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.
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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. [/showhide]
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.[showhide type=”2″ more_text=”Read More…” less_text=”Show less…”]
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 Lead
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.[showhide type=”16″ more_text=”Read More…” less_text=”Show less…”]
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.[/showhide]
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.
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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.
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.
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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.”
Mike Lennon, USMC, Vietnam Veteran
Partner Relations Developer
Mike, a Drop Zone alumni, is passionate about ORW’s mission to “rescue and restore” lives and recently joined the ORW team to help build our base of financial stakeholders and partners as we step into the next exciting phase of ORW’s growth. Mike is a former combat marine machine-gunner and served in Vietnam in 1967-68. In his vocational calling Mike has worked in the charitable nonprofit world for over 40 years, having established 10 nonprofit groups, including two existing national organizations; HomeAid, which transform the homeless into self-sufficiency and Homes for Hope, which provides spiritual and financial support for struggling entrepreneurs in developing nations.
Daniel Strong, SSgt, USMC, (Ret)
Drop Zone Facilitator Lead
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.
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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), Pararescue
Drop Zone Facilitator Lead
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.
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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.[/showhide]
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.
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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![showhide type=”14″ more_text=”Read More…” less_text=”Show less…”]
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.[/showhide]
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.[showhide type=”15″ more_text=”Read More…” less_text=”Show less…”]
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.[/showhide]
Troy Thompson, USAF, Pararescue
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 from 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.
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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![/showhide]
Bobby Edwards, U.S. Army, Ranger
Drop Zone Facilitator
Bobby is a Drop Zone Facilitator with Operation Restored Warrior. A combat veteran of the United States Army after serving 18 years as an Airborne Infantryman. Bobby spent the majority of his career with the 82nd Airborne Division and executed 3 combat deployments in support of OEF and OIF. Through his service he earned the coveted Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and was a distinguished Ranger Instructor at the US Army Ranger School. After being medically retired, Bobby felt called into ministry and sought ways to help veterans connect with Jesus.[showhide type=”Bobby” more_text=”Read More…” less_text=”Show less…”]During the medical retirement process, Bobby experienced a ripple effect in his life, bringing back wounds from his childhood and combat deployments. These compounding effects and the new sense of being alone now that he was out of the Army, caused Bobby to feel diminished and not worthy of his call to ministry. He began searching for the right Veteran organization that could help him get back on track with his relationship with the Lord. After several failed attempts with other organizations, Bobby came across Operation Restored Warrior, hearing about it on multiple social media platforms. He immediately knew this was exactly what he was looking for. Bobby attended his Drop Zone not fully knowing the impact it would have on his life and ministry. He now walks in complete freedom as a warrior for the Kingdom who is always asking God for, “One more…” Bobby is married to his beautiful wife and they have 3 children and currently reside in South Carolina.
JJ Little, CMSgt, USAF (Ret), JTAC
Drop Zone Facilitator
JJ Little grew up in Lodi, California and entered the U.S. Army in May 1987. His unique service background includes training in Army Fire Support, Jumpmaster Instructor, and as a Parachute Demonstrator with over 3,000 jumps during his combined Army and Air Force career, to include serving as a member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights. Chief Little transitioned to the U.S. Air Force as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) and he has served at the TACP detachment, squadron, group and headquarters levels. Chief Little’s combat operations include serving with the 82nd ABN Div and the 6th French BEP during Operations Desert Shield/Storm, as well as actions in Operation Restore Democracy. Recent engagements included tours in OIF and OEF with both conventional Army and Special Operation Forces. His passions include austere mission support for NPOs and mentoring other Combat Veterans.
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The gifts received from the ORW Drop Zone is immeasurable. The team helped me see clearly that identity is not determined by success and failures in combat, or life lived at full measure, but through Jesus. Moreover, that trauma in its various forms cannot be processed alone. My own failures were shored up by the ever-present gifting of God.[/showhide]
Ross Munro, US Navy Seal, (Ret)
Drop Zone Facilitator
Ross is a Drop Zone facilitator with Operation Restored Warrior. He retired as a Navy SEAL Master Chief after serving for 31 years in the United States Navy. He served at numerous operational commands where he served in multiple combat zones through out the world. During Ross’ time as a USN SEAL, he was consistently busy with deployments or training and never really slowed down. After retirement in 2014, he continued as a government contractor, local elected government official, ambassador to veterans association, volunteer at his local community church, and many more volunteer positions that occupied his valuable time. His personal awards include three Bronze Stars, Two Defense Meritorious Service Awards, Three Meritorious Service Medals and numerous other unit and campaign awards.
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After being retired for a couple years, he noticed his personal life was suffering and he wasn’t free from past traumatic events. He learned being busy doesn’t solve the problem it only masks it. A fellow Naval Special Warfare member who had dealt with similar struggles attended an ORW Drop Zone and shared with Ross how Jesus healed his warrior heart. Although Ross had a relationship with Jesus, he realized the need to address deep rooted issues that caused great separation and pain in his life. Ross decided to attend a Drop Zone and encountered Jesus’ healing and restoration in a very profound way. After having his heart restored, Ross desires to be a servant leader with ORW to help other veterans, military service members and the less fortunate.[/showhide]
Jim George, Correctional Sergeant CDCR
Drop Zone Facilitator
Jim is a Drop Zone Facilitator with Operation Restored Warrior. He began his career working in some of the most criminally active and violent prisons in California. After being promoted to Sergeant, he served as an investigator and trainer. Somewhere along the line after repeated exposure to high stress situations, fatigue set in. He lost sense of his highs and lows only to trade the emotions for a constant numbness.[showhide type=”JimG” more_text=”Read More…” less_text=”Show less…”]
Jim lost connection with his wife and family choosing to isolated himself through work. He attempted to limit the damage to those he loved by staying away and working countless overtime shifts. In February 2021, Jim attended a Drop Zone where he was able to unhitch his wagon from the burdens he had been pulling around for so long. With his identity now in Jesus, he faces battles with a restored faith and knowledge that he will never face another battle alone. Jim believes God has called him to encourage other first responders to find freedom in Jesus through ORW. Jim currently works in the Camps Division of CDCR taking inmate firefighters to wildfires throughout the state in addition to facilitating a small prison ministry planting seeds in the hearts of the confined.[/showhide]
Robert Opsenica, USMC
Drop Zone Facilitator
Rob Opsenica is a drop zone facilitator at Operation Restored Warrior. Rob served as a US Marine as Security Forces in Subic Bay and then with the Marine Raiders where he served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield campaigns. Rob served in Subic Bay patrolling the jungles of the Philippines as a patrol team leader and then deployed with the 7th and then with 9th Marines as a Raider to complete his tour of duty.
Rob finished with the Marines and began his civilian life and like most veterans struggled to find his way. He eventually turned to the trades where he found his passion as a heavy equipment operator in underground utility construction. With Rob’s military leadership it didn’t last long to become a crew leader, foreman, then a general foreman running the whole underground operation for the company. He learned that he not only was good in the industry, but had a passion for it as well.
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Since his Drop Zone, Rob feels restored and knows God has more for him. In a matter of months after his Drop Zone, Rob felt led to start a company in the underground industry serving major utility companies and others. This has allowed Rob to serve fellow veterans through ORW from a restored heart.
Rob is married to his beautiful wife Tina, and proud father of 2, and stepfather to 4. Rob enjoys keeping himself challenged by running Spartan races, and soon to be triathlons, and making the best of his time with his beloved wife.[/showhide]