Veterans and Supporters Individual Accomplishment

These individuals are some of the most exemplary representatives of the veteran and supporter community, able to bridge the gap between the veteran and civilian population by educating and increasing the understanding between them. These individuals work to make the veteran experience a reality, and have dedicated their careers to pursuing their goals and achieving great success in all of their endeavors.

Dr. Patrick Scannon M.D. Ph.D., Project Recover

For more than a quarter of a century, Dr. Scannon has used what little spare time he has had to search for and find Americans missing in action. This has resulted in the location of dozens of MIA associated sites around the world and the repatriation of many long lost service members. The vast majority of these missions were conducted without using outside resources. In recent years, Dr. Scannon’s success has resulted in the creation of partnerships with organizations like Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of Delaware, and more. This has furthered Dr. Scannon’s positive impact on the national community. His efforts have resulted in and contributed to the return of lost Americans, the healing of families, expanding the education of the current generation, and much more.


David Goggins

David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL and is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training (including two Hell Weeks), the U.S. Army Ranger School (where he graduated as Enlisted Honor Man) and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. An accomplished endurance athlete, Goggins has completed over 60 ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons, setting new course records and regularly placing in the top five. He once held the Guinness World Record for pull-ups completing 4,030 in 17 hours, and he’s a sought after public speaker.

Over the years, he’s shared his story with hundreds of thousands of students across the country, numerous professional sports teams, and the staff at Fortune 500 companies.


Leslie Nicole Smith, VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans

Leslie Nicole Smith, a retired Army Captain, graduated from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia and received her commission from the Army ROTC program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Leslie was then assigned to the Nuclear Biological Chemical Corps, and also attended the Army Defense Information School, enabling her to serve as a Public Affairs Officer. Leslie deployed to Bosnia in September 2001 with the 29th Infantry Division for Stabilization Force 10 during Operation Joint Forge. While in Bosnia, Leslie developed a blood clot and returned stateside two weeks before the end of her deployment. She was immediately admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and diagnosed with a blood infection, resulting from exposure to a chemical agent or toxin. Ultimately, Leslie lost her left leg and she is now legally blind. Leslie was never discouraged by her losses and forged ahead. Her positive attitude carried over into her work at the USO and the Department of the Navy. Despite her challenges, Leslie is a dedicated advocate for veterans and serves as a Peer Mentor for the Wounded Warrior Project.

In 2007, Leslie served as a Wounded Warrior Advocate on the President George W. Bush Commission for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors. The following year, Leslie spoke at the Republican National Convention and proceeded to campaign as a Tier 1 Surrogate across the country for the McCain presidential campaign. She is also an active spokesperson for several organizations including Fatigues to Fabulous, the USO, the Fisher House Foundation, Canines for Veterans, Freedom Alliance, Operation Warrior Wishes, and the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. Most recently, Leslie has become
an Ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Travis Manion Foundation. She has appeared on Lifetime’s Project Runway All Stars to raise awareness for women veterans and on the daytime drama, Days of Our Lives, for a special veterans episode dedicated to PTSD. Leslie has shared her inspirational story across the country including the White House,
West Point, and Wall Street.


Tammie Jo Shults, Southwest Airlines

Tammie Jo Shults is a commercial airline captain and retired US Navy aviator. Known for being one of the first female fighter pilots to serve in the United States Navy, following active duty she became a pilot for Southwest Airlines. Shults joined Southwest Airlines, in 1993, where she is a captain. She served in the Navy from 1983 – 2001 as an F/A-18 Hornet and EA-6B Prowler pilot . On April 17, 2018, as captain of Flight 1380, she safely landed a Boeing 737-700 after the aircraft suffered an engine failure with debris causing an uncontrolled decompression of the plane. Shults made an emergency descent and landed in Philadelphia. Southwest Airlines officials and passengers noted her actions, calm demeanor, and competence during the emergency. Before she became a Southwest pilot, Shults was one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy. Shults initially had limited options in the Navy due to combat exclusion laws that prevented women from flying combat aircraft. But when the law was repealed in 1993, she became one of the first women to fly the Navy’s combat jets.