We Serve America is led by four generations of veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War and the Wars on Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its officers and board members represent all branches of the armed services. We Serve is guided by an experienced and dedicated team with strong nonprofit experience and success building programs from start-up to maturity. Our leadership has sustained national prominence in the field of veteran organizations and business marketing domestically and internationally. It is complemented in its administration, governance, and community engagement by senior experience in all aspects of military culture, the military and veterans’ communities.
Increase the national understanding of the importance of healing of the warrior’s body, mind and spirit through connection with like-minded peers who have all experienced military service and sacrifice. All warriors have experienced some degree of loss through their service – a sacrifice of identity, a loss of time with family, and in many cases witnessed or suffered physical loss – whether it be of limb or the life of a loved one or brother-in-arms. We Serve Fireside VetChats bring this fellowship of veterans and family members together to share experiences and provide strength and hope to each other that they might reconnect with themselves and others and recover from the wounds of isolation, loss, guilt, and the reprogramming of self-caused by military service
We are dedicated to building a Veteran community based on the belief in a power greater than ourselves. We assert that war is both archetypal and wounding of everyone it touches and it changes every part of us: body, mind, heart, soul, spirit, relationships and communities. We believe that invisible wounds of military service such as the sacrifice of self for the greater good and PTSD are not a failure of character but proof of the warrior's mortality and humanity. By gathering together and sharing the experiences of war and honoring and reconnecting with that service, the We Serve America Fireside VetChat Program creates a portal for reconnection, transformation, self-awareness, growth and healing. The annual broadcast of the We Serve America Concert and Salute to Active Duty Military, Veterans and Military Families communicates to the nation the importance of the We Serve America mission through song, music, the written and spoken word. The We Serve Awards recognize organizations or individuals whose programs and practices have demonstrated a total commitment to healing of the warrior’s body, mind and spirit through connection with like-minded peers who have all experienced military service and sacrifice.
Ryan D. Rothman
President & Legal Advisor; Fireside VETCHAT Program National Director
Ryan Rothman is an attorney and Veteran of the United States Air Force. He received his commission and attended flight training after graduating from Utah State University in 2003. During his flight career, Ryan flew worldwide air-refueling missions for both U.S. and NATO forces. His broad flight experience includes new fighter test support, combat A/R missions over Iraq, and orchestrating one of the largest and most complex air-refueling operations in history for the President’s 2008 Summer Olympics visit to China. Ryan left active duty in 2009 to study law at Regent University. He is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia where he focuses on the unique legal issues facing military members, government contracting, start-up business, and not-for-profit law. Ryan is proud to be a Founding Member, President, Legal Advisor, and National Director of the Fireside VETCHAT Program of We Serve, Inc.
The daughter of a military family, Celia Straus has received a number of nominations and awards for her work as a writer for local PBS programming including The Man Who Loved the Stars, starring Ossie Davis. She also wrote the 2012 through 2017 National Memorial Day Concert annually broadcast live on PBS. Celia has garnered Cine Golden Eagles, and industrial film festival gold and silver awards as script-writer for the American Red Cross, Agency for Instructional Television, USDA, Discovery, National Trust for Historic Preservation and MPT, among others. She was the writer/co-producer of the annual national broadcast of the Thomas Jefferson Awards for Public Service and served as co-writer/producer for the full length documentary, Broke, the American Dream which premiered on the Documentary Channel. Her trilogy on spiritual parenting included the national best seller, Prayers On My Pillow, Ballantine Books, 1998. For the past fifteen years she has worked with numerous veterans service organizations, including Army Wounded Warrior, Give an Hour, the Armed Forces Foundation and National Organization on Disabilities, and written the book, Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts, Stories of American Soldiers with PTSD and TBI, Casemate, 2009. She recently authored her father's WWII memoirs, Pathfinder Pioneer, about flying B-17s over Germany in 1943 - '44, Casemate, April 2016.
COO / We Serve America Annual Salute to Veterans
A business executive who has held leadership roles in US and international companies including Burger King, Aol and Bacardi. He worked in higher education for a decade and founded WiseChoice to help students improve educational outcomes and successfully graduate from college. He has been recognized as a branded entertainment pioneer for his work in movies, television and live music concerts. He was the Executive Producer of the Dave Matthews Central Park Concert on the Great Lawn. A graduate of the University of California, he lives in Great Falls, Virginia.