Meet Our Men's Leadership Team
Paul Lavelle, CMSgt, USAF, (Ret), MSC
Founder and President
Paul Lavelle, CMSgt, USAF (Ret), MSC is the Founder and President of Operation Restored Warrior (ORW), a ministry dedicated to stopping the veteran suicide epidemic gripping our nation. Serving for 26 years on active duty in the United States Air Force Medical/Dental Service, Paul served in major commands and senior leadership positions, culminating his career at the 10th Medical Group at the United States Air Force Academy, where he retired in 2001.
He is the recipient of several military decorations and medals and earned a Masters Degree in Counseling, from the University of Phoenix.
While attending a Wild at Heart event in Colorado in 2003, this former atheist had an amazing encounter on the side of a mountain and as a result, invited Jesus into his life. About a year later, Paul began a four year learning experience working with bestselling author, John Eldredge and the Wild at Heart ministry team as a member of their team. During that amazing time, he developed a deep desire to see healing and freedom come to his fellow military veterans.
In 2008, Paul founded ORW with fellow military veterans representing each of the services. Over the past 15 years he has helped to heal and restore our nation’s warriors struggling with the ongoing suicide epidemic. National and international leaders from politics, business, education, professional football, entertainment, and ministry have also attended the ORW Drop Zone programs and received restoration. Paul has been honored to participate in the healing and restoration of Gold Star Fathers who have lost their sons and daughters in combat.
He has appeared on several national television, radio, and podcasts programs to share the miraculous impact of ORW. ORW has been highlighted in three documentaries and six books.
Jimmy Watson, Navy SEAL (Ret), USMC, BS
Chief Operating Officer
Jimmy Watson, NSW/USN (Ret) is the Chief Operating Officer of Operation Restored Warrior. His military career in special operations encompass leading teams in high threat environments on multiple warfronts. Jimmy began active-duty service as a United States Marine assisting in the recovery of victims at the USS Cole, and fighting the war on terrorism. He transitioned to private military contracting and held multiple leadership positions in Blackwater USA as a GS-13 for the Department of State mission. He enlisted into the United States Navy to become a Navy SEAL and graduated BUDS Class 283. Jimmy held multiple designations as a Naval Special Warfare Operator. He is the recipient of several military decorations and medals to include the Blackwater Silver Defense Medal for heroism. Jimmy holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from the University of Charleston, West Virginia. He retired in 2017 and held multiple senior executive leadership positions at Team McAfee culminating his time as President of Team McAfee.
Due to a high-risk training accident in the SEAL teams, Jimmy was sent to James Haley Veterans Hospital. What he experienced left him searching for answers. He realized fellow warriors were returning home from battle just to fight a new enemy. Jimmy was in the fight of his life battling PTSD, and this left him hopeless as thoughts of suicide plagued him every day. Jimmy tried extensive forms of therapy, counseling, and prescribed medication, but nothing worked. All the pills, alcohol, and drugs in the world could not comfort his brokenness. One day, his sister turned on the television and he heard about Operation Restored Warrior. He decided to go and what he experienced was life changing. His shoulder was healed during prayer and his heart was restored by Jesus. Jimmy joined the team at Operation Restored Warrior because he believes this is the special operations of the unseen fight against veteran suicide.
Rev. Jordan Fulton, SGT, US Army, (Ret), MSc
Executive Director of Operations & Drop Zone Lead
Jordan is the Executive Director of Operations and Drop Zone Lead for Operation Restored Warrior. He served as an Infantryman at the 101st Airborne Air Assault Division and at the 3rd Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard. Jordan was a 240B gunner during his time at the 101st, and was a casket team leader responsible for rendering final honors at burials for both fallen active duty soldiers and veterans while standing stationed at The Old Guard.
Jordan is the recipient of several personal and unit awards, decorations, and medals, including a Purple Heart for combat injuries. Jordan attended an ORW Drop Zone looking to rekindle a relationship with Jesus and his wife after realizing how emotionally withdrawn and distant he had become. With diagnoses of PTSD, depression, and anxiety, he realized that medication(s) could not fix these problems. Through the Drop Zone experience and having a powerful encounter with Jesus, his heart was restored and healed in some deep places. Since this experience, Jordan has been propelled forward and he has not looked back. Jordan is married to an amazing woman, Sarah, who is his partner in raising their 5 kids together. Jordan has a passion for family, fitness, and single-origin coffee. He is a graduate of Elim Bible Institute & College with a diploma in Pastoral Ministry and is ordained through Elim Fellowship. He also has a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management: Health and Wellness and a Master’s degree in Exercise Science, both from Pennsylvania Western University.
John C. Williams, CWO4, USCG, (Ret)
Director, Drop Zone Administration & Drop Zone Facilitator
John is the Director of Drop Zone Administration and a Drop Zone Facilitator for Operation Restored Warrior. He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer of the United States Coast Guard having served as a member of the Presidential Honor Guard, conducting various ceremonies to include full honors, funerals, and Presidential Inaugurations. John became an Aviation Survival Technician (Helicopter Rescue Swimmer) with numerous rescues during the most challenging conditions such as Hurricane Katrina earning commendations and being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The last fourteen years of his active duty career were spent as a Criminal Investigator before retiring over 30 years of service in 2021.
During John’s time as a Helicopter Rescue Swimmer, he continually struggled with PTS resulting from recovery missions. While serving as a Criminal Investigator many of the investigations opened wounds from his childhood which he was unable to address due to the nature of his job. He reached a breaking point after years of suppressing these scars out of fear and having suicidal thoughts while dealing with the aftermath of active duty members taking their own lives. Another fellow rescue swimmer who had dealt with similar struggles attended an ORW Drop Zone and shared with John how Jesus healed his heart. Although John had a relationship with Jesus, he realized the need to address deep rooted issues that caused great separation and pain in his life. After hearing the freedom and joy experienced, John decided to attend a Drop Zone and encountered Jesus’ healing and restoration in a very profound way. John’s heart to help veterans and military service members has led him to serve with ORW.
Director, Donor Development
Shane is a gifted creator and professional storyteller who is honored to have found a place in this community of warriors. Over the past two decades working as a writer and director for Christian television, Shane has produced more than 20 original series spanning the disciplines of drama, reality TV, and documentary, as well as two feature films. Now as part of the Operation Restored Warrior team, Shane uses his skills to share the ORW vision, showing people everywhere how they can find their place in this miraculous story of healing and restoration.
Shane first encountered the transforming work of Operation Restored Warrior while filming a reality TV series with Big Daddy Weave. After that, he was hooked, and quickly returned to include ORW in his documentary series Kingdom Life – investigating how Paul Lavelle and his team are guided by the voice of the Holy Spirit in their work to restore soldiers’ hearts.
Ultimately, Shane received the honor of participating in a Drop Zone himself, and had an encounter with Jesus that was beyond his theology: “I thought that if you wanted to hear from Jesus, the only thing you could do was read your Bible. But during my Drop Zone, I encountered all three persons of the Trinity in a personal, relational, conversational way. I spent time in the presence of Jesus, and felt him heal parts of me that I would have declared unreachable. And Jesus showed up in the same way for every man that weekend, restoring hearts and even performing miraculous physical healing. Through Jesus, Operation Restored Warrior is truly a ministry of miracles.”
Stephane serves as a master chef for Operation Restored Warrior and has many years of culinary experience and training. His love for food began when he was young, having been raised by a French father who was an accomplished chef. He taught Stephane many things about the art of food.
Stephane worked his way through school in the restaurant industry with his father earning a degree in business management from Thomas University.
After completing his schooling, Stephane left the restaurant industry to serve as the Clubhouse Manager at one of America’s oldest clubs called Glen Arven Country Club. He left Glen Arven in early 2022 after 25 years to work privately and use his culinary gift to serve the Kingdom of God.
Stephane and his family reside in Georgia where he currently travels the United States offering his culinary expertise for private events and organizations.
Daniel Strong, SSgt, USMC, (Ret)
Drop Zone Facilitator
Daniel is a Drop Zone Facilitator for Operation Restored Warrior and a retired Staff Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps. He served as an infantryman with numerous deployments including combat tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom earning commendations and awards including medals for valor and a Purple Heart. Daniel was wounded in combat from an IED explosion during his last deployment in Iraq in 2008. He was medically evacuated back to the United States where he spent eighteen months recovering and then was medically retired from active duty. He currently serves as a Marine Instructor teaching Marine Corps Junior ROTC at his local high school.
After Daniel’s time in service, his biggest struggles were with PTSD and physical pain. At the end of his rope, he reached out to his former Platoon Sergeant who had just attended an ORW Drop Zone himself. His friend shared how Jesus saved his life and could do the same for Daniel. After hearing the excitement and freedom in his friend’s voice on that phone call, Daniel decided he wanted to go. Daniel found his healing and restoration from Jesus at his Drop Zone and is committed to helping rescue his fellow veteran warriors by serving on the ORW team.
Bill Strouse, MSgt, USAF, (Ret)
Drop Zone Facilitator
Bill is a Drop Zone Facilitator at Operation Restored Warrior and a retired Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force with eighteen years of service Pararescueman (PJ), including several deployments with combat operations in Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. As a combat PJ, Bill served on active duty, reserves, and the Alaska Air National Guard earning PJ of the Year and SNCO of the Year in 2013. He is also the recipient of the Air Medal with Valor for combat action in Afghanistan.
Having overcome several injuries from combat and other hazardous duty incidents, Bill began to feel the effects of multiple deployments and of his injuries. Living with PTSD and TBI effects, depression, suicide ideations, with physical and nerve pain, he anesthetized with alcohol and pain medications. He desired to return to duty but was unable to due to multiple surgeries, extensive mental health and TBI treatments and multiple medications. It wasn’t long before Bill reached a place where he believed there was no hope in this life. However, a mentor of his, who had just returned from an ORW Drop Zone, encouraged Bill to attend a Drop Zone for himself. Bill decided to go even though he thought it would not help because his friend and mentor had highly encouraged him to attend a Drop Zone. He found healing and restoration from Jesus who gave him a new life, with hope and a future. He is now serving Jesus through ORW by assisting in the healing and restoration of his fellow service members.
T. Michael Elrod, Commander, USAF/USN, USNR, (Ret)
Drop Zone Facilitator
Mike is a Drop Zone Facilitator for Operation Restored Warrior and a retired military aviator having served 28 years collectively in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Navy Reserve. Mike’s time in the Air Force & Navy involved service to Pacific, Asian, and European theatres as well as support in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He was also a test pilot for Northrop Aircraft. In addition to his military service, Mike also retired with 21 years of service as a Captain at Northwest Airlines.
The events and experiences Mike faced during his long military career led him to experience nightmares that lasted 35 years. He battled to overcome but never knew what he was dealing with and how to handle it. The symptoms of his PTSD included significant anxiety and anger which affected relationships with friends and family and stole the joy from his life. Mike searched for help through multiple VA counseling programs, but never found relief.
One day a good friend and ORW alum reached out to Mike and shared Operation Restored Warrior with him. His friend shared how ORW helped him overcome the struggles in his life and he believed Mike would find the same result. After a few months of consideration, Mike registered and attended his Drop Zone in December of 2012.
Mike’s life was completely transformed in 5 days and for the first time in several years, Mike experienced a good night’s sleep free from nightmares. He is now walking as a restored warrior free from pain because of what Jesus did for him. Because of what Mike received from Jesus at his Drop Zone, his heart has grown for his family and he desires to help other veterans receive freedom.
Bob Watson, PO1, USCG, (Ret)
Drop Zone Facilitator
Bob Watson is a Drop Zone Facilitator for Operation Restored Warrior and a retired Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer with twenty years of service. His first rescue was a sinking boat and six people in a raft. He was told he had seventeen minutes and the helo was going to have to go home. After getting all six onboard the helicopter in fourteen minutes, he realized the importance of being in top shape both physically and mentally. Bob took what he learned and that passion shaped his career and his leadership. He ended his career in Elizabeth City, NC training the next generation to include his son!
Bob’s knowledge and expertise of rescue swimming led him to play a role in the movie “The Guardian” starring Kevin Costner & Ashton Kutcher. After his military career, he worked with a civilian company training helicopter rescue to law enforcement, governments, and military companies all over the world. He is currently a small business owner and living in Alaska.
Bob did not grow up in a Christian home but received Jesus after he was married and had two of his six children. His walk with God was a constant in his heart and actions. He raised three children (three are already with the Lord) and has been married for thirty-seven years. Bob went to ORW in hopes of bringing it to Alaska, not realizing the impact it would have on his own life. His Drop Zone gave him a freedom in Jesus he didn’t even know he needed. That has solidified his passion to be a part of serving with ORW. Alaska is number one in suicide, PTSD, and spousal abuse and Bob believes the only one that can give true freedom in these very real issues is Jesus Christ. To help others see Jesus Christ and the joy He offers is priceless.
Tim Farley, SSgt, USMC / LEO (Ret)
Drop Zone Facilitator
Tim is a Drop Zone Facilitator with Operation Restored Warrior, retired law enforcement officer, and veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served as an M1A1 Abrams Tank Mechanic and an M88A2 Hercules vehicle commander from 1998 to 2004 and deployed to Iraq in 2003 for combat operations during OIF 1 as part of 2nd Tank Battalion, 1stMarDiv assigned to Task Force Tarawa. After departing the Marine Corps as a Staff Sergeant, Tim began a career as a law enforcement officer in upstate New York and has served as a patrol officer, investigator, and academy instructor before retiring in 2021.
Following his military service, Tim struggled to find peace and purpose through his experiences and thought a career in law enforcement would satisfy the need to prove his worth. Ultimately, the search for worthiness and joy on his own would prove to be fruitless and he began to settle for less than what God intended for his life. He lost connection with his wife and family and isolated himself through work. Tim found out about Operation Restored Warrior from a close friend who is an ORW alum and in 2019, Tim attended his Drop Zone. Jesus showed him how to live life with a personal connection and relationship with Him. Since Tim’s Drop Zone, he has learned that battles will continue to come his way but he stands victorious by embracing his true identity as a warrior in Jesus. Tim’s personal healing brought healing to his marriage of over twenty years and he now lives with an open heart. He has learned to love himself, his family and others in a new way. Tim believes that God has called him for the purpose of helping veterans and first responders find victory and freedom in Jesus through ORW.
Troy Thompson, USAF Veteran
Drop Zone Facilitator
Troy is a Drop Zone Facilitator at Operation Restored Warrior and a veteran of the United States Air Force after serving 6 years as a Pararescueman (PJ) with 2 combat deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Through his service he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant and received the Air Medal with Valor device for combat action in Afghanistan. After separating form active duty, Troy continued to serve his community as a Nationally Registered Paramedic, Flight Paramedic, and currently works as a Physician Assistant in Emergency, family and addiction medicine.
From his military deployments as a PJ, years of service in E.M.S. and emergency medicine, Troy began to note the psychologic effects of repeat exposure to high stress, death and dying. Although Troy felt like most things in his life were actually going relatively well, he did not always understand why he felt numb; like he wasn’t capable of expressing normal emotions and that he was living a life of superficiality without direction or passion. Difficulty being present and finding joy, feeling shame, regret, anger, and a diminished sense of self worth were beginning to become the norm. Although he was raised in a Christian home, he felt he was just “going through the motions” and struggled to find true meaning and heartfelt purpose in his life.
In 2021 one of his PJ brethren, who had recently gone through an ORW Drop Zone, paid him a visit and encouraged him to attend. Troy credits his February 2022 drop zone to restoring his identity as a Christian Man and giving him back his meaning and purpose in life as well as his identity as a son of God, created in the image of the Father. Looking back, Troy did not realize how much weight he had been shouldering until he was free of it. He continues to observe the positive affects in his relationship with his wife and kids, his work, and in living life to its fullest. He continues his ongoing relationship with Jesus with a restored heart. He has a new found mission and a purpose to serve Jesus as a restored warrior in His kingdom!
Shannon Rusch, US Navy SEAL
Drop Zone Facilitator
Shannon is a Drop Zone Facilitator for Operation Restored Warrior and has extensive experience in communications, team leadership, and the delivery of solid results in high-stress environments. With experience as a United States Navy SEAL and a record of success in deployments to mitigate terrorism and narcotics trafficking throughout Central and South America. As the Founder and Principle of SilentShadow USA Inc., Shannon brings a wealth of wisdom and experience to his roles as a trainer, speaker, and consultant for tactical and firearms skills development.
Shannon has directly and positively impacted the success of SilentShadow USA through his unwavering commitment to excellence. He is credited with advising commercial and government clients on strategies, procedures, and best practices that achieve mission results while safeguarding the health and welfare of all team members.
In addition to his role as Founder and Principle of SilentShadow USA, he also serves as the Founder and CEO of SEAL Swim Charities, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a Mind, Body & Spirit approach to healing for veterans. After having his own personal encounter with Jesus and an undeniable spiritual experience he and his dog PigBear, decided to then help others overcome their personal struggles by serving with ORW.
Shannon is a member of of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) graduating class 236. He currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.