OIF PURPLE HEART RECIPIENT
Brent is medically retired from the United States Army, in which he served 7.5 years as an Infantrymen with US Army Alaska. He served two separate deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2009, Brent was severely wounded by a suicide bomber, which led to his medical retirement. These experiences drove him to create Guardians of the Purple Heart in order to help out other wounded veterans and their families.
Brent is an outside machinist at General Dynamics/Electric Boat as well as Owner/Lead Instructor for Northmen Defense, LLC firearms training and instruction. Additionally, he is a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Wounded Warrior Project Alumni, is a lifetime VFW member, and part of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and S.A.F.E Firearms Instructor Network. He has an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and Management, and is currently working towards his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management with a minor in Accounting.
Brent wears many hats, as he is also a certified instructor with the National Rifle Association in multiple disciplines. He has received multiple military awards, including the Purple Heart, Combat Infantrymen’s Badge, Parachutist Badge, (3) Army Commendation Medals, and (2) Army Achievement Medals.
Doug is a United States Army Veteran in which he served for 8.5 years as a Mechanic and a Combat Life Saver. Doug was deployed in 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and then again in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As President of the Guardians, he is passionate about making CT Combat Wounded Veterans feel as if they have another family. He works to provide that support system that many veterans need while they are either in transition or at other point in their life.
Doug is a full time student. He is also the Military Outreach Director for Veterans Equine Therapeutic Services (VETS), Communications Director for Team Red, White, and Blue, a member of the Veterans Advisory Board for Congressman Courtney, and is on the post 9/11 Veterans Advisory Council that meets with Senator Blumenthal to address veteran issues.
Doug is currently working hard to earn his Master of Business Administration with a special interest in organizational/industrial psychology. He has achieved multiple military awards including Soldier of the Year, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal (4).
Lindsay is very dedicated to Guardians of the Purple Heart. She has friends and family that have served in the military, and she feels that those who have put our country ahead of their own lives deserve to have a voice and help when they need it.
Lindsay graduated from East Lyme High School, and currently is pursuing her Associates Degree in Nursing at Three Rivers Community College. She resides in East Lyme with her husband, children, dog, pig, and chickens.
In addition to being on the Board of Directors at Guardians of the Purple Heart, Christina is Co-Founder, Instructor and the Business Director of the partnering organization Veteran’s Equine Therapeutic Services; the Vice President for Women in Defense – New England Shoreline Chapter; a member of Electric Boat Management Association, and is in the process of becoming a member of Daughters of the American Revolution. She works at General Dynamics Electric Boat as a Financial Analyst for Financial Planning, Analysis, and Reporting.
Christina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting/Finance, a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in leadership and a certification as a Certified Manager. She has worked in various industries, such as: gaming, energy, food services, natural products, government and space exploration. Christina has a passion for helping others and giving back to those individuals who sacrificed themselves to protect our country, as she has had a variety of family and friends who served and are serving currently.
Lillie Belle Kuhn
Lillie joined the Guardians in April of 2020 but has been a supporter since June of 2018.
Lillie was brought on to be the Guardians’ Culinary Arts Specialist, which is simply a fancy term for “Head Chef”. She will be responsible for planning the recipient dinners, creating memorable masterpieces, and keeping everyone’s bellies full. She will also be in charge of making sure that our participants at the Irreverent Warriors Silkies Hike have food and snacks for the day long event. If there is going to be food involved, Lillie will make sure no one goes home hungry.
In addition to being a certified home health aide, Lillie is a nationally certified phlebotomist, which she plans to further benefit veteran’s well-beings with this training. As someone with a true heart for our military and veterans, this will be a stupendous step further in her role with the Guardians of the Purple Heart. Her heart is bigger than she is, and she thrives on caring for those who came before us, veteran or civilian.
Lillie, as many of you know, is small in stature, and her culinary training began when she was even smaller! Growing up at the feet of her beloved grandmother, she has learned the secrets of home cooking, along with the help of other family members. Her true love of cooking blossomed with the release of the film, “Julie and Julia” in 2009, when she fell head over tea kettle for culinary goddess, Julia Child. Lillie has never looked back. While she didn’t professionally study culinary arts, she has learned under great chefs and has taken classes in Boston, Providence, New Jersey, and even the Hell’s Kitchen district of Manhattan. She often jokes that her mid-life crisis will not consist of her buying a car, but attending Johnson and Wales University for her degree in Culinary Arts.
When Lillie is not cooking, working, or doing Guardians business, she loves to nap with her cats, spend time with family, watch black and white films, and of course, Star Wars. The Force is strong with this tiny human! She is also certifiably obsessed with tea. Lillie thoroughly adores reading cookbooks as novels, just for fun and further inspiration. Bon Appétit and Let None Be Forgotten.
Nick is an active-duty Submariner. He joined in 2010 and has been attached to two different submarines as well as a Fleet Maintenance Facility that provides critical repairs to the submarine fleet.
As a member of the Guardians, he is adamant about providing Connecticut’s most precious heroes any and all opportunities they want or need.
Nick is also part of the Irreverent Warriors, CT team, aimed at providing comradeship and a caring ear to improve mental health and prevent Veteran suicide.
Nick is currently studying follow on degrees at SNHU in the computer engineering fields. He’s achieved various awards to include Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Award (4), NATO medal, Good Conduct (4), Arctic Service medal, and the Navy Expeditionary medal.
Our Impact: Every year we want to have a positive impact on a Combat Wounded Veteran who is from Connecticut, as we seek to focus on helping a local individual. Our plan with the money we raise is to assist our recipient with basic needs or some essential need that other organizations are unable to provide. We will not only donate monetarily but reach out to local businesses in our community who can donate their time and services to help fulfill a complete package of necessities for our recipient. We intend to make sure that all Connecticut Purple Heart Recipients feel they have a home in our state, a stable living environment, and a family within our organization.
ABOUT US: The organization was founded by Brent Walker, an OIF Purple Heart recipient. The organization benefits Purple Heart Recipients in the State of Connecticut. Events and fundraising will be planned with the purpose of raising money to help recipients with needs approved by the Board of Directors. Other events will be held with the purpose of raising awareness for Combat Wounded Veterans (Purple Heart Recipients), Veteran Suicide Prevention, and assist with connecting all Veterans with services and benefits provided by other organizations.