TODD BOWERS. Fairfax, VA. Todd serves as IAVA's Deputy Director of Public Affairs and works as a liaison to members of Congress, Veterans Service Organizations, and other government agencies. Todd served two tours in Iraq as a Civil Affairs Team Sergeant with the United States Marine Corps, and was awarded the Purple Heart and Navy Commendation medal with “V” device for Valor. In April 2009, he redeployed for a third tour to Afghanistan as a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserves.  He studied Middle Eastern Affairs and Arabic at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
ADAM BRYANT. Baldwinsville, NY. Adam enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard in September 2004 as an infantry soldier in New York’s 27th Brigade Combat Team. From January 2008 to January 2009 he served in Kabul on a civil military operations team, which completed and initiated more civil projects to build schools, roads, and wells than any other previous rotation. A prolific writer and photographer, he studied Communications at the University of Buffalo prior to his deployment.  He currently serves as IAVA’s Membership Assistant and is on active drilling status in the Army National Guard based out of Queens, New York.

LAURIE EMMER. Sycamore, IL. Laurie joined the Army in 1981 and deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in January 2003.  She retired from the Army in November of 2005 and plans to go back to college in Fall 2010.  Laurie is a married and has four children, two of whom have served in the Army.
SHERMAN WATSON, JR. Hawthorne, CA. Sherman joined the Marine Corps in June of 2002 and served with the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines. He deployed to Iraq in total three times serving one ten month and two seven month tours. He sustained several injuries during his deployments, and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in 2006 when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. He currently resides in California with his wife Kira and two year old daughter Courtney.

PATRICK CAMPBELL. Camarillo, CA. Patrick serves as a congressional liaison for IAVA, working to advance the IAVA Legislative Agenda among members of Congress and Veterans Service Organizations. After returning from Iraq in October 2005 after one year of service, he was awarded the Combat Medical Badge and the Meritorious Service Medal. Patrick recently graduated Law School from the Catholic University of America, and is a combat medic with the Washington, D.C. National Guard.
JASON HANSMAN. Lacey, WA. Jason enlisted in the Army Reserves in 2000 and was deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2004.  After his tour in Iraq he completed his Bachelors in Political Science at The University of Washington.  Jason was honorably discharged from the Army in 2009 and is currently the Online Community Manager for IAVA where he runs the first and largest online social network exclusively for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

NICOLE GREEN. Alexandria, VA. Nicole is a former Captain and U.S. Air Force Academy graduate who served on active duty from 2002-2006.  She helped establish initial Air Force combat operations at Balad Air Base, Iraq, where she deployed from November 2003 to March 2004.  After her military service, she earned an M.A. in Diplomacy while teaching English in Russia.  She currently works as a consultant in Washington, D.C. and is active in helping other veterans successfully transition to civilian life.  In her free time, she enjoys CrossFit, hiking and photography.

RYAN CONKLIN. Gettysburg, PA. Ryan enlisted in the Army after the events of September 11th and deployed as part of the 101st Airborne Division to Iraq in 2005.  In 2009 Ryan appeared as a cast member of MTV's Real World: Brooklyn and in April of 2009 he was involuntarily recalled for a second tour to Iraq.  Ryan returned home in 2010 and was honorably discharged from the Army, and he currently travels the country speaking about his time in Iraq.

TOM TARANTINO. San Anselmo, CA. Tom is a former Army Captain who left service in 2007 after 10 years. He returned from Iraq in 2006 after one year of deployment with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Tom served in combat as both a cavalry and mortar platoon leader, and was awarded the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star. Tom graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2002 with a degree in Global Studies and International Relations. As Legislative Associate, Tom assists with IAVA’s research and policy through coordination with Congress, Veterans Service Organizations, and governmental organizations.
SARA SKINNER. Atlanta, GA. Sara served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, and deployed to Iraq twice as a Military Police platoon leader between March 2003 and April 2005. A 2002 graduate of West Point, she currently works at a data management firm, and is planning to attend law school in the future. Skinner is married to a fellow Iraq veteran, and resides outside of Atlanta, Georgia.


STEVE NOAKES. San Diego, CA. Steve enlisted in the Navy in 1983 as a hospital corpsman.  In January of 2000 he was commissioned as a Navy Ensign.  Steve served a tour in Iraq in 2003 and in Afghanistan in 2006.  He is still currently serving at a Branch Medical Clinic in San Diego, CA.

JACOB WOOD. Burbank, CA. Jacob enlisted in the Marines in October 2005 after graduating college.  He deployed to Iraq in 2007 as an infantry team leader, and redeployed in April 2008 to Afghanistan's Helmand Valley where he served as a Scout Sniper Assistant Team Leader. Honorably discharged in October 2009, Jake currently serves as the CEO and founder of Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that specializes in rapid, small unit disaster responses and recently deployed to assist relief efforts following the Haiti earthquake.  In the fall, he hopes to pursue his MBA.

PERRY JEFFERIES. Copperas Cove, TX. Perry served as a First Sergeant with the Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom from April-October 2003.  Jefferies retired in 2004 after 22 years of service, and currently lives in Texas where he works with the Armed Services Blood Program at Fort Hood and rides motorcycles in his spare time. He also serves on IAVA’s Board of Directors.

REYNALDO LEAL, JR. Edinburg, TX. Rey deployed twice to Iraq with 3rd Battalion 5th Marines out of Camp Pendleton, California. During his first tour, Reynaldo was stationed in Fallujah where he took part in some of the heaviest fighting during Operation Phantom Fury. He is currently living in Texas with his wife and son, and attending South Texas College, pursuing a degree in Geology. He is also a published photographer.



CLAY HUNT. Los Angeles, CA. Clay enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2005 and was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in 2007 and to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2008.  He is currently attending college at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles using the post 9/11 GI Bill.  Clay recently returned from a mission to Haiti where he was assisting with disaster relief efforts through Team Rubicon.
ANTHONY PIKE. Sandy, UT. Anthony enlisted in the Marine Corps in March of 2000.  He served his first tour to Iraq in Baghdad starting in January 2004.  In March 2006, Anthony deployed for a second tour to Iraq in Ramadi.  He is currently a senior at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Aviation.

TIM EMBREE. St. Louis, MO. Tim works with the legislative team as a liaison to members of Congress, Veterans Service Organizations, and other government agencies. Tim joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves in 1999 and served two combat tours in Iraq before being honorably discharged in 2007. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. Tim has extensive professional experience working in local government administration in the Midwest.


MARCO REININGER. New York, NY. Marco enlisted in the Army National Guard on his 23rd birthday and deployed to Afghanistan in 2008.  Upon returning from Afghanistan he enrolled at Columbia University in New York City where he is using the post 9/11 GI Bill and is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Psychology.  Marco has traveled to over 40 countries and is proficient in German and French.

JEFF KOHLER. Columbus, OH. Jeff joined the Navy in 2005 and deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in March 2008.  He is currently enrolled at The Ohio State University where he is using the post 9/11 GI Bill.  Jeff is an active IAVA member on IAVA’s Community of Veterans and as a spokesperson.

JOHN BOERSTLER. Houston, TX. John served honorably in the United States Marines Corps from 1999-2007, including several duty assignments overseas. John received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Texas A&M University and a Graduate Certificate in Advanced International Affairs from the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service.  Currently, John serves as the Deputy Director of the City of Houston's Office of Veterans Affairs, which focuses on connecting returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with transition assistance services in the southeast Texas region.  He is currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of Houston.

DON GOMEZ, JR. Bellrose, NY. Don is a former Sergeant in the U.S. Army, serving from 2001 to 2006. He deployed to Iraq twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 82nd Airborne Division. Gomez is currently attending college at the City College of New York (CCNY), where he is studying International Studies with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies.
JAMES MILLER. Arlington, VA. James joined the Marines in 2001 and was deployed to Iraq for his first tour in March of 2003 where he served in Baghdad and Fallujah.  In 2008 he deployed to Iraq again where he served in Al Anbar province providing training to the Iraqi Security Forces.  James was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2009 and is currently a student and Military Transition Assistance Coordinator at George Mason University.

DAN WHISNANT. Kalamazoo, MI. Dan enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1987, deploying in support of Operation Desert Shield / Storm. In December of 1994, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and served multiple assignments overseas in Bosnia and Haiti.  From 2004 to 2008 Dan served two tours to Iraq.  He currently works as the Government Sales Account Manager for the Stryker Corporation.

ADAM SCHULTZ. Evansville, WI. Adam joined the Air Force in 2001 and deployed to Balad, Iraq in September of 2005 as an aircraft avionics technician.  He is currently attending school pursuing a degree in social work and is interested in working with Veterans after graduating.  Adam is also employed through workstudy with his local Vet Center.

PAUL RIECKHOFF. New York, NY. Paul is the Executive Director and Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Paul served as a First Lieutenant and infantry rifle platoon leader in the Iraq war from 2003-2004. He is also the author of the critically-acclaimed Chasing Ghosts, and a nationally recognized authority on the war in Iraq and issues affecting troops, military families and veterans. Prior to going to Iraq, Paul worked as a high school football coach and an Investment Banking Analyst on Wall Street. He received a BA in Political Science from Amherst College in 1998 and lives in New York City.
JOHN PENDERS. Concord, MA. John served as a Navy Lieutenant and Naval Aviator on active duty from 2000-2009. He deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East in 2004 where he flew combat missions over Iraq and the Arabian Gulf as a P-3C Orion pilot supporting operations in Anbar Province. He received a B.A. in history and political science from Boston College in 2000 and used the GI Bill to complete an MBA in finance from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in 2009. John now works in the defense industry.
AUBREY ARCANGEL. New York, NY. Aubrey served in the U.S. Army from 2002-2006, including a tour in Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division in 2005. He advocated for the new GI Bill and rallied support from veterans across New York State. He is currently studying political science at The City College of New York, where he leads the student veterans club.

AIMEE SHERROD. Bells, TN. Aimee served three tours in the Air Force as an aircraft inspector from 2001-2005. During her first tour in 2002, Aimee was stationed in Pakistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), then in Jordan from 2002-2003 in support of OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and finally in Baghdad from 2003-2004 in support of OIF. In 2005, she was medically separated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

BEAR SHERROD. Bells, TN. Bear is a 2-year old labrador retriever and a graduate of the "Dog Tags: Service Dogs for Those Who've Served Us," a program established in 2006 by Puppies Behind Bars for veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan who have suffered a physical injury, traumatic brain injury or exhibit post-traumatic stress disorder.  Placed with Iraq veteran Aimee Sherrod in October 2009, Bear is trained to respond to more than 80 commands, can remind Aimee to take medications, opens doors and can even find a car in a parking lot. This is his first trip to Capitol Hill.  Follow his work with Aimee on their blog here.