2016 – 2017 • Veterans of Foreign Wars
Post 1760 officer roster
Commander – Ron Heraty
Senior Vice Commander – Jesse Chitwood
Junior Vice Commander – Stevie Mae Douglas
Quartermaster – Dan Fox
Chaplain – Frank Alger
Adjutant – Wayne Baker
Trustees – Bob Burns, Dan Wilson
Ron Heraty was born in Alton, Illinois on July 1944. He lived on a farm and did heavy farm labor during the early years of his life. He attended Jerseyville High School, graduating in 1962. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp at the age of 17 on June 12, 1962. He left St. Louis, MO on August 8, 1962 on a train to San Diego, CA. for boot camp at MCRD. The heat in New Mexico and Phoenix on the train was in the 100’s and once they got there the DI’s were even hotter.
He was a sea-going Marine on the USS HANCOCK for the first two years and four months in the Corp. He left the USS Hancock for the Marine Corp infantry in 1965 in North Carolina. He also spent time in Cuba and other destinations with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines out of Jacksonville, NC. During Christmas 1965 he had an opportunity to leave Cuba. He then went to Viet Nam after 30 days of leave. He was wounded in July 1966 in Operation Hastings with the 3rd Battalion Fourth Marines and received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with combat V. He left Viet Nam in January, 1967 with a heavy heart for his comrades that he left behind. He left the Marines on 01/20/1967.
He was married on 09/22/1967 an moved to Florida. In North Palm Beach, Florida he was on the city council and was Vice-Mayor and Mayor in the early 1970’s. He went to Palm Beach Atlantic College (now University) and received his Bachelors degree in Business and Accounting under the GI bill.
Ron has spent 30 years as an agent selling insurance, the last 27 years as a Agent with State Farm Insurance on County Club Drive in Mesa, Arizona. He has been a member of VFW Post 1760 for ten years and has served as Commander (three times), Sr. Vice Commander, Club Committee Chairman, and Jr. Vice Commander at the District 4 level. “Though teamwork together we have made the VFW Post 1760 a great place to help veterans feel at home and be with those who understand what they are going though.”
Senior Vice Commander
Building Committee member
Jesse Chitwood was born in Phoenix, Az in June of 1979. He attended high school at Dobson High graduating in 1997. After that he attended Mesa Community College before Joining the Marines on November 15th 2000.
He attended boot camp at MCRD San Diego, CA. He was assigned to Reserve Company 6ESB 4th FSSG Bulk Fuel Co. C in Phoenix, Arizona. In January 2003 he was called to active duty and Served in Iraq as a 1391 Bulk Fueler and Radio man where he served in combat until June of 2003. On his return he advanced to the Rank of Sergeant and held the position of Company Training Officer preparing over 400 Marines for their upcoming deployment to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. He served in the Marines for 9yrs and was stationed in many places like Quantico, Va, Fr Lewis, Wa, Camp Pendleton, Ca, Youn Soun, Korea, and Kansas City, MO.
He currently works for Qwest Communications as a Design Engineer and contracts with the Department of Defense as a consultant traveling to countries in Africa, Asia, and South America.
Jesse first became involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 2003 when he returned from Iraq were he was recruited at his Marine Unit by representatives a local VFW post welcoming his company home. He has held many positions at Post 1760 over the past seven years such as the Club Committee Chairman, Jr Vice, Sr Vice, Commander, and now again as Senior Vice Commander. He has come to see for himself the VFW is the best place for combat veterans to meet, feel at home, and be welcomed by those who understand what it is to be a veteran the most. It is also one of the best places to learn about and gain a path to obtaining all the benefits we as combat veterans have rightfully earned thorough our service.
“I realized quickly at the VFW that the people I met were just like me, we shared similar experiences, we have had the same struggle with coming home and living normal lives. I found they were the best to understand how I felt. I saw that I wasn’t alone in the things I had experienced and the challenges I was meeting every day. I’ve brought many of my veteran friends here and was happy to see them discover the same thing… a family, community, and a welcome home.”
Stevie Mae Douglas
Jr. Vice Commander
Stevie Mae Douglas was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She spent time growing up in both Tennessee and Arizona, having graduated from Coronal Del Sol High School in Tempe, AZ. After school she worked ten years in hotel management with Hilton Hotels, and also for another 6 years making a living playing in a rock band in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 2009 she decided to join the US Army and left for Fort Jackson. After boot camp she was a medic assigned to Fort Sam Houston assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, her only duty station. She was assigned to the support battalion as a medic for 3rd Brigade RAKKASANS, an infantry brigade. She completed two tours in Afghanistan. There after, she completed her contract and left the US Army Honorably Discharged with rank of Sergeant.
In December 2013 Stevie joined VFW Post 1760 and is currently holding her first position as Trustee. “So thankful to come home and find people like me. I need this place!”
Dan was born in Phoenix, Arizona and graduated from Paradise Valley High School in 2003. Two weeks after graduation, Dan joined the US Army.
Dan reported for bootcamp in Fort Benning, Georgia. After graduation he was assigned to the 101st Airborne, 502nd brigade 1st Battalion Delta company -Heavy Weapons Infantry. Dan completed 3 tours of Iraq and received the 4 Star Campaign medal. Next he was a Colonel bodyguard for a year, and then Blackwater training for a month in Kuwait. Dan is a rated Expert for following weapon systems: 50 cal mark 19 240, 249, m4, 203, m17 2003-4, 5-6, 7-9.a
After completing his active duty contract, he completed 1 year in the Reserves. After which, Dan was honorably discharged in 2010. Dan is currently a full time student at Arizona State University and was recently married last April to his wife Courtney.
Frank “Gunny” Alger
Buddy Poppy Chairman
Veterans Day Parade Chairman
Gunny was born in San Francisco, California and is the oldest of 5. Gunny lived in the Bay Area until he was 11 years old when his dad got a job offer in Germany. The family moved to Germany where he and his siblings attended Germany public schools (as his dad was not in the military anymore). When he was 16 years old the family moved back to the States settling down in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area. Gunny graduated from Ellicott Baptist School in Ellicott Colorado (about 35 miles East of Colorado Springs on HWY 94) and is currently the oldest living graduate from the school.
Frank Alger is a retired Gunnery Sergeant of over 20 years active duty in the U. S. Marine Corps. He goes by Gunny to avoid confusion as his father Frank Alger Sr. who lives in the area and is also a Marine. Gunny held multiple billets during his career serving as: a Radio operator, Radio Chief, Drug Exemption NCO, Recruiting Duty (RS Denver, RSS Littleton), Communications Security Material (CMS) Custodian, Instructor at the Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy Sgt’s and Career Courses, Communication Chief, Assistant Operations Chief. Gunny appeared before the Royal Court of the Domain of Imperivm Neptvni Regis, State of the Raging Main, Equatoria where Davy Jones is the Royal Scribe and earned his Shellback in August 1983. Participated in Operation Bright Star in Somalia August 1983 and also completed two crossings of the Suez Canal in Sept 1983. Participated in Exercise Cobra Gold in 1983 and 1984, Operation Valiant Usher in 1984 in Kenya Africa and was part of the Multi-National Peace Keeping Forces in Beirut, Lebanon with the 31st MAU in 1983. Involved in helping stabilize Somalia in 1993-94 and participated in operations in the Old and New Ports and Operations show Care in the Merca and Quryooley areas of Somalia and More Care at the Old Port. Also participated in Exercises Infinite Moonlight in Jordan in August 1995 and Eager Mace in Kuwait September and October 1995.
Gunny Retired in July of 2001, moved to Mesa, AZ in 2002 and joined the VFW post 1760 in October of 2002. Gunny is an ordain minister and has served the post as Chaplain from 2005-2011 and is currently Chaplain again. He has since also earned his Master’s Degree in Education and currently works for the University of Phoenix. Gunny has also served his community in many capacities such serving as: Jr. Past Commandant and Young Marine Liaison for the Saguaro Detachment Marine Corps League; Chaplain, and Young Marine Liaison for the Department of AZ Marine Corps League. Commanding Officer, Grand Canyon Regiment of the Young Marines, Commanding Officer, East Valley Young Marines, Co-Founder and Past President, Mesa Veterans Parade Association, Chaplain/Charter Member, Marine Corps Recruiters Association, Devil Dog, Road Runner Pound 112, Military Order of Devil Dogs, Life-Member DAV Chapter 8, News Letter Editor American Legion Post 39, Veteran Volunteer, Joe Foss Institute, Member, United States Field Artillery Association, Board Member, City of Mesa Parks and Recreation Board 2006-2009, and currently serves in several Toastmasters Clubs in the valley. Gunny is also active in his church (Desert Gateway Baptist Church, Gilbert, AZ) and is involved with the Missions Partner Program and is the Ministry Leader for the Baptist Bunker military ministry. He is married to the love of my life (Mary) for the last 29 years and three children two grown daughters and a son 17 still living at home. Besides all this, Gunny enjoys fishing, shooting, hunting, reading, and hanging out with his family. He does have a hobby that is a little unusual and that he is a leather Crafter. He make wallets, purses, holsters, and just about anything else you can think of out of leather. Gunny has been to many different countries but two most interesting are the Seychelles Islands and the City of PETRA in Jordan. One of Gunny’s favorite quotes is: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR OTHERS?”. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
Bob Burns was born in Anaconda, Montana in April 1946. His family later moved to Butte in 1958 and is a graduate of Butte High school. Bob worked in several jobs around town such as “pin setting” at bowling alleys and paper delivery. After that he left home a little early on and joined the United States Navy in February of 1964.
After boot camp in RTC Great Lakes, he attended Submarine School in New London, Connecticut and then assigned duty to a WWII submarine USS Tunny (SSG-282) stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Submarine was refitted to a Regulus Missile Launcher. He served on board at the close of her missile patrols and continued to serve on board during the next re-fit to a new class of submarine designated APSS to be a troop carrier. Petty Officer Burns was later reassigned to the USS Perch (SS-313) out of Subic Bay for 4 months, transporting Special Ops into and out of Vietnam. Petty officer Burns ratings were Engineman qualified Submarines and a Scuba Diver. In 1968 Petty Officer Burns was out to Fleet Reserve status, and honorably discharged in 1970.
Bob Burns joined the VFW Post 1760 in 2002. He has served on various committees and was appointed to the Quartermaster office for transition to an online accounting system. He has worked with several improvement projects in the Club Committee and Hall during this time. He has also represented the VFW post when the Veterans Day Parade was turned over from a City of Mesa function to a volunteer organization and still does today. Bob is also a representative for Post 1760 with working with the City of Mesa in forming the Veterans Task Force to make Mesa, Arizona a “Veteran Friendly Community”.
Public Relations Chairman
Youth Programs Chairman
District 4 Judge Advocate
Dan Wilson was born in Los Gatos, California in March of 1971. He grew up in the Bay Area (San Jose, Ca), working a couple jobs as a teenager being a newspaper boy, and later as a gas station attendant. Dan graduated from Leigh High School in 1989. After one semester at West Valley (Community) College and having worked at other jobs, he decided to join the military. Like his father before him, he chose the US Navy.
On May 12th, 1992 he left for MEPS in Oakland, Ca and then off to RTC Great Lakes, Il for boot camp and Engineman “A” school. Following that education, he transferred to San Diego, Ca for “C” school (Auxiliaries). In June, 1993 he reported to his first command on board the USS Fife (DD991), a Spruance class destroyer forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. The ship having just returned from deployment went through a refit period, followed by participating in Exercise ‘Cobra Gold’ in 1994 and again in 1995. Dan finished his time on board participating in a ceremonial port visit to Vladivostok, Russia before transferring to his next duty station.
After some more school in San Diego Dan reported in October 1995 to USS Benfold (DDG65) in the last phase of shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Ms. The Arleigh Burke class destroyer finished in February and transferred to San Diego, Ca via the Panama Canal, and commissioned to service in March 1996. After completing several qualifications for the ship, USS Benfold left for its first deployment to the Persian Gulf in August 1997, returning in February 1998. During deployment the USS Benfold and crew were a part of the beginning of Operation Desert Thunder, and were the primary Tomahawk platform enforcing the no-fly zone with special focus on the U2 flights. Later after returning to home port in 1998 the ship and crew was awarded the Spokane Trophy. Dan next transferred to reserve duty status serving on a reserve duty detachment in San Diego to the USS Frank Cable (AS-40) (a submarine tender home ported in Guam) to June of 1999.
After being honorably discharged from the service, Dan came to visit his mother in Arizona that turned into an extended stay. He went to school and has since earned and received an Associate of Arts in Communications, Associate of Occupational Studies in PC/Network Technology, and is a full time student working towards his Bachelor of Computer Science in Computer Information Systems. Dan found out about the VFW at a friend’s wedding in 2011, came to visit the Post the following January and signed up that day. Dan has served as Commander and Trustee, is also currently serving as District 4 Judge Advocate for a second term, and has worked on several projects with and for Post 1760. “I finally found after a substantial amount of time from leaving the service, a place where I could connect with others at Post 1760.”