Described as “a driven person with out of the box insights,” Lannon has successfully built and operated 6 healing centers. With a bold vision to bring 1 million warriors home from addiction and PTSD, Warriors Heart is leading the way in chemical dependency treatment for our Warriors.
Growing up, Josh apprenticed under his father’s direction by operating the family owned nightclubs in Las Vegas, Nevada. Josh’s leadership and team led the Vegas nightclubs to be voted the #1 country club, five years in a row.
In 2002, Josh refocused himself to creating a career in sobriety and building businesses that are more socially conscious. He retired from the nightclub industry and, together, Josh and Lisa Lannon launched their first recovery center, Journey Healing Centers, a private drug and alcohol treatment center. JHC grew to six locations with 100 team members. Then in late 2013, Elements Behavioral Health, a leading nationwide provider, acquired JHC.
Josh has also dedicated three decades to studying the martial arts. He has a “Senior Professor of Arts” ranking as a 7th degree black belt as a personal student to the Grandmaster, Mr. Paul Mills. Josh is a leading Professor at the AKKI annual international seminars and teaches worldwide. Josh is currently getting his butt kicked going through the ranks in the Brazilian Jujitsu. He loves learning and taking on challenges.
Josh’s continued passion for building businesses assisting those who are struggling from addiction is one of the driving forces behind Warriors Heart.
Co-Founder and Former LEO
Described as “a protector with compassion.” Lisa has a bold passion in building businesses and providing safe world class healing environments assisting warriors in sobriety and healing. Her mission is to build healing facilities for our Warriors – Veterans, Active Military, Police Officers and other 1st Responders/Protectors.
Lannon is a Social Entrepreneur, author and international speaker. Lisa is the Founder of Brooke Property Management and is an investor in commercial buildings, residential homes, apartment complexes with holdings of over 2600 units and commodities.
Lisa has been featured in interviews on PBS’s Rich Woman Show, Fox News, JetSet Magazine, EmpowHer, Rich Dad Radio, along with other media outlets and speaks at financial education events worldwide.
Lisa was a commissioned Law Enforcement Officer for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, where during her time with LVMPD, she primarily worked on the booking floor. She dealt with addiction and combative people on a daily basis. Lisa trained other officers on the AFIS system and sat on a panel to interview new civilian potential hires.
Lisa and Josh have been inseparable since 1995, and are proud parents of two young amazing children. They’ve dedicated themselves to building a businesses that makes sense and address social problems.
US Army (Ret) & Co-Founder
Tom Spooner’s service to our nation in the U.S. Army spanned twenty-one years. His career included time in the 82nd Airborne, as a Green Beret in the US Army’s 7th Special Forces Group and, ultimately, in the elite US Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta. In his military career that included 3 years of direct action combat deployments, Tom was able to accomplish what less than .001% of US military personnel have by becoming a Delta Force Operator.
After retiring from the Army, Tom approached his struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with the same tenacity and commitment to excellence that he did his military career. He began speaking candidly about the repercussions of his experiences and the reality of the difficulties he had coping with them. Determined to help his community cope with suicide and addiction as a result of their experiences in war, Tom has rededicated his professional efforts to healing. With a voice nearly unmatched in credibility and experience, Tom has successfully enabled thousands of military and law enforcement personnel to admit their struggles, seek treatment, and understand that they are not alone.
Tom has been married for 24 years to the love of his life and is the proud father of 2 young men.
Angel L. Lugo, FACHE, MPA
Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired and Chief Strategic Officer, Warriors Heart
Angel L. Lugo is a retired U.S. Army Colonel who served 30 years on active duty as a Healthcare Operations/Administration Officer. Prior to retiring in 2012, he served as Chief of Staff/COO for the Army’s Northern Regional Medical Command and Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he provided staff oversight of the Army’s largest regional health system including the Army’s largest Wounded Warrior population. Prior to that, he was the first Chief of Staff/COO for the Defense Center of Excellence for Psych Health and TBI where he established a joint staff organization focused on policies, procedures, guidelines, research, and tools in Psych Health & TBI to support Warriors and their Families. After his retirement, Angel is founder & CEO of his own Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Lugo Vantage Solutions LLC, providing consulting services within the federal health sector specializing in military and Veterans health management. He also provides no cost job placement assistance to Veterans in transition. Angel’s career has been about serving our nation alongside Soldiers and supporting Warriors. He joined the military to serve and provide for his Family but stayed because the military is a unique Family of those dedicated to serve and protect our nation. That is why he is both excited and humbled to join the Warriors Heart Team as CEO and lead its mission to heal and support Warriors to bring them home.
In addition to the capstone Chief of Staff positions, COL (Ret) Lugo held many command and staff positions including: Director, DoD Executive Agencies (Medical), Office of The Surgeon General (OTSG), U.S. Army, Falls Church, VA; Hospital Commander, 212th MASH and CSH, Miesau, Germany; Commander, Task Force 212th MASH (Pakistan Earthquake Relief), Pakistan; Program Director, Medical Reengineering Initiative (MRI), OTSG; Battalion Commander, 61st Area Support Medical Battalion (ASMB), Fort Hood, Texas; Chief, Medical Operations, XVIII Airborne Corps and Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, G-3, 44th Medical Brigade (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Executive Officer, 61st ASMB, Fort Hood, Texas; Deputy Chief of Plans, Operations, Training, & Security Division and Plans Officer, 97th General Hospital/Frankfurt Medical Center, Germany; Commander, C Company (Medical), 45th Forward Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Division, Germany and South West Asia (Persian Gulf War); Administrative Officer, Fort Dix MEDDAC and Executive Officer and Commander, 556th Medical Company (Ground Ambulance), Fort Dix, New Jersey; and Operations Officer, S-3/PAD, 2nd MASH and Med Platoon Leader, 2/69th Armor Battalion, Ft. Benning, Georgia.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Microbiology and Hispanic Literature from Rutgers College in New Jersey and received his commission from Rutgers University ROTC Program as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1982. He earned a Master of Public Administration (Health Services focus) at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Missouri. COL (Ret) Lugo is also a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College Fellowship at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is a certified joint medical planner and trained as a Project Management Professional (PMP). He is Board Certified in Healthcare Management and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Awards and decorations that COL (Ret) Lugo earned include the Bronze Star Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (7th award), Army Commendation Medal (4th award), Army Achievement Medal (5th award), Humanitarian Service Medal, U.S. Public Health Service Unit Commendation, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Expert Field Medical Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge, Staff Identification Badge – Department of Health and Human Services, and Order of Military Medical Merit Medallion.
Chief Financial Officer
Christina Moreno was raised in Bandera and is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio. After college graduation, Christina was appointed the youngest County Auditor in the State of Texas at the age of 22 by the 216th District Judge. Christina continues her role as a public servant of Bandera in the capacity of County Auditor.
In her free time, Christina serves as the “Ultimate Team Mom” for youth sports, CrossFits, travels, and reads. Her and her husband, Louie, are active in the community and are proud to call Bandera home. Christina and Louie have been married since 2014 and have a blended family of three: Taytum, Giovanni, and Maddox.
Kayle Christian was raised in Bandera, Texas. She graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Over the past several years she worked in the construction industry for General Contractors and found a passion for Human Resources. Kayle has a strong work ethic and has been taught the values shared by the military community such as Integrity, Service, Honesty and Excellence.
Kayle and her husband Clint have been married since 2015. In her spare time, Kayle enjoys event planning, spending time with family, good coffee, her two black labs, Badger and Blaise and her mini Aussie, Mia (aka Tuna).
Kristin is a transplant to Bandera & has called Bandera her home for the past 8 years with her husband, Matthew who happens to be a Bandera graduate. She has been a stay at home mom for the past few years. Kristin volunteers her time by helping coach youth sports as well as helping with the Bandera County 4H program.
When Kristin is not volunteering her time she is an avid cross fitter and every chance she gets she is competing. She also loves to travel and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Kristin has always been a big supporter of our Military and 1st Responders. She has several siblings and family members that have and are serving in the Army, Air Force, and Police Department.
Troy Konvicka grew up in Bandera, Texas and married his wife Karen before enlisting into the U.S. Army in 1996. He served 22 years starting with 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, KY. 2nd BN 3rd Field Artillery in Germany. Attended Special Warfare Center and School at Ft Bragg, NC. After completing his training as a Green Beret and being assigned to 1st Special Forces Group, Fort Lewis, WA, he had multiple deployments to Iraq and throughout Pacific Command.
He earned the rank of Master Sergeant and serving as an Operation Detachment-Alpha Team Sergeant specializing in Military Freefall operation. Then He was assigned to the United States Special Operation Command as a Warriors Care Program liaison at San Antonio Military Medical Center. While in this position He directly influenced the recovery, rehabilitation of wounded warriors, and assist with family member during the process. After retiring Troy wants to dedicate his time to support the healing and recovery of warriors to let them come home.
Troy has been married 25 years, with two children and 3 grandchildren.
Dr. Jeffrey R. Holt
Dr. Holt was born in Kerrville and grew up in Comfort, where he graduated from high school in 1996. He received his B.A. at the University of Texas at Austin, then went on to the University of Texas at Houston medical school. He then completed his Family Medicine residency training at the Waco Family Medicine Residency Program. He returned home to the Hill Country in 2008, and joined the Fredericksburg Clinic.
In addition to his busy family medicine clinic, he has worked in the field of addiction medicine since 2008, when he started working at Serenity House Drug & Alcohol treatment facility. He received board certification in Addiction Medicine in November 2014 and became the medical director of the One-Eighty detox service at Hill Country Memorial Hospital in May 2015. He also accepted the position of medical director at Awakenings Hill Country, which opened in August 2015 and is a drug and alcohol detox and rehabilitation center for women.
In January 2017, Dr Holt added the position of associate medical director for Hill Country Memorial Hospice to his extensive experience. He has now accepted the medical director position at Warriors Heart, and is excited about the opportunity to help serve those in the military, veterans and first responders.
Dr Holt enjoys playing the piano and guitar, and he also enjoys camping and fishing. He lives in Fredericksburg with his wife and their four sons. He loves spending time with his family.
With a 15-year military medicine history providing top-notch patient care in diverse clinical and field environments, Leah possess extensive experience in both the military and civilian sectors. She served as a combat medic for 8 years before transitioning to an Army Physician Assistant. Some of her key positions included serving as a paratrooper with the prestigious 82nd Airborne division including a 15-month deployment to Iraq. She was the clinic NCOIC at 6th Ranger training Battalion, an Infantry battalion PA in the 101st Airborne Division followed by selection and assignment as the first woman Special Forces Physician Assistant.
As an Aeromedical Physician Assistant in the military she worked autonomously in austere environments and managed both traumatic injuries as well as critical care medical issues independently. Since transitioning to the civilian sector, she has practiced clinically as an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant as well as an entrepreneur. She is the owner and CEO of a medical consulting practice dedicated to fighting for veterans to establish and maintain medical compensation and pension. She is a compassionate team-oriented provider who cares about details and takes pride in a job not only completed but done well with patient satisfaction.
Jennifer Wade was born in San Antonio, Texas. She grew up as a Texas Native in Orange Grove, Texas. She attended Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and received her Bachelor’s in Nursing in 2010. She then returned home to Bandera, Texas to serve those in her community as a medical-surgical registered nurse for 1 year in Kerrville. She then pursued a career in emergency medicine for Methodist Healthcare System for 6.5 years.
Her deep desire to serve her local community was strong and lead her to return to school an earn her Master of Science in Nursing- Family Nurse Practitioner. She graduated from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in May of 2019. She is credentialed by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners as a family nurse practitioner. She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society and the Golden Key Honor Society. She is an active member of the Texas Nurse Practitioners Association, the Hill Country Nurse Practitioner Association, and the American Nurses Association. Jennifer is also a member of the Bandera Eastern Star Chapter.
Jennifer is married to a Marine Veteran who served two tours in Iraq. She understands the struggles of our brave men and women who proudly serve our country. With this background, she is deeply honored to be able to serve them in their time of need.
On her off-time, Jennifer has property outside Bandera where she resides with her husband, Donald, of three years and her four dogs. She loves working in the yard, fishing, kayaking, hunting and enjoying time with her family and friends.
Nurse Shift Lead, Night
Born and raised on a small horse ranch just south of San Antonio, Jose learned what hard work was. The second youngest of 8 children, he had many bosses in his family and quickly learned how to multitask. Between horses, school and sports (in that order) he had his hands full. Upon graduating from high school, he set out into the workforce for several years traveling around Texas before landing a job as a crew lead for a cabling company that sent him traveling across the United States. The experience he would gain from that he would later apply to a long IT career for the largest distributor of electronic goods in the world. Working with the IBM business unit he helped lead the way to introduce some of the top technology for business computing.
After many years in IT, he would actually find his true calling in the Nursing profession, where he decided he wanted to help people instead of replacing them with machinery. Going to nursing school with his wife, who would be a beacon of inspiration for him through his journey into reeducation he would successfully complete school and begin a new journey. With the experience he would gain while working with the elderly in many dementia units and working as a psych nurse for the State of Texas, he would find his way to Warrior’s Heart to truly serve a higher purpose in helping the veterans and first responders that make our world a safer place.
Penny wasn’t born in Texas, but she got here as fast as she could. She came by way of Canada and Louisiana. She was raised in northern Ontario, then went to nursing school in Toronto where she got her diploma from George Brown College.
After working for a year on a bone marrow transplant unit, she decided she wanted to see something different. She secured a job in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, based on the fact that she didn’t know where it was – so different! – and that she had heard that Mardi Gras was a lot of fun. Both the job and Mardi Gras turned out to be great. She worked on an oncology/hematology unit then transferred to a burn unit.
Looking for something different again, she tried travel nursing and had a few adventures going to several hospitals. She ended up in a pediatric intensive care unit in San Antonio, which she loved and so decided to stay. It helped that she had also met her future husband, who was stationed in San Antonio with the Air Force.
They decided to make San Antonio their home and started their family, which eventually came to include two daughters and multiple pets. After not working – as if that is what at-home moms are not about! – for 16 years she decided that that it was time to pursue her love of nursing again and was welcomed home to Warrior’s Heart.
I was born in Johnson City, TX, but I was raised in Blanco, TX. I currently live in San Antonio, TX. During my free time, I love traveling with my son and husband.
In 2007 I became an LVN and began my nursing journey at the Audie Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio, TX. I worked on a medical-surgical telemetry unit for three years, when I decided I wanted to become an RN.
I began working at a rehabilitation hospital while pursuing my degree. I became an RN in 2011 and continued working in rehabilitation medicine. I decided I wanted to work from home, so I began working for Coventry insurance company helping injured workers across all 50 states. In 2016 my husband and I welcomed our son and working from home was a dream.
Fast forward three years and I couldn’t wait to get out of my house and rejoin a workforce where I could actually see co-workers and feel like I was making a difference as a nurse. My late father was an Army Veteran, but his life was tragically cut short in 2010 when he was hit by a drunk driver while riding his Harley Davidson home.
I hope to follow in his footsteps by continuing to help those in need. My oldest brother is also an Army Veteran. I could not have been more excited when the opportunity arose to work at Warriors Heart. I look forward to assisting with the healing process in the lives of those who have sacrificed so much.
Registered Dietitian, RDN, LD, CDE
Anna is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator who’s personal and professional goal is to inspire people to unlock their full health potential by discovering the joy of cooking and eating natural, minimally processed foods.
Anna was born and raised in Alaska and had an early affinity to cooking beautiful and tasty food. She worked several years in the restaurant industry in her early 20s before realizing that her calling in life was to help others by pairing her love of food with the science of how to eat for optimal health. She moved to Seattle, Washington in 2006 to pursue a degree in nutrition with an emphasis on natural health from Bastyr University.
Anna then found her way to Texas to follow her career path as a dietitian. She worked as a clinical dietitian in a large county hospital for one year then worked the following four years as a nutrition counselor specializing in weight loss and chronic disease management, including diabetes.
In 2014, Anna opened her private practice where she offers cooking classes, individual nutrition counseling, and group classes throughout Bandera County. In her free time, Anna can be found quilting, tending to her vegetable garden or hanging out with her pygmy goats.
Anna is delighted to be able to bring her passion and expertise to Warrior’s Heart and serve the men and women who have and are serving our country.
Licensed Vocational Nurse
Lanette Garvin was born and raised in Houston, Texas. While the first part of her career was spent in the petrochemical industry, she always knew nursing was her true calling in life. Although going back to college later in life was a struggle at times, it was all well worth it. While working in the Houston hospital setting after becoming a nurse, the opportunity arose for a change. Lanette and her husband decided to make a move to the Texas Hill Country in Bandera, where they had visited frequently for many years, and now call home.
With her father being in law enforcement for 40 years, Lanette and her family knew not only the rewards, but also the struggles that both officers and families deal with on a daily basis. Seeing her father’s addiction with alcoholism first hand and the struggles with his sobriety, was something that she knew she could relate to forever. With many of her family members and friends that are in law enforcement, military, fire, and first responders, finding Warriors Heart and the ability to serve those in need was a blessing and a familiarity. Her compassionate personality and traits are what inspired her to become a nurse, and finds it rewarding, humbling, and an honor, to be able to help and serve those in need.
Lanette still visits Houston frequently, as it will always be her hometown and where she began her nursing career. Houston is also home to her daughter and grand dog, as well as many other family and friends. Lanette enjoys ALL things Jeep related, including being a part of two awesome local jeep groups, kayaking, gardening, and watching her beloved Houston Astros. She also enjoys her two loveable black labs, several chickens, and many deer.
Licensed Vocational Nurse
Mikayla was born and raised in Kerrville, Texas. Married her high school sweetheart, she watched him go through the Air Force for 6 years then to become a police officer. She is currently enrolled in RN school. She has seen addiction first hand with her family for both drugs and alcohol.
Dr. Rick Boone
Dr. Rick Boone was born and raised in Gallipolis, OH, a rural community located in the southeastern Ohio River Valley.
He attended Ohio University in nearby Athens, OH before leaving for Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama’s psychology graduate school. While there he learned of the military’s Health Professions Scholarship Program and, because he’d always been interested in the U.S. Navy, applied for and received a scholarship.
As an ABD psychologist he served on active duty for nearly 9 years before returning to graduate school, this time in California at Biola University, where he completed his Ph.D. in a program that specialized in the integration of psychological science and Judeo-Christian theology.
Following completion of his doctorate he returned to his hometown where he launched a behavioral health service for the Holzer Clinic. Additionally, he served as a liaison-psychologist to the Holzer Medical Center and consultant-psychologist to the Bariatric Treatment and Physical Rehabilitation Departments.
In the late 1990’s Dr. Boone transferred from the Naval to the Army Reserves. He later was deployed to Iraq on two occasions, 2003 and 2005, where he served as Officer-in-Charge of two Combat Operational Stress Control Teams.
Upon his return to the U.S. in late 2005 he voluntarily mobilized to Ft. Sam Houston’s Army Medical Department Center and School (AMEDDC&S). He remained at the AMEDDC&S for three years as an Instructor and Interim Branch Chief with the Mental Health Specialist Branch and as a Program Director (Provider Resiliency Program) within the Soldier and Family Support Branch.
In 2009 he was employed by the Department of Defense as a Social Scientist with the Human Terrain Teams in the Kandahar and Logar provinces of Afghanistan.
Later he was employed as an adjunct professor at Austin Community College and, obtaining his Texas psychologist’s license in 2015, was hired by Pathfinders Psychological and Psychiatric Services.
Dr. Boone has four children ranging in ages from 37 to 11. The older three live back east in NC and VA while his youngest resides in Austin, TX. He recently married another Ohio native, Denise Boone, a successful restauranteur living currently, but not for long, in Camden, AR.
Dr. Boone is an avid reader and appreciator of music. Exercise, the arts, history, spirituality, travel in the U.S., and certain sports teams (e.g., Browns, Celtics, Red Sox, Crimson Tide, and the Midshipmen of the USNA) are among his passions.
CD Team Manager
Vonnie Nealon is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and Certified Anger Resolution Counselor. She has a passion for working with those with the disease of chemical dependency, due in part to her own struggle with drugs and alcohol. She has been in recovery since 1987 and has worked as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor since 2002.
Vonnie initially began working in the chemical dependency field as a nurse for Serenity House of Abilene, while working as a nurse she returned to college to pursue her counselor’s license. Vonnie has taught chemical dependency classes for Cisco Junior College helping others to become counselors. Vonnie has worked in all types of chemical dependency treatment facilities ranging from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, to inpatient facilities including La Hacienda for five years as the relapse track counselor, Origins Recovery Center South Padre Island as the Director of Clinical Services. She has also worked in outpatient programs including Archway Recovery Center Intensive Outpatient Program where she served not only as a counselor but also as the Clinical Director.
Due to Vonnie’s family’s deep love for this country she is very familiar with the demands and stressors of military life as many of her family members are either serving or have served in the Armed Services including her husband who is retired Air Force and her son who served in the Army.
Dual Team Manager
Kelly is currently a therapist who has a passion for working with active duty and veteran service members (SM) in inpatient and residential settings. She started as a substance abuse clinician and quickly realized that although addressing the presenting problem of substance was needed, a deeper passion began to emerge. Kelly began to discover the core issues of depression, anxiety, fear and trauma were not being addressed and began to train as a trauma therapist specializing in Prolonged Exposure therapy for PTSD. She also has a love for group therapy and enjoys leading SM groups in combat trauma, non-combat trauma, military sexual trauma, spiritual devotionals and substance education/process. Her treatment style is in line with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with an emphasis on teaching the skills of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
Kelly also works as a Triage Coordinator therapist and shift lead in a Psychiatric ER in San Antonio. It is a highly stressful job working closely with first responders and trauma clinicians to oversee a safe and thorough intake process for anyone who walks through the doors of the ER. She is use to staying on her toes in an adrenaline rush environment, all the while trying to be a calming presence for SM’s and civilians during a difficult time in their lives.
In addition to counseling, she has 13 years marketing & communication experience for multiple nonprofit organizations and has business owner experience as a communications contractor. Kelly’s passions of communications and counseling have been two of her goals over the last 20 years. She is married and has 3 children and enjoys spending time with family, traveling and working out.
Psychology and Health, Physical Education, & Recreation were Tricia’s majors at Southern College. She found a sense of fulfillment in helping people live life to the fullest by providing support, guidance, and hope.
Tricia has a Masters of Science (MS) in Clinical Psychology from Abilene Christian University in 1996. Her career choices often involved a combination of recreation and non-traditional counseling working as a team supervisor.
Tricia started working towards becoming a fully licensed Counselor (LPC) interning in various counseling modalities discovering a passion for providing motivation and help for people struggling with alcohol and drug abuse.
Tricia has a passion for animals and works with Warriors Heart’s K9 program. As a masters level LPC, Tricia has committed her life to being an objective, compassionate and caring in assisting warriors find and hone their strengths.
My name is Tim Pharo. I am a veteran and Licensed Professional Counselor. I grew up in Texas. I am the 2nd of 7 children. I found my niche growing up playing organized sports running track, boxing, and football and more recently Brazilian jiu-jitsu. As I completed high school, my goal was to continue pursuing my education and football in college and I chose Hardin-Simmons University from 1997-2000. I ended up finishing my degree in August of 2002. I soon enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2003 as a 91Whiskey (medic).
My time in the military was cut short due to a prior existing injury and I was medically discharged after almost 2 years of my initial enlistment. I remember thinking, “what is next for me? “ It was not acceptable to just wallow in circumstances out of my control. I decided to head back to school and further my education. I started a Masters program in Counseling Psychology at Hardin-Simmons and completed the program in December 2005. I then went to work at Serenity House in Abilene, Texas as a clinician working with those suffering from addiction. In the past 12 years I have worked in two different residential treatment facilities in Texas, 3 years in a maximum-security prison and 5 years in a hospital setting helping those suffering from mental illnesses. In all the different settings my calling is addiction and veterans/first responders.
I am deeply proud to be an American and having an opportunity to live and learn in a free country as well as having an opportunity to serve as a military member. It is my honor to serve and give what I can to help the ones who put it on the line everyday for my family and me. I am married to my life partner Angelica and we are blessed with 3 young children with a black lab named Hurley!
Ken was born at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama. His parents and brother are from Nebraska. Crimson Tide vs Cornhuskers was on from a very early age.
Ken was raised in a United States trapezoid formed by Alabama, California, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Texas, the son of an Air Force pilot. His dad flew quite a range of airplanes, starting with B-24 to the B-29, B-47 and B-52. Then things got faster…a lot faster: in 1959, Maj. Hal Confer was assigned to the B-58 Hustler, the world’s first supersonic bomber. In 1960 he and his crew set three world speed records and were awarded the Thompson Trophy. Then things got faster still. In 1965, Col Confer was assigned to the SR-71 Blackbird, which still holds numerous speed and altitude records. From driving a stake truck about 40mph on a dirt farm road, to driving a top secret spy plane Mach 3+ at around 80,000 feet. Not bad for a farm boy from NBN. B/Gen Confer retired at Randolph AFB in 1978 with over 270 combat hours.
His brother Kip is a former US Marine, having served in Viet Nam while stationed at Butler Marine Base, Okinawa. He credits taking a typing class his senior year in high school as the main reason he is alive today. Of Kip’s entire platoon, only 11 made it back. Because a M/Sgt. in Okinawa needed a typist just as he was about to deploy, Kip was reassigned to BMB. Although he felt guilty that he was not with his platoon, his dad told him not to be. On Oct. 3, 1967, on his first mission, Kip’s cousin Navy Lt. Michael Steele Confer, was shot down and killed over a remote section of Vietnam. Dad flew sorties out of Kadena AFB, Okinawa during 3 month TDYs. So as luck would have it (Col Confer couldn’t have influenced Kip’s duty station even if he wanted to), they actually spent some time together there. His dad told his young Marine son that apparently had a Guardian Angel watching over him which was way above his or anyone else’s pay grade to question. Micheal would’ve agreed.
Ken’s mom was the quintessential military mom. Dotti kept the home fires burning, never once questioning her husband’s orders that resulted in months away from home, including missing something like 11 Christmas’ at home. Having spotted Hal singing in a choral group on stage in high school, Dotti “arranged” a double date with her best friend who just happened to be dating Hal’s best friend. Dotti “reconned” Hal before he even knew what recon meant. They were happily married for 73 years until Hal passed in March 2017.
Ken attended 3 different high schools in 3 different states, graduating from Randolph High School in 1976. After attending Millard Military Prep School in Bandon, OR, he attended Texas Tech University. Unfortunately, it was then when his problems with alcohol and drugs escalated. Ken had entered college with a 1380 SAT score, testing out of 6 hours of english and 3 hours of math. He even turned down an academic scholarship to join the Texas A&M Corp because he “didn’t want to wear a chrome helmet.” However, his academic credentials were no match for a rapidly escalating alcohol and drug habit. Ken’s TTU career ended with his 3rd academic suspension. “From aspirations of becoming a fighter pilot to the humiliation (for me) of working as a car salesman.” In 1989 Ken checked himself into a residential treatment program because because he was about to get fired from yet another job. After 75 days of abstinence, Ken relapsed. 6 months later, after coming close to carrying out “the ultimate solution,” Ken managed to make it back to that same treatment center. Evidently his dad’s youngest son had a Guardian Angel as well. Ken as been clean and sober since May 1, 1991.
Ken returned to the car business, making a successful living while rising to New and Used car Manager, and Finance Manager. What he thought was a “catastrophic humiliation” turned into a very effective training experience as Ken went on to a successful venture in Business to Business sales/marketing. In 2010 he was laid off from a well-paying B2B job, landing him at the proverbial career/life crossroads. Although a good sales position can be lucrative, it is also inherently unstable due to factors of economic volatility and management/ownership change. Ken then embarked on a 4000 mile motorcycle “soul-search” trip. Somewhere between Reno, NV and Grand Junction, CO a thought occurred: instead of focusing trying to make a big paycheck, maybe it was time to focus on trying to make a big difference. So he went back to school and earned a degree in Applied Science as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). After working at an outpatient/inpatient treatment facility, and the past 3 years with Bexar County Adult Probation – Outpatient treatment, Ken is overjoyed to now be with Warrior’s Heart. “Being able to now serve those who have served with a team whose dedication to this mission is awe-inspiring, is an honor dedicated to Lt. Michael Confer USN, Cpl. Kip Confer USMC, and B/Gen. Hal Confer USAF.
“I could see her in my dreams, but I never saw her coming.” Ken thought he had a better chance of getting hit by an asteroid than finding a soulmate, r.e., likes motorcycles, football, baseball, the San Antonio Spurs, is spiritual and abstinent; can do the occasional black tie thing but would rather be in jeans and cowboy boots; is ok with a guy without a Ferrari and a McLaren in the garage; can put up with his quirky sense of humor (bonus: tall & gorgeous). Well…is that all? Then Janice showed up, thus beating the asteroid odds and foiling an “impossible by design” soulmate criteria. Ken and Jan have been married for over 5 years now. She acquired a handsome son: Cameron, 25, and he acquired two beautiful daughters: Miranda, 26, and Haley, 16.
Ken believes he the poster child for luckiest guy in the world, truly blessed beyond any reasonable expectation. It has been said, “When one trades expectations for appreciation, one’s world changes in an instant.” Ken’s core belief: I am a witness.
Casey is a Waco, Texas native who had struggled with alcohol and drug addiction for over 20 years. After numerous attempts at sobriety, in 2014 Casey was given the ultimatum to either seek help or again lose everything in her life. After 90 days in a treatment center in the tiny town of Gonzales, Texas, Casey was able to start her life over. Through 12 steps and God, Casey has been blessed with the gift of sobriety. She is now a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and has a passion for guiding others into a solution of freedom from drugs and alcohol. While blending a clinical approach with the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Casey loves to watch as men and women in the clutches of this disease find hope, healing, and the ability to love themselves again.
LPC, NCC, CCTP, LCDC
Rachel Mickelsen is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Nationally Board Certified
Counselor, and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. She is a Certified Clinical
Trauma Professional who is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and
Reprocessing). Before coming to Warriors Heart, Rachel worked as a mental health counselor
for the Boerne Independent School District and in a private group practice.
As an Army brat, she spent much of her childhood in Germany, but has also lived in Hawaii,
Virginia, and Texas. She and her husband Kyle met while attending Heidelberg American
High School in 1992 and continue to pursue their "happily ever after" together. After Kyle's Air
Force career, they decided to settle in Texas. They've called Boerne home since 2006 and
have five children, a sweet rescue dog, a ball python, and two fish.
In her spare time, Rachel enjoys crocheting, bowling, watching hockey, and spending time
with Kyle–sometimes all at the same time.
IOP Manager LPC, LCDC
Mikah was born in New York City and has been a San Antonio transplant since the age of 11. She was born to a mother who immigrated to the United States from Haiti. She received her associate’s degree in psychology via the Alamo Community College District. She strongly believes in the value of the community college as being a springboard for first-generation college students like herself.
She completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Mikah obtained her Master’s in Mental Health counseling at Texas A&M San Antonio, with a program focus on military cultures. There she earned her LCDC and LPC-Intern licenses. She began a doctorate program at St. Mary’s University in Counselor Education and Supervision. There she took an interest in researching the relationship of the construct of forgiveness to an individual’s emotional healing. She is currently matriculated in this program as she missed fully devoting her time to interacting with clients.
Upon completing her counselor internship at Starlite Recovery Center, she knew this was the population she wanted to serve. She took extra course work to further her understanding of the disease of addiction. Mikah became passionate about her work in substance abuse because it affects individuals from every walk of life. She enjoyed the variety of clients, dual diagnosis environment and range of experiences. In keeping with her desire to be able to serve the populations in our community effectively, Mikah began studying Spanish. Post-graduation she continued her Spanish studies at “Habla Ya Spanish School”. She received real-world application of her language skills backpacking to multiple campuses throughout Panama.
In her spare time, Mikah enjoys roller disco, novels and hiking. She also enjoys spending time with her rescued therapy dog in training “Sam”. He is a well-mannered old soul who goes almost everywhere with her. On her off hours, it is important to her that she continues to expand her body of knowledge on personality disorders, trauma, and the treatment of male victims of sexual assault. She is passionate about these issues and is known for saying “If I didn’t have to pay these student loans, I would happily do what I do for free”. Mikah’s clinical orientation is Person-Centered, and she also often incorporates aspects of Narrative, Trauma-Focused CBT, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapies.
Corey Weber was raised in Geneseo, Il, a rural community west of Chicago near the Mississippi River. A few days following graduation from high school he served in the US Marines. Serving as a Marine; included infantry, security forces, K9 handling, and terrorist intelligence. One of his memorable assignments was at 1st Battalion 1st Marines Headquarters where he was involved in placing combat and recently deployed Marines, at times when they struggled with returning from deployments. It was during this duty that it became clear that there must be ways to reach people including soldiers impacted by tours and deployments. He spent time at Camp Pendleton, Kings Bay Naval Submarine Station, Norfolk Naval Station, Fort Stewart, Fort Benning and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In light of raising a daughter, he decided to pursue a career outside of the military. While attending college at Blackhawk State and Western Illinois University focusing on psychology and business majors he began working as a counselor at a residential addictions center and long term therapeutic community modality. Later in the 1990s he transitioned from community based services to corrections care for both youth and adults as a program director and later regional director within a multitude of programs. Following nearly a decade in leading correctional programs he continued his career as a regional director under the umbrella of Housing & Urban Development. This population included serving people with disabilities and veteran mothers in supportive housing group homes and independent apartment living in San Antonio and North Carolina.
Corey has enjoyed a career filled with starting up several programs throughout the country and assisting in the growth of clients and career development of many intern staff. Working within a diversity of people in substance use, mental health, homeless populations, and youth has been a blessing.
Corey has always been a supporter and catalyst to start up veteran based programs. Developing both veterans groups and fatherhood programming connected his life both personally and for purpose in the many years as a counselor, director and regional influence of programs.
Corey now spends his time enjoying his family, grandchildren, and has always kept the enjoyment of the outdoors fishing, hunting, or exploring as his way of finding peace. Finding Warriors Heart so close to home has been another blessing.
Muriah was born in Butte, Montana however, her family relocated to Washington State where she grew up. Muriah’s father served in the Navy on active duty as a Logistics Specialist (LSCS) for twenty-eight years. In 2012 Muriah married her husband, David, whom is currently on his fourteenth year of active duty service as a Master at Arms (MA). David and Muriah have two children, Teigan (5) and Garrick (7mos). They also have a chi-weenie named, Trident.
Muriah completed her graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MS) from Capella University. She completed her practicum and internship in community mental health doing Therapeutic Day Treatment, Intensive In-Home Counseling, outpatient therapy and served as a supervisor/ clinical director of an Intensive In-Home Program. Muriah is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas and Virginia, as well as a Nationally Board-Certified Counselor (NBCC).
Erika Rose Unberhagen is a former 14-year law enforcement officer who has held the positions of patrol officer, detective, and patrol sergeant. She went from the officer of the year in her county to homeless and living out of her car within four years and is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a direct result of duty-related traumatic events.
In recovery, her story is published in Law Enforcement Today, Grieving Behind the Badge, and The Grapevine, an international Alcoholics Anonymous publication. She is a 2016 Texas A&M – Central Texas Magna Cum Laude graduate with a Bachelors in Social Work and is a 2018 Texas A&M – Central Texas graduate.
Today, she is a Masters of Social Worker with a minor in direct practice for mental health and substance abuse and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. Most importantly, she is a survivor and advocate who speaks with brutal honesty about the importance of mental health services, awareness, and education for those who have served or continue to serve our country and communities. Her primary message is that true strength lies in asking for help and that we are our brother’s keeper.
Carmen Vilchis is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Texas with a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Professional Development both from the Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, TX. And a Licensed Minister with the Assemblies of God Church in 2015.
Carmen is committed to facilitating mental, emotional, relational, spiritual, and professional change for those seeking healing, health, and growth in areas of their lives. Her passion is to provide evidence-based clinical services in the community she lives. She has years of experience helping individuals with behavioral difficulties; and the assessment and treatment of abnormal behavior, trauma, abuse and human trafficking.
She has collaborated with TV shows in Univison 41, San Antonio, TX covering topics such as suicide, addictions, parenting, youth, etc. In her 2019 Radio Show “Anhelos del Alma” aired from Miami, she shared various topics of psychology and spirituality. She has participated in panels against domestic violence, has facilitated self-help groups, workshops and retreats in various cities.
Carmen has training in Rapid Resolution Therapy that works to address and clear the ongoing effects of anxiety, panic disorder, insomnia, night-terrors, grief, heartbreak, betrayal, childhood abuse, sexual violence, shame, guilt, rage, anger, jealousy, and combat or first responder PTSD. Trained in Functional Family Therapy providing treatment to families of juveniles in probation or parole with Substance Abuse and Behavioral Problems. Carmen is a certified Prepare/Enrich facilitator, a proven assessment to foster resilient relationships and marriages.
Carmen facilitates Professional and Personal Development workshops and retreats that help individuals increase their Emotional Intelligence skills. She provided Clinical, Crisis Intervention and Facilitated support groups to Unaccompanied Alien Children from Central America under the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) / Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Homestead, FL. She developed and established a Family Engagement Program for two school districts in the San Antonio area. Provided the Highly Capable Kids Parenting Program based on the 40 developmental assets from the Research Institute for 17 schools. Provided psychoeducation to correct behavior using the Conscious Discipline Program to PreK students and their parents. Carmen has provided through the Bexar County Probation Center, Aggression Replacement Training, incorporating the Sanctuary Model and clinical case management to the youth and their families in the San Antonio and surrounding areas. Carmen has experience working with Spanish speaking families of first offenders in different programs in Tarrant County. Additionally, she has served as a facilitator in the Hand in Hand Program and assisted in the Substance Abuse Adult Program in Tarrant County.
Carmen enjoys traveling, learning new things, meeting people, teaching other about the Jewishness of Jesus and enjoys Davidic dancing.
Kaylynn was born in New York to a military family. Her father is a career military man, serving in the United States Army. Her mother is a strong military wife and mother, as well as an active member of the military community. She is the oldest of two children, and is close to her younger brother. Kaylynn comes from a childhood of moving to multiple military installations, and stopping whatever she was doing to listen to ‘Retreat’ at sunset. This way of life created a pride for her country, and those who serve. From a young age, Kaylynn knew that she wanted to give back to those who serve this country and it’s citizens.
She attended the University of Central Missouri where she obtained her B.A. in Psychology, and later went onto obtaining her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of South Dakota. After graduating with her Masters Degree, she went into working with individuals who live with addiction and mental health diagnosis. She has worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, as well as treatment facilities in Dallas, College Station and San Antonio.
In her spare time Kaylynn enjoys spending time outdoors, playing softball, surrounded by friends, listening to music and reading. She has a love for animals, especially for her dog Emmy.
Utilization Review Specialist
Born in Santa Anna California to a military family, Elizabeth quickly moved to San Antonio Texas where she grew up and attended high school at MacArthur High, after graduating she met her husband and relocated to Bandera where her husband lived. Elizabeth and her husband, with their 3 daughters built a small horse farm, currently showing and raising these beautiful animals.
Elizabeth has over 30 years experience in the medical field with 25 years of behavioral health. Elizabeth started her own small business 25 years ago. Today she is blessed with 2 granddaughters and hopes for many more.
Utilization Review Specialist
Rick Zello, MSgt, USAF (Retired) MA
Rick grew up in rural Western Pennsylvania in a family with a long history of military service. He enlisted in the US Air Force and began his own military career directly after High School. Rick served as a T4C071 (Mental Health and Addiction Specialist) his entire career with the exception of a Special Duty assignment as Professional Military Education (PME) instructor at Goodfellow AFB Texas. In 2004 he deployed with an Aero-medical Evacuation Team that transported wounded service members from Iraq and Afghanistan to Ramstein Air Base, Germany. In 2005 he served as the Detainee Operations Senior Medical Enlisted Manager at the Guantanamo Bay Cuba Detention Center where he worked directly with detainees. He last served as Mental Health Flight Chief at Randolph AFB Texas and retired from the USAF in 2008 at the rank of MSgt (E-7).
Rick has associate degrees in business, allied healthcare sciences and instruction of technology and military sciences. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Wayland Baptist University and a Master’s of Arts Degree in Community Counseling from Webster University.
Rick has been married to his wife Loriann, also a USAF Veteran, for over 30 years and has 3 adult children. He and his family serve in a number of roles with local churches, veteran groups, food pantries and other non-profit groups.
Since Military Retirement, Rick has worked in health care and education in a variety of clinical, academic, and administrative positions working with teens, adults and senior citizens. His heart always brings him back to working with veterans, and first responders who struggle, as Rick has in the past, with addictions, trauma and other personal demons. Rick is honored to be a part of the Warriors Heart team and to be a part of the miracle of recovery and be a part of the heling that takes places. “Warriors Healing Warriors” is far more than a great motto- it is a way of life and Rick is blessed to be part of that journey of healing for his fellow warrior brothers and sisters.
Amy Russell was born and raised in Marion, KS and spent much of her time on the family farm. This is where she developed her love of animals and the outdoors.
After graduating high school, she joined the Air Force in 1989 and trained as an inpatient mental health technician. In 1991, she left for RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom and following a career field merger, spent time in Family Advocacy and her final year of her overseas tour as a neuropsychological test administrator. Amy PCSd back to the states in 1995 and was stationed at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico. She worked in an outpatient mental health clinic and then got her Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification in 1999. She stepped out of the career field in 2001 and attended Academic Instructor School and taught Airman Leadership School until her PCS to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas in 2005. Amy worked as a counselor in the Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) clinic at Wilford Hall Medical Center. In 2011 she went to work for the Air Force Surgeon General as the ADAPT enlisted advisor, where she was responsible for 75 installation ADAPT programs and the training of all enlisted mental health technicians. Amy retired in June of 2012.
Since her retirement, she has continued working in the substance abuse field, working in the ADAPT programs at Randolph and Lackland Air Force Base, TX, where she really began to specialize in the treatment dual disorders of PTSD and substance abuse. In 2016 she took a job at Volunteers of America in San Antonio where she worked as a counselor for women dealing with trauma and substance abuse until 2020.
Amy is married to Michael Russell and has 4 children and 3 grandchildren. She is a dog lover and considers her 4 fur babies her children as well. She enjoys music, reading, traveling and being outdoors.
Tammy was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia and is the product of a proud coal-mining family. Tammy is also the granddaughter of a WWII Navy veteran and the niece of Air Force and Navy veterans. As a senior in high school Tammy watched the troops returning from Desert Storm, and while sitting in her grandmother’s living room, decided she too wanted to be a soldier. Tammy joined the Army on the delayed entry program and entered basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC upon graduation. Tammy then completed AIT at Ft. Sam Houston, TX and began her military service as a 91B. Tammy’s first duty station was Ft. Ord in Monterrey, CA at Silas B. Hayes Army Community Hospital, and her second duty station was Ft. Hood, TX where she served as a field medic with the 89 th MP Brigade. It was there she met her husband of almost 23 years. Upon leaving the military Tammy supported her husband throughout the rest of his 23-year military career. Tammy and her husband have 5 children ranging in ages 8-27, one of whom is also an Army veteran.
Tammy completed her schooling as a clinical mental health counselor while raising children and being involved in various military programs including the FRG in each of her husband’s companies. During graduate school Tammy was given an assignment to attend a group and critique the facilitator. Tammy chose to attend an NA meeting and immediately fell in love with each of the members as they told the story of how addiction had affected their lives. Tammy volunteers with Give an Hour and holds a weekly chemical dependency group at a veteran’s residential home in San Antonio. Tammy also works at the outpatient unit at San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital where she leads chemical dependency and trauma groups. Tammy was instrumental in developing the active duty, veteran, and first responder program at the hospital and is trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, Written Exposure Therapy for PTSD, as well as Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART).
During her free time, Tammy can be found hanging out at the barn with her menagerie of animals including peacocks, pot-belly pigs, ducks, chickens, cats, dogs, and horses. Tammy and her husband have started a non-profit called New Tactics that provides equine therapy to veterans, active duty, and first responders. Her absolute favorite horse is a 17-year-old sorrel Missouri Fox Trotter named Shiloh. Tammy is also passionate about loud rock music and can be found cruising around in her Jeep Wrangler blaring her favorite metal band, Five Finger Death Punch.
Stacy Lowry was born and raised in Washington State in a small town 2 hours north of Seattle called Ferndale. Ferndale is about 30 minutes from the Canada border. This is where she calls home. The majority of her family and close friends still reside in Washington. Stacy and her husband, Tony, relocated to San Antonio, Texas in 2018. Her husband, Tony, retired after serving 25 faithful years in Law Enforcement with the Washington State Patrol and currently holds a position as a K-9 Explosive Detection Handler for the Fire & Security Protection Team for The Boeing Company here in San Antonio. Stacy and her husband Tony have been together since 2009 and share a blended family of two adult children: Ryan and JazLynn, as well as two grandchildren: Maddox and Ariyah. They also have two fur babies named: Taser (mini dachshund) and K-9 Cruz (yellow lab).
Stacy has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Central Washington University and brings a wealth of knowledge and background to Warriors Heart. She has over 25 years of experience in social services to include: CPS Investigations, Adult and Juvenile Parole Services, Corrections, Victim Services, as well as Supervisory, Management and various Leadership roles. She has partnered with law enforcement consistently over the past 25 years within her career capacity as a parole & corrections officer, victim advocate and CPS investigator. She has the upmost respect and admiration for women and men who serve as first responders in Fire, Military and Police professions and understands both as a wife of a first responder and as a social worker, the aptitude of this work and the toll it can take on a person.
Stacy is beyond blessed and excited to become part of the Warrior Family and looks forward to serving as the Clinical Assistant.
Wendy grew up in a military family, and after graduating high school in Niceville, Florida she began studying English Literature and Anthropology at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Upon graduating from college in 2002, she started a career as an English teacher in San Antonio, Texas. After 12 years in the public education system she decided that she was being pulled in a different direction. Her love of helping others, her interest in the power of addiction, mental health, and interpersonal relationships is what led her to become an LPC. Wendy has experience working as a therapist in the clinical setting as well as inpatient hospitalization. Her love of therapy and a specific type of treatment, EMDR, led her to where she is now in her career.
At 19, Justin enlisted in the United States Air Force, during his 20 years of service he held a variety of different jobs, everything from Cook to Combat Readiness Instructor. His most taxing job, however, would be when he was assigned as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, Mortuary Affairs.
In late 2012 Justin decided to share his story in the book, “And Then I Cried, Stories of a Mortuary NCO”. His hope was that his story could help others struggling with PTSD. In 2013 Justin was Medically Retired from the Air Force with 20 years of service. Justin continued his advocacy and worked with The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program where he managed the Ambassador Program. He was responsible for teaching seriously injured or ill Airman how to tell and share their stories of recovery with audience’s worldwide.
Justin is also an accomplished artist and his paintings can be seen hanging in the Pentagon. His book continues to help others who are struggling and he continues his advocacy coming to Warriors Heart excited to start his next chapter helping warriors find treatment.
Michael R. O’Dell
Michael R O’Dell was born and raised in the heart of the hill country. During his youth Michael stayed outside. He loved playing baseball with his brothers and skateboarding with his friends. At the age of 19 Michael left his family and the hill country behind to become a United States Marine. During his service to our country Michael was stationed in Hawaii and attached to 3rd battalion 3rd Marine AKA Americas Battalion. His unit quickly deployed and continuously rotated in and out of theater.
CPL O’Dell was a part of and involved with multiple missions which were mostly executed at night. Training the Iraqi Army as well as maintaining a high level of readiness in the battalion’s motor pool. CPL O’Dell was recognized for promotion and multiple awards for his performance and dedication to the corps and was honorably discharged from service in November of 2010.
Shortly after Michael’s return home to the Texas hill country, the struggle with addiction and PTSD began to take control of his life. As a Marine Michael, would refuse to admit to his problems. Michael continued to suffer from his addiction until it landed him in prison.
Michael has been sober since March 2016 and has dedicated himself to helping the warrior class make the crucial decision to choose life and finally return home.
Patti was born in New York and relocated to Texas with her family when she was a child. She grew up north of Austin and is a graduate of Leander High School. She went on to attend Texas A&M University, graduating class of 1994. She went into the US Navy as a Cryptologist where she met her late husband. Upon his passing she left the Navy to raise her soon to be born only son. She later obtained her Masters in Management and has 19 years of insurance claims and investigations as her post military career. Patti comes from a long line of military in her family. Her grandfather was post WWII retired Army, an uncle who is retired USAF, another uncle who is retired Marines; her younger brother is currently in BMT for the USAF, and her boyfriend is a retired Marine.
Patti currently lives in Boerne; her son and her new grandson currently live with her. She enjoys spending time with family, especially her new grandson. In her spare time, she loves reading, crocheting, hiking, biking, or simply taking a walk with her dogs. Patti is passionate about her family and her faith and lives by the words of Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”.
Alan was born and raised in Enid Oklahoma until he was 14 yoa. His family then moved in 1974 for two years to Cypress California due to his father’s job, and then on to Corpus Christi Texas in 1976. In Corpus Christi Alan attended Carrol High School and worked as a lifeguard at several different area pools eventually becoming a Gulf Beach lifeguard and swim team coach. At age 23 Alan joined the US Navy as Avionics Tech switching to Fire Control Tech after three years in order to get ship board duty. Alan’s last year in the Navy rather that following his ship into the yard for refit, he volunteered for Naval Special Warfare at SBU 20 where he was assigned to Mark III Sea Spector Patrol Boats and deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1988 to escort oil tankers through the mine fields in the Straights Hormoz. At the end of his deployment, Alan left the Navy and joined the Corpus Christi Tx Police Department in 1989 where worked for 26 years before retiring in 2015. Alan then went on to work for the Texas A&M University Corpus Christi Police Department for another 2.5 years before leaving Policing for good in 2018. Since then Alan has worked as a truck driver and in a manufacturing plant before coming to Warriors Heart in 2020.
At the age of 16, Marcos Rubio served as a volunteer fire fighter for the City of Del Rio.
Being competitive, Marcos achieved top 5 shooter with the National Rifle Association 4-H Shooting Sports. He went on to have his name engraved at Camp Pendleton as one of the highest company shooters in the Marine Corps. Growing up in a family of Firefighters, Marcos attended Howard College of Nursing to provide the highest level of quality care to people he served in his community. Later Rubio was awarded the Green Cross Award for single handedly performing a successful rescue.
During his career as a Marine, Rubio managed over $7 billion in Military assets and on occasion was asked to land on the rooftops of American Embassy’s to save the lives of American dignitaries. This earned him the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Later in his military career, sensing the needs of students and transitioning Marines, Marcos saw a need to help students whose parents were deployed. He recognized the need for troops to transition into community service. From his understanding of the needs of both these two populations, Rubio created the High School Troops to Student Mentor Programs. The program allowed Marines to mentor high school students who might not have had a parent to mentor them. His goal was to assist young Marines in experiencing the privilege of serving in a cause bigger than the immediate mission.
Propelled by a desire to impact the largest populated area of the State, Marcos served as a crew member at Duke University’s Life Flight. A few years later, he was assigned to the North Carolina Attorney General Safety Task Force, which led him to later be appointed to the Home Land Security Task Force. Over the next years, as the safety of Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders became a national concern, Marcos chose to become an instructor for Law Enforcement Tactical Casualty Care. In this capacity, his love of animals and law enforcement led him to become a K-9 Human Remains Detection-Handler (HRD-H). Most recently, Rubio’s passion for healing others has led him to secure a Mental Health Integrative Medicine Practitioner certification where he uses traditional Native American Healing methodologies learned originally by his ancestors. Until recently, Marcos Rubio continued to serve as a Firefighter Medic. Now, after 31 years of being a warrior, Rubio joins us to bring other warriors home.
“Where are you from?” Is a Question Moe usually takes a while to answer. With his Father being enlisted Air Force, His family was stationed all over the place. Moe was actually born in Germany near Frankfurt, while they were stationed at Rhein Main Air Base. After he was born his family came back to the states temporarily then were stationed at Incirlik Air Base Turkey. And after a time they returned to Germany, then made they’re permanent residence in the Lone Star state. Skipping ahead to the end of his teenage years Moe graduated from O’Connor High School and married his high school sweetheart at 19, and they decided together to live a life dedicated to Loving God and Loving people. They, and they’re two young boys Luke and Abel, now call Bandera Texas Home. Yep, that is a long answer to that question.
Moe spent 7 years in the Utility/Construction industry, dedicating himself to understanding how to better serve people. He also spent years as a handyman in San Antonio after normal work hours, and understands the importance of comfort in a living space. Moe loves music, he is passionate about teaching music. He loves to teach others to play musical instruments, and finds such a joy when someone he is teaching becomes passionate about the instrument they are learning and how to use their own gifts. He spends a lot of his time at his church where he volunteers, Moe also loves to fish, and raise his chickens at home. Moe believes in the vision of warriors Heart and is excited to be a part of this great team.
Lisa moved to Bandera, Texas from Wisconsin in 1995. One of Lisa’s passions has been involved with fund raising for over 25 years. In 2013 she co-founded the Longhorn Charity Events. They began with the Longhorn Golf Tournament benefiting Meals on Wheels, and hopes to expand assisting additional charitable companies in the area.
In 2010 she started working at the Purple Sage Ranch Resort and Conference Center, which is now the home of Warriors Heart! Lisa maintains a very high standard of cleanliness and environment of care as her main priority, but also assists in customer service when needed.
Lisa truly enjoys working with the team here at Warriors Heart. Some she has known for years and others she has gotten to known, but she can honestly say we are all family.
Lisa has 3 amazing daughters. She was blessed with her first grandson in 2011. To her there is no greater joy than family! She has grown to love country music AND even learned how to 2 step … yee-haw!
Linda Giebeler recently moved to Bandera, TX from Big Bear Lake, CA with her 5-year-old grandson and husband. She is glad to be a part of the team at Warriors Heart.
Born in Germany, Zachary made it to Texas as quickly as possible! His Father Rob Poteat got stationed in DelRio, TX on Laughlin AFB. There Zachary grew up on true Mexican culture food and noticed how the food always brought everyone together! Zachary went from the border of Texas to the Hill Country, where Schreiner University was home to him while he worked on his B.A Sports Management/ B.S Kinesiology. After growing up a bit Zachary found himself in Boerne, TX. There he would meet the love of his life!
Ashley & Zachary met in a local Restaurant where they both worked. Zachary & Ashley then moved up to Austin and the Culinary world began. He got the real taste of the streets in Austin working for a couple top Food Trucks. After that he spent his time in a butcher shop, starting with deliveries then learning all his cuts and processing deer. Continuing, he dabbled a bit in the Corporate cooking world with Whole Foods Market & Central Market. Furthermore, Zachary found a couple well named Chefs in established restaurants to work under and learn from to increase his skills as a Chef.
Zachary found himself back in San Antonio, TX after Ashley started Nursing school. Zachary ended up finding a job back in the Hill Country! He was named Executive Chef and shortly after was asked to fill the General Manager role. During his time here, Zachary made many new friends and started focusing on his dreams and goals.
He recently got Married to Ashley in May of 2018 and they are happily living in Boerne, TX.
Larry hails from San Antonio, but has roots that stretch to the founding of Bandera. He resides on the family homestead which has the distinction to be registered with the Texas Department of Agriculture as a Century Ranch (it has been in continuous operation by the same family for over 100 years).
Larry is a US Navy Veteran with 11 years experience in electronics. He was an instructor at a multi-service school in Denver Colorado, and alter as a technical writer for a government contractor in Memphis, Tennessee.
Returning to Texas, his career field changed to the culinary arts as a means to support his growin family. He has worked under many chefs including one of the few master chefs and another studying to become a master chef. Boasting nearly 30 years experience, he has a passion for cooking, great tasting food, and making divine desserts.
Larry has struggled with eating disorders which included bariatric surgery. When he heard about Warriors Heart, he knew that it was the place he needed to be.
Corey was born in Lakehills, TX and is the youngest out of 4 older siblings (3 brothers,1 sister) so he was used to some strict parenting especially when his dad was in the military. He started to do some cooking at a young age with his mom for family events and family parties where people started to tell him he had a good sense for cooking.
In 2007, Corey and his parents had to move to Iowa to help take care of his Grandma who had breast cancer and cooking had to be put on hold; he lived there for 2 months then had to move back to Texas, ending up in Harper, TX.
In his senior year, he worked at a deer processing facility where he learned to stuff and smoke meats and he had a passion for it. He decided to go to Le Cordon Bleu college for culinary arts in Austin, TX right after high school in 2015 and graduated in 2017. During his time in Austin, Corey got a taste for the great foods they had to offer and working at a high-end retirement community called Longhorn Village he wanted everyone he gets to cook for to have that great experience of eating a great meal as he did.
Metal Shop Instructor
Wood Shop Instructor
Tom has been described by co-workers and friends as hard working, reliable and friendly. After his time in the Infantry (11H), Tom went into telecommunications. His last assignment for Verizon was managing a team of nineteen Project Managers who worked cost savings and network optimization projects. Tom’s team exceeded their goals to reduce operational costs every year of his tenure with an average savings of over $30 Million per annum. In 2019 Tom received a buyout offer from Verizon and used the opportunity to move from Allen, TX to Kerrville, TX to be closer to his parents.
Tom has been married to his lovely wife Teresa for 23 years. They have two grown children Jordan 24 and Tegan 19 who are the pride of his life. As his children matured he found joy in studying martial arts with his son who received a black belt. He also played music with his daughter at several venues around DFW to include The House of Blues and most of the clubs in Deep Ellum.
In his spare time Tom is a knife maker/metal fabricator and enjoys mountain biking, and kayaking. His passion for life-long learning means you will often find him head down in a book or web site looking to add new skills to his tool bag.
Sober Living Manager
Tommi Brown was born in Andrews Texas in 1981. She grew up in west Texas, around the oil field. Her father is a Mason and was Grand Commander for the state of Texas. She was raised by her mother, a very strong and independent woman.
She has worked in many different fields to include Veterinary Medicine, oil field work, and management work. She moved to Bandera, TX from Midland, TX. She has 4 children, ranging from the age of 12 to 20 years old. She is very active in the community with pro rodeo and enjoys working with her horses.
She is very enthusiastic about joining our team and helping all of our warriors accomplish their goals.
Client Relations Team
Client Relations Director
Misty Anthony was born and raised in the heart of Bandera, Texas! Prior to working at Warriors Heart, Misty worked for Purple Sage Ranch Resort and Conference Center. She served as a lead Guest Attendant for 5 ½ years. Misty would oversee all aspects of guest service, meal service/flow, cooperate meeting service, and the overall needs of the guest staying at the Ranch.
Misty continues to be in service to others as the Client Relations Director and Operations Manager for Warriors Heart. She is a concierge of sorts for the Warriors coming in for treatment. With over 10 years of customer service behind her she is able to zero in on the needs of her clients very well.
We are honored to have Misty on the front lines serving our Warriors.
Misty and her husband Russell met High School and have been inseparable since 2004. They have their hands full raising their incredible son and daughter.
CR Shift Lead
Sarah Whitt grew up in Portland, TX, a small town off the Texas coast. She lives with her mother and was the middle child of 3 girls. She graduated from Gregory Portland High School in 2004 and attended Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, TX from 2004 to 2006. In March of 2010, she gave birth to her first daughter, Lexie. She moved to Pipe Creek in 2012 where she alter met her significant other, Shawn. In 2016 Sarah had her second daughter, August, who would be the fourth child in her blended family.
When she heard about Warriors Heart, Sarah knew she wanted to work there because of her own experience with addiction and recovery. Now established in her sobriety, it is the chance for her to give back by helping others. Sarah is super excited to be a team member at Warriors Heart, and looks forward to a bright future with her family!
CR Shift Lead
Tina moved from Indiana to Texas in 1986 as a child. She graduated from Smithson Valley High School in 1992 and had her first child in October that year. She has three beautiful daughters that have brought her three beautiful granddaughters so far. She has an extensive background in customer service from working in a grocery store to gas stations and a hotel. She enjoys spending as much time as she can with her granddaughters in her spare time as well as reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. Her father is a Vietnam vet and her little brother was an emergency first responder/volunteer firefighter.
CR Shift Lead
Bob Hauk was born in Houston, TX and raised in Matagorda, TX. He graduated from high school in Port Allen, LA. Shortly after graduation, Bob joined the US Army Reserves. In 1984, he went on active duty in the US Army Military Police Corp, he specialized in traffic accident investigations. During his military career, Bob was assigned to the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th Infantry Divisions. He served in Germany, Bosnia, Korea, Cuba, as well as stateside. Bob retired from the US Army in 2004, but continued working for the Army as a DA Police Officer for 7 years. Bob met his wife CJ while they were stationed in Germany. They have been together for 33 years, they have 3 children and 1 grandchild.
In his spare time, Bob enjoys long motorcycle rides (escapes) with his wife. Spending time with family and friends or just relaxing at home
Blair Tredway grew up in San Angelo, Texas, a growing West Texas town. She was the oldest of four growing up with my mother and step-father. She graduated from San Angelo Central High School in 2001 where she was highly active in the TX-936 chapter of the Air Force JROTC program, attaining rank of Major. She then attended Howard College in 2002 and 2004 receiving her CNA and Phlebotomy Certifications. In 2003 she became a proud mother of a daughter, Bralynn, in 2006 the proud mother of another daughter Evelynn and in 2008 the proud mother of her son Rice Jr., who has since passed on. She spent many years as an Army Wife moving to multiple posts where she was active in the FRG. After getting separated from her first husband, Blair began her battle with alcoholism, and spiraled down until 2016. There have been a few setbacks, but Blair is happy to say she is sober and enjoying the sober life. In 2018 Blair met her best friend, and moved to Pipe Creek, and in March 2019 became the step-mother of two handsome boys, Wesley Tredway and Bradley Tredway and the wife to one amazing man, Steven Tredway (whom she says saved her life by giving her a new one). Blair and Steven live honest, drug and alcohol free lives, and together keep each other laughing and enjoying one day at a time as a sober and clean couple and parents.
When Blair heard about Warrior’s Heart she knew that this was exactly where she needed to be! Having battled her own problems with alcoholism and PTSD, she believes that giving back to those in recovery and being there to help aid in the recovery of other warriors is truly her calling. Blair looks forward to an exciting future and journey with her sobriety, recovery, amazing home life and new family here at Warrior’s Heart.
Dennie began life in a small town in Southeastern Kansas. During his early years he knew that his future was to be in the military or law enforcement, but little did he know that he would be involved in both. Entering the US Army in 1971, Dennie attended basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. Overseas assignments included Vicenca, Italy; Frankfurt, Germany (3d Armd Div); Stuttgart, Germany (2d Spt Cmd) and South Korea (2d Inf Div). CONUS assignments included 1st Inf. Div (Ft Riley, KS); Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD and Ft. McClellan, AL (US Army MP Center & School).
During his assignment as a MP at Aberdeen PG, Dennie attended and graduated from the Baltimore MD. Police Academy S.W.A.T. course. During future assignments he would serve as SRT (SWAT) Commander at Aberdeen Proving Ground as well as in South Korea during the 1988 Olympics where his teams provided personal security details for VIP’s attending the Games. Dennie’s final military assignment was at Ft McClellan AL where he served as MP Instructor and Doctrine Writer for the US Army MP Corps. After retirement in 1971, Dennie worked as a Police Officer and Deputy Sheriff in Alabama and Missouri. Dennie began his second career as an armed security contractor with assignments in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq (x2) and finished his contracting life with assignment to Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands (South Pacific).
Dennie lives with his wife Tami on an 800-acre ranch just outside Bandera, TX along with their assortment of “furry kids”. Hobbies include amateur radio, fly fishing, or simply sitting on his patio smoking a quality cigar or his pipe, sipping a cold drink and appreciating a sunset over his tiny part of The Republic of Texas.
Shawn Copeland was born in San Antonio, TX. He has lived in Michigan, California, and New Mexico, but Bandera is where home is to him, where he graduated from Bandera High School in 2014. He married his wife Amanda in 2014 and has a son Leon who was born in 2018. Shawn worked for Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a corrections officer at a maximum-security unit for a little over a year. He is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and hopes for a future career in law enforcement. He enjoys fishing, playing guitar, camping, working on cars, and spending time with his family.
CJ was born in Minnesota. While still a Senior in High School CJ joined the Army Reserves. After graduating high school, CJ completed Basic and AIT at Ft. Jackson, SC. The following year, she entered Active Duty. While on Active Duty CJ served in Germany, Ft. Jackson, and Ft. Monmouth. CJ met her husband in Germany; where both were stationed. She left active duty to “Become the Mom.” CJ continued to support her husband during his 22 years of service. She raised the next generation of Active Military members, and continues today to “adopt” soldiers, giving love and support for our Warriors at home and abroad.
Terri Lee King was born on Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base raised in Oceanside, California to Diana Kathleen King (Von Rypon) and Roger Edward King. She comes from a long line of Service members starting with General Nathanael Greene, her mother prior to her passing in 1982 was working with the Border Patrol, her father IS a Marine whom served in Vietnam received a purple heart, after Vietnam war still in service he served for the corps as a disability counselor. Once retiring form the Corps he worked with the Humane Society until his passing. Her grandfather Egon Fletcher Von Rypon received an award for his Military service from President Lyndon B. Johnson. Upon graduation from High School she enlisted in the US Army INSCOM in Germany during the cold war. Her first born served in the US Army as a Combat Medic in the Middle East, her twin sister’s husband retired USAF as a Chief (Security Forces), her daughter is married to a US Army EOD Sergeant and the list goes on……
She has 4 children Gregory, Kristen, Charles (Chaz) & Chelsea, she has 4 grandchildren Elizabeth, Isabella, Alexander (Xander) and Mia.
Away from her family with her children grown and living in other states with their own lives, friends of her convinced her she move to Texas, they welcomed her with open arms. Next step get a job she had been on many interviews before then she had the interview with the Director of CR, Misty, she was sold (hoping she got the job), once she received the call back – deep breathe SHE WAS HOME!!!!
In addition to work at Warriors Heart she moonlights as a caretaker, she truly seeks to give back to so many that have guided and given her so much on this journey of life. Her belief is that the good Lord above places people exactly where they need to be so they can be of service to others in healing themselves. She is excited and terrified about the journey with Warriors Heart. Excited = New opportunity / Terrified = Hoping she matters and what she offers is what Warriors Heart needs.
Summer Jordan was born in San Antonio Texas, a child of a dual military family as both her mother and father served in the USAF for 20 years. She moved around quite a bit over the years and has a deep understanding of what it is to serve. By the time she was in high school she had been in 9 different schools and had traveled extensively. Summer graduated from Bandera high school in 2018 and will be starting college soon, with the hopes of becoming a social worker. Summer was drawn to service at an early age and spent over 100 hours volunteering with many different veteran organizations. Growing up, Summer watched as her father developed and struggled with PTSD after many years of service. Watching this has drawn her to this mission and she is excited to serve our warriors while they heal. Summer enjoys drawing, playing with her dogs and cracking jokes with her dad in her free time. She is also a part time barista at Starbucks.
Jesse Wanamaker was born in Camarillo, Ca. and raised in Napa, Ca. He graduated high school from Coast Union in 1996. He later attended college with a major in Social Psychology. After years struggling with alcoholism, in 2014 Jesse achieved and maintained long term sobriety. In 2019, Jesse began a career in addiction treatment and moved to Hill Country for it’s natural beauty, warm Texas culture, and to be involved in it’s well-known recovery community. He is working his way to becoming an addiction counselor. In his spare time, Jesse enjoys working out, fishing, reading and exploring this great state.
Amber Whitley was born and raised in Prior Lake, Minnesota. At the age of 20, She moved to Waco, Texas. Amber has been studying Substance Use/Mental health since 2004 and continues college today. She is currently an LCDC-I, Peer Recovery Coach, and has a mental health certification. Amber has diligently been working in recovery field for the past five years. She enjoys spending time with her husband and six cats during her free time. Family is very important to Amber. Amber is extremely passionate about recovery and enjoys helping others to recover.
Creative Art Instructor
Born and raised in San Antonio Texas. Dan graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Dan has an amazing gift for art and also serves as the in-house architect for Warriors Heart.
Dan has worked for various architecture firms in Austin and San Antonio, and throughout this time accomplished many design and graphic art projects. Later, Dan studied art under artist Stephen Fishwick, where he developed skills for caricature and airbrush art.
The man of many talents, Dan now chooses to work with the Warriors on the front line in Client Relations.
Dan is happily married to his life love, Deborah, and is proud to report a daily gratitude of giving Deborah a kiss every morning before heading to work.
This is Tiffany Marie. What you see is what you get. She holds nothing back and takes pride in her work, in herself and in the ones around her. To say she protects the ones she loves and ones she has the honor of being entrusted with, well, there isn’t any word strong enough to describe it properly.
Tiffany grew up hard and fast. At age 6 she came to know the devastation of knowing she was not wanted by her own blood. both her 9yr old brother and herself age 6 were left, abandoned at a Children’s Home in Roanoke, Va. She remembers the big oak tree she sat under, waiting for her father to return because his last words to her were “I will be right back”.
Then at age 9, she came to learn there is something to be said for kindness and love. She met a young couple from Richmond, Va. Come to find out, this couple actually hand-picked her, choosing her to be their own daughter for they adopted her. She smiles at the memory of her first introduction thinking they reminded her of Ken and Barbie.
Have to pause here for it is important that you, the reader know this couple truly turned her life right. Kenneth Hechler was the Daddy every little girl deserves and wants for them to be. He is affectionately referred to as a real life Peter Pan because his love for children was never more pure. Her Daddy was never too busy to answer any question, never bothered by the little things and showed Tiffany what love is from a Daddy to a daughter without hurting her. He is the man for which all other men are measured up and gauged by her.
Virginia Hechler was the Mom everyone loved. She had grace and the nerve to never back down. She handled all the sleep overs, playdates, swim parties and much more effortlessly. Tiffany says her Mom is Mary Tyler Moore and Samantha from Bewitched (minus the twinkle twinkle nose).
Tiffany joined the Navy at age 20. Fun fact, she celebrated her 21st birthday by first doing pushups at wakeup call then ended the day going thru the gas chamber in boot camp. Tiffany prides herself in her military career, was on the right path and intended to retire but just before her 12yrs of service re-enlistment decision, word from home about her Daddy put her on a different path. She honorably discharged and went home to care for him in his last two years of life. Something she says was a no brainer decision, one she would make again.
During all this, she was living in California and was married early in her military career. This ended violently, at the hands of her obviously now ex-husband. The events are not that important, but to this day she cannot help wonder why her life after those horrible 3 days was spared. Due to this, she turned to drugs in hopes that every hit she took would end what was started. One day, 2yrs later there was an awaking, this was her sober brain clicking back on, making her see reality. She packed 2 bags, got in her car and drove until gas money ran out, she made it from California to Tennessee. That was 25 years ago. With only 2 relapses, she solely and willfully walked away from that life and anytime one of her demons attempts temptation, her sober brain reminds her of where she is now and where she would be if she gave those demons validation.
Tiffany explains she could go on every talk show from late late night to Jerry Springer and not revisit the same topic twice. Yet, at the end of the day she says she lived thru it, walked it, has scars from the flames of hell, yet came out on the other side. Wiser, maybe but alive all the same. She states that the past is important to never forget so we do not repeat our mistakes. But all those emotional evens may have some weight in to the molding of who she is today but she never lets them define her.
Tiffany smiles with all her heart as she admits she finally found the person, the man she was supposed to have in her life. He is her best friend, her confidant, her Italian rock! Every day she is amazed with him even knowing all her skeletons continues to support and love her. He has taught her that as we all own baggage they do not need to be carried every step we take.
This person you are meeting today is stronger and very passionate about being there and helping with the needs of others. She will tell you directly how it is, sugar coating nothing and not tell you what you want to hear all while maintaining dignity and providing support and sensitivity to everyone’s feelings. Those that know her will tell you she has “Warriors Heart” and was born to take this mission head on. For she has the backbone to stand strong, hold fast and not waiver from what she believes to be right. Everyone she encounters will greatly benefit from her caring yet fierce personality. She truly gives what she gets but does so in a way that will leave a powerful positive impression on everyone!
This is Tiffany Marie
Annette T. Hill
MC, LPC, NCC
Annette Hill is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and EMDR Certified Therapist. She has a private practice in Scottsdale. Annette has worked with children in the foster care system both as coordinator of the Life Book program with Arizona’s Children Association and later as a therapist in Devereaux, Arizona. Out of these experiences, she created a “turn-key” curriculum, called The Journey of Me, to train foster care agencies in how to create and sustain their own Life Book program.
Annette has 10 years of experience working as a dual diagnosis therapist in residential treatment settings, including The Meadows, and eight years with The Sundance Center.
Though Annette treats patients with a variety of diagnoses, she specializes in the treatment of trauma. She works with Veterans both in her private practice, as well as through a 27-year-old non-profit program called Operation Freedom Bird as a volunteer therapist and board member. Operation Freedom Bird takes Arizona combat vets from all wars to Washington, D.C. on a four-day Healing Journey each year over the Veterans Day holiday.
Annette is also a Gold Star Mother. Her son, Adam Hill Gibson, served two tours in Iraq. He passed away as a result of symptoms of PTSD in 2009.
Luis “Louie” Moreno was born in La Jolla, California and was raised in Tijuana, Mexico and San Ysidro, California. One of 13 children, Luis grew up in the fast lane and was exposed to gang activity at a very young age. Louie’s parents decided a change was needed. At the age of 18, he and his parents moved to Kerrville, Texas seeking better opportunities.
He received his jailers license and decided law enforcement was a perfect fit for him. He went on and received his Peace Officer license in 2006. Louie enlisted in the Army National Guard 36th Infantry Division in 2007 with the intent of being able to go to college after he served his time. The Army had a different plan. Louie served a combat tour in Iraq in 2009 and served his country until 2016.
Louie currently works for the Sheriff’s Department as the Sergeant in the Support Division. Among many different jobs, one that Louie enjoys the most is courtroom security. He has proudly served the citizens of Bandera County since 2012.
Louie serves his community in many different roles. He coaches for Bandera Little League and Bandera Boys & Girls Club. He is involved with the planning of National Night Out and is active in most all community events in some aspect.
Louie serves Warriors Heart in many different capacities. He runs the merchandise shop on site and seeks out new opportunities for merchandise to go into retail storefronts. Sometimes you’ll even have him as a driver to CrossFit.
Luis is married to Christina and they have a beautifully blended family of 3: Taytum, Giovanni, and Maddox Azucena (Maddi Sue in Texan).
Donna L Foster
Registered Yoga Instructor
Born and raised in the fertile Central Valley and later in Northern California, Donna always valued the great outdoors as well as proper nutrition and exercise.This has led her to a lifestyle that emphasized fitness, volunteer work as a Missionary in several countries, acupressure, aromatherapy, massage therapy,aerobics, and Yoga.
In her early adult development, she became certified in Aerobics Instruction with AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) teaching at the YMCA. Later, she received Certification in Acupressure/Massage Therapy from the Berkeley Acupressure Institute. During these years, she served as a Missionary in areas like Ecuador, and West Africa, where she fulfilled her calling to enhance the lives of those in need.
Having practiced Yoga and Meditation for over 15 years, Donna became a Registered Yoga Instructor through AC Power Yoga of San Antonio. She is currently the owner of Downriver Yoga in Bandera, Texas. Married to husband Scott and the mother of Savanna, in middle school, as well as three older step-children, one of which is currently serving in the US Navy.
Donna loves horseback riding and enjoys the lifestyle of the Texas Hill Country.
Mr. Wilson is considered one of the world’s leading experts in uncovering the scientific bases of how we learn and change behavior. He is also the author of the soon to be published book Cracking the Learning Code, the culmination of over 30 years of scientific research into how to accelerate the speed of learning and the rate of behavioral change.
He has suffered from, and overcome, PTSD. In addition, he has successfully developed the country’s only holistic drug and rehabilitation center, accredited by the Joint Hospital Commission. During JW’s tenure, JHC was ranked among the top 10% of all such treatment centers nationwide by the Commission.
JW has practiced meditation for over 30 years. JW has developed and managed many businesses, including corporate training firms serving Fortune 500 clients such as IBM, Kodak and AT&T. In the 1990’s, JW was president of one of the world’s leading accelerated learning companies. He has owned the largest magazine marketing development firm in the Pacific region, developed the country’s only holistic treatment center, was a 23 founder of Convention Television (www.ctvnational.com) and has produced over 200 TV shows and commercials.
The innovative Learning Code research is now being used to create the first school system in the world totally based on neuroscience. It’s used by organizations including the country’s largest employer organization, and the group that implements leadership training for NASA, The UN and the National Institutes of Health. JW’s research is also the impetus for a major African nation to base all of its future learning platforms on neuroscience. In addition, Mr. Wilson has developed over 20 start-ups. His diverse background has placed him in Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World.
JW’s passion, which he calls his crusade, is to bring this essential knowledge to the world.
TC Cummings brings a unique, common sense approach for lasting personal empowerment. Like the yin and yang model, Cummings combines a multifaceted approach with the singular most common denominator to the world’s most universal battlefield: the battle within.
In 1986 TC enlisted in the US Navy, was trained as a Hospital Corpsman and US Navy SEAL where he deployed three times in war time conditions. Decorated on multiple accounts, he was honorably discharged from service in 1994.
Having been a teacher, a trainer, and a confidant to some of the world’s mightiest warriors (and biggest egos) prepared TC Cummings to provide the same services in the civilian sector. Often turning to the journals he kept since childhood and through his career as a SEAL Operator, he effectively translated the mental tools learned for success, proven under fire and easily remembered, to business owners, executives, and staffing.
Refining his skills further, he became a Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a Certified Hypnotherapist, and a Time-Line Therapist to better understand people. He brought his leadership experience and commitment level to “the chairman of public speaking” Mr. Jim Rohn. For eight years, TC Cummings served as the first and only Master Coach of the highly revered Jim Rohn International.
TC Cummings has been on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, America’s #1 watched morning news show Fox & Friends, and various radio interviews. His clients vary from small business owners to mega-employers at home and abroad. All clients have a common the desire to do what they have to do today so they can be where they want to be tomorrow.
Liz Kelly founded Goody PR to magnify brands, experts, and causes making an impact through Marketing, PR, Social Media, and Cause Marketing services. After working for Fox Interactive Media/MySpace, Paramount Pictures, and Sprint PCS, she decided to use her marketing experience for GOOD.
As a published author with 500+ media interviews and Goody Awards Founder, her passion is partnering with social impact companies to develop and promote their story. Goody PR clients are primarily in the health, finance, tech, entertainment and cause marketing space.
Recent interviews have included stories for Fox News, CBS News, ABC News Radio, USA TODAY, Investor’s Business Daily, The Atlantic, Closer Magazine, Fit Nation Magazine and Nonprofit Business Advisor. Liz is especially excited to work with Josh and Lisa Lannon and Tom Spooner on Warriors Heart, and previously did PR for Journey Healing Centers until it was acquired.
Liz recently joined the Hollywood 43 Post The American Legion as an Auxiliary Family Member. Her grandfather served in World War II in the United States Coast Guard, and her aunt Katherine also served in the Red Cross during World War II in Europe and the Pacific Theater.
Having been diagnosed with hypertension and high cholesterol at the age of 32, I knew I had to change my lifestyle. Not being active throughout my entire life, it was very difficult to find an activity I could fully enjoy. I started walking, which turned into power walking, which turned into jogging, and soon enough I was bored and needed more stimulation. I came across CrossFit through some friends and it was love at first “workout”, this was in 2011. After doing CrossFit on my own for some time, I thought I would give a professional CrossFit Box a try and see what all the fuss was about. I advanced more within 6 months with professional coaching than I ever had on my own. Having proper coaching makes the difference in many ways. A coach is able to keep you safer due to watching your movement, give you necessary encouragement and most of all, you build a community like no other. Soon you speak the language: “What was your WOD time? Did you PR? How many HSPU did you do?” CrossFit has become more than just weights, distances and times to me, it became a second family.
After completing five years in the Army as an MP and K-9 trainer, Michael has been a Police Officer for 18 years. Only being active when required (boot camp, police academy), Michael discovered CrossFit in 2011 and has enjoyed it ever since. Not having a coach to preach correct form and mobility, Michael fully understands the importance of proper coaching, while doing CrossFit WOD’s on his own he suffered a bulging disk and a torn shoulder. Michael will insist on proper warm-ups before and stretching after each and every workout. With his injury experience he wants to keep everyone safe and having fun.
Michelle is a Native Texan and in true Texas form, grew up on her family’s horse ranch near Houston. She learned the value of hard work and dedication early in life, traveling the country showing Competitive Quarter Horses. This lifestyle began her life long passion for animal training and behavior.
She has worked as a Zookeeper and Trainer at several AZA accredited zoos where she took care of many rare and endangered species. Michelle developed training and enrichment programs for exotic animals and spent her zoo career educating the public about wildlife conservation. She has worked with incredible animals like venomous snakes, crocodiles over 14 feet, tigers, vampire bats, koalas, and birds of prey. She has even had the opportunity to hand raise orphaned zoo babies.
Michelle transitioned into the Canine field through the Military Working Dog Center at Lackland Air Force Base. She loved working with the MWDs as well as active duty and veterans from all Military branches. There, she met her husband, a prior Marine Corp K-9 handler. Michelle then moved on to work with Nationally competitive Field Trial Dogs. At home, she enjoys the company of her two Boston Terriers, Otis and Olive.
Michelle spends her free time in the barn. She is a multiple World and National Champion Equestrian. She breeds, raises and trains English disciplined horses.
Michelle is a talented animal trainer and has a passion for people as well. You may notice that she wears her “heart” on her sleeve. She believes the powerful healing properties that animals possess are useful tools for trauma recovery.
K9 Bubba is approximately two years old and has transitioned from being a dog in training to his permanent place as a therapy dog here at Warriors Heart. He is living the dream while showing love and support to our warriors.
K9 Jake is a handsome 2-year-old Lab. He is working diligently on his obedience training and enjoys every moment of it. A soft dog with a huge heart, he is eager to please and revels in spending his down time, loving on everyone he can.
K9 Joe is approximately 2-years-old. He is an American Bulldog with a fun, loving personality. He enjoys training and engaging with trainers as well as our clients. Joe recently underwent surgery on his leg but quickly recovered and has been released from the vet’s care to resume training. He should be ready for service dog work very soon.
K9 Juneau is a female German Shepherd who is quickly advancing through the program. She’s a beautiful dog inside and out and loves to be around people. Juneau is a star student and is ready to begin her Service Dog training.
K9 Cinders is the newest addition to the K9 program. At approximately 18 months old, she’s a very smart and very sweet girl. She is in the beginning phase of obedience training but is receptive and eager to do what she is asked. This little girl went from a shelter dog with little hope to watch me shine!! A true find and a pleasure to work with.