Meet the First Cadre of 2022 Clay Hunt Fellows
Team Rubicon inducts 12 U.S. military veterans into Base Camp 9
Named in honor of Marine Corps veteran and original member of Team Rubicon Clay Hunt, the Clay Hunt Fellows Program is a personal development program that promotes continued service within the veteran community. Now in its ninth year, the CHFP equips each veteran fellow with the tools to redefine their purpose and self-identity through a six-month in-person and virtual curriculum of personal growth and self-discovery.
Here are the 12 veterans joining Base Camp 9.
David Bashaw, U.S. Army Veteran
David will be leaving the Army later this year after almost 32 years of service, retiring as a colonel. He received his BA from James Madison University and is also a licensed polygraph examiner. David has been a Team Rubicon Greyshirt since 2019 and also volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America and Project Healing Water Fly Fishing.
Favorite quote: “A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life is based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” —Albert Einstein
Fun Fact: His family adopted a War Dog named Hoka (T-682).
Charles “Chuck” Benford, Marine Corps Veteran
Chuck served in the Marine Corps for eight years, leaving as a sergeant. He attended Benedictine College receiving various degrees including his MBA in Healthcare Management and his Master of Public Health in Disaster Management. He volunteers as a member of his church’s armor-bearer group.
Chuck has been a Team Rubicon Greyshirt for five years and has deployed more than 30 times to the Houston Rebuild. He counts his time there as his most impactful deployment. He loved being able to provide his services and ensure that the population was not forgotten.
Favorite quote: “Service is all about heart and soul.” —The Armor Bearer creed
Fun Fact: He likes to eat. If you’re looking to try a new restaurant, don’t forget to invite him.
Kathryn Dixon, Marine Corps Veteran
Kathryn served in the Marine Corps for six years and left as a corporal. She earned her Associate Degree in Afghan Language from Towson University and is a Nationally Certified Master Groomer (NCMG), currently working as a pet care industry educator.
Kathryn has been a Team Rubicon Greyshirt since 2017. Her first and most impactful operation was helping Afghan families during Operation Enduring Eagle Landing.
Favorite quote: “Service is an opportunity to effect positive change in someone else’s life.” —Kathryn Dixon
Fun Fact: A competitive dog groomer, traveling to 12 shows around the country every year, she is currently competing for a spot on the Groom Team USA to represent the U.S. in an international competition.
Shane Fischer, Marine Corps Veteran
Shane served in the Marine Corps for seven years and left as a sergeant. He went on to complete a four-year carpentry program. He has been a Greyshirt for one and a half years and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in the past. Shane’s first operation was Operation Crying Eagle during which he discovered the diversity of the organization and the value of putting trust in volunteer leaders who assigned work to him and supported him and his fellow Greyshirts all the way.
Favorite quote: “One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” —Shannon L. Alder
Fun Fact: He almost blew off his toe with a .40 caliber.
Sophie Funderburk, Marine Corps Veteran
Dana Point, CA
Sophie will be leaving the Marine Corps this year after 10-and-half years as a major. She obtained her B.A. in English and is working on her Project Management Certification. Sophie joined Team Rubicon last year and deployed on Operation Kick the King.
During the CHFP application process, she learned more about Clay’s life and time in and out of the Marine Corps. His journey through the Corps and then his decision to take his life, profoundly impacted Sophie personally and professionally as a Marine leader.
Favorite quote: “Service means showing up for others in their times of need because we are always a part of something bigger than ourselves.” —Sophie Funderburk
Fun Fact: Sophie has never had a whole pet. A cat with three legs, a dog with one ear, and a dog with missing toes, yes. But a whole pet? No.
Carla Gallardo, U.S. Army Veteran
Carla served in the Army for 13 years, leaving as a captain. She has a master’s degree in Industrial Distribution from Texas A&M and was a member of the Corps of Cadets. Her pursuit of being part of an organization that helps people and her desire to be around like-minded veterans led her to join Team Rubicon more than a year ago. She is looking forward to her first operation.
Favorite quote: “Remember, if you need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older you discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others” —Audrey Hepburn
Fun fact: While deployed in Afghanistan in 2020, Carla and her sister were called to the podium by the President of the U.S. in recognition for being deployed together within the same unit.
Justin Hsia, Air Force Veteran; Active Duty National Guard
Justin has served a total of 21 years in the Air Force and is currently a pilot in the National Guard where his rank is chief warrant officer 3. In addition to being an FAA commercial rotary pilot, he holds master’s degrees in Data Science and Electrical Engineering and is an engineering consultant in civilian life. He has been a member of Team Rubicon for six years.
Though his first operation was Southern Slope in 2018, Justin counts Operation Enduring Eagle—helping Afghan refugees settle in the U.S.—as the most impactful experience he has had. He also volunteers with Break a Difference.
Favorite quote: “Service is the action compelled by the compassion of other’s needs and suffering and driven by the purpose of making this world a better place.” —Justin Hsia
Fun Fact: Justin is an Army H-60 Blackhawk pilot.
Matthew James, U.S. Army Veteran
Matthew served in the Army for eight years, leaving the service as a specialist. He obtained his M.S. in Managing Information Technology from Sullivan University. He has been a Greyshirt for two years and volunteer leader as a tech lead, with his first operation being operation Bad Timing.
Matthew also volunteers with ITDRC—Information Technology Disaster Resource Center.
Favorite quote: “An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.” ―Arnold Glasow
Fun Fact: Matthew raises Opae Ula shrimp (very hardy Hawaiian red shrimp) and tried raising sea turtles when he was in the Cayman Islands.
Mike Shenk, U.S. Army Veteran
Cedar Park, TX
Mike served in the Army for 26 years, retiring as a colonel. He received his M.S. in Applied Mathematics from the Naval Postgraduate School. In addition to volunteering for Team Rubicon for the last three years, he volunteers with the Flip Flop Foundation.
Mike’s first operation was Operation Amberjack. The powerful impact of learning how to step into the arena and knowing everyone has a role has defined every operation to this day.
Favorite quote: “Service beyond oneself must be an endeavor of the heart to be meaningful, lasting, and ultimately transformational.” —Mike Shenk
Fun Fact: Riding anything with two wheels keeps him outside, engaged with nature and others.
Kevin Wilson, U.S. Navy Veteran
Kevin served in the Navy for five years and left as a petty officer second class. He obtained his M.S. in Nursing from the University of Mary and is a Registered Nurse. He is the board chair of the Lander Free Medical Clinic which serves the uninsured of Fremont County, WY, with free medical care. He volunteers as a commissioner on the Serve Wyoming Board of Directors which promotes efforts among private, nonprofit, and governmental organizations that advance community service, volunteer programs, and activities in Wyoming communities.
Kevin has been a member of Team Rubicon for one year.
Favorite quote: “Service is about meeting people where they are. It means putting aside your ego and leaning into discomfort and uncertainty to be truly present for others.” —Kevin Wilson
Fun Fact: Kevin loves to discover the landscape of Wyoming and connect with nature through hiking, running, skiing, climbing, mountaineering, and packrafting.
Kallie Winners, U.S. Navy Veteran
Kallie served in the Navy for 10 years, leaving as a petty officer first class, then earned her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Denver. She has been a Greyshirt since 2015 and previously held volunteer leadership roles. Her first operation allowed her to meet disaster survivors, and hearing their stories has made the biggest impact on her life.
Favorite quote: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands—one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” —Audrey Hepburn
Fun Fact: She once rode her bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Scott Yaglowski, U.S. Army Veteran
Scott served with the Army for more than 12 years and is currently a reservist and chief warrant officer 2. He holds an M.S. in Emergency Management and is obtaining his MBA at the University of Connecticut. Scott also has an FAA Commercial Pilots License and serves his community as a firefighter and EMT.
A Greyshirt for six years, making friends with many veterans from different branches of service and eras of war during his first operation made him realize that they have a lot in common. Operation Geaux Big shaped the way he looked at Team Rubicon’s interpersonal experiences moving forward.
Favorite quote: “Service means being a part of and contributing to your community.” —Scott Yaglowski
Fun Fact: Scott was a competitive skydiver for the University of Connecticut Skydiving Team.