Doug is a United States Army Veteran where he served as a lead mechanic, vehicle recovery and a combat life saver. He was deployed in 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and again in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As the CEO of Guardians of the Purple Heart he is passionate about making Connecticut and Rhode Island 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 another point in their life while bridging that gap between veterans and services available to them.
Doug has served on many boards for various veteran non-profits to include the Veterans Equine Therapeutic Services (VETS) where he was the Veteran Outreach Director. He was the Communications Director for Team Red White and Blue (Team RWB) and served as the Local Coordinator, Trainer, and National Coordinator for Irreverent Warriors.
Doug’s passion to continue to provide more for the veteran community while leading his team has led him to complete his degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology with a minor in Communications. When he is not working with his team he is working as a Life Skills Educator for the Naval Submarine Basewhere he grew up. Throughout his time in the military Doug has earned multiple military awards including Soldier of the Year, Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal (4).
When Doug is not working you can find him at the baseball field with his son, riding his motorcycle around town with the Guardian Riders or at several events to support other non-profits. He is always on the go and always spreading the word of what the organization stands for and does. But if have trouble finding him, just look in the local pizza places as he will probably be there indulging in his favorite food.
CT – PRESIDENT
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.
CT – VICE PRESIDENT
Seth is a United States Navy Veteran. He served in the Submarine Force for 11 years. Enlisting as a third generation Submariner, he was attached to three sea going commands, Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Command, Naval Submarine Support Facility, and Prisoner Escort/Recover.
Coming from a family of over 20 veterans, Seth has been immersed in the military and veteran community for over 30 years. He is intimately familiar with the challenges of his brothers and sisters who are active, their families, and those who have separated. He is excited to continue to show his love and support for the community he grew up in. Reminding them that they are loved, respected, appreciated, and never forgotten. That legacy and what we leave behind makes what we do well worthwhile.
Seth is working to complete his bachelor’s degree in Data Analytics at Southern New Hampshire University, while working in the private sector as middle management. He has received multiple awards during his time in service including Navy Good Conduct (3), Navy Marine Corp Achievement Medal (4), Battle E, Expeditionary Medal (2), Meritorious Unit Citations, as well as others.
RI – PRESIDENT
Schon’s Bio is Coming Soon…
Tim Geremia Jr
RI – VICE PRESIDENT
Following that, he served a year with the Engineer Planning Section, HHC, 26th MEB in
the MA National Guard in Natick, MA, and was activated all through COVID. Currently, he works with RIDOT as a Highway Maintenance Operator. Tim got involved with the Guardians by working with Schon, Michelle, and Benny at White Pine, and has also. volunteered with Project Healing Waters Fall River chapter in the past. Tim received an Army Achievement Medal w/ 1 OLC, Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal,
Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and
Massachusetts Emergency Service Ribbon. He was officially discharged in December
RI – SECRETARY
Lindsey’s Bio coming soon…
CT – TREASURER
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.
RI – TREASURER
CT – COMMITTEE MEMBER
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
CT – COMMITTEE MEMBER
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.
CT – COMMITTEE MEMBER
CT- VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
RI- CONTENT COORDINATOR
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.
The organizations main event, the Purple Heart Poker Run, was founded by Brent Walker, an 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. At first the poker run was designed to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project but around 2014 that all changed. After taking a step back for a year and recollecting his thoughts, Brent came to the table with a new plan, to help Purple Heart Recipients of Ct.
In 2016 the organization helped their first Purple Heart recipient, Vietnam vet Clarence Hook. From there the organization, and concept, took flight. It was after that event when Doug was brought in as the President to help take the organization to new heights. It was shortly after Doug took the reins; the name Guardians of the Purple Heart was born along with the logo, moving away from the name The Purple Heart Poker Run Inc. Implementing new events, strategies for marketing, and creating the opportunity for brand awareness and exposure was at the top of his list. If the organization was going to set out to help Purple Heart recipients of Ct, people needed to know the help was available. As the team was being built, it was being lead in a direction it had never traveled before.
The Guardians of the Purple Heart is a 501c3 nonprofit that specializes in obtaining items or services for Ct and Ri veterans that are not being met by other organizations, like the VA. Where these entities must leave off because of their limitations, which is only natural, the Guardians can come in behind them and fulfill these needs by reaching out to the community, working with their vast network of supporters and bringing the community together as a whole to improve the overall living quality of these veterans. After almost seven hard working years, the organization was finally ready to take the next step, they crossed state lines and moved into the state of RI.
The Guardians of the Purple Heart are always on the move and generating new ways to do more. Between working with other nonprofits, working with businesses and even “teaming” up with the local little league team, there is never a dull moment when the Guardians are involved. But the one thing you can count on with this organization, is whether you’re helping at an event, or they are helping you, the feeling of family and belongingness is felt by everyone.