James Gillies, AVF Secretary, Vietnam Veteran, Bellingham, WA
Deborah Coccoli, AVF Treasurer, Spouse of a Vietnam Veteran, Longmont, CO
Greg McMahon, Vietnam Veteran, Commander at the American Legion Post 32, Longmont, CO
Faith Halverson-Ramos, Music Therapist and Psychotherapist, Longmont, CO
Daisy Lear, AVF President, Licensed Acupuncturist, Longmont, CO
James Gillies is a Vietnam War combat veteran who served in the 2/22 Infantry in the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam 1n 1967-68. When he returned home he had a difficult time while living his life for the next 30 years due to his undiagnosed PTSD from his experience in Vietnam. After moving to Washington State in the early 1990’s he became very involved with other veterans. He joined his local VVA chapter, #165, and later served as chapter President for a number of years. He also helped to run the local county Soldiers and Sailors Relief Fund through the VVA chapter and worked with Stand Downs and other veteran’s programs. Finally, after helping many other vets, he entered the VA system and received treatment for his condition and made great strides towards getting his life back on track. Unfortunately, he, like many other Veterans, had to deal with an overcrowded and underfunded VA system which led to still needing more help in trying to recover as well as he could. After successfully completing his treatment in house at the Seattle VA he returned to his home in Bellingham, WA and again became involved in Veterans affairs locally. James became a co-founder of the local Veterans For Peace Chapter 111 and continues to work at making the rest of his life the best that it can be. During the course of his treatments he began having acupuncture to help alleviate some of the problems that could not be handled by the VA. It has been four years since starting a comprehensive ongoing program of acupuncture and yoga and, because of this, has had the best years of his life after his time in Service. He was an old friend from Daisy’s past and when she mentioned trying to start AVF he, naturally, volunteered to come on board with trying to make this a very successful program that would be of value to other vets and their families. He joined the Board of Directors as soon as the program became a viable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is currently serving as the Board Secretary.
James is married with two children and various animals, and lives outside Bellingham, Washington.
Deborah Coccoli moved to Longmont, CO in the spring of 2011, after living in Vermont for most of her adult life. Deborah’s husband is a Vietnam Veteran and through him, she attended the homeless veteran stand down at the VFW in Longmont, where she met Daisy. Deborah started receiving auricular therapy at the Thursday evening sessions Daisy holds at Veterans Helping Veterans Now, which is available to family members as well as veterans. She became interested in the power of this therapy and learned more about acupuncture and the wonderful way that Daisy works with her clients. Deborah decided to become more involved by joining the Board, with the intention of expanding community awareness and helping Daisy, and other health care providers, to be able to continue to serve this deserving and often over-looked population.
Deborah brings over twenty years of experience to AVF. While living in Vermont, she worked with a non-profit agency, which helped her gain some valuable insights that she can apply to her work with AVF.
Daisy Lear became interested in Chinese medicine in 1990 after volunteering in a clinic for people with AIDS. Between 1990 and 1995 Daisy continued her studies at San Francisco State University, worked, and continued to volunteer in the health care field.
In 1998 she began attending Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, CO. Upon completion in 2001, received a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine.
Since graduation Daisy has worked in cooperation with various health care providers at a physical rehabilitation clinic in Denver, CO, and in private practice in both Firestone and Longmont, CO. During this time, she has had the opportunity to treat veterans and has found that, despite it being very helpful for a wide variety of health concerns, they could not afford to come in as often as needed. Having seen positive results and knowing that access could sometimes be problematic, Daisy was driven to start AVF. Her thought is that the past and present treatment of returning soldiers has been less than comprehensive, and she wants to be able to offer a free alternative health care choices for these individuals and families. Daisy is truly passionate about this work and enjoys being of assistance to people striving toward optimal health and well being.
Daisy lives in Longmont with her two sons, Jacob and Jack. They enjoy hiking, riding bike and roly poly bugs.
Faith Halverson-Ramos has been a psychotherapist and board certified music therapist (MT-BC) since 2007, after having graduated from Naropa University with an MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology focusing in Music Therapy. Since graduating, she has taken additional trainings in Neurologic Music Therapy at Colorado State University and early childhood music and movement education in order to deepen her professional knowledge of how music can positively impact sensorimotor function, cognition, and speech at any age.
Faith is experienced in working with individuals of all ages in the areas of grief and loss, mental well-being, and overall wellness. She loves being able to help people experience a greater understanding of themselves and their relationships with others through music and the creative process.