BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Founder and Executive Director, Eva M. Belanger
Eva M. Belanger is a Decorated Captain of the U.S. Air Force, with over nine years of service and wartime deployment. Some service and professional highlights include: Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)/Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico; Air Force Officer/Chief Information Assurance Officer; Balad Air Base, Iraq, Executive Officer; Aviano Air Base, Aviano, Italy, Operations Manager for Airfield Systems, Expeditionary Communications, and Support Flight Commander. She served for one year as Bereavement Counselor at San Diego Hospice, followed by two years as Readjustment Counseling Therapist (full-time employment, MFT Intern #61459) with the Veterans Administration/San Diego Vet Center, Psychological Assistant to Dr. Douglas Brackmann, Ph.D. PSY 19753[NB1].She is currently employed as a consultant and therapist at New Mindful Life, San Diego. Eva has direct experience counseling troops, for issues that include professional and educational development, deployments, death in the family, family dynamics, drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse to spouses and children and life trauma. She has also received extensive counseling on death and grief among military members. Prior to starting Warriors Live On, Eva enrolled in an adventure-therapy program with now friend and advisor Bob Speck, which relocated her across the country. It was in this program that she realized the depth of her trauma from Iraq and became aware that the therapies she had previously received were not healing her whole person. Eva has since committed herself to developing an organization that would help other veterans and peers transform their lives to reach their full potential.
“I personally have come from such darkness that I did not care to see with clarity any longer. I am a war veteran and have suffered through the bleak despair that comes with combat stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. I was afforded the opportunity to see past this pain and would like to re-create a similar experience for others. I cannot be the creator of peace, but I can be one whose gifts have been called upon to establish an environment where people can work to discover this peace for themselves. The healing spirit enters through these doors to help many. I want to invite those who seek to discover their inner treasure to walk through those doors and dare to explore a journey they have never walked before. The next step is for them to share their gifts with the world. We aim to help them spread this wealth! Our gifts are to be shared with open hands and an open heart.” To read more, click here.
Co Founder, Bob Speck
“Live an adventurous life that is meaningful for society, inspirational for those around me, and true to my heart. Share my love for the mountains and the outdoor environment. Help others discover health and happiness for themselves and for their home communities. Be engaged in work that stimulates my skills and strengths, and fulfills my desire to learn, to lead, and to do what’s right.” Bob enjoys living an adventurous life that is filled with learning and new experiences, connecting with others in nature, and exploring more sustainable ways to live better and healthier. He has explored many career opportunities, but has always found himself back at home in the mountains skiing, snowboarding, hiking and biking… and sharing the experiences with others.
With degrees a in civil engineering (Bachelor’s, Union College; Master’s, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Master’s, Boston Architectural College, sustainable design) Bob has practiced many years as a consulting structural and architectural engineer before moving to Vermont to set up his own business designing energy-efficient timber framed home. He has taught skiing and snowboarding and is the training director at the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF), NY. He has a broad experience also includes: the National Outdoor Leadership School, Project Adventure, Association of Experiential Education; exercise and fitness (ACSM CPT); yoga (RYT-200); bicycling and skiing around the world; backcountry wilderness leader; adaptive snowboarding instructor; competitive ski racing programs at ASF for athletes with disabilities; Wounded Warrior project guide. As a result of his own family’s experiences with PTSD and with his work at ASF, Bob has become involved with creating programs for the mental and physical health of wounded combat veterans, most of them with PTSD. As a man with deep, soulful compassion for our Veterans who have served this country so faithfully and wholeheartedly, Bob aims to integrate these life passions with Warriors Live On. Bob does not want to see any warrior with PTSD to feel alone. His personal quest is to ensure he helps those who suffer to know they have allies in the battle against PTSD and can discover themselves a “new” self through adventure-based, mindful experiential learning in a natural, healthy supportive setting. To encourage mentoring as a means to help people walk through various transitions in life, Bob maintains a website blog www.AMentorWalksWithMe.com, and helped found a Yoga warrior healing organization in Vermont www.Wildmountainu.org.
Outreach Coordinator, Jen Housholder
Jennifer D. Housholder is a flight test engineer, Army Reservist, and musician. Born in New Brighton, PA, Jennifer graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and promptly began her military career in the Air Force as an F-22 Electronic Warfare test engineer at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), CA. Later she transitioned from active duty Air Force to the Army National Guard/Reserves in order to fly the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, fulfilling a childhood dream of hers. Currently, she is a Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employee assigned as the Radar Lead Engineer for the 419th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) at Edwards AFB, CA. She leads a team of engineers in the flight testing of new software and hardware changes related to the radar systems on the B-1B, B-2A, and B-52 bomber platforms.
She is Acquisition Test and Evaluation Level III certified with over 15 years of flight test experience. In addition to her engineering responsibilities, she is a certified Master Resilience Trainer who teaches both Airmen and civilians skills that build and develop their resilience. Jennifer compliments her civilian profession with her 15 plus years of combined active duty and reserve service including 2 deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). She served in various leadership roles to include S2 (Intelligence Officer), A-S3 (Assistant Operations Officer), and Tactics Operations Officer (TACOPS) at the Battalion unit level, and Airspace Operations Officer at the Brigade unit level. Jennifer obtained the rank of Major, but later reverted to a Chief Warrant Officer in order to focus on flying. When she is not working as an engineer or on Reserve duty, Jennifer is the lead singer of Hous Band (http://hous-band.com/). Driven with a purpose to make a meaningful difference in society, Jennifer’s mission is to create music that evokes thought, reflection, and action that ultimately inspire the best qualities of life. The title track of her current album, Stay with Me, was written about the challenges facing service men and women coming home from combat and re-integrating back into civilian life. Stay with Me has touched many of our men and women in the military and their loved ones, and is the number one download of the album. Not all her songs are about military life; there are songs about love, heartbreak, and the interesting people we meet along life’s journey. Jennifer and her band have performed all over southern CA at venues like the House of Blues and The Roxy in West Hollywood. Her music reflects her life experiences, a deep desire to touch lives, and a passion to connect with people in a real and genuine way.
Mentor Program Development, Heidi Learner
Heidi Lerner is a survivor of a severe Traumatic Brain Injury. She has lived half of her life learning to cope with her condition and it’s inherent complications. She has experienced the importance of laughter, right attitude, patience, recreation, nature, strength, flexibility, holistic health, and inner peace. Heidi never let her injury hold her back in becoming an accomplished surf kayaker and Zydeco dancer.
Heidi’s injury motivated and focused her career. She went back to college so she could help and inspire other survivors to become more lively and independent. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Special Education, specifically for people with brain injuries and became certified as a Pilates instructor. Heidi now teaches Gentle Pilates and facilitates Support Groups at Sharp Rehab in San Diego, as well as in North County, at the Del Mar Library. She individually coaches survivors of brain injuries to feel better about themselves and to use strategies that make them competent and more able.
Ms. Lerner ran a multiple-disability Mentoring Program while working for Access to Independence, an independent living Organization for people with disabilities. Heidi developed a specialized Mentor Program for brain injury survivors and now, for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress, because she sees Mentoring as an empowering tool that uses our personal potential to overcome the grip of trauma and live life again.
WLO’s operational support comes from a combination of staff, mentors (past participants) and numerous strategic partners. Staff consists of Executive Director Eva Belanger, Programs & Operations Assistant Bob Speck and Marketing & Fundraising Consultant Jessica McKimmie from Do Good Marketing. Warriors Live On is actively seeking board members, with an emphasis on fundraising and programming, for our working board. If you are interested, please contact Eva Belanger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debra Scheufler, Attorney at Law Business and Corporate Attorney Debra C. Scheufler has been practicing in San Diego since 1996. She has conducted contract negotiations and overseen business transactions for clients in the U.S. and throughout Asia, Mexico and Europe. Her emphasis is on business and corporate law, including corporation and LLC formation, commercial contracts and all other agreements pertaining to the purchase, formation, operation, disposition and dissolution of businesses, including capitalization documents. Her litigation experience includes all aspects of trial and administrative review in business and employment matters. Ms. Scheufler received her juris doctorate from California Western School of Law in 1995, which she attended on an academic scholarship and where she was a staff writer and editor for the California Western Law Review/International Law Journal. She received her bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix, where she periodically teaches business law and negotiations. [… read more]
Dr. Marchita Masters At Donovan prison, Dr. Masters provided mental health services to some of the most mentally ill and dangerous prisoners in the state. She was a Sr. Clinical Psychologist for the County of San Diego for over 10 years, working with male and female youthful offenders in various Probation facilities. For 2.5 years, Dr. Masters was head of the Psychology Department at Ohio River Valley Youth Center, a maximum-security juvenile prison. She has an excess of 23 years working with troubled adolescents and their families and has made it her mission in life to address the intricate and confounding needs of this population and seeks to become instrumental in affecting change in public policy to more adequately address their needs. [… read more]
Christine Zito, Marketing Started in radio as a talk show producer in 1986 and learned very quickly how to aggregate an target audience in order to reach that audience with a message, topics, and issues that they would respond to. Christine evolved into television and had her TV show that aired for six years on Time Warner and earned and international award for “Best Sports Show.” Christine brings her years of experience to small business and organizations to help them market and position their business in community or market where they serve. [… read more]