The Phoenix Team
He was born in a small town in Massachusetts. Raised by a Marine father and a Portuguese immigrant mother. Taught valuable life disciplines and early age. Among those were respect, honor, and courage.
His father trained him to fight like a Marine. Training him to know all the disciplines and strategies needed to survive in this world. His mother taught him how to be a gentleman, to stand tall and to live a life worth writing about.
Of all the things his parents taught him in life, the greatest was learning how to love like Christ. To show compassion. To Sacrifice it all for the sake of another.
He now leads a mission of hope. Reaching into the lives of the men and women who have been willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. As president and founder of Mission Phoenix he is leading the course of action in the endeavor to reverse the number of lives lost due to complications of veteran PTSD.
“Greater Love has no man than this, that he would give up his life for his friend.” For those who have been willing to give so much, we should be willing to give more.
Semper Orentiem – Always Rising.
Josh Gagnier |
Rob Rathbun |
Raymond R. Rathbun (Rob)
Much of who I am finds its roots in my upbringing. I was raised in a Christian home in a small agricultural community in upstate NY. The core values that were instilled in me are a love of God, Family, and Country. These values are the moral compass that guide me to this day.
Community service was always a big part of my family life. I served as a volunteer Fire Fighter, EMT, and Red Cross Instructor, and I was also very active in my church, working with the youth.
I was 27, married, and had my first of six children when I joined the Army Reserve. Having a child caused me to consider God’s goodness in allowing me to live in a free country and the sacrifice of men and women that fought for my freedom. How could I ask others to do something I was unwilling to do myself? I didn’t want to be a career Soldier but wanted to be willing to fight if needed, and the Army Reserve was the perfect answer to my moral dilemma.
I joined the Army in 2000 and did my Basic Combat Training at FT Knox, KY, and Advanced Individual Training at FT Lenordwood, MO. My duty assignments included the C-368th Engineer Company, 844th Engineer Battalion, 316th Mobile Augmentation Company, and the 1-100th Engineer Instructors Battalion. I did missions in South Korea, Romania, and Guatemala, along with stateside community projects.
I also served two Combat tours with a combined total of two and a half years in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
As I worked my way through the ranks, I served as Team Leader, Squad Leader, Counter Mobility Platoon Sargent, Taskforce Battle Staff, and 12-B (Combat Engineer) Instructor.
I retired in 2021 as an E-7 (Sargeant First Class) with 21 years of military service.
I considered it an honor when asked to be a part of Mission Phoenix.
In the last few years, I have lost four Battle Buddies to the silent killer known as PTSD. I was forced to ask myself what the difference between them and me was.
I had hard times in my service; probably the hardest was coming home from combat. The Army has structure and order; Soldiers do what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it. You have gone from an environment where people are actively trying to kill you to an environment where people get upset over cold coffee. Every piece of trash on the side of the road causes your heart rate to climb, and every firework or backfiring car causes you to jump. You may appear calm and cool on the outside, but you are raging on the inside, and you often snap at the people that love you the most as a form of venting.
I am so blessed to have a loving, godly wife and church family. Neither of us walked through the adjustment perfectly, but by God’s grace, we walked through it. She, too, had to work through a lot. I was not the only one wrestling, and I was not the only one making a sacrifice. She filled both roles in our home and raising our children alone, watching the news about the war, not hearing from me for months, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. This trial before us could either tear us apart or draw us closer, but the days of suppressing emotion and feelings needed to be gone. There is a time for every Soldier to get over the “suck it up and drive on” mentality and say, I need help.
That is why I am a part of Mission Phoenix. I don’t have all the answers, but I am willing to walk through this valley with anyone willing to accept help. PTSD is my new battlefield; if you let me, I’ve got your six.
COLONEL RICHARD W. FOGG
Richard Wayne Fogg, Colonel, USAF (Ret.) was born 25 July, 1961 in Keesler AFB Biloxi, Mississippi. He has spent a lifetime in the military first as a dependent and then serving on active duty. He was born in a military hospital, attended Department of Defense Schools, met his wife on a military base, received all of his education while in the military, God saved him in a military chapel; every significant event in his life happened while in the military.
Colonel Fogg loves God, his family, and the United States of America. He was a graduate from the Florida State University, where he earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Operations Management in 1988. Colonel Fogg enlisted in the Air Force in 1982 and served in the Accounting and Finance career field. He commissioned through the Air Force Officer Training School in 1990, and has served in comptroller positions at all management levels—wing, major command and Air Force headquarters and has commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels and has served as the Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Financial Management. He earned an MBA from Webster University in 2001, and a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in 2009.
Colonel Fogg held a variety of significant command and staff positions, with his final assignment as Director, CJ8, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, Headquarters, Resolute Support, Kabul, Afghanistan. Colonel Fogg retired from active duty on 1 January, 2018 culminating 35 years of active-duty service.
His special actions and deployments include: As the contingency budget analyst in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 he was responsible for planning, programming, and budgeting Defense Emergency Relief Funds, Overseas Contingency Operations Funds, and Global War on Terrorism Funds working in the Air Force and OSD Crisis Action Team for recovery and response. As the Comptroller Squadron Commander at Keesler AFB, Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina he was responsible for preparing supplemental appropriations and overseeing financial management support for recovery and reconstitution. Assigned to Incirlik AB, Turkey in support of Operations Northern Watch and Provide Comfort. Deployed to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force and Joint Task Force Headquarters in Jordan with forward deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Deployed to Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command in Qatar with forward deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Deployed to NATO Training Mission/Combined Security Transition Command in Afghanistan in support of Operation Resolute Support.
His military education included Basic Military Training, Officer Training School, Financial Management Staff Officer Course, Professional Military Comptroller School, Squadron Officer School, Army Command and General Staff College, and the National War College.
His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (with three Oak Leaf Clusters); Meritorious Service Medal (with six Oak Leaf Clusters); Joint Service Commendation Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster) Air Force Achievement Medal; Air Force Recognition Ribbon; National Defense Service Medal (with bronze service star); Southwest Asia Service Medal (with bronze service star); Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with bronze service star); Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with (bronze service star); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal; NATO Medal – Afghanistan; German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency in Gold.
Richard Fogg |
Zebulon Golder |
Growing up in South Dakota farm country to Christian parents was a blessing from God. We were the Cornbelt Conference and hot rod dreamers until the realization of adulthood struck like a tornado on the great plains. I grew up with a wild streak, one that seemed to keep me just on the edge however the Spirit seemed to always pull me back to centerline. What opportunities awaited me in farm country USA without an impressive GPA and no family farmland to work? The military son! So, with my bag packed with work ethic instilled by my parents I took my first real significant trip out of my home state and moved in with the USAF in San Antonio Texas at Lackland Air Force Base.
Amber has been with Mission Phoenix since the beginning. She has taken up the passion of her husband Josh, in the fight to help Veterans and their Families battle PTS.
Amber has a degree in Law Enforcement. She moved with her family to Tennessee in the year 2000. Her husband is Josh Gagnier president of Mission Phoenix. She home schooled their only daughter, and organized a home school co-op that she administered for 5 years, helping to develop lesson plans and programs to teach innovative learning. Her desire was always to teach students to love learning. She spends her time volunteering in her local church, and is currently working on finishing her NANC certification for counseling. She is the head of Events and is working on programs as coach to Veteran spouses.