Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training
August 2, 2016
Hosted by Gary Ray
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Although relatively new as an agency, MCVET has already received a great deal of attention from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. On May 7, 1997, HUD declared that MCVET was the 'National Model' for seamless services to homeless veterans.
American Heroes Network
Tuesday at 8 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
It has been said that we are only a generation away from forgetting our history. Disabled American Veterans struggle every day to overcome life-changing sacrifices. Their stories provides a vital part of history that has contributed to our American tradition.
American Heroes Network provides a way for individuals, corporations and small businesses to support our Heroes by helping our veterans and their families rebuild their lives. They help aim our veterans, looking for jobs, in the right direction, help provide homes for our troops, assisting individuals and their families who have been severely injured while serving in the U.S. military and providing scholarships for families of our Fallen Heroes.
This will be a weekly hour long show joined by our military heroes and people and organizations that make a difference. American Heroes Network airs live Tuesdays at 8 AM Pacific, powered by Voice America Variety.
"Gary Ray's" background includes hosting / co-hosting radio talk shows for more than 15 years on a number of subjects. His background also includes more than 19 years in the Insurance industry, nine years as an Internet Marketer and consultant. Gary is co-founder and co-developer and involved in the implementation of the Worldwide Racing Network. For seven years he worked closely with NASCAR and Turner Sports Interactive with the NASCAR Touring series.
"Gary Ray" joined Armed Forces Radio Network in 2008 as the Public Relations Director and provided Marketing and radio interviews. In February 2011 he was promoted to President. In September 2012 he resigned his position to continue his passion on the next level.
Gary continues helping our veterans and their families rebuild their lives. He believes by working together, our military men and women who return home are heroes to their families and communities. His resources provide a lifeline of aid and support not only for our veterans but also the families of our fallen heroes.
"Gary Ray" is developing one of the most powerful Radio Networks in the country called "American Heroes Network" powered by VoiceAmerica. You will hear firsthand the personal accounts of heroes whose unselfish actions have contributed to the traditions and values that represent the soul of America.
- 8/30/2016: America's Vet Dogs Listen Now
- 8/16/2016: Our Military Kids Listen Now
- 8/9/2016: Operation Military Family Cares Listen Now
- 8/2/2016: Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training Listen Now
Anthony Allman is the CEO & Co-Founder of POS REP. Since his Honorable Discharge from the Army in 2003, Anthony has worked as a veterans advocate with such organizations as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Student Veterans of America, Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) and Team Rubicon. In 2010, Anthony transitioned into the tech sector where he worked for Google's first Value Added Reseller of Google Apps, a cloud-based productivity suite. Anthony also founded Cloud Corpsman, a 2011 VA Innovation Industry Award finalist, which developed a direct import tool for VA's Blue Button Initiative and Google Health. View Guest page
Anthony Ameen served as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman from 2002-2010. In 2008, Ameen was severely wounded in a Taliban ambush while operating in Afghanistan with 2nd Battalion/7th Marines – 1st Marine Division. Ameen lost the lower half of his left leg and has since undergone more than 30 surgeries to save his right leg and to reconstruct his left hand. For his service and sacrifices, Ameen was awarded a Purple Heart, the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Valor Distinction, and two Good Conduct Medals. In 2010, Mr. Ameen founded Wings for Warriors, a volunteer driven, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps combat wounded Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans as they return home and transition into the realm of living with their disabilities. Wings for Warriors works to ensure that veterans receive the adequate healthcare and financial benefits that they are due, as well as building support and assistance from their local communities. As the Founder and CEO of Wings for Warriors, Ameen has made numerous keynote public speaking engagements across the United States, and has made several national televised appearances, including CNN, NBC’s ‘Last Call With Carson Daly’, National Geographic Channel, and many more. After 8 years of service, Ameen now lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Stephanie, their daughter Vivian, and 2 girls – Madelyn and Laycie. Stephanie works in commercial real estate with American Realty Brokers as a business broker specializing in business investments. Mr. Ameen continues his personal recovery as he works to build Wings for Warriors to provide a helping hand to the many combat wounded veterans nation wide, dealing with struggles along the road to recovery similar to his own. View Guest page
Jeremy P. Ämick
For several years, Jeremy P. Ämick has volunteered as public affairs officer with the Silver Star Families of America—a Missouri-based organization that recognizes the service and sacrifice of veterans wounded or injured from their service in a combat zone. In this capacity, he writes articles for several Missouri newspapers and websites highlighting the unique experiences of military veterans from all eras. To date, he has had more than 500 articles published in addition to four military history books—Jefferson City at War: 1916-1975, Soldierly Devotion, Cole County at War: 1861-1975 and The Lucky Ones: Legacy of a WWII Tank Destroyer. He has recently completed a book about James Shipley, a Tipton, Mo., veteran who was a mechanic with the famed Tuskegee Airmen during the Second World War and is currently working on a book highlighting Missouri’s role in the Spanish-American War. Ämick served in the U.S. Army and Missouri National Guard and received a medical discharge in 2004. View Guest page
Ann is a retired IT Director from USC and avid Veteran advocate. She is also a former President of the Blue Star Mothers. Her son is still in service and was wounded in the war in Iraqi. Her passion for Veteran awareness issues continues through public speaking with Congressional representatives involving Veteran's organizations and support on a national basis. She has personally presented 36 Gold Star banners at memorial ceremonies to the parents of our Fallen Heroes during first 2 years of war in Iraq. She continues to support the Blue Star and Gold Star families in the communities. . Ann also established a project with the Girls Scouts, nationally selling an extra box of cookies for the troops. Her supports other veteran non-profits locally and nationally, helping them fundraise for their organization. She also created Statewide Computer educational programs for under privileged citizens and women's abuse shelters of communities through the state department. And was also on Board of Directors of the Easter Seals Foundation. Ann is very passionate about the Human and Civil Rights of all our Veterans and is co-founder of the New Hope for Hero's Campaign, helping organize celebrity concerts and events for the awareness of Veteran's Rights. View Guest page
Jason Austin – National Spokesperson
Sargeant First Class (Retired) Jason Austin, born in Cambridge, New York, enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 under the delayed entry program in December of 1990. Eleven days after he graduated from Hartford Central School, Class of 1991, he left for Fort McClellan Alabama, where he completed Basic and Advanced Individual Training with Alpha Company 795th Military Police Company. SFC Austin currently spends his time working with a nonprofit organization, Heroes on the Water (HOW), where he travels the Gulf Coast and fishes kayak fishing tournaments to raise awareness for service members who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress and physical injuries sustained in combat. He also serves as a National Spokesman for HOW and makes several guest appearances on fishing shows to talk about this mission. He is married to Christy B. Austin, and has two children, Addison, age 8, and Brylon, age 6. View Guest page
As the mother of a severely wounded warrior, “Rosie” Babin knows first-hand the challenges that service members and their families face after they’ve been wounded and what the caregivers face when taking care of a severely wounded patient. She herself faced many paths with no clear direction and many ‘No’s’ from places she turned to for help after her son was critically wounded in Iraq in 2003. She is an Army veteran herself and a former paralegal and firm administrator. She continues to care for her wounded son full-time but felt led to put her experience to work to help other combat wounded, and their families. As Founder and CEO of HelpOurWounded.org, she helps families through their transition and provides them with direct assistance, resources and support. She speaks before civic and veterans groups to inspire and motivate them to fill the gaps where the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration fall short in meeting the needs of our combat veterans. View Guest page
Christopher Baity Executive Director & Founder
Christopher is an OEF/OIF Marine Corps dog trainer and kennel master. With nearly 16 years of experience training working dogs, to include three combat deployments and three overseas tours with working dogs, spending the last 3 ½ years training Service Dogs for wounded veterans. Serving as the Executive Director and K9 Programs Manager for Semper K9 Assistance Dogs, he instructs over 60 volunteers in the training of mobility and psychiatric service dogs for military veterans and their families. Baity’s expertise in animal behavior, obedience training and service dog tasks continues to produce over 12 service dogs each year without access to full funding or a working facility. Specializing in rescued and mix breed dogs, Semper K9 regularly demonstrates the wide availability, and range of success and use of rescued dogs to be trained as service dogs. View Guest page
Laurence is the Music Director for the New Hope for Heroes concert series. Originally from Scotland, he is also a best-selling author and poet with thousands of collectors all over the world. Producing and creating with many other celebrities, he has achieved several Gold records and awards throughout his 35 years in the entertainment business. Laurence has created an amazing show called ?Trans~Formation? that honors our Veterans and Fallen Heroes. This show is being performed throughout Florida and the US in 2015. The passion in his musical events comes through, as well as his passion for saying ?Thank You? to all our Veterans and active service people. View Guest page
Peggy Baker is the Founder/President of Operation First Response, Inc. (OFR) which was founded in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2004. Becoming a Military Mom after 9-11 is the driving force behind her passion. Enabling the profound sacrifices made by our Military to be forefront in the mission of OFR. OFR is a nationwide 501 c3 nonprofit that serves our nation’s Wounded Heroes/ Disabled Veterans and their families with emergency financial needs. Services are provided from the onset of injury, throughout their recovery period and along their journey from military life into the civilian world. Financial aid varies as each case is based on individual needs ranging from rent, utilities, vehicle payments, groceries, clothing, and travel expenses. The organization has served over 9,500 families with emergency needs and continues to grow and expand with the ever increasing needs of the military families of our wounded, injured and critically ill. View Guest page
Meriwether Ball, Author of the: Puller Chronicles Advocate Journalist:, Founder & CEO of Corps Stories,Inc - nonprofit online USMC news 2002 - Present USNR veteran, 1999-2001 Newspaper reporter 1998-2005 Lives in, VA Originally from Wash,D.C. area. View Guest page
Author: Puller Chronicles Volume 1 First Edition Design Publishing September 10, 2014 - Meriwether Ball - Puller Chronicles is the first volume of Meriwether Ball's book series. She reveals the heroic ancestral faith and the mysteries and secrets within the life and family of Lt.Gen Lewis B. Puller - the greatest U.S. Marine who ever lived. Founder: President/CEO atCorps Stories, Inc. May 2002 - Present (12 years 6 months) By founding CorpsStories - nonprofit advocacy journalism of Marines and their supporters - a voice has been given to the positive and unsung efforts of the ordinary US Marine, and their supporters. Aside from the ongoing mission, Meriwether directs and coordinates the organization's financial and budget activities, confers with board members to discuss issues, resolve problems and delivers speeches. Editor atCorps Stories, Inc. May 2002 - Present (12 years 6 months) Meriwether writes columns, editorials, commentaries, or reviews that interpret events or offer opinions. She analyzes and interprets news, current issues, personal experiences, and reports and writes news stories for publication or broadcast, describing the background and details of events. Journalist: Correspondent: The Virginian Pilot, Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Athol Daily News 1999 - 2006 (7 years) US Navy Reserve Journalist, Petty Officer 3rd Class 1999 - 2001 (2 years) Education Texas Tech University Mathematics, 1982 - 1984 Eastern New Mexico University Mechanical Engineering, 1981 - 1982 Montgomery Blair High School View Guest page
Michael Ball, Director
Michael served as a Korean Linguist in the Marine Corps from 89-93, as a medic in several Guard and Reserve units from 94-00, and as a medic in the Air Force from 00 until retiring in 13. Michael spent the last ten years of his career transporting wounded as a flight medic in Iraq and Afghanistan and as the Senior Enlisted Supervisor of the Patient Staging Facility in Ramstein Air Base Germany. This experience gave him a deep desire to continue to help these servicemen and women as they recovered from their injuries and transitioned back into civilian work and life. After retiring, Michael worked for several DC area Veterans Service Organizations, and as the Veterans Services Coordinator for Loudoun County Virginia, before joining the Serving Together team in January 2017. Michael received his BS in Environmental Studies from American Military University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College. View Guest page
Elizabeth is currently a two year Veteran of the Commerce City Police Department. She has greatly enjoyed being able to protect and serve the individuals of her community. Within the department Elizabeth has been given the opportunity to work both on patrol and with the investigations unit. Prior to becoming a police officer Elizabeth worked on an ambulance for 9 years as a Paramedic and continues to hold her Colorado Certification. There’s nothing more gratifying then helping those who can’t help themselves. In 2012 Elizabeth received her Bachelors with a double major in Business Management and Accounting with an emphasis on Non-Profit Organizations. She is a disabled Veteran of the United States Army, and completed her enlistment with an honorable discharge. Being a disabled Veteran, Elizabeth recognizes the need for Veteran assistance and is extremely passionate about giving back to this deserving community. View Guest page
Dr. Mary Bartlett
Dr. Bartlett is a licensed professional counselor, and an independent Behavioral Health Consultant on resilience, risk reduction, and suicide prevention. She has a distinguished work history with the Department of Defense and travels to lecture and provide support services to military and family members across the spectrum of Department of Defense agencies. She has served on the Air Force Resilience Working Group, the Army National Guard Resilience, Risk Reduction, and Suicide Prevention Task Force, and presently, serves DoD leadership on suicide and resilience related matters, working closely with the Air Force and Air National Guard. View Guest page
Richard Barton, Chief Executive Officer
Born in New York State, and grew up in Manchester, Connecticut. He is the father of two adult sons, and now resides with his wife and her daughters in Denton, Maryland. Mr. Barton holds a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.S. in Natural Resources Management. He served as Director of the Maryland Park Service for 17 years and retired from that position in 2007. He directed a workforce that included several hundred first responders, among them 218 law enforcement officers. The Maryland State Police provided his initial police training beginning his 30- year public safety career. After completing his State service, Mr. Barton served three years as the County Administrator for Caroline County, Maryland and has since assisted several non-profit organizations that sought progressive management change. That expertise brought him to the ICISF in August of 2013. View Guest page
Bauer knows firsthand what it is like to face the challenges of disability. As a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, Bauer lost a leg from a hand grenade during an ambush while serving in the Ninth Combat Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1969. View Guest page
Darren Bean President
Darren Bean, President for Warrior Thunder Foundation Darren Bean has spent his life serving his Nation and his community. Darren spent almost 23 years in the Army as an infantryman, retiring as a Sergeant Major. The son of a 43-year Veteran, Darren has been involved in the military all of his life and remains heavily involved to this day. During his military career, Darren excelled at all tasks, being promoted ahead of his peers on multiple occasions and consistently recognized for his attention to detail, professionalism, and care of other Soldiers. He is regarded as one of the leading experts in mountain warfare having spent most of his career leading and training Soldiers, writing doctrine and developing equipment. View Guest page
PGA Vice President Patriot Golf Day
A member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America since 1992, Biata volunteered his time to the Central New York section of the PGA in every official capacity since 1996 as a Board Member, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President, President and most recently Honorary President. His duties as the Vice President of Patriot Golf Day include acting as a liaison between the PGA of America and the Folds of Honor Foundation to assist the 28,000 PGA/LPGA members in growing public awareness of Patriot Golf Day. His main objective is to inform golfers nationwide that Patriot Golf Day, although initially developed as a Labor Day initiative, it is quickly becoming a year round event where courses can individually design their own model of how best to support the foundation’s mission. Biata is a two-time CNYPGA Golf Professional of the Year (2005 & 2010) and has also been the recipient of seven other special recognition awards. He was named one of Golf Digest’s Top 400 Instructors in the U.S as well as one of GOLF Magazine’s Top Ten Teachers in New York. In 1999, Biata co-founded the CNY Junior Golf Foundation for the greater Syracuse area benefiting inner-city youth, coordinated one of the most successful Clubs-4-Kids programs in upstate New York and served as the Director of Instruction for the 2004 Syracuse Tiger Woods Festival. Originally from upstate New York, Biata relocated to Owasso in August, 2011 with his wife, Laurel and son, Michael. View Guest page
Jerry and his wife formed the National Addiction Therapy & Research Association or NATRA Inc. a Maryland 501C3 Corporation in early 2003 to offer a new path for recovery through conflict resolution. He has for the past 5 years been helping veterans to resolve anxiety based traumas and stress; including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with great success. View Guest page
Sally Blair is known as one of the most resourceful and resilient caregivers out there. Since her husband's invisible injuries surfaced (moderate-severe PTSD, mild TBI) she has worked as her husband's full time caregiver and advocate. With each new experience, she works to help other caregivers with everyday trials and challengers. View Guest page
Corporal Chris Bowers
Chris deployed with his unit to Iraq in 2007 and was injured during combat operations near Haditha in Al Anbar Province. Chris was hospitalized for two years and was not able to walk. Two years after his injury, Chris’ leg was amputated below his knee. Months after his amputation Chris learned to walk again and now lives a full and active life. View Guest page
Deborah Bradbard joined Blue Star Families as the Deputy Director of Research and Policy in October 2012. She received her Ph.D in Counseling Psychology from Auburn University where she also completed clinical training in marriage and family therapy. She also served as Director of the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Victim and Witness Assistance Program. Dr. Bradbard has contributed to a variety of research projects, outreach materials, and national panels providing subject matter expertise on military mental health issues including PTSD, military sexual trauma, suicide, substance abuse, and traumatic brain injury. View Guest page
Founder and Executive Director of the Eden Project, Bren Briggs. Bren is a retired Army officer with 28 years of service. He spent the first 8 years as a Marine then accepted a direct commission as a medical officer in the Army. Bren had several assignments and deployments that took him away from his family for long periods of time he understands on a very personal level the strain that is put on families from long separations. He was injured on his last deployment underwent 6 major surgeries to reconstruct his face. It is out of this experience and working with other wounded warriors that the Eden Project came to be. Bren is no stranger to non-profits. He served on an Alzheimers Board of directors for several years. View Guest page
I am a financial planner who felt a moral obligation to do something about the growing problem of homelessness for our returning Veterans. Coming from a military family and being an Air Force brat throughout the 60's and 70's I was able to recognize early on the differences in returning Veterans from that era and the Veterans today. I understand the transition from military life to civilian life and the survival process both from the perspective of a child, teenager and as an adult. I created Cardboard Concepts in 2010 as a way to bring awareness to homelessness using cardboard just as our homeless do to ask for money, work or help. The goal is to assist in the process of eradication of homelessness for Veterans.
Teaming up with Chris Cole, who once worked with me in finance and is now a retired Disabled Veteran, we created America's Homeless Veterans as National Advocates to Advancement of Homeless Veterans. The goals of this organization include attaining and sustaining affordable housing for Veterans and bringing medical services to our homeless Veterans using a tele-medicine vehicle now under design and assembly. This vehicle brings the exam room to the urban environment. With the recent discovery of the 120 day backlog at the VA hospital congress has authorized medical cards to all Veterans that can be used at any service provider. We propose to fill that void and work to keep our Veterans healthy whether on the street, a shelter or home by bring essential medical services to them. View Guest page
Ms. Sonya Broadway
Ms. Broadway now works as a Veteran Service Officer in Brazoria County, Texas. She is married to Deputy Daniel Broadway of the Brazoria County Sheriffs Office and they have several children. She is a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and she serves as a female Commander of a Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter in the State of Texas View Guest page
Bruce was the founder and director of a substance abuse treatment program in Fresno, Calif., He served as a Fresno County supervisor for eight years. He was a member of the California State Legislature and chairman of its Health Committee for 10 years. He served as associate dean of the Medical School at the University of California San Francisco and was a senior vice president of the Birch and Davis Health Management Corp. In the year 2000, he co-founded Trilogy Integrated Resources which lead to the development of the Network of Care View Guest page
Gordon Brown , Pres/CEO Team Veteran Foundation
Gordon Brown served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War 1972-1980 and was a Leading Petty Officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany. He served in Guam in the mid 1970’s assigned to the USS Proteus and worked with several government agencies to investigate and stop a major drug smuggling operation. Transferred to the Naval Drug Rehabilitation Center at Miramar, served as Senior Counselor, Suicide Prevention Officer, Military Liaison Officer for Narcotics Anonymous and initiated the therapy program that eventually became the core therapy standard for the entire Naval Drug Rehabilitation programs. He is also a service-connected disabled veteran. He founded Team Veteran LLC to help create sustainability funding for non-profits like Team Veteran Foundation, Inc. and others that serve our Veterans, Military, their families and those families of the fallen ones. View Guest page
Stephanie Brown Founder/CEO
Stephanie is a senior military spouse, wife of recently retired R. Admiral Thomas L. Brown (SEAL). She grew up as an Air Force "brat" moving around the country and overseas. Her father was a Vietnam veteran with over 20 years of active duty service. Stephanie has dedicated over 20 years to supporting and advocating on behalf of military families, veterans, and wounded warriors. Stephanie has been featured in Woman’s Day Magazine (August 2013), U.S. Veterans Magazine (Spring 2014), CBS News Radio, USMC Life, Army Wife Network and more. Stephanie Brown is a member of the Department of Defense Spouse Ambassador Network at the Pentagon and has been presented the Commander's Award for Civilian Service by the Commanding General of Special Operations Command SOUTH. She lives in San Diego with her horses, dogs, chickens, alpacas (Lulu & "Rosie") on what is referred to as the Brown Family Farm. View Guest page
Dr. Craig J. Bryan
Dr. Craig J. Bryan, PsyD, ABPP, is a board-certified clinical psychologist in cognitive behavioral psychology, and is currently the Associate Director of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah. He was Chief of the Primary Care Psychology Service and the Suicide Prevention Program Manager for Lackland AFB. Dr. Bryan deployed to Iraq in 2009, where he served as the Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at the Air Force Theater Hospital. He currently researches suicidal behaviors, suicide prevention, and psychological resiliency. He chaired the American Association of Suicidology’s Primary Care Task Force to develop training curriculum for primary care medical providers in the assessment and management of suicidal patients, and is a consultant to the Department of Defense for psychological health promotion and suicide prevention. He has dozens of publications in the areas of suicide and military mental health. Dr. Bryan was recognized by the Society for Military Psychology with the Arthur W. Melton Award for Early Career Achievement. View Guest page
Trisha Bryant, Assistant Executive Director
I am a mother of three that came from very humble beginnings. I wanted to serve my country but it was never to be in my cards for a military position. I Have been through the wringer, but I have never played the victim. I always believed that there is a purpose for everything that one goes through. I was born to help people. It is my passion and a life-long hobby. There came a few points in my life where I had to make life altering decisions and I believe I have chosen well, all things considered. I met Carl Pallone when I enrolled in SPC, Tarpon Springs, FL. We have similar personalities and were both passionate about fighting for our veterans and also their families. He founded the company, and asked me to be his first business partner. We have been serving our heroes ever since, and though it has been a tough endeavor, I believe this was always my calling and the most rewarding experience so far in my life. God Bless America! View Guest page
Captain Wendy Buckingham
Captain Wendy Buckingham is currently a Federal employee in Washington, D.C. and a reserve USAF JAG officer. She practices labor and employment law in both her civilian and reserve capacities. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2004 with a double major in English and Computer Applications. She attended Notre Dame on a full scholarship from the USAF ROTC program. While at Notre Dame, she participated in USAF ROTC and accepted an educational delay onto active duty to attend law school. In 2007, Wendy graduated cum laude from Notre Dame Law School and entered the Air Force as an active duty JAG officer. Wendy served on active duty in the United States Air Force from 2008 to 2012, with a tour of duty in Baghdad, Iraq. On August 21, 2009, she was combat wounded in an IED blast in Baghdad where her right tibia was shattered below the knee. She spent eight months recovering from her injuries and returned to active duty in March 2010. She received the Purple Heart, Air Force Combat Action Medal, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal for her service in Iraq. Wendy currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, USAF Lt Col William "Buck" Buckingham and their two energetic French Bulldog puppies, Chloe and Maximus. View Guest page
Ms. Wendy Buckingham is currently an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. and a reserve USAF JAG officer. She practices labor and employment law in both her civilian and reserve capacities. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2004 with a double major in English and Computer Applications. She attended Notre Dame on a full scholarship from the USAF ROTC program. While at Notre Dame, she participated in USAF ROTC and accepted an educational delay onto active duty to attend law school. In 2007, Wendy graduated cum laude from Notre Dame Law School and entered the Air Force as an active duty JAG officer. Wendy served on active duty in the United States Air Force from 2008 to 2012, with a tour of duty in Baghdad, Iraq. On August 21, 2009, she was combat wounded in an IED blast in Baghdad where her right tibia was shattered below the knee. She spent eight months recovering from her injuries and returned to active duty in March 2010. She received the Purple Heart, Air Force Combat Action Medal, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal for her service in Iraq. Wendy currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, USAF Lt Col William "Buck" Buckingham and their two energetic French Bulldog puppies, Chloe and Maximus. View Guest page
Ken Buckles Executive Director & Founder
Ken Buckles is a retired high school PE/Weight Training Teacher, Ex-Head Football Coach. For over 20 years has led high school students to honor and thank real American Heroes, our countries veterans. The mission has been and continues to be to teach our youth and communities that the cost of our freedom in high. Since 2002, Ken has been the Executive Director and founder of the non-profit, Remembering America’s Heroes. R.A.H. has spread our mission to 40 high schools mostly in the state of Oregon. View Guest page
Brandon Bunch: I was an infantry man in the US marine corps from 2000-2004. I served two tours in Iraq, the first in the invasion in 2003 with kilo company 3rd battalion 5th marines. The second I served as a combat replacement with weapons company 2nd battalion 2nd marines in 2004. I didn't struggle with effects of combat in my opinion until the summer of 2010, one year after my wife delivered our still born daughter. I had been diagnosed with PTSD at the time of discharge from the marines in 2004 but I hadn't allowed it to affect me until then. Little did I know that summer of 2010 my struggle with PTSD would turn my world upside down. I noticed since that time when I focus on something bigger then myself, serving others, great things happen. The last few years i have been focusing on being an entrepreneur and serving our American Heroes. EBV Texas A&M View Guest page
Constance A. Burns
The National Association of American Veterans, Inc. (NAAV) was founded and established in 2005 by Constance A. Burns, president, chief executive officer and veterans' service officer in Washington, DC. NAAV assist, inform, and help to facilitate the educational, health care, housing, employment, legal, veteran's claims and benefits and emergency assistance and referrals needs of those who serve and are serving in the United States Armed Forces, particularly severely injured Service members and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan residing in the greater Washington, DC area as well as nationwide. We are currently seeking funds and/or support for building renovation, programs and services for Florence, South Carolina, Dayton, OH and Lexington, KY through our partners. View Guest page
Colleen is a medically retired U.S. Air Force NCO and national advocate for military justice policy reform. She deployed in support of OIF/OEF to Al Udeid AB, Qatar, in 2004. Reporting sexual assault at Lackland Air Force Base, public affairs, resulted in her medical retirement in 2006. As an Advocacy Committee Member for Protect Our Defenders, Washington D.C. in 2012, she helpied bring about the Lackland Hearings on Capitol Hill. She promotes Bystander Intervention training, and supports the Military Justice Improvement Act. She raises awareness through the MST through the One Billion Rising global campaign to end violence against women (and men). She is founder of MST Advocacy Pathways (MAP), a peer to peer support group for MST survivors. She is also founder of Veteran Empowerment Team USA. Links: www.facebook.com/colleenbushnell One Billion Rising #VetsRising https://m.facebook.com/onebillionrisingmst VET USA www.veteransrising.com #PassMJIA#NotInvisible View Guest page
Cecil Byrd has been serving veterans as they transition into civilian life for over forty years. After his discharge from the Army in ‘72 he returned to the Univ of Alabama to complete graduate work and head up its Office of Veterans Affairs. In ‘84 he became the Executive Director of Natl Assn of Concerned Veterans in DC. NACV is a 501 c 19 advocating for and serving the neediest of veterans. NACV has trained, housed and employed literally thousands of DC area vets alone. Today its major focus is its comprehensive re entry GREAT EXPECTATIONS program model. At its peak NACV had over 3000 chapters in over 35 states around the country. He has worked closely with Local, State and Federal Agencies & Congress, as well as, VSOs, CBOs and private sector around the country. View Guest page
Anthony Cancelosi President and CEO
Tony’s background includes President of ICL, an international software company, and CEO of several for-profit companies. Served as COO for Kee Systems (now Sylvan Learning). He worked in sales for Control Data Corporation. His nonprofit experience includes International Center for the Disabled, National Kidney Foundation, and Special Olympics. Tony serves on the boards of directors of the DC Police Foundation, Providence Health Foundation, and is President Emeritus of the Association for Corporate Growth. He's a member of the Wharton Club, Leadership of Greater Washington, and the Rotary Club.He became a Knight of Malta and graduated from the FBI’s Citizen’s Academy.He remains a partner at Human Capital Advisors. In 2013 awarded the Lido Civic Club of Washington, DC: Man of the Year. In 2015, DC Council member and awarded Community Cornerstone Award. View Guest page
Phillip Marcus Carter
National Chaplain Phillip Marcus Carter
Although the Vietnam War officially ended in 1975, it still rages in the lives of thousands of veterans and their families. These lingering, internal battles are reflected in statistics: The end result is that many have ended up behind bars of prisons here in the Land of The Free. In August of 1970 Phillip Carter was inducted into the Army in answer to our countries call to stop Communist aggression in South Vietnam. After his tour of duty ended he endured years of agony from depression, fits of rage, emotional numbing, substance abuse, helplessness and prison. Currently Phillip is the national chaplain for the National Incarcerated Veterans Network USA where he serves help to his fellow veterans and finds answers and makes lasting peace with their past. Chaplain Phillip Carter is an ordained minister with the National Association of Christian Ministers. After a tour of duty in the military during the Vietnam War years, he worked to obtain academic degrees in business and marketing. He formed his own company as a Licensed General Contractor and then in 1998 began his Bible study to prepare for the ministry. He has served as a minister in all types of jails and prisons including Mississippi Department of Corrections. He has trained as an Substance Abuse Treatment Specialist and Veterans Benefits VSO. His professional organization membership includes Association of Professional Chaplains, American Correctional Chaplains Association. His active membership in Veterans Service Organizations includes VVA, VVNW, AMVETS, 101st Airborne Division Association, American Legion, and UVOA in which he serves as National Aide-De-Camp To The Office of The Supreme National Commander Dr Anna Krupkin View Guest page
Chef Andre Rush & Chef Charles Johnson
Our Veteran chefs are Andre Rush a retired Army Master Sergeant Chef who currently prepares nutritionally balanced and delicious foods at the White House in Washington DC and is a Master Chef trained in classical plating, baking/ cake decoration, and a master ice carver. The other veteran and chef is Charles Johnson, a retired Army Staff Sergeant Chef who has worked as the Culinary Arts Instructor for the Fort Bliss Culinary Arts Team and was classically trained thru the United States Army and the Culinary Institute of America. View Guest page
Kerri Childress currently serves as the Vice President for Communications at Fisher House Foundation, having recently retired from the government after 33 years’ service. She was on the front lines in Palo Alto, California, when our severely injured troops started coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and saw first-hand the impact of a Fisher House and the difference it made for veterans, their families and VA staff. A Navy veteran herself, she has been serving veterans in some capacity her entire career. Prior to coming to Fisher House Foundation, Kerri spent 12 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs, nine years at the US Armed Forces Retirement Home, six years at the Military District of Washington, and five years at Arlington National Cemetery. A Navy Veteran from the Vietnam era, Kerri graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland and holds a masters' degree in public relations is from American University. View Guest page
Cara Colantuono is a licensed social worker from Philadelphia Pennsylvania. She has a post graduate certification in veteran and military behavioral health and is the founder of the non-profit organization Support Homeless Veterans, Inc and the Veterans Care Commission at Abington Jefferson Health Systems. View Guest page
Rick Collins British veteran, Founder & Executive Director of Vets 360 who is focused on reducing veteran suicide levels through a program of engagement, education, employment and healing. View Guest page
Lieutenant Colonel Justin Constantine
Justin is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps with 16 years of active and reserve service. He volunteered for his deployment to Iraq in 2006, excited to lead other Marines and help rebuild that war-torn part of the world. While on a routine combat patrol, an enemy sniper shot Justin in the head, causing catastrophic damage, destroying his jaws and much of his face. Thanks to the heroic efforts of a young Navy Corpsman, and his own warrior spirit, Justin is still alive today. Since his injury,Justin has continued to lead from the front and serve as a role model to other Wounded Warriors. Justin's personal awards include the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. View Guest page
Clara Conti is the vice president of Sales she represents three distinct sales channels selling into the federal government and commercial lines of businesses. She brings over 20+ years of experience to source America as a world-class entrepreneur and executive. View Guest page
On left, Hugh Crawford, shown with 2 former POW's. Hugh enlisted in the Army in 1965; his basic training was at Ft. Ord, California. AIT was also at Ft. Ord, his MOS job was an Army firemen. Deployed to Vietnam Tuai Wa air strip as a fireman. However after three months, Hugh knew that wasn’t enough. Hugh went to a nearby helicopter company and volunteered to be a door gunner. On day one, Hughes flew his first combat mission in Vietnam as a door gunner. Hugh served in that capacity for the next 9 months. Upon his return home in 1967, Hugh served his remaining time at Fort Lewis Washington. Upon discharge Hugh earned a degree in law enforcement. In 1971 Hugh took his firs deputy job in Oregon. Three years later he moved to Medford, Oregon and joined the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. His jobs were, patrol, detective and then major crimes detective. After approximately 31 years in law enforcement Hugh retired View Guest page
Dr. Harry Croft
Dr. Harry Croft, PTSD can be a heavy load to carry. Harry Croft, M.D. has diagnosed and treated over 7,000 combat veterans with PTSD, and is a foremost authority on the effects of combat PTSD on the warrior, veteran, and family members. PTSD is not well understood by everyone, and Dr. Croft frequently speaks to medical professionals on how to diagnose, treat, and manage PTSD. View Guest page
Bridget Cronin comes from a family of combat veterans who served in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Her own career in organizational management, fundraising and marketing spans 27 years in the private sector, non-profit world and in campaign politics. “Relentless” is practically her middle name, and it has to be; in addition to her work she is also the mother of three daughters and a son with autism, and an active member of the arts and film community in the Twin Cities. She is now bringing that passion and experience to the Ars Bellum Foundation to serve our nation’s heroes and help them get their lives back when they come home from the battlefield. View Guest page
Originally from Springfield, MO, Tara's journey with the military began in 1998 when she and her husband PCS'd (Permanent Change of Station) to their first duty station, Ft Hood. She is married to her husband, MAJ Kevin Crooks (US ARMY), and has two beautiful little girls, Wrena & Chloe. Prior to becoming a talk show host and speaker Tara had a successful career in retail. After receiving her Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources, Tara worked as a human resource Specialist. Tara left the traditional workforce in 2001 with the arrival of their first daughter and the team’s decision to make military life a career. Tara began working online in several different areas of entrepreneurship and through a series of unlikely events found her “niche”. Army Wife Talk Radio was born on a whim, during her husband’s first deployment in 2005. View Guest page
Charles K David
Keith served in the US Army for 20 years retiring in 2001 at the rank of CWO 3. His assignments Include: 82nd Airborne Div, 10th Special Forces Group (SFG), 3rd SFG, 5th SFG, and CENTCOM. He also served as the Company C, 3rd Battalion, 5 SFG(A) Company Operations Warrant. He served on the CENTCOM Special Staff (Joint Security Directorate - JSD) as the Special Forces Subject Matter Expert – Anti Terrorism/Force Protection in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he participated in twenty-five plus AT/FP assessments. He made multiple deployments to the Middle East and Africa in support of US Central Command and US Special Operations Command Central. He retired in July, 2001 and taught French. He served in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor for World Wide Language Resources working with Special Operations Command.He worked in the defense industry from 2005 until 2013 for Raytheon Company,Inc. Keith is Managing Director of the Task Force Dagger Foundation since its inception. View Guest page
Linda M. Davidson
Linda Davidson co-founded Our Military Kids in 2004. While she was using her business expertise from her former career at IBM to help a friend organize a military nonprofit organization, she noticed a disturbing trend: When National Guard and Reserve members went overseas, their families suffered a gap in support services. Before 9/11, these soldiers were often sent to help after natural disasters. But deployments to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan brought new problems. Because families of the deployed often did not live close to military bases, they felt isolated. Dips in pay caused by the change from civilian to military duty sometimes forced the elimination of kids’ extracurricular activities at a time they were needed most. Our Military Kids fills this gap. Linda launched her nonprofit organization in Virginia, then took it national. Seeing the invisible wounds of the children of wounded warriors, she included them, too. Our Military Kids has provided more than 54,000 grants, $25 mil View Guest page
Crystal Davis is an inspiration to all that have worn a military uniform. She joined the Army and trained in transportation alongside her friend, Pam Larson. She was subsequently deployed to duty in Iraq where she escorted convoys in a heavy duty towing vehicle. Her job was to move other damaged convoy vehicles out of the way of the rest of the equipment so the convoy could keep moving….and not sitting ducks for incoming fire from the enemy. In the course of her duty, her vehicle took a hit that cost Crystal her right leg and damaged her left leg so severely it was believed that she would never be able to use it effectively again. She is a recipient of the Purple Heart and a true warrior. For Crystal, the circumstance was only that, a circumstance. After a long recovery, including a stint at Walter Reed Army Hospital, she left the service to find herself with family responsibilities of raising her son. After seeing her in a documentary, Crystal was sought out by Wendi Day View Guest page
Taryn Davis Founder & Executive Director
Her passion and work with the AWP has been featured in such places as The TODAY Show, NPR, People and PBS. It's also led to her receiving such accolades as Top 10 CNN Hero,one of NEWSWEEK's 150 Women Who Shake the World, L'Oreal's National Woman of Worth and DVF People's Voice Award Recipient. She's shared her story on the stage for Forbes, GE, Morgan Stanley, TEDx and more. At 21, Taryn received devastating news: Her husband, CPL Michael Davis, had been killed in Baghdad, Iraq.Following his death she created the American Widow Project to provide vital empowerment and peer-based resources to our Nation's Military Widows and Widowers, having now served over 2,000 at over a 100 retreats View Guest page
President, America's Veterans Racing
We are a Southeast Limited Late Model Touring Series team, with our driver Crystal Davis, an Army Veteran. Our race team will be American Veterans and direct family members, ranging in service from Vietnam to Operation New Dawn. Our mission is twofold - first we will be honoring the Fallen Heroes since Sept 11, 2001 and current military personnel that have fought for our Freedom, and secondly we will be providing assistance with post military education and technical training programs. Honor 1st, Racing 2nd. Our long term goal will be to field cars and trucks in the NASCAR Premiere Divisions. View Guest page
Since 1999 Ted Daywalt has been president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars sponsored VetJobs (www.vetjobs.com), the premier military employment site on the Internet. From 1971 to 1978 he served on active duty in the Navy as a line officer and intelligence officer, then transferred to the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program, from which he retired as a Captain (O-6) with 28 years of service. Ted has held executive positions in the steel, electric utility, importing, chemical and recruiting industries. Ted is an in demand speaker and is regularly cited and interviewed in the press, including USA Today, 60 Minutes, Military Times, PBS, NPR, CNN, and FOX News. Ted testifies regularly before Congress on veterans and economic issues. Ted is recognized as the leading subject matter expert regarding veteran employment issues. Ted earned a BS from Florida State University (1971); an MA, International Relations, University of Southern California (1977); and an MBA from the Goizueta Business School, Emory University (1980). View Guest page
Scotty "Dee" Deatherage
Scotty Dee Deatherage is the executive director for Honoring America’s Warriors. He grew up in Oklahoma with a military influence and recognizes the issues military veterans and their families face. His father served in the United States Army during the Vietnam conflict as an MP, ASA, and ended his career with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Army and was stationed in Washington DC. Scotty's mother worked as a secretary in the Pentagon. Scotty has dedicated his life to serving our war heroes and their families that deal with the daily stresses brought on by the reality of war. Scotty works with a large number of veterans and understands their character, the issues, and is always on the move creating opportunities to improve their lives. View Guest page
Ron R DeFreitas
Ron Defreitas is Founder and CFO of the Reel American Heroes Foundation. Ron started the foundation 6 years ago to provide much needed recreational therapy to our wounded and combat servicemen and servicewomen. After volunteering to help bass clubs get out heroes out on the water, he noticed how much they benefited from these trips. After his second year of helping he was given the responsibility to run one of the events for a Washington DC based Bass Club. In order to make the event a success he used his credit card to personally purchased fishing rods and reels as well as tackle boxes for our heroes for the event. This experienced changed the way he looked at life and I realized he got more out of the experience than he gave. It got him thinking as to how he could do a better job providing this recreational therapy. The very next day he formed the Board of Directors and started the Reel American Heroes Foundation. View Guest page
Tracy Della Vecchia
I started this web site because I couldn't find ONE place to find all the news I wanted to learn about the Marine Corps, about the recent deployment to Kuwait and Iraq, about the other Marine Moms and Marine Dads that had the same emotions I did. So this site was born on Tuesday, January 21, 2003. The response has been tremendous. There are thousands of other parents out there feeling the same emotions and we're all trying to define them. Connecting with each other helps. Sharing helps. This is a place to connect & share. View Guest page
Jay is a retired Information Technology Consultant and has started several successful small businesses over the years. He has spent most of the last 6 years fighting bloated government in DC. During the last federal government shutdown he was watching the evening news and saw “Honor Flight” veterans being locked out of the memorials in DC. The next morning, and every morning until the end of the shutdown, he drove 5 hrs each way from the Poconos to DC and began cutting open the barricades at the memorials and escorting in veterans. He was an honored speaker at the rally at the memorials just before the end of the shutdown. For the last 2 years he has been planning the Liberty Farms project to help disabled veterans become independent farmers and business owners so they are free of dependence on government programs and can support their families and leave a legacy for their children. View Guest page
Founder, President of Operations
Brett runs the day-to-day activities including fundraising, program management, marketing, budget management and community relationship cultivation. Brett has served many charitable groups in the effort of raising awareness for the veteran community. He was a Board of Director for the Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma, which provides free or low cost mental health services to both veterans and their families as well as a member of the Coordinating Council of 211 Oklahoma, which provides information and referral services to those in crises and in every day needs of human services. Brett is currently a Board of Director for the Aaron Alley Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides students of Woodward High School with scholarships in Aaron’s name. Although he never served in the military, Brett has always had a passion for supporting the men and women who sacrifice their lives for his freedom. He feels it is important to convey to the active duty and veteran communities, that there are millions of non serving, patriotic Americans that proudly stand behind them. Through his passion and business experience, he strives to cultivate events and activities that are not only a fun and healing experiences for our veterans but also a fun and educational experiences for our sponsor, supporters and volunteers. View Guest page
Founder, President of Operations
Brett runs the day-to-day activities including fundraising, program management, marketing, budget management and community relationship cultivation. Brett has served many charitable groups in the effort of raising awareness for the veteran community. He was a Board of Director for the Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma, which provides free or low cost mental health services to both veterans and their families as well as a member of the Coordinating Council of 211 Oklahoma, which provides information and referral services to those in crises and in every day needs of human services. Brett is currently a Board of Director for the Aaron Alley Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides students of Woodward High School with scholarships in Aaron’s name. Although he never served in the military, Brett has always had a passion for supporting the men and women who sacrifice their lives for his freedom. He feels it is important to convey to the active duty and veteran communities, that there are millions of non serving, patriotic Americans that proudly stand behind them. Through his passion and business experience, he strives to cultivate events and activities that are not only a fun and healing experiences for our veterans but also a fun and educational experiences for our sponsor, supporters and volunteers. Brett has been married to his wife, Tracy, since 2006 and currently resides in Edmond, OK. His brother-in-law, Lt. Brett Eckert, is a currently serving as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. View Guest page
Jim Dolan - CEO
Jim Dolan is a native Texan, growing up in a military family. He graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1976 and earned a Masters in Information Systems from Boston University in 1987. After 13 years in the Air Force, 8 years overseas, he came home to Texas. He retired in 2013 with 24 years as an American Airlines Captain. He is the initial recipient of the American Airline’s Citizen Hero Award in support of All Who Serve. And initiated in the Order of the Eagle in 2012. In 2007, Jim founded Heroes on the Water, a 501(c)3 supporting warriors who served our country. Jim and his wife, Sally, have been married 36 years, have two children, Justin and Kate, and live in Richardson, TX. View Guest page
Founder of Military Families and Survivors First in 2012 and currently serves as the president, overseeing all aspects of the organization. Anita retired in 2012 from Headquarters, Installation Management Command Joint Base San Antonio, Texas where she worked as Program Manager for Casualty and Mortuary Affairs, responsible for over 3.1 M in funds and oversight of 233 employees stateside and overseas. She managed and ensured proper utilization and expenditure of funds throughout 31 Casualty Assistance Centers. She was responsible for the Army’s casualty mission and instrumental in supporting Survivors Outreach Services Program. Anita radiates excitement about her work with military families and survivors of fallen heroes. “Serving her country for over 30 years in uniform and now assisting the men and women who serve the cause of freedom,” she says. “Working with Military Families and Survivors First is remarkable. She zeroes in on their needs so they can move forward in life. View Guest page
Vivienne Gardner Edwards
Vivienne Gardner Edwards, (Author) I grew up in England just west of London, and went to school in Oxford. After my marriage I moved to the USA with my husband and two daughters. I have lived in Michigan and Minnesota and currently live in Oregon. While in Minnesota, I began homeschooling my daughters and started a state-wide homeschooling network. I wrote a number of articles on home education, coached parents and spoke at conferences. Then, after moving to Oregon I became a speaker on Domestic Abuse. After getting a divorce, I shared a house with a woman whom I discovered was a heavy drug user. During those years I lived with the chaos of a drug user in the house View Guest page
At 17 years of age, Daniel joined the Marine Corps Infantry in 2004. After two deployments and four faithful years of service his time was fulfilled but he extended for a third deployment to Iraq. Upon return Daniel and Doc were roommates together in Manhattan but soon the duo was broken up as Daniel extended a second time for a 4th deployment to Afghanistan. Daniel now resides back in Manhattan NY and is enrolled for film at Hunter College. View Guest page
Staff Sgt. Charles Eggleston U.S. Army,
Staff Sergeant Charles Eggleston is recently retired from the U.S. Army. He was an active duty Army soldier and a Warrior in Transition (WIT) at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC). While at the WRAMC, he advocated for his fellow soldiers by fostering his desire to help his wounded comrades. Staff Sgt. Eggleston incurred several injuries during multiple tours in Iraq and as a result he is a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient. Staff Sgt. Eggleston was a member of the Army for 16 years. During his tenure with the Army as a reservist, he served under the 11th Special Forces Group and the 818th Combat Support Brigade out of Fort Meade, Maryland. View Guest page
Chris Enders attended the University of MD, where he earned his B.A. Degree in Communication. While at the University, he contemplated joining the USMC through the OCS program, to follow in the footsteps of many of his family members. After careful consideration, he realized that Marines were not for him, and backed out of the program; After years of working in fields that didn’t feel fulfilling, he found himself unemployed due to a companywide layoff. He wasn’t going to take just any job, He wanted something that gave him fulfillment. At that time a family member mentioned a non-profit called Operation Second Chance that helps wounded veterans, and told him to check them out to see if they were hiring. The next day a position was posted online- the rest is history; he says “helping heroes is what I was meant to do.” They are patriotic citizens committed to serving our wounded, injured and ill combat veterans. View Guest page
Kenneth Falke Founder/Chairman, Boulder Crest Retreat
Ken is a 21-year combat veteran of the U.S. Navy and retired Master Chief Petty Officer.
Ken is highly respected around the world as an innovative and forward thinking thought leader on the subjects of wounded warrior care, military and veteran transition, counterterrorism, military training, and innovative technology development.
He is the current CEO of a Shoulder 2 Shoulder Inc., technology and multi-media company, in addition to the chairman and founder of Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness and the EOD Warrior Foundation.
Under Ken’s entrepreneurial direction and leadership as the Founder of his first company, A-T Solutions, the company is a recognized international expert and valuable global asset in combating the war on terrorism. At the forefront of providing training and consulting services in the Anti- Counter- Terrorism industry. View Guest page
Born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, Fahim Fazli came to the United States as a refugee in his teens. He enjoyed a privileged childhood until the Russians invaded Afghanistan. As a young adult he supported the resistance and when he and his remaining family saw the opportunity they fled to Pakistan and then eventually to the United States. Forced to support his family Fahim was not able to pursue his passion, acting until many years later. Having the good fortune to meet someone from a local production company who mentioned his resemblance to Andy Garcia and also asked if he was interested in going to a casting call, he got his big break. It had been years since he had given any serious thought to acting, but he got the job. Fahim currently lives in Orange CountyCalifornia and has continued working in television and movies. Fahim's memoir, Fahim Speaks, was released in 2012. More recently, Fahim had a small speaking role in Ben Affleck's movie "Argo," which received five Golden Globe Award nominations, including one for "Best Picture." View Guest page
Founder/ President of AcademyWomen, an organization that empowers aspiring, current and past women military leaders, veterans, and military spouse through mentoring, training, and growth opportunities to impact positive change locally, nationally and globally. She leads program and curriculum innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where she regularly works with international leaders at the highest levels to include heads of state, CEOs, military flag officers, non-profit leaders, and government service directors. She speaks French and Portuguese and has worked in space systems acquisitions, as a Professor at the Air Force Academy, and held a variety of different roles at Merrill Lynch, the Hoover Institution, Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is in a selective graduate program at Stanford Graduate School of Business, has an MA from Middlebury College, a Diplome from the Universite de Paris – Sorbonne, and a BS from the United States Air Force Academy. View Guest page
Christopher Fitzpatrick was born in Clearwater, Florida. The last 6 years of his career have been dedicated to “Helping Heroes Afford Life”. As a co-founder of VeteransPlus, Christopher quickly realized the importance of financial education for our nation’s defenders- before they deployed and after they have returned home. Prior to VeteransPlus He earned a full scholarship to the University of Louisville. During his time in Louisville, Kentucky he was named a collegiate national spokesperson for the collegiate Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Students Against Drunk Driving (S.A.D.D), his first stint with non-profits. Mr. Fitzpatrick has been in the finance and marketing industries for nearly 17 years. His experience in the finance arena for profit and non-profit companies has provided the foundation to be a leader in financial education with individuals, while helping other organizations who serve our nations heroes see the benefit. Currently, he serves as Co-founder and Deputy Director of VeteransPlus and the Yellow Ribbon Registry Network (YRRN). His background in marketing and expertise in networking has positioned VeteransPlus to nurture relationships with America’s top non-profits in the Veteran community and brand the name of VeteransPlus and the Yellow Ribbon Network across the United Sates. Mr. Fitzpatrick has been active in community organizations in Florida, New York, Texas and California. Mr. Fitzpatrick has a wife of 17 years, 2 children (17 and 14) and coach’s high school football in Clearwater, Florida View Guest page
James J. Flagg Co-founder/Pres.for Warrior Summit Coalition
Served his country from 2001 until 2009,with the Illinois Army National Guard. In April 2010, James co-chaired the inaugural Illinois Warrior Summit as a student veteran at the University of Illinois just a few weeks before graduating with his Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry and Spanish. For his dedication and spirit of volunteerism, James was recognized by the University of Illinois, receiving the Chancellor’s Award for Student Leadership and Volunteer Service. Shortly after, James was recognized by the White House and President Obama, receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award in October 2010.James currently serves as an Advisor to Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council on Veteran Affairs. James is also member of the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's Veterans Advisory Council; Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerich’s Veterans Advisory Council, and serves as an advisor to the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director. View Guest page
Peter J. Forbes
The Director for The Veterans of the Vietnam War & The Veterans Coalition U.S. National Commander AU National Commander View Guest page
Roy Foster, Executive Director, began his effort with Don Reed US Air Force (deceased 2004) with the development of a non-profit agency called Faith* Hope* Love* Charity, Inc. 1994, and opened the doors of Stand Down House in May 2000 to provide emergency/transitional housing and supportive services for veterans struggling with addictions, mental health issues, PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and physical limitations. Since the opening of Stand Down House more than 2000 veterans have received supportive services. In 2013, Stand Down House provided 8,719 emergency housing nights for 102 male veterans; 95% of veterans returned to employment; 96% maintained sobriety; and 100% had saved for independent living and permanent housing. In September 2009, Roy Foster saw the need to expand its services to include a community-based outreach program through establishing First Stop Veterans’ Resource Center, serving veterans and their families that are homeless or in the at risk population for homelessness or other risk factors. This program offer veterans permanent housing support services and emergency financial assistance. In 2013 over 800 veterans and their families received services through this expanded initiative. Mr. Foster has received numerous honors from community organizations. He was named Advocate of the Year by Broward County Board of Commissioners, the Intergovernmental Affairs of Professional Standards and the Broward County Advisory Board for Individuals with Disabilities; The Julius E. Williams Community Service Award presented by the National NAACP; the Jefferson Award for Public Service by Scripps & NEWS Channel 5, Soaring Award -Wishing Well, Inc. (MD), Bank of America Local Hero, Proclamation from PBC Board of Commissioners and Proclamation from the City of West Palm Beach. Mr. Foster was a 2009 CNN Hero. In addition, Mr. Foster was honored at Palm Beach State College with an Award for outstanding community organization; Riverside Bank as the Hometown Hero; Veteran of the Year by The American Health Association and one of the pioneers in establishing Palm Beach County Veteran’s Court Docket. Roy is an honorably discharged Army (SGT – E5) veteran and served during the Vietnam Era. He has been working in the drug and alcohol field for over 18+ years, after being in his addiction for over 15 years. He later went on to work in the Palm Beach County jail substance abuse program for 8 years. In addition, he worked with Abiding Heart Ministry and Faith Farms Ministry in their homeless/substance abuse programs. View Guest page
President of the Florida Chapter of WIIS
She is a strategic planner and works on issues in the Middle East and South and Central Asia as an associate for Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH). Ms. Frumin focuses on stability and countering violent extremism. As an independent consultant, Amy designed and executed trainings for U.S. military and civilian personnel preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Training topics included understanding the underlying causes of conflict, the Afghan Government structures, and the role of civilians on the battlefield. Prior to working as a consultant, Amy was an international affairs fellow in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations where she wrote and commented on the international humanitarian relief regime, Afghanistan, and the efficacy the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s work in unstable environments. Ms. Frumin returned from Panjshir, Afghanistan in 2007 where she was the USAID representative to the Provincial Reconstruction Team. As one of three civilians on this mostly U.S. Air Force team, Ms. Frumin managed the USAID portfolio and offered the development perspective to project discussions with the military and the Department of State. Prior to working in Afghanistan, Ms. Frumin covered Latin America for USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). From 2000-2001, Ms. Frumin worked as a political affairs officer in the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations Mission in Kosovo. Amy also worked for UNICEF’s Office of Emergency Operations. Additionally, she has been published by and worked for several think tanks, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the United Nations Association for the USA, and the World Policy Institute at the New School in New York City. Amy founded Women in International Security (WIIS) Chapter in Florida in 2014 View Guest page
John Gallina, Co-Founder and CEO for Purple Heart Homes. John is a Purple Heart recipient, began his career building homes in North Carolina when he was 19 years old. His hands on building experience services Purple Heart Homes well with his vast knowledge of estimating job expenses, to working with professional tradesmen, to understanding insurance issues with each project for a qualified Service Connected Disabled Veteran. He has grown in his leadership skills at Purple Heart Homes with hands on job training as well as training provided from the Alchemy Institute made possible by the Annenberg Foundation to provide leadership training to the 2013 CNN top 10 Heroes. View Guest page
CEO & Founder of Rocky Mountain Veteran Village Foundation
A USAF Command Chief Master Sergeant (Ret). A veteran who grew up within the Department of Defense through the U.S, Air Force and as a Department of the Army civilian. Assigned as the Business Manager for MILSATACOM transportable terminals with Titan Corporation. Now giving it all back through full time volunteer activities with the Rocky Mountain Veterans Village Foundation assisting the active military and veterans in achieving what he has achieved. View Guest page
Brian Gawne, CAPT, USN (retired) joined Fisher House Foundation in 2010 after 28 years of naval service. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, holds a masters degree from the Naval War College, and has logged over 3500 flight hours in fighter aircraft as a Naval Flight Officer. Brian’s last active duty assignment was as the Professor of Naval Science at The George Washington University. He also served on the scholarship selection board for the Navy’s NROTC program. A combat veteran of six fleet tours in fighter aircraft, he served as Commanding Officer of the Navy’s first F-18F Super Hornet squadron. His staff experience includes consecutive tours in the Pentagon as a budget analyst and executive assistant in the Navy’s Programming Directorate (OPNAV N80), and division chief for the Director Navy Staff. He also served two years in Stavanger, Norway as a strategic plans officer assigned to NATO’s HQ North. View Guest page
Jim Golgart is a 20-year Army retiree and is currently serving as the Le Sueur County Veterans Service Officer a position. He started his Army Career in Law Enforcement and Military Police Investigator. Also spent in the US Army Recruiting Command. His awards and decorations include: Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Army Chief of Staff Award for Excellence in 1995 and 1996, and Mentor of the Year for Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion 1997. He is the President of the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers, a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Association of the United States Army, Retired Enlisted Association, and the Past President of the Minnesota Association of County Veterans Service Officers Association and a member of the Nicollet County Fair Board. View Guest page
Dan Gordon is the author of fifteen Hollywood features, including The Hurricane, (Denzel Washington) Wyatt Earp, (Kevin Costner), Murder in the First, (Kevin Bacon), The Assignment, (Sir Ben Kingsley) and Passenger 57 (Wesley Snipes). Gordon has also amassed hundreds hours of television programming as a writer, director and/or executive producer, including head writer on dozens of Michael Landon’s long running Highway to Heaven. Day of the Dead: Book One – Gaza is Dan’s seventh published novel and is a terrifying look into warring world of today, ripped from today’s headlines and based on Gordon’s 30 years with the Israeli Military Forces engaging in 6 Middle East conflicts. This book and the one to follow, based in America, will soon be a major motion picture. With Day of the Dead Gordon has, in essence, created a new genre…. not Sci- fi, but Terror-fi. View Guest page
Dr. Mark L. Gordon
Instrumental in promoting the recognition of Traumatic Brain Injury as a cause of hormonal deficiency in the hallmarked presentation on ESPN’s Outside the Lines (Jan. 2007). His book, The Clinical Application of Interventional Medicine (2008), is recognized by his peers as a primer for the standards of care and assessment for interventional endocrinology (anti-aging medicine). As Medical Director of CBS Studios (2001-date), He has participated on projects with HBO, ESPN, CNN, FOX, Good Morning, Dr. Gordon appeared in January 2014 on the Joe Rogan Experience (#438) discussion on Traumatic Brain Injury and hormonal dysfunction generated national and international interest. A second Joe Rogan program in November 2014 (#574) included Jason Hall, the screenwriter for American Sniper and ex-petty officer and Navy Seal Corpsman Matthew Gosney who spoke at length about his blast trauma, gunshot wounds, surgery, depression and 15 different medications that did nothing to prevent his attempted suicide in January 2014. He shares his experience of being evaluated by Dr. Gordon and starting a hormonal replenishment protocol that led to his stopping 14 medications within 6 weeks and the resolution of his deep depression. In February 2015, Dr. Gordon and ex-Navy Corpsman, Jordan Cordova shared his experience of military traumas, hormonal deficiencies and recovery from anxiety and depression on a hormonal protocol. Dr. Gordon continues to work with veterans groups providing full and partial funding received while in the theater of war. Dr. Gordon is owner and Medical Director of the Millennium-TBI Network, located in Encino California. On May 14th, 2015, Dr. Gordon will convene a training program for physicians interested in learning about traumatic brain injury, PTSD and treating the underlying cause of the superficial symptoms. This will correspond with the launch of his newest medical workbook; TBI – A clinical approach to diagnosis and treatment View Guest page
Tom Granata is the director of Staffing Services and is responsible for job creation, fulfillment and placement of veterans, military families and people with disabilities. In addition, he is responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility and Workplace Disability Awareness. View Guest page
Debbie Gregory, CEO
Debbie Gregory is CEO of MilitaryConnection.com and founder of Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA). Debbie covers all the bases when it comes to serving the needs of the military/veteran communities. MilitaryConnection.com, is for active military, veterans & their families. The website is a valuable resource for jobs, news, and benefits. Ms. Gregory is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Joining Forces California (JFC). The non-profit utilizes technology to create easy access to resources, services, & programs for the mil/vet communities throughout California by establishing a statewide public and private network of community collaboration. She also holds the volunteer position of Director of Employer Outreach for California’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). View Guest page
Joel Griffing, Founder of The Hope Collection
Born in Corning, NY Joel attended Mansfield University (PA) BS Mathematics Education – Awarded Most Outstanding Student/ Athlete All American Basketball, All American Golf leading to NYSGA and USGA committee Joel has used his mathematical, science and IT analytical training combined with his Faith based humanitarian orientation to consult, educate and manage initiatives globally. High School Mathematics Teacher, Head Basketball and Track Coach, Soccer Official, Sectional Golf Administrator at Marion Central Schools, Marion, NY. Started GEI Consulting – Micro Financing and Mentoring for Small Business Owners in the USA Currently THC is engaged by the JCS / Pentagon / VA / DOD as creator and developer of Intergenerational Continuous Care Communities (ICCC) network for Veterans, 1st Responders, their extended Family and Caregivers. The project networks 190 JCS pre-vetted footprints and 1300 organizations nationally. View Guest page
Ken Watterson President Homeless Veterans Services of Dallas / Stakeholder in Dallas VA / Founder Dallas Veterans Resource Center
James L Williams Major General, USMC (ret)
Glen Bentley Executive Director Lone Star Paralyzed Veterans of America
Thomas “Doc” Howard Texas State Surgeon Veterans of Foreign Wars
William Dwiggins Veterans Education Texas Veterans Commission
Charlynn Johns Founding President Battle-Buddy Info View Guest page
Jason Hall was marked an A-list screenwriter the moment DreamWorks and Warner Bros joined forces after Steven Spielberg agreed to direct Bradley Cooper in American Sniper, based on the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Jason spent years perfecting a script for what would become Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated movie American Sniper, corresponding with Chris and his wife, Taya, and trying to capture the nuances of war and it's lingering effects when soldiers return from duty. Hall turned in a final draft after eight weeks of writing. Two days later, a friend called to tell him that Chris had been killed by a Marine who'd been suffering from PTSD. Nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. View Guest page
Gretchen Nealy Haney
Gretchen Nealy Haney Gretchen moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 2000, shortly after she began her career working in the support services. Gretchen volunteered her time with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) which led to a full time career with the ADA. Years later Gretchen was asked to manage the Family Program Position providing support and outreach for Alaska Air National Guard and continued working in the Military Member and Family Support Services for over 8 years at the Headquarters Level. Gretchen brought change and created a working relationship between the military services and the community allowing a partnership and transition for military and family members. She has also assisted in the creation of Memorandum of Understandings, policy letters and guidance and excelled in unit and leadership training for the air and army guard locally and nationally, in addition to providing services to the Air/Army/Marine and Navy Reserve. Gretchen’s community outreach created recognition of issues surrounding victims of sexual assault and the National Guard. As the Program Manager for the Transition Assistance for the military, Gretchen helped in providing a link and resources for the Alaska Brain Injury Network from 2007-2008. View Guest page
Ellen Haring is a senior fellow with Women in International Security where she directs the Combat Integration Initiative project. Her research and work focuses on women and gender in the military. She is a West Point Graduate and a colonel in the US Army reserves. Haring has been a guest speaker on numerous foreign and domestic news shows including: BBC Radio, CNN, PBS News Hour, NPR, and Voice of America. She guest lectures at universities and has been invited to address members of Congress. View Guest page
Ernesto P. Hernandez III Founder/Executive Director for WPP
Ernesto rescues shelters dogs and trains them as service dogs - "Saving a Paw, to Save a Life" - Giving them a second Tail as a Service Dog. Previously he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Military Order of the Purple Heart as the primary liaison with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Congress, Department of Defense and Military Services and Veteran Service Organizations. Ernesto had a distinguished career in the US Air Force; graduate of the US Air Force Academy in 1994, with a B.S. and later earned an MBA. He served multiple tours in the Middle East in a wide range of assignments after 9/11. Ernesto was wounded on March 26, 2008, when he used his own body to shield the occupants of an open bunker from indirect fire from mortars and rockets at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Phoenix, Iraq. Retired from the Air Force in 2016 and focuses on assisting all veterans and their family. View Guest page
Laura Herzog is the founder / CEO of Honoring Our Fallen. Served more than 400 military families. Assisted more than 125 families during their Hero’s Transfer of Dignified Remains. Support ranges from media relations, retreats, “Angel Anniversaries,” and more. Developed Southern California’s standard operating procedure for casualty assistance. Launched bereavement program 2012, supported more than 100 Hero Children. Public Affairs Officer for the Joint Forces Training Base in Calif. Worked with Hero Missions coordinating public appearances and disseminated information for JFTB. Spokeswoman and liaison with the media. A Member of the Executive Board of Directors for The Youth Center, Crime Survivors Advisory Council, American Legion Post 716 Auxiliary, Police-Community Policing Program, volunteer for the Advanced CERT. Member of Radio Television / News Casters Assoc. Received the Medal of Merit in 2009, highest decoration in the State for exceptionally meritorious conduct. View Guest page
Jim Holbrook is a clinical professor of law at the University of Utah where he teaches negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Vietnam where he fought in combat in 1969 as an artillery NCO in the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal for Valor. As part of what he calls his “karmic journey,” he taught mediation in India in 2007 and 2010. In 2009, he spent three months in Baghdad managing his law school’s project, which provided legal assistance to the government and judiciary of Iraq. His writings about war and killing have been published in: War Sketches and Reports from Baghdad View Guest page
Jocelyn Hunter is the Senior Director of Communications at Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind in Washington, DC. Jocelyn oversees CLB’s public relations including events such as the annual Camp Lighthouse. Jocelyn is active on a couple of Boards such as the Washington Volunteer Readers for the Blind and the Executive Women International DC Chapter’s Board of Directors.
Prior to joining CLB in February 2005, Jocelyn held a position on Capitol Hill with Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. for several years. Diagnosed with Stargardts, a degenerative retinal disease, the Memphis, TN native attended The University of Virginia and earned a B.A. in Government in 2001. View Guest page
• Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2001
• Served 12 years active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2001 to 2013
• Earned a M.S. in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2009 and taught Mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy from 2009-2013.
• Mentored for the Navy wrestling team and trained future Marine leaders during the Naval Academy’s summer USMC training program.
• Was a Navy wrestling teammate and friend of Travis Manion.
• Longtime TMF volunteer serving as a co-director for the Annapolis 9/11 Heroes Run and Character Does Matter Ambassador.
• Currently Chief of Staff for TMF, responsibilities include assisting with developing strategy, planning and overall execution of TMF’s programs. View Guest page
Randi Jensen is a licensed mental health and certified chemical dependency counselor with a private counseling practice in Seattle, WA, where she specializes in the treatment of suicidality. She originated the Jensen Suicide Prevention Peer Protocol(c) (the JSP3 (c)) and has written a book ("Just Because You're Suicidal Doesn't Mean You're Crazy: The Psychobiology of Suicide"). She is also a contributing author with a chapter on “Military Suicidality” in the 2012 book “Trauma and its Wake”. As Director of The Soldiers Project Washington, she treats post-traumatic stress, sexual trauma, moral injury and suicidality. View Guest page
Charlynn Johns Founder/President for Battle Buddy and the Executive Director of the non-profit ministry Sunshine After Rain, founded in 1996. In 2013, after working with wounded service personnel and their families, she developed an understanding of the difficulties transition with catastrophic life-altering injuries presented. The ministry developed a web-based Resource Directory (www.Battle-Buddy.Info) designed by soldiers and their caregivers. The mounting statistic of over 22 military suicides a day has kept her focus stateside fully committed to changing this world (without need for crossing oceans). Author of three books, A Good Reason to Go, the chronicles of her mission adventures around the world, Sunshine After Rain Poetry and Prose reflections of a Pilgrims first trip to the Holy Land and her latest release Powered to Move: The Mike King Story. View Guest page
Gary Johnson served in communications operations and intelligence in the Air Force from 1975-1980. Upon discharge from active duty, he entered the fire service. He retired in 2012, as Chief of the Marysville Fire Department with over 31 years of service, serving as Assistant Chief from 1987-2000. He received numerous awards and citations at the local, state and national levels during his career. Gary also served as a flight paramedic, in addition to his fire department duties, from 1985-1990. management topics. Gary serves as adjunct faculty in the Public Safety Management program for Franklin University, and has designed courses in public safety and business management for that institution. He also currently serves as an instructor in Fire Science Technology at Central Ohio Technical College. Gary has been involved with several veterans organizations and projects prior to joining Resurrecting Lives Foundation upon his retirement from the Fire Department in 2012. View Guest page
During a career spanning over 44 years, Randall learned the principles, standards and values that empowered him to make contributions to the US Government, Private Industry and to Higher Education. Randall’s service began as a US Marine. He was schooled in logistics, infantry and survival skills. Randall provided logistics support for Marine ground and air units around the Khe Sanh area of Viet Nam. He was assigned to the Marine Aviation Detachment in Pensacola, Florida, which provided him with the skills of coaching Marines and Marine families. He was then assigned with responsibilities of a Casualty Assistance Non- Commissioned Officer (NCO), working with families of wounded and killed Viet Nam combat casualties. After the Marine Corps, Randall served 8 years, 9 months in the US Army. There he had the opportunity to further hone his negotiation, logistics, and recruiting skills. He continued in the US Army Reserve and began work as a US Department of Defense Civilian. View Guest page
Randy Jones has served the federal government for more that 40 years in several capacities. He served in both the US ARMY and the United States Marine Corps with distinction. Rising to the rank of Sergeant Major in the US Army. One of his jobs was informing families that a soldier had been killed in action. He also served as a government & commercial contractor for the many years. Derrick Randy Jones will serve as a general member of the VSPChannel Board of Directors. View Guest page
Todd Jones was born in Evanston, Illinois Dec. 17th, 1966. Enlisted in the US Army’ delayed entry program in 1987 After Basic Combat Training at FT. Dix, he was stationed at FT Eustice, Virginia. Commissioned into the Infantry in 1994 he served as a Rifle Platoon Leader in the Illinois Army National Guard before transferring to the US Army Reserve’s 85th Div. In 98 1LT Jones was selected for command of the HHC, 244th Avn Bde. After three years he returned to the 85th Div. and supported the Division’s mission as part of Operations Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror through various staff positions retiring in 2008 after a 20 year career. In 2011 he and fellow veterans created the Warrior Scuba Project to provide veterans and their families an opportunity to leverage the dynamic activity of SCUBA as an alternative to healing and transitioning from military service. He lives in Orland Park, IL and serves as the Executive Director of the organization. View Guest page
Wells B. Jones
Wells B. Jones has more than 35 years’ experience in national and regional not-for-profit management. Since 1989 he has served as chief executive officer of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc., and since 2006, as CEO of America’s VetDogs. From the agency’s Smithtown, New York headquarters, Jones has implemented innovative development and program strategies that have seen both organizations experience tremendous growth in both charitable revenue generated and numbers of individuals served, whether they are blind, visually impaired, or have disabilities other than blindness. View Guest page
Lieutenant Colonel Justin Constantine
Through his journey of courage, injury, resilience and triumph, Justin demonstrates that we are all stronger than we think we are. His personal story of recovery and success is a testament to the power of the human spirit, and the message he shares applies to all members of the audience. All will leave inspired to attack any difficulties in their own lives, and will search out opportunities to excel at work and at home. View Guest page
Sgt. Mark Kalinowski
Sgt. Mark Kalinowski: USMC veteran, served from 2003-2014 Married to Mandee, two children. Lives in Parma, OH Graduated from Valley Forge High, Parma, OH Graduated from Cuyahoga Comm. College Electrician with IBEW Local 38, Cleveland. While in USMC, served with 3/25 during repeated deployments, including 2005, and survived Haditha (HAD-DIKE-KA)Hospital Ambush, 7 May 2005. View Guest page
Kristy has served as an advocate for military and veteran families for over 12 years and is a subject matter expert regarding the mental health impacts of war on military families. Her publications and media appearances include the Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, CNN, NBC and ABC. Kristy has been a speaker and panelist at numerous conferences across the country, and has addressed congress about the gaps in military mental health challenges facing military and veteran family members. In her role as the Executive Director of the Code of Support Foundation, she combines her first-hand experience as a wartime Army wife, with her knowledge of research, programs and organizational strategies to raise awareness, inform policies and facilitate the public-private collaborations necessary to meet the needs of the military and veteran community. She is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley, and a native of New Rochelle, NY. View Guest page
Founder of Harbor Site Foundation
He was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corp 1997-2001 Upon leaving the Marines he worked as an information security contractor for the Army in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Returning stateside in 2003 he began working as a uniformed officer for the US Dept of State Diplomatic Security Service. He took a leave of absence from 2005-2006 where he was working as a contractor in Afghanistan on a communications project in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Shortly after his return back at the Department of State he was hired on as a police officer for Port Authority Police Department. In late 2010 a fellow police officer and former Marine who had served two tours in Iraq took his own life. This prompted some of the veterans on our job to begin to ask some important questions that many returning veterans ask themselves: Where is the support network for police officers returning from hazardous duty tours in areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan? Due to the strict requirements in their line of work, Will a police officer who sustained the "invisible" injuries of combat such as post traumatic stress and Traumatic Brain Injury be placing their job in jeopardy in order to seek assistance? Where is the transition assistance for a soldier, sailor or Marine returning from combat to getting back to patrol on the streets here in the US? These are questions that many police departments in the United States have yet to address. Joseph Kauper, Police Officer Mike Stoia and Jersey City Police officer Collin Congleton (all former Marines) started the Harbor Site Foundation to bring these issues to light and remove the stigma that goes hand in hand with these diagnoses'. View Guest page
Robin Kelleher currently serves as President and CEO of Hope For The Warriors®, the organization she co-founded in 2006. Robin's entrepreneurship, leadership, and passion has led this highly successful once grassroots effort to national heights, significantly impacting the wounded and fallen communities. Robin is responsible for developing and implementing the strategic direction of the organization, providing budgetary and mission-focused guidance to the growing staff of Hope For The Warriors®. She works directly with the board of directors and plays a key role in developing the board, ensuring the future of the organization. She maintains complete oversight of all operations.
Robin is a member of the Women's Association of Northern Virginia and sits on the Military Family and Veterans Service Organizations of America (MFVSOA) board of directors and is a mentor with Joining Forces Mentoring Plus®. Robin has worked extensively with military families, caring for family units during multiple deployments as the wife of a Marine. Additionally, her experiences as the daughter and granddaughter of United States Soldiers (dating back to World War II) have given her a unique insight into the needs of our service members and their families. This perspective has allowed Robin to develop key programs specifically designed to restore the family unit.
Previously, Robin founded and operated two successful for-profit businesses and one nonprofit organization. She holds a bachelor's degree in business and economics from Randolph Macon College and successfully completed the Executive Leadership course at Duke University in 2012. Robin resides in Northern Virginia with her family. View Guest page
Michael Kemp was born in Germany, the son of an Army major, and in 2000 he enlisted in the Army himself. He was stationed in Vicenza, Italy with the 173d Airborne Brigade as an infantryman and served in positions as a rifleman, radio operator, and sniper with the 503d reconnaissance platoon. In 2003 he was part of the initial invasion of Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2004 he was honorably discharged and moved to Minnesota, where he attended law school at the University of St. Thomas. Michael graduated magna cum laude in 2009 and opened his own law firm, where he focuses on litigation practice. Michael continues to be involved and volunteer with veterans’ issues, and he is happy to serve with the Ars Bellum Foundation. View Guest page
Executive Director of The Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training. Selected for this position in April 2014, he brings a vast knowledge of the MCVET organization; having worked there for the past twelve years as the Benefits Counselor, Facility Manager and Director of Operations. He is a military veteran (retiree), having served for over twenty years (20) years, within the Information Technology Field, as a member of the United States Air Force. Included among his many areas of assignment have been The United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Korea, Nellis AFB NV, Andrews AFB MD, F E Warren AFB WY, and Charleston AFB, SC. Entrusted with continuing the MCVET mission of providing a vast array of comprehensive services to the homeless veteran population, he is spearheading the development of an organizational strategic plan; which will modernize and combine MCVET’s comprehensive program, and securing housing for its veterans. View Guest page
Jeffery L. Kendrick, USAF (Ret.)
Executive Director of The Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training. Selected for this position in April 2014, he brings a vast knowledge of the MCVET organization; having worked there for the past twelve years as the Benefits Counselor, Facility Manager and Director of Operations. He is a military veteran (retiree), having served for over twenty years (20) years, within the Information Technology Field, as a member of the United States Air Force. Included among his many areas of assignment have been The United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Korea, Nellis AFB NV, Andrews AFB MD, F E Warren AFB WY, and Charleston AFB, SC. Entrusted with continuing the MCVET mission of providing a vast array of comprehensive services to the homeless veteran population, he is spearheading the development of an organizational strategic plan; which will modernize and combine MCVET’s comprehensive program, and securing housing for its veterans. View Guest page
Francis “Buck” Kern
Prior to joining Snowball Express full time as Executive Director, he was Director of Operations for Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas and was responsible for leading the support operations for the company’s Flagship store, Corporate Executive offices, and the Company’s Buying and Planning Organization. He also serves as Vice President, Board of Directors for the Neiman Marcus Employee’s Federal Credit Union. Buck has more than 30 years of executive management experience with extensive experience in retail operations, Corporate Loss Prevention/Security, and remodel operations. In 2007, Buck was selected to receive Neiman Marcus’ most prestigious award, the “NM BEST” award and the “Profiles in Excellence” award for his achievements Buck resides in Dallas, Texas with his wife Nina. View Guest page
Steve Killeen (Edward Killeen's son)
THE HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN 1ST EXTRA, on its Sunday December 7, 1941 front page read: WAR! OAHU BOMBED BY JAPANESE PLANES. Seventy years later, the platinum anniversary was about to begin. Five thousand veterans, relatives, dignitaries and citizens made their way to the harbor where it all began. Some survivors had not attended an anniversary service before. Both time and ability spurred these 80- to 90-year-old survivors to attend. From all across the United States the survivors made their way to the place it all started. Just as the sun began to light Pearl Harbor, Military Order of the Purple Heart National Commander Bill Hutton, Ladies National President Barb Cherone, National Safety Officer Harry Smart and National Historian James Klug arrived. Nearly 125 of the Greatest Generations survivors were there. Wearing white pants and aloha shirts, the survivors told their stories, had pictures taken and listened to expressions of appreciation. All remembered the wave after wave of 350 Japanese planes that streamed through the clouds. Eight battleships, six cruisers and 29 destroyers were targeted by the Japanese airplanes. The destruction to the Pacific fleet and military installations on Oahu was crippling.
Seventy years later, MOPH officers greeted every survivor they could, expressing gratitude and respect for their service and sacrifice on that fateful day. The mixture of sorrow and relief for having survived was on the face of each survivor. Yes, there were smiles, because they had survived this nation's fiercest attack. Most of these survivors went on to fight for four years in the Pacific to bring defeat to the Japanese and victory to the United States of America. History's account of the 7:55 a.m. attack on Pearl Harbor is still being written. Those that perished that morning probably never knew what hit them. But, this nation banded together like never before, so that their loss would not be in vain. View Guest page
Matt “Doc” King
Enlisting in 2003, Doc served as a Combat Medic with 1/9 Cavalry Scouts in Ramadi, Iraq 2004-2005. Leaving the Army at Sergeant, Doc worked at the Medina Police Department in Washington State until resigning due to increasing PTSD symptoms. He currently lives in Venice, California with his service dog-in-training, Bear. View Guest page
Major Zachary Kinney
Zachary Z. Kinney, Sr., is a retired US Air Force Major who served on active duty with the United States Air Force from 1 May 1984 to 1 May 2004. During that time he served as a JAG Officer/military lawyer in the Judge Advocate General's Corp. He served as a base level prosecutor and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in charge of the magistrates court at Dover AFB Delaware. From September 1996-2000 Major Kinney served as an Air Force tort lawyer. He also served as an Area Defense Counsel. He is a decorated veteran who has written several books, law review and newspaper articles on criminal law and procedure. He served as the Chairman of the Criminal Justice Department at Everest College in Arlington, Virginia. Major Kinney is the Judge Advocate General for, and a Colonel in, the District of Columbia Defense Force. Major Kinney is also a contract instructor for the US Department of State's International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Roswell, New Mexico. View Guest page
Major Zachary Z. Kinney USAF, Retired
Zachary Z. Kinney, Sr., is a retired US Air Force Major who served on active duty with the United States Air Force from 1 May 1984 to 1 May 2004. While on active duty, Major Kinney served as a JAG Officer/military lawyer in the Judge Advocate General's Corp. Major Kinney served as a base level prosecutor and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in charge of the magistrates court at Dover AFB Delaware, and he taught law at the United States Special Investigation's Academy at Andrews AFB, Maryland. From September 1996-2000 Major Kinney served as an Air Force tort lawyer. He also served as an Area Defense Counsel (ADC) which is equivalent to a public defender in the military. Major Kinney is married and has three sons. He is a decorated veteran who has written several books, law review and newspaper articles on criminal law and procedure. Major Kinney also served as the Chairman of the Criminal Justice Department at Everest College in Arlington, Virginia following his retirement from the United States Air Force. Currently he is assisting veterans who have concerns about their discharge certificates. Major Kinney has also been helping the DC Veteran Affairs Office establish a veterans criminal court in Washington, DC. As a final matter, Major Kinney is the Judge Advocate General for, and a Colonel in, the District of Columbia Defense Force,,. The Major at present is a contract instructor for the US Department of State's International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Roswell, New Mexico where he teaches Transnational Organized Crime. He received his Bachelors Degree from the University of Maryland in College Park, in political science.and, his Juris Doctor/Law Degree from the Antioch School of Law in Washington, DC. Major Kinney also completed all of his Master Degree graduate course work at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. View Guest page
Ken Kirsch – Director of Service dog Training
Ken started his training career in the US Army as a Military Police War Dog Handler. He went on to train and work Narcotic Detection Dogs and Explosive Detector Dogs and was assigned to the United States Secret Service with duty on President Jimmy Carter’s staff and later for President Regan’s staff in Washington DC. Ken preformed over 770 missions through out the world as an Explosive Detector Dog Handler with duty in Egypt, Honduras, Germany, East Germany all NATO countries and Korea. Ken was assigned to cover General Crosby Saint the Supreme Allied Commander of Armed Forces Europe at Check Point Charlie the day the wall came down. View Guest page
Scott Kmiec serves as the PGA of America’s first Senior Director responsible for overseeing the PGA’s charitable foundation. Kmiec oversees the programming, funding and strategic direction of PGA REACH and its three key pillars; YOUTH, MILITARY, and DIVERSITY/INCLUSION. Kmiec is a PGA of America “lifer” having spent 19 years with the PGA of America’s New Jersey Section prior to transitioning into his current role. His career as a collegiate intern with the New Jersey PGA in January of 1995. He quickly ascended to the role of Executive Director and was responsible for the operations of the Section activities including the NJPGA’s successful Tournament program–Junior Tour–and Employment/Club Relations activities. During his tenure, the New Jersey Section enjoyed significant growth in membership, sponsorship, and community engagement, the highlight being the creation of the NJPGA’s charitable arm, the NJ Golf Foundation. Under Kmiec’s management, the NJ Golf Foundation became a respected leader in the New Jersey golf community providing outreach programs for introduction to the sport for youth, women, and military veterans. The NJGF’s signature “Golf in Schools” initiative had grown to over 150 schools and 100,000 youth under his leadership and expanded the reach of the sport to locations across the state. The NJGF also partnered with Plainfield Country Club on a successful educational initiative called “The Path to College program,” which provided underserved families with scholarships, SAT preparation, college visits and counseling for their children to attain higher education. In 2012, the New Jersey PGA was honored by the PGA of America with the “Herb Graffis” award, which is presented annually to a PGA Section for its efforts in Player Development. Similarly the efforts put forth by Kmiec and his long-tenured team led the NJPGA to be announced as the most recent recipient of the Metropolitan Golf Association’s Distinguished Service award. View Guest page
Drill SGT Ron Kohl, Retired
He has 30 years of Law Enforcement experience. Attended three Police Academies. Positions held include SWAT Team, Tactical Operations, Director of Crime Prevention, Detective, Armed Assault Team Leader and Academy Instructor. He entered the Air Force and was attached to Strategic Air Command Security Force. He then joined the Army and after 25 years of Military active duty and reserve time retired as a Drill Sergeant. He has been in the security industry for 25 plus years as Director, Consultant, and Instructor establishing Policies and Procedures for a number of communities. He is a volunteer with the Ashland Police Department as Crime Prevention Specialist. also certified Crime Prevention Specialist through Florida's Attorney General's Office. Certifications include Florida Crime Prevention Practitioner, Convenient Store Inspector, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Fraud Scams and Cons and nationally certified crime prevention specialist. View Guest page
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a clinical psychiatrist and a pioneer in the research of traumatic stress. His innovative work integrates brain science, attachment research and mind/body medicine techniques to understand and treat trauma. His brain imaging studies on trauma’s impact on childhood development and the effects of therapies such as yoga, neurfeedo¬back, EMDR (eye movement desensi¬tization and reprocessing), theater and movement on traumatic stress have impacted the care and treatment of victims all over the world. • Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Boston University Medical School • Founder and medical director, Trauma Center , Brookline, MA • Director of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) View Guest page
Chaplain (Major) Kenneth Koon, USAR
Chaplain (Major) Kenneth Koon, USAR also serves as the Executive Director of Armed Forces Mission. Chaplain Koon earned his BA from North Georgia College, M.Div from Southeastern Seminary, and D.Min in Counseling from Master’s Divinity School and completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Georgia Baptist Hospital (now Atlanta Medical Center). Chaplain Koon is a certified Ethics trainer through the Center of Army Professional Ethics at West Point and a registered trainer of Applied Suicide intervention Skills Training. In his role as Executive Director Chaplain Koon serves as the primary training instructor and provides first response intervention for those at risk. View Guest page
Linda Kreter, President and CEO. Ms. Kreter is the former founder (1994) and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research Plus, Inc.; creating the niche market of accelerating patient recruitment for clinical trials. With a combination of unique software and exceptional call center physican/study coordinator customer support, PRP cut over 25 years from clinical drug development time. After the sale of PRP and upon leaving the company in 2004, her focus shifted to providing innovative software solutions to improve health and wellness education, and communication support for children and military families. With the integrated divisions of WiseHealth, Linda has brought a user-driven, inventive approach to essential high-tech, high-touch platforms that extend the reach of family programs. Most recently, Linda has focused on vital proactive Caregiver Peer Support and responsive follow-through via VeteranCaregiver, connecting service and veteran families with agency and community programs. With direct support of Veteran and Wounded Warrior families, Linda is recognized as a subject matter expert for military/veteran Caregiving and regularly speaks and promotes peer-to-peer support and crucial two-way communication for families of the injured, ill, and/or wounded. An additional by-product of VeteranCaregiver's peer network has been noteworthy success in Suicide Prevention. By recognizing and spreading awareness of the precursors of suicide (family history, anxiety, depression, financial and emotional strain and risky behaviors), hundreds of Veterans have been guided to needed clinical help. In the last year alone, 20 Veteran and 3 Caregiver suicides have been averted. VeteranCaregiver works closely with the VA Crisis Line, and a continually growing number of DoD and VA resources. She earned her degree in biology from Smith College. View Guest page
Sergeant Major Jim Kuiken, Retired
Sergeant Major Jim Kuiken, Retired. Jim is a highly decorated, combat wounded United States Marine who served in peacetime and in multiple wars, on active duty and in the reserves for a total of 30 years, retiring as a Sergeant Major. Jim also had a distinguished and highly successful career in law enforcement and public service, serving on the front lines on our southern border and in Los Angeles working on gangs, international fugitives, organized crime, and counter-terrorism. View Guest page
Paul is the Intake/Outreach Specialist for the Maryland Center for Veterans Education & Training. In most cases, Paul is the first contact that MCVET’s students have upon their arrival to the facility. It is his job to identify and locate homeless veterans throughout the country. He has relationships with numerous VA medical centers, hospitals, substance abuse treatment facilities, and contacts throughout the legal system.
He is a Navy veteran that is very passionate about assisting his fellow veterans in need. Once a homeless veteran himself, Paul knows what it is like to walk in their shoes. He became homeless in 2006 and found himself walking through MCVET’s front door looking for assistance. He entered the MCVET program and stayed for 3 years. During his stay, Paul obtained a degree in Addictions Counseling and graduated as Salutatorian of his class. Following college, he worked as a substance abuse counselor prior to returning to MCVET to work in his current position. View Guest page
Phil Landis PRESIDENT & CEO
Mr. Landis enlisted in the United States Army in 1965. After attending various military schools, he served in Vietnam from 1967 - 1968 as a Platoon Leader and Headquarters Company Commander with the First Battalion Thirty-Fifth Infantry. He was honorably discharged from active duty in 1969 with the rank of Captain. Mr. Landis became a Board member of Veterans Village of San Diego in 1996, Vice-Chairman in 1997, Chairman in 2001 and Chief Executive Officer in 2007. He currently serves on the national 12-member Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans.
VVSD has served all veterans since 1981 and is dedicated to “Leave No One Behind.” With five locations throughout San Diego County, VVSD is the only program of its kind in the United States and is nationally recognized as the leader in serving homeless military veterans. Each year VVSD provides services to more than 2,000 military veterans throughout the County of San Diego. View Guest page
Pam’s relationship with Crystal Davis, began when both were in Army training in transportation, learning mechanics and vehicle care. Pam was wounded in action in Iraq just two hours short of the end of her deployment. She was shot while in her bunk, resting up for the trip to her next assignment. She is also a recipient of the Purple Heart She decided to leave the military to dedicate herself to raising her children and to return to college to study law. She now has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Human Services, Pam's friend, Crystal Davis, called her and told her that they had a terrific opportunity to get into NASCAR racing. Pam’s major function on the team would be the drivers “spotter,” a person who closely watches the race, seeing what the driver does, what the other drivers are doing, looking for opportunities to move on the track in relation to the other drivers. View Guest page
Scott is Lead Counselor at Project Sanctuary, which helps military families reconnect through outdoor therapeutic retreats. He is a mentor and a healer whose focus is on keeping veterans and their families together and reducing suicide rates. Having attended over 40 Project Sanctuary retreats Scott feels strongly about the value of peer mentoring and mental health education.
Scott hails from Utah and served 23 years in the US Army before retiring in 2009. While in the Army, one of his duties was in the Medical Service Corps as a Radiology Specialist. He was stationed in multiple countries around the world and deployed twice to combat in Somalia from 1992-94.
He has two Masters degrees in Marriage Family Therapy and Counseling from Argosy University in Denver, CO.
Scott’s professional associations include: CCA (Colorado Counseling Association), AAMFT (American Association of Marriage and Family Therapist) and COAMFT (Colorado Association of Marriage and Family Therapist). View Guest page
Debbie Lee CEO, Founder & Gold Star Mother
Debbie is an author, public speaker who travels the nation telling her sons amazing story and advocating and supporting our troops, their families and families of the fallen. Debbie understands the sacrifice our troops make and that “Freedom isn’t free.” On Aug 2, 2006 she received a knock on the door that would forever change her life. She was notified that her son Marc Alan Lee had been killed in action becoming the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq. Since that day Debbie has dedicated her life to honoring our troops and the families of the fallen, defending our defenders and fighting to keep the freedoms that our troops have fought for. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that our troops and military and Gold Star families have access to respite and important services that help assist recovery after injury or loss. View Guest page
Dr. Maria Llorente
Dr. Llorente has had the privilege of working for the Department of Veterans Affairs since 1995 and has been the Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health at the Washington DC VA Medical Center since August 1, 2010.
Dr. Llorente was born in Havana, Cuba, and came to the United States as an infant. She completed her M.D. Degree at the J. Hillis Miller College of Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida and her psychiatry residency training at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami.
She is Board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology in general psychiatry and has added certification in geriatric psychiatry. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry and has been named among Best Doctors in America since 2001.
She is currently a Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She has participated in numerous research studies including potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, examining models of mental health services delivery for geriatric patients, screening for substance use disorders among older adults and the long term impact of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. View Guest page
She joined the US Army immediately after the 9/11 attacks and served for over five years as a Chemical Operations Specialist. As a Veteran, Jennifer is very passionate in helping other Veterans in need as she experienced first hand how our current fragile economy affects our Nation’s heroes. Jennifer’s currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Information Technology. View Guest page
Suiting Warriors, was influenced by the loss of her cousin, a Veteran USMC L/Cpl., 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Div. Fox Co. whom died suddenly at his home 6/5/2010 at the age of 23. Star's passion and drive in mobilizing the SW service in 2014, was influenced by the thousands of Veteran's whom have sought out the SW concierge suiting service for support in their transitions. Suiting Warriors is creating a positive impact to supporting the efforts of veterans in transition back into the civilian workforce across the U.S. In the first 22 months of inception, Star and her volunteers have traveled to six states, suited over 1,200 Veterans, held suiting events, partnered with veteran job fair events and provided outreach to veterans in attendance from across the country. View Guest page
Mr. Jared Lyon, A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Lyon served as a submariner and Navy diver, taking part in multiple deployments around the world in support of the global war on terrorism. As national program manager for the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), Lyon manages, coordinates and administers the EBV and EBV-Families (EBV-F) national programs. In addition, he administers the EBV-Technical Assistance Program (EBV-TAP) on behalf of the institute. View Guest page
Jack Lyon Founder of Veterans Village of San Diego
Jack graduated from the university of Arizona and joined the USMC in 1963. He served two tours in Vietnam as an Infantry Officer with 3rd Battalion Third Marines and 2nd Battalion First Marines. He was wounded and received the Purple Heart. He also received the Silver Star, the Navy Commendation with Combat "V" Device and also Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Leaving the Marine Corps in 1967, Jack began a business career in which he founded and sold three small businesses. In 1981, Jack founded the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego which is known as Veterans Village of San Diego and led Combat Stress groups for the last 34 years. He works with the USMC Wounded Warrior Detachment at Balboa Hospital where he works with the Wounded Marines. His wife Barbara teaches yoga to the Warriors and works with the wives of the wounded. Jack has received lots of awards and being named Humanitarian of the Year in San Diego in 2014 and having the 20th of November named "Jack Lyon Day" View Guest page
CEO and Founder
Andrew serves as President of the Warrior Angels Foundation. He is currently transitioning from the Army due to injuries received in combat. Andrew enlisted in the service after graduating college to, "Serve God and Country, Fight evil, kill as many of the enemy as possible." Andrews spent his career as a Special Forces Green Beret. He suffered multiple TBI’s serving as an explosive breacher and being in and around countless explosions on numerous deployments. His trials and tribulations have been a true awakening to what life is like with a brain injury, the state of military healthcare, and the shameful behavior and treatment that many of our WARRIORS endure. He has the greatest respect for all who serve encompassing our U.S. ARMED FORCES, LAW ENFORCEMENT, FIRE FIGHTERS, EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS, or all other GOVERNMENT AGENCY WARRIORS. It is his new purpose to provide no cost TBI treatment options to all these selfless WARRIORS. View Guest page
September 24, 2008 was a day that changed Steve Martin’s life forever. A military policeman and Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officer, Steve was in Afghanistan on a work assignment when the unthinkable happened – the Humvee he was riding in was ambushed and hit by an improvised explosive device. He was thrown from the vehicle, but has no memory of the event or what happened after that. View Guest page
Sharon Murphy Mattia
Sharon Murphy Mattia was born and raised in Charles County, MD. Mrs. Mattia began her State career in July 1984 when she joined the small staff at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home as the Assistant to the Commandant. In the over 30 years at Charlotte Hall she has been an integral part in the operation and expansion of the Home, watching it grow from 4 residents and 20 staff, to the current occupancy of 417 residents and over 400 employees. Mrs. Mattia’s dedication to the Home and its residents culminated in June, 2008, when she accepted the position of Director, Veterans Home Program, serving as the Contract Manager for the State of Maryland Veterans Home Operations. The day-to-day operation of the Home is the responsibility of the contractor, HMR of Maryland. As Director, she is responsible for monitoring the operation of facility to ensure contract compliance with Federal, State and local regulations and to provide oversight of resident care, fiscal management and support services. Mrs. Mattia represents the MD Department of Veterans Affairs in contacts with Federal, State and local elected officials. She is responsible for preparing and administering the Home’s annual operating budget and capital improvement projects. She serves as the on-site advocate for residents and responds to inquires by residents, family and elected officials. • Member Tri-County Veterans Advisory Council • Member National Association of State Veterans Home • Certified Licensed Assisted Living Manger, State of Maryland • Certified Dementia Care Practitioner Mrs. Mattia enjoys the daily contact with the veterans and is dedicated to leading Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in achieving an even higher standard of excellence for Maryland’s only State Veterans Home. View Guest page
Russ McBride SOVB President Born in Coos Bay, Oregon 1947 and raised in a small community, Greenacres. He has two sisters and lived in a log cabin with his mother. Graduated from Marshfield High School and in 1966 joined the United State Marine Corp. He spent 4 years in the Military, serving two years in Vietnam, first tour was from 9/66 to 10/67, He was with the Military Police and worked in a interrogation prison camp guarding North Vietnam Navy personal and several suspected Viet Cong. Second tour,01/68 to 09/68 he was with Ground forces in Vietnam. After being discharged he worked in the lumber industry for a few years and went to college. Left the lumber industry several times because of shut downs and work several minimum wage jobs. Last job was working for Work source Oregon Employment Department as a Veterans Representative for 14 years helping veterans with employment issues and locate resources they need for benefits and now he's retired and 100 % disabled. View Guest page
Director WV Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture
Owner Raising Cane Farms Ministry
He is a strong advocate for energy independence with Vets 4 Energy and feel the only way we can secure our country and revive our economy is with sound energy policy that includes Oil, Gas, Coal, Renewable and Alternative fuels. Retired US Army Captain 22 years of service 16 years prior enlisted service.
Awards: Silver Star, Bronze Star with “V”, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and others.
Civilian Awards: Congressional Medal of Honor Society Citizens Service before Self Medal, Jefferson Award.
Married to wife Heather and we have 8 wonderful children 2 of which are serving in the armed forces today. View Guest page
James McCormick, Program Director for Vets 4 Energy. He is also the Director for the WV Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture and Owner of Raising Cane Farms Ministry He is a strong advocate for energy independence and feels the only way we can secure our country and revive our economy is with sound energy policy that includes Oil, Gas, Coal, Renewable and Alternative fuels. Retired US Army Captain 22 years of service 16 years prior enlisted service. Awards: Silver Star, Bronze Star with “V”, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and others. Civilian Awards: Congressional Medal of Honor Society Citizens Service before Self Medal, Jefferson Award. Married to wife Heather and we have 8 wonderful children 2 of which are serving in the armed forces today View Guest page
Lt Colonel John J. McDaniel
Lieutenant Colonel John J. McDaniel (US Army Retired) is the Founder of Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation Inc. He served on active duty in the United States Army from November of 1987 to November of 2007. John is a decorated combat veteran, former Infantry Officer, Airborne Ranger, and Master Parachutist with a Special Operations background. His awards include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab. A Master of Business Administration, John is also a successful entrepreneur and former CEO of a family of businesses in the private aviation sector; former Director of Business Development for L3 Communications; and the former Director of Federal Government Sales for The Vehicle Production Group. John is a certified US Coast Guard Captain, a senior certified USA Hockey coach, outdoor enthusiast, avid chess player and sportsman extraordinaire. View Guest page
Shad Meshad, Founder & President of the National Veterans Foundation, has been a fearless advocate and counselor to our nation’s veterans for 45 years. Since 1985 the National Veterans Foundation (NVF), has helped over 400,000 veterans and their families with crisis and information services through a national crisis hotline. As a U.S. Army Captain and Medical Service Officer in Vietnam in 1970, Shad pioneered treatment techniques for what would later become known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In 1977 Shad worked under the Carter Administration with VA Secretary Max Cleland, to create the “Vet Center” program. These Vet Centers were modeled on Shad’s treatment programs for Veterans with combat related PTSD, offering community-based readjustment counseling. Today, there are more than 300 Vet Centers throughout the country that continue to operate under the model that Shad authored. View Guest page
Mrs. Mingo received her Bachelor's of Art in International Studies at Mount Vernon University in 1994 and Masters in Social Work at Howard University in 2008, both located in Washington DC. While getting her Master’s degree, she was awarded two fellowships: National Institute of Health Clinical Center in their HIV Research department and the Bill and Camille Cosby fellowship to conduct a research study. She also served as a Board member with the Mental Health Association of DC for two years from 2008 – 2010. She has served as a Field Liaison/Supervisor to Masters of Social Work students while at the DCVAMC. Mrs. Mingo has travelled to Africa, India and Europe assisting in the creation of life skills workshops for youth in ghetto’s and townships. Mrs. Mingo feels her greatest accomplishment so far is being married with two beautiful children; Azaria age 8 and Musa age (soon to be 3). View Guest page
A native Granite Stater, Michael Moffett has taught history and management courses on the high school, community college, and university levels. Moffett also served on active duty with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment from 1983-85. He returned to active duty in 1990 as commanding officer for the Marine Reserve Detachment out of Topsham, Maine, later designated as A-Company of the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines. Captain Moffett led these Marines to the Persian Gulf where they were attached to the 1st Marine Division for Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait. LtCol Moffett again returned to active duty after the 9/11 attacks, serving on General Tommy Franks’ Operations Staff at Central Command. LtCol Moffett later served as Director of the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program’s (MECEP) Prep School from 2003-2008. He joined Marine Corps University’s History Division in 2008, where he co-authored a monograph on the history of the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center with Major General Orlo Steele (USMC, retired). In January 2010, LtCol Moffett received one-year orders to serve as a field historian in Afghanistan. After retiring from the Marine Corps Reserve in 2011, Professor Moffett returned to Concord, N.H., where he teaches at the New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI-Concord). View Guest page
Vince Moffitt, our Region 6 Field Operations Manager. Most recently, Vince served as our Incident Commander during our operations in Oklahoma. View Guest page
Daniel, the founder and President, is a veteran. He was in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Infantryman. When he came home he was not the same person. He was irritable, angry, and distant. He was told by his family that there was something wrong but he ignored them thinking that they just didn't understand. Finally his wife convinced him to go to the VA hospital and get checked out. They diagnosed him with PTSD and gave him a prescription they said would help. Daniel took this medication for a short time and then stopped because he didn't like the way it made him feel. Around this same time he found one of his best friends, a German Shepherd named Homer. Daniel started spending time with Homer training him and discovered that this helped him keep his PTSD symptoms under control. He loved training his dog so much that he started attending a dog training academy to become a trainer. It was here that the idea of starting an organization that helps veterans by using dogs began taking form.. View Guest page
Colonel Jack Mosher
Colonel Jack Mosher serves as the Chief of Staff of the Maine National Guard. He is Airborne, Ranger, Air Assault, Mountain Warfare and Nuclear Target Analysis qualified, while holding Masters Degrees in both Educational Leadership and International Strategic Studies. Colonel Mosher’s awards include The Legion of Merit, (2) Bronze Star Medals for Valor and Service, (3) Meritorious Service Medals, (8) Army Commendation Medals (3) Army Achievement Medals, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Honorable Orders of Saint Maurice and Saint Barbara. View Guest page
Upon graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Oklahoma, Amber began working in a long-term substance abuse clinic for women and their children. From there she began working in the childcare field where she began as an Assistant Director and worked her way through each company to become the Executive Director and began opening centers throughout the state of Oklahoma. After gaining experience in this field, she began working in Family Law for the State of Oklahoma in the Child Support Division. During which time she began doing a lot of volunteer and nonprofit work. She soon realized her passion was with nonprofit and began seeking employment full time in that field. In April 2012, a tornado hit her hometown of Woodward, OK and she dove into being a part of the recovery process by joining the long term recovery team. She took an opportunity to work for the Muscular Dystrophy Association as a Fundraising Coordinator. During which time the tornado hit the Oklahoma City metro and she found herself engulfed in the recovery process once again. It was through these times, she gained the majority of her non-profit experience and began “Oklahoma Strong”. While employed with MDA, she was introduced to Warriors for Freedom Foundation and began volunteering and assisting with grant writing with them until she started full time in January of 2014 View Guest page
Vet2Tech CEO and President, Carol Multack was stunned by the unemployment statistics of the veteran population, especially Post 9/11 veterans and felt compelled to find a pragmatic solution to the problem. Diligent market research led her to an industry where a desperate need for skilled workers exists. The manufacturing industry faces a nationwide shortage of skilled workers.
As U.S. manufacturing begins rebuilding, veterans can play a critical role in bridging the gap. Veterans are well trained for careers in electrical, mechanical and industrial engineering, welding, assembly, machining, electrical installation/repair, HVAC, technical support, information technology and logistics to name just a few. These careers offer veterans the opportunity to become an integral part of the solution of reestablishing a strong foundation for U.S. manufacturing. Helping veterans establish themselves in the civilian workforce after serving in the Armed Forces is a joint effort between Vet2Tech, manufacturing and service associations, and veteran outreach programs nationwide.
Ms. Multack is an active participant in national and local veteran hiring initiatives such as First Lady Michelle Obama’s and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces, Illinois Joining Forces, and the national Get Skills to Work coalition.
Ms. Multack received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University, and received an internship nomination for the White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs. View Guest page
Zac served in the U.S. Army and the Army National Guard between 1992 and 2000, leaving the service as a captain. In 1996, he started his own publishing and consulting firm where he interviewed high-profile individuals including members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, service secretaries, elected officials, and soldiers in Bosnia, Honduras, and other locations. As a consultant, he worked for Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, 3M, and dozens of small firms that ranged from start-ups to multimillion dollar firms. View Guest page
Ken Norton is the Executive Director of NAMI NH, the National Alliance On Mental Illness where he led the development of the CONNECT Suicide Prevention Program. CONNECT is designated as a National Best Practice and has been lauded for its work with the military in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Ken serves on the Steering Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and on the National Action Alliance For Suicide Prevention Military and Veterans Task Force. He has presented nationally and internationally and has also provided numerous trainings, briefings and served on committees for the Department of Defense and Defense Centers on Excellence. Ken worked extensively in community mental health, and as a mental health advocate. He has served as a foster parent and has experience with mental illness from the family perspective and is an active volunteer in his community. A Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, with over 30 years of experience, the NH Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers named Ken their “Social Worker of the Year” in 2009. Ken enjoys spending time with his family and being in the great outdoors. View Guest page
My name is Andrew O'Brien, I am 26 years old and was born into war. My life was always a struggle to survive. Being born to a prostitute mother who used and chewed up men yearly, having multiple "fathers" a year. A woman who constantly told me I would not succeed in life, and her life was miserable because she had me. I then joined the US Military in 2007 and served 12 months in Iraq during my 4 year term in the Army. During my deployment I was a lead gunner, my job was to get everyone home safe. I faced many struggles during my deployment as well. After returning home from my deployment I was forced to face all of my demons. The ones from my childhood and my military service. I tried many ways to succeed but constantly failed. It was in November of 2010 that I attempted to take my own life, after feeling as though there was no more hope for me in this life. I woke up in the ICU 2 days later, and that's when my life changed. View Guest page
Welby O’Brien is crazy about her Veteran husband, and together they face the daily challenges of PTSD. She is an author and holds a Master’s Degree in counseling from Portland State University and a teaching degree from Biola University, she has authored the books LOVE OUR VETS: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD (www.LoveOurVets.org), Good-bye for Now (grief support), and Formerly A Wife (divorce support). She is also a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of America, as well as Shepherding Women in Pain. Welby initiated and continues to facilitate the spouse and family support network known as Love Our Vets – PTSD Family Support, LLC. Join Welby and thousands of others on Facebook: Love Our Vets – PTSD Family Support, LLC. View Guest page
Kyle C Olson
Kyle C. Olson is an award-winning producer, director, and young entrepreneur. As an artist at heart and a natural leader, he's focused on a career that brings his passion for creativity to the marketplace. Kyle's style as an artist has been described as energetic, passionate, and meaningful. He has worked on numerous television shows, including AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, DANCING WITH THE STARS, THE BACHELORETTE, and GLEE -- just to name a few. Kyle bring new talents to the table -- often wearing more than one hat for a production. He has had extensive and diverse experience working in production, casting, and serving as a director and producer. Kyle brings a level of energy to his craft that is fresh, dynamic, and invigorating to all he works with. This year, Kyle was the recipient of the 2015 Milwaukee Press Club Award for Best Documentary. Last year, Olson was honored with a Crystal Pillar Award presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences View Guest page
President & CEO
Amy Palmer joined Soldiers’ Angels as the President & CEO in October 2013. Palmer previously worked for Operation Homefront in many roles, most recently as the Chief Development Officer. Palmer had also served Operation Homefront as Chief Operations Officer, Chief Field Operations and Programs Officer. As one of the co-founders of Operation Homefront she worked tirelessly for 11 years to take the organization from a fledgling local effort to one of the most respected military support organizations in the country. Amy volunteers as a guest speaker for various foundations and nonprofit organizations around the country. She often speaks on matters pertaining to board governance and fundraising in addition to the needs of military families in times of war. She has been nominated for numerous awards for her career of service. She was featured on Lifetime Channel’s “Remarkable Women,’ a year-long series celebrating women who have inspired and empowered others to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world, including Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Sonia Sotomayor. Besides her feature on Lifetime Television, Amy has appeared on many other national television and radio shows to include Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, Fox and Friends, and Rush Limbaugh. Amy Palmer is a disabled Air Force veteran and her husband a retired Air Force officer who is also severely disabled from military service. Amy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Michigan State University and the Society of Nonprofit Organizations, and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Philanthropy. View Guest page
Rev. Dr. Chrys L. Parker, J.D.
Rev. Dr. Chrys L. Parker, J.D. is a nationally known authority in the field of traumatic stress and PTSD. She serves the comprehensive needs of severely traumatized patients and families, particularly those impacted by military service, sexual assault, and critical burns. The unique nature of Rev. Dr. Parker's service to others is shaped by her unusual breadth of expertise, gained in the course of almost 40 years of work with thousands of individuals in her various roles as (l) clinical chaplain, (2) pastoral counselor and psychotherapist, (3) allied medical services professional, (4) director of non-profit organizations serving the traumatized, (5) lawyer and forensic expert and (6) author, academic professor and lecturer. In 2007, her work expanded to embrace additional functions as a military trainer, consulting expert and provider of specialized services under contract to the Department of the Army. Her services to over 5000 personnel in both the civilian and military sectors have been rendered throughout United States and in Iraqi Combat Theater of operations, where she served US forces in 2010 at the specific invitational orders of the Office of the CENTCOM Commanding General (now Army Chief of Staff) Raymond T. Odierno. View Guest page
Ryan “Birdman” Parrott
Navy SEAL Ryan “Birdman” Parrott is the Founder of the Bird’s Eye View Project, and the Host of the TV and Web Series and will introduce America to Veterans and First-Responders who are overcoming adversity, and living their lives to the fullest. Fans will gain a front-row seat to their challenges, and the people who work hard every day, pouring into their lives, where nothing is impossible…even the most EXTREME and EXCITING challenges. View Guest page
Bernie Pasqualini Chairperson/ President
Bernie joined the US Navy in January of 1966. He served boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois. Completed Basic Electricity and Electronic School and then completed the Interior Communication Electrician “A” School. Upon completion, he was assigned to the USS Saratoga CVA 60 in the late fall of 1966. Instead of going to the engineering department, he was escorted to the air department, in the V2 launch and recovery division. He soon learned that my assignment was to apprentice as the Fresnel Lens Optical Landing Aid System maintenance. He finished his four-year tenure in the U.S. Navy with a 3.9 work skill evaluation receiving an honorable discharge at the rank of second class petty officer (IC2). After separation, he applied the skill training he received to become an electrician. Eventually his career took him to the Albany, Oregon area where he retired as an electrician. During this time, he was introduced to and joined the Viet Nam Veterans of America, Chapter 585. View Guest page
Caleb Perkins: Completed 8 years in special operations. Deployed 6 times knelt on a pressure plate IED in Afghanistan and was medically retired from the US army. Currently, the CEO/president of Shadow Trade Tactical we provide tactical and defense training as well as creating custom sniper weapon systems. EBV Texas A&M View Guest page
John Elliott Pickens III
John Pickens has devoted his entire adult life to serving his fellow Veterans. From 1970 – 1973 he served as an Army combat medic with the U.S. Army Special Forces and the 82nd Airborne Division. In 1974 John began working for the U.S. Veterans Administration and enrolled at the University of South Florida where he helped form a student Veterans organization. After graduating from USF in 1979 John progressed to positions of increased responsibilities within the VA. In 1994 John was selected as Special Assistant to the Director for the Lake City VA Medical Center. At Lake City he represented VA in the community as the Vice President of the County Senior Services Association, and as a board member for the County School Foundation and Chamber of Commerce. In 1998, John was selected as the Public Affairs Officer for the newly formed North Florida/South Georgia VA Health System. From this position, John established Chamber of Commerce memberships for all North Florida/South Georgia VA facilities in their respective communities, founded a Public Affairs Council, and implemented annual briefings for every congressional district in the catchment area. In 2004, John was selected as the Department of Veterans Affairs Network Communications Manager for VISN8, the largest of 22 VA Networks with responsibilities for VA assets in Florida, Southern Georgia, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Here John established a Public Affairs Work Group, and implemented web communications. Working with congressional offices throughout the Network he helped establish congressional forums and veteran advisory boards that would allow veterans and their families to meet face to face with VA leadership and their congressional representatives to address veteran issues and concerns. John retired from federal service on January 31, 2010 and on February 1, 2010; he became the Executive Director of VeteransPlus, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit financial education organization. View Guest page
Major Ed Pulido
Pulido began working with The United Way of Central Oklahoma, and became the vice president of Community Investment and Research. He also served as Community Counseling Center Market and Public Relations director, as Early Head Start Community Partnership coordinator, and as Father Outreach coordinator and Therapeutic Nursery Program administrator. He was involved in providing counseling services for victims of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing and was the United Way staff chair on the Coordinating Resource Committee following the May 3, 1999, tornadoes in Oklahoma City. “We're here to make a difference,” said Pulido. “We want people to see how important it is to invest in our veterans." Major Pulido isn’t bashful to lift his left pant leg to show off a $52,000 titanium leg, which allows him to water ski, snow ski and run 100 meters in 20 seconds. The prosthesis, designed by Hanger prosthetics and Orthotics, permits him to walk with a normal gait. A computer programmed device constantly monitors pressure on his foot and adjusts a hydraulic cylinder inside to provide stability and safety. In retrospect, he mulls over his thoughts and feelings about the whole experience. "For me it wasn't scary; it was more of a challenge. Honestly, it was my will to do my job just like firemen or policemen. I'm adamant about the fact that we just do our job. To take the fire hose away from the fireman just wouldn't sound right. I was a trained soldier, so for me, I never had any qualms about it. And I think you'd find that from a lot of members that are serving; they miss their families. We all do, but we know there is a mission to be accomplished. For me specifically it was September 11. I believe peace was thrown out the window on that day. I don't care whether it's Afghanistan, Iraq, whatever. I don't want our service members there any more than anyone else, but it's a bad place in the world.” View Guest page
Debbie Quackenbush McElhinney
Her heart and passion stems from 1968 when her brother and friends were deployed to Vietnam. January 2005 she started a nonprofit. Her 1st objective was to learn about the Colorado military. She met with VSO's and attended their meetings and social events. She worked with the Colorado State Legislature in support of Senate Bill 080 to convince them for the need for a Colorado Supports the Troops license plate. It took 2 years to pass. Debbie testified before every committee in the Colorado House of Representatives and the Colorado State Senate. July 2007 she acquire the first Colorado Supports the Troops license plate. 93% of every dollar goes directly to our veterans and their families. In 2006, Debbie was invited to a personal meeting with President George W. Bush and was recognized and honored for her service. Later that year, she was invited to meet with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the other team members of the America Supports You campaign. View Guest page
Dr. Dee Rajska
Dr. Dee Rajska is a clinical and rehabilitation psychologist. The focus of her clinical practice is on treatment of trauma. She has worked with survivors of childhood abuse, physical and sexual assaults, serious motor vehicle accidents, as well as workplace injuries and assaults. Her professional activities in her private practice are focused on treating service-related trauma in veterans, currently serving members of the Canadian Forces, as well as law enforcement professionals and first responders. She believes that those who have put their lives on the line to serve their country or community deserve to be treated with the utmost compassion, dignity, respect, and gratitude. Serving those who have served includes striving to continually educate herself to provide the very best possible care to my patients. In addition to her clinical work, she also writes Coming Back Home, a blog about PTSD for veterans, currently serving members of the military and their families. The goal of the blog is to provide easy-to-understand information about the biology behind PTSD, as well as to provide support to those with service-related PTSD and their families. You can find the blog at: http://canadianveteransadvocacy.com/comingbackhome/ View Guest page
Pepe Ramirez is President and founder of Combat Vets Helping Combat Vets. He was born in the Philippines, grew up in the south side of Chicago, and graduated high school in Houston, Texas. He served three tours in Iraq while on active duty in the US Marine Corps. After twenty years he retired at the rank of Sergeant Major (SgtMaj). He attended Jungle Environment Survival Training (JEST), Marine Combat Instructor Trainer of Water Survival, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (Black belt instructor), and Mountain Warfare Training. View Guest page
Freddie J. Owens,Ed Junod, Randall Baxter
Freddie J. Owens:
President, Vet to Vet Tennessee
Co-Chairman, Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council
Founder, Soldiers Heart Ministry/Redemption Church
Veteran Court Mentor
Chairman, Faith Based Community Committee
Facilitator, Legacy Peer Support Group (LPG)
Chairman, Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council
Treasurer, Vet to Vet Tennessee
Facilitator, Legacy Peer Support Group (LPG)
Veteran Court Mentor Coordinator and mentor
Instructor, PTSD awareness intervention, resolution training (PAIR)
Instructor, Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention
Original member of Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council
Radio Show: Host View Guest page
Vicky's son was Severely injured, shot in the frontal lobe in Fallujah November 13th 2004, She became an advocate under the Department of Defense with the Severely Injured Program . She was appointed to grow this program in Texas but it soon grew to support across the country. Vicky not only had to learn how to work with Military Commanders and VA Headquarters but started taking cases across the country working with families needing someone who would task their success. She built connections from DOD level to Commanders of Bases, including Wounded Transition Units and Transition Battalion commanders. She worked with the Sec of the Army's office to get support for America's Military families who have served our country during War Time. She has also provided to the families, names and numbers to groups, programs and leaders for support. View Guest page
Amanda Riik is the Senior Manager of Communications & Events at Veterans Inc. in Worcester, MA. She has been with Veterans Inc. for ten years, and currently oversees the Marketing & Communications Dept. View Guest page
Michael Robirds served in Vietnam with Division’s 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment. While on patrol, his convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber, and he took injuries. In October 2005, Michael medically retired from the U.S. Army and returned home to start life as a civilian again. One of his first jobs included a sales position with 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., a role in which he developed an effective sales strategy and soon earned recognition as a top-performing representative. He eventually left the company to pursue a better opportunity in the merchant services industry, helping businesses manage their transaction payments, credit card processing, online ordering, and similar operations. Michael's incredible work ethic and strong people skills led to his advancement at a private firm to the position of general manager.
Michael went on to work with call center operator Purple Heart Services, leading sales operations and sales training and encouraging revenue growth. In 2009, Michael and his longtime friend launched their own merchant services company, Securus Payments. Within the last year and a half, they have transformed Securus Payments into a multimillion-dollar enterprise with more than 65 on-site employees and over 80 sales representatives serving clients in the United States, Canada, and, not far in the future, Mexico. View Guest page
Throughout, 2012-2014 HHAAF has completed 14 programs for veterans, and service members along with several demonstrations that provide information about the programs offered. In August 2014, HHAAF began offering one-on-one therapeutic programs for our military sons and daughters. As of, 9-12-14 HHAAF had 5 veterans scheduled. The programs includes; Veterans Only, Military Couples, Women Warriors. Spouses Support, and Leadership. Together with the equine assisted services, HHAAF also offers, military yoga, therapeutic art, and drumming circles. HHAAF has a holistic, somatic approach focusing on energy and intention. Charisse also gives talks and presentations, attends conferences, writes grants, and takes trainings that adds to her knowledge that she shares within the HHAAF programs. View Guest page
Dr. Mark Russell, retired Navy Commander
Dr. Mark Russell is a retired Navy Commander and clinical psychologist with over 26-years of military service including 10-years enlisted in the Marine Corps. The son of a Korean and Vietnam War veteran and proud father of two Afghanistan War veterans. Dr. Russell is dual-Board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in clinical psychology and clinical child and adolescent psychology. Lead author of groundbreaking research on the generational cycle of preventable wartime behavioral health crises and the book: Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnel. Recipient of the Distinguished Psychologist Award by the Washington State Psychological Association for his sustained effort to transform military mental healthcare. Mark is the establishing Director, of Antioch University’s Institute of War Stress Injury, Recovery, and Social Justice, dedicated to promote equality of mental and physical health. View Guest page
MG Alan B Salisbury
General Salisbury is the CEO and founder of the Code of Support Foundation. He completed a 30-year career in the U.S. Army, with his final assignment as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command. He then spent 12 years in industry in R&D assignments with Contel Corporation (President, Contel Technology Center) and the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC) (EVP & COO), and then headed U.S. operations for Learning Tree International (Chairman & President). He has sat on numerous corporate boards, including four public companies, several non-profit boards, and has many professional associations. He is a graduate of West Point and holds MS and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. View Guest page
MaryEllen Salzano, Founder and Facilitator California Statewide Collaborative for our Military and Families Proud Parent of (Former) Cpl.. Salzano,USMC View Guest page
Roy was born May 25th, 1970 in Seward Alaska. From 1989-1993, he served as an Operations Specialist and Ship’s Rescue Swimmer in the US Navy. He served on three tours of duty including Operation Desert Shield. For the last two years, Roy has dedicated his life to advocating for veteran issues, helping veterans seeking services, and serving as a leader in the veteran community. In 2014, he started Mindful Warriors as a means to advocate for veterans and to implement veteran outreach programs. He is the Program Manager for the Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program, Co-Chair for Joining Community Forces-Missoula and serves as the weekend support staff and veteran advocate for the Valor House- a homeless veteran transitional program. “I absolutely love working with veterans every day. I have made it my personal mission to help the veteran community overcome their adversities and reintegrate into civilian life." My motto is "Continuing the Mission, So Others May Live" View Guest page
Judy Isaacson Schaffer
Judy founded Heroes to Heroes in March 2010 in tribute to her father, a World War II veteran, as a way to honor the service of all veterans, especially those with extreme Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Judy is the Northeast Regional Manager at Regional Reps, a firm representing more than 1,000 small and medium market radio stations throughout the country. In this position Judy works with advertising agencies throughout the northeast to help their clients reach customers in difficult to reach areas throughout the United States. Judy also has experience on Wall Street as a Financial Advisor and in online media.
Judy’s previous experience in the non-profit world includes the Bergan County Women’s Political Caucus (Co-chair), Teaneck Township (NJ) Financial Advisory Board, Wounded Warrior Project, UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey – Women’s Business & Professionals and Congregation Beth Aaron (Executive Board Member). View Guest page
Jacob “Jake” P Schick
Jake Schick is a third generation Marine who epitomizes sacrifice and service. A wounded and thriving veteran, Jake is currently the Executive Director of 22Kill. After a triple-stacked tank mine detonated below his vehicle in Al Anbar Province, Iraq in 2004, Jake suffered compound fractures in his left leg and left arm; multiple skin, ligament and bone losses; varying burns; partial loss of his left hand and arm; amputation below the knee of his right leg, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Jake has become a advocate for maximizing the potential in people. He motivates people to be better tomorrow than they were today, raise awareness of the suicide epidemic and draw attention to the statistic that 22 warriors die by suicide every day. Jake has appeared on James Gandolfini’s HBO special Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq as well as 60 Minute Sports. He also played a role in Clint Eastwood's American Sniper. View Guest page
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran and CEO of Edmonds-based non-profit, Operation Military Family Cares, is a guest writer for several national publications, a contributor for The Military Wire blog and the author of Operation Military Family. A recipient of Washington State’s Military Patriot Award, Parent Map’s Military Families Award, and Amway Corporation’s Patriotism Award, Schindler has dedicated years to advocating for military veterans and their families. Aside from his daily responsibilities as a non-profit leader, Schindler is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker and the Military and Veterans Affairs Contributor for Fox News (Q13 KCPG). He and his family live in Edmonds Washington. View Guest page
Cliff was drafted in 1969 and classified 4F for the Army. He has a BS in Nutrition and Foodservice. Cliff was an Eagle Boy Scout with 2 palms. He worked at many different restaurants and hotels. Cliff retired from the NYS Department of Corrections in 2011 after 28.5 years of service. He is married to his wife Phyllis for 40 years.
He and his wife started Operation Adopt a Soldier in 2003 when their son Steven went overseas. They started with only 7 soldiers and now have over 400 on our list that they send packages too. They pack items in their living room until they obtain a building that was and still is donated. They are different from other organizations because they send to ALL branches of the military. They also help the families here at home and the most important is they work with ALL volunteers and no one gets paid which means 100% go to helping the Military and their families. View Guest page
Retired Navy Rear Admiral Greg Smith, President
As President of Military.com, Greg Smith oversees the business activities of the nation's largest military community website serving over 10 million service members, veterans and their families. Military.com provides premier news and information on defense and national security issues, along with resources helping members navigate the complexity of benefits and employment programs offered by federal and state governments, non-profits and veteran service organizations View Guest page
President / CEO
She is an Army Veteran and a native of Alexandria, Virginia. She retired in 2009 as a LT Col. with 21 years of service as a helicopter pilot in the Aviation Branch. LT Col. Snyder is a Magna cum laude graduate of James Madison University and a distinguished military graduate of JMU’s Reserve Officer Training Corps program. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice, and a Masters in Military Studies. She served in a variety of leadership positions along with extensive experience managing programs at the tactical and strategic levels. LT Col.Snyder is a decorated combat Veteran. Her military training includes the Aviation Advanced & Basic Courses; Air Assault & Airborne schools; UH-1 “Huey” & UH-60 Blackhawk Flight Training, and the Test Pilot Course. Deborah also attended the Combined Arms and Service Staff School, Marine Command and Staff College and the Army Force Management School. She currently works for the Department of Defense. View Guest page
Cliff Sosamon enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served on Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti before volunteering for Marine Security Guard School in Quantico, Va. He served at the American Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand and the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he met Paula, his future wife and the mother of his two sons. Cliff earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and public policy from Southern Methodist University. In 2009, Cliff and Paula founded PRISMA Staffing in Frisco, Texas. In 2012, they helped co-found the North Texas Military Association (NXTMA), a 501(c)(19) that supports veterans and veteran service organizations through events. In 2014, Cliff began working with Honor Courage Commitment to strengthen its 22Fellowship veteran entrepreneurship program. In October 2015, Cliff became the executive director of HCC, a role that includes both 22Fellowship management and HCC donor relations. View Guest page
Capt. David Souders, National Commander
Cocoa Beach, along the Space Coast. As a kid he played sports in school, but he loved to fish whenever and wherever he got a chance. Fishing was one of the earliest childhood memories he has with his father and Uncle. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1986. He attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and had multiple sea service deployments. After a 11year absence from the military he joined the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing. He worked for Department of Agriculture Rural Development as an area loan specialist. After career altering injuries in 2009, sustained by the hands of the Department of Veteran Affairs, he was placed on the Temporary Disabled Retired List and ultimately medically retired. He received a rating decision from Department of Veteran Affairs of 100 percent Disabled in March of 2014 and now devotes most of his time volunteering within our alternative therapy based programs. View Guest page
Daughter of Coy H. Spurlin (deceased WWII U.S. Army Veteran) and widow of John T. Dominik (deceased Vietnam Era U.S. Army Veteran). Linda has been involved with supporting our military community, veterans, their families, and their beloved pets over the past 50 years. Linda and her 3 rescue furbabies’ (Missy, Demon, Mae-Mae) have resided in Gatesville, TX since Aug 2010.
Business/Corporate Experience: Telecommunications industry with Illinois Bell, AT&T, and Ameritech (1965 – 1990). While working full time in the telecommunications industry and following retirement held various roles in the real estate, banking, income tax, and accounting industries, plus involved in the non-profit sector between 1968 and 2003, plus being placed on Social Security Disability in February 2003 due to 2nd heart attack and CHF. Volunteer Background and Affiliations: VFW Auxiliary, Women of the Moose, Soldiers’ Angels, GuideStar Advisory Board, and Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet©. View Guest page
Program Manager of Women In International Security
She develops and manages programs which address global issues related to women, peace, and security. Stedman also works to expand WIIS' global network of leaders and enhance professional development programs within the peace and security sector. Prior to joining WIIS, she worked at the International Criminal Court and International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as a legal assistant. Stedman also worked for the United States Institute of Peace where she developed gender programming to ensure the full participation of women in conflict and post-conflict societies. In this role, Stedman partnered with civil society organizations to develop capacity building programs focused on the economic and political empowerment of women in conflict-affected countries. More specifically, she worked extensively on the development of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and helped facilitate the U.S. Civil Society Working Group. Stedman holds an LLM in International Human Rights and Criminal Law from Utrecht University and a BA in Criminology and Law from Marquette University. Her research interests include sexual and gender-based violence in conflict settings, the role of women in peace building, transitional justice and security issues, and counter-terrorism initiatives. View Guest page
Tony Stewart Co-Founder & CEO
Tony was born in Fort Riley, Kansas and raised in the mid-western town of Osborne, Kansas. A retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, he entered the United States Navy in 1987 and served the Navy’s Submarine Force for 20 years aboard four of the Navy’s attack and ballistic missile submarines and three submarine support squadrons during the Cold War. Tony completed deployments and strategic deterrent patrols in Pacific and Atlantic and was awarded numerous unit and personal awards to include two Navy Commendation Medals and nine Navy Achievement Medal. He worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Veterans Service Representative where he learned about veteran’s benefits, government services and community outreach. He is Director of Administration for Naval Special Warfare Basic Training Command in Coronado, CA leading support services for the staff training future Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Special Warfare Operators and Special Warfare Combatant-Crewman Special Boat Operators. View Guest page
Stoga started Puppies Behind Bars in 1997, combining two of her lifelong passions: dogs and philanthropy. Prominent in charity circles Stoga was a member of a city commission helping inner teens find employment when her sister mailed her a newspaper clipping. The article described an Ohio penitentiary where prisoners reared pups for the visually impaired. Stoga knew she had found her calling. But there was a problem: Every guide dog school in New York that Stoga contacted wanted their puppies brought up in loving families not by convicts in a cell block. "The schools thought it was a stupid idea," Stoga recalls. She was undeterred. Stoga teamed five canines the schools had passed over with ten inmates at a maximum security women's prison upstate. After 18 months with their incarcerated owners, the pups were retested by the schools and two became working guide dogs. "Here were people written off by society, raising puppies written off as guide dogs," Stoga says. "And they succeeded." View Guest page
Philip Wayne Strambler
Philip Strambler, a Viet Nam era Marine Corps officer, founded the In Honor of Our Troops (IHOOT) Foundation in January of 2002 in Washington, DC. He was the Director of Marketing and Commercial Activities in the Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate of Walter Reed Army Medical Center for over 15 years. IHOOT’s very popular Vacations for Vets Program provides rest, recuperation and therapeutic healing for service men, women, wounded warriors and veterans. The foundation is proud to have provided free accommodations for over 3,400 military and veteran families to help them reconnect and reestablish healthy family relationships, especially following war and long deployments. All of the resorts in the Vacations for Vets inventory are four and five star rated condominiums or villas generously provided to IHOOT by owners of Wyndham, Worldmark, Shell, Holiday Inn and Lawrence Welk Vacation Clubs timeshares worldwide. Hilton Grand Vacations Clubs also participated in the early years of the program. Strambler retired and became IHOOT’s Chief Executive Officer when the Walter Reed Washington, DC campus closed and realigned at Bethesda, Maryland. Active duty and Veterans of any era with proof of honorable service are eligible to apply for Vacations for Vets online at www.ihoot.org. IHOOT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization under IRS Code. View Guest page
Tank served in the Navy in 74-78. After serving, Tank worked for Corp. America in retail for 16 yrs. Then he developed a marketing delivery system for the Diabetic industry and spent another 16 years in that field. He then got involved with the All*Stars with marketing and promoting the Honor of Veterans and their brand. He purchased the All Stars organization in 2012 and converted the organization to a 501c3 in 2013. His partner contracted Leukemia and he just finished his second complete season on the road.. This is the 27th Red, White & Blue Tour View Guest page
Wendy Tatro-Walker is the Respite Program Director with Wounded Warriors Family Support. She has been both a Professional and Personal Caregiver for over 25 years and comes from strong military family which gives her a unique understanding of both dynamics. She began working with Caregivers after suffering some health issues of her own as the result of full time Caregiving and has been a staunch supporter since. The WWFS has provided a real opportunity to reach out to Wounded Veteran Families in order to help educate them on good caregiving habits, set up a support base for the Caregiver, as well as working with other organizations to provide Respite for those Caregivers in need. View Guest page
Alphonse R. Telese, Jr.
Alphonse R. Telese, Jr. is a LTC retired US Army Officer and the Founder and current President/CEO of Networking Warriors of America. An organization founded to serve a specific niche for our wounded military service members ending their military service due to an injury, illness, and or a disease incurred In Line of Duty. Graduating from Western Kentucky University earning both a BA degree in Art Education and his Officer commission in the US Army in 1976 where upon graduation he entered the US Army. LTC Telese has had a very unique and rewarding career serving both the US Military for over 32 years, simultaneously having a very lucrative and successful civilian career in New Business Development. During his tenure in the military, LTC Telese served both on Active Duty and in the Active Reserves being mobilized and deployed on numerous occasions to serve this country. Most recently to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 where he sustained injuries during combat operation View Guest page
Lt Col David F. Tharp
Lt Col Tharp is licensed psychologist assigned to the USAFA where he works at the Peak Performance Center. Lt Col Tharp has specialized training in addressing psychological issues related to Basic Cadet Training (BCT). He utilizes DoD) Defense Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) training and integrated and disseminated information to roughly 1400 cadets each year. He performs a series of other duties related to training and supervision.
Before this, Lt Col Tharp was assigned to a triple hatted position as Medical Advisor, Preventative Medicine and Environmental Engineer to BG Kendall, COMKAF (Commander, Kandahar Airfield), Kandahar Afghanistan.
Lt Col Tharp is a senior-level psychologist and manager at the Waco Texas Department of Veterans Administration He is also the Chief Executive Officer of CombatPTSD.org, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which provides military grade training and free resources to veterans experiencing the invisible wounds of war. View Guest page
Robert D Thomas, COO, Brig Gen, USAF (Ret.)
Robert D. Thomas, COO, Brig Gen, USAF (Ret.) Bob joined Operation Homefront executive team in 2015 following a nearly 31-year career of distinguished service in the Air Force. He led the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Office Accessions and Citizen Development, where he directed the education and training programs that produced more than 81 percent of the officer cadre of the Air Force. Bob was an experienced combat pilot and held staff assignments at Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Joint Special Operations Command, the United Nations and the Air Staff. He has flown combat/combat support missions or deployed with ground-based special operations units in Panama and Somalia, as well as Operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Bob holds a Master’s degrees from the University of Southern California and the National Defense University. Sir, welcome to the AHN View Guest page
USO-Metro’s COO Steve Tomlin manages the largest organization chartered by the USO. He leads the day-to-day operations and oversees 11 locations and a "deployable" Mobile USO that collectively serve nearly 300,000 military members and their families living in the Washington Baltimore region and 150,000 who travel through local airports every year. Included in these locations are two of the largest USO Centers in the world: the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir and the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda, located on the campus of Naval Support Activity Bethesda, home of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Tomlin, who is retired from the United States Navy, joins USO-Metro after serving as the Director of Veterans Initiatives for the United Way of the National Capital Area. He is an Iraq war veteran and served as the Wounded Warrior Liaison for the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to all five of the military Wounded Warrior Transition Commands. View Guest page
In early 2014, Glenn Towery created the Veterans Suicide Prevention Channel on Youtube. A few months later he is hard at work with a group of dedicated professionals creating a national broadcast site for the Veterans Suicide Prevention Channel. The intent of that channel is to ﬁnd a way to save veteranʼs lives. View Guest page
Glenn Towery Founder & CEO
Glenn Towery the CEO for the Veterans Suicide Prevention Channel View Guest page
Earl “Dusty” Trimmer
Author Earl “Dusty” Trimmer was a Combat Infantryman in the Vietnam War turned Veteran’s advocate and Veteran’s Strike Back LLC. He is the author of 2 books, Condemned Property? and the just released Payback Time! In both books Dusty elevates awareness of the Vietnam War veterans wounded in action (WIA), killed in action (KIA), missing in action (MIA). He uncovers the plight of a number of those veterans still living and those who have lost their battles to survive after coming home as well as those war veterans struggling to live another day. Written from the heart and soul, he relives many of his experiences in the Vietnam War and takes a raw look at the War and its War veterans, their abandonment by our government, who is to blame and how to fix it. View Guest page
Mr. John Trujillo was raised in the Southwest living in New Mexico and Arizona before moving to Northern Virginia. August of 2001 he transferred as a DoD civilian empolyee from AZ to the Pentagon Renovation Program. That September when the Pentagon was attacked he was part of the network team that helped restore communications in the Pentagon. Mr. Trujillo was the lead engineer on Command Communications Survivability Program (CCSP) a Post 9/11 Pentagon Program that mitigated many of the identified communications vulnerabilities within the Pentagon and the National Capital Region. He was the Lead engineer on the highly successful two year program Command Communications Survivability Program (CCSP) ensuring success from cradle to grave. During this time he received the David Packard Excellence in acquisition Award, Commander's Award for Civilian Service for Command Emergency 9/11 Technical Response Team, Commander's Award for Civilian Service for Command Communications Survivability Program (CCSP), and DoD Group Achievement Award for Support of Pentagon 9/11 Recovery and Rebuilding 9/11 efforts. In 2006 Mr. Trujillo accepted the position as the HQDA CIO/G-6 Special Access Program (SAP) DAA. He has been a member of the Pentagon Area CIO Counsel (PACC) from 2002- Present. After seven years of being with the CIO/G-6 he has transformed the branch into the AONS-AOA DAA/COOP/Security Division where he is the Division Chief. In 2008 he founded Warrior Transition a 501(c) 3 with the goal of helping Veterans of all eras to start their own businesses. Warrior Transition is based out of Virginia and works with Veterans from all over the US. Warrior Transition is a member of the Veteran Service Organizations counsil at the Pentagon. View Guest page
Agostino von Hassell
He studied history at Columbia University, graduating summa cum laude in 1974, and attended Columbia Journalism School, graduating in 1975. He has taught as adjunct professor in the graduate program of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, teaching members of the New York City Police Department in subjects such as counter-terrorism and leadership. CareerEdit Hassell has written extensively on military and war history for publications such as The Marine Corps Gazette, Die Zeit (Germany), Naval Proceedings, Defense News, and The Navy Times, among others. He is the author of Warriors: The United States Marine Corps and Strike Force: U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations, as well as In Honor of America and, together with Herm Dillon, West Point: The Bicentennial Book. In November 2006 St. Martin’s Press in New York released Alliance of Enemies: Hassell has contributed sections to the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement. He co-authored (with W. McDonald and M.R. Haberfeld) a chapter in Comparative Policing The Struggle for Democratization, titled International Cooperation in Policing: A Partial Answer to the Query? In 2007 coauthored and presented (with M.R. Haberfeld) an article titled Proper Proactive Training to Terrorist Presence and Operations in Friendly Urban Environments, at the NATO Counter-Terrorism Conference in Washington, D.C. subsequently published by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Program. He is a life member of the United States Marine Corps Combat Correspondents, the National Defense Industrial Association, the OSS Society, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, the American Society of Magazine Photographers, the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, and the Authors Guild. Hassell is president of The Repton Group, a New York City–based intelligence gathering and consulting organization. View Guest page
Tom Voss, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Veteran, and Anthony Anderson, OIF Veteran and Director of Operations for Dryhootch of America 2700 Mile Walk for PTSD Awareness, Anderson and Voss "Walk from Milwaukee Wisc. to Los Angeles, 2700 Miles" www.dryhootch.org View Guest page
He is a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and brings 25 years of military service in The Army and Army National Guard. Tom currently trains Soldiers for overseas deployments as a full time member of the Oregon Army National Guard. Prior to his tour in Iraq, he spent 20 years in the banking sector specializing in business development within the payments industry. View Guest page
Pete Wall, President Tools4Troops
Mr. Wall has a production engineering background when coupled to linguistic studies led to more than 30 years of International business development.
In 1990 he prepared a pacific rim marketing plan for a large mid western machinery company and after presenting the plan he was hired as their South East Asia marketing Director and took on a 3 year ex-pat assignment based in Singapore.
By 2010 sustainable construction as expressed in ‘Green Building was taking center stage. Already being a licensed construction contract and qualified building inspector he returned to his studies and managed to qualify as a LEED AP BD&C, which is a combination of construction contracting, home/building inspection. When added to his ‘Green Building’ credentials they became useful in occasionally being able to assist US Armed Forces Veterans. View Guest page
Major Mike Warren
Born in Bonn, Germany, Mike spent the first 18 years of his life living in six foreign countries due to his father’s career with the State Department. He has a BA in Architectural Design from the University of Florida and a MA in Business Management from Webster University. He is a retired Army Engineer Major, having served 20 years and is a veteran of Desert Storm. He then transitioned to a new career as a Department of the Army Civilian as a Public Affairs Specialist. He progressed through positions of ever increasing responsibility in the Public Affairs career field, including a tour in Afghanistan, to the position he now holds as Deputy Chief, Public Affairs for Headquarters, US Army Pacific, encompassing the area bordering the Pacific Rim. He has several awards including a Bronze Star Medal and a Superior Civilian Service Medal. More importantly, he volunteers as the VP, Public Relations for Transitional Assistance, Inc.; a company specializing in helping our Nation’s Veter View Guest page
Founder of Lifehealth, Edward White, has over twenty years experience in media. He is a graduate of Bolton St. College and University College Dublin and began his career by working for Whittaker Health Care in Saudi Arabia. Gaining experience on a number of medical health-care projects, he worked as director of audio-visual training with MODA Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation. In 1990 Edward returned to Ireland to study Journalism and launched IT-Times. Since then he has specialized in public relations and documentary film-making. Having witnessed first-hand the devastating impact suicide has had on families and friends his career has shifted focus. Edward has over twenty-five years of business management, marketing and sales experience. His extensive background includes P&L responsibility, sales management, marketing management, production management, facility management and personnel responsibilities. He is currently working closely with ex-military personnel and several senior advisors on Lifehealth's CallApp project. View Guest page
Mr. Jeremy Williams, a decorated United States Marine, combat veteran, and survivor of three tours of duty in the War in Iraq is the Principal & Managing Partner of Hashmark Strategies, LLC™ an emerging leader in developing and cultivating corporate leadership in both the profit and non-profit sectors.Some of his previous projects include: the Houston/Harris County Veterans Behavioral Initiative, where he led and implemented effective implementation strategies in a multifaceted, multilevel government collaboration. View Guest page
Kayla Williams is a former sergeant and Arabic linguist in a Military Intelligence company of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). During her deployment to Iraq, Williams was at the forefront of troops’ interaction with Iraqis while also navigating the challenges of being part of the 15% of the Army that is female. Kayla is the author of Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army, a memoir about her experiences negotiating the changing demands on today’s military. She regularly speaks and writes about military and veterans’ issues for numerous media outlets, including MSNBC, CNN, BBC, Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Slate. View Guest page
Lee Woodruff is a best-selling author, journalist, mother, and wife. In 2006, a roadside bomb critically injured her husband, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, while he was reporting in Iraq.
Inspired by Bob’s miraculous recovery under the care of military doctors, Lee and her family created the Bob Woodruff Foundation to ensure today’s injured heroes and their families have the resources they need to thrive.
Over the past decade, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested $33 million to find, fund and shape more than 300 programs benefiting the lives of more than 2.5 million injured service members, veterans and their families.
Woodruff is a trustee and alumnus of Colgate University and an avid lover of New York’s Adirondack region. She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and four children. View Guest page
Mark H. Woods
Founder & CEO
Mark grew up in Memphis, TN and joined the Navy in 1987. Quickly making his way up the ranks, he went from Enlisted to Officer in 1997. A 21 year military veteran, he retired in 2008. Mark served on five US Navy Ships, completed six major deployments, and a year and a half forward deployed. He had direct or indirect contributions on numerous operations abroad. Being inspired as the assistant coordinator for the Garth Brooks Concert televised on CBS in 2001 and feeling the need to do more to support his fellow brothers and sisters in the field, he created OPERATION TROOP AID. After producing a few shows and getting a few events under his belt, he incorporated OTA as a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) in 2005.
Mark has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Wayland Baptist university and a Masters Degree in Operations Management from The University of Arkansas. View Guest page
John Wordin President and Founder
A nationally recognized leader of the movement to help Veterans and First Responders affected by PTSD, TBI and injury, John Wordin is the President and Founder of Project Hero.
A native of Southern California, John was an avid high school and college athlete, earning a scholarship to play football at Cal State Northridge. Weighing 260+ lbs. at graduation, he decided to change his lifestyle through exercise, which included cycling, and improving his diet. In less than a year, he weighed 220 lbs. and within 16 months he was at 185 lbs. and had begun his career as a professional cyclist. He participated in 3 US Olympic Trials and earned a Bronze medal in the 1989 US National Championships.
John then founded and was president of the Fitness Challenge Foundation, which was the genesis of Ride 2 Recovery. He was also the director of the Mercury Cycling Team, which became a dominant presence in US professional cycling, winning 535 races between 1998–2002, and was named Team of the Year. View Guest page
Rick Yount, Founder & Executive Director
Rick Yount, Founder & Executive Director for Warrior Canine Connection Rick has served in the field of social work for 28 years. He has involved Animal Assisted Therapy in his practice for the past 20 of those years. Rick holds a B.A. degree from West Virginia University and a M.S. degree in Assistance Dog Education. He combined his social work knowledge and experience with his service dog training background to develop a novel intervention to help Service Members with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Rick pioneered the first therapeutic service dog training program at the Palo Alto, CA Veterans Hospital in July 2008. Rick’s new program concept, involving Veterans with PTSD in the training of mobility service dogs for fellow Veterans, yielded very positive results. He has presented the program concept at forums including the VA National Mental Health Conference and the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies. View Guest page