Exciting VHP News Announced in our Summer Newsletter! 
Connecting Students with Veterans TM
to Honor Veterans, Preserve America's Heritage and Develop Future Leaders
June 25, 2018: Volume 7, Issue 5
Thank you from WWII veteran Lou Reynolds
Following the Phoenix I Edition Reception & Book Signing event, we were grateful to have received this moving letter from a WWII veteran interviewed by Cactus Shadows High School.
VHP Scholarship Awardees
Personal Scholarships
First Place
Kathleen Botterbush
Marquette Catholic H.S. - Alton, IL
“As the saying goes, ‘All gave some,’ both physically and emotionally. Many veterans, especially of the Vietnam War, have never had the opportunity to tell their story, so they carry the pains of sacrifice to the grave. However, for all of the veterans I was able to interview, it was very clear that the interviewing process had a profound effect on them. These veterans, who served so bravely for our freedoms, were able to find a sense of closure, and begin much of the needed process of internal healing. That is truly what I believe to be my greatest contribution to the veterans and VHP. Anyone can thank a veteran for their service, but it takes an army of good hearts to heal the lasting hurt of war that our heroes hold inside.”
Second Place
Natalee Skoubis
Boulder Creek H.S./NVRL - Anthem, AZ
“My stepfather served 6 years in the Air Force, so any opportunity to honor the military was an interest, but writing had always been closer to an enemy than a friend. When I sat down for my first interview, the meaning and depth of the club became clear. There is simplicity in listening and being willing to learn from our country’s veterans, yet more complex with such beneficial results. From each veteran I gained a unique lesson. From Wayne it was willpower, from Lillian courage, Bob strength, Marc loyalty, and Patrick legacy. I left each interview with these lessons in my head, and actually found myself excited to write ."
Third Place
Melissa Kim
University H.S. - Tucson, AZ
“As the granddaughter of a retired Air Force general, and the niece of an active-duty Air Force rescue pilot, joining VHP barely required a second thought. Never before, however, had I thought of what it meant to be part of a military family. I joined VHP, and never expected to learn life lessons that shape my motivation today.”
Above and Beyond Scholarship Recipient
 Gianna Joseph
Ironwood Ridge H.S. - Tucson, AZ
“As elected president of VHP this year, my main goal was to increase the number of stories published by my school. I spent countless hours emailing local veteran organizations, talking to retirement homes about possible recruits, and even standing outside of breakfast cafes to sign up veterans. I coordinated 13 different history class trips to talk to students about all VHP has to offer and the unique opportunity it gives to make history come alive through veterans’ stories. I am proud to say that 14 veterans interviewed by my VHP chapter will be honored in this year’s East Valley edition of Since You Asked. Additionally, our meetings are now full of bright young faces eager to continue the legacy that VHP inspires.”
Caitlin Campbell Scholarship Recipient
Rachel Matheson
Cactus Shadows H.S. - Cave Creek, AZ
“The Caitlin Campbell Scholarship would provide me the opportunity to see Germany. I understand that Caitlin went to Germany to see Auschwitz. What a humbling and solemn experience for her. There is great history and tragedy within those walls, so much that I wish to understand both. It would not only help me understand why my grandpa is hesitant to share his story, but provide me another understanding of the world, one that I haven’t yet seen with my own eyes.”
Barbara Hatch Founders Award for Program Excellence - Teacher of the Year
Tracey Heisler
Notre Dame Prep. High School - Scottsdale, AZ
In her first year as a VHP teacher advisor, Tracey grew the chapter from 3 members to 30. Each member published a veteran story, which equated to a 1000% growth. She was influential in promoting patriotism and raising awareness of VHP on campus through a school-wide Veterans Day assembly, recognition of veterans during NDP’s Grandparents Day brunch, and through veteran guest speakers at club meetings. Tracey’s communication, initiative, and implementation of VHP’s model is inspiring. Thank you for all you do, Tracey. We appreciate you!
2018 Reception & Book Signing Event Highlights
The Red Carpet entrance into the
amazingly creative East Valley Reception on May 5.
Ironwood Ridge High School hosted their own school reception on May 4 in Oro Valley, AZ.
Navajo Codetalker George Willie's nephew and wife at Phoenix I Reception on April 8.
Marquette Catholic High School hosted a gathering to celebrate their veterans in Alton, Illinois on May 1.
Maricopa Community College veterans enjoyed their reception at Paradise Valley Community College on April 24.
Don Dickinson shares in VHP's Medal of Honor Citizens Honor Award at University HS Reception in Tucson on April 21.
WWII veteran Norman Jagow presents keynote address at Northern AZ Reception in Prescott, AZ on April 21.
Kelly Mills' son Ethan signs for his Marine dad at Phoenix II Reception and Book Signing on April 28.
Thank you, AZ Humanities, for providing signature funding for our April 8, 2018 Community Reception and Book Signing! The feedback from attendees, veterans, teachers, and students continues to be overwhelmingly positive! Everyone had a favorite moment, be it the student and veteran panel, the WWII veteran processional, the Musical Theatre of Anthem's beautiful voices and patriotic songs, or the special video keynote from WWII Veteran/USS Arizona survivor Lou Conter, (which can be seen on our Facebook page.) " This year's reception has been the best one yet!" remarked a parent of an alumni student from the very first year of the program.

Participants are proud to share the experience with their families. Chapters are energized by the response from veterans and the community, and new schools want to establish chapters in the coming year. Thank you for helping to highlight our mission! Next year's Community Reception and Book Signing is already scheduled for Sunday, March 31, 2019.
Attention Chapter Advisors!
We have distributed our 2018-19 Memorandum of Understanding to you, and this is a friendly reminder to turn them in at the latest by our August 18 th Kickoff Training!
Upcoming Chapter Dates
Calendar.3D illustration of a calendar on a white floor background with Calendar icon.
Volunteer Appreciation & Chapter Kickoff Training
August 18, 2018
11:00-12:30 Volunteer Luncheon
12:30-3:30 Chapter Training

Publishing Training
September 22, 2018 (Tentative)
Gus Angeli Empowering Leadership Award at CSHS
On May 17, Gus Angeli's family went to Cactus Shadows High School to make a contribution to Veterans Heritage Project in Gus's name. His sister Margo gave a moving speech and his wife Cadi was there, as well as his father and stepmother, sister Martha, and brother Trace. In honor of Gus, the family will work with the CSHS chapter advisor to choose a student to recognize each year who exhibits a quiet work ethic. Gus was champion of the underdog. This year, Remington Bottoroff was the recipient. The afternoon was tearful and beautiful.

Pictured in the photo are (L-R): Trace Angeli, Martha (Angeli) Chansley, Margo Angeli, Cadi Angeli, Remington Bottoroff, Polly and Hank Angeli.
VHP Teacher Advisor selected as a Voya Unsung Hero!
Congratulations to Jolene Vincent, VHP Teacher Advisor a t Desert Sands Middle School, for receiving the Voya Unsung Hero Award! Voya Financial provides $2,000 grants to K-12 educators utilizing new teaching methods and techniques that improve learning. Her application was judged on the project's innovative method, creativity, and ability to positively influence students. Jolene looks forward to purchasing technology equipment to support veteran interviews and the students' documentation of their service.
Desert Hills Presbyterian Church VHP Display
Rhonda Noble, Advisor at our Desert Hills Presbyterian Church VHP Chapter, recently created a display in the front of their church of VHP materials highlighting the four interviews their chapter has completed. Her goal is to engage the church in what they are doing with VHP to recruit more students and veterans.
CSHS Vietnam Trip
This year, the Vice President of Cactus Shadows High School's VHP, Harrison Kessel, was fully committed to making the trip to Vietnam a reality. Due to him, the hard work of the advisors and the students, the generosity of Kiwanis of Carefree, and the support of parents, they succeeded! Ten students were able to travel from Saigon, to Hoi An, to Danang, to Hue, to Halong, to Hanoi, and back to the United States. The trip focused on the Vietnam War, with students visiting the Cu Chi tunnels, the War Remnants Museum, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the Hanoi Hilton. They also learned about Vietnamese history from people whose families participated in the war and by interacting with the culture. They know that memories, like walking through the jungles of Bach Ma and eating authentic Vietnamese pho, or seeing the mummified body of Ho Chi Minh and visiting the War Remnants Museum, will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

Pictured below are (left to right) Michele DeSimone, Bret Lineburg, Oscar DeSimone, Rachel Matheson, Abby Mock, Alyssa Canales, Austin Hagan, Rena Jakway, Emma Friese, Harrison Kessel, Lauren Anderson, and Remington Bottoroff, standing in front of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

MARCH 9, 2019

 6:00 – 10:00 pm
Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas
The inaugural “ Saluting Stories of Service” celebration dinner highlights a student and veteran interview pair and honors an outstanding veteran or community leader with a “Storyteller’s Award” for sharing stories of dedication and service to our country, making a positive impact in the community and the development of youth. Meet special guest, Medal of Honor Recipient Sammy Davis, known as the “real Forrest Gump.” The evening concludes with dancing to big band swing music.

Invitations and website registration will begin in the fall. Individual tickets are $250, or organize a table of 10 for $2,000. Sponsorship packages are also available. Contact michelle@veteransheritage.org.

Funds raised will help us grow future leaders through civics education and engagement with veterans. Please consider helping us reach more veterans and students, expand to more Arizona schools, and build capacity for national impact.
Leave a Legacy for
Future Generations
Please consider making t he incredible pledge of a gift to VHP in your Will. It will only take a moment of your time, but will have a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of veterans and students.

You can easily make an amendment to your existing Will or Trust through a codicil . This simple document allows your attorney to add a gift to VHP, while reaffirming the other terms of your will.

C onsult with your tax advisor and lawyer to determine a strategy best for you. Below is information they will need from VHP.

Legal Name: Veterans Heritage Project
Address: 10210 N. 32nd Street, Suite C2
Phoenix, AZ 85028
Tax ID: 26-4572636

If you add VHP or have already included VHP in your legacy plans, please let us know so that we can thank you.
Sponsor a Veteran Speaker
Have you ever wanted a veteran to speak to your employee base?
Below is a sampling of our veterans' amazing stories that motivate and inspire teamwork, perseverance, and personal responsibility.

  • A retired Army Colonel, who after two tours in Vietnam, went on to Military Intelligence, commanding 26,000 "Jason Bourne" Operatives worldwide during the Cold War.

  • A retired Air Force Colonel, who at the height of his career, was shot down while flying his 67th mission in Vietnam and taken as a prisoner of war for 5½ years. 

  • An Army Special Forces Mike Force operator who, at the age of 21, worked to halt enemy troop movement and materiel coming down the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam. Then, after 9/11, at the age of 55, he volunteered for Iraq and Afghanistan.

We are already hearing from groups interested in presentations to celebrate Veterans Day! Ask your employer to make a $1,000 contribution or more to VHP, and then let's make a date!

08/18/18 11:00am - 08/18/18 12:30pm

I'll be there!
I can't make it
Memorial Day Activities
Susan Kee, VHP Volunteer and Community Advocate, was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Fountain Hills Veterans Memorial. She spoke about the "tremendous sacrifices of America's 36,000 heroes who laid down their lives during the Korean War and the 8,000 who are missing in action, and about the experience of knowing Korean War veterans and the families of these MIA service members. She shared how knowing the veterans and the families of fallen heroes has forever changed the way she sees her life." Thank you, Susan, for continuing to show incredible gratitude to veterans everywhere you go.
Kathleen Botterbush and the Marquette Catholic High School VHP chapter participated in the 13 th Annual Memorial Day Sunset Ceremony at the U.S. National Cemetery in Alton, Illinois. Kathleen gave a beautiful speech. "Today, as we congregate on this hallowed ground, I would again like to reiterate what an honor it is to be a member of Veterans Heritage Project, where we are able to give back to veterans, preserve history, develop relationships between generations, and teach young people not only a new type of history lesson, but also how to truly and honestly respect the service and sacrifices of our military veterans, and the fallen." Marquette's VHP was even featured on two local news channels!
For the first time, the town of Carefree hosted a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Sundial, and it was a great success! The attendance was impressive, and the program was moving. Colonel (Ret.) Jim Kelsey, from SYA Volume XI, 2010, was the Keynote Speaker and was introduced by VHP Alumnus Geoff Byers, who interviewed Colonel Kelsey (pictured together above). We look forward to our Veterans Day event in Carefree every year, and now we have another event to look forward to!
Each year, the Cactus Shadows High School VHP Chapter participates in the Memorial Day Wreath Ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. The students design a wreath and present it during the ceremony, along with many other organizations and individuals. Pictured above are VHP students Michelle Satran and Alyssa Canales leading the guests in the Pledge of Allegiance, next to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey!
VHP Volunteer Susan Kee was presented Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society's Copper Sword Award, and then took a life-changing trip to South Korea
VHP Volunteer and Community Advocate, Susan Kee, has dedicated her life to preserving the stories of and expressing gratitude for Korean War veterans. A woman on a mission, she has interviewed 200 veterans in six years. This year, the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society recognized her with the Copper Sword Award for all the incredible work she has done to recognize and show appreciation to veterans.

She also recently returned from an historic trip to South Korea, where she joined 24 American families whose loved ones were killed in action or missing in action during the Korean War. Susan personally knew ten of the families. The South Korean government's Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs invited them to be honored and thanked for the sacrifices they and their loved ones made for Korea. She continues to inspire and engage those around her to remember and show gratitude for those who fought in the Korean War. It is worth noting that the 15 th Volume of Since You Asked will be A Salute to the Korean War.

Thank you, Susan, for setting a wonderful example of gratitude for our students.
Thank you, General Dynamics Mission Systems, for supporting our mission. In addition to being a Bronze Star Sponsor, GD's Diversity and Inclusion committee hosted Donut Day in early June to bring awareness to VHP. National Doughnut Day started in 1938 as a fund raiser for Chicago's Salvation Army. Their goal was to help those in need during the Great Depression, and to honor The Salvation Army "Lassies" of World War I, who served doughnuts to soldiers.

Thank you to students Abby Mock and Martin Hussey, Jr ., alumni Chris Bonnell and Tanner Yeck , and veterans Peter Palmer, David Lucier, Shirley McKean, John Fontana, Vic Conner , and John Sentz for volunteering and talking about oral history, Since You Asked TM , and our community book receptions.
Contribution & Volunteer Matching Programs
Thank you to Gary Burr and the employees of American Express for volunteering your time with the VHP Chapter at Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix.

American Express recognizes and rewards this community service by donating funds to support VHP program activities at Shadow Mountain. Thank you for your investment in civic education!
By matching both employee volunteer time and financial contributions, State Farm doubles their impact on our mission! Thank you!

We are pleased this support also impacts your goals of better-educated communities and people getting involved to create a positive, sustainable, and measurable social impact.

 Patricia Burden, Bob Caldwell, Tom Dawkins, Didi Foss, Thurston Gaines, Blaine Keith, Ruth Kilmer, Betty Knight, Alan Kraemer, Shel Pierson, Wayne Reel, Hans Siverts, Ralph Truax, and Adeline Winner

Veterans Heritage Project honors the beloved veterans we have lost and their spouses. Your stories live on in our memories, our books, and our hearts.
Board of Directors
Shelly Yeck, MBA
Colonel Donald "Craig" Houk, CPP    
Brigadier General J. Derek Hill  
Mary Ellen Reilly, Esq.
Joseph Brophy, Esq.            
Anita Daghestani
Brigadier General Peter Palmer
Arch Rambeau             
Roger Sandeen                      
Michelle DiMuro, CFRE   
Barbara Hatch
Brittany Henritze                

Advisory Council
Jane Barnes                   
Mike Burns                               
Vic Connor                    
Tim Ganahl                    
Frank Lambert                 
David Lucier                  
The Honorable Rick Romley      
Major General Carl. G. Schneider  
Dave Ward                    
Phil Yin, Ph.D.                 

Board President, Manager, General Dynamics, Alumni Parent
Board Vice President, US Army, Retired
Board Treasurer, USAF, Retired
Board Secretary, Wilkes & McHugh, P.A., Veteran 
Partner at Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP, Veteran
Learning & Development Manager, Wells Fargo
US Army, Retired, Consultant, General Dynamics
Retired Sr. VP & Officer, General Dynamics
Principal, RSVP & Associates, Veteran

Executive Director
Founder and Program Director (volunteer)
Program Coordinator, VHP Alumna 

Advocate and Care Coordinator, Medal of Honor Foundation
Retired Business Executive, Veteran 
Retired Business Executive, Veteran
Retired Business Executive, Veteran
Retired Business Executive, Veteran
Community Leader, Veteran
Arizona Veterans Court Judge, Veteran
USAF, Retired
Retired Vice President Group Finance, Avnet
Executive VP & General Manager, Desert Silicon, Veteran
Veterans Heritage Project | 1-602-218-4036 | www.veteransheritage.org