Our Guests Attending

Help us welcome and honor the following veterans and guests attending the Helicopters for Heroes’ Annual Helicopter Hunt and Festival. Thank you for your service.

We will be adding to this list as our attendees are confirmed.

Marine Corporal Garrett J. Carnes lost both legs after stepping on a pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED) while on a patrol with the 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines in Khan-Neshin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Feb. 19, 2012. Cpl Carnes underwent more than 30 surgeries from the time he was evacuated to Camp Dwyer to his time at Walter Reed. During his recovery, he made a goal to be walking on prosthetics by the time his fellow Marines returned home from their deployment. After only six weeks of physical therapy, Cpl Carnes greeted his returning comrades standing on the tarmac. He credits his wife Courtney with pushing him through his recovery.

Despite his determination and ability to overcome obstacles, Garrett still experiences everyday limitations. He and Courtney now have three sons, Chase, Easton, and Ronin. But fatherhood places new challenges on Garrett. He says ordinary tasks in his previous home, like feeding and changing his son were “like science projects.” Additionally, their former home had all carpeted floors, making it difficult for Garrett to get to his sons in the middle of the night in his wheelchair. The doors were not wide enough for him to get through while in his chair without his hands getting caught, and he could not reach everything in the kitchen without his wife’s assistance. “It’s belittling not being able to do what you want to do,” he says.

Garrett says his new specially adapted Homes For Our Troops home allows him to be the man of the house again and increases his confidence. Courtney says she lives her life more peacefully, being able to leave the house without worrying if Garrett will need her help. The Carnes chose to build their home close to their family in Burlington, N.C.

Currently in school pursuing a business degree, Garrett says a specially adapted home gives him comfort and stability at home and allows him to focus on his career.

Carnes is grateful to HFOT’s donors and supporters for making his specially adapted custom home a reality. “The best part about our home is there are no physical obstacles when it comes to raising my sons now. When simply wheeling out of my front door used to be a project, I now get to enjoy mornings out front watching my two children and listening to the birds while sitting next to my wife, and feel no frustration of scraped doorways or jammed fingers. The little things really go a long way toward feeling comfortable,” he says.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Marine Cpl

Garrett Carnes

Marine Corporal Garrett J. Carnes lost both legs after stepping on a pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED) while on a patrol with the 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines in Khan-Neshin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Feb. 19, 2012. Cpl Carnes underwent more than 30 surgeries from the time he was evacuated to Camp Dwyer to his time at Walter Reed. During his recovery, he made a goal to be walking on prosthetics by the time his fellow Marines returned home from their deployment. After only six weeks of physical therapy, Cpl Carnes greeted his returning comrades standing on the tarmac. He credits his wife Courtney with pushing him through his recovery.

Despite his determination and ability to overcome obstacles, Garrett still experiences everyday limitations. He and Courtney now have three sons, Chase, Easton, and Ronin. But fatherhood places new challenges on Garrett. He says ordinary tasks in his previous home, like feeding and changing his son were “like science projects.” Additionally, their former home had all carpeted floors, making it difficult for Garrett to get to his sons in the middle of the night in his wheelchair. The doors were not wide enough for him to get through while in his chair without his hands getting caught, and he could not reach everything in the kitchen without his wife’s assistance. “It’s belittling not being able to do what you want to do,” he says.

Garrett says his new specially adapted Homes For Our Troops home allows him to be the man of the house again and increases his confidence. Courtney says she lives her life more peacefully, being able to leave the house without worrying if Garrett will need her help. The Carnes chose to build their home close to their family in Burlington, N.C.

Currently in school pursuing a business degree, Garrett says a specially adapted home gives him comfort and stability at home and allows him to focus on his career.

Carnes is grateful to HFOT’s donors and supporters for making his specially adapted custom home a reality. “The best part about our home is there are no physical obstacles when it comes to raising my sons now. When simply wheeling out of my front door used to be a project, I now get to enjoy mornings out front watching my two children and listening to the birds while sitting next to my wife, and feel no frustration of scraped doorways or jammed fingers. The little things really go a long way toward feeling comfortable,” he says.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Marine Corporal Michael Fox was on his third deployment when he sustained the traumatic amputations of both of his legs in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Musa Qala, Afghanistan on Nov. 15, 2011.

The Fire Team Leader, also Echo Co. 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, Cpl Fox and his men were looking for a suitable location to create a new patrol base. Upon entering a compound that looked like a good choice for the new base, Cpl Fox made his way to the top of a berm that appeared to have a good vantage point over the Wadi (dried creek-bed) and the surrounding hills. Turning to call to his designated marksman and alert him of the vantage point, Cpl Fox heard a blast as he was thrown into the air; dirt and darkness surrounding him. Hearing his squad calling to him, he realized that he could not move.

As the squad began administering lifesaving first aid, Michael learned that he had lost his legs. With four tourniquets in place, and a Landing Zone secured, a helicopter was able to transport him to Camp Bastion. Falling unconscious shortly after arriving at the local hospital, Cpl Fox was next transported to Landstuhl, Germany where he endured multiple surgeries while in the ICU to stabilize him for his eventual transport stateside.

Arriving at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, M.d., Michael endured many more surgeries over the course of the next month. Eventually transferred to Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego for treatments and therapies, Michael remained there until his retirement.

Michael enjoys spending time with his wife Erica and hopes to return to college and study either automotive or photography. A racing enthusiast, he enjoys racing at the local drag strips. He also loves deep sea fishing. In November 2017, Michael and Erica became parents to a baby boy named Grant. Michael says his Homes For Our Troops home is going to give his son a head start in life. “Without any obstacles or barriers, I can get to him more quickly, which is safer for the both of us. The house does not limit me and I can be more effective as a parent. Our home is a blessing.”

Receiving a specially adapted home has been beneficial for Michael. He is now able to host holidays and family gatherings, and can heal in a safe environment. He would like to thank everyone who supported the building of his home. “The home allows me to be financially sound and I can pursue my hopes and dreams all with an improved daily quality of life,” he says.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Marine Cpl

Michael Fox

Marine Corporal Michael Fox was on his third deployment when he sustained the traumatic amputations of both of his legs in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Musa Qala, Afghanistan on Nov. 15, 2011.

The Fire Team Leader, also Echo Co. 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, Cpl Fox and his men were looking for a suitable location to create a new patrol base. Upon entering a compound that looked like a good choice for the new base, Cpl Fox made his way to the top of a berm that appeared to have a good vantage point over the Wadi (dried creek-bed) and the surrounding hills. Turning to call to his designated marksman and alert him of the vantage point, Cpl Fox heard a blast as he was thrown into the air; dirt and darkness surrounding him. Hearing his squad calling to him, he realized that he could not move.

As the squad began administering lifesaving first aid, Michael learned that he had lost his legs. With four tourniquets in place, and a Landing Zone secured, a helicopter was able to transport him to Camp Bastion. Falling unconscious shortly after arriving at the local hospital, Cpl Fox was next transported to Landstuhl, Germany where he endured multiple surgeries while in the ICU to stabilize him for his eventual transport stateside.

Arriving at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, M.d., Michael endured many more surgeries over the course of the next month. Eventually transferred to Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego for treatments and therapies, Michael remained there until his retirement.

Michael enjoys spending time with his wife Erica and hopes to return to college and study either automotive or photography. A racing enthusiast, he enjoys racing at the local drag strips. He also loves deep sea fishing. In November 2017, Michael and Erica became parents to a baby boy named Grant. Michael says his Homes For Our Troops home is going to give his son a head start in life. “Without any obstacles or barriers, I can get to him more quickly, which is safer for the both of us. The house does not limit me and I can be more effective as a parent. Our home is a blessing.”

Receiving a specially adapted home has been beneficial for Michael. He is now able to host holidays and family gatherings, and can heal in a safe environment. He would like to thank everyone who supported the building of his home. “The home allows me to be financially sound and I can pursue my hopes and dreams all with an improved daily quality of life,” he says.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Michael Gower was admittedly a “wild child” in his youth, and enlisted in the Army to find direction and discipline in his life. He deployed twice as an Infantryman out of Fort Lewis to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2004 and 2006-2007.

On Aug. 2, 2007, while serving in Baghdad on his second deployment with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, the vehicle transporting Army SGT Gower rolled over a two-ton, subsurface improvised explosive device (IED). The subsequent blast killed several of SGT Gower’s teammates, and injured eight others, including fellow HFOT Veterans Adam Putt and Oscar Guerra. SGT Gower was pinned in the vehicle, critically injuring his back and fracturing both his feet, tibia and fibula. He also sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Medically retired in January 2009, Michael underwent numerous limb salvage surgeries over the years to aid in his recovery. Currently, he is only ambulatory for short distances, and doctors have not ruled out amputating both legs in the future. His specially adapted home from Homes For Our Troops provides him and his wife Kelli with a sense of security, enabling Michael to have full wheelchair access and independence. He previous home was on a hill with a steep driveway, which made it challenging for Michael to enter and exit is home. His HFOT home mitigates this issue. “This new home improves my quality of life because I am able to get in and out of my house,” says Michael. “It also makes my wife and son’s lives better since they don’t have to watch me struggle.”

In his free time, Michael enjoys spending time with Kelli and their son Alexander. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, woodworking and tinkering with small mechanical projects. Living in a mortgage-free home affords him the time to spend time on his hobbies, and equips him with the space he needs for his tools and projects. Most importantly, the home enables him to become financially stable and focus on being a dad.

Michael is already working to pay it forward by assisting several Veteran support organizations in his community. He is an active member in his VFW post, and is actively engaged with the Dorr American Legion, Operation Injured Soldiers, and Buddy to Buddy Program. He and Kelli are happy to be living in their home in Middleville close to family. They extend their gratitude to HFOT’s supporters for providing them with the life-changing gift of a new forever home and Michael is eager to pay it forward for HFOT.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Army SGT

MICHAEL GOWER

Michael Gower was admittedly a “wild child” in his youth, and enlisted in the Army to find direction and discipline in his life. He deployed twice as an Infantryman out of Fort Lewis to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2004 and 2006-2007.

On Aug. 2, 2007, while serving in Baghdad on his second deployment with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, the vehicle transporting Army SGT Gower rolled over a two-ton, subsurface improvised explosive device (IED). The subsequent blast killed several of SGT Gower’s teammates, and injured eight others, including fellow HFOT Veterans Adam Putt and Oscar Guerra. SGT Gower was pinned in the vehicle, critically injuring his back and fracturing both his feet, tibia and fibula. He also sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Medically retired in January 2009, Michael underwent numerous limb salvage surgeries over the years to aid in his recovery. Currently, he is only ambulatory for short distances, and doctors have not ruled out amputating both legs in the future. His specially adapted home from Homes For Our Troops provides him and his wife Kelli with a sense of security, enabling Michael to have full wheelchair access and independence. He previous home was on a hill with a steep driveway, which made it challenging for Michael to enter and exit is home. His HFOT home mitigates this issue. “This new home improves my quality of life because I am able to get in and out of my house,” says Michael. “It also makes my wife and son’s lives better since they don’t have to watch me struggle.”

In his free time, Michael enjoys spending time with Kelli and their son Alexander. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, woodworking and tinkering with small mechanical projects. Living in a mortgage-free home affords him the time to spend time on his hobbies, and equips him with the space he needs for his tools and projects. Most importantly, the home enables him to become financially stable and focus on being a dad.

Michael is already working to pay it forward by assisting several Veteran support organizations in his community. He is an active member in his VFW post, and is actively engaged with the Dorr American Legion, Operation Injured Soldiers, and Buddy to Buddy Program. He and Kelli are happy to be living in their home in Middleville close to family. They extend their gratitude to HFOT’s supporters for providing them with the life-changing gift of a new forever home and Michael is eager to pay it forward for HFOT.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Oscar Guerra joined the Army in 1998 with a desire to travel and see the world. He immediately fell in love with the military. The climate and brotherhood of serving was like nothing he’d ever experienced.

On Aug. 2, 2007, Staff Sergeant Guerra was on his second deployment serving as an Infantryman with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when his vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device (IED) near the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). The subsequent blast killed several of SSG Guerra’s teammates and injured eight others, including fellow Homes For Our Troops Veterans Adam Putt and Michael Gower.

The explosion caused severe injuries to SSG Guerra’s left leg, and doctors immediately amputated it at a Baghdad hospital after his medical evacuation. Once he returned to the United States, he continued surgeries and rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. At first, Oscar had a difficult time during his recovery. However, he soon found inspiration from others he rehabbed with, and his outlook improved with each new milestone he reached.

Now medically retired, Oscar’s main priority is his three sons and wife Felicia. He says it is especially important to him to raise his sons as good, productive men. He enjoys inspiring and influencing young people and hopes to become involved in community based activities as a mentor, like the Boy Scouts of America and Junior ROTC.

Oscar wants to continue giving back to others, but his current living environment prevents him from pursuing many of his aspirations. It is frustrating for Oscar that Felicia takes on much of the outdoor home maintenance because their home is on a hill and difficult for Oscar to navigate on his prosthetics. His bathroom is not wheelchair accessible, so Oscar is forced to hop on his remaining limb when transferring into the shower, risking further injury. It is especially discouraging for him to rely on his family for help around the home because his wheelchair does not fit in many of the rooms and hallways. He says receiving a specially adapted custom HFOT home will mitigate many of his current obstacles and empower him to pursue his future endeavors. He would like to continue his education and start his own nonprofit. “Giving back will be my new mission,” he says.

Originally from Los Angeles, Oscar is choosing to build his home in Texas for the area’s climate and culture.

Oscar wants HFOT donors to know his home will not only benefit himself, but his family as a whole. “The home is going to restart our life and keep us worry-free, and create the environment we can only dream about now,” he says.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Army SSG

OSCAR GUERRA

Oscar Guerra joined the Army in 1998 with a desire to travel and see the world. He immediately fell in love with the military. The climate and brotherhood of serving was like nothing he’d ever experienced.

On Aug. 2, 2007, Staff Sergeant Guerra was on his second deployment serving as an Infantryman with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when his vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device (IED) near the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). The subsequent blast killed several of SSG Guerra’s teammates and injured eight others, including fellow Homes For Our Troops Veterans Adam Putt and Michael Gower.

The explosion caused severe injuries to SSG Guerra’s left leg, and doctors immediately amputated it at a Baghdad hospital after his medical evacuation. Once he returned to the United States, he continued surgeries and rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. At first, Oscar had a difficult time during his recovery. However, he soon found inspiration from others he rehabbed with, and his outlook improved with each new milestone he reached.

Now medically retired, Oscar’s main priority is his three sons and wife Felicia. He says it is especially important to him to raise his sons as good, productive men. He enjoys inspiring and influencing young people and hopes to become involved in community based activities as a mentor, like the Boy Scouts of America and Junior ROTC.

Oscar wants to continue giving back to others, but his current living environment prevents him from pursuing many of his aspirations. It is frustrating for Oscar that Felicia takes on much of the outdoor home maintenance because their home is on a hill and difficult for Oscar to navigate on his prosthetics. His bathroom is not wheelchair accessible, so Oscar is forced to hop on his remaining limb when transferring into the shower, risking further injury. It is especially discouraging for him to rely on his family for help around the home because his wheelchair does not fit in many of the rooms and hallways. He says receiving a specially adapted custom HFOT home will mitigate many of his current obstacles and empower him to pursue his future endeavors. He would like to continue his education and start his own nonprofit. “Giving back will be my new mission,” he says.

Originally from Los Angeles, Oscar is choosing to build his home in Texas for the area’s climate and culture.

Oscar wants HFOT donors to know his home will not only benefit himself, but his family as a whole. “The home is going to restart our life and keep us worry-free, and create the environment we can only dream about now,” he says.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

After the September 11 attacks, Quentin Hamilton felt called to serve and defend the country he loves. He enlisted in the Marines following his high school graduation as a mortarman with the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, and loved the brotherhood and pride he felt being a Marine. He went on his first tour in 2007 to Iraq, and deployed twice to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011. He also went on two humanitarian deployments with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to Okinawa in 2008 and Burma in 2009.

On Jan. 31, 2012, during his third combat deployment, Sgt Hamilton sustained severe damage to his left leg and other injuries when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in the NowZad District in Afghanistan. After years of dealing with intense pain, Quentin made the difficult decision to have doctors amputate his left leg.

Now medically retired, Quentin and his fiancée, Stefanie Clemons, are busy raising their young daughter, Abigail, and son, Gunner. A lover of the outdoors, Quentin enjoys hiking, biking, and swimming, but his current living environment prevents him from enjoying these activities since he cannot rest and recover comfortably at home. He often gets frustrated that he cannot use his wheelchair because the doorways are too narrow and using crutches often becomes painful. “This home will enable me to be more adventurous like I once was, knowing I have a safe and secure home to go back to where I will be able to relax and recoup at night,” he says.

The freedom and independence Quentin will regain in the new home will motivate him to further his education and career. He and Stefanie would like to open their own RV storage business, and expand their hobby of making American flags out of reclaimed wood. Most importantly, Quentin will be able to help Stefanie more in caring for their children and around the home.

Originally from Iowa, Quentin is choosing to build his home in Texas.

Quentin and Stefanie say their HFOT home is a dream come true and they appreciate the generosity of HFOT’s donors and supporters. “Your support is doing amazing things for my fellow wounded countrymen. You are opening up these Veterans’ lives and getting them back out and doing what they love,” says Quentin.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Marine Sgt

QUENTIN HAMILTON

After the September 11 attacks, Quentin Hamilton felt called to serve and defend the country he loves. He enlisted in the Marines following his high school graduation as a mortarman with the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, and loved the brotherhood and pride he felt being a Marine. He went on his first tour in 2007 to Iraq, and deployed twice to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011. He also went on two humanitarian deployments with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to Okinawa in 2008 and Burma in 2009.

On Jan. 31, 2012, during his third combat deployment, Sgt Hamilton sustained severe damage to his left leg and other injuries when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in the NowZad District in Afghanistan. After years of dealing with intense pain, Quentin made the difficult decision to have doctors amputate his left leg.

Now medically retired, Quentin and his fiancée, Stefanie Clemons, are busy raising their young daughter, Abigail, and son, Gunner. A lover of the outdoors, Quentin enjoys hiking, biking, and swimming, but his current living environment prevents him from enjoying these activities since he cannot rest and recover comfortably at home. He often gets frustrated that he cannot use his wheelchair because the doorways are too narrow and using crutches often becomes painful. “This home will enable me to be more adventurous like I once was, knowing I have a safe and secure home to go back to where I will be able to relax and recoup at night,” he says.

The freedom and independence Quentin will regain in the new home will motivate him to further his education and career. He and Stefanie would like to open their own RV storage business, and expand their hobby of making American flags out of reclaimed wood. Most importantly, Quentin will be able to help Stefanie more in caring for their children and around the home.

Originally from Iowa, Quentin is choosing to build his home in Texas.

Quentin and Stefanie say their HFOT home is a dream come true and they appreciate the generosity of HFOT’s donors and supporters. “Your support is doing amazing things for my fellow wounded countrymen. You are opening up these Veterans’ lives and getting them back out and doing what they love,” says Quentin.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Duane McGhghy joined the military for a fresh start and the opportunity to grow and mature. He enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman, deploying to Iraq in 2007.

On Oct. 11, 2007, CPL McGhghy was heading back to the Forward Operation Base (FOB) after a multi-platoon patrol with D Co., 1-28 Infantry, 4th BCT, 1st Infantry Division, when his vehicle was hit by an explosively formed penetrator (EFP). CPL McGhghy lost his left leg below the knee and sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the blast.

Medically retired, Duane and his wife Cortney are proud parents to their three children – Austin, Chloe, and Oliver. Duane rides motorcycles with the Veteran run organization called The Road Warrior Foundation, and sky dives with another one called Jump For Valor in his free time. He found a great support network through these endeavors, and it has inspired him to help other Veterans find the same benefits. He and Cortney also run their own plant business, Hey Darlin Plants.

Duane says receiving a specially adapted custom HFOT home will give Cortney and him the energy to give back to the organizations that have helped him, and aid other Veterans who need support. Duane cannot dedicate as much time as he would like to these pursuits because he has to cope with the obstacles in his non-adapted home. He often becomes discouraged when he cannot rest his leg in his wheelchair at the end of the day because most rooms are not big enough to use it in. Receiving a single-level HFOT home will enable Duane to rest and recover at the end of a long day.

Growing up in Texas and Arkansas, Duane is choosing to build his home in Texas to be close to family and healthcare.

Duane and his family feel honored to be the recipients of the life-changing gift of an HFOT home. “Thank you for giving us a chance at having an easier lifestyle and for my children to see me able to get around our home comfortably and not struggle with daily tasks,” he says. “We are so excited that this will be OUR home where I can rest and easily navigate in the future.”

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

ARMY CPL

DUANE MCGYGHY

Duane McGhghy joined the military for a fresh start and the opportunity to grow and mature. He enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman, deploying to Iraq in 2007.

On Oct. 11, 2007, CPL McGhghy was heading back to the Forward Operation Base (FOB) after a multi-platoon patrol with D Co., 1-28 Infantry, 4th BCT, 1st Infantry Division, when his vehicle was hit by an explosively formed penetrator (EFP). CPL McGhghy lost his left leg below the knee and sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the blast.

Medically retired, Duane and his wife Cortney are proud parents to their three children – Austin, Chloe, and Oliver. Duane rides motorcycles with the Veteran run organization called The Road Warrior Foundation, and sky dives with another one called Jump For Valor in his free time. He found a great support network through these endeavors, and it has inspired him to help other Veterans find the same benefits. He and Cortney also run their own plant business, Hey Darlin Plants.

Duane says receiving a specially adapted custom HFOT home will give Cortney and him the energy to give back to the organizations that have helped him, and aid other Veterans who need support. Duane cannot dedicate as much time as he would like to these pursuits because he has to cope with the obstacles in his non-adapted home. He often becomes discouraged when he cannot rest his leg in his wheelchair at the end of the day because most rooms are not big enough to use it in. Receiving a single-level HFOT home will enable Duane to rest and recover at the end of a long day.

Growing up in Texas and Arkansas, Duane is choosing to build his home in Texas to be close to family and healthcare.

Duane and his family feel honored to be the recipients of the life-changing gift of an HFOT home. “Thank you for giving us a chance at having an easier lifestyle and for my children to see me able to get around our home comfortably and not struggle with daily tasks,” he says. “We are so excited that this will be OUR home where I can rest and easily navigate in the future.”

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

In 2007, Army Specialist Adam Putt deployed as a rifleman with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division to Baghdad, Iraq. On Aug. 2, 2007, one month into his deployment, he was in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion. The blast killed several of SPC Putt’s squad members, and severely injured him and others, including fellow HFOT Veterans Michael Gower and Oscar Guerra. SPC Putt lost both legs as a result of the blast.

Now medically retired, Adam enjoys painting, reading, and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with his son. He is also involved with Honoring America’s Warriors, an organization that provides military honors at funerals and helps Veterans adjust to civilian life.

Adam usually wears his prosthetics throughout the day, but when at home he prefers his wheelchair. He says having a wheelchair-accessible home from Homes For Our Troops is a blessing. He especially enjoys having an adapted bathroom and kitchen. His wheelchair could not fit in several rooms in his previous home, which made it difficult to do daily, routine activities such as showering or preparing a meal.

Adam’s greatest concern in his previous home was being able to provide for his wife Tiffany and their two sons. Because of his injuries, Adam felt like he was not able to fulfill this role. He says receiving a home adapted to his injuries mitigates this worry and enables him to focus on finishing his degree in biology.

Originally from Oklahoma, Adam and Tiffany chose to remain in the state and had their home built outside Oklahoma City for the area’s excellent school district.

Adam is grateful to HFOT’s supporters and donors who contributed to his build and says the home is a way for him to move forward. “Injured Veterans lose their mission and goals, not just limbs. In this home I have regained my freedom and independence, allowing me to carry on another mission,” he says.

Attending with Home for Our Troops

Army SPC

ADAM PUTT

In 2007, Army Specialist Adam Putt deployed as a rifleman with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division to Baghdad, Iraq. On Aug. 2, 2007, one month into his deployment, he was in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion. The blast killed several of SPC Putt’s squad members, and severely injured him and others, including fellow HFOT Veterans Michael Gower and Oscar Guerra. SPC Putt lost both legs as a result of the blast.

Now medically retired, Adam enjoys painting, reading, and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with his son. He is also involved with Honoring America’s Warriors, an organization that provides military honors at funerals and helps Veterans adjust to civilian life.

Adam usually wears his prosthetics throughout the day, but when at home he prefers his wheelchair. He says having a wheelchair-accessible home from Homes For Our Troops is a blessing. He especially enjoys having an adapted bathroom and kitchen. His wheelchair could not fit in several rooms in his previous home, which made it difficult to do daily, routine activities such as showering or preparing a meal.

Adam’s greatest concern in his previous home was being able to provide for his wife Tiffany and their two sons. Because of his injuries, Adam felt like he was not able to fulfill this role. He says receiving a home adapted to his injuries mitigates this worry and enables him to focus on finishing his degree in biology.

Originally from Oklahoma, Adam and Tiffany chose to remain in the state and had their home built outside Oklahoma City for the area’s excellent school district.

Adam is grateful to HFOT’s supporters and donors who contributed to his build and says the home is a way for him to move forward. “Injured Veterans lose their mission and goals, not just limbs. In this home I have regained my freedom and independence, allowing me to carry on another mission,” he says.

Attending with Home for Our Troops

Vincent Reynolds grew up playing Army, so joining the military felt like a natural decision. He enlisted as an indirect fire infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division after high school.

On Sept. 3, 2012, Staff Sergeant Reynolds was on his second deployment when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. SSG Reynolds’ first thought during the explosion was checking to ensure his Soldiers were alright, not even realizing he was injured himself. The blast resulted in the loss of his left leg and damage to his right leg.

Now medically retired, Vincent enjoys hunting, fishing, golfing, camping, and spending time with his two daughters and wife Denise. Vincent says his specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home helps him be a better father. His previous home was two stories, which made it difficult for him to carry his youngest daughter up and down the stairs. In his single-level HFOT home with an open floorplan and wide doorways and hallways, Vincent is able to care for his daughter easily. “I could write a book about how this home changed not only my life physically, but how it makes me feel a lot less stressed,” he says.

With the daily challenges of navigating a non-adaptive home lifted, Vincent now has more energy to put into his current pursuits. He works cattle and horses at the HFOT home and, when all the chores are taken care of, he guides remote hunting trips, and is a co-host on Pursuit Channel’s Old School Outdoors hunting show.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Vincent chose to build his home in Texas for the warm climate and to be close to Denise’s family.

Vincent is thankful to HFOT’s donors and supporters who made the dream of living in an adapted home possible. “It is humbling to know there are people out there who care,” he says.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

ARMY SSG

VINCENT REYNOLDS

Vincent Reynolds grew up playing Army, so joining the military felt like a natural decision. He enlisted as an indirect fire infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division after high school.

On Sept. 3, 2012, Staff Sergeant Reynolds was on his second deployment when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. SSG Reynolds’ first thought during the explosion was checking to ensure his Soldiers were alright, not even realizing he was injured himself. The blast resulted in the loss of his left leg and damage to his right leg.

Now medically retired, Vincent enjoys hunting, fishing, golfing, camping, and spending time with his two daughters and wife Denise. Vincent says his specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home helps him be a better father. His previous home was two stories, which made it difficult for him to carry his youngest daughter up and down the stairs. In his single-level HFOT home with an open floorplan and wide doorways and hallways, Vincent is able to care for his daughter easily. “I could write a book about how this home changed not only my life physically, but how it makes me feel a lot less stressed,” he says.

With the daily challenges of navigating a non-adaptive home lifted, Vincent now has more energy to put into his current pursuits. He works cattle and horses at the HFOT home and, when all the chores are taken care of, he guides remote hunting trips, and is a co-host on Pursuit Channel’s Old School Outdoors hunting show.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Vincent chose to build his home in Texas for the warm climate and to be close to Denise’s family.

Vincent is thankful to HFOT’s donors and supporters who made the dream of living in an adapted home possible. “It is humbling to know there are people out there who care,” he says.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Chad Rozanski joined the Army not long after graduating from high school, wanting to give back and seeking change. He enlisted as a fire support specialist with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Chad loved the brotherhood and camaraderie he developed while serving with his brothers in arms.

In 2005, Sergeant Rozanski went on his first tour to Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment. During that deployment, on July, 2, 2006, Sergeant Rozanski’s vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Ramadi, Iraq. The blast caused the vehicle to rollover, pinning SGT Rozanski underneath the burning wreckage. It took SGT Rozanski’s team members almost an hour to free him from the vehicle by digging with shovels and using a jack.

Once transferred back to the United States, Chad began what he describes as a long and painful recovery at Brooke Army Medical Center. He underwent countless surgeries, with doctors amputating both of his legs above the knee. He also sustained burns to almost 40 percent of his body, which required skin grafts. Despite all he’s been through, Chad still considers himself a lucky man.

Now medically retired, Chad’s two children are his whole world. He enjoys supporting his son Logan’s baseball team, and loves watching the players learn the game and work together. He wishes he could do more for his children and spend more time with them, but his current living environment makes it difficult. Since Chad’s home is not wheelchair accessible, keeping up with his toddler daughter, Lydia, gets exhausting. When he is active and busy, he tends to push his physical limits, requiring him to spend days recovering. Because of this, Chad will often turn down social opportunities. He says receiving a specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home will change his mindset. “Being in a home where I won’t have daily limitations, I will almost be able to forget how injured I am. There has always been something that is out of reach or impossible for me to do in every home I have lived in after my injury.”

The financial freedom of a donated home will give Chad the foundation to pursue school and a career. He plans to go to school for gunsmithing or sustainable agriculture.

Originally from Arkansas, Chad is choosing to build his home in Florida.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

ARMY SGT

CHAD ROZANSKI

Chad Rozanski joined the Army not long after graduating from high school, wanting to give back and seeking change. He enlisted as a fire support specialist with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Chad loved the brotherhood and camaraderie he developed while serving with his brothers in arms.

In 2005, Sergeant Rozanski went on his first tour to Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment. During that deployment, on July, 2, 2006, Sergeant Rozanski’s vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Ramadi, Iraq. The blast caused the vehicle to rollover, pinning SGT Rozanski underneath the burning wreckage. It took SGT Rozanski’s team members almost an hour to free him from the vehicle by digging with shovels and using a jack.

Once transferred back to the United States, Chad began what he describes as a long and painful recovery at Brooke Army Medical Center. He underwent countless surgeries, with doctors amputating both of his legs above the knee. He also sustained burns to almost 40 percent of his body, which required skin grafts. Despite all he’s been through, Chad still considers himself a lucky man.

Now medically retired, Chad’s two children are his whole world. He enjoys supporting his son Logan’s baseball team, and loves watching the players learn the game and work together. He wishes he could do more for his children and spend more time with them, but his current living environment makes it difficult. Since Chad’s home is not wheelchair accessible, keeping up with his toddler daughter, Lydia, gets exhausting. When he is active and busy, he tends to push his physical limits, requiring him to spend days recovering. Because of this, Chad will often turn down social opportunities. He says receiving a specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home will change his mindset. “Being in a home where I won’t have daily limitations, I will almost be able to forget how injured I am. There has always been something that is out of reach or impossible for me to do in every home I have lived in after my injury.”

The financial freedom of a donated home will give Chad the foundation to pursue school and a career. He plans to go to school for gunsmithing or sustainable agriculture.

Originally from Arkansas, Chad is choosing to build his home in Florida.

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

In 2003, Army Sergeant Patrick Wickens deployed to Iraq, assigned as a wheel vehicle mechanic with the 4-27 Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. On May 14, 2004, he was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) during an ambush near Mahmudiyah, Iraq. He immediately lost his right leg above the knee and sustained shrapnel wounds and burns on his left leg. His medic and teammates are credited with applying tourniquets and rendering life-saving medical assistance, as both femoral arteries were severed in the blast.

After arriving in the United States a few days later, SGT Wickens endured weeks of surgeries and skin grafts at Walter Reed Medical Center. After repeated infections, doctors performed surgery to amputate his right leg at the hip.

Medically retired in January 2006, Patrick loves spending time with his wife Jenna and their two sons Gavin and Carter. He leads an active lifestyle by playing golf, kayaking, fishing, scuba diving, cycling, exercising, and traveling. In his spare time, Patrick volunteers with the nonprofit, The Mission Continues, building playgrounds and fixing bicycles in his community. He is also active with Fairways for Warriors, a nonprofit that provides golf equipment, instruction, and outings for injured Veterans and their families.

Although Patrick excels at activities on the green and in the water, he faced challenges within his previous home. His wheelchair did not fit in several rooms. This environment required Patrick to hop in and out of the shower and stand on his leg while doing laundry.

A specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home with an accessible bathroom and wide doorways mitigates Patrick’s challenges around the home. The home also gives Jenna independence, as she does not have to worry about his safety when he is home alone. “This home is the biggest blessing my family has ever received,” Patrick says.

A safe living situation gives Patrick more time to focus on his future plans, which include going back to school. Originally from Montana, Patrick chose to build his home in Orlando, Fla., for the warm weather and to be close to family.

Patrick says he cannot thank HFOT’s donors, volunteers and supporters enough for making his home a reality. “My entire family benefits from this amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity,” he says. “This HFOT home represents freedom from banks and a mortgage, so we can do some of the things we have wanted to do as family.”

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

ARMY SGT

PATRICK WICKENS

In 2003, Army Sergeant Patrick Wickens deployed to Iraq, assigned as a wheel vehicle mechanic with the 4-27 Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. On May 14, 2004, he was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) during an ambush near Mahmudiyah, Iraq. He immediately lost his right leg above the knee and sustained shrapnel wounds and burns on his left leg. His medic and teammates are credited with applying tourniquets and rendering life-saving medical assistance, as both femoral arteries were severed in the blast.

After arriving in the United States a few days later, SGT Wickens endured weeks of surgeries and skin grafts at Walter Reed Medical Center. After repeated infections, doctors performed surgery to amputate his right leg at the hip.

Medically retired in January 2006, Patrick loves spending time with his wife Jenna and their two sons Gavin and Carter. He leads an active lifestyle by playing golf, kayaking, fishing, scuba diving, cycling, exercising, and traveling. In his spare time, Patrick volunteers with the nonprofit, The Mission Continues, building playgrounds and fixing bicycles in his community. He is also active with Fairways for Warriors, a nonprofit that provides golf equipment, instruction, and outings for injured Veterans and their families.

Although Patrick excels at activities on the green and in the water, he faced challenges within his previous home. His wheelchair did not fit in several rooms. This environment required Patrick to hop in and out of the shower and stand on his leg while doing laundry.

A specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home with an accessible bathroom and wide doorways mitigates Patrick’s challenges around the home. The home also gives Jenna independence, as she does not have to worry about his safety when he is home alone. “This home is the biggest blessing my family has ever received,” Patrick says.

A safe living situation gives Patrick more time to focus on his future plans, which include going back to school. Originally from Montana, Patrick chose to build his home in Orlando, Fla., for the warm weather and to be close to family.

Patrick says he cannot thank HFOT’s donors, volunteers and supporters enough for making his home a reality. “My entire family benefits from this amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity,” he says. “This HFOT home represents freedom from banks and a mortgage, so we can do some of the things we have wanted to do as family.”

Attending with Homes for Our Troops

Robert is an Air Force Veteran that was employed by a company in Austin, Texas prior to the pandemic. Due to Covid, Mr. Ray lost the ability to perform the tasks he was employed to complete and was laid off. Since enrolling into the US VETS program, Mr. Ray has received assistance with educational training, housing, employment, mental and health counseling, as well as assistance in getting medical insurance. With assistance, Mr. Ray has been given a sense of hope and provided stability. He has also been able to stand on his own two feet and positively prepare for his future endeavors and success.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

US Air Force

Robert Ray

Robert is an Air Force Veteran that was employed by a company in Austin, Texas prior to the pandemic. Due to Covid, Mr. Ray lost the ability to perform the tasks he was employed to complete and was laid off. Since enrolling into the US VETS program, Mr. Ray has received assistance with educational training, housing, employment, mental and health counseling, as well as assistance in getting medical insurance. With assistance, Mr. Ray has been given a sense of hope and provided stability. He has also been able to stand on his own two feet and positively prepare for his future endeavors and success.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

Brandon is a newly separated Army Veteran. Prior to joining the military, Brandon was an MMA fighter. He loved it and enjoyed the military and would reenlist into the services again. Brandon is currently looking for his calling in life and is seeking career assistance. US Vets has been assisting him with pursuing his employment goals. Brandon enjoys making people feel safe and has goals to become a personal investigator.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

US Army

Brandon Grays

Brandon is a newly separated Army Veteran. Prior to joining the military, Brandon was an MMA fighter. He loved it and enjoyed the military and would reenlist into the services again. Brandon is currently looking for his calling in life and is seeking career assistance. US Vets has been assisting him with pursuing his employment goals. Brandon enjoys making people feel safe and has goals to become a personal investigator.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

Floyd is a Navy Veteran that came to US VETS for housing assistance. While in the program, Floyd has been able to get his life back in order and has been able to gain assistance with employment. Floyd enjoys working as a Forklift Driver and has been able to return to work fully equipped with the tools needed to be successful daily at his job.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

US Navy

Floyd Sims

Floyd is a Navy Veteran that came to US VETS for housing assistance. While in the program, Floyd has been able to get his life back in order and has been able to gain assistance with employment. Floyd enjoys working as a Forklift Driver and has been able to return to work fully equipped with the tools needed to be successful daily at his job.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

Randy is an Army Veteran that was displaced by Hurricane Ivy and came to Houston for assistance. With the assistance of US VETS, Randy has been able to obtain employment that will allow him to be reacclimated to society and further gain his independence. Randy enjoys the water, nature and working out and looks forward to being able to enjoy life as he did prior to Hurricane Ivy.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

US Army

Randy McQuire

Randy is an Army Veteran that was displaced by Hurricane Ivy and came to Houston for assistance. With the assistance of US VETS, Randy has been able to obtain employment that will allow him to be reacclimated to society and further gain his independence. Randy enjoys the water, nature and working out and looks forward to being able to enjoy life as he did prior to Hurricane Ivy.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

After becoming homeless in Hempstead, Tx Johnny reached out to US VETS – Houston for help. He was brought into our LD housing program where he shares a room with another fellow veteran and works a program so that he can gain his independence again. Johnny is a member of our Veterans Advisory Council and helps facilitate and assist with duties on campus. Johnny enjoys woodworking and outdoor outings. Johnny is a pleasure to be around and is always willing to lend a helping hand!

Attending with US Vets – Houston

US Navy

Johnny Hefelfinger

After becoming homeless in Hempstead, Tx Johnny reached out to US VETS – Houston for help. He was brought into our LD housing program where he shares a room with another fellow veteran and works a program so that he can gain his independence again. Johnny is a member of our Veterans Advisory Council and helps facilitate and assist with duties on campus. Johnny enjoys woodworking and outdoor outings. Johnny is a pleasure to be around and is always willing to lend a helping hand!

Attending with US Vets – Houston

My name is Leon Roberts, A former US Army Sergeant E-5. I served from July 2000 to Oct 2008, I also served 2 tours of duty in Iraq and 1 tour of duty in Afghanistan.

I was born on Carswell Air Force Base right outside of Fort Worth, Texas However, I was not raised there. As a Military Brat, I had the unique experience of being raised on many Military Bases across America and Europe.

The US Vets Temporary Housing Program was a true blessing for me in my time of need. I was suddenly and shockingly thrown into homelessness due to some unfortunate financial downfalls. I am thankful, appreciative and grateful for the opportunities that the US Vets center has afforded me.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

US Army

Leon Roberts

My name is Leon Roberts, A former US Army Sergeant E-5. I served from July 2000 to Oct 2008, I also served 2 tours of duty in Iraq and 1 tour of duty in Afghanistan.

I was born on Carswell Air Force Base right outside of Fort Worth, Texas However, I was not raised there. As a Military Brat, I had the unique experience of being raised on many Military Bases across America and Europe.

The US Vets Temporary Housing Program was a true blessing for me in my time of need. I was suddenly and shockingly thrown into homelessness due to some unfortunate financial downfalls. I am thankful, appreciative and grateful for the opportunities that the US Vets center has afforded me.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

My name is Anthony Charles.  I was born in Lompoc, CAQ in 1989.  My childhood was decent.  It was split between living with my mother and father.  In 2009 I joined the Navy as a Yeoman.  I went to Great Lakes, MI and then on to Meridian, MS.  After A School, my permanent duty station (PSD) was in Seal Beach, CA at Naval Weapon Station with Maritime Expeditionary 11 unit.  At 3 years, I was medically retired due to Mental Health.  I am here at U.S. Vets to get my life back on track and find a permanent place to live as well as use the tools I’ve learned to control my mental health issues.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

US Navy

Anthony Charles

My name is Anthony Charles.  I was born in Lompoc, CAQ in 1989.  My childhood was decent.  It was split between living with my mother and father.  In 2009 I joined the Navy as a Yeoman.  I went to Great Lakes, MI and then on to Meridian, MS.  After A School, my permanent duty station (PSD) was in Seal Beach, CA at Naval Weapon Station with Maritime Expeditionary 11 unit.  At 3 years, I was medically retired due to Mental Health.  I am here at U.S. Vets to get my life back on track and find a permanent place to live as well as use the tools I’ve learned to control my mental health issues.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

David M. Traxler is the Program Director for US VETS Houston. He was commissioned in the Marine Corps through Officer Candidate School in 2001.

Major David Traxler has served as air defense officer, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California; platoon commander and battalion training officer, Marine Air Control Squadron Four, Okinawa, Japan, deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan; instructor and assistant systems integration officer, Marine Corps Communications and Electronics School, Twentynine Palms; company commander, Marine Air Control Squadron Four, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa; assistant executive officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Station-Houston, Texas; commander, Houston MEPS; and assistant inspector general and lead investigator, Officer of Inspector General, Training and Education Command, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.  Major Traxler has served 20 years on active duty as Marine Officer, serving as a staff officer, platoon commander, company commander, and twice as the Houston MEPS Commander. David retired from the Marine Corps, July 2021.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

US Marine

David Traxler

David M. Traxler is the Program Director for US VETS Houston. He was commissioned in the Marine Corps through Officer Candidate School in 2001.

Major David Traxler has served as air defense officer, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California; platoon commander and battalion training officer, Marine Air Control Squadron Four, Okinawa, Japan, deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan; instructor and assistant systems integration officer, Marine Corps Communications and Electronics School, Twentynine Palms; company commander, Marine Air Control Squadron Four, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa; assistant executive officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Station-Houston, Texas; commander, Houston MEPS; and assistant inspector general and lead investigator, Officer of Inspector General, Training and Education Command, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.  Major Traxler has served 20 years on active duty as Marine Officer, serving as a staff officer, platoon commander, company commander, and twice as the Houston MEPS Commander. David retired from the Marine Corps, July 2021.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

I am honored to be asked to join our veterans at the 2022 Helicopters for Heroes Festival. When
working with veterans on various issues, I learn a lot about the struggles of homelessness, but I also hear
a lot about the good times these veterans have experienced throughout their lives. While many of these
veterans are working to restore their lives, amazing opportunities like Helicopters for Heroes instill more
faith and hope and that to me equals growth. I am a proud Navy veteran that served during the Desert
Storm Era. In 2019 I joined US VETS and I am an outreach specialist. I enjoy assisting veterans navigate
various barriers as well as building relationships, synergizing, and laying a larger footprint of US VETS in
Houston and across the country.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

US Navy

Amy E. Lambre

I am honored to be asked to join our veterans at the 2022 Helicopters for Heroes Festival. When
working with veterans on various issues, I learn a lot about the struggles of homelessness, but I also hear
a lot about the good times these veterans have experienced throughout their lives. While many of these
veterans are working to restore their lives, amazing opportunities like Helicopters for Heroes instill more
faith and hope and that to me equals growth. I am a proud Navy veteran that served during the Desert
Storm Era. In 2019 I joined US VETS and I am an outreach specialist. I enjoy assisting veterans navigate
various barriers as well as building relationships, synergizing, and laying a larger footprint of US VETS in
Houston and across the country.

Attending with US Vets – Houston

I joined the Army as a tank mechanic in 1985 before going to the Infantry in 1987.  I later joined the Special Forces in 2002 retiring as a Colonel in 2019.  I served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa in addition to stateside assignments.  I have been married for 31 years with 3 children (one in the USMC, one in the US Navy and one in the Army).  I currently work for the Texas Department of Public Safety as Chief Pilot.

Attending with SOS

US Army

Tim Ochsner

I joined the Army as a tank mechanic in 1985 before going to the Infantry in 1987.  I later joined the Special Forces in 2002 retiring as a Colonel in 2019.  I served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa in addition to stateside assignments.  I have been married for 31 years with 3 children (one in the USMC, one in the US Navy and one in the Army).  I currently work for the Texas Department of Public Safety as Chief Pilot.

Attending with SOS

I am a simple man, I love to smoke meat, go fishing, completing the infamous honey-do-list, and sharing laughs with good friends.

Military Career:

US Navy 2010-2018, BUD/S and SEAL Training 2010-2011

SEAL Team Ten – 2012 – 2016

Combat Deployment to Afghanistan 2013

Counter Narcotics Deployment to Central America 2015

SNIPER School Instructor 2016-2018

Awards: Combat Action Ribbon, Navy and Army Achievement Medals, Sailor of the Quarter

Post Military Career:

Contract Instructor: 2018-2019

Security Contractor: 2019

Business Development Manager for Horus Vision: 2019- Present

Self-employed Tree Business: 2020- Present

 

Attending with SOS

US Navy

Alex Pickett

I am a simple man, I love to smoke meat, go fishing, completing the infamous honey-do-list, and sharing laughs with good friends.

Military Career:

US Navy 2010-2018, BUD/S and SEAL Training 2010-2011

SEAL Team Ten – 2012 – 2016

Combat Deployment to Afghanistan 2013

Counter Narcotics Deployment to Central America 2015

SNIPER School Instructor 2016-2018

Awards: Combat Action Ribbon, Navy and Army Achievement Medals, Sailor of the Quarter

Post Military Career:

Contract Instructor: 2018-2019

Security Contractor: 2019

Business Development Manager for Horus Vision: 2019- Present

Self-employed Tree Business: 2020- Present

 

Attending with SOS

53 y/o and live in Cincinnati Ohio with my beautiful wife Jenni of 5 years.  I retired from the Army Reserves and National Guard in 2010, after 22.5 years. Multiple occupations in my career ranging from communications, med supply, medic, field artillery, and transportation.

Having had lived in NY, after 9-11, I was deployed to Ground Zero multiple times and volunteered for multiple missions throughout NYC and all of NY for a total of almost 4 years. In 2008, my unit was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan to Camp Phoenix. Our mission was, as a transportation battalion, to transport troops and equipment throughout the Kabul/Bagram/Kandahar region.

In 2014, I was diagnosed with stage 4 throat, tongue and lymph node cancer. Cause of cancer has never been confirmed 100%, but major contributions are based on ground zero and environmental conditions throughout Afghanistan  (burn pits, heavy air pollution). I completed treatments and survived thanks to the Denver Colorado VA.

In  my free time when I’m not working as  a truck driver, I enjoy riding our motorcycle, hunting, fishing, traveling and concerts with my wife.

Attending with SOS

US Army Reserves

James Penlon

53 y/o and live in Cincinnati Ohio with my beautiful wife Jenni of 5 years.  I retired from the Army Reserves and National Guard in 2010, after 22.5 years. Multiple occupations in my career ranging from communications, med supply, medic, field artillery, and transportation.

Having had lived in NY, after 9-11, I was deployed to Ground Zero multiple times and volunteered for multiple missions throughout NYC and all of NY for a total of almost 4 years. In 2008, my unit was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan to Camp Phoenix. Our mission was, as a transportation battalion, to transport troops and equipment throughout the Kabul/Bagram/Kandahar region.

In 2014, I was diagnosed with stage 4 throat, tongue and lymph node cancer. Cause of cancer has never been confirmed 100%, but major contributions are based on ground zero and environmental conditions throughout Afghanistan  (burn pits, heavy air pollution). I completed treatments and survived thanks to the Denver Colorado VA.

In  my free time when I’m not working as  a truck driver, I enjoy riding our motorcycle, hunting, fishing, traveling and concerts with my wife.

Attending with SOS

Born Sept, 1982. In 2003, Kevin joined the Marine Corps.  Attended boot camp and arrived Camp Lejeune, NC, assigned to 3rd Bn, 6th Marines.  His first deployment was to Afghanistan in 2004 as a Motor-T operator.  Second Det to Iraq in fall 2005 and 2006. Third to Afghanistan, July 2010. August 13th, 2010, life forever changed for Sgt. Koffler his truck was struck an IED while attempting to recover another vehicle. Kevin was  MEDEVAC to Camp Bastion with a  shattered right ankle, 2 fractures of the left ankle joint, and a crushed cuboid bone in the left foot. Sgt. Koffler Retired Medically Dec. 2012 from the Marine Corps.

Kevin Married his longtime girlfriend Lissa in Jan 2011, and they are proud parents of 10-year-old boy Trathen and 8-year-old boy Cheston. Since medically Retiring from the Marines. Sgt. Koffler has had 3 more surgeries, and they now reside in Northwestern Ohio since 2018 and close to a great family of Americans.

Attending with SOS

USMC

Kevin Koffler

Born Sept, 1982. In 2003, Kevin joined the Marine Corps.  Attended boot camp and arrived Camp Lejeune, NC, assigned to 3rd Bn, 6th Marines.  His first deployment was to Afghanistan in 2004 as a Motor-T operator.  Second Det to Iraq in fall 2005 and 2006. Third to Afghanistan, July 2010. August 13th, 2010, life forever changed for Sgt. Koffler his truck was struck an IED while attempting to recover another vehicle. Kevin was  MEDEVAC to Camp Bastion with a  shattered right ankle, 2 fractures of the left ankle joint, and a crushed cuboid bone in the left foot. Sgt. Koffler Retired Medically Dec. 2012 from the Marine Corps.

Kevin Married his longtime girlfriend Lissa in Jan 2011, and they are proud parents of 10-year-old boy Trathen and 8-year-old boy Cheston. Since medically Retiring from the Marines. Sgt. Koffler has had 3 more surgeries, and they now reside in Northwestern Ohio since 2018 and close to a great family of Americans.

Attending with SOS

Born in 1973 and graduated from McArthur High School, Florida.

I joined the United States Navy in 1998 and went on to complete bootcamp, Naval Station Great Lakes in Great Lakes, IL. Orders took me to NAS Lemoore California attached to F18 Squadron Fighting Red Cocks. My first deployment was on the USS KITTY HAWK before it was decommissioned. I then did 3 tours on the USS CARL VINSON, visiting ports in Hong Kong, Singapore, Jubail, Dubai, Australia, Hawaii, Washington, and Alaska. I was also deployed to the Persian Gulf where we were the active carrier for 8 months of war operations. I ended my enlistment in 2001 as Second Class AD2.

Attending with SOS

US Navy

Richard Philower

Born in 1973 and graduated from McArthur High School, Florida.

I joined the United States Navy in 1998 and went on to complete bootcamp, Naval Station Great Lakes in Great Lakes, IL. Orders took me to NAS Lemoore California attached to F18 Squadron Fighting Red Cocks. My first deployment was on the USS KITTY HAWK before it was decommissioned. I then did 3 tours on the USS CARL VINSON, visiting ports in Hong Kong, Singapore, Jubail, Dubai, Australia, Hawaii, Washington, and Alaska. I was also deployed to the Persian Gulf where we were the active carrier for 8 months of war operations. I ended my enlistment in 2001 as Second Class AD2.

Attending with SOS

USMC 2002-2011

Rank: Sergeant, MOS: Artillery

Deployments: Afghanistan 2004 Iraq 2005 and 2007

Wounded in Hit, Iraq Feb 10, 2006.

Steve Craig – wounded February 10th, 9 years in Marine Corp and reached rank of Sergeant.  Last time in a helicopter was in a black hawk with blood all over him after his interpreter’s arm was blown off with wounds and TBI sustained from IED blast.

I currently work in the Heating and air conditioning Business; My Biggest Passions are spending time with my kids and family. Hiking and Fishing in the summer and in the winter taking them skiing is the greatest thing. When I’m not working or spending time with my family, I am volunteering with Challenge Aspin a great organization center on veterans.

Attending with SOS

USMC

Steven Craig

USMC 2002-2011

Rank: Sergeant, MOS: Artillery

Deployments: Afghanistan 2004 Iraq 2005 and 2007

Wounded in Hit, Iraq Feb 10, 2006.

Steve Craig – wounded February 10th, 9 years in Marine Corp and reached rank of Sergeant.  Last time in a helicopter was in a black hawk with blood all over him after his interpreter’s arm was blown off with wounds and TBI sustained from IED blast.

I currently work in the Heating and air conditioning Business; My Biggest Passions are spending time with my kids and family. Hiking and Fishing in the summer and in the winter taking them skiing is the greatest thing. When I’m not working or spending time with my family, I am volunteering with Challenge Aspin a great organization center on veterans.

Attending with SOS

  • Born NOV 1965, graduated from Port Sulphur High School May 1983. Attended Southeastern Louisiana University earning a BA in Physical Education.
  • Enlisted in US Navy, August 1991 and reported and graduated bootcamp Mar 1992.
  • Deployed with VFA -204 to NAS Fallon as ground support representative for the squadron.
  • Transferred to NAF Washington DC During this tour deployed to El Salvador in support of drug interdiction operations
  • I earned my Air Warfare qualification and deployed to Bahrain in support of Operation Enduring Freedom
  • My final command is JRC West Fort Worth, TX where I served in 900 and QA Div.
  • I retired on MAR 2012 Twenty years to the day.
  • I have worked for 9 different employers since the end of military service, and I am very happy to be back working on support equipment as DoD contractor since 2019.
  • Hunting, fishing, old hot rods, and football without political opinion are my favorite things

Attending with SOS

US Navy

Vadian P. Courtney

  • Born NOV 1965, graduated from Port Sulphur High School May 1983. Attended Southeastern Louisiana University earning a BA in Physical Education.
  • Enlisted in US Navy, August 1991 and reported and graduated bootcamp Mar 1992.
  • Deployed with VFA -204 to NAS Fallon as ground support representative for the squadron.
  • Transferred to NAF Washington DC During this tour deployed to El Salvador in support of drug interdiction operations
  • I earned my Air Warfare qualification and deployed to Bahrain in support of Operation Enduring Freedom
  • My final command is JRC West Fort Worth, TX where I served in 900 and QA Div.
  • I retired on MAR 2012 Twenty years to the day.
  • I have worked for 9 different employers since the end of military service, and I am very happy to be back working on support equipment as DoD contractor since 2019.
  • Hunting, fishing, old hot rods, and football without political opinion are my favorite things

Attending with SOS

  • Mr. Patterson was born April 1948 in North Carolina. The son of Henry C Patterson and Francis E Patterson. He attended Massey Hill High School and has earned a degree in Business Administration from El Paso Community College, El Paso, Texas.
  • Mr. Patterson entered the U.S. Army, September 21, 1966. He completed Basic Training at Ft Bragg and Advanced Infantry Training at Ft Gordon, and Jump School at Ft Benning, Georgia.
  • Mr. Patterson is a Viet Nam veteran, December 1967 to December 1968, where he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on May 6, 1968.
  • He is also a veteran of the Gulf War.
  • He has served in every leadership position from Team Leader to Command Sergeant Major.
  • He has served with the 82d Airborne Division, 101st Airborne Division, 2d Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division (Light), and the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment.
  • SgtMaj. Patterson retired from the Army, after 26 years, as the Command Sergeant Major of the 4th Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, Ft Bliss, Texas.
  • After retiring from the Army, Mr. Patterson joined the Department of Veterans Affairs on October 5, 1992
  • He also served as a Military Services Representative at Ft Gordon, Georgia and as an Overseas Military Services Coordinator in England and Italy. Retiring in 2010.
  • Awards include the Medal of Honor, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (2d award), Bronze Star (2d award), Purple Heart (3d award) Army Commendation Medal (2d award), Army Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Drill Sergeant Badge, Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, Kuwait Liberation Medal, and the Southeast Asia Service Medal.

Mr. Patterson is proud of his family he has two sons, Anthony and Joseph. He is married to the former Linda S Cottage and has five Step-Daughters, Robin Youngblood, Amy Simpson, Tricia Margrave, Cheryl Stauffer, and Kimberly William.

Attending with SOS

US Army

Mr. Patterson

  • Mr. Patterson was born April 1948 in North Carolina. The son of Henry C Patterson and Francis E Patterson. He attended Massey Hill High School and has earned a degree in Business Administration from El Paso Community College, El Paso, Texas.
  • Mr. Patterson entered the U.S. Army, September 21, 1966. He completed Basic Training at Ft Bragg and Advanced Infantry Training at Ft Gordon, and Jump School at Ft Benning, Georgia.
  • Mr. Patterson is a Viet Nam veteran, December 1967 to December 1968, where he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on May 6, 1968.
  • He is also a veteran of the Gulf War.
  • He has served in every leadership position from Team Leader to Command Sergeant Major.
  • He has served with the 82d Airborne Division, 101st Airborne Division, 2d Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division (Light), and the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment.
  • SgtMaj. Patterson retired from the Army, after 26 years, as the Command Sergeant Major of the 4th Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, Ft Bliss, Texas.
  • After retiring from the Army, Mr. Patterson joined the Department of Veterans Affairs on October 5, 1992
  • He also served as a Military Services Representative at Ft Gordon, Georgia and as an Overseas Military Services Coordinator in England and Italy. Retiring in 2010.
  • Awards include the Medal of Honor, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (2d award), Bronze Star (2d award), Purple Heart (3d award) Army Commendation Medal (2d award), Army Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Drill Sergeant Badge, Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, Kuwait Liberation Medal, and the Southeast Asia Service Medal.

Mr. Patterson is proud of his family he has two sons, Anthony and Joseph. He is married to the former Linda S Cottage and has five Step-Daughters, Robin Youngblood, Amy Simpson, Tricia Margrave, Cheryl Stauffer, and Kimberly William.

Attending with SOS

David Roberts , 65, raised William Brown, Sgt 1st Class. David has been employed at Bell Helicopter for 23 years and founded a scholarship in his son’s honor at Brewer High School.

David is attending as a Gold Star father, in Honor of Sgt. 1st Class, William R. Brown

12/16/1975 – 11/06/2006

OEF 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)

Sgt. 1st Class William R. Brown, 30, a Special Forces weapons sergeant assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., died Nov. 6, 2006, when an Improvised Explosive Device detonated near his Humvee in the Panjwayi district of Kandahar.

Native Texan,  Sgt. Brown enlisted in June 1994.

His first assignment was with 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga., where he served for seven years. Sgt Brown then successfully completed a two-year tour in Dallas, as a recruiter. After attending the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2004 he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd SFG (A), as a weapons sergeant, where he served until his death.

His awards and decorations included the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, U.S. Army Recruiter Badge (silver), Ranger Tab and the Special Forces Tab.

He is survived by his wife, Audra, stepson, Trenton and daughter Emily of Hope Mills, N.C. His mother, Anita Walton, of Boyd, Texas, also survives him.

– DE OPPRESSO LIBER –

Attending with SOS

Sgt. 1st Class, William R. Brown

David H Roberts (Gold Star Father)

David Roberts , 65, raised William Brown, Sgt 1st Class. David has been employed at Bell Helicopter for 23 years and founded a scholarship in his son’s honor at Brewer High School.

David is attending as a Gold Star father, in Honor of Sgt. 1st Class, William R. Brown

12/16/1975 – 11/06/2006

OEF 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)

Sgt. 1st Class William R. Brown, 30, a Special Forces weapons sergeant assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., died Nov. 6, 2006, when an Improvised Explosive Device detonated near his Humvee in the Panjwayi district of Kandahar.

Native Texan,  Sgt. Brown enlisted in June 1994.

His first assignment was with 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga., where he served for seven years. Sgt Brown then successfully completed a two-year tour in Dallas, as a recruiter. After attending the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2004 he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd SFG (A), as a weapons sergeant, where he served until his death.

His awards and decorations included the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, U.S. Army Recruiter Badge (silver), Ranger Tab and the Special Forces Tab.

He is survived by his wife, Audra, stepson, Trenton and daughter Emily of Hope Mills, N.C. His mother, Anita Walton, of Boyd, Texas, also survives him.

– DE OPPRESSO LIBER –

Attending with SOS

Native of Fort Worth, Texas He enlisted into the Marine Corps  May 1992. Designated MOS, 6072 (Ground Support Equipment Structural and Hydraulic Mechanic). Assigned to HMLA 269 (New River), VMGR 234,  Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron – 36, MALS 13, VMA-513 (Afghanistan) additionally attaches to humanitarian missions, security patrols, and thousands of aerial sorties.

Attending with SOS

USMC

Mark Cedillo

Native of Fort Worth, Texas He enlisted into the Marine Corps  May 1992. Designated MOS, 6072 (Ground Support Equipment Structural and Hydraulic Mechanic). Assigned to HMLA 269 (New River), VMGR 234,  Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron – 36, MALS 13, VMA-513 (Afghanistan) additionally attaches to humanitarian missions, security patrols, and thousands of aerial sorties.

Attending with SOS

Hank Seay III served in the Marine Corps from 1988 to 1992 and belonged to the famous VMA – 214 Blacksheep Squadron. Hank injured his knees in the service which has led him to numerous surgeries over the years and limited his mobility. To date Hank has undergone 47 knee surgeries and has had both knees replaced, including one twice.

Hank is still very active in his community and has served as a city councilman and Mayor of Castroville, an auxiliary member of the VFW in La Coste and also coaches the youth in Devine in all sports. Hank is married to his wife Tanya and together they have four boys and one granddaughter. He still enjoys being active with sports and loves to hunt and fish with his boys.

Hank Seay III has been selected as the 2021 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl recipient to receive an All-Terrain Trackchair. This presentation will be made during the football game at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium on December 22nd, 2021.

Attending with SOS

USMC

Henry (Hank) Seay III

Hank Seay III served in the Marine Corps from 1988 to 1992 and belonged to the famous VMA – 214 Blacksheep Squadron. Hank injured his knees in the service which has led him to numerous surgeries over the years and limited his mobility. To date Hank has undergone 47 knee surgeries and has had both knees replaced, including one twice.

Hank is still very active in his community and has served as a city councilman and Mayor of Castroville, an auxiliary member of the VFW in La Coste and also coaches the youth in Devine in all sports. Hank is married to his wife Tanya and together they have four boys and one granddaughter. He still enjoys being active with sports and loves to hunt and fish with his boys.

Hank Seay III has been selected as the 2021 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl recipient to receive an All-Terrain Trackchair. This presentation will be made during the football game at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium on December 22nd, 2021.

Attending with SOS

US Army SGT Robert Trevino served as a Ground Vehicle Mechanic from 2014-2018 in 1stSquadron 9th Cavalry Regiment. Part of the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division out of Ft. Hood, TX. In 2017 SGT Trevino was in a motor vehicle accident injuring his spinal cord resulting in T9 paraplegia. An all-terrain track chair would allow SGT Trevino to enjoy his property and continue to pursue his passions in hunting, yard work, and being involved with his children’s sports teams.

Attending with Independence Fund

SGT US Army

Robert Trevino

US Army SGT Robert Trevino served as a Ground Vehicle Mechanic from 2014-2018 in 1stSquadron 9th Cavalry Regiment. Part of the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division out of Ft. Hood, TX. In 2017 SGT Trevino was in a motor vehicle accident injuring his spinal cord resulting in T9 paraplegia. An all-terrain track chair would allow SGT Trevino to enjoy his property and continue to pursue his passions in hunting, yard work, and being involved with his children’s sports teams.

Attending with Independence Fund

SSG Kyle Malin Served in the U.S. Army from 2002-2012 as a Cannon Crew Member in the 101stAirborne Division. On July 12 2010, while conducting a routine patrol in the Arghandab River Valley of Afghanistan Kyle stepped on an IED which resulted in Bi Lateral amputations of both legs above the knee. SSG Malin is an avid outdoorsman and the gift of an all-terrain track chair will give him the independence and freedom to continue his endeavors in shooting, hunting, and hiking with his family.

Attending with Independence Fund

SSG US Army

Kyle Malin

SSG Kyle Malin Served in the U.S. Army from 2002-2012 as a Cannon Crew Member in the 101stAirborne Division. On July 12 2010, while conducting a routine patrol in the Arghandab River Valley of Afghanistan Kyle stepped on an IED which resulted in Bi Lateral amputations of both legs above the knee. SSG Malin is an avid outdoorsman and the gift of an all-terrain track chair will give him the independence and freedom to continue his endeavors in shooting, hunting, and hiking with his family.

Attending with Independence Fund

CPL Taylor Harter entered the Army in 2005 out of Fernandina Beach, FL. He attended basic training in Ft Leonard wood, MO for combat engineer school before being stationed at Ft. Stewart, GA with 1-30th INF battalion, 3rdInfantry Division. In 2007 while conducting a Route Clearance patrol and clearing a road of mines in Arab Jabor, Iraq, Taylor was wounded by an IED blast. He was evacuated to Walter Reed where he had 10+ surgeries and eventually medically retired in 2010.  Taylor originally kept his leg but due to complications decided to undergo a limb salvage in 2017. Taylor currently lives in Boone, NC with his wife Arden and 1 year old son.

Attending with Independence Fund

APL US Army

Taylor Harter

CPL Taylor Harter entered the Army in 2005 out of Fernandina Beach, FL. He attended basic training in Ft Leonard wood, MO for combat engineer school before being stationed at Ft. Stewart, GA with 1-30th INF battalion, 3rdInfantry Division. In 2007 while conducting a Route Clearance patrol and clearing a road of mines in Arab Jabor, Iraq, Taylor was wounded by an IED blast. He was evacuated to Walter Reed where he had 10+ surgeries and eventually medically retired in 2010.  Taylor originally kept his leg but due to complications decided to undergo a limb salvage in 2017. Taylor currently lives in Boone, NC with his wife Arden and 1 year old son.

Attending with Independence Fund

US Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell served nine years in the military and deployed to Afghanistan as an EOD Technician in 2011 with SEAL Team 10. He was injured during combat operations when the vehicle he was in was struck by an IED, resulting in the loss of both legs and arm above the elbow. Today, Andrew lives with his family in California and is an avid hunter.

Attending with Independence Fund

US Navy

Andrew Bottrell

US Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell served nine years in the military and deployed to Afghanistan as an EOD Technician in 2011 with SEAL Team 10. He was injured during combat operations when the vehicle he was in was struck by an IED, resulting in the loss of both legs and arm above the elbow. Today, Andrew lives with his family in California and is an avid hunter.

Attending with Independence Fund

Brian, a retired US Army Sergeant, served with the 104th Cavalry Regiment. He was injured in Iraq in 2009 by an explosively formed projectile which destroyed his leg, eventually causing him to become a single leg above knee amputee. Today, Brian lives in North Carolina with his wife and his animals.

Attending with Independence Fund

 

US Army

Brian Miller

Brian, a retired US Army Sergeant, served with the 104th Cavalry Regiment. He was injured in Iraq in 2009 by an explosively formed projectile which destroyed his leg, eventually causing him to become a single leg above knee amputee. Today, Brian lives in North Carolina with his wife and his animals.

Attending with Independence Fund

 

Brian Schar Enlisted in the US Army in April of 2000 at the age of 17. Soon after he was assigned to C. Co, 326th Eng Bn. and deployed to Afghanistan from January-June of 2002. He then deployed to Iraq in March of 2003 for the invasion. On September 19, 2007 SSG Schar was wounded by an EFP during his third deployment. He now lives in Colorado with his wife and two sons.

Attending with Independence Fund

US Army

Brian Schar

Brian Schar Enlisted in the US Army in April of 2000 at the age of 17. Soon after he was assigned to C. Co, 326th Eng Bn. and deployed to Afghanistan from January-June of 2002. He then deployed to Iraq in March of 2003 for the invasion. On September 19, 2007 SSG Schar was wounded by an EFP during his third deployment. He now lives in Colorado with his wife and two sons.

Attending with Independence Fund

LCPL Alex Nicoll served as an infantryman in 3rd Battalion 1st Marines and was severely injured during the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004 which resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee, shrapnel wounds, and a cracked vertebrae.

Attending with Independence Fund

LCPL USMC

Alex Nicoll

LCPL Alex Nicoll served as an infantryman in 3rd Battalion 1st Marines and was severely injured during the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004 which resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee, shrapnel wounds, and a cracked vertebrae.

Attending with Independence Fund

Travis Vendela served as a scout/sniper his entire career in light recon units. Travis deployed three times to Iraq with the 1 st Cavalry Division serving twice as the Senior Scout and once as the Recon Platoon’s Platoon Sergeant. He successfully led over 700 combat reconnaissance missions and directly accounted for the capture of over 150 enemy High Value Targets. SFC Vendela’s HMMWV was struck by two very large improvised explosive devices during combat operations in Iraq on February 7th , 2007. Travis was severely wounded in this attack which ultimately led to the loss of both legs above the knee amongst several other severe wounds. Since being medically retired from the U.S. Army Travis has continued serving his communities by volunteering as a high school football coach. In this capacity Travis believes he has a platform to help guide today’s youth in the proper direction.

Attending with Independence Fund

US Army

Travis Vendella

Travis Vendela served as a scout/sniper his entire career in light recon units. Travis deployed three times to Iraq with the 1 st Cavalry Division serving twice as the Senior Scout and once as the Recon Platoon’s Platoon Sergeant. He successfully led over 700 combat reconnaissance missions and directly accounted for the capture of over 150 enemy High Value Targets. SFC Vendela’s HMMWV was struck by two very large improvised explosive devices during combat operations in Iraq on February 7th , 2007. Travis was severely wounded in this attack which ultimately led to the loss of both legs above the knee amongst several other severe wounds. Since being medically retired from the U.S. Army Travis has continued serving his communities by volunteering as a high school football coach. In this capacity Travis believes he has a platform to help guide today’s youth in the proper direction.

Attending with Independence Fund

Sgt Hurt joined the Army in September 2000 where he attended basic training and Infantry School in Ft Benning, GA. He served as an Infantryman with the 101st Airborner Division out of Fort Campbell, KY.  On September 13,  2003, while conducting a routine patrol through Mosul, Iraq, Derricks convoy was ambushed by insurgents. Two grenades landed between Derricks legs resulting in the amputation of both below the knee. After many surgeries and rehab at Walter Reed Army Medical Center Derrick now lives in Greenfield, Missouri with his wife and 2 kids.

Attending with Independence Fund

SGT US Army

Derrick Hurt

Sgt Hurt joined the Army in September 2000 where he attended basic training and Infantry School in Ft Benning, GA. He served as an Infantryman with the 101st Airborner Division out of Fort Campbell, KY.  On September 13,  2003, while conducting a routine patrol through Mosul, Iraq, Derricks convoy was ambushed by insurgents. Two grenades landed between Derricks legs resulting in the amputation of both below the knee. After many surgeries and rehab at Walter Reed Army Medical Center Derrick now lives in Greenfield, Missouri with his wife and 2 kids.

Attending with Independence Fund

SFC Erik Nichols Retired after 26 years in the US Army. Erik spent his career among various units to include the 82nd Airborne Division as well as 7th Special Forces group where he was a Jumpmaster Instructor. In 2015 Erik was in a severe vehicle accident resulting in the loss of both legs below the knee. Erik currently resides in Charlotte, NC.

Attending with Independence Fund

SFC US Army

Erik Nichols

SFC Erik Nichols Retired after 26 years in the US Army. Erik spent his career among various units to include the 82nd Airborne Division as well as 7th Special Forces group where he was a Jumpmaster Instructor. In 2015 Erik was in a severe vehicle accident resulting in the loss of both legs below the knee. Erik currently resides in Charlotte, NC.

Attending with Independence Fund

Toby enlisted in the US Army in 1991, served in Korea, was selected directly into the United States Military Academy, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2016 after 20 years of service. He served multiple combat deployments overseas, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa with Asymmetric Warfare Group and SOF units. He has spine, neck, and leg issues from his service that limit his mobility. Today, Toby lives in NC, is an avid hunter, and runs a successful property management business.

Attending with Independence Fund

US Army

Toby Prudhomme

Toby enlisted in the US Army in 1991, served in Korea, was selected directly into the United States Military Academy, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2016 after 20 years of service. He served multiple combat deployments overseas, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa with Asymmetric Warfare Group and SOF units. He has spine, neck, and leg issues from his service that limit his mobility. Today, Toby lives in NC, is an avid hunter, and runs a successful property management business.

Attending with Independence Fund

Upon graduation from the Virginia Military Institute in 2005, Sean went to Navy OCS, BUDs, and on to become a Navy SEAL serving for almost 10 years before transitioning to entrepreneurship. During his time in the Navy, Sean found there were ways to do more with less and be more efficient. This led Sean and his colleague and fellow SEAL, Zach Steinbock, to create MATBOCK, in 2010, a small business that designs lighter, more practical equipment for soldiers, and spun that into creating the energy supplement company Strike Force Beverage sold in 7/11 convenience stores all across the nation.

Sean is currently the Chief Executive Officer at MATBOCK and the Co-Founder of Strike Force Beverage and Aceso Plasma, LLC.

Attending with Independence Fund

US Navy

Sean Matson

Upon graduation from the Virginia Military Institute in 2005, Sean went to Navy OCS, BUDs, and on to become a Navy SEAL serving for almost 10 years before transitioning to entrepreneurship. During his time in the Navy, Sean found there were ways to do more with less and be more efficient. This led Sean and his colleague and fellow SEAL, Zach Steinbock, to create MATBOCK, in 2010, a small business that designs lighter, more practical equipment for soldiers, and spun that into creating the energy supplement company Strike Force Beverage sold in 7/11 convenience stores all across the nation.

Sean is currently the Chief Executive Officer at MATBOCK and the Co-Founder of Strike Force Beverage and Aceso Plasma, LLC.

Attending with Independence Fund

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