The Honorable Todd A. Weiler, served as an attack helicopter pilot in the first Gulf War. When he was commissioned in 1987, he was a reservist, but after attending flight school, he converted to a Warrant Officer so that he could serve on active duty. The struggles he went through to enter active duty I do not fully understand, but I know that he wrote all 435 congressman and senators to get that opportunity. After he left the Army, he went to work for the Governor Bill Clinton in Arkansas and came to Washington, DC with the new President. He then became the youngest senior political appointee in the Pentagon, as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army. 

When he came to the Pentagon, Todd did not forget his past or his fellow soldiers. As a single soldier deploying to Desert Shield, he had to designate a spouse of a fellow soldier to handle all of his affairs and store his furniture in their home. When he entered the Pentagon, he made a point of supporting single soldiers and ensuring that the struggles he and so many others faced were not repeated. His work to create programs that supported single soldiers and enhanced the Army’s BOSS program made an impact on thousands of military personnel. 
Throughout the 1990’s, Todd also worked tirelessly to help our part-time Service members. He worked to create better support programs for Reserve soldiers and by the end of the 1990’s, he had created the first fully integrated active-reserve component combat divisions. It was his shuttle diplomacy between generals, civilians and the Secretary of Defense that led to this accomplishment that ultimately brought Reservists on par with their active component counterparts. 

When he left the Pentagon and started his own business, Todd did not stop his work for military personnel and families. As the suicide rates among veterans began to spike in the early to mid-2000's, Todd traveled to locations all around the country to learn about programs that were helping and making an impact. He would then return to Washington, DC and speak to military and veteran leaders to help craft programs to help veterans. In 2008, he created an organization to help veterans find employment and he utilized his contacts and political influence with organizations like Major League Baseball to hire newly transitioned wounded warriors. 

When he heard about the struggles of wounded warriors returning to civilian lives and the physical challenges that they faced, he joined many others in supporting adaptive sport programs to return these warriors to the activities they love. Ultimately, he worked with hundreds of nonprofit organizations and the Department of Defense and created the first-ever social network connecting wounded, ill and injured Service members, veterans, families and caregivers with professional athletes, case workers, medical personnel and adaptive sport programs. He was lauded at the DoD Warrior Games and the Invictus Games, Olympic-style events for Wounded Warriors.

In 2016, Todd was given the opportunity to return to the Pentagon as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. In that role, he continued the work he had previously started. He supported Service members, families and strongly promoted a military that is reflective of the society it serves. To that end, he fought vociferously for opening positions to women, opening transgender service and stood with our immigrant Service members and families. As the most senior gay and married, combat veteran in the Obama Pentagon, Todd led historic efforts during his tenure and made lasting impacts on Service members, veterans and families…the most important elements of our military – the people.


Kenneth Hill has been active in education of young people and adults for 44 years. He was in the US Army from 1943 until 1946 during WWII in the Pacific. He was a Boy Scout leader for more than 50 years, and his 3 sons were Eagle Scouts; at Eagle Scout Courts of Honor gives annual certificates and medals to new Eagle Scouts. Scottish Rite Masonry for over 50 years with participation in many patriotic events in California and Nevada.

Kenneth Hill was in the Quartermaster Corps during WWII, 3315 QM Truck Co; Decorations and Citations: Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and 1 Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal. Ken was born September 19, 1924 in Oakland, CA. He moved to Las Vegas, NV, in 1973, and was one of the founders of Clark County Community College (now College of Southern Nevada) and was named Professor Emeritus by the Board of Regents. He helped veterans apply for financial aid, and was an instructor and administrator for 44 years in California and Nevada. Life Member of Elks Lodge in Boulder City, NV, doing volunteer work at Nevada State Veterans Home and many local activities, including laying wreaths at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City for Wreaths Across America Day. Life Member of Jewish War Veterans Murray L. Rosen Post 64, volunteer for Kline Veterans Fund, participating in the Poppy Drive to provide financial assistance and support to homeless, at risk and indigent veterans and families in Southern Nevada. Graves Registration Officer, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Grandfather was a First Lieutenant in Pennsylvania during the Civil War. Gives annual certificates and medals as recognition to outstanding JROTC cadets at local high schools, dressed in Civil War uniform to honor his grandfather. Participates in the Civil War Experience at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park in Las Vegas, teaching young people and adults about life in the Civil War, wearing a replica of his grandfather's uniform. Honorary Member, Society of Military Widows of Southern Nevada Chapter 34; photographer for the SMW National Convention in Las Vegas in 2017; transporting and collecting donations of items for charity fund drive, raising money to assist the local community and sending a female WWII veteran on an Honor Flight to Washington, DC. Meetings with local legislators and US Senators and US Representatives about ways to improve life of military personnel, veterans, families and survivors. Packaging and sending care packages for deployed troops overseas with local organizations. With "God's Groceries" giving food to needy people in the community.


Green Berets train Special Forces to combat guerrilla uprisings and would discourage future would-be guerrillas.
My father Roberto Barrientos is one of the last alive survivors of the 16 Green Berets who lead to the killing of Che Guevara,
Roberto Barrientos is also the nephew of assassinated President of Bolivia ,Rene Barrientos .My father is a retired veteran of the air forces in Bolivia who serve our country.

Because of my father sacrifice ,terror was completely eliminated for good and people were not subject of the anarchy of Fidel Castro or Che Guevara.
People does not know that many people were affected by it and my father can tell his story from the moment of the training to the last minute of the order to kill Che Guevara.

After the mission was accomplished this men never received any honor as everything was compromised and top secret.


Operation Troop Appreciation (OTA)'s mission is to build and sustain the morale and well being of the military community, past and present, with the assurance that the American public supports and appreciates their selfless service and daily sacrifices.

Operation Troop Appreciation is dedicated to the active and veteran members of our Armed Forces who serve and sacrifice for our country. By providing them with items that contribute to their morale and well being, we present a united front to our military by supporting them as individuals, for every one of them
*Memorializes our nation’s past
*Sacrifices to maintain our nation’s culture and freedoms
*Ensures the safety and freedom of our nation’s future generations

OTA is 100% Volunteer non-profit headquartered in Pittsburgh PA. The charity began in July of 2004 by providing deployed members of the military with "wish-list" items that would boost morale or aid them in their missions. We focus on items that the troops or their families would otherwise have to pay for out of pocket, and we ensure that all members of the unit deployed at that location receive the requested items. These items include foul weather clothing, supplemental tactical gear, nutritional supplements and work out equipment, as well as food, personal hygiene items and recreational supplies. We have granted wishes to over 165,000 deployed members of our countries armed forces.

In April of 2014, we extended our services to veteran care with the launch of our Welcome Home Program. Working with the VA and other veteran support agencies we identified 3 critical services our veterans do not receive when transitioning from the military, coming out of inpatient care for physical, psychological or substance abuse treatment, or who were homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless. Those services include brand new beds for the veteran and all immeidate family members, a Welcome Home Kit that includes all brand new items needed to establish residence - pots & pans, dishes, bakeware, kitchen gadgets, small appliances, bathroom accessories, cleaning and laundry supplies, bedding, linens and towels. Additionally, to ensure our veterans remain on a path the health and wellness, we provide transportation services to doctor appointments, therapy and counseling sessions, and job interviews. Since the project launch, we have completed more than 4,200 veteran projects.

Accomplishments and Impact: How is the organization, program or individual's work making a difference?: *

Operation Troop Appreciation (OTA) is a 100% volunteer 501 c 3 non-profit dedicated to benefiting active and veteran members of our Armed Forces who serve and sacrifice for our country. OTA has helped more than 171,000 troops and veterans since its inception in the form of two programs. As a volunteer charity, our overhead is limited to rent, utilities and required business expenses, no one receives compensation. This has resulted in a 90% or better efficiency ratio every year. OTA has also received the honor being a "Top-Rated" charity for seven years in a row by GreatNonProfits, a charity review site that allows donors, volunteers and beneficiaries to review their experience with OTA.

Active Duty Wish-List Program Accomplishments:
The “Wish List” program supports deployed US military personnel and provides unit- level support with "wish list" requests that improve or sustain troop morale and safety. Since its inception in 2004, the “wish list” program has provided supplies to more than 163,000 deployed US military personnel throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa, and other deployed locations. We focus on items that the troops or their families would otherwise have to pay for out of pocket. We have received thousands of letters, photos and testimonies from our troops overseas expressing gratitude for the support we provided while deployed.  

Veteran Welcome Home Program Accomplishments:
Since launching the program in 2014, OTA has helped over 4,200 veteran families in need. “Welcome Home” is a program that defrays the costs associated with establishing a new home, and is provided to veterans experiencing financial hardship, physical and psychological challenges. OTA provides gifts that help veterans transition from agency recovery programs and homelessness to their own homes, in an effort to maintain good health and a continued path to success. OTA fills a gap in services our veterans receive today through agency programs. No other organization provides the services OTA offers to our veteran community.

All of the veterans impacted are referred to OTA from veteran support agencies. They are veterans who live in extreme poverty, face daunting physical challenges, struggle with the effects of post-traumatic stress and who are working hard to become productive members of the community. By providing these items, we remove a high cost burden from the veteran, ensuring that they enter new jobs and homes in the best environment possible. 

Expected Outcomes:
We work hand-in-hand with the VA and the other agencies to ensure that the assistance OTA is providing is specifically targeted for the most critical needs of the veteran. We also perform regular assessments and review of our assistance directly with the case managers. Based on the veterans’ status and the level of support we have provided, this review could take place at three, six and/or twelve month intervals. We categorize program success based on the veterans’ status during case manager review:

1. Thriving/Excellent – The veteran has steady or full-time employment, is current on all bills and housing payments, no longer receiving agency assistance. Veteran situation improved considerably.

2. Improving Situation - Situation better than when they first came to agency for assistance. The veteran’s situation is better and he/she is making forward progress.

3. Stable/Unchanged - Still receiving assistance from agencies, situation has not changed for the better or worse.

4. Near Crisis - Despite assistance, veteran’s employment and / or housing situation is unstable and in need of further support to meet financial commitments.

5. In Crisis – The veteran is in a crisis situation such as being homeless or facing eviction, utilities have been shut off, and is unemployed.

The expected outcome for veterans who receive help from OTA is to have a status of 3 or above within 6 months, and a status of 1 or 2 within 12 months. OTA assesses veteran outcomes directly with the referring agencies and their case managers.

For example, arecent review of all completed project-to-date referrals from the VA showed the following results.

Before OTA involvement Following OTA involvement
Thriving/Excellent 0% 33.3%
Improving Situation 0% 25.0%
Stable/Unchanged 0% 20.0%
Near Crisis 51.7% 16.7%
In Crisis 48.3% 5.0%

These statistics show that even though all veterans referred to OTA were in the categories of “In Crisis” or “Near Crisis,” the assistance from OTA boosted 78% of them to a better situation, with 58% of them “Thriving” or in an “Improving Situation.” Many of those “Near Crisis” or “In Crisis” following OTA involvement are recently assisted veterans whose situations still require time to improve.

Who We Help
Below are 2 examples of Veterans who have received help from OTA:
“Jim” is an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran who sustained injuries during an IED attack, resulting in the amputation of his left leg below the knee and a traumatic brain injury. His unit received critical supplies from OTA while deployed to Iraq, and OTA continued to support Jim during his recovery at Walter Reed, and as he transitioned to civilian life. Jim received new beds for himself and his daughter, and a Welcome Home Kit containing brand new essential kitchen items, pots & pans, dishes, cookware, silverware, glasses, cleaning supplies, linens and small appliances. Without this help, Jim would have had to spend hundreds of dollars on basic necessities for his home.

“Noah” is an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury during an IED attack. He is also the father of 4 small children and struggled to support his family during recovery. He is now enrolled in college and a “straight A” student, despite facing challenges as a result of his injury. Noah received help from OTA in way of diaper service for his children, transportation services to attend school, beds and a welcome home kit for his family.

Veteran Special Projects & Awards:
● Recipient of Veteran Leadership Program of Western PA Organizational Tribute Award, May 2018
● House of Veterans (HOV) – Provide beds and bedding to transitional housing facilities for recovering veterans, 2017.
● 3rd Annual Veterans Holiday Celebration – Providing Christmas gifts to the children of 80 veteran families.
● Project Journey for Women Veterans - Veterans Leadership Program of Western PA – Participated in 2 ribbon cutting ceremonies for new Project Journey facilities. Provided welcome home kits and beds for facility.
● Stand Down Event, Pittsburgh PA –Distributed toiletry bags and jerky to over 500 homeless veterans. We have participated in this program for 3 consecutive years.
● Veterans Community Gardens, Indiana PA – Providing furniture and household items for new six unit apartment complex for veterans in need. Project cost $25,000, grand opening Oct. 30, 2015, units fully occupied.


Planate Management Group LLC is the founding organization which enabled the establishment of the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation (2009)- a 501(c)3 who serves the US Navy and Coast Guard seriously wounded, ill, and injured and their families through resources/support which are not available via government appropriated funding. Support by the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation includes financial, travel, and career support to this population.

Planate organized the board of directors, recruited volunteers, engaged Navy/Coast Guard leadership to formalize the relationship between the organizations, leads the Foundation's major fundraising events (golf tournaments and fashion show), and continues to support the Foundation through financial and in-kind support. This involvement directly supports the supported population of the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation- which would otherwise go unmet and prevent meeting the needs of the wounded warriors through their recovery, rehabilitation, and recovery process.


Dr. Raymond Jardine Jr. is the Chairman & CEO of Native Hawaiian Veterans, LLC and the Kina'ole Foundation. His overall objectives were to become one of the largest SDVOSB in the nation and in Hawaii. Be an advocate for Native American businesses and SDVOSB federal program and with his business and foundation provide programs for support and advance Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Native Hawaiians and Gap Kids and At Risk Youth.

Dr. Jardine over the last 5 years has become the largest most successful SDVOSB in Hawaii and one of the most successful SDVOSB in the nation. Dr. Jardine over the last twelve years has been a champion for Service Disabled Veterans and Veterans Small businesses in Hawaii and the nation. His advocacy, mentoring, providing subcontracting to other SDVOSB/VOSB and help shaping regulations and law makes him a perfect candidate for Veterans Small Business Champion. Dr. Jardine was the Vice Chair for the National Veterans Business Development Corporation which was a presidential appointment, Chairman of the Veterans National Veterans Technology Consortium, Chairman, American Veterans, LLC for VET GWAC, VA Advisory for
Minority Veterans, American Legion Small Business Task Force, Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Armed Forces Committee, Chairman of the Kina’ole Foundation, Director Area VI Representation for the National Guard Association of the United States, Native Hawaiian Economic Alliance Business Mentor Award, Asian Enterprise Entrepreneur of the Year to name a few achievement for his work and support of SDVOSB/VOSB and Native American Companies. His selfless service to help shape regulations, laws, advocacy, has been instrumental to improving the quality of life for SDVOSB. In the last 8 years he was recognized with the following awards and accomplishments:

Native Hawaiian Economic Alliance Business Mentor - 2010
Hawaii Best Places to Work Hawaii Business Magazine - 2011
Hawaii National Guard Association Lifetime Award – 2013 
National SB Advocacy of the Year Runner Up – 2012
Pacific Edge Business Executive of the Year Runner Up – 2013 
Asian Enterprise Entrepreneur of the Year – 2013
ESGR Pro Patria Award – 2013  
Hawaii Business New #1 Veteran Business in Hawaii – 2014  
Pacific Edge Business Executive of the Year Finalist – 2014 
Hawaii Business News #1 Veteran Owned Company – 2014
SBA Hawaii Veterans Small Business Champion – 2014 #1 SDVOSB in Hawaii – 2014
Hawaii Business Magazine Top 250 Businesses - 2014 
Hawaii Business News FAST 50 - 2014 
#1 Native Hawaiian Owned Company – 2014
INC Magazine FAST 5000 - 2014 
DiversityBusiness #1 SDVOSB in Hawaii - 2014
DiversityBusiness #1 8(a) in Hawaii – 2014
Pacific Edge Magazine Business Executive of the Year - 2015 
Pacific Business News #1 Veteran Owned Business - 2015 #1 SDVOSB in Hawaii - 2015 #1 8(a) in Hawaii - 2015 
INC Magazine FAST 5000 – 2015
Hawaii Business Magazine TOP 200 Businesses – 2015
#1 Native Hawaiian Owned Company - 2015
Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce O’o Award -2016
SBA Hawaii Business Leader of the Year – 2016
SBA National Business Leader of the Year Runner Up - 2016 
Pacific Business News FAST 50 – 2016 
Pacific Business News #1 Veteran Owned Business – 2016 #1 SDVOSB in Hawaii - 2016 #1 8(a) in Hawaii - 2016 TOP 50 – 2016 
INC Magazine FAST 5000 – 2016
Hawaii Business Magazine TOP 250 Businesses – 2016
Hawaii Business Magazine Most Charitable Companies – 2016
#1 Native Hawaiian Owned Company – 2016
Top Environmental Engineer Firm Hawaii – 2016
Hawaii Business Magazine Most Charitable Companies - 2017
Pacific Business News #1 Veteran Owned Business - 2017
Hawaii Business Magazine TOP 250 Businesses - 2017
Top Environmental Engineer Firm in Hawaii - 2017 
VOBC Veterans Small Business Advocate - 2017
VOBC Veterans Employee of the Year - 2017
#1 Native Hawaiian Owned Company - 2017 
INC Magazine FAST 5000 - 2017
USPAACC Fast 100 - 2017
Gordon Mansfield National Veterans Advocated Award - 2017
SBA Hawaii 8(a) Business of the Year – 2018

Dr. Jardine company, Native Hawaii Veterans, LLC has provided subcontracting opportunities to other SDVOSB. He is currently under the GSA Mentor Protégé Program mentoring a SDVOSB that just got their SBA 8(a) status. He has spoken at conferences in Hawaii and in the mainland and help other SDVOSB get work in the federal marketplace. He has provide, at a minimum four SDVOSB work directly from contracts he was awarded. He works with the Procurement Center Representative (PCR) in Hawaii to provide more SDVOSB set aside work and in the past worked with Frank Ramos, former Small Business Director for the Department of Defense to increase the amount of work being provided to SDVOSB. He worked with Tracey Pinson to add the SDVOSB to the DOD Mentor Protégé Program and got Senator Inouye to earmark more money into the DOD MPP to support adding the SDVOSB to the program. He is mentoring 4 companies of which 2 are SDVOSB. One company is located in Honolulu, Hawaii and the other under the GSA Mentor Protégé Program in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Dr. Jardine started a Veteran’s Entrepreneur Training Support (VETS) program at Chaminade University and Hawaii Pacific University helping Veterans and Disabled Veterans start, grow and sustain a small business in the federal marketplace. This will be the fourth year of the program and now he teaches this curriculum at Hawaii Pacific University. He developed the program of instructions (POI) and also teaches the curriculum. He is trying to develop the same program in Washington DC and San Antonio. 

He was recognized by the SBA Hawaii Veterans Small Business Champion in 2014 for his work on helping veterans and disabled veterans find employment and start a business.

He continuous to give back helping veterans in Hawaii and on the mainland as a teacher, coach, mentor and advisor.

Dr. Jardine speaks at a number of conferences in Hawaii and in the mainland on the SDVOSB program. He has spoken at the National Veterans Small Business Conference, Native American Contractors Association, Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, SBA hosted conferences in Hawaii, Hawaii PTAC conference, National 8(a) conference and the RES conference (Indian Country). His worked on the VA Advisory Committee for Minority Veterans is instrumental in bringing attention to the SDVOSB program.

Dr. Jardine advocacy on the VA Advisory Committee for Minority Veterans helps provide the Secretary of the VA and Congress with a report to outline issues and provide recommendations to assist Veterans.

Dr. Jardine was instrumental in getting Congress to reshape the National Veterans Business Development Corporation with the Senate voting 99 to 0 to approve Dr. Jardine recommendation.

Dr. Jardine was Senator Inouye’s and Senator Akaka’s subject matter expert when concerns for SDVOSB issues and challenges were raised to their offices. He was asked by both Senators office on a number of occasions to talk to veterans that wanted to start and grow and SDVOSB in Hawaii.

He was recognize and awarded the Native Hawaiian Economic Alliance Mentor of the Year for helping Native Hawaiians and Veterans start and grow a Small Business as well as the Hawaii SBA Veterans Small Business Champion in 2014.

Dr. Jardine has gotten Congress to reshape Veterans Small Business program. He has been ask and accepted to be on the American Legion Small Business Task Force and the VA Advisory Committee for Minority Veterans. 

Dr. Jardine is concerned the Subject Matter Expert in Hawaii when it comes to SDVOSB regulations and helping them start and grow a company in the federal marketplace.  

He has been ask to speak and a number of conference particularly on the SDVOSB program.

He is highly regarding by the American Legion and VETForce in Washington DC as the go to guy in Hawaii on SDVOSB issues. 

He is the SBA Hawaii Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year of 2014 and again in 2017.

Dr. Jardine in the Hawaii SBA Business Leader of the Year for 2016 and is a finalist for the National SBA Business Leader of the Year for 2016.

He is one of the founders of the Na Koa Wounded Warrior Outrigger Canoe Regatta with over 600 paddlers in four divisions:
• Combat Veterans
• Wounded Warriors
• Veterans
• Gold Star Families
Bring awareness to the Wounded Warrior program and comradeship to the many veterans that served our nation.

He started a nonprofit 501(c)(3), Kina'ole Foundation to help Gap Kids, Veterans, Disabled Veterans and Native Hawaiians in 2006 and over the last 12 years been recognized by the SBA and Veterans Organization for his continuous support to others.

His company, Native Hawaiian Veterans, LLC is the largest Veteran Own company in Hawaii and hires more Veterans and Disabled Veterans in Hawaii. He was recognized for not only hiring veterans but the only company that give full salary while a member of the Reserves and/or National Guard that works for him. Hence recognized by the ESGR for the Pro Patria Award and nominated for the Eagle Award.

He also is a member of the American Legion Small Business Task Force for over 8 years now.

He has been recognized for his leadership for his service in the military of over 33 years with the following awards:

Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Order
Legion of Merit
Legion de Lafayette de la Garde Nationale
Meritorious Service Medal w/2nd Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Commendations Medals w/5th Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Achievement Medal w/2nd Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
HING Medal for Merit
Saint Barbara Medal - Artillery
Saint Maurice Medal - Infantry
HING Commendation Medal w/2nd device 
Hawaii Army National Guard Enlisted of the Year – 1973 
Hawaii National Guard Outstanding Officer – 1998, 2001, 2003
Hawaii National Guard Company Commander – 1988 
JTF Commander Operations KOKUA – Flooding on Oahu
Ground Forces Component Commander in Hawaii for 9/11
TF Commander, Hurricane Relief for the Island of Kauai
Developed the Asia-Pacific Homeland Security Summit
Developed Command Navy Region Hawaii Emergency Plans 
US Justice Dept. Hawaii Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council
Installation Commander, Kaleloa (Barbers Point)
Patrick Henry Award-Highest Civilian Award NGAUS -2005
Kuhina (Ambassador) Award Hawaii Visitors Bureau – 2005

Last year he was awarded the Gordon Mansfield National Veterans Advocated of the Year for his business leadership,
national veterans advocacy, teaching veterans how to start a business, mentorship of other veterans companies, hiring veterans, nonprofit programs support veterans and their families.

Lead the 29th Enhance Separate Infantry Brigade from the worst combat unit in the nation (39 combat brigades) to the #1 in the nation in 3 1/2 years.

Under his leadership, his units has won national awards for organizations readiness, leadership, marksmanship, CofS of the Army Connelly Award, CofS of the Army regional award for Maintenance and CofS of the Army regional award for Supply Management.