CEO & Chair, Board of Trustees
Until his death in 2005, Eilhys England Hackworth was wife, partner, co-author and muse to the late Colonel David H. Hackworth — our country’s most valor-decorated soldier since the Civil War. Ms. England Hackworth maintains her deathbed promise to chair Stand For The Troops (SFTT), the 501(c)(3) educational foundation the couple founded and dedicated to safeguarding the physical, mental and emotional well-being of America’s frontline serving and returning troops, by overseeing SFTT’s activities and keeping a current focus.
So committed was England Hackworth to her late husband and his vision, she walked away from a high profile career as a Mad woman on Madison Avenue to more fully support Hackworth on the issues of accountability and reform in the United States military, working with him for almost 20 years to ensure that America’s warriors always receive the right stuff.
Recently, with one in five injured Soldiers and Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan affected by combat-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and a shocking 66 Vets attempting suicide daily – with at least 22 succeeding – England Hackworth and SFTT president Maj. Gen. John Batiste have established a Rescue Coalition to raise awareness of and destigmatize PTS and identify, develop and support smarter more effective treatments for both PTS and TBI. The goal: to help our most at-risk Vets get the timely treatment they need to survive and transition back to our American way of life they put their own lives on hold to protect.
Because of SFTT’s projected budget increases, England Hackworth has also stepped away from two of her greatest loves, screenplay writing and movie-making. She and Keith Buckler founded DragonDeeds LLC and have joined with other like minded entrepreneurs to both trade commodities and develop and facilitate funding for transformational technologies – a primary object being to tithe generously to SFTT.
Maj. Ben Richards
Director of Veterans Operations
Ben Richards is a former Army officer and combat-disabled veteran. While commanding an Armored Cavalry Troop in Iraq in 2007, Ben survived an attack by a suicide bomber driving a sedan laden with hundreds of pounds of explosives that destroyed his 22-ton armored vehicle. A few weeks later he suffered a second TBI from the blast of a road-side Improvised Explosive Device (IED). He was subsequently medically retired from the Army as a result of his “invisible wounds.”
After five years of traditional “standard model of care” treatment for TBI and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that did little to improve his condition or functionality, SFTT helped to provide Ben with a series of safe, effective medical treatments, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Low-Level Light Therapy, Neurofeedback, and autologous mesenchymal stem cell therapy, that have helped him get much of his life back.
Ben is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and Georgetown University. He currently lives in western Iowa with his wife and four children.
Yuval Neria, PhD
SFTT Scientific Advisor
Dr. Yuval Neria is our scientific advisor, and is currently funded by our foundation to conduct clinical trials testing innovative technologies for service members with PTSD. Dr. Neria is Professor of Medical Psychology at the Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, and Director of Trauma and PTSD at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He completed his studies in philosophy (BA), political science (BA) and clinical psychology (MA) in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and received his doctorate (PhD) in psychology from the Haifa University, Israel.
Dr. Neria joined Columbia University in 2002, and since then has led and collaborated on numerous epidemiological, clinical, and neuroimaging studies in trauma and PTSD. In the last five years, Neria’s lab is focused on translational research aiming to identify highly needed behavioral and neural markers for trauma related psychopathology. By using multimodal brain imaging (MRI; fMRI, CBV) and a number of novel paradigms focusing on fear circuitry, his lab was able to probe new biomarkers of PTSD, and to identify structural and functional neural markers of clinical response to PTSD treatment.
Dr. Neria has authored more than 180 articles and book chapters, a war novel, and co-edited 4 textbooks focusing on the mental health consequences of exposure to trauma.
Vice Chair / Secretary, Board of Trustees
A career Marine Corps officer from 1967 to 1990, Roger Charles has enjoyed a second career as an award-winning investigative journalist. He was a member in 2004 of the 60 Minutes II production team that earned a Peabody Award for the segment “Abuse at Abu Ghraib.”
Among his other journalistic achievements: Charles was awarded a Medal for Excellence in Investigative Reporting by journalism’s Investigative Reporters and Editors (I.R.E.) association for his 1992 Newsweek cover story, “Sea of Lies,” and was an Emmy finalist for best investigative piece for the Nightlight Special “The USS Vincennes: Public War, Secret War” in 1992.
For television, Charles has served as a consulting investigative reporter and contributor to segment development for 20/20 (a special project on the Oklahoma City bombing), ABC World News Tonight, Nightline, Frontline, Prime Time Live, BBC News, and CNN, among others.
Charles has served as an advisor on numerous stories for various print and electronic media outlets including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and The New Yorker. He has been published in Newsweek, Insight, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Tribune, Soldier of Fortune, Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute, and the Marine Corps Gazette, where he served as editorial board member from 1987-1989. In 1996, Charles broke the story of the fraudulent use of combat insignia by Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations.
“I saw while I was on active duty that many of the national media that cover security and defense issues are truly ill-informed about basic things they need to perform their job properly,” says Charles of his shift to a civilian role as an investigative journalist specializing in a range of national security issues. “This just destroys any kind of credibility this reporting has for any military audience.”
In 1998, Soldiers For The Truth Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan, apolitical, educational foundation whose purpose is meaningful reform of the U.S. defense establishment, was formed, with Charles serving as the editor-in-chief of its newsletter, Voice of the Grunt. Charles remained active on the non-profit’s Board of Trustees until December 2004, when an ailing Hackworth asked him to assume the foundation presidency and Charles now fills the role of Vice Chair, “The foundation was created around three issues: leadership, training, and equipment,” says Charles. “Think of a stool with three legs. Remove any one of those legs and the stool falls apart.”
Maj. Gen. John Batiste, US Army (Ret)
President, Board of Trustees
A commissioned infantry officer from West Point, John Batiste served the US Army for over 31 years. A two-time combat veteran his combat and peace enforcement experience includes deployments to Saudi Arabia and Iraq during Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm and Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1995 to 1996 and, years later, Kuwait.
While working for the Deputy Secretary of Defense, he was involved in the early planning stages of the Afghanistan war and Iraq war. He was promoted to major general in 2002 and was deployed to Iraq from February 2004 to March 2005.
After retiring from the Army as a major general in November, 2005, Batiste entered into the private sector. He is president and CEO of Klein Steel, in Rochester, New York. As of June 2011, he is a member of the board of advisors of the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, a board and executive committee member of the Metals Service Center Institute, a board member of the Rochester-based Veterans Outreach Center, the president of the Rochester Regional Veterans Business Council, and chair of the Warrior Salute Advisory Board (a non-profit focused on treating veterans with PTS).
Treasurer, Board of Trustees
Bob served with the 229th Aviation Battalion (First Cavalry Division) in the Republic of Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. He received a commission and extended in Vietnam as the battalion aviation safety officer. He served as division artillery aviation officer, artillery battery executive officer and troop commander at Fort Hood, Texas before separating from the service in 1971.
He spent 25 years in the civilian nuclear power industry in Arkansas, Georgia and at the Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington, D.C. In the nuclear industry, he began as a training manager, with responsibilities continuing in the areas of operations, maintenance and support services, and industry and government relations.
Bob is presently a National market manager for the 3M Company in Washington, D.C., working with legislators and government agencies in the areas of homeland security, disaster relief, incident response, and energy conservation.
Maura Kallaway has been an integral member of the Stand for the Troops (SFTT) team since 2001. In those early days, the Foundation’s mission was to ensure our troops were properly outfitted for combat to improve their chances to make it home alive and in one piece. But as military suicides began growing at an alarming rate, SFTT became dedicated to safeguarding the physical and emotional well-being of America’s frontline and returning troops by identifying and supporting effective therapies for Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury. Maura is honored to be part of SFTT and serve the men and women who sacrifice for our great nation.
She studied graphic design and photo journalism at Southern Connecticut State University and began her career as Creative Specialist for TSI International. She then became an Art Director for Tools for Living, producing their catalog and creating magazine mail order sections for Conde Nast Magazines and Hearst Publications. Maura has also freelanced for Hanson Publication, Arrow Creative LTD, Sunhill Industries and The LifeStyle Resource. In addition to her work for SFTT, Maura is a partner in a soap making business and co-chairs the Communications Committee at the Gaelic American Club.