November 2019
What Does Veterans Day Mean to You?
As Veterans Day approaches on November 11, we posed this question to our team
Cesar Padilla
Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient
Data Manager
"I feel that Veterans Day should be a celebration of organizations that support veterans and their success stories, as well as their lives outside the military. I don’t want to be reminded of my combat tour in 2005, I don’t want to celebrate the actions that my unit did while deployed to come back home alive. I need to be given the opportunity to grow outside of my military uniform. There are numerous things that can be done to celebrate a veteran, but please keep in mind we are all different, we all have different likes and dislikes."
Ashley Tatum
Veteran, Active Duty Spouse
Case Manager
"As a veteran, Veterans Day serves as a day to think about how joining the military changed my life. I think about the amazing people I met along the way, the places I got to visit and how the Navy gave me so many opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise had. As an Active Duty spouse, Veterans Day serves as a reminder of how grateful I am for the sacrifices my husband continues to make for our family. As a staff member, it reminds me of how important my role is to my brothers and sisters in arms."
Martin Pawlik
Outreach Manager
"I have very mixed feelings about Veterans Day. As an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran I remember the Marines, Sailors, and others that I served with. Not all of whom came back in one piece. What I see everyone else doing is going shopping or otherwise enjoying a free day off without really thinking about the reason for the day. I think what’s supposed to be a day of reflection and a celebration of civic duty has lost quite a bit of its meaning."
Celeste Gomez
Office Coordinator
"Veterans Day should be more than once a year, but it is nice to have one day where people reflect on the sacrifices our Armed Forces heroes made. It fills me with honor and pride to know that I’m a cousin of a U.S. airman who will, soon, become a veteran himself. I would like to encourage everyone to simply shake a veteran’s hand and tell him or her how grateful you are for what he or she did. Believe me, you will most likely see a smile on the veteran’s face and that is priceless."
Each month, we will highlight a veteran service organization in our community
The San Diego Women Veterans Network creates belonging and community for women veterans. The Network engages service providers for women veterans to initiate collaboration and create a strong network of support for women veterans, bringing together women veterans of all eras. Together, they learn, share, network and meet phenomenal women. They offer at least two meetups per month with a variety events, spanning topics for personal, academic, and professional improvement. The group will be marching in the San Diego Veterans Day Parade on November 11 and the Cohen Clinic at VVSD will be hosting their Holiday Potluck event on December 13 inside the clinic’s Padres Community Room. For more information, visit .
Clinic Director
(Picture: Shari Houser [left] with staff clinician Marla Monk)

As CVN’s newest Cohen Clinic, what are you most excited about?
Two things: Telehealth and families! Through the “magic” of Telehealth, face-to-face video therapy, we can serve veterans and their families, and active duty families anywhere in California! We can reach a veteran in Victorville or someone in San Diego who doesn’t have time in their day for a commute to the clinic. It has been very exciting to see how many clients have requested Telehealth! Also, as a Marriage and Family therapist, I love to see how many families are reaching out to us. We all know the entire family serves and needs support, and we are very proud to be able to offer that support here at the Cohen Clinic at VVSD. We designed our staff to consist of both veterans and active duty spouses, who can relate first hand to the very unique struggles and stresses a military family can face. My hope is that more families (including couples) continue to reach out and let us serve them.

What is most rewarding about your role?
There are so many; I can’t stick to just one! I work with the finest staff I have ever known! I have a strong, effective and compassionate team assembled to care for veterans and military families. From the first phone call to the Cohen Clinic through to the discharge with a case manager, our clients are surrounded by staff who are grounded in evidence-based practices and really care for each person they serve. It is one of my greatest rewards as director to know that my staff give 100 percent everyday, and that they are all excellent at what they do. Another amazing reward is hearing children laughing and enjoying the child-friendly spaces we have created for them. Whether they are being seen by a clinician, receiving childcare while their caretaker is in a session, or just waiting in our lobby, their laughter brings joy to the clinic!

What is one thing that people may not know about you?
I live with a dog...that outweighs me by 60 pounds!

Do you have any favorite hobbies?
Yes! I love working out, gardening and playing corn hole with family and friends.
Cohen Veterans Network Presents the Wellness Hub in RallyPoint

In partnership with RallyPoint, a leading online platform for the military community, CVN has launched the new Wellness Hub to help share peer-to-peer dialogue on health issues and related resources. Join us on RallyPoint .
The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic
at Veterans Village of San Diego
8885 San Diego Drive, Suite 301
San Diego, California 92108

Phone : (619) 345-4611
Email :