29 episodes

This podcast is for anyone interested in Veteran-centric topics. Veterans have dedicated their lives to serving our country, so now it is our turn to serve them as they transition back into their civilian lives. One thing that has been discovered is that there is a lack of knowledge on the availability of resources and how to properly navigate the system upon exiting military service. This podcast's purpose is to help fill this gap of knowledge and guide veterans to the resources and information that they so deserve.

Veteran Doctor Dr. John E Heintzelman

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

This podcast is for anyone interested in Veteran-centric topics. Veterans have dedicated their lives to serving our country, so now it is our turn to serve them as they transition back into their civilian lives. One thing that has been discovered is that there is a lack of knowledge on the availability of resources and how to properly navigate the system upon exiting military service. This podcast's purpose is to help fill this gap of knowledge and guide veterans to the resources and information that they so deserve.

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 28 - It’s Never Too Early Or Late — Start Investing for Retirement Now!

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 28 - It’s Never Too Early Or Late — Start Investing for Retirement Now!

    It’s Never Too Early Or Late — Start Investing for Retirement Now!

    “Time is money.” — Benjamin Franklin

    Although Benjamin Franklin may not have been referring to the effect that time has on money accumulating in an IRA, his words hold true with today’s investors. That is because time becomes one of the best allies for investors. But even if you did not start investing in your plan until later in life, there is another old saying that also holds true — “Better late than never.”


    No matter where you are financially in your life or how much you already have in your retirement account, your employer’s retirement plan may have features that could help build your nest egg.

    First, the advantage of compounding interest and tax-free earnings until withdrawal. Second, matching employer contributions. Third, the multiple choices of different funds to develop your financial plan.

    The earlier you can put all these elements into effect, the better your financial future will be. For example, if you start at the age of 25 years old. Even if you do not have much income to spare, the smallest contribution could grow into something meaningful by retirement. For example, a two percent contribution from a $25,000 annual salary is just about $10 out of your weekly paycheck. If you increase your contribution by just two percent each year until you reach the maximum the company allows, for example, ten percent, and earn a ten percent return on your investments, you will have $1,437,543 by age 65.


    So, many of you may not have had the good fortune of being able to start building financial nest eggs at such a young age. So, what happens when you turn 40 and realize you have not saved anything for retirement? Do not panic! You can still catch up, but you may need to push on the accelerator a little bit.

    Initially, you will need to start contributing as much as possible to your plan, starting at five percent and increasing it two percent each year until you reach the maximum allotted by your company. Additionally, it will help invest in more aggressive funds, like stock funds, subject to short-term volatility but have historically generated higher long-term returns.


    For people who start saving at age 40 and save steadily until age 65, it is still possible to accumulate a significant nest egg. So whether you are fresh out of college, approaching retirement, or somewhere in between, the best time to take advantage of your employer retirement plan is now!

    How to catch up for starting late saving for retirement
    Some people take more significant risks in the attempt to get bigger returns. But there is a more straightforward, more prudent way.
    Many reasons explain why older Americans are financially ill-prepared for retirement. 

    Many people did not make enough money to set aside for their later years. Others experienced bad luck in their careers, poor financial role models, unhealthy personal-finance habits, or had did not have the proper knowledge on good money management. 

    Many Americans place other spending priorities ahead of financial retirement. Statistics show that only 43 percent of American workers participate in a retirement savings plan. Many people regret they did not start saving younger in life, forfeiting the vast compounding benefits.

    Another example of compounding interest is displayed when a 25-year-old puts $10,000 in a stock index fund and only adds $500 a month until age 65; he or she would get $2.34 million. Thus, the 9 percent long-term historical average annual gain for U.S. stocks would compound over four decades, with only a total of $250,000 investment.   

    Late starting investors can take riskier approaches in their investment portfolios by looking at technology stocks — taking you to your goal quicker. However, focusing on saving rather than investing as you get older may be

    • 27 min
    Veteran Doctor - Episode 30 - NDVS

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 30 - NDVS



    Nevada Department of Veterans Services Headquarters – Reno
    (775) 688-1653  and FAX (775) 688-1656
    6630 S. McCarran Blvd. Building C, Suite 204
    Reno, NV 89509

    Nevada Department of Veterans Services – Las Vegas
    (702) 486-3830
    Grant Sawyer Building
    555 E. Washington Avenue, Room 3200
    Las Vegas, NV 89101


    All Nevada Veterans and their families understand, and can connect to, benefits and services they have earned.


    Serve Nevada Veterans by honoring their remarkable legacy and by connecting them to earned benefits and services. Through our seven major lines of effort we:

    Professionally assist Veterans and their families obtain Federal and State Veterans benefits.

    Provide quality skilled nursing care at our State Veterans Homes.

    Provide dignified burial support at our State Veterans Memorial Cemeteries.

    Manage effective programs addressing the needs of at-risk Veterans.

    Successfully integrate returning Servicemembers and Veterans into Nevada communities.

    Honor the service and sacrifice of all Nevada’s Veterans and their families through ceremonies and information campaigns.

    Assist, and coordinate the efforts of, service organizations and individuals insofar as their activities benefit Nevada Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families.

    Who We Serve

    Nevada Veterans; Active, Guard, and Reserve Servicemembers living or working in Nevada; and their families, caregivers, and survivors.

    What We Do.

    Benefits and Services
    Burial and Memorial




    Headstones, Markers, and Medallions

    Health and Wellness

    Housing Assistance

    Legal Assistance

    Outreach Programs

    Military, Veteran and Family

    Minority & Unique Veterans


    Veterans Service Officers, Benefits Assistance

    Assistance & Resources

    Suicide Prevention


    Veterans Appreciation


    Veterans Community Councils

    Women Veterans


    Suicide Prevention

    You Matter!
    If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255 and PRESS 1!
    It is our hope that the Nevada Suicide Prevention Plan will provide a catalyst for collaborative action, improved understanding and increased wellness in communities across Nevada. This plan is based on the strong belief that everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention, and those individuals and groups that address the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of individuals and communities must work together if we are to be effective.

    Governor’s and Mayor’s Challenge
    The goal of the Governor’s and Mayor’s Challenge program is to eliminate suicide by using a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention. Anyone can participate. Visit our Suicide Prevention Awareness page for details. The NDVS Suicide Prevention Team has recruited the most Mayor’s Challenge Teams in the nation – Truckee Meadows, Las Vegas, Elko and Winnemucca, along with the Governor’s Challenge Team.

    Preventing Suicide Is Everyone’s Business
    The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services has a dedicated office for suicide prevention with information addressing every age group. The mission of the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention is to reduce the rates of suicide and suicidal acts in Nevada through statewide collaborative efforts to develop, implement and evaluate a state strategy that advances the goals and objectives of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

    What to do if you identify someone at risk for suicide – Please read more!

    Contact theNevada Office of Suicide Prevention

    Download theStatewide VA Suicide Prevention Resources (PDF)

    Suicide Prevention Resources

    Vets 4 Warriorsprovides 24/7 confidential, stigma free peer support by veterans to Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, Veterans, Retirees, and their families/caregivers. Share lived experiences to create an environment of trust that demonstrates you are never alone, there is a caring, empat

    • 53 min
    Veteran Doctor - Episode 26 - Positive Thinking brings Positive Outcomes

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 26 - Positive Thinking brings Positive Outcomes

    Good Morning Veterans, Family, and Friends, welcome back to the TWENTY-SIXTH EPISODE of the Veteran Doctor. On this week's episode, we will discuss Positive Thinking brings Positive Outcomes.

    I hope all is well and you are staying safe and healthy. So, we have been encountering some challenges this past year, and depending on the individual, your perspective on these challenges will determine the outcomes of your lives. Let me explain. Many people who approach problems or issues they face with negative attitudes usually have a more challenging time recovering than those with positive attitudes. So with that in mind, I would like to discuss the power of Positive Thinking.

    Many people who live in snowy or dreary climates are very familiar with the feeling of standing outside in early spring, complaining about how cold and dreary everything looks. It seems like winter will never end.

    Those negative thoughts can quickly take over your mindset and challenge you to find anything positive to think about. But then something unexpected happens, making you pause when you hear the birds sing louder than you have listened to in several months. This, in turn, begins to change your mood, and your positivity returns.

    Positive psychology, or better defined as the study of happiness, is “a field that examines how people can become more fulfilled and happier.” From negative to positive, this change in mindset is an excellent example of a central principle of positive psychology. For every negative thought, the goal is to think of two to three positive ones. Psychologists believe this technique will help you banish the negativity that takes up unnecessary space in your mind and improve your mood.

    Finding the positive is not always a straightforward process, but it can become more concise with practice. Start by recognizing your negative thinking patterns and then intercept them. Frequently, when one negative thought occurs, it usually multiplies. Turning to positive thinking does not mean ignoring the unpleasant things happening around you; it just means that you are approaching those situations more productively.

    Positive thinking will help improve your mental health and improve your outlook on life and give great benefits to your physical and emotional wellbeing. According to research conducted at the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking can help manage stress, which helps provide health benefits that include: a strengthened immune system, an increased lifespan, lower rates of depression, and decreased risk of death that occur from cardiovascular disease.

    When negative thoughts begin to occur, try to reframe the situation and find two to three positive things to fight that downward spiral. Try focusing on something different such as the beauty of your surroundings or memories with a loved one. Permit yourself to laugh off the “small stuff,” surround yourself with positive people, and practice positive self-talk daily. Positive thoughts result in positive outcomes.

    Negative thoughts fill our minds and prevent positive ones from occupying valuable real estate in our brains, which do not have the same importance. You would not keep garbage in your living spaces, so why would you hold negative thoughts in your mind? Eliminate negativity the same way you take out the trash! It only smells and takes up too much space.

    Results often reveal a person’s mindset. If the individual has an “it-can’t-be-done” attitude, they are probably right; they thought themselves into that kind of negative thinking. Have you ever seen someone valuable to an organization because of their ability to identify all the reasons why something could not be done? Of course not! Organizations need people who will take the most optimistic approach that leads them to success through positive thinking and finding successful solutions.

    If you see poor results in your business or personal life, something needs to change. Our thoughts drive our a

    • 32 min
    Veteran Doctor - Episode 25 -Veterans Stress – Stress has Dramatic Effects

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 25 -Veterans Stress – Stress has Dramatic Effects

    Good Morning Veterans, Family, and Friends, welcome back to the TWENTY-FIFTH EPISODE of the Veteran Doctor. On this week's episode, we will discuss Veterans Stress – Stress has dramatic effects on the Mind and Body.

    As veterans, we are faced with different challenges as life gets back to somewhat of a normal pace again after COVID. Some of us are happy, while others are getting a little stressed and anxious. Stress is very powerful. We, as veterans, have dealt with different forms of stress throughout our lives. We should be experts, but all of us deal with stress differently. So, I would like to educate everyone on the effects of stress to help us understand it and potentially deal with it better when our lives get into those stressful moments.

    So, there you are, sitting in traffic, late for a necessary appointment, watching the clock tick away. Your brain decides to release the stress hormones! These stress hormones trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. Your heart races, you begin to breath more rapidly, and your muscles tense, ready for action. This response was designed to protect the body in the case of an emergency; however, as this response keeps firing day after day, it could cause severe risks to your health.

    Stress is a natural reaction to many different life experiences. Everyone experiences and handles stress differently. Anything from work, school, or family to serious life events, a new diagnosis, war, or death can trigger stress. For short-term situations, stress can be beneficial by helping you cope with serious situations.

    Although, if your stress response does not reset and these stress levels stay elevated, it can affect your health. Chronic stress can produce a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being, like irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia.

    Central nervous and endocrine systems

    One of the responsibilities of your central nervous system is the “fight or flight” response. The hypothalamus gets the ball rolling in your brain, telling your adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones speed up your heartbeat and send blood rushing to the areas of need, such as your muscles, heart, and other vital organs. When the perceived fear is gone, the CNS should return the body back to normal; however, if the stress doesn’t go away, the response will continue causing chronic stress. Chronic stress is also a factor in overeating, drug and alcohol abuse, and social withdrawal.

    Cardio and Respiratory Systems

    Stress hormones affect every aspect of our respiratory and cardiovascular systems. During a stress response, you breathe faster to distribute oxygen-rich blood to your body quicker. If you have prior breathing issues like asthma or emphysema, stress is going to make it worse. Stress hormones cause your heart to pump faster, which constrict your blood vessels and divert more oxygen to your muscles, so you will have more strength to react. This process also raises blood pressure. As a result, chronic stress will make your heart work too hard, too long. When your blood pressure rises, so does your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

    Digestive system

    Under stress, the liver will produce extra blood sugar (glucose) to give you a boost of energy. If you are under chronic stress, your body may not be able to break down this extra glucose flood. Chronic stress may potentially increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The body's increase in hormones, increased heart rate, and rapid breathing can also upset your digestive system. You are more likely to experience heartburn or acid reflux, thanks to an increase in stomach acid. Stress can also affect how food moves through your body, primarily leading to nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea, or constipation.

    Muscular system

    During stressful times, your muscles tense up to protect themselves from injury. Your muscles will release again once yo

    • 22 min
    Veteran Doctor - Episode 27 - Leashes of Valor

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 27 - Leashes of Valor

    Leashes of Valor


    About Founders

    About Danique Masingill

    President & Co-Founder

    Danique’s journey to serving as Leashes of Valor’s president began when she was a member of the U.S. Navy. Her duty was to enforce military law, but she was left with nowhere to turn when she was sexually assaulted by senior leadership. The trauma from this experience led her to leave the military after five years of service. But her will to help fellow veterans remained a guiding force.

    As a student at Syracuse University, she quickly established herself as an expert in the field of military working canines and service dogs. Congress, The Department of Transportation and Government Accountability Office each tapped Danique’s knowledge to craft wide-ranging policies regarding service dogs and military canines.

    Then, amid surging suicide rates among veterans in 2017, Danique co-founded Leashes of Valor, as a means to help former service members recover from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. In furtherance of this goal, Leashes of Valor recently partnered with Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Nursing to research service dogs as a scientifically proven treatment.

    About Jason Haag

    CEO & Co-Founder

    Captain Jason Haag spent 13 years in the United States Marine Corps, including two tours in Iraq, conducting frontline operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, retiring as a Marine Corps Captain. After sustaining a machine gun injury and multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBI) during service, Captain Haag struggled with the after effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), leading him to be medically retired after numerous combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2012 Captain Haag contacted an organization that provides warriors with service dogs. Within 7 months of applying Captain Haag was paired with his post-battle buddy and lifesaver, a service dog named Axel. Since experiencing the firsthand benefits of service dogs, Captain Haag has toured the country, educating policymakers, warrior organizations and warriors on the importance of service dogs for military warriors. He has been featured on over 50 news outlets including CNN and FOX News, and has been invited to speak publicly at Academic Institutions, Veterans Service Organizations, as well as Congressional briefings. Captain Haag has played an integral role in the creation of new laws regarding the acceptance of service canines in public establishments in Virginia and Florida.

    About Matt Masingill

    Canine Operations & Co-Founder

    Matt T. Masingill is a 21-year retired United States Navy veteran, has spent over 27 years in uniform and is an advocate serving the veteran and military community. Masingill served honorably from 1992 to 2012 as a Boatswains Mate First Class (SW). Throughout his time in the service, he drove small craft in a variety of roles, managed harbor operations overseas and in the continental United States supervising ship maintenance and operated as a combat Coxswain instructor for Anti-terrorism force protection certifying Second Fleet vessels. Over the past five years, Masingill has become very active within the Veteran Service Dog industry. Masingill previously served with organizations such as American Humane Association and K9s for Warriors and has extensive experience in program management and development, training service dogs with veterans, and acting as the lead Warrior trainer with over 200 Warrior K9 teams graduating and recertifying under his leadership. Masingill not only brings his own military experience to his work, but also leverages his perspective as a veteran and military spouse; his wife is a Navy Veteran.


    Leashes of Valor is a national non-profit working to provide every post 9/11 veteran who needs one with a highly-trained service dog to assist them in mitigating the symptoms of Post-Traum

    • 36 min
    Veteran Doctor - Episode 24 - Veteran PTSD / The Cannabis Cure

    Veteran Doctor - Episode 24 - Veteran PTSD / The Cannabis Cure

    Good Morning Veterans, Family, and Friends, welcome back to the TWENTY-FOURTH EPISODE of the Veteran Doctor. On this week's episode, we will discuss Veterans PTSD – The Cannabis Cure.

    Marijuana Use for PTSD Among Veterans

    The use of Marijuana for medical conditions is an issue of growing concern. Many Veterans use marijuana to reduce symptoms of PTSD, and many states specifically approve medical marijuana for PTSD. However, research has not been conducted on the safety or effectiveness of medical marijuana for PTSD. There is no evidence currently that suggests marijuana is an effective treatment for PTSD. This research indicates that marijuana can be harmful to individuals with PTSD.


    Marijuana use has increased over the past decade. In 2013, a study found that 19.8 million people reported using marijuana in the past month, with 8.1 million using it almost every day (1). Daily use has increased by 60% in the prior decade (1). Several factors are connected with increased risk of marijuana use, involving diagnosis of PTSD (2), social anxiety disorder (3), other substance use, mainly through youth (4), and peer substance abuse (5).

    Cannabis Use Disorders among Veterans Using VA Health Care

    There have currently been no studies of marijuana use conducted on the overall Veteran population. The data we have gathered comes from Veterans using VA health care, who may not represent the Veteran population overall. When considering this subset of veterans seen in the VA health care with co-existent of substance use disorders (SUD) and PTSD, cannabis use disorder has been the most diagnosed SUD since 2009. Veterans in the VA with PTSD and SUD diagnosed with cannabis use disorder increased from 13.0% in FY 2002 to 22.7% in FY 2014. As of FY 2014, more than 40,000 Veterans with PTSD and SUD are seen in VA diagnosed with cannabis use disorder.

    People in 33 States can use medical Marijuana. Why Haven't Veterans Been able to Use It for PTSD?
    Dogs have been prescribed medical marijuana, but veterans still cannot get the drug from the Veterans Affairs.

    Several Veterans groups are working on getting medical marijuana approved as a form of treatment for PTSD.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) still refuses to provide marijuana to veterans because it is listed as a Schedule I drug.

    Many Veterans groups want to get that designation changed and have more research conducted on the benefits of medical marijuana.

    Doug Distaso served his nation in the United States Air Force for 21 years.

    He had the opportunity to command joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as the primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.

    However, after an Air Force plane accident left Distaso with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, he was given more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the VA.

    "I was taking everything from opioids, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and sleeping pills," Distaso stated. "Like countless other veterans, the cocktail of drugs that I was prescribed quickly threw my life into a turmoil, affecting my ability to perform at work, while straining my relationships at home."

    Distaso states that living his life in a prescription drug-induced, zombie-like state left his wife and family begging with him on Christmas morning to come back to them.

    "What brought me back to my family and career was medical cannabis. Cannabis helped me get off the pills and regain control of every facet of my life," Distaso said.

    Unfortunately, for millions of veterans who depend solely on their VA healthcare benefits, federal law ties their VA doctors' hands. It harshly denies these veterans access to needed medical cannabis as a treatment option.

    Distaso currently works for his fellow veterans as the Veterans Cannabis Project founder, which advocates for veterans' cannabis access, education to poli

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Apple TV+ / Pineapple Street Studios
This American Life
Pushkin Industries
Shan Boodram
New York Times Opinion