Board of Directors

AFWMF President, Jack R. Barnes, TX-click to read full bio

141110_BJack Randal Barnes, Chief Petty Officer, U. S. Navy Retired PERSONAL Two children; Son-Deputy Sheriff, Gunnison, Colorado Daughter–USN Nurse, Camp Pendleton, California. Twin Brother – John is USN Retired CPO. EDUCATION: Bachelor of business degree – West Texas State University, Canyon, Texas, 1978. ORGANIZATIONS: Member, Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Aviation Committee, 1982-1985 Founder, Texas Aviation Historical Society, 1987 Board of Directors Texas Aviation Historical Society, 1987-2005, President, 2005 Kiwanis Member of the Year, Amarillo Downtown Kiwanis Club, 2008 Founder, CEO, & President, America Supports You – Texas, 2005-2012 Member, Amarillo Downtown Kiwanis Club, 2007-Present Chairman, Texas Panhandle Honor Flight Committee, 2008-2012 EXPERIENCE: Served 24 years active duty in the USN, 1971-1995 Retired from active duty USN in September 1995 Mathematics Teacher at Tascosa High School, Amarillo, Texas, 1995-2009 Retired from public school teaching on April 2009

AFWMF Vice President, Kathryn Taylor, Mo-click to read full bio

Kathryn Taylor is a founder of the American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation.

Kathryn Taylor earned her BSN-RN from Westminster College in Salt Lake City Utah, in 1993. She worked as charge nurse at the University of Utah Psychiatric ICU. She was the Director of Nursing for Sandy Home Health in Sandy, Utah until the birth of her daughter in 1998. In addition to her volunteer work for the AFWMF, Kathryn is currently pursuing a masters degree from the University Of Maryland University College, UMUC, in healthcare informatics. Kathryn Taylor lives in Springfield, Missouri and has 3 daughters.

Kathryn Taylor said, “My family and I are the beneficiaries of men and woman who have made great sacrifices for our freedom. My children have never known a time that our country was not in conflict or at war. As I am afforded the luxury of watching my children grow and enjoy the inherent freedoms that have been granted to them by birthright of our country. I can’t help but think of those who have provided us with such privilege.”

“I have often been asked, “Why are you doing this and what makes you qualified.” To this my only answer is, I am qualified because I have benefited from the sacrifices being made and if not me, then who?”

Marci Ware, Secretary-Treasurer, TN- click to read full bio

Marci A. Ware has been employed with the City of Knoxville for 19 years.  She is currently a Principal Secretary with the Knoxville Police Department Training Academy. Marci works closely with new Officers who are military veterans as a School Certifying Official in an effort to ensure that they receive the education benefits (GI Bill) due them for attending and completing Basic Recruit Training.  In addition to her regular duties she serves as the secretary for the Training Committee. Marci received her Associate of Science degree in May of 2001 from Pellissippi State Technical Community College.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude and received the Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Graduate award for 2001.  In addition, she was named as Who’s Who among Students in American Junior Colleges in 2001. Marci has been active in her community as a volunteer for over 20 years.  In addition to volunteering in the school systems that her children attend she was also the Volunteer Treasurer for the West Knox Recreation Commission from 1999-2002 and served as the President/Vice President for Bearden Boys Basketball Boosters from 05/2004-05/2009. Marci currently lives in Knoxville, TN with her 3 children.  In her spare times she enjoys the outdoors and has become an avid runner.  For the past two years she has traveled to Washington DC to run in the Army Ten Miler (a tradition she hopes to continue until running is no longer an option) and is currently training for her first half marathon.

Board Member, Randy Jernigan, FL-click to read full bio

For the past 7 years, Randy has served as president of Cornerstone Service Group, an organization he founded to help the homeless, preparing them to rejoin the societal mainstream. Since its inception in 2004, Cornerstone has placed a special emphasis on helping homeless veterans, who are homeless at a rate disporportiante to the rest of the population. Randy’s passion for service is not limited to helping Americans. He spent nearly three months in Indonesia teaching English in some of the poorest villages on the planet. Additionally, Randy also spent a week in a poor Puerto Rican neighborhood, repairing storm-damaged homes with Habitat for Humanity.

Randy’s love of serving among America’s poorer ranks developed while working as a youth counselor at an inner city YMCA. From there, he went on to become a case worker for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (Office of Juvenile Studies). Additionally, while in college, Randy founded an award-winning campus organization called Club Zero. During its first semester in operation, Club Zero was honored as “Best Campus Organization” by the university, won the “Outstanding University Service Award” from the Hispanic Student Association, “Most Creative Volunteer Organization” from Volunteer! UWF (University of West Florida), and “Best Volunteer Organization” from Hospice of Emerald Coast. Club Zero reorganized was incorporated with the State of Florida to become Cornerstone Service Group, which continues the legacy of mobilizing volunteers in service under the motto, “America’s compassion is her cornerstone.”

Board Member, Becky Johnson, IN - click here to read bio

1414917_10200764932670390_2085631797_nBecky Johnson was born and raised on the south side of Indianapolis, but moved to Kentucky for approximately 16 years. She moved back to Indianapolis in 2000. Her son, SSG Gary “Lee” Woods Jr. was born and raised in Kentucky. He lived in Shepherdsville, KY for the majority of his short life. He graduated from Bullitt Central High School in 2002. In February of 2003 he entered the US Army and did his Basic Training at Fort Knox. Lee was trained as a 19K Tanker. Upon completion of Basic Training he was sent to Fort Carson, Colorado where he became a part of 3rd ACR. He joined his unit in Fallujah Iraq in August of ’03 for his 1st deployment. For his second deployment he was still a part of 3rd ACR and they were deployed to Tal Afar Iraq in March of ’05. After returning from this deployment he was re-assigned to 2-4 ID 1/67 AR. He deployed with this unit in September of 08 to Kirkuk and later the unit moved on to Mosul. He was KIA along with 4 other soldiers by a suicide bomber driving a dump truck carrying 10,000 pounds of explosives. On April 10, 2009, Good Friday, “I got that knock at the door that all Military Moms never want to get. That was the day that my life, as I had known it to be, forever changed. It is hard at my age to learn how to live a new way of life. A life without ever being able to tell my son I love him, I am proud of him and all his accomplishments, a life without ever being able to hug him and touch him.” Since his death, Becky has searched for a “new purpose” in life. She decided that he would want her to reach out to the other Gold Star Parents. She started a private group on Facebook called Gold Star Parents Brigade. The definition of a brigade is “a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment.” She decided on this name because: 1) We are a military formation as parents of fallen soldiers 2) We are composed of 2 battalions, Moms & Dads 3) We support each other! Currently they have 629 Gold Star Parents from all over the United States as members, and this number grows daily! This group is a “safe haven” of sorts where we can support each other, share our memories, cry together, and laugh together. It has been a healing ground for many parents. “I will continue to reach out to parents and to help them keep the memories of our heroes alive, and let those parents know that they have, even though it was unsought, they have joined a VERY large family – but it is one that will welcome them with open arms, large shoulders to cry on, and has the gift of listening!”

Suzanne Wagstaff