Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. -D. Eisenhower
CEO/Founder of Our Heroes’ Dreams, OHD Board Member
Justin Bond Born in Kings County rejoined the US Army after Insurgents attacked our homeland on September 11, 2001. Soon Sgt. Bond found himself on the battle field engaged a fire fight defending America and all that she stands for during the battle of Fallujah in Iraq. Sgt. Bond feels fortunate to make it back and is very proud of all of his brothers and sisters and often times wants to rejoin them even though he left his left leg on the battle field!
Since returning home and going through numerous surgeries Sgt Bond realized that the real battles that our Nations Warriors are facing are not on the battle field but instead are the nightmares and flash backs they face from their PTSD and a lack of mission. He learned that 22 a day are committing suicide and this left him in an uneasy way of life. Sgt. Bond then started fundraising to help his comrades by bowling 1000 games non top taking nearly 4 days. Next he rode a Segway from Monterey CA to Jacksonville Fl. at 12 MPH taking 60 days. Sgt. Bond is planning for a 220 mile back country back packing trip from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney and then a 2200 mile Zoom chair ride from Canada to Mexico and then on to Fresno to help raise funds and awareness for Camp Freedom, a full time veterans camp where he can host his Healing Safari that has already saved hundreds of veterans lives. Sgt. Bond is a huge veteran’s advocate but couldn’t do it without his many family and friends in the local community and around the country to support his mission in defending and honoring those that defend us.
Sgt. Bond has numerous medals and awards from the military as well as local through national awards from senate and Congress to include the Purple Heart from wounds received during combat action in Iraq. His favorite sayings are – “It is what it is” and “If it doesn’t kill you it can only make it stronger”.
Vice President, OHD Board Member / Acting President, Finance Chair, OHD Event Management, OHD Fundraising, Women Warriors Advisor.
Betty is a Wife, proud Mother of two, Grandmother of four and Great Grandmother of four.
Betty’s relationship with the military includes close family members. Husband, Elvin who spent twelve years in the Air National Guard; Elvin’s brother, Reuben a veteran of the Korean War, active duty; a nephew, who lost both legs in Iraq in 2010; and currently a nephew, who is an Army Ranger stationed at Fort Lewis.
Betty has been in business since 1964 and was named a Top Ten Professional Woman of the Year in Fresno in 1990. She currently owns Develop Design Do It, an Event Management, Planning & Consulting Firm. Her specialty is large fundraising galas for non-profits and uses this expertise for fundraising for Our Heroes Dreams.
OHD Board Member, Treasurer, Finance Officer, Warrior Board.
Jason Day served in the United States Army active duty as a 13 Bravo Heavy Artillery cannon crewmember. After Boot Camp, and OSUT at Ft Sill OK, he was stationed at Ft. Carson, Colorado where he was part of the 3rd Battalion Field Artillery Regiment. He was deployed along with his unit to Kuwait in 2002 for a six month deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. PFC Day received an Honorable Medical Discharge.
He went back to college receiving his A.A. in Business Management and is currently attending college with three classes remaining for his B.A. in business. Day used the discipline from the military and his civilian education to start a small agriculture business which he runs today. Day has a 7 year old daughter.
Day’s heart remains with the brothers and sisters he served with in the military and began volunteering his time to veteran organizations including the Veteran Hospitals, Homes for Our Troops, and Our Heroes’ Dreams.
OHD Board Member, Warrior Board Administrator, Women Warrior’s Program Manager, VCRC Vice Commander
Emily Valdez Burnias born in Hanford California, joined the United States Navy in 1983. She served as a Plane Captain for the UH-1 November and HH-46 Alpha, a Search and Rescue Squadron in Pensacola Florida. After which she was honorably discharged. She has dedicated her life to veterans and their families. She makes a significant difference in our community by helping at the Salvation Army Food Bank and Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen. She also volunteers her time to help disabled and senior veterans in a day to day living capacity. Our Heroes’ Dreams allows Ms Burnias to continue to pay it forward for her Country, Veterans, Community, and Youth Values which she holds dearly.
John Cook (“J.C”)
OHD Board Member, Adaptive Sports Director, Warrior Board
John Cook grew up in rural Humboldt County in Northern California where he graduated from Fortuna High School in 2001. After the September 11 attacks took place on our home land in 2001 Cook prepared and enlisted in the Navy, January 2003, honorably serving 8 years active duty as an Aviation Structural Mechanic (AM). Cook’s first duty station was Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Detachment (AIMD), NAS Lemoore, Ca. While at AIMD, Cook was TAD (Temporary Active Duty) to USS Abraham Lincoln for 2 months. His next duty station was Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25), Anderson Air Base, Guam, working on MH-60s helicopters. While at HSC-25 he deployed for 10 months on multiple ships in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Operation Smile (USNS Kiska, Shasta, and Niagara Falls). Cook then came back to NAS Lemoore, to work on F/A-18 fighter jets at Strike Fighter Squadron 146 (VFA-146), which was attached to CAG-11, USS John C. Stennis strike group. While working one day Cook broke his right leg and after a bad surgery cook’s life was turned inside out as the military amputated his left leg from a MERSA infection. After being forced from the military in February 2011, Cook felt the impact of being on the couch with a lack of a mission, a severe disability and the VA offering more VA candy to cope with life! Fortunately Cook was introduced to OHD and chose to take the OHD mission as his own and now Cook uses his experiences to help other vets overcome the trap of feeling the comfort and safety of the couch and life without a mission. Cook is nearly half way through the University of Phoenix. He is obtaining a BA in Phycology so he may understand and help those in need even more. Cook is now a KEY asset and quickly becoming a leader to not only our board but to the entire organization and to all of the vets that OHD helps!
OHD Board Member, OHD Chaplin, Warrior Board
Robert Levy, born and raised in the local area was drafted out of college into the United States Army in 1972. His MOS was 91B20, combat medic. Robert never saw combat but lived with combats daily effects as he was stationed at Walter reed army medical center “WRAMC” and treated the many men and women that were wounded or injured. Robert reenlisted in 1974 and worked in the Inhalation Therapy department under civilian Therapists. He was discharged in 1975 with an honorable discharge but continued to work in the field he was trained in until recent when he retired from Kawea Delta Medical Center in Visalia CA. Now Robert spends his time with God, family, friends and the troops while practicing his music as well as the many instruments he plays for churches and audiences alike. Robert and his band recently recorded their first album. He is also on the Our Heroes’ Dreams board and sits as the acting chaplain while helping advance the OHD mission to our wounded warriors!
OHD Board Member, VCRC Advisor
Gary was born in Bakersfield, California in 1940. He and his parents moved to Fresno, California in 1946, and attended his pre-college schools in Fresno. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1962 and was accepted into the Reserve Officer Candidate Program and after graduating from California State University Fresno in 1963, he was finished Officer Candidate School and was commissioned and ordered to Washington D.C., Naval Security Station. In 1968, he returned to Fresno, affiliated with the Naval Reserve Security Group, and enrolled in the Master’s Program at Fresno State. He had a summer job with the Santa Fe Railroad, returning to Fresno State in the fall. The following summer he returned to the Santa Fe Railroad and remained there while he finished working on his Master’s. In 1972 he was promoted to Locomotive Engineer, and remained with the railroad until his retirement in 2012. During his railroad career, he was recalled back to active duty on five occasions. He served as the active duty cryptologic officer in San Francisco; relief active duty cryptogam officer in Charleston, South Carolina; Program Cryptologic Officer at Reserve Headquarters in New Orleans, Louisiana; Deputy for Reserve Plans and Readiness, Commander, Naval Security Group, Washington D. C.; and Deputy Director for Naval Reserve Security Group in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. He retired in 1997. He affiliated with Our Heroes’ Dreams in 2014, and currently is the President of the Warrior Board.
Women Warriors Vice Chair, Veteran Caregiver Advisor, Fundraising
*** Bio Coming Soon! ***
VCRC Commander, Warrior Board
Darren Clayton enlisted in 1989 in the US Navy and spent the first 10 years as a GSE (Gas Turbine Electrician) on board the USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG-60) in Yokosuka Japan, the USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) Norfolk, VA and the USS Laboon (DDG-58) Norfolk VA. After 9/11, spent the next ten years as a Master-At-Arms (MA) and served in Naples, Italy (2 tours), Bahrain, and Jebel Ali, U.A.E. before spending his twilight tour at NAS Lemoore. Married (also a Navy Veteran) with 2 step-children (who are both currently serving the US Navy and US Army).
Warrior Board, VCRC, Woman Warrior Board
Angela Hunter was born and raised in Gary Indiana until she decided to tackler her dreams about being part of something bigger in life! It was in 1985 when Hunter enlisted in the Navy. Once in the Navy, Hunter became and Aviation Electrician. She traveled the country and learned what freedom and responsibility is truly about. Hunter served for 81/2 years in the aviation field and eventually as a military police officer, after which time she left the military. Hunter wasn’t about to quit serving though, she found herself living near the Lemoore Naval Air Station where she had been based and joined up to serve as a reserve police officer and then a Sheriff’s Detention Deputy for the next 22 years, 18 f which were as a sheriff in Kings County. After leaving the service of her country and then service to the local community, Hunter found herself on the couch and left without a mission. Now disabled from years of selfless sacrifice she, like many others, had trouble finding what could replace that mission of protecting others.
That’s when Hunter joined a Healing Retreat with Our Heroes’ Dreams. During the Healing Retreat, hunter realized that she was not alone and that many more vets were in the same situation. One of the programs the vets is introduced to is Archery. Archery soon filled one of the things missing in Hunters life, competition shoots. Hunter also learned that her mission of helping protect others doesn’t have to end and she is now helping her fellow warriors find a new mission in life and making sure they don’t become part of the 22 a day statistic. Hunter is looking forward to helping save live and advance her competition archery career!