Volunteer Team Members
Ed “Cowboy” Lewis was born in New Orleans, La. and attended high school in southern Ohio. He served a total of 15 years in the U.S. Air Force, with a tour in Southeast Asia, finishing at Lackland AFB as a Drill Instructor. He now lives in Lacombe, La. with his wife Margaret. He has 3 children and 3 grandchildren.
Ed bought his first motorcycle in 1971 and has had one off and on ever since. Even though he has always enjoyed traveling on motorcycles, it wasn’t till 2005, that long distance riding for charities was introduced to him. Since he has traveled over 110,000 miles riding for charities. To date, his longest ride was from Florida to Alaska. The trip was over 14,000 plus miles in 21 days. .
Ed was the creator of We Care Teddy Bears, stuffed bears that would be collected by donations and distributed to children hospitalized during the holidays. Ed is our "boots on the ground" in the Gulf Coast area. We could not be more thrilled.
Founder, Ride of the Brotherhood
Carlos was born in the Bronx Borough of New York to Puerto Rican parents. He grew up playing sports and attending Catholic schools. Upon graduation from High School, he went to boot camp. Carlos graduated Paris Island Marine Corps recruit depot in November of 1985. Carlos served with Marine Aircraft Group 12 and 1st Battalion 6th Marines both as a Supply Administration Clerk. At the end of his contract, Carlos was hired by the NYC Dept of Corrections. Carlos met his wife Barbara and they have four beautiful children and one granddaughter. Carlos worked as a Corrections Officer on Rikers Island one of the most dangerous jail facilities in the nation. When Carlos retired, he heard a higher calling to serve the Lord. In 2011 Carlos was ordained a permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Brooklyn where he currently serves as Director of the Diocesan retreat center and Assistant Spiritual director of the Diocesan Hispanic youth group Jornada de Vida Cristiana. Carlos also serves as Chaplain to the Long Island chapter of the Leathernecks MC. Spartan Alliance is thrilled to welcome Carlos as a Volunteer. He will assist during our Spartan Weekend’s to assist Veterans and their Caregivers, enrich lives and be of service.
Founder, Project Miller 22 Plus 1
Margie Miller was born and raised in Queens, NY. With hard work and a positive mindset, she threw caution to the wind and started her own successful small business in 2014. Married for 25 years. 2 children, a son Keith and a daughter Autumn.
Her son Keith enlisted in the US Marine Corps and entered the Delayed Entry Program. Keith shipped out for boot camp in February of 2012 and graduated from Parris Island in May of 2012. Margie never forgot where she came from and wanted to give back to those less fortunate, from adopting children in need at Christmas time, volunteering at the soup kitchen, raising money for Breast Cancer, etc. Margie went on to join the Blue Star Mothers of America, local Chapter NY6 in August of 2012. She was very active in the chapter volunteering to help with fundraisers, events, troop packings, supporting other local military organizations, non-profits, etc. She held a board position, as Recording Secretary for 2 years. In 2017, she was the national organizations Convention Chair and continues to hold that position for the year 2018. Tragically, on September 1, 2015, Cpl. Keith A. Miller died by suicide. Again, faced with adversity, she knew that her son’s death could not be in vain. She set out with a purpose and determination to bring awareness to the unfathomable daily number of veteran and active duty suicides. Just a few short months after her son's death, Margie volunteered with Spartan Alliance. She also organized Project Miller / 22 Plus 1, a 22-day cross country journey by motorcycle which started in Yuma, AZ and ended in East Islip, NY to bring awareness to veteran and active duty suicide. The ride served 3 purposes; (1) To show our veterans that we care and have their backs -IGY6 (2) To honor and remember all those veterans and active duty that have died by suicide (3) To bring awareness to those outside of the military communities, with awareness comes prevention.
Margie continues to serve in whatever capacity she can to help our wounded warriors from both their visible and invisible wounds along their families.
Lori Hebert was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2006 she married her high school sweetheart- Adam Hebert. After graduating high school she followed him to Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he served in the US Army as part of the 82nd Airborne Division. Following a short served OIF tour her husband was injured and medically discharged sending them back home to Louisiana. They currently reside in Gonzales, Louisiana and have 3 beautiful children. Aside from her life as a mom and caregiver, she also works full time as a claims adjuster and has done so for the last 7 years. Majority of her spare time is spent at the softball field watching her daughter play travel softball or spending time with her husband and kids at LSU football or baseball games.She loves music and dancing and when she has the extra time she also enjoys crafting or doing DIY projects.
Although her journey has been shorter than most, she has unfortunately seen first hand the reality of PTSD and veteran suicide and the effects it has not only on the veteran but also on their loved ones. While Lori is a fairly new addition to our Spartan Alliance family she has devoted her heart and soul into the mission to help connect and assist our heroes and their caregivers. She is greatly passionate about advocating for the caregivers of our veterans as she too has experienced the stress and heartache that goes along with loving or caring for a wounded veteran. Her goal is to bring awareness to veteran suicide and mental health and to create an outlet where veterans and their caregivers feel comfortable to reach out for help and for them to know that they are not alone.
Shannon was raised in Orange Park, FL. She grew up in a family with a rich military history and was raised with a sincere respect for our troops. In 2000, at age 28, she married her husband (30), who joined the Army shortly thereafter. While her spouse deployed to Iraq for three separate tours she assisted with and later ran the unit’s Family Readiness Group. Her husband came home from Iraq after his 3rd tour a different man and was diagnosed with combat PTSD. Shortly thereafter he was involved in an accident which injured his back and gave him a traumatic brain injury. He was medically retired in 2008 due to the PTSD and they moved home to Orange Park, FL with their two sons. Upon their return, she attempted to work outside the home, but quickly found he required her to be his full-time caregiver and advocate.
In her spare time, she attends college and is in her senior year of working to achieve a double B.A. in sociology and politics, with the intention of using it to advocate for veterans issues. For fun, she and the family attend music events and local concerts and festivals. Any time left over is spent caring for her garden or chickens or playing in their pool.
As a caregiver herself, she worries about the needs of other caregivers and has organized and volunteered at several retreats. She believes they are essential to the mental health of caregivers, not only for the respite time but also for the camaraderie and understanding that can only be found in others in similar situations. She knows the benefits of retreats go far beyond the weekend, having made lifelong friends at them herself.