Mike Foss serves as the President of the Warrior Bonfire Program, and previously on the Board of Directors. As President, Mike oversees the vision and mission of the program. His responsibilities include oversight of all organization fundraising efforts, expenditures, hierarchy, and implementation of the organizations’ growth plan. Mike is certified in Mental Health First Aid and has been trained to provide initial help to people experiencing problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and substance use disorders, through the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Mike is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, Engineer. Foss served as a Squad Leader and Platoon Sergeant, 132nd Engineer Battalion; Platoon Leader and Executive Officer, 4th Engineer Battalion; Commander, 994th Engineer Company (Bailey Bridge) and the 409th Engineer Company (MGB); Executive Officer, 244th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy); Collection Manager, G2, SMDC/ARSTRAT; Commander, 3/361st TSBN; Deputy Commander, 5th Armor Brigade; and Military Executive, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He has volunteer leadership positions as the President of the Arapahoe High School Quarterback Club and the President of the Littleton Youth Sports Club.
Through personal and professional experiences, Mike’s understanding of those we serve and their needs, due to his military service, energizes his desire to build the Bonfire to its fullest potential in order to help all those that need it. Mike resides in Centennial, Colorado with his wife Peggy, they have three grown children, Morgan, Taylor, and Kyle.
Helen serves as our Vice President overseeing the organizations’ operations to include member services, marketing, and operational systems. Helen also serves as a mission coordinator for each of our Purple Heart Retreats managing and organizing event logistics and travel arrangements. Helen is certified in Mental Health First Aid and has been trained to provide initial help to people experiencing problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and substance use disorders, through the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Helen and has over 19 years of experience with startup entrepreneurial businesses, process system development and management, customer relationship management, marketing collaboration, and network coordination. Helen has been with the Warrior Bonfire Program since 2014, building and developing, all member registration systems and vetting processes, website and social media foundations, network relationships throughout the Veteran care industry, mission branding and messaging, and program service integrity.
Helen’s wide range of professional experience and personal experiences as a wife, mother, cancer survivor, and personal traumatic situations allows her the ability, understanding, and desire to help our combat wounded veterans heal post-trauma. Helen resides in Bradenton, Florida with her husband Gregg, they have two grown sons, Taylor and John David.
Director of Development
Sean Riley serves as our new Director of Development for Warrior Bonfire Program. As Director of Development, his primary responsibilities for the organization include helping to lead all fundraising initiatives, marketing, enhancing outcome measures of programs, leading Equine-Veteran activities, and the development and implementation of new Veteran programs like Beyond The Bonfire for 2022.
Sean served as an enlisted soldier and non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Special Operations with 75th Ranger Regiment. Upon completion of his Bachelor’s degree, Sean was accepted into the U.S. Army’s Officer Candidate School and commissioned. He left the military in 2003 as a Captain. Sean’s deployments include Operation Desert Storm (Saudi Arabi), Operation Gothic Serpent (Somalia), Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti), and Operation Desert Thunder (Iraq/Kuwait). Sean’s awards include a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V-Device.
He also brings 20-years of corporate business development, sales, fundraising, and marketing experience to the table for Warrior Bonfire as well as Veteran nonprofit leadership experience and a passion and knowledge for helping to heal combat Veterans working with horses.
Sean currently resides in beautiful Saint Augustine, FL, and has three amazing children (Hayden 23, Anna Grace 13, and Conor 11).
Benjamin Stepp, M.Ed, MCJ, LPC-S, NCC
Director of Veteran and Military Care
Benjamin serves voluntarily as our Director of Veteran and Military Care, his primary role is to oversee and guide the organizations’ direction and operations as it relates to the mental health and well being of the veterans we serve. Benjamin is a licensed therapist and a Purple Heart recipient. This unique combination of experience offers the Warrior Bonfire Program and it’s members a solid foundation to take action when we encounter a Veteran in crisis. Benjamin trains all our retreat event leaders to recognize warning signs of a Veteran in crisis and the appropriate actions to take when necessary. Benjamin also serves in the capacities of Retreat Leader and an On-Call resource for our leaders or members needing further help, direction or referrals for additional counseling or therapies.
Benjamin was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, he joined the National Guard in 1998 as a Flight Operations Specialist upon graduating from High School. Benjamin attended the University of North Carolina at Pembroke on a wrestling scholarship until he was injured. In 2001, he joined Active Duty Army as an Infantryman, was stationed in South Korea and in Kansas, where he then was deployed to Iraq twice, 2003 and 2004-2005. Benjamin was wounded in 2003. After completing his initial enlistment, he joined the Mississippi National Guard as an Infantryman and attended the University of Mississippi where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Economics, a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Benjamin is now a Licensed Professional Counselor providing counseling to a wide range of clientele including veterans and first responders. Benjamin resides in Belden, MS with his wife and two children.
Spouse Support Coordinator
Erin serves voluntarily as our Spouse Support Coordinator managing our Strong Heart Spouses Retreats as well as providing ongoing support and assistance to those that have registered for our program. Erin brings her own experience as the wife of a Purple Heart WBP Member to offer resources and direction to those we serve.
Erin was born and raised in Southaven Mississippi, attended the University of Mississippi earning her degree in Communication Science Disorders with a focus on speech pathology. She is currently an elementary school Assistant Teacher working on her certification to become a Special Education teacher, as well as the owner of This N That Creations. Erin brings to the organization an incredible amount of energy, compassion, organization, and the willingness to serve in a multitude of needed capacities. Erin resides in Belden, MS with her spouse Ben, a Purple Heart Member of the WBP, with their two children, Parker and Riley, along with their service dog Arleigh.
Michael Chumbler, MSW LSW
Veteran Care Officer
Michael serves voluntarily as a Veteran Care Officer. His primary role is to address any situations that arise during a Bonfire Retreat to assist a Veteran in crisis and check on those that have ongoing challenges. Michael Chumbler, MSW LSW is a former Command Sergeant Major who retired in January 2017 after 40 years of service, mostly in the Army Reserve, but including an initial four years on Active Duty and seven years in the California National Guard. Michael joined the army as an Indirect Fire Infantryman (Mortars) and served in that role through his time on Active Duty and in the National Guard attaining the rank of Sergeant First Class before transferring to the Army Reserves in the Signal Corps.
During Michael’s time in the Reserve, he served in the 304th Material Management Center in Los Angeles, CA as Senior Computer Maintenance Supervisor; the 804th Signal Company at Fort Shafter, HI as First Sergeant and on promotion to Staff Sergeant Major, the Pacific Army Liaison Command also in Hawaii; the 70th Regional Support Command at Fort Lawson, WA; and the 96th Regional Support Command at Fort Douglas, UT until his selection as Command Sergeant Major. As CSM he served in the 125th Ordnance Battalion, Billings, MT, the 3/361st Training Support Battalion, Denver, CO, 2216th Mobilization Support Battalion, Fort Carson, CO; and retired from the 2/356th Logistical Support Battalion, also at Fort Carson, CO.
CSM Chumbler deployed three times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom between 2003 and 2014. His deployments were once in the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Djibouti, and twice to Fort Bliss, Texas. After his final deployment from 2013 to 2014, Michael completed a Masters in Social Work at the University of Southern California in 2016 and has been a practicing behavioral health therapist since then. Michael has volunteered as the Disaster Mental Health Lead for the American Red Cross since 2016 as well.
As a veteran with many years of service, he became a therapist with the specific reason of supporting the veterans and their unique needs. Michael has lived in Colorado Springs with his wife Becky since 2005.
Richard serves voluntarily as Chaplain for the Warrior Bonfire Program. He brings to the organization, members and boards, nondenominational spiritual support. Richard’s responsibility is to help maintain the integrity and moral compass of the organization and its’ leaders. Richard is a veteran of the United States Air Force, and both the Illinois Air National Guard and the California Air National Guard having served a total of nine (9) years.
Richard previously served AT&T for over 25 years in various capacities in Operations, Engineering, Regulatory Support, Strategic Planning, Research & Development, Technical Consulting, and Professional Services. Richard taught classes in leadership, management, and telecommunications at the bachelor’s and master’s level at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California, and the masters level at the University of Denver, University College in Denver, Colorado for over 29-years. Richard earned his Master of Science from Golden Gate University, his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Development and Labor Law from Southern Illinois University, and his Associate in Arts in Business Administration from Kaskaskia College. Rich also holds Certificates in Six Sigma from Villa Nova University, Process Quality Management Improvement from AT&T, and Electronics Technology from Cleveland Institute of Electronics. Rich is also a Certified Master Coach in Performance Management for Management Possible, a Colorado-based training company. Richard is ordained and has served for over 10-years as a minister at Jubilee Fellowship Church in a men’s ministry called FiredUp. He was a sworn Colorado Mounted Ranger serving as an officer, Emergency Medical Responder, and Chaplain.
Richard currently serves the Colorado Rangers as Chief Chaplain as well as leads Perigee Consulting, Inc., a boutique consulting firm specializing in Education & Training, Operations Management, Executive Coaching & Mentoring, and Security.