A Georgia native, Travis is a business owner, community leader, civilian patriot and proud father of three children. His admiration and respect for veterans began as a kid hanging out with his grandfather, a World War II veteran and his best friend. Determined to make a difference in the lives of veterans with TBI and PTSD, Travis co-founded Shepherd’s Men in 2014.
He was honored by the Recipients of the Medal of Honor with the Citizen Honors Award, the highest recognition a civilian can receive, for his tireless efforts to serve veterans. Travis runs Mobilized Fuels in Marietta, GA, a fleet fuel service company and enjoys time off with his family.
A U.S. Marine, Troy and Travis Ellis co-founded the Shepherd’s Men in 2014. He believes SHARE is saving lives and feels an obligation to help the service men and women that are struggling. Troy feels blessed by God to have a great family and to be fortunate enough to live in this great nation and feels that he must give back. “There is enough talk in this country already and it is time we have some action.” Troy lives in San Antonio, TX and is married with three children.
Justin is a retired Marine Sergeant Major originally from a small town in Northeastern MN. Now a Georgia resident, and an avid runner, he continues to be a Veteran advocate and leader in the community.
He has been involved with the Shepherd’s Men since its inaugural year’s run from The Shepherd Center in Atlanta to The Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington VA. A proud husband and father of two boys, he continues to enjoy working with the Shepherd’s Men family and taking care of our Nations heroes.
A third generation Marine, Jason grew up enamored with the service of his grandfather, who served in the Pacific during World War II and his father, a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam. Jason and his brother, also a Marine, have deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s an inaugural member of Shepherd’s Men and is staunchly committed to supporting the SHARE program.
He notes, “Efforts today not only support the current generation but also lay the foundation for the next generation of men and women who are asked to defend freedom.” Before transitioning to the private sector, Jason served as a District Injured Support Coordinator for the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment. He’s supported by his incredible wife, daughter and son.
Born and raised in Texas, Ernesto is a retired Gunnery Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. A 14-year veteran, he’s had the pleasure of making a stop in almost every part of the world. He deployed and served overseas five times and continues to serve on the home front.
He commented, “I couldn’t have met and joined a better group than Shepherd’s Men. It’s an honor to run and serve a mission to make a difference for fellow veterans who have sacrificed so much.”
Walter was born in Rhode Island and now resides in Canton, Georgia with his wife and three kids. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in July 2019 after 20 years of honorable service. Walter owns a leadership consultant practice and works as director of HR operations for a cyber security company. He has a passion for leadership which drives him to impact, inspire, and influence people. He specifically has a desire to help veterans who are struggling with the hidden injuries of war and believes we all have a moral obligation to defend the warriors that fought for our liberties and freedoms.
Chip is a retired project manager with Brasfield & Gorrie, a leading commercial construction company in Atlanta. He runs because he has a deep appreciation for the freedoms he and his family enjoy in this country and sees this as an opportunity to give something back to those who have given up so much for him. Chip and his wife, Krissy, who is also a runner and huge supporter of Shepherd’s Men and SHARE, have two daughters. He likes to spend as much time as possible with them now “before they get old enough to decide he isn’t that cool.”
SHARE GRADUATES ON THE SHEPHERD’S MEN TEAM
A graduate of the SHARE program, Jarrad served as a medic in the U.S. Army from 2001 through 2010. On his second deployment he was injured in an attack and medically evacuated. He underwent four shoulder surgeries and two elbow surgeries and was medically retired from the Army due to his injuries. In 2012, he became a SHARE client and received treatment for his injuries as well as other helpful therapy. He joined Shepherd’s Men to honor his fellow brothers-in-arms who were lost in combat and to suicide. He notes, “The Shepherd’s Men run is a way for me to celebrate those fallen heroes and let their families know I will never forget their loved ones. My oath does not have an expiration date.”
A graduate of the SHARE program, James runs because he knows that SHARE saves lives. He knows what it’s like to feel that the only way to stop the pain from PTSD/TBI is to commit suicide. He was ready to make that decision before he entered the SHARE program, but knows that after SHARE, he will be there for his wife and family to watch their boys grow into men. He runs to reach those who have lost hope and feel there is no one who can help. James asks everyone to please support the Shepherd’s Men and the SHARE Military Initiative to save lives, because he knows it has saved his own.
Gary was serving with the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan as a machine gunner on a quick-reaction force when he sustained a TBI and concussion in a large blast exposure. He was never the same after that and had to “relearn the things you learned as a kid – down to the ABCs.” He considers the lifesaving treatment he received at SHARE “magical” in helping him realize he still had the ability to make a difference in this world. “Being a part of the Shepherd’s Men team has allowed me to find myself once again. It’s given me the chance to fight alongside true patriots on a new battlefield in a war against veteran suicide.”
While serving in Iraq as a Fleet Marine Force Corpsmen in the U.S. Navy, Jorge Rodriguez was exposed to two IEDs, causing hearing loss, a TBI, PTSD, back fractures and other injuries. He experienced migraines, became forgetful, started shuffling when he walked and began to lose the ability to speak in full sentences. The head neurologist of the VA hospital said there was nothing more they could do. Fast forward to the SHARE program and Shepherd’s Men – which provided a miraculous journey of healing for him and his family. “SHARE gave me a life of hope. As part of Shepherd’s Men, I’m inspired to help my brothers and sisters fighting the lonely battle against invisible wounds – to regain their lives.”
GLYNDA THOR – communications/public relations
GLEN THOR – logistics
KATHIE NEYMAN – auctions
KRISSY WILLIAMS – event support
LESLEY LYNN – ambassador
PATTY REED – ambassador
TIM GALLAGHER – ambassador
MITCH RHODEN – special events coordinator
KATY RUTH CAMP – photography, feature stories
RUSS WOOD – American Legion Liaison
These members represent Shepherd’s Men to their companies and communities and provide a valuable sounding board for the Shepherd’s Men leaders. They share the Shepherd’s Men’s commitment to American veterans and work to advance the mission.