Beginning his military career in October of 1997, he received the rank of Petty Officer, Third Class in December of that same year. After attending Naval Boot Camp in New Orleans, LA, he was assigned to Camp Pendleton 919 Naval Hospital in Long Beach, CA as a hospital corpsman. Later, he had the opportunity to attend Field Medical Service School at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA wherein he received his 8404, FMF designation, and became a combat medic for the United States Marine Corps. His unit was deployed to Iraq from 2002 to 2004. It was during this time where he sustained severe injuries and was no longer able to continue his military career. After having been honorably medically discharged, he experienced severe PTSD, and insurmountable physical and emotional challenges which ultimately led to an attempt to take his own life. With the help of many organizations and caring family and friends, he slowly began to recover and vowed to help other veterans coming home from combat avoid the pressures and stresses of everyday life. He subsequently created The American STARH Foundation, Supporting Troops After Returning Home, with the sole purpose of alleviating some of those daily pressures and thus not make the choice of suicide. By using The Seven Steps of Stability, which he created, it is his firm belief that his foundation will increase awareness of veteran suicide, begin to reduce the rate of those veteran suicides, and ultimately, offer as much support as possible to help veterans live an enriched and rewarding life, free of the pain and anxiety so often associated with serving one’s country.
Dave “Gunny” Harris was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Florida, where he learned a love and respect for the outdoors, hunting, fishing, animals, husbandry, and all of God’s creations. He was involved in the Boy Scouts of America from the time he was seven years old on into adulthood. In 2000, he joined the United States Marine Corps, open contract. He was selected for the 7051 Aircraft Rescue Firefighting MOS. He served in San Angelo, Texas, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Iwakuni, Japan, Miramar, California, and Yuma, Arizona. In his 20 years of active duty, he quickly discovered that while the Marine Corps is efficient at a great number of things, it takes individuals to take care of the Marines themselves. He dedicated himself to being the best leader and mentor he could to those men and women who signed up to serve their nation with all they had, including their lives. After retiring from the USMC, He continues to reside in Yuma and works with the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Fire Department. Through all this, his beautiful wife, Tracy, daughter, Mary, and son, James have stood by his side and helped him to take care of his Marines, cooking countless holiday meals and throwing surprise parties for those who thought they had slipped through the cracks. Dave’s always looking for ways to help the veteran community and stem this tide of pain that often plagues his brothers and sisters. He is proud to work with the American STARH foundation in their efforts to do just that!
Carey Clark was born in Michigan and lived there until the age of eight years old, when he moved across the country to California. He is the oldest of nine, one brother and the rest sisters. Upon graduation from high school, Carey joined the Marine Corps. His father had been a Marine, so it seemed like the best option, asCarey didn’t know what he wanted to study in college. Once Carey finished boot camp and Military Occupation Schools, he was shipped abroad and later returned to the States, Camp Pendleton, just before Desert Shield. He was deployed for Desert Shield/Desert Storm in August of 1990. A couple other conflicts followed. Once Carey was honorably discharged, he had the pleasure of recognizing how difficult dealing with the VA was and is and decided that he was going to give back to his community – the veteran community. Giving back completes him, knowing that the struggles of veterans can be lessened one vet at a time by directing those in need to programs that can help. Being a veteran that uses these very same programs keeps Carey focused on his goal to give back as best as possible.
Josephine Heredia worked in the medical field for 27 years. Her last job title was that of obstetrical technician. Josephine chose the medical field because she enjoyed helping others. Her husband also enjoyed helping others . He is an Air Force veteran. He served his country for nine years. While serving in the service, he suffered some hearing loss due to working around airplane engines. He is now partly disabled, and because of her husband’s disability, she became part of the STARH Foundation.
Daniel Guzman is our Treasurer on the American S.T.A.R.H. Foundation Board. He is a full-time college student at Arizona Western College majoring in accounting. Daniel enjoys being a part of this organization and thinks it was founded for a great cause that many overlook or might not even realize is a problem in our society. He first heard of this organization when he was in high school and that’s when he decided to start volunteering and he got to see how much of an impact people can really make on a community. Being a part of the American S.T.A.R.H. foundation has really helped him grow as a person and value more of what we often take for granted.
Dana Mann joined forces with the American STARH Foundation in 2021 as its event coordinator and helped Blade Anthony to create Yuma's first V.E.T.S., all-veteran entertainment and talent show, on Veterans Day 2021, offering a safe space for veterans to share their talents and crafts with the Yuma community. She assisted in acquiring close to 70 donation prizes for veterans who attended the event.
Tyler Jerome is our social media director and a local Marine Corps veteran. He grew up in rural Colorado where he played high school basketball and graduated in the year 2000. After summer break Tyler left Colorado on his way to sunny San Diego for Marine Corps basic training. Tyler deployed with the 31st Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Essex in 2002-2003 and again in 2004. After leaving active duty he worked another five years as a Department of Defense contractor aboard MCAS Yuma, AZ. After that he moved his wife and three kids back to Colorado in 2011 and he graduated college with an Associate of Science degree in computer networking. In 2018 Tyler was blessed by our amazing veteran communities and organizations, he was able to attended a cohort in spring of 2021 with the “Save A Warrior” Organization (www.saveawarrior.org); where he learned about his complex post-traumatic stress. He has since been mediating daily and working on bettering himself so that he can help others in their time of need. Semper Fidelis in the Marine Corps motto and something Marines take very seriously. Tyler is honored and proud to be a part of the American S.T.A.R.H. foundation here in Yuma, AZ.
Dr. Katarina Olea
Dr. Katarina Olea is a licensed professional counselor with over seventeen years of experience working with children and adults. She has worked in a variety of settings, including: inpatient hospitals, correctional settings and private practice. Her focus is on solution focused therapy with an emphasis on mindfulness. She's passionate about working with veterans and finds equine assisted therapy to be especially impactful. On her free time she loves spending time with her family and running long distances.
Judy M. Smith is the CEO of the non-profit, Child & Family Services of Yuma, INC and Right Turn for Yuma Veterans. Judy came to Yuma in 1989 from Wyoming as Director of the former in-patient group home, Children’s Village. As the program evolved to include out-patient only services for children, the group home was left empty. Veterans have always held a special place in Judy’s heart, with most of her family members being retired military. In 2014, Judy and her board of directors decided to turn the once in- patient children’s group home into transitional housing for homeless veterans. Since 2014, Right Turn for Yuma Veterans has served over 150 veterans with not just a roof over their head, but the support system necessary to become independent and contributing members of society once again. Judy is also an active member within the veteran community. She is a member of MAC (Military Affairs Counsel), Yuma County Standdown Committee Chair for 5 years, and works with various groups in the community dedicated to enrich the lives of veterans.
Susan Scholz, VSR
As a veteran working at Hewlett Packard, Susan Scholz became a mentor for newly retired veterans. It was supposed to be a one-year program for each veteran mentored, but sometime in 2013, her and Blade’smentor-mentee relationship transcended that and they have been friends ever since. Over the last several years, Susan has provided Blade and the American STARH Foundation advice, support, and friendship. As a veteran of the Army and US Marine Corps, she understands what the American STARH Foundation is working toward. As an employee of the VA, Susan also understands the importance of the services that the American STARH Foundation provides each veteran that crosses its threshold. She is proud to be Blade’s friend, mentor, and a member of the Advisory Board for the American STARH Foundation and the assistance it provides itsveterans. Semper Fi!