Please join us in celebrating our 56 banner recipients for 2023. With stories across decades of service and all branches of the military, we are honored to share their stories with you. This program is the smallest token of our gratitude for the sacrifice our active service members or retired veterans provide to protect the freedoms we hold dear. Please feel free to explore all of the banners with a walking tour, and share some pictures online for those that could not join us. When you explore the banners in DT Mesa, feel free to use the hashtag #MesaVeterans and we’ll share your post.

2023 Hometown Heroes Banner Map

(Please search by last name by clicking on a letter range below)

A-C  |  D-F  |  H-K  |  M-Q  |  R-T  | U-Z


A-C  [Top]

Albert Arbizu

Albert served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969.


Victor Arroyo

Victor served in the Vietnam war when he was injured on duty. He was on a day patrol out in the field and going through the villages. He went through a village that was thought to be cleared but unfortunately there were some people still there and he was shot in the leg. He also witnessed his platoon Sergeant jump on a grenade to save his men as well as many other atrocities. He is an amazing man. Victor worked 2-3 jobs for most of his life and is still very proud to be a Marine. He has the best personality and is loved by so many.

Jordan Austin-Wilhelm

Jordan is an exceptional human being. He is one amazing son. The absolute best big brother/role model. He is also a wonderful husband. Jordan originally joined the USMC to follow in his fathers foot steps. He strives to do his best every day. He has earned the title Corporal. Jordan is very proud to serve and protect the country he loves.

Toby Baca

Toby served in the U.S. Marines from 1967 to 1969, during the Vietnam Era. He earned multiple purple hearts during his service.

Robert Bernard

Robert (Bob) served in Vietnam in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971.

George Bliss

George attended the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1963 to 1967, where he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. From 1967 to 1971, George served on active duty as a regular officer and was promoted to First Lieutenant in 1969 and to Captain in 1970. In 1971, George served in the Air Force Reserves (inactive) until 1975.

Toni Breckel

Toni was drafted to the U.S. Army and served from 1966 to 1968, where he completed boot camp at Fort Lewis, Washington.

While serving, Toni aspired to become a medic planning to transition into sports medicine. He actively participated in basic training as he eagerly awaited his orders. Toni was excited when he was informed that an opportunity for medic training was available in Salt Lake City, however, he was unable to act on this opportunity as the facility would no longer be in operation.

Ultimately, Toni was then sent to Presidio (Fort Scott) San Francisco, CA, for MP training. During the remainder of his service, he had the opportunity to fly all over the United States assisting with prisoner escort extraditions.

Michael Bowen

He is a kind, loving, hardworking honorable man. A beautiful father and doting husband who volunteers when he can, is selfless and works hard at being there for others in need.

Mike Bowen

Mike is a wonderful man. He is kind, generous, and always there to help out anyone who needs him. He’s one of those men you can count in to give you good straightforward advice when others might be less direct, but he does it with such beautiful kindness that you can hear it and use it. Mike is one of my favorite people and everyone who loves him would be thrilled to see him honored this way. Being a veteran is a great source of pride for Mike, and I believe it is a source of strength and endurance for him, his family, and his community, when things are tough.

John Bunyard

John served with the Army National Guard, from 1981 to 1990. He was a lead tank mechanic.

David Campbell

David proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1990 to 1992.

Austin Cox

Austin was top in his class in learning Arabic and loved that the Marine Corps offered a sense of family, camaraderie, and belonging. He also worked in the armory and was proud to be amongst the bravest of men and women. The lessons and experiences he learned will forever carry him through the rest of his life and continue to shape him into the man he is today. We are blessed to have him in our family and thankful for his service and the sacrifice he made to keep us and our country safe.

D-G  [Top]

Bruce Davis

Bruce served in the U.S. Navy in 1970’s until 1992.

Ronald Doba

Ron is a hardworking dedicated individual and loving father and husband. He is very proud of the time he served his Country and continues to honor the values he learned in everything he does. During the time he served he participated in Operation Restore Hope (the peacekeeping and humanitarian mission in Somalia-1993).

James Duty 

Airborne Cryptologic Korean Linguist -Responsible for translating intelligence communications, Airborne Cryptologic Language Analysts utilize fluent foreign language skills to analyze messages obtained during flight. Providing threat warnings and actionable intelligence that can assist in mission planning, these highly skilled specialists are critical to keeping our missions successful and our Airmen safe.

Patricio Fernandez

Patricio served in the the U.S. Navy from 1969 until 1975.

Carl Forkner

Veteran of Operation El Dorado Canyon, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Noble Eagle

Christopher Gahan

Christopher served in the Navy’s Submarine Force as a nuclear engineer on three submarines’ during his career: USS Sculpin SSN 590, USS Patrick Henry SSBN 599 (Gold), and the USS Drum SSN 677. He was a Cold War Veteran and qualified in submarines in 1974.  Most of his shore duty assignments were at shipyards and submarine bases maintaining and repairing submarine nuclear power plants. He retired from the Navy as a Chief Warrant Officer 3.  Moved to Mesa in 1994 and worked as a facility engineer for various firms but recently retired after 20 years at ASU as the Central Plant Utility Supervisor. Married to his wife Georgianne for over 40 years and raised three children and now have four grandchildren.  Chris is an active member of the USSVI Submarine Veterans Perch Base, USS Phoenix, SSN 702 Cold War Monument Foundation, and the United Arizona Veterans Association.

David Garcia

David moved to Mesa at 12 years old and attended 1 year of elementary school in Mesa. He went on to attend Poston Jr. High, and Mesa High School, graduating, in 1987. David then entered the U.S. Marine Corp at Camp Pendelton in San Diego and was in the initial Gulf War with Iraq. He served proudly and his family is very proud to let people know that their family member is a former Marine. He currently lives in San Tan Valley with his wife but still refers to Mesa as his hometown. 

Patrick Garthwaite

Patrick Garthwaite has served honorably to the United States Air Force for 20 years protecting our nation. He has also gone on to serve the City of Mesa protecting it’s citizens for 24 years and counting.

Alex Goldman

Alex is currently serving in the U.S. Marines, beginning his service in 2018.

Jordan Goldman

Jordan joined the U.S. Navy after graduating high school in 2018 from Mountain View High School. Her first tour of duty was an assignment on the USS Nimitz where she was deployed to the Middle East for an extended period. Due to the mission in the Middle East and COVID quarantine measures, her ship set a record for time at sea during a single deployment. She is now an E5 YN2 on her second enlistment. She’s married to a Marine and they are both deployed to Okinawa for the next 3 years. She is assigned to the naval hospital. Her family is so proud of her.

Paul Gross

Paul served in the U.S. Army from 1952 – 1953. He was a Voice Interceptor out of Camp Chafee Arkansas

Joshua Gryzwa

Josh was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Regiment in DC and was a first responder at the Pentagon on 9/11. After multiple deployments to the Middle East with the 1st Infantry Division where he received a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars, Josh was medically retired in 2014 due to combat related injuries. He served as an ROTC instructor at ASU while working on his degree post service. Josh was the distinguished honor graduate of the IRA School of Engineering in the Professional flight program and is now a First Officer with Allegiant Airlines. Josh and his wife founded a Veteran trauma counseling retreat program in 2014 called Deep Sea Valkyries which this year has expanded to provide services for LEO/first responders. Josh and his family reside in Mesa.

H-K  [Top]

Warren Haeussler

Warren served in the U.S. Navy in 1978 until 1984.

Harry Harris

Harry served in the Army in Europe and North Africa during WWII.

Amanda Hernandez

Amanda enlisted in 2001 after high school and was stationed at Sheppard AFB, TX. She deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. She loves the U.S. and is proud to have served. She is a current Mesa resident and appreciates the support during these holidays.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson Jr. joined the Air Force in April 2003 and served as a security forces member. He was stationed in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he had an emphasis on Priority Level 1 security. He was then stationed at a law enforcement unit in Kaiserslautern, Germany, where he served as a dedicated patrol officer. He was honorably discharged in 2007. Now heavily involved in the automotive repair world, Michael is known as Meineke Mike.

Salvador Jimenez

Salvador Jimenez was a resident of Mesa from birth in 1925 until he passed away in 2013. He served in the Army in WWII and he worked for the City of Mesa his entire career. He was a loving, dedicated, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and citizen.

Jaime Jimenez

Jaime, served in the Army for 4 yrs and 19 years in the Army National Guard (retired), he served as the Commander in the Guadalupe American Legion post 124 and is currently an active member. Jaime served in Korea while in the Army and as a member of the National Guard served in Desert Storm. Jaime also happens to be a proud City of Mesa retiree.

Robert Kaufman

Captain Kaufman was a flight instructor for the T-38 Jet. The Northrop T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twinjet supersonic jet trainer. It was the world’s first, and the most produced, supersonic trainer. The T-38 remains in service as of 2023 in several air forces.

The United States Air Force (USAF) operates the most T-38s. In addition to training USAF pilots, the T-38 is used by NASA. The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland, is the principal US Navy operator (other T-38s were previously used as USN for dissimilar air combat training until replaced by the similar Northrop F-5 Tiger II). Pilots of other NATO nations fly the T-38 in joint training programs with USAF pilots.[citation needed]

As of 2022, the T-38 has been in service for over 60 years with its original operator, the United States Air Force.

Billy Ludwick

Billy served in the U.S. Navy for 13.5 years, where he worked on nuclear subs. He has worked for Copa Health for many years.

M-Q  [Top]

Ben Manning

Ben served as a Combat Photographer and Public Affairs Specialist for the 1st Cav Division Headquarters. His responsibilities included supporting the base newspaper “The Fort Hood Sentinel,” photographing ceremonies, maintaining the division website, and coordinating media coverage with local agencies. It was only a short period of time in his life, but also one of the most influential periods. It has shaped the way he approaches life’s challenges and is a big part of why he is who he is today.

Sheryl Manning

Sheryl served as a control specialist for the 1st Cav Division Headquarters G6 Communications Department. Her responsibilities included coordinating communications logistics during training missions at Fort Hood. She was also responsible for audio equipment set-up and break-down for all 1st Cav ceremonies. Sheryl’s time in the Army opened her eyes to the amazing things that can be accomplished through teamwork and helped her understand the leadership traits that she most wanted to emulate in her life.

Jason Moon

Jason served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 as a General Construction Equipment Operator in a combat engineer battalion. He was honorably discharged from the Wisconsin Army National Guard in August 2004 after a ten year career. Jason continues to devote his time to veterans as the founder of Warrior Songs, a non-profit that heals veterans through music and the creative arts.

Samuel Morales

Samuel was a Vietnam Veteran who served in U.S. Army between 1967 – 1968 in the 71st Artillery in a Hawk missile battalion. He was a Specialist in charge of operating and maintaining diesel generators for the missile batteries
After his Honorable Discharge from the Army, he married my mom in 1969 and moved to Mesa in 1971 and eventually bought a house in 1973 where my mom still lives to this day. Samuel was a professional baker all his working career and even owned a bakery, here, in Mesa in the Westwood Plaza back in the 1970’s.
Unfortunately he passed in 2021.
Samuel was a proud Veteran and happy to serve our country.

Arthur O’Hagan

Mr. O’Hagan was an Army medic in the service, honorably discharged. After his valiant service to his country, Mr. O’Hagan continued to serve veterans in many capacities, including working as a VSO (Veteran service officer) assisting veterans obtain their benefits. Mr. O’Hagan also served as a police officer with a New York City department, he also was the founding member of a Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter in the East Valley. Mr. O’Hagan was also nominated into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame for his continued service to veterans throughout his life.

Hunter Page

My son Hunter is 21 years old. All he ever wanted was to go into the military. He knew from a young age that’s what he wanted to do. We are so proud of what he has accomplished.

Donald C. Parod

Donald was a radio control man on the USS Tunny, which was the first submarine to launch a Regulus cruise missile.

Joseph Harvey Pew

Joe enlisted soon after Pearl Harbor was attacked, Dec. 6, 1941, in what was then called the Army Air Corp. After basic training and attending specialist training, he was classified as an aerial engineer. While in the Service he was stationed in California, Nebraska, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina. He was honorably discharge in November 1943.

James Ivan Provazek Jr.

Army Reserve Staff Sgt. James Ivan Provazek Jr. served in the 378th Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Sheridan, Ill., after being deployed to an overseas forward operating base in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Provazek, a signal support systems supervisor, has served in the military for more than 17 years.

R-T  [Top]




Lt. Colonel William P. Robinson

Lt. Colonel William P. Robinson enlisted on June 25, 1942. He was awarded his wings from Williams Field AFB on January 7,1944. He completed jet fighting training in1953. He served as an F-105 Thunderchief pilot at Korat Royal Thai AFB. He was awarded the Air Force Cross Citation for a mission on July 5, 1966. He led a flight to attack hostile SA-2 surface to air missile sites that threatened other strike aircraft tasked to destroy a priority target. With complete disregard for personal safety, he responded professionally in the face of continuous heavy and intense ground fire of all types. Three of four sites were completely destroyed the remaining site extensively damaged. This courageous and aggressive action reduced the missile threat against the other strike force. His extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force. He retired and lived in Mesa until his death in 1988.

Frank Romano

Frank served all over the world protecting our freedom

Luis Salaiz

Sergeant Salaiz served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. Sergeant Salaiz was apart of a few operations but most importantly Operation Frequent Wind. This specific operation was the evacuation of Americans and Vietnamese refugees. Because of his actions, this lead him down the path of becoming a first responder. Luis Salaiz served as a City of Mesa Firefighter for over 20 years.

Dan Scarpone

Dan was in the Navy in the early 1950’s during the Korean War. As a Petty Officer/Yeoman 3rd Class he was stationed at the  US Naval Air Station in Alameda, CA.  His duties were with the logistics group keeping accurate records and also working with personnel transfers.

MSgt. James Schneider

My husband has dedicated to serve our country in the United States Air Force since 2000. He has five years cumulative Active Duty years with deployments and 23 years as a Reservist. He has completed two deployments to Iraq in 2002 and in 2008 to Bahrain. His leadership, knowledge, commitment, ability to handle stress, as well as his physical and mental strength is something we as his family are forever proud of and grateful for.

Edward Schossow

Ed joined the Air Force right out of High School (Dobson High, Class of 1987.) He was an aircraft mechanic. He served in Desert Storm 1990-1991. He received the following medals: Kuwait Liberation Medal Saudi Arabie, NATO Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal. Ed lives in Mesa, AZ and also works in Mesa for Komatsu Mining Equipment.

Tony Siebers

Tony graduated and commissioned from Kemper Military College in May 1997 and served in the Active, Reserve and Army National Guard components.  His military career spanned more than a decade with positions of escalating responsibility most involving emergency management, law enforcement and Civil Affairs culminating in a combat command during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006-2007. He resigned his commission after the war to spend more time with his family. He shortly moved to Mesa, Arizona where he has continued to serve as Chairman of the Cities Economic Development Advisory Board and Board of Adjustments as well as Chairman of Catholic Charities Community Services in Phoenix. He holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Marylhurst. Tony is the Founder of Parent Projects and CEO of its parent company, Family Media & Technology Group, Inc. Tony and his wife Amey live in NE Mesa where they raise their children Kailey, Sebastian, Isaiah, Alexander and Julia.

Sharon Skinner

Sharon served in the U.S. Navy from 1977 to 1981.

Sharon served aboard the USS Jason AR-8 as one of the first female crew members to serve aboard ship for a 6-month WestPac Cruise, She was the 1st Female Radio DJ on Armed Forces Radio and Television Indian Ocean.

Navy Expeditionary Medal: Iran Hostage Crisis

Shellback: 1980

Golden Shellback: 1981

Lance Summers

Lance is an amazing young man who joined the Air Force soon after his High School Graduation. Lance was born in Mesa, AZ and has lived in Mesa, Queen Creek and Gilbert. He has been stationed in Germany where he met and married his beautiful wife, Josie. Lance is a friend to all that meet him and is missed by his family here at home.

Michael Tackett

U.S Army medic serving at the Army Hospital in Okinawa, Madigan General at Ft. Lewis and the Army Hospital at West Point Military Academy.

Callum Tizard

On January 15th, 2022, Callum from east Mesa was sworn in during an Oath of Enlistment ceremony to the United States Space Force, the newest branch of the armed forces. Callum along with 5 others were the very first individuals from Arizona to be enlisted into the United States Space Force! He went through a competitive national selective process and was selected to be one of only 521 members to be enlisted that year. Officially titled a “Guardian”, Callum conducts global space operations that enhance the way our joint and coalition forces fight, while also offering decision makers military options to achieve national objectives. The Space Force is designated to protect and secure global space operations and cyber space. Callum is currently stationed at Buckley SFB in Colorado and is attached to Space Delta 4 with a mission of Missile Warning.

Kyle Trapani

TSgt Kyle Trapani served proudly and honorably in the U.S. Air Force as a member of the Security Forces.  He was stationed at Offut Air Force Base, NE and Edwards Air Force Base, CA during his enlistment.  He completed two deployments to the Middle East. One in the United Arab Emirates and the second in Qatar.

U-Z  [Top]

SSgt. W. Jason Ulibarri

OEF Afghanistan 2003-2004; OIF Iraq 2009-2010

Ian Westermayer

Ian Westermayer, grew up in Mesa and is a class of 2007 graduate from Red Mountain High School who also attended Mesa Community College. In 2012, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy to create a career for himself and honor the history of his late pop who served in the U. S. Navy 1954-1962. He is an Aircrewman; AWO1 Westermayer has completed two sea duties assigned to Patrol Squadron 16 and one shore duty assigned to a tactical operation center. He is currently stationed over seas in a shore duty assignment. He reenlisted twice after completing is initial enlistment period and has plans to serve a minimum of twenty years. At this time, he is halfway to his goal of 20 years

Brandon Wilhelm

Brandon life was to be a Marine. Unfortunately that dream was shattered when he got injured in the war.  He now serves his country as an ICU RN. He is an amazing father and the absolute best husband