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 19, 2019: Volume 8, Issue 4
YOU are an Essential Piece of our Mission!

Teacher Advisors
Chapter Advocates
Veteran Speakers
Special Event Volunteers
Committee Members
Board Members

If you volunteered with VHP in these or other capacities this past year, please come to our Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on Saturday, August 24 from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM! RSVP required by August 19 to brittany@veteransheritage.org
We are proud to announce
the 2019-20 theme for Since You Asked: Volume XVI

A Salute to Vietnam Veterans
Our chapter schools continue to interview veterans from all conflict eras; however, in the tradition of our theme, extra attention will be given to capturing stories of Vietnam War Veterans. Special elements to recognize our Vietnam Veterans are also planned for our April 19, 2020 book reception.
Emma Suttell, VHP Chapter President at Boulder Creek High School is recognized in Junior Achievement's 18 Under 18
"The 2019 Junior Achievement 18 Under 18 showcases the independent and entrepreneurial spirit of Arizona’s youth. These 18 teenagers from across the state, at schools large and small, are united in their belief that change isn’t an adult concept. Change isn’t something that can wait for 'one day.'"

This quote pulled from the Junior Achievement website accurately describes Emma Suttell, Senior at Boulder Creek High School. She has taken such incredible initiative as the President of her VHP Chapter and has led the charge to get more students from her school connected with veterans in their community both through interviews and civic events. As one of the award recipients, Emma's passion for storytelling and connecting with veterans was featured ABC15's Sonoran Living morning show. Learn more about Emma's accomplishments and goals to become a journalist by viewing her 18 under 18 profile !
Reception & Book Signing Highlights
At the Northern Arizona event in Anthem on April 13, Cheralynn Beaudry signs guests' books on behalf of her father, Lieutenant Albert Rowe Tiffany, a US Navy Fighter pilot. Lt. Tiffany went missing in action on 22 April 1951 during a mission in North Korea. We are thankful the Library of Congress is now archiving our Gold Star families' stories of their loved ones' service.
Our pilot program in Florida held its very first Book Signing & Reception on April 27, honoring 14 veterans (shown standing) and bringing together students, school administration, friends, and family around VHP’s mission. Keynote speaker, LTC. Samuel Lombardo, who turns 100 this summer, spoke about growing up in Italy, leading up to his service in the Army and the Battle of the Bulge. The momentum in the community continues!
At the book reception hosted by our Tucson chapters on May 3, seniors were also recognized for their accomplishments. VHP would like to extend a special congratulations to Tatum Boldt from University High School for being accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy, and to Jonathan Pitts from Ironwood Ridge High School for his acceptance into the U.S. Naval Academy.
Notre Dame Preparatory High School and Shadow Mountain High School showed impressive collaboration in planning the Phoenix II Edition reception on May 4, distributing the planning tasks and event components well, and incorporating student speakers from multiple schools. Pictured above is a special element of the reception, bagpiper Eric Landau, who played the Service Songs as veterans stood to be recognized.
Reception events planned by Campo Verde High School are always abundantly creative and spirited. This year, they involved the community in a unique way by inviting the Mayor to speak at their East Valley event on May 4. Pictured above is Gilbert Mayor Jen Daniels with East Valley Chapter Advocate John Sentz and Campo Verde High School Chapter leaders Laura Cooper and Audrey Landers.
Maricopa Community Colleges is very focused on enriching their community by interviewing many student and faculty veterans at five campus locations. They hosted a special luncheon for interviewed veterans before the reception where they could meet each other and share stories. Pictured above are veterans David Rademacher and Jessica Penaguerrero signing each others' books at the event on May 29.
Congratulations to the Graduates!

This year 100% of our 42 VHP senior students graduated from high school, and all are headed on to college in the fall, with five students accepted into U.S. Service Academies!

Inspired by their veterans, students are seeking degrees in Anthropology, Astronautical Engineering, Athletic Therapy, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Communications, Computer Science, Criminology, Mathematics, Microbiology, and Nursing, to name a few.

When asked about the impact veterans and VHP made in
their lives, they reported the following:
  • 100% improved listening, speaking, critical thinking skills and appreciation for service.
  • 93% improved writing and collaboration skills, and understanding of history.
  • 87% plan to stay in touch with their veterans, having developed a mentoring relationship.
  • 75% improved their understanding of world events and interest in civic responsibility.
First-year VHP Chapter Advisor celebrates his students' work with his School District Board
Seventh grade Social Studies teacher at Canyon Ridge School and first-year VHP Chapter Advisor Christopher Raso has done an outstanding job promoting the incredible work his students have done in their chapter to their school and district administration. On May 22 he stood before the Dysart Unified School District Board and presented Since You Asked Volume XV, which includes their students' three published veteran stories. Several chapter members along with Barbara Hatch and Brittany Manning attended.

Chris was also recognized for two prestigious awards he received during the school year, the 2018 Arizona State History Teacher of the Year Award presented by the Gilder Lehman Institute of American History, along with the Dr. Tom and Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award at the middle school level, a national recognition from the Sons of the American Revolution.
First interviews conducted at Collegiate High School Chapter in Niceville, Florida
Seven Collegiate High School juniors had the educational opportunity of interviewing four United States Air Force veterans on Thursday, April 11, 2019, with four juniors filming the oral history interviews, and over 100 additional students in attendance, benefiting from listening to the conversations. In response to one of the veterans’ interviews, Junior Alison Parkin expressed, “It was really cool hearing about all of his experiences. I didn’t know anything about the Vietnam War before that.” 

Pictured on top, left to right: Nicholas Wilson, Colonel Donald Ockerman, Victoria Salvador, Matthew Nguyen
Pictured on bottom: Colonel Kathleen Vanderburg with student interviewer Julianna Cannon after interview
Brigadier General J. Derek Hill (VHP Board Treasurer) agreed to be the keynote speaker on 27 April 2019 at the Air Force ROTC "Dining Out" event at Northern Arizona University at the request of Lizzy Satran, VHP Alumna.

Congratulations to Lizzy for graduating from NAU on May 10, and being commissioned on May 12 as a 2nd Lieutenant!
Jake Sonnenburg, shown above when he was a high school student at Cactus Shadows, is an incoming senior at Arizona State University. We are excited to announce that Jake has worked with the University to start an ASU VHP Chapter this fall.

If you are a Sun Devil and would like to learn more about being a part of this chapter, please call the VHP office at 602-218-4036, and we will get you connected to Jake.
James Lednicky, graduate of Shadow Mountain High School and current Engineering student at ASU, continues to engage with the VHP community. Jim has continued to interview veterans, spoke at the Phoenix II book reception last month, is volunteering in our office this summer, and will be a part of the new ASU Chapter.

We are also proud to share that, due to his work ethic and academic accomplishments during his first year of college, he has earned a full scholarship for his remaining three years. Congratulations, Jim!
Call for Editorial Committee Members!
Before veteran stories are published in our annual publication Since You Asked, the Editorial Committee helps to review students' work for:


We want to help our students improve their writing skills, but also to ensure that the final essay properly honors and celebrates the veteran whose story is captured! Training is provided and editing is conducted electronically between Oct. and Feb.
Are you good at editing? Have a background in writing? 
Are a veteran with understanding of military and historical accuracy? 
Abagail Mock, a recent graduate of Cactus Shadows High School, provides powerful speech at the Carefree Memorial Day Tribute
"Simply put, Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have sacrificed their life in service to our country and, in an extension, the veterans who have passed on after their time on the front lines. But that doesn’t begin to cover the true weight of this day. It doesn’t describe the smothering grief for some and the relieving acceptance of loss for others nor the gratitude for the time we had with those who passed. It doesn’t describe the absence still felt nor the memories that come back at random moments, bittersweet and causing our hearts to ache. It doesn’t describe the intense pride for a duty honorably served. A better way to describe the meaning of Memorial Day, I believe, is that it is a celebration of all of these feelings. A celebration of the fact that we knew our loved ones enough to feel this pain, knew them enough to be able to carry on their memory, their legacy. We feel these bits of emotion year round, but today allows us the time to take a deep breath and truly feel them instead of pushing them aside in lieu of our busy days. 

Personally, today I am remembering a veteran I had the honor of interviewing last year, Mr. Burk Burkholder. He passed on December 30 of 2018 a month after we revised his essay. I walked into his funeral and all I could think of was his sweet smile and the jokes he told of Irish Catholic priests, despite himself being a devout Roman Catholic. I remembered the way he walked with determination, the way he spoke with a slight quiver of age but also with the wisdom that came with that age. I remember the way he laughed, still obviously so alive and vibrant at the age of 94. I mean, after our revising session he was off to go hang out with a lady friend. He had survived 35 combat flight missions in WWII and had gone on to live a long and happy life despite it all and had three children and 9 grandchildren. And there I was, walking into his memorial service. This day I’m remembering him, his kindness, support, gratitude, and sacrifice, and I’m thankful for having known him for the short time that I did. 

I know in remembering him, I can be a part of remembering all of the veterans and soldiers that have passed on in similar ways: the family members, friends, and brothers in arms everyone of you here today is carrying with you in your hearts, on your shoulders, and in your prayers. We‘re here today to remember and celebrate their courage, their love, and their sacrifice that can never truly be honored enough, but we at least have these moments and this day to try." 
SRPVets Memorial Day Luncheon
Thank you to SRPVets Chair Jason Dudley and Co-Chair Domonique Farr for inviting VHP to be part of your luncheon. Col. James (Jim) Kelsey, US Army Retired, shared his story with a room full of SRP employees. Afterward, SRP employee Anthony Beckham visited with VHP Executive Director Michelle DiMuro, sending a hello to his former teacher, Barbara Hatch. Anthony was in VHP in 2008!

The event was held in SRP's Heritage Center. Designated as an Arizona  local legacy  by the Library of Congress, the center houses informational panels, artifacts, photos, interactive displays, and virtual reality stations.
Jason, Domonique, Jim, and Michelle stand next to The Victory Flag. Click here to read about its WWII history.
Notre Dame Preparatory High School VHP at Honor Flight Reunion!
The VHP Club at Notre Dame volunteered at the Honor Flight Reunion on April 13 at Elks Lodge 335.

Pictured to the right, chapter members Lauren Kobley and Andrew Sodhi talked to veterans and their families about the impact VHP has made in their lives, shared their books, and collected names of 15-20 veterans who would like to be interviewed for next year’s publication!
Fountain Hills High School Chapter supported by American Legion
On May 3, Commander John Weedo of American Legion Post 58, presented a check for $200 to the VHP Chapter of Fountain Hills High School (FHHS). The Commander stated that " the Legion and its members are proud to support this worthwhile program." Principal Cain Jagodzinski noted that the Chapter is excited and committed to this work of honoring and memorializing the veterans' stories.

Present were, L-R, Phil Yin, VHP Chapter Advocate; Cain Jagodzinski, FHHS Principal; John Weedo, Commander, American Legion Post 58; Riley Gant, VHP Chapter President/writer/FHHS; Randy Bragg, VHP Chapter Advisor/FHHS; and Debbie Yin, VHP Chapter Advocate.
Thank you,  Avondale Toyota,  for investing in our mission! Your $15,000 Legion of Merit Sponsorship increases patriotism, enriches civics education, and nurtures a generation with character and an understanding of service. Thank you for making a difference!
Thank you to our newest supporters!
Thank you to the community members, donors, and volunteers from the Desert Mountain Club and the West Valley Mavericks Foundation for supporting our efforts to bring our program to additional schools.

Thank you to Kohl's for supporting the Boulder Creek High School/North Valley Regional Library Chapter in honor of your outstanding student employee, Emma Suttell.
A special thank you to veteran Peter Haas for sharing his appreciation of Veterans Heritage Project with Phoenix Elks Lodge #335 and the Military Order of the Purple Heart Scottsdale Chapter #790 . Peter's advocacy resulted in a contribution from both organizations. Thank you to all for investing in Connecting Students with Veterans.

Ida May Borhauer, Ralph Cope,
Harold Corman, LaRocque DuBose,
Leo Gomez, Gerald Huffman,
Lester Merritt, Bob Patterson,
Delbert Pilcher,
Arden Rowley, Vince Valicenti
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.
A Special Tribute to
Arden Rowley
(June 6, 1930 - June 14, 2019)
From the moment Arden opened his home full of Uncle Sams to me and student Alex Doss back in 2007, we knew we had met someone special. From his experiences as a POW for 33 months in five different camps during the Korean War to his 23 years of service with the Army National Guard, and on to teaching for 31 years in Mesa, Arizona, Arden has graciously shared his life with young people and veterans. He never turned down an opportunity to speak at schools or with veteran groups, even injecting a bit of humor. "How cold was it in Korean, Arden? So cold I had to boil water to hear the words." Thank you, Arden, for your service, for your friendship, and your life. We will miss you. - Barbara Hatch

Photo Credit: Marion Cartland, Katelyn Finegan
Board of Directors
Colonel Donald "Craig" Houk, CPP
Mike Burns    
Brigadier General J. Derek Hill  
Shelly Yeck, MBA                     
Joseph Brophy, Esq.            
Anita Daghestani
Ruzica Markovic
Brigadier General Peter Palmer
Arch Rambeau             
Mary Ellen Reilly, Esq.
Michelle DiMuro, CFRE   
Barbara Hatch
Brittany Manning          

Board President, US Army, Retired
Board Vice President, Attorney & Retired Executive, Veteran
Board Treasurer, USAF, Retired
Board Secretary, Manager, General Dynamics, Parent
Partner at Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP, Veteran
Learning & Development Associate Manager, Wells Fargo
CEO, Pro One Media
US Army, Retired, Consultant, General Dynamics
Retired Sr. VP & Officer, General Dynamics
Partner at Bossie, Reilly & Oh, P.A., Veteran 

Executive Director
Founder and Program Director (Volunteer)
Program Coordinator, VHP Alumna 
Veterans Heritage Project | 602-218-4036 | www.veteransheritage.org