Saluting Stories of Service Gala 2023

Join us for an evening to recognize our Veterans' legacy of service and their impact on our next generation. Our vibrant event raises funds to support the continuation and growth of our after-school character and civic education program.


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Save the Date - March 11, 2023

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5:00 PM
Cocktail Reception & Mystery Boxes

6:00 PM
Award Presentations and Special Guests
Live Auction

Chateau Luxe

Sponsorship Opportunities

Our Honorees

Jim Kelsey
Guest of Honor
COL James H.P. Kelsey US Army, Retired, will receive the Storyteller Award. Since 2010, Jim has shared stories with thousands of students and community members about his 30 years of infantry, special forces, and military intelligence service. Jim deployed in 1965 to Vietnam, where his unit, A Company, 1/35, 25th Infantry Division, a three-rifle platoon company, was the first in the history of the Army to win both the Presidential Unit Citation and the Valorous Unit Citation in a single year of combat. Of the 44 men who went to Vietnam together, only 8 returned. Jim became a Green Beret, and completed a second tour in Vietnam as an infantry company commander. He then branch transferred to Military Intelligence where he served at levels of command up to brigade including having supervision of 3200 "Jason Bourne" military and civilian operators in Europe during the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Jim also served as the Army’s principal liaison with the CIA, NSA and DIA during Operation Desert Storm. Jim retired in 1995 as Chief of Staff and Garrison Commander at Fort Huachuca, AZ.
Jim’s awards include 5 Legion of Merit, 5 Bronze Star (One with V Device), 3 Purple Heart, the Combat infantry Badge, General Staff Badge, Parachute Badge, and Special Forces Tab.
Special Guest
MAJ GEN Barbara G. Fast, US Army, Retired, our Special Guest, worked with Jim in military intelligence in Germany, where she directed the joint interrogation centers that all West Berlin refugees passed through. MAJ GEN Fast held several key positions during her 32 years of service, including becoming the Army's first female to run an infantry division as Deputy Chief of Staff, G2, 2nd Armored Division; and as Director of Intelligence (C2) Multinational Forces-Iraq and Combined Joint Task Force-7, Operation Iraqi Freedom, she sat in on the interrogation of Saddam Hussein. Additional notable positions include Director of Intelligence (J2), U.S. European Command; Commanding General, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca; Director, S1, Signals Intelligence Directorate, and Assistant Deputy Director of Operations, Military Support/Deputy Director, Central Security Services, National Security Agency (NSA/CSS); Commander, 66th Military Intelligence Group; Commander, 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion.
MAJ GEN Fast currently serves as the President/CEO of BGF Enterprises LLC, a consulting services business for intelligence, cybersecurity, and operational activities, and sits on the Board of various businesses and non-profits.
Alumni Service Award

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VHP will also recognize a former student with the Alumni Service Award, sponsored by the Reifschneider Family Philanthropy Fund. Alumni Service Award recipients demonstrate the positive result of the program. They have integrity. They set goals and pursue excellence.  They engage with the community by giving back. In essence, they emulate their veterans. 

Nomination Form →

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Highlights from 2022 Gala

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At the March 5, 2022 Saluting Stories of Service Gala, Franklin P. Lambert received Veterans Heritage Project's Storyteller Award and VHP Alumna student, 1st Lt. Barbara S. Ripa received the Alumni Service Award.  Medal of Honor Recipient LTC (Ret.) James M. Sprayberry, was the evening's special guest, helping to recognize Frank and share their combined service story from Vietnam.

Photo Gallery from 2022 Gala →