Meet Our Team
Waco Blakley was born and raised in Weatherford, Oklahoma where he graduated from Weatherford High School in 1989. On February 26, 1990 he enlisted into the United States Marine Corps and reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. During his enlistment, Blakley served at the American Embassies in Paris, France, Vienna, Austria, Kiev, Ukraine, and Warsaw, Poland as Marine Embassy Security. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps on July 25, 1994. Waco rejoined the military and enlisted on April 8, 1999 as a member of the 137th Security Forces Squadron in the Oklahoma Air National Guard. After 9/11 Waco was deployed three times in direct combat support of Operations Enduring Freedom & Iraqi Freedom. Due to injuries and medical concerns Master Sergeant Blakley retired after twenty four years of service. He has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with two Oak Leafs, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, and the Armed Forced Expeditionary Medal. Waco serves as OEF/OIF/OND Transition Patient Advocate at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center.
Scotty "Dee" Deatherage
Scotty grew up with a military influence and recognizes the issues military veterans and their families face. His father Larry Deatherage served in the United States Army during the Vietnam conflict as an MP, ASA, and ended his career with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Army and was stationed in Washington DC. Scotty's mother worked as a secretary in the Pentagon. He has dedicated his life to serving our war heroes and their families that deal with the daily stresses brought on by the reality of war. Scotty works with a large number of veterans and understands their character, the issues, and is always on the move creating opportunites to improve their lives. As the executive director he oversees all aspects of the organization.
Chance Blakley was born and raised in Weatherford, Oklahoma where he graduated from Weatherford High School in 1992. After attending Redlands Community College in El Reno, Oklahoma where he attended on a baseball scholarship, Chance move to Houston, Texas to pursue a career in healthcare. He is currently the Director of Business Development for Rotech Healthcare, a leading respiratory services company. He is currently overseeing VA patient transitions of veterans who are on oxygen services with his company. He is a proud father of two sons and resides with his wife and family in Pearland, a suburb of Houston, Texas. Growing up in a military family, Blakley has deep roots in the Red White and Blue. His grandfather was a WWII hero who stormed the beaches of Normandy during Operation Overlord. His father is a decorated Vietnam veteran, and his brother Waco is co-founder and president of Honoring America's Warriors, and an OEF/OIF veteran.
USAF Maj. General (Ret) Rita Aragon
Major General Rita Aragon is the first female Oklahoma Secretary of Military and Veteran Affairs for the State of Oklahoma, and is the liaison to the Governor of Oklahoma. General Aragon served as the first female commander of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. She serves on the Boards of Integris Health, Star Base, and Honoring America's Warriors. General Argon's awards include Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two devices, Air Force Commendation, Army Commendation, Global War on Terrorism, and Humanitarian Service Medal. General Aragon has been recognized as Oklahoma Woman of the Year by Journal Record.
US Army Lt. Colonel (Ret) Steve Russell
Steve Russell was born and raised in Del-City, Oklahoma, After high School he graduated from Ouachita Baptist University. After graduating with a degree in public speaking, Russell was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Infantry. Russell served 21 years in Airborne, Light and Mechanized assignments in the Arctic, Pacific, and Europe. He served more than seven years deployed to Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Russell was leader of Task Force 122 in the hunt and capture of Saddam Hussein. Russell is highly decorated having received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Valor and Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantryman's Badge, and Valorous Unit Award for its role in the capture of Saddam Hussein. After turning down a Queen's University Fellowship to Kingston, Canada for the US Army War College and promotion to Colonel, Russell retired as Lieutenant Colonel and retuned to Oklahoma. Russell has served in the Oklahoma State Senate, and in 2014 was elected to represent Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District.
Hughes is a graduate of the University of Southern California with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Political Science and Communication. He was on the Dean’s list and a recipient of the Order of Troy, presented to the top 140 of 4,000 graduating seniors for superior academics, leadership, and service.
Hughes serves as a Light Infantry Officer and Rifle Platoon Leader in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He’s currently assigned to C CO “Cold Steel,” 1/179, 45 IBCT. Hughes has been trained in urban operations and tactical room clearing by the 19th Special Forces Group in Fort Lewis, WA. Hughes was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Certificate of Achievement, and a Citation of Commendation from the Oklahoma State Senate and Oklahoma House of Representatives for being 1 of 16 out of 64 soldiers to graduate from Officer Candidate School, and for his commitment to education.
Hughes and his wife Rhea are also active supporters of their church, the 2LT Jered Ewy Memorial Foundation, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Hughes previously volunteered for the Oklahoma City VA Hospital. Hughes enjoys spending time with his wife and sons Robbie and Rowan, playing guitar and bass, surfing, snowboarding, and golfing.
Rob’s most memorable interview was with SSG (Ret) Travis Mills, an Army paratrooper who is 1 of only 5 quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries. Travis told Rob, “Never give up, never quit, you can’t control the situation, but you can control your attitude towards the situation.” Rob never forgot that.
US Army SSgt. (Ret) Rusty Dunagan
SSG Dunagan enlisted in the US Army September 2006 and was assigned to 41D 1BCT 1-66AR. Rusty served in Iraq from March 2008 to march 2009, and in Afghanistan fro August 2009 until his injuries on September 21, 2010, While on a patrol that September day one of Rusty's squad members stepped on a landmine which was connected to a secondary device. Rusty was on top of that secondary device which created a blast that inflicted instant amputation of both of his legs above the knees and his left arm above the elbow. The blast hurled Dunagan approximately 20 feet in the air ultimately landing him in a bacteria infested creek. After 2 1/2 years of going through Army hospitals in Kandahar, Bagram, Landstuhl, Walter Reed, and Brooke Army Medical Center, Rusty finally made it home to his family. Rusty and his wife Angie live in Edmond, Oklahoma with their 5 children the youngest of which was born last November. Rusty retired from the US Army as SSG March 26, 2013. SSG Rusty Dunagan is a Veteran Advocate for Honoring America's Warriors and is the Veteran Liaison for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District Representative Steve Russell. Rusty is a Purple Heart recipient.
Sgt. Angie Hughes - Davis
Angie Hughes Davis graduated from Catoosa High School in May 1999 and enlisted in the Army July 1st 1999. She deployed in 2003 with the 30th infantry brigade and the 1st ID from North Carolina. She was driver and gunner with the military police while deployed. She was injured by an IED and was medically retired from the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 2014. She now lives in Noble, OK with her husband Monty, who is also a retired Army veteran.
Cpl. Maegan Gray - Bertwell
Maegan Gray Bertwell graduated from Edmond Santa Fe high school in 2001 and joined the Army on May 31st 2001. Her unit the 238th Transportation Co. was mobilized in January 2003 under Operation Iraqi Freedom, and deployed to Iraq with the 49th Quartermaster Group where she was a truck driver who delivered fuel to Coalition Forces in hostile conditions. She was injured on May 31st 2003 in a vehicle accident after dropping fuel at the Bagdad Airport. She was medically discharged from the Army in January 2004. She then went to work for the Oklahoma City VA as a Lab Tech where she retired after 5 years of service, following a spinal fusion due to service connected injuries sustained in Iraq. Maegan now lives in Guthrie where she and her husband have 2 daughters.
Honoring America’s Warriors Chaplain, Kristi Davis. Kristi provides spiritual wellness services to the veterans we serve.
Kristi was born in Little Rock Arkansas. She received her undergraduate and graduate degree in Special Education at the University of Central Arkansas. She taught Special Education at The University of Central Arkansas, Conway Public School and Wichita Public Schools.
She has been married to her husband David for 26 years. They have 2 sons, Blake, 21, a junior in college and Coleman, 17, a senior in high school. She has been a professional volunteer since 1995.
Kristi is also Chaplain with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, Prison Discipleship, and a Master Chaplain with Homeland Security. She is a certified Life Coach with emphasis in grief and loss as well as addiction.
She participates in several ministries within the Tulsa Area and in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
US Army Captain Misty Anne Jobe
Misty Anne Jobe has served in the military for more than 10 years. She enlisted in the Oklahoma Army National Guard OKARNG in 2005 and is now a Medical Service Corps Captain, serving as the Programs Manager for Suicide Prevention and Resilience for the OKARNG. She was previously the Officer in Charge of medical operations where she assisted in developing the OKARNG Behavioral Health Case Management Team, one of the first in the Nation. Misty has worked to increase awareness of prevention and recovery in the OKARNG, including implementing methods to increase early identification of behavioral health issues in soldiers who recently returned from deployment, and to integrate civilian, military and veteran service systems from across Oklahoma. Prior military positions include OKARNG Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Deployed Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, 45th Fires Brigade Medical Operations Officer, and Officer in Charge of Combat Lifesaver Training. She was deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Prior to full-time military service, she worked at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health as Administrative Programs officer, which included working with all branches of the Military to identify and develop comprehensive Mental Health support for veterans and family members. Her military awards include Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achieve Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Mobilization Device, Army Overseas Service Medal, and State Active Duty Medal. Misty is an advocate for Service Members and Veterans, working and volunteering on reintegration issues and programs. For the last couple of years, she has presented several times on the topic of ‘Understanding Military Culture,’ which is designed for civilian behavioral health and substance abuse clinicians to better understand the mindset and culture of the military in the hopes of being able to more effectively engage them in needed services. Misty is a graduate of Oklahoma City University, where she earned an undergraduate degree in Criminology and a graduate degree in Sociology. Misty serves as the Director Community Outreach for Honoring America’s Warriors.
US Army SSG. David "Tater" Baker
David Baker was born in Seguine, TX. After a few years as a troubled youth he found a new life in the U.S ARMY. In 1986 Baker went to basic training and A.I.T. at Ft. Benning, Ga. where he became an infantryman, and attend Ranger indoctrination program. He was then assigned to the 1st infantry division LRSD, then reassigned to 82nd airborne, 101st airborne and final duty at the 25th infantry division. In 2000 David exited the Army. In 2008 David moved back to OK met the love of his life who had already started a small dog breeding kennel. After working and growing the kennel a few years he discovered that his labor of love was not the almighty gas industry dollar but that it belonged to the small farm and kennel he worked so hard to build. David discovered he had a natural ability for training dogs and it is something he loves to do. David realized that there is a need out there that is not being met by the V.A. to help veterans to cope with their depression and anxiety.
US Army Sgt. Shane Mayall
Shane Mayall joined the Army and shipped out to Ft. Benning GA. December 24th 2004. He was assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team with the 10th Mountain Division at Ft. Drum NY. In August of 2005. Shane was deployed to Baghdad Iraq. While deployed, his truck had been hit by multiple IEDS which started taking a toll on his body and every blast contributed a little each time to his traumatic brain injury. The military retired Shane which is hard for him because he’s only 30 years old. For 9 months Shane didn't leave his house, he had lost all interest in hunting and fishing which was his entire life before the military. Shane is back in a place where hunting, fishing, and the outdoors along with his family is his life again. Shane retired from the US Army as Sergeant and is a Purple Heart recipient.
SSG RUSSELL A. WOLFE originally from Widnoon, PA enlisted in the US Army on July 15, 1986. His initial duty station was the 25th Chemical Company, Bad Kreuznach, Germany as a 54C (Smoke Operation Specialist). In 1990 while stationed with the 34th Medical Battalion as a Company NBC NCO his unit was attached to 18th Airborne Corps and deployed for Desert Shield/Storm. In 1992 he reclassified as a 91S Preventive Medicine Specialist. He then did tours as NCOIC Preventive Medicine at Ft. Drum, NY, Pusan, Korea, and Ft. Meade, MD. In December 1997 due to a defective piece of equipment Russell sustained a fall resulting in a Spinal Cord Injury of T-8 paralyzing him from the naval down. After his injury he has peer counseled newly spinal cord injured veterans at the Richmond VAMC, competed internationally with archery making four Para-World teams, one ParaPanAm team and two Paralympic teams. He is a multiple US Archery record holder and has earned 3 international medals. The most prestigious being a bronze medal at the 2009 Para World Championships held in the Czech Republic. The first individual world medal awarded to a US archer in the division since the division was formed. Russell is currently completing his degree in Community Outdoor Recreation at the University of Central Oklahoma.
US Army SSgt. (Ret) Paul Smith
Paul Smith attended Wentworth Military Academy from 1989 to May of 1993. In 1999 Paul joined the United States Army. Paul was place with the 1st Cavalry Division as 19K. Paul deployed to Iraq December 2003 and served until June 5, 2004. Paul's unit was ambushed at an intersection in Baghdad where Paul was shot three times and hit with an Improvised Explosive Device. Due to the quick thinking by a Bradley crew from C Company 1-5 Cavalry, he was rushed to an Army CASH unit. Paul was bleeding out and in shock, and Paul remembers every detail of that day. He was later sent to Camp Anaconda for a plane to Germany. That was the beginning of Pauls painful and scary journey of his recovery. After multiple surgeries at Fort Hood, Paul was medically retired in December of 2006. Paul is a Purple Heart recipient.
USMC LNC. Corporal (Ret) Jacob Shoemate
Jacob Shoemate went to USMC boot camp September 20, 2010 MCRD SOI at Camp Pendleton. Stationed with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines at 29 Palms. Jacob deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan September 2011. Jacob was injured November 25th, 2011 and lost his left leg below the knee. After a full year of recovery, Jacob lived with a fellow wounded warrior and was introduced to Brazillian Jiu Jitsu at Lovatos School. Jacob has competed in multiple competitions and has won numerous medals for belt level and experience. Jacob and his wife Porsche live in Mustang, Oklahoma. Jacob is a Purple Heart recipient.
Jessica-Rose Hammack - Honoring America’s Warriors Director of Suicide Prevention and Family Resilience.
Jessica honorably served four years in the United States Marine Corps. After Jess’s time in the Marine Corps she enrolled at the University of Central Oklahoma and graduated with a Master’s degree in Crime and Intelligence Analysis. While attending UCO, she worked in the Veteran Student Support Office and served as President of UCO's Student Veteran Association. Jess became introduced to Honoring America’s Warriors through her connection made with their rowing team while serving as UCO’s Military Sports Coordinator. Jess is also a member of Honoring America’s Warriors Honor Guard. Her full-time position is serving the Oklahoma Army National Guard as their Suicide Prevention Program Manager. She also serves as the Chair of Governor Mary Fallin’s work group on Veterans Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Oklahoma’s Suicide Prevention Council.
Donna Warren, Director Event Planning and Public Relations. Donna is a Gold Star Mom and the daughter of a 21 year, Navy veteran who was a senior chief on Swift boats during the Vietnam war. Donna is also the wife of Desert Storm veteran Marvin Warren, who has been her best friend since they were 13 years old. Donna graduated from OU and has taught high school for many years. She is the proud mom of Eric “Doc” Warren who was an (FMF) corpsman for the 1/8 Marines in Afghanistan. Eric paid the ultimate sacrifice May 26, 2012 while serving in Afghanistan.