Rick Sutter, Corporal, US Marine Corps, Director and President
I was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1955. I was the youngest of three boys. My father worked in the dairy business and we raised livestock on our farm. My mother stayed home with us kids. I attended All Saints Catholic School in Puyallup and graduated from Puyallup High.
After graduating from high school, I enlisted in the Marine Corps. While in the Marine Corps, my MOS was a Fire Direction Control person but I moved in being a Forward Observer. I was in the tail end of the Vietnam War, evacuating the south Vietnamese.
After coming home from the military, I worked in the construction trades mainly finishing concrete. In 1985 I started my own company doing decorative concrete. I’m thirty years strong and don’t foresee an end soon.
In 2010, I volunteered for an organization that was helping veterans and terminally ill young adults. After three years, I felt that the organization wasn’t fulfilling what they set out do so I decided to start an organization strictly for combat injured, post-Vietnam veterans. I wanted to share my vacation home in Idaho with these soldiers and also thank them for what they sacrificed for me.
I knew there wasn’t much of this done in the Vietnam era and them soldiers had to live with it. This is not only putting a big smile on these brave young men and women who have served and sacrificed for us but, as for myself, I couldn’t be rewarded more.
Thank you to all the donors, sponsors, and dedicated volunteers who help make Send-A-Vet a powerful resource for our nation’s combat-injured veterans. If you are interested in donating, please see our donation page.
MarkDaniel Brasel, Staff Sergeant, US Army, Director and Vice President, In charge of Veteran Applicant Selection
Military Occupation Specialty (MOS): 11B3V Infantryman, Army Ranger, SERE Instructor (Survive, Escape, Resist, Evade)
Date Entered Military Service: 27 Jun 2000
Retired Rank: E6/ Staff Sargent
Date of Medical Retirement: 27 Dec 2012
Years Served: 12 Years, 5 months, 2 days
Duty Assignments: Fort Benning, GA 2000-2003; Fort Lewis, WA 2003-2006; Vilsek Germany 2006-2009; Fort Rucker, AL 2009-2012
Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Afghanistan Sept 2001- Dec 2001, Afghanistan Sept 2002- Dec 2002, Iraq Jan 2003- May 2003, Iraq Oct 2004-Oct 2005, Iraq Aug 2007- Oct 2008
Medals Received: Bronze Star, Purple Heart (2nd award), Valorous Unit Award (3rd award), Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 3 campaign stars, Army Commendation Medal (2nd award), Army Good Conduct Medal (4th award), National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachute Badge, Combat Action Badge, Expert Marksmanship Badge with Rifle Bar, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star (4th award),
Army Meritorious Unit Citation.
Other Awards: Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (2nd award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (3rd award)
Injuries Sustained in Combat: During my combat service, I have received multiple concussions spanning over 30 IED’s, two VBED’s, RPG, direct fire, and indirect fire. Two of the most damaging injuries incurred in 2005
1) from a one hundred pound deep buried IED blast in which my Styker ran over an IED and the hatch crashed down on my head cracking my helmet and knocking me unconscious; resulting in a diagnoses of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) over 5 years later, which involves migraines, chronic fatigue, visual deficits and balance deficits. I also took shrapnel to eyes and ears.
2) from a mortar chemical round which caused loss of conscience for 15+ minutes, internal burns to my lower extremities, damage to my central nervous system, and severe shrapnel damage to my groin and abdomen requiring immediate field surgery. The exact chemicals involved have to-this-date not all been identified.
In 2007, I took a Sniper bullet to my back plate while on dismounted patrol.
Hobbies and Interests: Since my injuries and medical retirement, I have found enjoyment and peace in the outdoors; hunting and fishing as my injuries allow. I enjoy helping other Veterans, volunteer at the local VFW, and have become involved as the Vice President of the non-profit Send-A-Vet Foundation organization that takes combat injured veterans on outdoor adventures. I also enjoy going Geo-caching with my wife and step-daughter. This last year we welcomed triplets: one boy and two girls.
Stacey Kelley, Secretary
Bio coming soon!
Bill Bostwick, Treasurer, In charge of Alaska Fishing Trips
I was born and raised in Puyallup, WA and lived here most of my life. After graduating from Puyallup High School, I became an union apprentice pipe fitter out of Local #82.
I have been a pipe fitter ever since. I became involved with the Send-A-Vet Foundation after attending the 2015 Annual Charity Banquet. Knowing Ricky Sutter most of my life, I asked if he needed me to do anything to help. His reply– “You God Damn Rights We Can Use Some Help!” I knew right then I was in it for life. From there, I have since taken a double amputee to Alaska fishing and am looking forward to bringing many more up there. Until you have made a commitment like this, you don’t know what it means to everyone involved and the comfort you gain spiritually. I am looking forward to many adventures on the road ahead and, hopefully, there will be no roadblocks to deal with. Thank You.
William B Hampton, Board member, In charge of Hunting
Current Assignment: Sergeant Hampton is a stay at home Father, avid Outdoorsman, fisherman, Hunter, and Farmer to over 100 animals on 2 Acres at his Wife’s Grandparents home in North Bend, WA.
Military History: September 1999 signed up for the DEP ( Delayed Entry Program) as a Junior in high school.
July 22, 2001 Enlisted into the United States Marine Corps as a PFC (E-2) at RS Seattle, WA with the infantryman option (0300).
Oct. 19, 2001 Graduated from Marine Corp Recruiting Depot, San Diego, C.A.
Jan. 15, 2002 Graduated from School of Infantry, Infantry Training Battalion Camp Pendleton C.A. as an 0311, 0321 recon option.
Jan. 18, 2002 went to BRC (Basic Reconnaissance Course) on NAB ( Naval Amphibious Base) Coronado C.A.
Apr. 12, 2002 Assigned to 3RD Battalion 7TH Marines Kilo Company 1ST PLT 1ST Squad. Billet assigned was SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) gunner. completed two combat deployments with Kilo company. (March 2002 to March 2005)
March 15, 2005 assigned to Weapons Field Training Battalion Edison Range MCRD. (Apr 2005)
Graduated from Coaches course with the secondary MOS ( Military Occupation Specialty) as an 8530 Range Coach.
Feb. 1, 2007 Assigned to 1ST Battalion 5TH Marines Alpha Company 3RD PLT as 3RD Squad Leader.
Apr. 1, 2007 Assigned to 1ST Battalion 5TH Marines Headquarters and Service Company as acting Police Sergeant/PLT Sergeant.
Completed the 11TH MEU ( Marine Expeditionary Unit) (Nov 2007 to June 2008).
Sept. 1, 2008 Volunteered as a Combat Replacement for 2ND Battalion 7TH Marines in Afghanistan. Assigned to Fox Company 1st PLT as PLT Guide. (Sept 2008 to Dec 2008)
Jan. 8, 2009 Assigned to 5TH Marine Regiment SMP (Single Marine Program) as a Squad leader. (Jan 2009 to March 2009).
March 2009 to July 30th 2010 Wounded Warrior Battalion West.
Medically Retired From the Marine Corp July 30th 2010.
Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon (1 Gold Star), Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation (1 Bronze Star), Good Conduct Medal (1 Bronze Star), National Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (1 Bronze Star), Iraqi Campaign Medal (2 Bronze Stars), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary & Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon ( 3 Bronze Stars),
Humanitarian Medal, ISAF Medal.
Apr. 1, 2005 – Coaches Course
Date of Rank:
Private First Class (E-2) July 22, 2001 Lance Corporal (E-3) Apr 1, 2002
Corporal (E-4) Aug 1, 2004 Sergeant (E-5) Apr 1, 2007
Sergeant William B. Hampton is a son to Curtis L. Hampton of North Bend, WA and Roberta A. Sherman of Medina, WA.
Husband to Chantelle AAJ (Tapia) Hampton from North Bend, WA.
Father to Melanie KJ Hampton North Bend, WA
Father to Addison CN Hampton North Bend, WA
Father to William B Hampton II North Bend, WA
Father to Jason JFL Hampton North Bend, WA
Sept. 1, 1998 to May. 10, 2001, Woodinville High School, Woodinville, WA. ( Diploma)
July 1, 2004 to Aug. 10, 2004, Chapman University in Coachella Valley, California Earthquakes and Tectonics. ( Grade A-).
Mark Worley, Board Member, In charge of Media
I’m Mark Worley and I was born in Lubbock, Texas in May of 1989. I spent most of my time growing up in the rural farming community of Paducah, Texas. I participated in 4-H and FFA, winning grand champion swine in 2004 and was awarded Top Hand in 2005. When I wasn’t in school or working on my family’s farming/ranching operation, I did seasonal work for other farmers in the area and also worked for the only general contractor in town.
I joined the army in May of 2008, on my 19th birthday, and headed to Ft. Benning, Georgia, the “Home of the Infantry.” I probably could have picked a better time of year to go. Knowing I’m from Texas, the summer was pretty brutal and I remember it being real easy to run fast because the horse flies there will literally take bites out of you. I left there in August, just when it started cooling down a bit.
After completing basic training and AIT, I was sent to Ft. Lewis, Washington, now known as Joint Base Lewis-McChord. I remember feeling like I was never going to see the sun again. I always hated being in garrison: too many rules and too much time to waste. Also, being infantry, we can’t really do our job stateside, so we had to fill our time with mundane training or just standing around. Really wish I could have spent my whole time in the military being deployed and actually doing what I was trained to do.
My first deployment was to Iraq in August of 2009 and I spent a year there. I was in a very urban area compared to where I would go on my second deployment. It was really my first big adventure, especially while growing up I wasn’t sure if I’d ever make it out of my hometown.
My second deployment was to Afghanistan in March of 2012. It was a super rural area in the country where they smuggle enemy fighters and supplies through from Pakistan. Needless to say, it was pretty risky. I’ll be honest, I was a little worried about going to Afghanistan. The company we were replacing had 24 killed in action on a shorter deployment. Things lightened up for me, though, when we were getting shot at all day, but they were not hitting anything and it kind of gave me a sense of safety. We only lost one guy as far as our company. It was to an IED and there were a lot of amputees (I want to say around 40, but I’m not sure). Looking back, I really can’t believe I went to two countries and did what I did. It’s like a dream.
On August 11, 2012, I was on point leading my platoon on a mission when I stepped on an IED, resulting in the loss of my right leg through the knee. The explosion ripped through the two bones in my lower left leg, taking all the muscle and tendons with it. I suffered a deep laceration to my right forearm, as well, severing the tendons that work my fingers but they were able to fix that. And you have everything else that comes with getting blown up like PTSD, TBI, etc. They did a good job, but I was on so many drugs I have no idea how many surgeries I’ve had. My recovery process was kind of like looking in on someone else’s dream, I guess, because of the methadone. But I did good; think I was walking like a month and a half later. I never minded getting hurt, just hated the way I was treated at the WTB at Ft. Sam in Texas and the one at Ft. Lewis in Washington. They put way more rules and regulations on me than I ever had when I was at my unit. I just felt like I was being punished for not signing up for a desk job. At one point, they made us all play dodge ball with the Ft. Sam Fire Department, and I even felt bad for those guys. They obviously didn’t want to be there throwing dodgeballs at a bunch of armless and legless people, but I could rant on stuff like that all day.
Since retiring in February of 2014, I have knocked out quite a bit of school. I have some technical degrees and an associate degree in Machining and Manufacturing Technology through Green River College in Auburn and I’m almost done with my Welding Technology Degree. I have a couple of internet businesses that also give me a passive income. Right now, I’m waiting to get into an electrical apprenticeship. In my spare time, I enjoy hunting and fishing and working on my house. I always tell people my retirement has been a blessing and a curse because I don’t have to work but all my friends still do, so I try and stay productive. I’m on the Board of Send-A-Vet and, during the spring, I volunteer my time to taxi wounded vets, like myself, to Idaho for Spring bear hunts. I really miss being in a Combat Infantry Platoon. Pretty sure there isn’t a way to make closer friends. People always feel sorry for me because of my injury when I actually feel sorry for them. Most people will never know what they are capable of. I definitely don’t have that problem. I wouldn’t trade my military experience for anything in the world; just wish I would have stayed in.
Click here to read more.
David Kelley, Board Member, In charge of Communications
Bio coming soon!
Dean Westmark, Board Member, In charge of Security
I joined the Army in May of 2000, one month after I turned 17. I always wanted to be soldier, as far back as I can remember. I’m sure the G.I. Joe cartoon had some influence on me. I got stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA. I was put with 1/33 Armor tank battalion and later they shut it down and turned into 2/14 Cav. Then I became a SGM driver for year before going back to Bravo Troop and continue training. I was deployed to Iraq in October of 2004. I only did 1 tour and got out in May of 2006. Joining the Army was the best thing I ever did and I don’t regret it.
Lacy Ferguson, Board Member, In Charge of Veteran Bonding
I was born on September 28, 1986, in Buckner, Missouri. I graduated in 2005 from Fort Osage High School and joined to M.C.R.D. San Diego the next year. I currently reside in Mountlake Terrace, Washington with my wife, Marie (LCpl USMC veteran), and our children, Lacy, Morgan, Lilith, and Maddox.
I attended boot camp and SOI in 2006. I was deployed to Iraq in 2007, retiring from the USMC the same year. Now I volunteer with these organizations: Send-A-Vet Foundation (mostly at the Send-A-Vet Foundation Bear Hunting Camp), Hope for the Heroes, Eagle Scouts, Cascade Dog Training, Combat Vets Motorcycle Association (CVMA), Wounded Hero Hunting Camp, and Hot Shop Heroes.
Delbert Paul Detray, Board Member, In charge of Bird Hunting
Paul was born in Olympia, WA, from a family of small business owners who loved the outdoors and their country. Being raised as a Patriot and outdoorsman was the main drive for Paul to join the military. After finishing a job with an engineering firm out of Seattle, Paul was sick of Civilian life and wanted to serve his country. In the spring of 2010, Paul joined the US Army. After OSUT Infantry training, Paul completed the US Army Airborne School and was assigned to the 101st ABN 4th BCT 2/506th Easy CO. as a SAW Gunner. Deploying immediately after his arrival to Fort Campbell, Paul served 10 months in Afghanistan
at COP Zerok covering 200+ missions, countless air assaults, and covering their AO on foot the rest of the deployment. On May 30, 2011, while on foot patrol in the Naka district, insurgents set off an IED, killing two and wounding others, including Paul. Down, but not out, after 20+ surgeries Paul was Assigned to the Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Unit. While there, Paul was given the opportunity to Assist the MWR program for outdoor activities. As trips came in, Paul assisted the NCOIC in taking other soldiers on these trips. Soon, he took over as the NCOIC, running 100+ events delegating WTU CO. Reps to run soldiers to the events and head up events, himself. Eventually, the Army saw fit to Medically Retire Paul in September of 2013 so he was heading home. Paul now works for the family business, selling manufactured homes all over the state of Washington. Paul spends his free time hunting and volunteers to help others get some much needed outdoor therapy.
Jaremy Day, Board Member, In charge of Networking
Jaremy Day was born and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho. He has been married to his lovely wife for
over 20 years and has three wonderful children. His hobbies include camping, hunting, and
fishing. Although Jaremy never did enlist into the military, he has immense respect for the men
and women who have dedicated their time and lives to serve and protect God’s greatest nation.
“I have always had an inner desire to support our Veterans. It was wasn’t until I went to the Send-A-Vet Foundation Banquet Dinner in March of 2015 that it came clear: joining this Foundation would allow me the opportunity to support those whom have dedicated everything to protect the United States of America”.
Jaremy contacted MarkDaniel shortly after the 2015 banquet, wondering if there is anything he could offer to be of assistance in helping the Foundation’s cause. Because of Jaremy’s
background in business and sales, it only felt right to elect him as the Foundation’s Marketing and Donations Director.
“I look forward to seeing the lives of combat wounded Veterans be changed through this wonderful Foundation.”
James Stouffer, Board Member, In charge of Safety
I joined the Delayed Entry Program in November of 2002 and left home for One Station Unit Training in February 2003. After completing basic training, I received orders to Korea where I was assigned to 1st BN 506th Infantry Regiment. After a short tour in Korea, I was stationed at Ft. Lewis where I was assigned to A Co. 1st BN 5th Infantry Regiment. In late 2004, I deployed with A Co. 1/5 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning to the states, my unit was reflagged to 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment and the unit moved to Vilseck, Germany. In 2007, our unit was called to support Operation Iraqi Freedom once again for a 15-month tour. After returning to Germany, I received orders to Ft. Benning, GA, and I became an instructor. While assigned to 29th Infantry at Ft. Benning, I was forced to change my MOS for medical reasons and decided to pursue a career in the field of Military Intelligence. I was soon in training in Arizona and was assigned to 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) upon completion. I deployed for a short time in support of 5th Group. 5th SFG would be my final assignment in the Army and my term of service ended in September of 2014.
After my ETS, I returned home to Washington and began life as a civilian. Once I was settled in at home, I received a call from Markdaniel and he told me about Send-A-Vet. While I was out at the cabin, Dean, one of the other veterans, told me about a driving school and eventually I became a truck driver/crane operator. I have been volunteering with Send-A-Vet as much as I can ever since.
Brett DiFrancesco, Board Member, Culinary Specialist
Hi, my name is Bret DiFrancesco.
I am from Bloomington, Minnesota. I lived there most of my childhood. I went to Thomas Jefferson High School, where I graduated. I then enlisted in the military in 1996 at the age of 17. I have had many duty stations to include Ray Barracks, to Ft. Lewis, where I ended my career in 2010. In 2006, I deployed with B co 1-36 Infantry (Spartans), 1st Armor Division, Task Force 1-37 Armor (Bandits) to Ramadi, Iraq. While in Iraq, during a patrol, I was injured from an IED explosion. From that point on, I started my journey to retirement while trying to heal. I ended up at Fort Lewis, Washington, where, after 14 years in the military, I was medically retired due to the sustained injuries from the IED blast in Ramadi, Iraq. I was not raised in a hunting and fishing environment. It was not until after the military that I was introduced to outdoor healing. Being able to go hunting and fishing helped me start the healing process for my body, mind, and soul. Being able to help others going through the same struggles has given me a better understanding of myself and how I am able to help other veterans who may be struggling with their own challenges.
Arne Nielsen, Board Member, In charge of Marketing
I was born in 1985 and raised on Whidbey Island by my grandparents (father’s mother
and father) until I was 15, when I went to live with my uncle in Federal Way, Washington. All
throughout my youth, I played many sports, which included soccer, karate, gymnastics, football, wrestling, track, and, very briefly, cheerleading. Wrestling was my favorite sport. I graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Auburn, Washington in 2004.
I joined the U.S. Army National Guard after I turned 17, on December 18, 2002. June of 2003, I went to Basic Training at Ft. Sill, OK. After I graduated high school, I went to AIT, which
was at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. My original MOS was 21T, which is Technical Engineering Specialist (drafter/surveyor/soil analyst/concrete testing). I was almost immediately sent back
to training to become a 21W, which is a Carpentry Masonry Specialist. In 2005, I was to be mobilized to Iraq. However at Fort Bliss, Texas, I injured my back and was sent home so a replacement could take my spot. In 2009 I was re-classed to 25U (Communications Specialist-Radio) for a deployment to Afghanistan with the 741st EOD BN, which was the BN for my previous unit, 176th Engineers. While deployed, my Unit’s mission was Counter IED (C-IED), under Task Force Paladin in RC East out of Bagram. My personal mission was to ensure every team could communicate to each other and the BN via satcom and radio. For the most part, I spent my time fixing the equipment in the MRAPs and assisting the unit level communications personnel in repairing their equipment, or doing random construction projects to improve housing for the BN and its units. After deployment, I was on medical hold for a brief period before I was released from active duty and the National Guard in June 2010.
I found Send-A-Vet through a random Google search for veteran resources. I reached out to the organization and was given the opportunity to go to a trapping class and bear hunting in Idaho. I am proud to help Send-a-Vet with their marketing and look forward to learning and growing with them.
I currently live in Graham, Washington, with my wife, Ashley, and our two sons, Ronan and Sven. I enjoy being outdoors, learning about cars, and spending time with my family.
Patrice White, Staff Sergeant, US Army, Board Member
SSG White started his military career in 1986 -1990 in the U.S. Marine Corps. During this time, he
served with 3rd BN 6th Marines 2nd Mar. Div., and 2nd Force Reconnaissance Co. 2nd SRI Group. SSG White reentered military service in 1999, when he was assigned to 1/5 Infantry, 1st BDE
25th Infantry Division. Ft. Lewis Washington. He then deployed with A Co. 1/5 Infantry, in 2004 to Iraq as a weapons squad leader. While conducting a patrol in Mozul, SSG White’s Stryker was struck by a SVBIED. SSG White temporarily lost consciousness after the SVBIED detonated. SSG White went on to deploy with A Troop 1/2 Stryker Cavalry Regiment in 2007 to Sadre City,
where he served as a squad leader and later as member of a MiTT Team. SSG White was then assigned to 2/357th Infantry, 1st Army as an Observer Controller, where he deployed as part of the
NATO Training Mission Afghanistan in 2010. SSG White had a total of 31 months of combat deployments. He retired July 2015. His awards and decorations include USN Sea Service
Deployment Ribbon (2ND AWARD), USN Meritorious Unit Commendation, USMC Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star, Army Commendation
Medal (3RD Award), Army Achievement Medal (2ND Award), NATO Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal (4TH Award), National Defense Service Medal w/ Bronze Service Star Global War On Terrorism, Expeditionary Medal/ Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal w/ campaign Star, NON Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (3RD Award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (3RD Award),
Multinational Force Observers Medal, and Combat Infantryman Badge.
SSG White retired to Lacey, Washington in 2014 and started working with Send-A-Vet Foundation. He started taking Combat Injured Veterans on outdoor Adventures after going on a trip of his own in early 2014.
Patrick Julian, Board Member
My name is Patrick Julian, born 27 Dec, 1971, in Marion, Indiana. I grew up in rural Indiana where I
developed my affinity for the outdoors, hunting, and fishing with my dad and two older brothers. After graduating from Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I joined the US Army, serving 21 Years in the Infantry as an 11c “Mortarman.”
After being seriously injured in Jan. 2007 in Iraq, I was assigned to the Wounded Warrior Transition Battalion for 2 years for continued medical care. In August 2009, I continued to serve as a
Brigade Intelligence NCOIC (Non Commissioned Officer in Charge) for 3rd BDE at Fort Lewis, WA, in a Non-Deployable status till retirement in 2012.
In May 2014, I met Mark Brasel through our AW2 Advocate, and shortly after he talked me into going on a bear hunt with the Send-A-Vet Foundation in Idaho. I have never taken advantage of any
opportunities for wounded Vets, simply because there are many young wounded vets out there and I would never feel right. However, Mark said there was an open slot with no one to fill it. Reluctantly, I went and had a great time with the Send-A-Vet crew. I have since volunteered with the crew and have seen and experienced what a difference they make in the lives of guys like me. I am proud to be a part of the Foundation and believe there is no finer organization in the country helping wounded veterans.