John (Jay) Pellicone

John (Jay) Pellicone is a retired Marine Corps Colonel with over 25 years of active service. He also recently retired as an international 737 Captain for American Airlines. Jay’s military career included assignments as a Squadron Commander, Naval Attache and a flight instructor. He served in the first Gulf war and in Somalia flying multiple aerial refueling and transport missions.

At American Airlines he served as the Manager of Human Factors and Safety Training. In addition he was the Chairman of the National Training Committee for the Allied Pilot’s Association.

Jay has a BA in Psychology from King’s College and a MA in Management from Webster University. His other volunteer activities include being a Make A Wish grantor and a member of the Dallas Military Ball executive board.

He currently resides in Grapevine, Texas where he flies for a Medical Transport Company.

Rich Driscoll

 

Rich Driscoll is a retired Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer-4 (CWO-4). He is also retired from Microsoft Corporation. Rich's military career included assignments as an infantryman, recruiter, KC-130 aerial navigator, Weapons and Tactics Instructor and Air Transport Coordination Officer for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. He flew combat missions in the first Gulf War and served on the staff of the Marine Air Combat Element Commander. At Microsoft he served as Director of Windows Enterprise Server Support and Senior Director of Microsoft Exchange Server Support before his retirement.

 

Rich has a B.A. in Business Administration from Columbia College of Missouri, serves as the  Vice President of the Navy League Fort Worth Council and is the National President of the Marine Corps Air Transport Association. He is a member of several other volunteer and veterans service organizations including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Marine Corps League, Military Order of the Devil Dogs, and the Fort Worth Airpower Foundation. Rich is married to Carol Sedlacek Driscoll and has two children and two grandchildren who also live in the area.

John Van Deventer

 

John Van Deventer is a native Texan born in Ft Worth and raised in Arlington. John served in the US Navy for 7 years on board the USS Midway flying A7E Corsair II. He  retired in May of 2021 after over 35 years of service with American Airlines. John served on the APA Safety committee for many years in accident investigation and ASAP.

Neil Raaz

Neil Raaz became a second generation Army Aviator when he graduated pilot training as the Distinguished Honor Graduate in 1991. He went on to serve active duty and reserve assignments in both the Army and Navy, eventually qualifying in seven different military aircraft types.

Since 1999 Neil has flown as a pilot for American Airlines, where he has held numerous leadership positions. He has passionately served numerous veteran's causes, including over ten years with Gold-Star families at Snowball Express where he served on their Board of Directors and ultimately Chairman and CEO from 2012-2013.

Raaz holds a B.S. in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, an Airline Transport Pilot rating, and both Senior Army Aviator and Naval Aviator designations. He is the fourth of five generations that have continuously served our Nation’s armed forces since 1932. He and Shannon, his wife of more than twenty-six years, call Colleyville, Texas home.

 

Mitch "Taco" Bell

LtCol Mitch “Taco” Bell joined the Marine Corps in 1986 and was winged a Naval Aviator in Jan of 1991. He flew the KC-130 in Cherry Point, NC, Okinawa Japan and Fort Worth TX in the Reserves. His primary duty has been on Recruiting duty for 9 of his 29 years in the Marine Corps before retiring in June of 2015.

In 1998, he left active duty and was hired by American Airlines and currently fly’s the Boeing 787 Dreamliner around the world.

As a reservist, he was the Assistant Airboss and ran the airfield on an old Mig Base in TQ Iraq from 2005 to 2006. He followed this up with a billet in Kabul with the Afghan Police for 8 months in 2008 and again for a short tour in 2009 with Prison Corrections over in Afghanistan.

He currently assists with numerous charities and Veterans organizations in the DFW area including SkyBall, Snowball Express, Salute to the troops, Dallas Military Ball, Purple Hearts Reunited, Marine Corps Metroplex, Cow Town Warrior Ball and Gainesville Medal of Honor parade.

Dan Griffin

Dan graduated from Holy Cross College in 1972. He entered the Navy and flew fighters from eight different carriers while serving as a CAG LSO. Dan completed his MBA while in the Navy and was hired by American Airlines in 1979. He flew for 37 years, 25 years as a Check Airman. He was awarded The American Airlines Outstanding Employee of the Year in 2007 and The American Airlines Order of the Eagle Award in 2013.

Dan retired in 2014 and is now the Director of Training for Air Transport International, a cargo carrier based in Wilmington, Ohio. Dan also works for the FAA as an Aviation Safety Expert.

Dan is married to Holly and has four children and three grandchildren.

Charlie Curreri

CA Charlie Curreri, is a retired Air Force officer with over 22 years of active service. He enlisted in 1976 and found himself as a KC-135 boom operator at Pease AFB, NH. He finished college at the University of New Hampshire and soon received his commission in Nov 82 from the Air Force Officer Training School. After pilot training, he served a short tour as a T-38 instructor, and later went on to fly F16s at Moody AFB, Luke AFB, Osan AB, and then retired as the PACAF Director of F16 Operations inspections (IG). He served in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm, at Al Minhad and King Fahd while flying F16s.

He is currently an international A-320 Captain, also holding the position as Senior Manager, Project Wingman; a program to help pilots and their families in crisis. Prior to taking his Project Wingman position, Charlie served as the Allied Pilots Association as Deputy Chair, EAP/Project Wingman.

Charlie has a BA in Business from the University of New Hampshire, an MA in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma, and an MA in Christian Counseling from Colorado Christian University. He is a board certified Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Texas. He is a nationally certified EAP.

He currently resides in Arlington, Texas with his wife of 30 years, the former Barbara Doyle of Phoenix, AZ. They have six children and 4 adorable grand-children.

Randy Davenport

 

Randy Davenport is currently an American Airlines Captain and Check Airman on the Boeing 767. He is a 1981 graduate  of the United States Air Force Academy.  During his Air Force career he served as a B1 Aircraft Commander. In  addition Randy served as a C21 Instructor Pilot. Captain Davenport lives in Argyle with his wife Brenda. They have two adult children, Matt and Lauren.

Cynthia "Cyndi" Dawson 

Cynthia Dawson has been a part of the American Airlines family for over 30 years. Cyndi began her career as a flight attendant and, due to an insatiable desire to fly, worked her way onto the flight deck where she currently serves as an Airbus international First Officer. During her tenure, Cyndi has worked on various projects and special assignments within the airline. She also served on the Allied Pilots Association National Communications, Training, and Security committees.  

Cyndi holds a B.S. in Aviation Science from Everglades University and a Masters in Aeronautical Science with a specialization in Human Factors from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Cyndi is a member of several professional organizations including Women in Aviation International and ISA+21. She enjoys volunteering for veteran initiatives including Skyball and Snowball Express, various animal rescues, and in her community and local church. Cyndi’s favorite place to relax is in the mountains of her home state of Colorado and she loves taking long rides on her bike.  

Bill Walsh

Bill Walsh is currently an A320 captain with American Airlines. He began his aviation career as a Naval Aviator flying the P-3 Orion worldwide serving in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. After a short stint flying the ATR at American Eagle, he joined American in 1998 first as a 727 Flight Engineer and has flown the MD-80 as First Officer and Captain.

 

Bill’s desire to support veterans began with Snowball Express where for a number of years he has assisted on both the airlift operations team and twice volunteering to fly charters. 

 

He has also served his fellow aviators by volunteering on the Allied Pilots Association Safety Committee. Bill began as a FOQA Gatekeeper, served as an ASAP team member and helped begin the airline’s LOSA program. He completed his time there as the Safety Committee Chairman where he and his team contributed to the safe operation of the airline through an unprecedented period that included bankruptcy, merger and the operational integration of two major airlines.

 

Bill currently resides in Grapevine Texas with his wife Leslie where they enjoy life’s adventures with their children Sarah and Will.

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Kirstin Perkins

 

Kirstin joined American Airlines in 1998 and has held positions as a flight attendant, instructor and Sr Flight Service Manager.    Kirstin earned a BS in Health Science and Community Health Education from Ball State University and is a nationally licensed massage therapist.  

 

Having been a military spouse and part of a large military family, Kirstin is very passionate about military initiatives and enjoys volunteering for Skyball, Snowball Express, and Wreaths Across America.  In addition, Kirstin has served as the executive director for The Pillowcase Project leading yearly trips to Kenya, volunteers as a children’s medical escort with Airline Ambassadors International, and enjoys building houses with the St. Bernard Project.  When she’s not on a volunteer project, you will find her enjoying time with her dog, antiquing and paddle boarding.

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Karl Monger

 

Karl Monger is the Founder and Executive Director of GallantFew, Inc., a nonprofit helping military veterans transition from active duty to civilian lives of hope and purpose.  He is a retired US Army Major who served in infantry and Ranger assignments.  He has received awards from the Small Business Administration and several veteran organizations for his leadership in veteran issues, but the title he treasures the most is “Ranger Shepherd”, bestowed by a former CIA operative and Ranger veteran.  Karl is an author, award winning video producer, and certified Burris Functional Emotional FitnessTM practitioner and was recently elected to the Town of Trophy Club Town Council.  He is married to Sara and has two daughters, two grandsons and two dogs.  He enjoys riding his bicycle long distances and teaching veterans how to rock climb.

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Tim Knutson

Though not a military veteran, Tim comes from a family of charitable service and patriotism.  A second generation airline pilot and son of a US Army Veteran, he volunteers for many causes that support veterans and military charities.  A civilian trained and raised pilot, he has a degree in Civil Engineering form the University of Minnesota and still resides on his home farm in Northern Wisconsin amongst his entire family.  Tim and his family support and operate a program called Christmas Epaulets In Memory of Captain John H. Knutson that raises money for the Gary Sinise Foundation (Snowball Express) and scholarships for students at the Chetek Weyerhaeuser Scholarship Foundation.   Tim has a lengthy history of serving the pilots of American Airlines through work on the Jumpseat Committee with 6 years as Chairman,  and presently serving on the Government Affairs Committee, the Family Awareness Committee, and the Emergency Relief and Scholarship Committee.  As previously mentioned not being a military veteran, his main focus now is to serve those who have served and sacrificed along with their families.

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Greg Holm

Greg Holm is a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel with over 24 years active duty and reserves. He was born and raised in suburban Chicago, and began flying at 17 as a Civil Air Patrol Cadet. Greg graduated from the University of Illinois in 1978 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, commissioned through AFROTC, and flew B –52’s until 1987.

  

In 1988 he joined the Air Force Reserve, flying the KC –10 Tanker. He is a veteran of Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. He retired in 2002 at the rank of Lt. Colonel. His 34-year career with American Airlines saw him primarily as the Captain of the S80, flying one of last aircraft to Roswell, New Mexico.

Greg has served as his squadron’s safety officer on active duty and in the reserves. Later he volunteered in the APA Safety and Training committee. Greg continues to volunteer as a crew chief at Trinity Habitat for Humanity in Ft Worth. He is a member of Grey Eagles and The Order of Daedalians. He is an avid bicyclist participating in numerous rides including the famous Hotter N Hell 100.

He resides in Southlake with Nancy, his wife of twenty-nine years. They enjoy participating in their community, traveling with their two daughters and camping in their RV.