became learners, I told them I’d love to bring my husband Jonathan in to meet them. I left and really had a lot to think about on my way to the coffee house.

I realized that this organization really had a heart for veterans, a goal to prevent veterans from becoming homeless and from what I could hear the intelligence and drive to make it happen. How exciting is that?? I wondered, was it a mistake I entered this office after all?

As I start my blog today, I challenge you - Please help make a difference in all veterans’ lives by registering here on this site, whether you're a civilian or veteran. All we need to really know is that you’re here and that you care. I really think this is one easy way for you to make a difference in the life of a veteran. Perhaps your words will help keep them motivated to move forward and on with their life, and out of the streets.

Thank you sincerely - from this one little veteran.


  • Friday, July 10, 2009 08:09 | LeRoy Scheller Jr
    Nice start can hardly wait to read more.JUST KIDDING.
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    • Sunday, July 12, 2009 18:04 | Deleted user
      Thank you LeRoy, you've inspired me to write more. :)
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  • Saturday, July 18, 2009 08:44 | Deleted user
    Dear Terri,
    It was indeed a priviledge to meet you and your husband on Saturday 11 July 2009. I was intrigued by your story in regards to how you happened to become aware of SWVBRC and I salute you and your husband for becoming active participants in this great organization and it's goals to make a difference in all the lives of our Veterans'. You are right, it is very exciting.
    Thank you also - from this Navy Veteran.
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    • Saturday, July 18, 2009 19:20 | Deleted user
      The Fallbrook office was named in YOUR honor, how can you not know the priviledge was mine completely in meeting you. Thank you for your service and for sharing some of your stories with me at the meeting on July 11th. I Can't wait to hear more, you certainly have a fascinating life. I must say, everyone reading this must come into the Fallbrook office to see the picture of Carol Grice sitting with officers in the officer's club smoking a cigar. (I can't remember what year, but the picture is just captivating. Cudos to you Carol!
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      • Saturday, July 25, 2009 11:04 | Deleted user
        The year was 1966 in Barstow,Ca. The reason the photo is in existence is because I didn't like the women must be content to remain at home, when the rules for Mess Night stated all Officers will attend. Thus, I requested mass with the General. The way I saw it was rules are rules. Since smoking a cigar when the smoking light went on, far be it from me to break a rule. I have since learned the Marine Corps now has a seperate mess night that does indeed include wives. Another one of my interesting stories next we meet.
        And by all means, Thank you for your service. I really praise you for serving in Iceland. Yikes! That must have been worse than living in Nebraska. Closest I have been to Iceland was flying over it headed home from Finland.
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        • Sunday, August 09, 2009 19:56 | Deleted user
          Hi Carol,
          Congratulations on becoming a Learner!! I can't wait to hear all the many stories I'm sure you're going to share with the world.

          I loved Iceland, it is where I met the love of my life, Jonathan A Newhouse. In fact, we're planning on returning for a upcoming anniversary. There are so many wonderful things I could share about this wonderful country but, like you, another story for next we meet...;)
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          • Sunday, September 13, 2009 15:32 | Deleted user
            So when can I expect some additional stories that you should be sharing. Remember. A job is not big, if you divide into several small projects. Think it's time for you to saddle up and head your horse towards the barn of success. Other learners need to learn from you and your experiences. It is called team work so hang in there.
            Hugs, Carol
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  • Saturday, July 18, 2009 12:11 | Frances Lowe
    I really enjoyed reading your blog. What a great start. I am honored to be working with you and awed by your selflessness and honesty. Buth then, I see so many of those characteristics in our veterans everyday. I am so glad to have you there with us every day. I am looking forward to reading your future postings. Keep up the good work.
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    • Saturday, July 18, 2009 19:30 | Deleted user
      You have no idea how excited Jonathan and I are to begin this journey at the center with you. The time and committment you give and have given to veterans over the years is phenomenal. You're an anchor to this organization. I'm really excited to see what our teamwork can do. Thank you so much Frances.
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  • Saturday, July 18, 2009 19:07 | Chris Thayer

    Hi Terri,
    I’ve only known you a short time but it feels like a lot longer. You and Jonathan are both so warm and kind and you can easily tell that you care about other people.

    I do think we are divinely guided to what we need and it is up to us to be open and see the opportunity when it presents itself. When Albert called your name to asked you back to the office for a minute, you could have said, gosh no, I’m in a hurry right now but you said yes, and trusted your instincts. Also, you asked LeRoy and Al what type of business they had in their office space as you were quickly walking out the door, and that led to discovering you were fellow veterans and a connection was made. It seems that it is always the simple unexpected moments that can lead us to greater moments if we trust our instincts and follow where it takes us. I’m so glad you did.

    It is a pleasure getting to know you and Jonathan and you have added to the richness of the organization. I am looking forward to working with you and Jonathan along with all of our veterans and community volunteers to help eradicate homelessness for veterans. I also look forward to helping SWVBRC continue to grow and provide many wonderful resources for all of our veterans.

    From a fellow coffee lover, Chris
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    • Saturday, July 18, 2009 20:55 | Deleted user
      Thank you sincerely for your kind words about Jonathan and I. We are both humbled by your remarks.

      You're absolutely right about being divinely guided. I believe that God is in charge and directs my moves; that is, when I give up the control!

      There is a reason I walked into the Southwest Veteran's Business Resource Center and at this time I really can't say why. It has been my experience that events happen and are usually predestined, but not understood. It is always later that I understand why something particular happened. So, the reason I walked accidently into the center may be revealed another time. I just hope I can make a difference in a veterans' life somehow.

      I am so looking forward to working with you also Chris. Thank you.
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  • Friday, July 31, 2009 09:46 | Jeffrey Backus
    Terri, I'm glad that I was able to witness your (and your husband's) signing event. Good luck with your business and thanks for your service. I too look forward to reading more of your story(ies).
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    • Sunday, August 09, 2009 19:36 | Deleted user
      There you are! We've been looking for you at our Learner's meetings. I know you attended the first one where Jonathan and I first met you. You had just started your new job at Camp Pendleton, how is that going, by the way?

      Jonathan and I have talked about how interesting your story is. Please keep in touch and I hope you'll be at the next meeting in Sept. They're getting very interesting and lively! We had a speaker named Curtis Smalls from Wounded Warrior Project this past week (for the 2nd time) You'd really like him, he's upbeat and just an inspiration. He talked about all the jobs out there available to Veterans. (I know you're great at that on the forum discussions - thanks!) We're hoping to see more of him.

      Going to go check to see if you've blogged lately - looking forward to reading more of your story.

      Later Jeffrey.
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  • Sunday, August 02, 2009 20:24 | Liz Turner
    I am also awaiting the rest of the story ... did you relocate your business? where? How is the job search coming along? Liz Turner
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    • Sunday, August 09, 2009 19:51 | Deleted user
      Hi Liz,
      The rest of the story is being worked on....

      And, yes, we relocated our business to our home. Rent is cheaper. :)

      Thank you for all you've done for Jonathan with his resume. It really is unbelievable what you have to do to get your resume (in Government jobs at least) pulled out of the computer system for a human being to read. Although your told your totally qualified for a position, the computer does not recognize this. I think it has become a totally insane way to find a job, to be be honest. Whatever happened to meeting and greeting a potential employee/employer?? Oh well!

      Jonathan and I both appreciate the time you've given to help with his resume and to all veterans. Thank you Liz.
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  • Tuesday, August 11, 2009 15:04 | Roger Reed
    Hi Terri, Congrats on becoming a learner at the SWVBRC. You have varied experiences that serve to make you a fine asset to the organization. The bits you have shared make it clear that you have tackled mighty obstacles and come through with flying colors. We can all learn a lesson from that set of experiences and a sense of proportion. I look forward to hearing more of your ideas and plans and helping you in any way I can to develop the maximum amount of resources to assist our Vets and their Dependents
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  • Wednesday, October 14, 2009 07:14 | Laurel Ho
    Hi Terri,
    Welcome aboard. I have been away from the blogs for a while so this is my first time to post. I really like the story about how you found the center, and no it was not an accident. If you read some of the other stories you will find similar stories about being in the right place at the right time. Hope to see and meet you at the Anniversary bash in November. Keep blogggin and get your hubby back on here too! Laurel
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    • Thursday, October 22, 2009 20:34 | Deleted user
      Thank you so much for your comment. I do hope to meet you at the November 1st bash. I do need to blog. Thanks for the reminder. Looking forward to meeting you. You're so right about being in the right place at the right time, wow...that's happened to me so often. Hmmmm, I there a higher power in control? Perhpas orchestrating everything? :)
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  • Sunday, January 17, 2010 11:31 | Jami Price
    Welcome Terri! Mr. Renteria does so much for the Veterans... I am truly amazed by him! I want to do so much to help everyone and do what I can, I don't know if I could ever do as much as he does! I look forward to your blogs...

    Jami Price
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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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