OUR BOARD

Jasan Thomason

Board Member at Large

Monique Wakes

Board Member at Large

Sherri Heitz

Executive Director

David Jones

President

Dave Palazzo

Board Member At Large

Donna Nelson

Board Member At Large

Scott McKechnie

Board Member At Large

Kevin Kaveney

Board Member At Large

Bill Johnson

Board Member at Large

OUR HISTORY

Citizen Soldier Connection was founded in 2006 at the urging of Robert Mixon (MGen, Ret, USA) to provide support and connect soldiers to the community of Colorado Springs.  Jeff Banaster (Col, Ret, USA) and Don Addy (local businessman) developed and led the organization during its startup.  In 2006, the combat deployment rotation was heavy, and there were many families left here without a support network.  CSC was established to fill that void by creating support networks within the local community.

Since that time, the military has changed, Fort Carson’s deployment cycles have changed, and soldiers’ needs have changed.  Likewise, the mission of Citizen Soldier Connection has evolved.  Our overall goal is to provide support and friendship within the community still.  However, we have expanded our reach to all local active duty veterans and their families in the Pikes Peak Region.  Our mission is to support and strengthen our military and veterans through programs designed to improve their lives and ease the entire military family unit’s stress.  We desire to increase military, active duty members, and local units’ combat readiness and honor those who have served by supporting and caring for our veterans and their families.

In addition to the programs that we currently host, we also help fund other local support organizations.  Some examples:

  • Provide emergency food vouchers for 50 families each year through Army Community Service
  • Provide individual grants to military families who are in a financial crisis or need one-time assistance
  • Donate to the Colorado Springs Conservatory to provide active duty veterans and their families free music lessons
  • We have donated to support the Ft Carson Mounted Color Guard uniforms
  • We provide funds through Mt Carmel Veteran’s Service Center to provide emergency funding to their resource center for veterans, as well as support resources and case manager to guide and help with issues that they may experience

We are involved with command teams and support networks on our local military bases and other community resources in Colorado Springs and only provide funding to vetted organizations. The funding goes directly to helping the military members.

OUR GOALS FOR 2020-2022

Americans love, respect, and honor our troops all year round — in fact, people donate more than $2.5 billion annually to the over 40,000 American charities with military-related missions. Citizen Soldier Connection wants to create a more significant impact on the Pikes Peak Region by fostering a welcoming community of local businesses and individuals in Colorado Springs. Engaging and educating leaders on our mission and capabilities, sowing into these relationships to build our local military support networks and resources, and improving local support for our local active, veterans, and their families.

Colorado Springs is home to five military bases. We have a constant flow of new service members and families, creating endless opportunities to build collaborative relationships with local organizations and non-profits to increase abilities to support our local military. As the relationships with citizens and businesses are forged, we memorialize these relationships and agreements for increased future awareness, impact, and longevity, creating a deep well of resources.  Strong support structures for service members and their families enrich citizens’ and service members’ lives and enhance military forces’ combat effectiveness.

Our ambition is to raise $200K in donations in 2021 by executing additional events focusing on engaging more Colorado Springs citizens in our mission and vision and connecting with large organizations for partnership and funding opportunities.