U.S. Army SFC Dana Bowman (R)
Founder / Director / Spokesperson / Event Coordinator / Sponsor Representative
Dana Bowman has astounded the nation and the world with his drive, determination, and will to succeed. He is a retired Sergeant First Class with the U.S. Army where he was a Special Forces Soldier and a member of the U.S. Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights. Dana Bowman is a double amputee. He lost his legs in an accident during the annual Golden Knights training in Yuma, Arizona, in 1994.
On February 6,1994, Bowman gained worldwide attention when he and his teammate Sgt. Jose Aguillon collided in midair during the team’s annual training.
Aguillon died instantly. Bowman’s legs were severed from his body, one above the knee and one below the knee.
Nine months later, he turned this tragedy into a triumph when he became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the United States Army. This achievement is just one example of Bowman’s many successes under adverse circumstances. Dana has been fortunate to have the opportunity to let his speeches touch so many from the physically challenged to the able-bodied. He strives to show physically challenged people can still work and excel in today’s society and military. Dana emphasizes the words amputee and uselessness are not synonymous.
Dana has given more than 400 speeches in the last few years and has been featured in magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, People and many more. There have also been numerous television programs which focused on Dana and his story. Some of the programs include: Dateline, A Current Affair, Real TV, NBC Person of the Week, Day and Date and Extra.
Dana retired from the United States Army in 1996. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in commercial aviation at the University of North Dakota in May of 2000.
Dana spends a great deal of his personal time working with other amputees and disabled or physically challenged people. As the founder and President of the HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation Dana continues his selfless work giving back to the brave men and women that have given so much of themselves for our country. Dana jumps the “HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation” Logo in to the many events he addresses annually and tells his audiences about our group and our cause.
Roland Stewart is President, Chairman and Founder of Paramount Investments. His firm specializes in stable, high yield commercial real estate investments focused primarily in multifamily and retail. Paramount’s holdings include fixed-income investments in public and private companies.
Mr. Stewart has over 35 years of experience in the real estate industry and maintains substantial ownership interests in and is the Chairman of a number of privately held LLC’s and LP’s throughout North Texas. His experience includes all areas of property identification, development, property management and asset divesture. In 2011 Stewart founded “The Resorts” multi-family communities, which consist of 2,300 Class-A residential units located in six strategic DFW communities.
Stewart has designed and managed several multi-use master plan developments during his career. Some of the more notable developments include a $75M master planned community known as “The Lakes at Matlock” in Arlington, Texas, a $60M master planned urban lifestyle center in Duncanville, Texas, . Mr Stewart & Companies have holdings in excess of 250 million US.
Mr. Stewart was an adjunct professor at local colleges in the fields of Real Estate Finance, Law, Appraisal, Principals & Practices, and Investments. He is licensed in the State of Texas as a Real Estate Broker and as a General Contractor. He is a member of the Texas Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors, and has been actively involved in the Chamber of Commerce. He is Past President of the Metro Rotary Club, Past President of the Grand Priaire Industrial Development Board, and Past Commissioner of Cedar Hill Planning/Zoning.
Stewart has traveld around the world and is fluent in German. His interests include flying helicopters, painting, and serving his community. He is an active member of Milestone Church located in Keller, Texas and resides with his family in Southlake, Texas.
Joanna was raised on a ranch in a small farming community in the Texas panhandle. She began her career in corporate accounting but quickly began working for public accounting firms. Several years ago she ventured out on her own and founded a consulting firm that focuses on the unique needs of small businesses.
She has served on the boards of the McKinney YMCA, Frisco Area Republican Women, Frisco Ice Hockey Association, and served on various event and fundraising committees. She was voted 2013 FARW Collin County Volunteer of the year. She brings her fundraising, event planning, marketing, and financial expertise to the foundation.
Joanna has been married to her husband, David, for the last 16 years, and they have two boys very active in ice hockey.
“I am honored to be able to be a part of this foundation. My sons not only see the joy and importance of service to others, but appreciate what others have sacrificed for them.”
U.S. Army CPL Michael "Mike" Vasquez (R)
Graphics & Media Director
Michael “Mike” Vasquez joined the Army at age 17 during high school and quickly finished his senior year at Estacado Senior High School in Lubbock, TX in a matter of weeks to make a time slot for One Station Unit Training (OSUT). Soon after completing his OSUT, Michael attended Airborne School at Ft. Benning. Upon completion of his training, Mike went to Iraq in 2007 and 2008 with E company 3/144 Infantry on a volunteer deployment. During that time, Michael served as a Machine Gunner with a small team of other soldiers protecting civilian contractors.
After Michael came home in 2008 from Iraq, he again volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan with a military intelligence unit out of Austin Texas (636 Military Intelligence Bn.) as a PSD (protective security detail) for the M.I. soldiers. Before going to Afghanistan, Michael was sent to train as a SDM (Squad designated marksman) at Ft. Benning, GA, train in Colorado Springs Colorado at multiple civilian contractor training courses and learned many roles of military intelligence during the time there and was designated as a team leader for multimedia exploitation and emplacing numerous cameras to in various areas of Afghanistan behind enemy lines to capture high value targets and IED emplacing Taliban teams. Michael’s primary job was as a gunner and SDM during the mission and served with Two SF units: ODA 9224 and 2221 of 19th group Special Forces as a machine gunner when needed.
On a mission on July 10, 2009 Mike along with units from the M.I. Battalion, ODA 9224 and other American Units were on a mission and Mike’s vehicle was hit with RPGs severely injuring Mike in the Gunner’s turret. Mike, unaware he was injured, continued to fight the enemy, eliminating the threat and helped get other injured comrades to safety to be medevac’d. As medical teams flew in, Mike began not to feel well and was told he was injured.
Mike suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, spinal contusion, shrapnel, abdominal wounds, partial blindness, left side paralysis, and other smaller injuries. Mike was bound to a wheelchair for the next seven months recovering at Landstuhl, Germany, Walter Reed and finally closer to home at BAMC (Brooke Army Medical Center) at Ft. Sam Houston, TX. After learning to walk again, and being discharged from service, Michael continued to go to medical appointments at the VA in Lubbock Texas. Almost a year after his injuries in Afghanistan in 2009, Michael went in for an MRI and discovered he had a rare brain condition known as Chiari Malformation as a result of the Traumatic Brain Injury in Afghanistan. He finally underwent brain Surgery on July 23, 2013 and once again is wheelchair bound, expected to walk again in the near future. Michael’s military awards include: Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with one oak cluster, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, OIF Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Action Badge, Texas Purple Heart, and the Texas Combat Service Medal.
MOH Recipient Master Sergeant Leroy Petry (R)
Board of Directors
MSG (R) Leroy Petry was born on July 29, 1979 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1999; something he wanted to do since he was seven years old.
After completion of Infantry One Station Unit Training, the Airborne Course, and the Ranger Indoctrination Program at Ft. Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He served as a Rifleman, Grenadier, Squad Automatic Rifleman, Fire Team Leader, Rifle Squad Leader, Assistant Operations Sergeant, Weapons Squad Leader, and Liaison Officer for United States Special Operations Command Care Coalition-Northwest Region, providing oversight to wounded warriors, ill and injured service members and their families.
He has deployed eight times in support of the Global War on Terror with two tours to Iraq and six to Afghanistan.
His military education includes the Airborne Course, Combat Life Saver Course, US Army Ranger Course, Warrior Leader Course, Jumpmaster Course, Advanced Leader Course, Senior Leader Course, and Combatives Level-1 Course. He earned the Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Basic and Senior Parachutist Badges, and Canadian Parachutist Badge.
His awards and decorations include the Medal of Honor, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (1OLC), Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (2OLC), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (1OLC), Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 3 Combat Stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with Three campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 3), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (Numeral 2), NATO Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and the Valorous Unit Award.
MSG (R) Petry and his wife Ashley have four children, Brittany, Austin, Reagan and Landon. He is currently enrolled in college with goals to earn a degree in business management and own his own business. In addition he is on several boards: GE Veteran’s Network (advisory), Boulder Crest Retreat, Medal of Honor Museum(advisory), Patriot Project, and works as a warrior liaison for Feherty’s Troops First Foundation all geared to improving the lives of veterans and our military.
U.S. Marine Corps - Corporal Doug Doss
Board of Directors
Doug returned To Nordson Corp., Amherst OH in July 2015 to supervise the Machining Services area. Nordson Corp. is a global leader in the manufacture of dispensing and coating equipment. His last assignment with Nordson was as a Quality Analyst. He also serves on the ERT (Emergency Response Team) for Nordson.
Previously Doug was a Supervisor for Ford Motor Co., Ohio Assembly Plant for 12 years where he supervised in Paint, Trim, Chassis, and the Testing and Repair areas. The vehicle models included the Econoline van, Escape/Mariner, and F650/750. He served as the only Supervisor trained on their ERT (Emergency Response Team). Doug received the Ford Motor Co. 2011 President’s Health and Safety Award from Mark Fields for a home fire rescue while driving home from work.
He also worked 3 years with PolyOne Corp. in Avon, OH as Research Technologist in their vinyl polymerization and compounding area and was a trained ERT (Emergency Response Team) member.
Doug proudly served 4 years with the U.S. Marine Corp assigned to MAG-14 VMA-224 All Weather Attack Squadron. This was an A-6 squadron based out of Cherry Point, NC. He was an Avionics Technician and served at bases in Iwakuni, Japan, Cubi Point, Philippines, El Toro, CA and more. He received awards for meritorious unit citations for Squadron readiness, over-seas service, good conduct and others.
Doug enjoys helping others and has volunteered his time to Habitat for Humanity building homes, Red Cross blood bank, Harvest for Hunger food bank and his favorite helping with Halo for Freedom’s Weekend to Remember Wounded Warrior events. He assists where needed and especially enjoys helping with the skydiving event. He received his skydiving training by Dana Bowman and members of the Golden Knight Parachute Team. He has over 400 skydives to his credit. Doug was also a successful bone marrow donor in 2001 and frequently communicates with the recipient who had a complete recovery.
John L. Fisher
Board of Directors
UPS Airlines-Retired (Management), Lives on Bald Head Island, NC
Currently Serve as:
Mayor Pro Tempore-Bald Head Island
Founding Member Bald Head Island Chamber of Commerce
Executive Board Member -Cape Fear Region Boy Scouts of America
Executive Board Member -Bald Head Island Conservancy
Old Baldy Foundation
Public Safety Volunteer-Fire-Rescue-Bald Head Island
Transportation Committee-Bald Head Island
Bald Head Island Strategic Planning Member
Board of Directors
My name is Cecil Kennedy, I am married and have three children and two grandchildren. I am 47 years old and work as an engineer for a semi-trailer manufacturing company. I served in the U.S. Navy from 1984 to 1988 in the aviation field working on F-14A Tomcats stationed in VF-31. I have a total of 1-1/2 years of sea service and my last deployment was in the Gulf of Oman just outside the Persian Gulf in 1988. I earned the good conduct award as well as the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for extended service in a hostile situation. I am currently pursuing a business degree and will be complete with school in April 2014. In my spare time I enjoy shooting sports with all types of firearms. My next challenge will be skydiving.
Kent Sherwood, MSPT
Board of Directors
Kent Sherwood lives in Sheridan Wyoming with his wife Kati and their Labradors. He grew up in Elko Nevada where he graduated high school. He then graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno where he obtained his bachelor of science in Pre-Physical Therapy.
He graduated from Pacific University in 1995 with a master’s degree in Physical Therapy. Upon graduation he and Kati moved to Sheridan, Wyoming. Together they own and practice in their out-patient physical therapy clinics, Sheridan Physical Therapy & Buffalo Physical Therapy (in nearby Buffalo, WY). They have both worked with many veterans over the years providing for our vets with speech and physical therapy needs.
Kent met Dana Bowman in 2012 and became friends. After having Dana and his family to Wyoming for a fun winter Christmas snowmobiling trip, Dana and Kent brainstormed and implemented having a Halo for Freedom Foundation – Sheridan Wyoming Chapter. Kent is very pleased with the opportunity to give back to our veterans. As a physical therapist, he has always lived by the Halo for Freedom’s motto: “It’s not the disability, it’s the ability.”
Board of Directors
Bill Cook along with his wife of 25 yrs. reside in Riverside Ca. Bill met and became fast friends with Dana over 20 years ago and has volunteered in many roles over that time helping with many of Dana’s events including Halo for Freedom. While never serving in the military himself. Bill was raised by and now cares for his 94 year old father a veteran of WWII and Korea who instilled in him a great respect for the military and especially those who serve.
Bill has worked for First American for over 30 years in many Sales and Management roles. Bill is also a Real Estate Investor
Currently Serves as:
President: Mission Villas Properties
President: Marriott Apartment Owners Association
Executive Board Member: Hale Kona Kai properties Hawaii
“”I am humbled to be small part of this foundation. To be able to witness the life changing events this group has brought to warrior’s life’s is an honor.”
U.S. Army - Chief Warrant Officer (3) Matt Chancey
Board of Directors
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matt Chancey is a native of Blue Ridge, GA. In 1994, he entered the Army at the age of 17 and in 2000, became a graduate and commissioned as an Infantry Officer from North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, GA. Matt served as a Rifle Platoon Leader and Executive Officer with 1-12 Infantry out of Fort Carson, Colorado, during the invasion of Iraq in 2003-2004. In 2005, Matt was selected to serve as a Ranger Instructor and Company Commander at the 5th Ranger Training Battalion (Mountain Phase) in Dahlonega, GA. Upon the completion of that assignment, he resigned his commission to become a Warrant Officer pilot in Army Aviation, flying the OH-58D Kiowa Scout Helicopter where he was assigned to 6th Squadron 17th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Wainwright Alaska. During this assignment, Matt served as Pilot in Command, Air Mission Commander, and an Instructor Pilot both deployed and stateside. In 2013, he was assigned as an Instructor Pilot for 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Squadron, 101st Airborne (Air Assualt) Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He is currently undergoing training in the AH-64 Apache Helicopter Aircraft Qualification Course in which he is slated to become an Instructor Pilot and return to Fort Campbell, Kentucky
David M Bowers
Board of Directors
I joined the navy directly out of high school in 1980. I completed basic training Great Lakes, Illinois. I was then sent to Little Creek, Va to complete my first duty station to work with the mobile diving and salvage unit two. Our duties included picking up planes and helicopters that had crashed at sea. I continued to be moved from station to station which including working on the USS Iowa, the USS Hoel and the USS Proteus. I was a security team leader and in charge of the maintenance shop with the Under Sea Warfare Unit 109. In 2002 I transferred to a new unit Mobile Inshore Under Sea Warfare 106 and became a security team leader for the seaward side of the port. I was injured in Kuwait in 2003 and spent the next 2 1/2 years at Bethesda Navy Hospital in DC. I had a total of over 100 surgeries and laid in a hospital bed for most of my time there. I was medically retired in 2005 as 2nd Class Engine Man.
Since retiring from the Navy, I have been very involved with many veterans groups with most of my time devoted to Veterans Of Foreign Wars where I served as Post Commander from 2009 to 2013. I was also the District 21 Commander during the 2013-2014 year, where I was responsible for 18 different posts.
Board of Directors
Eric Calhoun is an attorney with offices in Texas and California. He has been practicing law in North Texas for over 25 years and is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell peer rankings. Eric’s practice includes representing disabled veterans and other disabled persons in litigation enforcing accessibility laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”). Eric is a supporter of the Foundation and advises the Foundation on legal matters as requested.
Eric lives in Dallas, Texas with his three children. He grew up in the Midwest, attending college at Illinois Wesleyan University. He obtained his MBA and law degree from the University of Illinois. He is licensed to practice law in the states of Texas, California, New York and Illinois. Eric is an avid sports fan and often attends Rangers, Cowboys and Stars games
I am honored to be a board member for HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation. It is such an amazing foundation that truly gives back to our veterans and helps provide the ability not the disability. Caden Gebhard is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer for The KIT Group, LLC. The KIT Group provides analysts, non-conventional warfighter combative personnel, PSD statewide and overseas, pyrotechnics, and military pre-deployment training. The KIT Group holds a federal explosive license, federal firearms manufacture license, federal destructive license, and private patrol license. The KIT GROUP was found in 2015 after Caden was consulting for the military and the private sector.
Without the contributions of these fine advisory board members Halo would be non existent.
Jason Morgan -USAF Staff Sgt.
Combat Weather Teams are organized, trained and equipped to provide meteorological and oceanographic intelligence information in and for the Army’s special operations theaters of conflict. Duties performed range from staff support to ground combat operations, which include tactical infiltration, observing, forecasting, training indigenous personnel to take limited observations, and mission tailoring of environmental information.
In June of 1999, Staff Sergeant Jason Morgan was deployed to South America on a counter narcotics mission while attached to the 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) called the Night Stalkers. Trying avoid a dangerous situation, the driver of the SUV that Morgan was riding in, lost control of the vehicle which began flipping down a ravine. Jason was ejected from the back seat and the vehicle rolled over him crushing his back and leaving him face down in shallow water unable to move or breathe. An American mission working in South America pulled Jason out of the water and coordinated a rescue. After waking from a coma two months, the doctors told him that he was lucky to be alive but paralyzed from the waist down and would never walk again.
3 1/2 Years of hospitalization and countless surgeries was followed by pain and depression. Soon after his injury, Morgan’s marriage ended and he raised his three young boys almost entirely by himself.
Morgan’s current mission is to speak to groups about the things a person can do – not what they think they can’t. After receiving his service dog from Canine Companions for Independence in 2010, Morgan has been active speaking to schools, churches, boy scouts and other organizations educating about service dogs and their roles as well as motivating people how to overcome adversity. As the national spokesperson for Canine Companions for Independence, Morgan volunteers his time by speaking all over the US helping kids and with disabilities and disabled veterans receive these highly trained service dogs at no cost to the recipient. Morgan also regularly visits hospitals and VA facilities with his service dog that he claims makes a world of difference during their difficult time and recovery. Although paralyzed from the waist down and recently losing his leg due to a bone infection, he stays active water and snow skiing, SCUBA diving with his 3 boys, competed and medaled in the Warrior Games (Military Paralympics) and recently pushed his racing wheelchair (not a hand cycle) 26.2 miles in the Marine Corps Marathon.
Don was born and raised in Texas and has lived his entire life in the Ft. Worth/Weatherford area. His hobbies include traveling, golf, hunting along with real estate and stock investing. He graduated from Paschal High School and received his BBA from TCU and his MBA from UNT. He and his wife Kathi have been married since 1979.
They have two grown sons, Travis, who runs their small real estate company and James, who received his Masters in Real Estate from Texas A&M and works for Caddo Real Estate Holdings in Dallas. Don’s father, a sailor during WWII, served in the Pacific. Six of his uncles also served overseas during the war.
He met and became friends with Dana around 2000 when Dana and his family first moved to Texas. Through this friendship, he has met many of our nation’s wounded warriors and many of our outstanding servicemen and women. He has had the privilege to help Dana with his very first wounded warrior event and every one since. It is his small way of trying to pay back a little to those that have given so much.
Photographer / Advisory Board
Samuel ‘Sammy’ Estrada was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated with an R/TV/Film Degree from TCU and is a proud Horned Frog. He is a Videographer and Photographer, and has worked as a corporate trainer for mortgage for over ten years.
Sammy has been married to his wife Amy, for the last 13 years, and they have two sons. They found out that their oldest son was diagnosed with Autism and for the past three years, Sammy he has been involved with the Special Olympics as a coach. He is a certified bowling coach for the Special Olympics however; he is a volunteer coach for other Special Olympics sports.
“I am excited to be able to be a part of this foundation. My Grandfather was a Marine who fought in World War II and my father is an Air Force Veteran. I never served in the military but wanted to show our veterans that I am thankful for their service even if it taking their photos while having a little fun.”
Scott is a Police Officer and Detective with 31 years of experience.
Scott and has been assigned, during his career, to several special state and federal agencies.
Scott expertise in law enforcement and weapons helps to serve the veterans honored by HALO.
He also has experience with various organizations that will help to guide HALOs’ future.
Robert W. Johns Jr.
Advisory Board & Andrews West Texas Director
Robert was born and raised in South East Texas. At the age of 19, he left and joined the United States Marine Corp. Robert’s beautiful wife and K-9 are also veterans. He has 4 lovely girls that keep him on his toes.
Robert graduated Marine Corp recruit training Sept 14th, 2001 (3 days after the fallen of the World Trade Center). For the next 12 years Robert deployed to the Middle East 4 different times with various Marine Corp Infantry Battalions. During his deployment he has conducted operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and both Northern and Southern Afghanistan. Towards the end of his time on Active Duty, he have had the privilege to teach, coach, and mentor different military forces, both US and Foreign, to be advisors for other Third-World countries around the world.
In 2013, Robert joined Chevron. He is the President for the Midland Veterans Network for his area. The network helps mentor and develop members within the company. The network also reaches out to the local community for any assistance.
In 2015 Robert volunteered to be Andrews County Veteran Service Officer. As VSO he helps local veterans and families with any assistance needed.
Advisory Board Member & Halo's Helicopter Pilot
Jacey Shack (JC) was born and raised in Albany, Texas where he participated in multiple activities including Boy Scouts, Football, Tennis and Track. After graduating high school Jacey attended Sky Helicopters where he earned his commercial rotorcraft license. Jacey joined the United States Army in 2010 as a Kiowa Pilot and finely tuned his skills as an elite low level Scout Pilot. After completion of his 6 year commitment, Jacey returned to his home town and started S2 Helicopter Services. S2 is owned and operated by Jacey with the support of his wife and two kids. Since beginning the adventure of business ownership Jacey has had the opportunity to participate in many of activities but none compare to the Halo for Freedom Warrior Foundation.