Exciting VHP News Announced in our Winter Newsletter! 
Connecting Students with Veterans TM
to Honor Veterans, Preserve America's Heritage and Develop Future Leaders
December 18, 2017: Volume 7, Issue 3
Happy Holidays!
One of the real joys this holiday season is the opportunity to say thank you and wish you joy of family, the gift of friends, and the best of everything in 2018!
Thank you for being a part of Veterans Heritage Project, and for making a significant difference in the lives and futures of our veterans and students!
for all your hard work this Fall Semester, and for reaching the December 15 Veteran Story Deadline!
If you know a student or teacher in a VHP chapter this year,
be sure to give them a high five!
" The work you do is so incredible--a true labor of love for the veterans and the students that touches the lives and hearts of so many. It was an amazing gift you gave my Dad.The book 'lived' right next to his favorite chair, and all of us at one time or another read at least one personal story from it to Dad everyday. It led to many more memories and stories, all treasures. We will never be able to thank you enough. " -
Kitty Kelahan, daughter or WWII Veteran, Richard Kelahan, SYA XII
WWII Veterans' Stories Are Making Local Headlines
VHP Advocate Debbie Yin has put her PR skills to excellent use, ensuring the chapter she supports is making headlines. Students from one of our newest chapters, Fountain Hills High School, are interviewing residents of MorningStar and their first interview, with WWII Veteran Bud Fischer , was featured in the October MorningStar Newsletter, the Scottsdale Tribune on 10/4/17, and the Fountain Hills Times on 10/18/17! Congratulations on a fantastic start to the year!
Pictured Bud and his wife, VHP Founder Barbara Hatch,
FHHS VHP students and their teacher/advisor, Randy Bragg.

Several WWII veterans who are residents of the Vi at Silverstone have also had their stories from Since You Asked TM published in their community newsletter, the 74th Street RAMBLINGS. Gerald Stanton's (SYA XI) story was published in November, and Seth McKee's (SYA XII) story was published this December in memory of his recent passing. Jerome Bess's story will be published by VHP this year and included in a future issue of the newsletter. Thank you to newsletter editor Bill Brown for honoring these men, and to Cactus Shadows HS students Lizzy Satran and Harrison Kessel for writing their stories.

Images Arizona Magazine will highlight 96-year-old WWII Veteran and Pearl Harbor USS Arizona survivor Lou Conter's interview with VHP in their January 2018 issue. Lou's complete story will be published in SYA; Volume XIV, Edition 1 in April.
Annual Report
If you have yet to see our FY17 Annual Report, you can view the PDF report on our website , or click on the report cover graphic on the left.

Thank you for strengthening our community by helping our program reach across generations, connect civilian and military populations, improve school culture and patriotism, enrich and honor Arizona veterans and their families, and impact individuals from all ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds. 
Calendar.3D illustration of a calendar on a white floor background with Calendar icon.
Scholarship Applications
January 8 - 31, 2018

Students and Teacher Advisors, on Monday, January 8, please check the Chapter Resources section of the VHP Google Drive for all 2018 scholarship materials.

You will find guidelines regarding the A rizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society scholarship program for VHP students, VHP's Personal Scholarships, Above & Beyond Scholarship, and the Caitlin Campbell Travel Scholarship .

All scholarship opportunities will open January 8, 2017. The deadline for all applications is  J anuary 31, 2017

2018 Community Reception & Book Signing

Important Announcement!

Due to the incredible growth of the Community Reception and Book Signing for Phoenix Edition I, co-sponsored by VHP and founding chapter Cactus Shadows High School, we started searching for a space larger than what ASU West is able to provide. Thanks to generously discounted pricing, our event will be hosted at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Paradise Valley-Scottsdale on April 8, 2018. 

We are also pleased to announce that the theme for Since You Asked TM Volume XIV, is A Salute to WWII.

In honor of that theme, we hope all previously interviewed WWII veterans are able to attend, and be specially recognized during the program.
Regional Book Receptions
Tucson Edition             
April 21, 2018 - 1-3 p.m.
City of Tucson Police Service Center,
1310 W. Miracle Mile, Tucson, AZ

Northern Arizona Edition     
April 21, 2018 - 2-3:30 p.m.
Prescott Centennial Center at Antelope Hills
1989 Wineglass Drive, Prescott AZ

Maricopa Community College Edition
April 25 - Tentative, Time TBD
Paradise Valley Community College
Room KSC 1000 (Student Cafeteria)
18401 N 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ

East Valley Edition          
May 5, 2018 - Time TBD
Campo Verde High School Auditorium
3870 S. Quartz Street, Gilbert AZ

Phoenix II Edition
May - Date, time and location TBD
Patriotic Gala
Saturday Evening
April 21, 2018
Embassy Suites, Scottsdale

E ach spring the   Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society hosts the Patriotic Gala to honor leaders who are a voice for those who serve our nation.

During the annual Gala, numerous scholarships and awards are presented. Since 2007, the coveted Copper Sword Award has been presented to "exceptional patriots who did not serve in our military forces. Recipients have distinguished themselves by their dedication and humanitarianism and extraordinary support of veteran initiatives. They are spectacular individuals who earned the right to bear the Sword, a revered and distinct symbol of leadership while engaged in the support of our veterans."

We are pleased to share that this year, past board member and current volunteer, Susan Kee, will be presented the Copper Sword Award at the Gala. Susan is being recognized for her passion in honoring and thanking America's Korean War veterans.
Susan Kee at the Korean War Memorial in
Washington D.C.
Susan's parents were young teenagers who lived through and survived the Korean War.  Her family immigrated to the US when Susan was a young girl. She went on to work in the corporate world and left it after 25 years, to pursue her true passion. 

She wanted to pay tribute to America's Korean War veterans, who made her life possible.   She believes that is it vitally important for our veterans to be thanked, by the people they saved. She  feels that the work of honoring and thanking Korean War veterans and the families of the Korean War fallen, is so very important and long overdue. 

On her journey, Susan has met with hundreds of Korean War veterans from all over the United States, and interviewed them for their personal stories. She is currently working to finish a book of personal stories of the veterans and fallen heroes of the Korean War. She is dedicated to making sure that the Korean War and its veterans are never forgotten.

As part of her dedication, Susan also launched a public Facebook page which helps her connect with a greater number of Korean War veterans and their families across America and in other countries.

We hope you will join us at the Gala , and help us celebrate Susan's passion and the legacy of our Korea War veterans.

Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School
Patriotic Day Celebration
February 21, 9 am

This celebration of veterans and active duty military is open to the public, and includes guest speakers, musical presentations, and a breakfast. Click here to download an informational flier.
Left to Right, Front to Back: Greg Maxon, Rob Welch, Reggie Yates, Charles Schluter, Laura Byers, Kathy Laurier, Gerry Berger, Michelle DiMuro, & Gordon James
AVHOFS Receives
Spirit of Philanthropy Award
We were so pleased to honor our friends at the   Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society  (AVHOFS) with a Spirit of Philanthropy Award as part of the AFP Greater Arizona 33rd Annual Celebration of Philanthropy. AVHOFS has been a partner to Veterans Heritage Project for the past five years. Society members invest in our students through volunteerism and through their Copper Lamp of Scholarship program. Fifteen VHP students have received more than $25,000 in scholarship funds and have been honored at AVHOFS’s annual Patriotic Gala.
Everyday Heroes Assembly

 Thank you to VHP Advocate Jane Anderson and our SYA Veterans for responding to a request from Taft Elementary to have veterans from each service branch participate in a Veteran Panel and answer students' questions during the school's Everyday Heroes Assembly.

The panelists, pictured above, included Marine Vietnam Veteran Sam Rosselli (SYA XI), Air Force Cold War Veteran Bill Robinson (SYA XI), Navy Veteran Kandy Palandri, and Army Afghanistan Veteran Craig Houk (SYA IV).
ACSS Conference

Arizona Council for the Social Studies brings teachers together every year to share best practices in their field. This year, Veteran David Lucier, Board President Laura Byers, and Barbara Hatch shared VHP's value in helping students learn first-hand the history of America from those who lived it. VHP students Remington Bottoroof and Alyssa Canales spoke with teachers about what they have gained from their participation--both first-year VHPers! Dr. Lawrence Paska, Executive Director of the National Council for the Social Studies and Ken deMassi, Board Treasuer for the Arizona Council for the Social Studies also visited with our VHP volunteers .
At our 2nd annual HONOR, PROTECT, SERVE event last month, Desert Mountain Community neighbors gathered to learn about our mission directly from a veteran, a teacher, and a student.

Col. Tom Kirk, Jr. spent over five years in the "Hanoi Hilton" and shared how he survived the experience by having faith in America, faith in God, and faith in his ability to dig deep and persevere. One of the most important lessons he conveys every time he speaks with students is that it is entirely up to them on how to deal with challenges in life. They can not blame others. Success is if you can can look at yourself in the mirror and be happy with the person you see.

Don Dickinson credits his school's new patriotic culture to the character education delivered through veteran interviews. As a teacher, he shared how incorporating veteran presentations into his classroom and curriculum is critical - especially when the 902-page AP World History textbook only includes five pages on WWI, five pages on WWII, and virtually no details on Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

During his four years with VHP, former student Patrick Ward interviewed 10 veterans and served as editor for 2 years.​ ​After high school, Patrick attended Loyola Marymount University and now at age 26, Patrick works at Netflix on their international series team. Patrick shared heartfelt stories of how his veterans continue to inspire him. An excerpt of his presentation is included below.
VHP Board Member Jerry Strickland shaking hands with Vietnam POW Veteran Col. Tom Kirk, Jr. who received a standing ovation after his speech.
VHP Alumnus Patrick Ward with Vietnam Marine John Wintersteen.
"One of my very first interviews was with John Wintersteen. John is a Vietnam veteran, and endured incredible hardship and sacrifice during his tours in-country. And he did it all when he was only a few years older than I was. The effect a conversation like that has on the constitution of a young man is enormous. It was a lesson in humility, a reshuffling of priorities, and an appreciation for those who've come before me. It's the kind of experience that rocks you to the core. The Project's importance took on an entirely new meaning for me.

Later on in my VHP career, I spent a morning with one of the most inspirational individuals I've had the chance to meet. His name is Rick Romley. And his resume reads that he's a Vietnam veteran, a Purple Heart recipient, and former Maricopa County Attorney, but he's also a fighter, an advocate, a friend, a patriot, and a role model. Rick was severely wounded in Vietnam and his road to recovery was long and grueling. Through all of his struggles, his own doubts, and doubts imposed upon him by others, he never gave up, and always powered through for himself, his family, and his future. To this day, Rick still serves as a source of inspiration for me and is a true testament to the spirit of indomitable perseverance.

The lessons John and Rick taught me are the kind of lessons that you can't learn in the classroom. That time sitting with them was Respect for Your Fellow Man 101, AP Humility, and an elective in Self Determination.

This project instills values in those who take part in it, and those who are indirectly affected by it. Values that shape young people into decent human beings who can go forward in life, succeed at work, find happiness, but always appreciate and acknowledge where they came from. I still draw on things I learned through VHP: self confidence and carrying myself with poise, communicating effectively, and most importantly, always being a good listener."

If you too find value in the lessons and healing that is shared through our mission, please support our continued work with a year-end contribution . Your donation will help VHP reach our goals. Thank you!

  Wrap-up your holiday shopping at
 and Amazon donates to
Veterans Heritage Project.
Thank you, Sanderson Lincoln, for hosting the wonderful Driven to Give event!

We are also thankful to the Town of Carefree, and our veterans, students, and community volunteers who came out in support of VHP, helping to raise approximately $3,500 by taking a test drive for our mission!
Russ LaChance from Westbrook Village Veterans Support Group presenting Barbara Hatch with check.
Thank you, Salt River Project and Phoenix Suns Charities, for your grant support.

We appreciate your investment in civic leadership, educational enrichment, and veteran recognition!
Thank you to the Westbrook Village Veterans Support Group for hosting your annual Veterans Dinner and recognizing the work of Veterans Heritage Project with a gift of $5,000! Each year the club raises funds in support of a Veteran Support Organization. Thank you to the following businesses who contributed in this effort, including Arizona American Real Estate, GMH Investment Advisory Services, Inc., Mercedes-Benz of Arrowhead, Everest Financial LLC, Papa Murphy's-Wolfe It Down, Inc., Bell Air Conditioning, and Auto Extreme.
Fiesta Bowl Charities Visits with VHP
On December 5, VHP was pleased to host Yellow Jacket Committee members from Fiesta Bowl Charities for a visit. Thank you to our veterans, teachers, volunteers and students from Shadow Mountain High School who all shared their views on why Connecting Students with Veterans TM is so important.
Spirit, the Fiesta Bowl Mascot, enjoyed presenting VHP with a check to support the production of our oral history program video tutorials.
Vietnam Veterans Phil Yin, David Lucier, and Jim Kelsey.
James Lednicky explains his appreciation for veterans. James is a 5-year VHP student, having started with VHP in 8th grade at Shea Middle School. He plans to attend ASU next year as part of Navy ROTC.

Seth McKee, Muriel Pelham, Gerald Temperley, Lee Paul, Jim Adams, Gus Angeli, Raymond Delrich, George Kelloff, Vida Flayter, and Jack Walton.
Veterans Heritage Project honors the beloved veterans we have lost. Your stories live on in our memories, our books, and our hearts.
GUS ANGELI 1967-2017
Gus Angeli taught math for four years at Cactus Shadows and described himself as “a guy that likes to teach math, not a math guru.” Angeli made it his goal to make math fun and create a comfortable environment for his students, often playing music in his classroom. His favorite was 70s rock n’ roll. 

Prior to teaching, Angeli served in the Navy, completing two Pacific tours on the SS Cleveland and attended Arizona State University on the GI Bill. This led him to volunteer as co-advisor to Cactus Shadows's VHP Chapter. He organized participation in the Homecoming Parade and Pearl Harbor Day, and always brought a postive love for students and veterans to every club meeting, even when he was not well. In 2017, students honored his memory at this year's Homecoming event.

When Angeli was not teaching he could be found watching ASU football, supporting his favorite sports teams, and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
A dedicated teacher, friend, husband, and father, Angeli is survived by his wife, Cadi and his daughter, Mali. ( Submitted by CS Press, Cactus Shadows High School )
On Veterans Day and the weeks surrounding November 11, VHP volunteers and chapters participated in over 20 events to honor veterans and recognize their service. Students marched in community parades, veterans spoke to community and school groups, and appreciation was shown through luncheon celebrations and displays of Since You Asked .
Phoenix Veterans Day Parade - 1st Place Youth Marching
Canyon Ridge School invited Barbara Hatch to speak
Carefree Veterans Day -
Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion
In addition to a school assembly to celebrate Veterans Day, Grandparents who are veterans were also specially recognized during the schools annual Grandparents Day.
State Farm's Veterans Day celebration included a video highlighting veterans who are employees and retirees, including VHP Board Member Jerry Strickland.
American Legion Post 65 - Korean War POW Arden Rowley shared his story
1,000 students, faculty, and community members gathered at University High School for their annual assembly where 11 interviewed veterans were recognized, including a Gulf War veteran who graduated from UHS.
Judy Moore at
Beatitudes Veterans Luncheon
Marshall Roberts,
Rotary Club Presentation
Chino Valley High School invited three veterans into the classroom. Pictured above is Vietnam Veteran Cloyce Kelly, showing his student author, Addie some of his memorabilia.
USAF Retired Major John Schaefer spoke to several classes of 8th graders at Shea Middle School. He gave a lively presentation about the planes he flew, including his favorite pictuerd above, the HU-16 Albatross.
From left to right, Veterans Dennis Grose, Vic Conner, and David Lucier representing VHP at the annual SRP Veterans Day Luncheon.
Board of Directors
Barbara Hatch, Founder         
Laura Byers, Co-Founder         
Shelly Yeck, MBA              
Jerry Strickland                                 
Joseph Brophy, Esq.            
Anita Daghestani              
Brigadier General J. Derek Hill       
Mary Ellen Reilly, Esq.           
Donna Ward                                  
Michelle DiMuro, CFRE          
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.                 

Director of Programs
Board President, Vanguard Marketing Intl. VP & CTO
Board Treasurer, Manager, General Dynamics
Board Secretary, Retired State Farm Regional VP, Veteran 
Partner at Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP, Veteran
Learning & Development Manager, Wells Fargo
USAF, Retired 
Wilkes & McHugh, P.A., Veteran 
Retired Corporate Attorney 

Executive Director
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 | 1-877-VHP-PROJ (847-7765) | www.veteransheritage.org