Volunteer Staff, Executive Director, and Board Member
Lynne Gartenhaus co-founded and was Co-Executive Director of the Boarder Baby Project in Washington, D.C. Their flagship project, The Little Blue House, opened in 1990 to care for infants abandoned, abused or neglected because of their parent’s addiction to drugs and alcohol. Children were lovingly cared for at the Little Blue House until foster or permanent homes could be found for them. For several years following that she was Director of Development at Second Genesis, non-profit drug and alcohol treatment program with residential centers in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Lynne brings a personal connection to C4H. Her father served in World War II as a sergeant and tank commander in the Third Army under General Patton. Her son-in-law served in the United States Army for seven years as part of the 82nd Airborne Division. Her nephew is currently serving in the United States Army in Germany with the Patriot Missile System. It is an honor for Lynne to bring her non-profit and animal rescue and adoption expertise to C4H. She is proud to be part of their effort to provide assistance to those who have served or are currently serving our country.
A Vietnam Veteran, Richard (Mike) Sergeant began his career training attack, narcotics and search and rescue dogs for the U.S. Air Force. Since his discharge, Mike has spent the last 35 years training assistance dogs for the disabled. He first worked at Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York and then Pilot Dogs. He was instrumental in establishing Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc., which was incorporated in the state of Florida in November 1982. While serving as Chief Training Officer for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, and America’s VetDogs, Mike was able to qualify both programs for certificates form the Assistance Dog International and the Guide Dog Federation. Mike has become one of the most respected experts in the world in training and providing dogs for people with multiple disabilities.
Chief Development Officer
Kathy is a national leader of high performing development and fundraising strategies. Kathy has over 25 years expertise in all areas of nonprofit management, creating relationships and partnerships between high level donors, top corporations, foundations, and military service organizations. She has been the driving force in various initiatives involving both corporate as well as private donors that have resulted in a material increase in new contributions to veterans’ organizations. In a time when the needs of our disabled warriors and veterans are great, Kathy’s efforts have helped numerous seriously disabled veterans being able to continue to live their lives with dignity and independence through their teaming with a service or guide dog.
Kathy holds a Master in Social Work degree from Adelphi University. She is a licensed clinical social worker with specialty in veterans’ issues. Kathy is on the Board of Directors of Vets Helping Heroes and is involved with various non-profit organizations serving veterans and active military personnel.
Hero Liaison Officer
David Jurado is a C4H Hero and disabled veteran who was stationed with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks Hawaii in June of 2005. He served as a 240-ammo carrier for some time then began training in Army Combative. His brigade transitioned from a light infantry unit to a mobilized Stryker brigade. During that time he became a Gimlet clan member, which is an honored position in the unit and not to mention the Army. Those who graduate get special privileges offered by the brigade and unit. In December 2007, his unit deployed to Iraq and his company was stationed in a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Albu Alwan near Baghdad.
On February 08, 2008 a close friend of SPC Jurado, who he served under and became a member of the family, was killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion while SPC Jurado was eating chow. That night before SPC Jurado’s platoon had traveled the same route, the weather that night made the route unable to travel so command decided to wait until the sun dried the mud on the route and send another platoon forward. SGT Gary Willett was a great friend of SPC Jurado’s and was in the gunner’s seat that day during an IED explosion. SPC Jurado had to see the Stryker (vehicle that his friend SGT Willett gave his life in) everyday for a month until it was towed away. The next morning SPC Jurado’s company captured four combatants believed to be in charge of the IED explosion that killed SGT Willet. In Apri 2008, SPC Jurado’s platoon was instructed to pack for three days to contain an operating FOB near Sadar City, Iraq. SPC Jurado and his platoon stayed for nearly a month with little contact with their families and a lot of contact with combatants. Within the first 12 hours every member in my platoon earned the Combat Infantry Badge, and experienced daily contact with combatants, not to mentioned being mortared at least once a day. SPC Jurado had a mortar round come in one evening and land on the other side of the T- Wall (temporary barrier) he was using as a pillow because they did not have huts to sleep in at this particular FOB. SPC Jurado spent a 15-month stint and came home in February 2009. He was honorably discharged in April 2009 and sent home since he was on stop-loss (not able to leave the US Army).
David’s dog, Willett (who he found through C4H) was found by the Greenville County Animal Shelter with his brother abandoned on the side of a road. No one had adopted him and the county animal shelter is a kill shelter. The Greenville Humane Society took him and placed him for adoption. SPC Jurado’s family adopted him two days later. However, SPC Jurado had to foster Willett since he had a cold but SPC Jurado and his family knew that Willett was the one for them. SPC Jurado’s wife trained Willett in one day how to relieve himself outside and Willett has since understood his responsibility, and learning commands at a very fast rate. Of note, Willett’s loving and looking after SPC Jurado’s three-year old son.
Allison Stockwell, a native of Fairfax Virginia, is a junior in the School of Management at George Mason University. She is currently studying business management. She is very passionate about the mission of Companions For Heroes, and animal rescue, and hopes that this may lead to an opportunity in this career field. Allison has always been an animal enthusiast and a rescue supporter. Both her grandfathers honorably served in World War II; one in North Africa in the U.S Army Air Corps and the other in New Guinea in the U.S. Army. Her family’s service has instilled a sense of pride and importance of service to the Nation. In her spare time she enjoys staying active, volunteering, spending time with her dogs, going out with friends, and visiting her boyfriend who is currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.