Meet member and former president Ryan Farva Lonergan! Ryan served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard from 2006-2012. Units he was assigned to were A Co. 2-128th INF RSTA (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition) and A Co. 132 BSB. Ryan deployed to Iraq from 2009-2010 and worked on a facility engineer team and detainee Guard team. Since leaving the Guard, Ryan has earned 3 college degrees, including his bachelors in sociology/criminal justice. He's a father to a 3.5 year old daughter and usiness owner and host of the Fragout Podcast. Ryan has been working with military and veterans for 13 years and is currently a DOD contractor helping our active service members find employment and help them writing a resume.
Meet 2VP and founding member John Foss! John served in the US Army from 2006 to 2011 as an Intelligence Analyst specializing in French and Francophone Africa. John was stationed in Germany and Ft. Meade, MD, serving two deployments in Afghanistan.
John received his bachelor's degree at UW Oshkosh in Political Science before joining the Army, completed an associate's degree in French from the Defense Language Institute while serving, and completed his master's degree in Public Administration from UWO after separating from the military. Since then he worked in various government positions until recently when he started his own business in property investment called Town Square Properties, LLC.
John is married with three children aged 4, 5, and 8. He enjoys camping and the outdoors (in summer), home improvements, fitness, and spending time with friends and family.
Meet member and 1st Vice President Zetta Burns Hupf!
Zetta served in the US Army from 1988 to 1992. Her first duty station was with a support unit in the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Mobile Korea. She later came back stateside to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Zetta deployed to Operation Desert Storm from 1990-1991 in a detachment of the 18th Airborne Corps, which supported the 101st. She will be married for 28 years in May and has a son (age 21) who will graduate from UW-Stevens Point in May with a Forestry Management degree! Zetta enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends, going back to West Virginia (her home state) to visit family, friends and enjoy all of the beauty that is WV! She loves drawing, taking photographs, nature walks and volunteering to assist Veterans however she can, especially with the Desert Vets, Old Glory Honor Flight, and other organisations when possible. She's worked at Appvion Inc for 25 years and in 2019 began working with the company to start a Military/Veterans Program to bring knowledge and understanding to coworkers and also to become a Military/Veteran Friendly and Ready business.
Meet member Jonathan Pylypiv! Jon served over 12 years with the WI Army National Guard with the 1-121st Field Artillery. This included being a driver/gunner doing convoy security missions in Iraq in 2006-2007 during the "Surge." He left the military in 2014 when his son was born to give himself more time with family and to complete a degree at Concordia University.
Jon was born in Ukraine and came to the US when he was 8 years old. Being an immigrant is one of the reasons why he wanted to serve our nation and continues to serve in our community with nonprofit organizations. He encourages fellow veterans to find ways to help in their community as part of their "new mission" after they leave the military too.
Jon is self-employed part-time with his new organic farm, as a technology handyman and as a member/owner of a hard cider business. He's also working with others to launch a military/veteran/family cooperative enterprise to support other entrepreneurs
and local economic growth.
Jon has been growing out his beard ever since he left the military and will be shaving it in January as part of a fundraiser to help a friend in Ukraine who runs an organization called Orphans Future. This is a Ukrainian nonprofit that helps children in Ukraine that were deprived of parental care.
Presently, Jon is enrolled in the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative program and says he is learning among some incredible community leaders. He's grateful that the Desert Veterans of the Wisconsin Fox Valley has helped cover some of the tuition costs. The program is a tremendous help as he continues to learn, grow, and serve with others in our community..
Meet member Brian Smits! Brian served in the US Air Force from 1988 to 2011 as a Ground Equipment Mechanic and then switched his MOS to Public Health at Travis Air Force Base. Brian deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm. He is proud to have completed two Iron Man competitions, completing one in 14 hours and the other in 15.
Meet member Corey Nugent (pictured right). He joined Desert Vets in 2017 and served in the WI National Guard from 2007 to 2016 as a Quartermaster Officer. He's heavily involved with myTEAM TRIUMPH - Wisconsin Chapter, a group that helps bring inclusion into the community by pairing people with Diverse Abilities to complete endurance events. Corey just recently completed IRONMAN Wisconsin as part of a relay team.
Meet member Paul Flanagan! Paul has been a member of Desert Vets since 2017. He was in the Army National Guard from 1996 to 2007 as a 13B (Cannon Crewmember, Howitzer Gunner) and deployed to Iraq in 2005. He currently works at Pierce Manufacturing where he's a corporate sponsor for the Oshkosh Corp. Military Network. Recently, Paul became an owner of FIRE Fitness Camp Howard!