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Army association plays key role for active duty soldiers

Uploaded: May 29, 2018
When Johnathan Woodman returned home to Livermore in November 2017 after nine years of active duty in the Air Force, he faced tough times.
He and his wife, Kayla, both were unemployed and were living with his sister. He has served in Montana maintaining the nuclear missile facilities. His situation came to the attention of Trevor Stoneham, the leader of the motorcycle band who had welcomed him home. Trevor reached out to Doug Miller, the leader of the Association of the United States Army in the valley.
Doug met Johnthan and Kayla for lunch and introduced them to Joy Montgomery, who specializes in writing resumes and helping people find jobs. The association picked up her costs and Woodman landed a job as a field representative with Procter and Gamble.
Now, he drives around the state installing or maintaining machines in hospitals, restaurants, medical facilities and other facilities that use Procter and Gamble soap products.
Kayla also found a job with Joy’s help, but, because Johnathan was doing so well and they only had one car, she’s staying home, and they are living comfortably on his income. The position is ideal because the job is transferrable should they move elsewhere.
The association also connected Woodman with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and he spent a day there checking out possibilities. He has a classified clearance from his Air Force service, but no academic credentials.
That’s just one example of how the association, which is the only military-centered non-profit focused on personnel who are currently serving or recently discharged.
The association will hold its annual golf fundraiser, the Bay Area Military Classic, presented by The Cooper Companies, on June 25 at the TPC Stonebrae Country Club, which is located high in the Hayward hills with spectacular views of the Bay Area. The tournament also benefits Some Gave All, the Joey Graves Foundation.
The dinner that follows the tournament will include Wounded Warriors, military officers, Gold Star parents and others. For information, please see the the BAMC website.

The Army association focuses much of its efforts on Camp Parks, which has 1,000 military personnel and 1,000 civilians working there year-round, plus the reserve units that come in for training. Miller observed that a Camp Parks assignment can often be a significantly financial hardship given the Bay Area cost-of-living. Many people live in San Joaquin County and fight the daily commute over the Altamont Pass.
The challenge can extend to officers. Major Puletasi Wong-Mageo will be transferred in June to a new assignment in Kansas. His family of six has been living in housing on the base and the Army will take care of packing up their household and moving it. But, they need to vacate their quarters during that process, which means nights in a hotel. The association contributed funds to offset those expenses.
For Army Reservist Sgt. Nolayan Herdegen, it was the connections that Doug and others have in the local community that paid off. His unit, the 75th Training Division at Camp Parks, was planning its annual holiday party at the Veteran’s Hall in downtown Pleasanton. One week before the event, they were notified that the hall was double-booked and they needed to move elsewhere.
They reached out to Doug who was able to reserve the Pleasanton Senior Center for the party. The unit filled it with about 300 people. Herdegen said the association went above and beyond, not only providing the facility at no cost to the unit, members also provided excellent gifts that were given away by Santa Claus at the party.
“The AUSA plays a unique role by meeting the needs of currently serving families,” Herdegen said. “There are several organizations serving veterans, but no other one has this priority and is the only organization outside the government playing this role.”
Miller’s connections and the association also serve the Veteran’s First program at Las Positas College in Livermore. Todd Steffan coordinates that program and notes that Miller has been great at leveraging his contacts with various groups to help meet the needs of veterans. Those have included emergencies such as vehicle repairs that the vet could not afford.
The association also will partner with the college on its Operation Gateway, a two-day orientation for veterans scheduled for July 12-13.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Jim Norris, a resident of Oak Tree Acres,
on May 30, 2018 at 11:29 am

Tim, The Bay Area Military Classic charity golf tournament has developed into a major event in support of our bay area military. It provides the platform for the community to seek out and support our active duty members and veterans that continue to carry the burden of preserving our freedoms with their personal sacrifices.

The event further provides a direct link between a service member and a contributing foursome. From that time together we gain a deeper understanding of what challenges they face on a daily basis and how we as a community can help support their needs. I won't ever forget an early round with a double amputee.

This event has always been a grass roots affair with many individual and small corporate donations. The net proceeds have gone directly to various organizations such as the Joey Graves Foundation, Some Gave All; United Through Reading; Navy Seal Foundation and AUSA, MG William F. Dean Chapter. Each of these organizations will be present during the day and dinner time to speak to their purpose.

By design it is a local event that contributes to and supports our military/veterans through their efforts. Over the last 9 years the event has distributed over $150,000. This year with the major corporate support of the Cooper Companies we hope to provide a sizeable increase in that number. There are still openings for additional foursomes and we are still in need of raffle prize donations.

The direct website is Web Link for registration and donations. You have never been to a more appreciated event and we could use your support.

Posted by Nolayan Herdegen, a resident of Dublin,
on May 31, 2018 at 8:56 am

Great article! Thanks again to AUSA, the Association of the United States Army, for all the help and support they've given to Soldiers and other service members in need throughout the Bay Area. The work they do is unique and desperately needed by our troops. Best of luck for the Bay Area Military Classic charity golf tournament being held at TPC Stonebrae on Monday, June 25th, 2018, and a big thank you to all the sponsors like the Cooper Companies who have given so generously to make this event a reality!

Posted by Jason Kuroiwa, a resident of Livermore,
on May 31, 2018 at 11:05 am

Tim, Thank You for keeping us informed. I continue to be committed toward your Association of the United States Army throughout my career �" Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Hood, TX and Iraq. AUSA has done a phenomal job to assist ALL service members and their Families. Your Bay Area Military Classic with the generous support from sponsors like The Cooper Companies and Teammates from Some Gave Al �" The Joey Graves Foundation, United Through Reading and Navy Seal Foundation will continue to benefit those in our community who have sacrificed much.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jun 1, 2018 at 9:45 am

Thank You for this highly informative article in support of US Veterans!

I am grateful.

Posted by Joy Montgomery, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jun 2, 2018 at 1:19 pm

I should mention that AUSA is kind enough to compensate me for my services when they refer someone to me. I've helped Veterans with career management for decades as my way of saying thank you for their service.

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