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Paul Baffico, Founder and President, U.S. Army, 1LT 1969-1971, served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne in 1970-1971 as a combat communications platoon leader. He has been a monthly docent for the National Park Service at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC since 2006; a certified Veteran Peer Support Specialist, the 2012 Chicago Red Cross Military Hero of the Year, past Chairman of the Governing Council of the Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services Federal Grant and founder of the Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation. His book Last Mission for a Reluctant Patriot was published in 2014. Mr. Baffico spent 34 years at Sears Roebuck where he was the President of the Automotive Group and CEO of Western Auto. He holds a B.A. from the University of San Francisco.

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M.J. Hodgins, Secretary, Director of Community Development is the retired Project Coordinator for the Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services SAMHSA grant at the Lake County Health Department. She was a LCHD Assistant Clinical Coordinator for substance abuse, a counselor with Alexian Brothers and Rush Behavioral Health Programs. She also developed and coordinated a satellite DUI treatment and services program in Lake Villa for The Counseling Center of Crystal Lake. Ms. Hodgins holds an Associate's Degree in substance abuse counseling from College of Lake County, a Bachelors' Degree in Counseling from DePaul University, and is a registered CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor). Her dedication comes from being a former Vietnam-era Navy wife and daughter of a WWII Army veteran.

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Dr. Mary Roberson, ED.d, Social Services Supervisor, is a Navy veteran who holds a Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She teaches graduate classes at National Louis University and undergraduate classes at the CLC. She has over 20 years of proficiency in the Human Services and Behavioral Health field. Previously the Managing Director for Nicasa Behavioral Health Services (retired) where she had oversight on SAMHSA Grants, which included technology-assisted care, adolescents with co-occurring addiction and mental health; women at risk of infection for HIV and homeless involved in the criminal justice system. She has served on multiple boards.: Executive Board of Illinois Department of Human Services DASA Women’s Committee, the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependency Association, the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism, and the Lake County Opioid Initiative. Dr. Roberson is a member of the Drug Court Team and Veterans Treatment Assistance Court. She completed the Great Lakes ATTC Communities of Color: Training of Trainers and Next Generation of Leaders.

 

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Ashley Jones, Senior Peer/Outreach Specialist, US Army, Airborne, SGT 2005-2009, served active duty with the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment out of Vilseck, Germany. Deployed in support of combat operations in 2007, Ashley spent 16 months in Iraq serving as both a wheel vehicle mechanic and also a member of the Lioness female search team, responsible for the woman and children involved in combat operations. Ashley has been a certified Peer Support Specialist since 2010 and has dedicated herself to working with Veterans since then. Ms. Jones has served as a Peer Specialist for the Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services, Department of Veteran Affairs, Vets Prevail and Dryhootch while pursuing her education.  She is a 2016 graduate of Northern Illinois University with a Bachelors in Social Justice and serves her community of Veterans and their families.

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Michael Hughes, Veteran Peer Support Specialist, United States Marine Corps, D/C LCPL, 2007-2011, served in Iraq with 3d Battalion 3d Marines as an Infantry Rifleman, Combat Life Saver, and Company Level Intelligence Cell member. In Afghanistan he was sent to regiment to work with the Police Mentor Team. He is currently working on his B.A. and was certified as a Peer Support Specialist in 2015. He has written many books and movies regarding his time in the service and after. He volunteers with Warren Township and Woodland Schools, is a Cub Scout leader, and father of two.

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Robert E. Gorman, Jr., Veteran Peer Support Specialist, Veteran 1LT U.S. Army, Airborne qualified. Served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, 1969-1970. He is a certified Peer-to-Peer Support Specialist, an active mentor for 19th Judicial District Veterans Court of Lake County and food pantry volunteer at St. Francis De Sales Parish in Lake Zurich. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Gorman had a career in Advertising, Corporate Communications and Public Relations with the Allstate Insurance Company, as well as with his own private company after his retirement from Allstate.

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Jessica Lopez, United States Marine Corp LCVFSF Veteran Peer is a student at the College of Lake County, working on her Social Worker undergraduate studies. A native of Kankakee County, she served four years in the Marine Corps on Okinawa as the unit Comptroller. Jessica’s husband David is a Marine Sargent specializing in data management and control. Jessica brings her youth, vitality, enthusiasm and involvement in the CLC Vet Club to LCVFSF. In addition to learning all the different aspects of being a Peer Support Specialist at LCVFSF, she is responsible for special events as well as Social Media Content. You can email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Justin Culliton U.S. Army Staff Seargent E6, Veteran Peer. The Burlington, Wisconsin resident is an Army Veteran who served in Afghanistan as a convoy gunner. He deployed with the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, part of the Illinois National Guard. He is studying Political Science at Northeastern Illinois University and plans to complete law school at Northern Illinois University to eventually work on behalf of Veterans and families.  He wants to be part of a court system that focuses on transformation and healing rather then on punishment.  Justin values his work with LCVFSF and helping Veterans and family members connect with the benefits that they earned and deserve. “Working with the foundation’s team is a great way to help people while I continue my studies,” Justin said.

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Carl Marro, Chief Veteran Volunteer was born and raised in Gurnee Illinois. Mr. Marro graduated from Warren Township High School in 1965 and enlisted in the Navy on April 20th. Carl went to boot camp and Electronics Technician at Great Lakes. In February of 1969 Carl was assigned to a Destroyer and spent 6 months cruising the coast of Viet Nam. Mr. Marro left active duty January 1973 and joined the Navy reserve April 1973. After 27 years total time Carl retired. Carl later retired from Northrop Grumman in 2012 and started volunteer work with the Lake County Veterans and Family Services foundation.

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Daniel Sheline is a Veteran volunteer, having served 10 years in the United States Navy from 1987-1997. He left the Navy as a Petty Officer Second Class and received many group and individual awards including the Navy Achievement Medal. He served during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf in 1991. He is currently a Sergeant with the Lake County Sheriff's Office in the Corrections Division since 1997. He has been a Field Training Officer, a member of the Correctional Response Team and is currently the Accreditation Manager. He is a member of the American Correctional Association, Illinois Correctional Association and the Correctional Accreditation Managers Association.

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LCVFS volunteer is Regina Lind, a licensed clinical social worker who has worked at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Northwestern-Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago. In her role as a Perinatal Social Worker, Regina worked with bereaved families, trained residents and medical students in dealing with the psychosocial needs of families. She has also published articles on family needs during the perinatal period. After retirement, Regina spent many years volunteering for literacy programs but always felt she wanted to work with men and women who serve, and have served in the military.

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LCVFSF Veteran Volunteer, United States Army, Illinois National Guard, Ron Bruner is a retired bank executive and Chicago native. He is a graduate of Lane Tech, Roosevelt University, and holds an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. After fulfilling his service obligation in the Illinois National Guard for six years where he saw duty during the Sixties, Ron went into the banking and trust business where he enjoyed forty years of success. Since his retirement, Ron has always made it a habit to spend the majority of his free time volunteering. At Lake Forest Hospital, he was recognized as the volunteer of the year. He also trains his champion dog and finds ways to make other contributions to his community. LCVFSF is fortunate to have Ron turn his attention to the business administration needs of the Foundation. 

 

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