Board of Directors

Everyone’s Journey To Recovery Is Unique

Officers

As a peer-focused group, we understand that everyone’s journey to recovery is unique. Our peer-led organization encourages participants to share their lived experiences in a safe environment. Learn more about our Heroes Comfort team.

Our community offers a place of support, acceptance, and understanding to those looking to recover from trauma. This type of support system creates an environment for recovering individuals to thrive and find the peace they need to move forward in their journey.

Lari Jones, Chairperson

Hi, I am Lari (pronounced “Larry”). The reason I agreed to help with this organization is multi-fold. However, one thing is for sure, helping people helps me. I discovered this about myself in my late 20’s, and it has been something that I have strived to do in some way in each stage of my life.

I have spent 20 years in the home healthcare field providing care to the elderly and physically challenged, beginning with caregiving and eventually as a Director for a non-medical home care company. During this time, I served on a volunteer Board of Directors for James Irwin Charter Schools. In my ten years on the BOD, 4 of those years, I served as Vice-President. What started as curiosity about education and parent choice quickly evolved into a commitment to providing quality, character-driven education to all children. In addition, I spent many years volunteering for the church I attended as the Hospitality Director.

I have been married to my husband, Rick, for 23 years, and we have three grown sons that we could not be prouder of. Two years ago, we decided that we needed a change and moved from Colorado Springs, CO, to Hiawatha, Kansas. The quiet, small-town life is perfect for us! Currently, I am employed as a Family Support Worker for a child placement agency. Our goal is to reintegrate children who have been removed from their homes to their parents. It is certainly a different career path than I expected, but I find it challenging and rewarding. I am also a full-time student working towards a degree in Healthcare Administration.

LARI JONES
DANIEL KRAHN

Daniel Krahn, Vice-Chair

Daniel Krahn is a 28 year veteran of Fire/EMS and a Retired Captain/Paramedic from the Mesa Fire/Medical Department in Arizona. He has also worked in a large volunteer and small and medium career fire departments in Wisconsin. He currently works as a registered nurse and has worked in several Emergency Departments over the last eight years.

Daniel retired with a PTSD disability in 2018 and has taught Behavioral Health and Wellness in the hospital setting, for the local community colleges, and First Responders since then. He has taken the 16-hour North Carolina Peer Support training to serve our Brothers and Sisters better. He and his wife Cathy run the Facebook group The PTSD Warehouse for First Responders, which helps others and their families better understand PTSD.

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Billie Jo Crowe, Secretary

Billie Jo is the wife of Executive Administrator, Mike Crowe.  Over the last decade, Billie has had to learn how to help and cope with a person diagnosed with PTSD and major depressive disorder.  

Billie is passionate about helping people any way she can, so when approached about being the Secretary of Heroes Comfort, she immediately jumped on board.

Billie is currently an elementary teacher, with 29 years of service to the same school district.

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Gabe Taggart, Treasurer

I served in the Marine Corps for five years from 2003 to 2008. I spent most of my enlistment based out of Camp Lejeune, NC and served three tours in Iraq. In 2008 my wife and I moved back to Iowa to start our family. Today, I live in Norwalk, IA with my wife and five children. Our two boys keep us busy with football, baseball and basketball. Our three daughters fill our time with dance. 
 
I joined the corporate world in 2008, but struggled to find a purpose since leaving the Marines, until I was approached about helping first responders, other veteran's, nurses, dispatchers, and correctional officers.
SANDY CUPPLES

Sandy Cupples, Nursing Liaison

Starting, I knew I wanted to help people. I went to a High School Job Fair and decided when speaking with the nurses that came that’s what I wanted to do. After graduating from high school, I went to work as a Certified Nurses Aide in a nursing facility for a few years and then went on to get my Certified Med Aide, LPN, and finally an RN license. I was lucky enough to work at the Jasper County Care facility as a nursing supervisor until its closing. After it closed, I was hired as a nurse at our local hospital, where I worked as ED and Med Surg. I then served as a House Supervisor for 11 years, and in total, was at the hospital for 20 years. I left the local hospital due to changes in staffing and worked at Knoxville Hospital and Clinics as a House Supervisor for five years. After an opportunity opened up, I went back to a local hospital and subsequently worked as a case manager for four years. I also worked as needed for Jasper County as a Medical Examiner and Investigator for seven years. My family and I love traveling and spending time together!

SHAWN THOMAS

Shawn Thomas, Law Enforcement Liaison

Shawn, a deputy sheriff in Seattle, WA, has been on the job for 23 years. Her husband, Jeff, is a retired deputy himself.

In September 2016, Shawn’s peer support captain suggested organizing a health and wellness conference for first responders and their families. The conference was a huge success, and first responders reached out for assistance. That is when Shawn realized how important the conference was, and other departments and organizations asked for her to organize a conference for them. In the first year, she organized five conferences in Seattle, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Arizona. Now the organization has had twenty conferences and has many more planned in the coming year. Shawn is passionate about helping first responders because she has experienced her difficult times and wants to help guide others to maintain an enjoyable career and live a healthy life.

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Dispatcher Liaison

We are currently looking to fill this position.

MIKE CROWE

Mike Crowe, Firefighter-EMS Liaison/Administrator

Mike finished his career in firefighting and EMS in 2013 after starting as an EMT-A in 1992. Mike was medically retired due to 2 specific calls he responded to. He had difficulty afterward and was diagnosed with chronic PTSD and major depressive disorder. Mike is continuously working on his recovery by attending therapy, managing a grounding group, and spiritual healing. Heroes Comfort, he believes, is his purpose in life and his God-given mission.

He has four grown children, three girls one boy. The “baby” of the group just graduated high school early, the next week started EMT school and desired to “follow in dad’s footsteps.”

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Corrections Liaison

We are currently looking to fill this position.

EDDIE HUTCHINSON

Eddie Hutchinson, Veteran Liaison

Eddie is a veteran of the Army, first achieving the rank of E7/SFC in 2007 when he won the coveted Audie Murphy Award and went to Warrant Officer Candidate School to become a Blackhawk pilot. Serving five combat deployments in 7 years (2 as a pilot in Afghanistan and three on the ground in Iraq), Eddie decided to make a change.

After Eddie finished 20 years in the Army, he got into real estate, specializing in finding homes for returning Armed Services members. He now spends most of his time selling homes but leaves tons of time for his beautiful daughter, Olivia.