THERE IS LIFE AFTER BATTLE.
IAM23 IS HERE TO HELP.
OUR STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
Are you passionate about Veteran issues and would like to make a difference? We would love to have you as part of the team! Contact us to inquire about being a contributor to the site!
Cicely joined the IAM23 team to provide support working alongside the Board of Directors and other IAM23 Executive Teams. She brings 10 years of experience from her work with Health Services in Austin ISD where she assisted in the implementation of a school mental health clinic system. Cicely has an eye for detail and enjoys implementing systems to accommodate the needs of any Organization. She grew up in the Austin area and after moving to New Mexico, San Antonio and the Houston area, she returned to Austin to raise two children. Through her work with the Austin ISD and personal family experiences, Cicely is invested in furthering an awareness of Mental Health and its impact on families.
Adalia is an Air Force veteran with seven years of service as a Target Intelligence Specialist with the 20th Intelligence Squadron and 480th Intelligence Group. During this time, she traveled to Whiteman AFB, OK to support the B-2 Bomber and F-117 Fighter upgrade of target systems. Missions included: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for Operation Southern Watch to which she and her team earned recognition and awarded Joint Meritorious Unit Award and Air force Outstanding Unit Award. Mission to Prince Sultan AFB, Saudi Arabia Operation Desert Strike supporting B-52 Bomber and U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, South Korea in support of Ulchi Focus Lens which was CFC’s large-scale war fighting command post exercise.
After separating from the Air Force, she decided to be active in the healing of veterans and their families and pursued her B.S. in Social Psychology and has completed coursework in Graduate School for Family Psychology. She commits her energy to Nonprofit Organizations that support the healing of not only the mind but also the heart.
She was fortunate to meet her husband in the Air Force and has been married for 20 years. She and her husband have two wonderful children and reside in Texas.
James Brereton, first entered into the United States Marine Corps in 1987, and served fours years of active duty with the Fleet Marine Force as an Infantryman. During this time, James deployed as part of Task Force Ripper during Operation Desert Storm and shortly after left active service for the Marine Corps Reserves where he deployed in support of counter-narcotics missions along the southwestern border region. After leaving the Marine Corps, James enlisted in the U.S. Army, again as an Infantryman and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Div. During his assignment, he deployed to support missions in the Balkans in the period prior to 9/11. After the attacks of Sept 11, 2001, James deployed multiple times to both Iraq and Afghanistan with the 10th MTN DIV as well as assignments with Army Special Operations Command.
After retiring, he moved to Manasquan New Jersey and settled into life on the shore, becoming involved in both community and Veteran issues. He spends a lot of his time with both local and national Veterans organizations to include Troopers Assisting Troops, a non-profit Veterans organization whose members are all Active or Former New Jersey State Troopers. This program has help to fund over 21 service dogs nationwide through K9s for Warriors, one of the countries top service dog providers, and also where James received his SD Bernie. The Manasquan VFW Post 1838, is also an organization that James is heavily involved in, with local and state projects supporting Veterans. Recently, James has become involved with Operation Warriors Path, in central Texas. This program helps Veterans deal with PTSD, through progressive and alternative treatment that has proven to show there is growth after the trauma of war.
Lieutenant Thomas A. Faulkenberry enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 1999. After graduating Boot Camp as a Fireman Apprentice he was assigned to USCG Station San Francisco where he served as member of the Engineering Department and advanced to Boatswain’s Mate Third Class. In 2001, he received orders to USCGC KUKUI (WLB 203) in Honolulu, HI where he attended US Navy Dive School and Qualified as a diver as well as a Deck Watch Officer. In 2005 LT Faulkenberry transferred as a First Class Boatswain’s Mate to USCGC CLAMP (WLIC 75306) in Galveston, TX where he served as the Executive Petty Officer. During this tour he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his heroic actions and leadership during Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, LT Faulkenberry was selected to attend Officer Candidate School where he was the recipient of the Commandant’s Leadership Excellence Award, and earned his commission as an Ensign on May 7th 2008. His first tour as an officer was spent on another hull of black, the USCGC JUNIPER (WLB 201) in Newport, RI where he served as a Deck Watch Officer and earned his permanent cutterman’s insignia as an officer. LT Faulkenberry assumed command of USCGC DORADO (WPB 87306) in January 2010 and safely led his crew through numerous heavy weather rescues at sea and navigated over 20,000 nautical miles while executing numerous USCG mission; including helping Crescent City, CA recover from a devastating tsunami. LT Faulkenberry’s next assignment was to command the USCG’s East Coast Regional Dive Locker in Portsmouth, VA. However, In 2012 he suffered a debilitating injury and was reassigned to USCG Head Quarters as the United States Coast Guard’s Dive Program Manager. He was also admitted as a patient to Walter Reed to investigate his complicated medical condition. During his time as the program manger he had the privilege of implementing a permanent Dive Rating for a program that relied on collateral duty divers since its establishment in the 1940’s as part of the OSS Frogman Program. The culmination of his sustained injuries forced him to medically retire and is a 100% disabled veteran. He currently lives in Petrolia, Tx with his service dog Sam and four sons who are proud to be Petrolia Pirates; Braden (16), Finley (13), Tate (11) and Will (9) love to do acrobatics, create, ride bikes & skateboards, hike, swim and seek all manner of adventure. Since retirement he has planted a 220 acre pecan orchard, and volunteers with several Disabled Veteran Assistance Groups. His true passion is to connect with the other veterans who are hurting to know their true identities and find their purpose in life after service. He is really looking forward to coaching two of his son’s baseball teams and teaching the young about identity, honor, how to PT and be quite professionals like frogmen, but also to not fear being a Pirate!
LT Faulkenberry’s other decorations include The Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, Two Good Conduct Medals, The Armed Forces Service Medal, three bronze stars for the Sea Service Ribbon, and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation.
Jimmy is a retired Army Major with 23 years of service. He enlisted in 1991 into the U.S Army Reserve as a Bridge Crewmember, 299th Engineer Assault Float Bridge Company, Fort Belvoir Virginia. After a little over a year with the 299th, he requested to be placed on active duty, and was transferred to the 902nd Engineer Assault Float Bridge Company, 5th Engineer Battalion, Fort Leonardwood Missouri. Approximately six months into serving with the 902nd the unit was ordered to deactivate as part of the Army downsizing after Operation Desert Storm. He then requested to be reclassified as a Combat Engineer with an assignment to the 307th Engineer Battalion (82nd Airborne), and then attended Basic Airborne and Ranger School. While assigned to the 307th Engineer Battalion, he participated in Operation Uphold Democracy. In 1995, upon reenlistment, he requested the 75th Ranger reenlistment option, and was sent through the Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP), with a follow-on assignment to 1/75th Ranger Battalion, Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah Georgia. After serving almost 4 years with 1/75th Ranger Battalion, he became a Ranger Instructor with 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Fort Benning Georgia, personally training, coaching, and mentoring more than 500 Ranger students. After serving with 4th Ranger Training Battalion, he volunteered to attend the, Ranger Orientation Program (ROP), and was assigned to 3/75th Ranger Battalion. While assigned to 3/75th Ranger Battalion, he and his fellow Ranger Buddy, placed 16th in the 2001, David E. Grange Best Ranger Competition. In August 2001, just prior to the 9/11 attacks, he was injured in an Airborne Operation, and was reassigned to the U.S. Army Master Fitness School. After 2 years with the U.S. Army Master Fitness School, he applied to Officer Candidate School (OCS), and was declared the Distinguished Honor Graduate, Class #3-03, branching, Infantry. After OCS, the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course, and the Mechanized Leader’s Course, he was assigned as a Mechanized Platoon Leader with Hardrock Company, 1-15th Infantry Battalion, Fort Benning Georgia. While assigned to Hardrock Company, he participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) III, near Samarra Iraq. As a “Mustang” he was redeployed and completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies, American Military University, and was then sent to the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS), Quantico Virginia. Upon completion of EWS, he was assigned to 1-503D Infantry Battalion, 173rd Airborne, Vicenza Italy. While assigned to the 173rd Airborne, he held positions as the Chief of Operations, and as the Battalion Air Officer, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) VIII. Jimmy was also, Commanding Officer, Dog Company 1-503D Infantry Battalion, 173rd Airborne, and Assistant Operations Officer, Task Force Nashmi, Special Troops Battalion (STB) liaison to the Jordanian Ranger Battalion, Forward Operating Base Shank, Logar Province OEF X. In 2011, he was selected as an African Foreign Area Officer, and subsequently sent to the Naval Postgraduate School, and Naval War College Monterey California where he received his Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs, with a concentration in African Studies. While attending the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), French School, he was medically retired from active duty due to persistent knee surgeries.
Jimmy is currently a Federal Employee with Presidio Monterey, and an Assistant Instructor with the Outward Bound Veteran’s Pacific Northwest Department, Redmond Oregon, where he volunteers to help lead expeditions along the Deschutes River Valley, in the great state of Oregon, for Veteran’s recovering from combat wounds, and service connected disabilities.
He is married to his beloved wife Fay. Together they have 2 daughters. The Ryan Tribe currently resides in Carmel, California.
Jimmy Ryan’s most recent publications are:
- In Sengal, Noise and Dust Permeates the Air, JamesRyan Travel Tales (2009)
- There’s a Problem with the Warrior-Caste System Developing in America, Task and Purpose (2016)
- An Alliance Built Upon Necessity: AQIM, Boko Haram, and “ The African “arch of Instability”, (2013)
- Urban Assault Breaching: U.S. Army Ranger School Manual, (2000)
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
James grew up in California but moved to Texas as quickly as he could. He served in the United States Army from 1987-1991, spending most of his time abroad, including deploying to the Gulf War for several months.
Since his time in the Army, James has spent most of his adult life building homes and companies. In 2014, James began giving back to the veteran community through building and repairing homes for disabled veterans under the nonprofit Warriors Project, Inc.. Throughout this process, he learned that it takes more than a home to create a stable foundation for a family struggling with combat-related issues. He began pursuing a dream to help veterans heal from the invisible wounds of war and created Operation: Warrior’s Path, which is now #IAM23.
He currently owns and operates a very successful construction company that builds outdoor living areas. He has 5 children: Brooke, 13, Riley, 16, Kasey, 18, Kristina, 18, and Jason, 26. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and working like a madman.
Spencer began his career in 1988 as a Forward Observer with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, NC. While stationed there, he took part in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and upon return was discharged from the United States Army. After an almost 8 year break in service, he re-entered the US Army in 1998 and was stationed at Fort Richardson, AK, with Charlie Battery, 4th Bn, 11th Field Artillery Regiment (ABN), where he began his career once again within elements of the Airborne community supporting 1st Bn, 501st Infantry Regiment. After leaving Alaska, he was stationed at Fort Carson, CO with the 3d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he deployed to various locations in Iraq. His next tour took him to the National Training Center with Operations Group, Tarantula Team (27B), where he would Coach, Teach, and Mentor various units as they prepared to deploy. In 2007, he was assigned to 1st BN, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne, where he deployed to RC-E in Afghanistan for 15 months. After leaving Italy, he then was stationed with 4th BCD in Charleston Air Force Base as the Ground Liaison Detachment, where he was once again deployed to Balad, Iraq. Upon completion of this tour, he was then stationed at Fort Carson, CO, where he would deploy with them to both Afghanistan and Kuwait. Over the years, he has held various positions in the Field Artillery community from Platoon FO to Brigade FECC NCOIC. He was Honor Graduate of Both Primary Leadership and BNCOC, as well as Leadership award winner for both. After retirement in 2015, SFC(R) Polwort moved to Texas to begin the next phase of his life as an Assistant Plant Manager, and continues his passion of service towards Veteran’s issues.
After watching and hearing of friends lose their battle to PTSD, he began to look at alternate ways to address PTSD within the Veteran community. One of the most notable items was the lack of awareness for Veterans who are succeeding despite the often debilitating effects of PTSD. It was with this in mind that he began petitioning community leaders and corporate sponsors, and created what has become #1AM23.
Spencer is married, and has a daughter. He currently resides in Houston, Texas.
Sally was born and raised in Chicago, IL and moved to Texas at age 11 and has been in Austin for over 30 years. Her father, husband and son all served in the military. Sally’s involvement with OWP began after her husband, Rudy, passed away from cancer. She not only wanted to give back to the community but wanted to continue Rudy’s legacy of helping veterans. Sally first fell in love with non-profits when she volunteered at Austin Children’s Shelter. As a leader in property management with a company that has been voted a Top WorkPlace in Austin for five years, Sally brings a variety of skills to the table. Sally’s experience with OWP has given her a deep appreciation for how non-profits seek to improve the quality of life for veterans.
In her spare time, Sally enjoys interior design, antiquing, travelling, and spending time with friends and family.
Jerry was born and raised in Columbia, S.C and later moved to Austin, TX. He served in the U.S. Army 1968-1970. He was deployed to Vietnam in 1969 and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, 1/69th Armor as a tank platoon leader. After 6 months in the field in tanks he became the HHC Scout platoon leader for the 1/69th. Jerry earned a BSV and an honorable discharge in June 1970.
After discharge from the Army, Jerry entered into graduate school and earned an M.A. in Psychology at Trinity University. He continued his education at LSU (Baton Rouge) and earned his PhD in Psychology in 1976.
Jerry initially became an educational consultant in 1977. He also has a passion for and went through several personal growth programs including Sylva Mind Control, Handbook to Higher Consciousness, and Rosita Rodriguez’ Siminar for Medication and Consciousness Growth and O.N.E Seminar. Jerry’s passion for growth in consciousness continues.
Jerry opened his private practice as a Psychologist that continued for nearly 40 years. He consulted with several notable chemical dependency treatment centers for 30 years. All the while, Jerry also facilitated 3 prolonged groups for the U.S. Department of Defense. Jerry know about treating PTSD, personal growth, and sobriety.