State Funeral for War Veterans
"To convince Congress to pass legislation to grant a State Funeral for the last Medal of Honor recipients from the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as a final to salute to all the men and women who served."
National Board Members
James "Doc" McCloughan, National Board Member, Medal of Honor Recipient
State Funeral for World War II Veterans is pleased to announce James "Doc" McCloughan, recipient of the Medal of Honor for bravery in Vietnam, was appointed a National Board Member. He is President Donald Trump’s 1st Medal of Honor recipient. The White House ceremony took place last July 31, 2017.
A graduate of Bangor High School and Olivet College, James resides in his hometown South Haven, Michigan. After earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree in sociology and a teaching certificate in 1968, he accepted a teaching and football coaching position at South Haven High School.
McCloughan taught sociology and psychology at South Haven High School until his retirement in 2008 earning him the Michigan Education Associations’ 40 years of Service Award. He was also the recipient of the Wolverine Conference Distinguished Service Award for 38 years of coaching football and baseball in addition to 22 years of coaching wrestling. His coaching career was exceptional, and McCloughan received a number of awards for his 38 years of coaching. He lives with his beloved wife Chérie. They are both very active in the planning and logistics of his demanding schedule.
“Jim brings his diverse background and leadership experience to the role of National Board member,” said Ron Ramseyer, National Founding Board member. “The National Board of Directors joins me in welcoming a second Medal of Honor recipient to our board. It is an honor to serve along side men like Don Ballard and Jim McLoughlin.”
Donald "Doc" Ballard, National Board Member, Medal of Honor Recipient
Colonel Don Ballard is a retired American colonel in the Kansas National Guard and former member of the US Navy, in which he was a hospital corpsman in the Vietnam War. Ballard was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He was married and working in a dental lab when he decided to join the Navy in hopes of becoming a dentist someday. Don was decorated with the Medal of Honor for heroic actions above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a HC2c. with Company M. To read his Medal of Honor citation please click here.
Today, Don lives in the beautiful Kansas City where he was born. He spends much of his time working as a funeral director. He is married and has 8 wonderful children. Don runs a nonprofit that pays for the funerals for veterans that do not have benefits. He is an avid lover of college football and enjoys going to games every time he has the chance.
Rabel McNutt, an elementary school student of Dallas, Texas, was blessed to have Medal of Honor recipient, Walter Ehlers as her Godfather. When he passed away in 2014, Rabel turned to her father,
Bill McNutt, and asked, "Are they going to have a big funeral in Washington DC for Uncle Ehlers and his friends?" This moment was the genesis of the idea to create the national nonprofit, State Funeral for World War II Veterans. Her father and her serve as Co-Founders of the organization.
Rabel enjoys playing competitive volleyball and basketball. Her hobbies include sewing, competing in chess tournaments, and anything having to do with Harry Potter. She also enjoys volunteering for her brother, Thomas McNutt's campaign for the Texas Legislature.
She is a veteran of Kanakuk Kamps near Branson, Missouri, operated by a family friend, Joe White. Robot and Drone camp is another one of her favorite summer activities.
Note: This is a photo of Rabel with Woody Williams, WWII MOH recipient, not Walter Ehlers.
Ronald L. Ramseyer, Treasurer
A former President of Bass Pro Shops and the Founder/CEO of Macy’s Direct Marketing & Sales, Ron is no stranger to new enterprises. He has held a number of senior executive positions at several leading multi-channel retailers, including Talbots. There he was responsible for Direct & Stores Marketing, CRM, stores expansion, credit marketing and business development. He serves as a business mentor and as an advisory board member of the Silicon Valley Growth Syndicate, which holds investments in 65 tech startups.
Ron is also the Managing Partner of Ramseyer & Associates, LLC, a multi-channel marketing, strategic planning and business fund raising consultancy He serves as Chairman of the Board for the Children’s Well-Being Foundation and currently resides on Boston’s South Shore in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Mr. Ramseyer received his MBA with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Chicago and his BA in Sociology from Northwestern University.
Bill McNutt, Co-Founder and Chairman
The son of a World War II U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, our co-founder and chairman, Bill McNutt, has built a successful career in government and civic leadership, international trade and private business.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, McNutt graduated from the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. He and his daughter, Rabel McNutt, have created a nationwide effort to convince the President of the United States to designate a state funeral for the last Medal of Honor holder from World War II – a final salute to the 16 million men and women of the greatest generation who served in our armed forces from 1941 to 1945.
Bill McNutt worked for the 40th and 41st Presidents of the United States. He served in the Reagan White House as a Special Assistant in the Office of Privatization, a division of the Office of Management and Budget. He worked for Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush at National Campaign Headquarters during the 1988 presidential campaign, and as a member of the 1988-89 Presidential Transition Team. Following his service in the Bush-Quayle Administration at the Department of Labor, he organized and lead 53 United States trade missions.
Bill and two partners bought a controlling interest in Tradesman Truck Box, the sole supplier of Huskie pickup truck storage boxes to Home Depot. After growing the enterprise, they sold it to Lund International Automotive. Since the sale of Tradesman, Bill has been active in Silicon Valley venture capital, both as a general partner and investor.
Some of McNutt’s civic leadership experience includes service on the following boards:
National Federal of Independent Business Foundation
Montgomery Bell Academy Advisory Board
Budget Board of the Dallas Museum of the Arts
Agriculture Board at the National Chamber of Commerce
Delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business
State of Texas Drug Abuse Advisory Board
Bill lives with his wife Susana McNutt, an attorney, and their two daughters. He also has two adult sons. Thomas McNutt, a former college football player and high school coach, and Will McNutt, a lawyer and Marine Corps-trained Major, serves with the Texas National Guard.
Morris Kahn, National Board Member
Mr. Kahn received his Bachelor’s degree in economics from Tulane University. With skills in strategic planning, entrepreneurship and public speaking, Kahn owns Morris L. Kahn & Associates. He currently resides in the Greater New Orleans Area. He traveled to the National Funeral for Hershel Woody Williams in July of 2022
Adam Crepelle, Secretary
Mr. Crepelle has an array of Indian law and policy experience. He is an enrolled citizen of the United Houma Nation and has served on the tribe's election committee, diabetes coalition, and tribal security and community services committee. He is the former vice president of the California Indian Law Association and is a co-founder of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana.
He has authored several articles on topics including tribal cannabis, violence against American Indian women, and American Indian economic development. He is also an award winning film producer. His film, Indian Santa, screened at numerous venues including the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.
Adam is an attorney and serves as general counsel for A&E Office Machines. He is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program as well as the Small Business Administration's Emerging Leaders Program. In addition to his law degree, he holds a master's degree in public policy from Pepperdine University, where he was valedictorian of his class. He is currently pursuing an LLM in indigenous peoples law and policy at the University of Arizona.
Greg Hammer, National Board Member
Greg Hamer is a former President of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, and an Emeritus Director of the National Restaurant Association in Washington, D.C. Mr. Hamer and his B&G Food Enterprises Group own more than 140 Taco Bells and other food franchises located in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. As a great supporter of veterans, he traveled to Iwo Jima in March of 2018 with Medal of Honor recipient Woody Hershel Williams from West Virginia to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the battle.
Mr. Hamer's hard work created a Louisiana Congressional Delegation Letter to President Trump supporting our mission. The letter is signed by Louisiana United States Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, and by Representatives Steve Scalise, Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson, Ralph Abraham, Garret Graves, and Cedric Richmond.
His lifetime friend and fellow National Board member Morris Kahn said, "Greg is a selfless servant who has created employment and opportunity for thousands of Americans, many of whom are veterans."
A graduate of LSU, Greg, and his wife have 2 daughters and a son. His son and son-in-law are in the restaurant business with him in South Louisiana.
Dr. Danny P. Reeves, National Recruiting Chairman
Dr. Danny Reeves is the National Leadership Recruitment Chair. His ties to World War II are both personal and meaningful. Dr. Reeves' World War II American G.I. grandfather, Brian Bracken, met his French grandmother, Madeleine Alexandre, in Normandy while fighting his way eastward in 1944 with General George Patton's 3rd Army. Dr. Reeves is serving with State Funeral because of his love for the USA, his love for his heritage, and his deep appreciation for veterans.
Dr. Reeves recently served as the President of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and holds Master's of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Baylor University. Appointed in late 2019, he has already recruited our first female State Chair (Montana) as well as new Chairs in many other states.
While not a member of our National Board, Dr. Reeves works closely with our leadership to uncover new leaders. Please review our list of State Chairs on this website and contact him directly with your recommendations! email@example.com
Dr. Reeves spoke at the Memorial Service for Hershel Woody Williams at the National World War II Memorial on July 14, 2022. And, he was asked to give the invocation on that occasion, attended by over 1,000 people and 7 Medal of Honor recipients
John T. Digilio, Jr. National Board Member
General Digilio earned BA and MBA degrees. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1967 from LaSalle University's artillery ROTC program; entered active duty in 1969. In 1970, he was transferred to the 95th Evacuation Hospital, DaNang, Republic of Viet Nam.
Shortly after his return from Viet Nam, he joined the New York Army National Guard. He has held numerous command positions including Commander, 244th Medical Group, a Contingency Force Pool unit under the 44th Medical Brigade (Airborne), XVIII Airborne Corps. In July 1997, Digilio lead a team of military and civilian experts to Montevideo, Uruguay to train that country’s senior civilian and military personnel on the health aspects of natural and man-made disaster preparedness.
General Digilio is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the Command and General Staff College, and attended programs of the National Defense University. He has been awarded over 24 decorations and distinctions, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, four Army Commendation Medals, and the New York Army National Guard Conspicuous Service Medal.
He is the first member of the New York Army National Guard to be inducted into the Order of Military Medical Merit, U.S. Army Medical Department; the first recipient of the Colonel Gouverneur Morris Citizen Soldier Award presented by the Adjutant General of the State of New York. In 1997, he received the prestigious Joel T. Boone Award from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS). He is listed in Who’s Who in America and was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.
General Digilio was granted the dignity of Grand Cross in the Papal Knighthood Order of St. Gregory the Great. He was invested into the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (Knights Templar) and holds the high dignity of Grand Croix (GCTJ) and Grand Commander, Order of Merit. He serves as the secretary general of the international Order (OSMTH) and a deputy grand prior in the Grand Priory of the United States.
He was the national commander of La Sociétè des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux (Forty and Eight) in 2003; is a member of the National Security Commission of the American Legion; a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Order of the Cooties; a life associate member of the Marine Corps League, and a life member of the Disabled American Veterans.
In the civilian sector Digilio is the Vice Chairman, Aviation Technologies LTD; and President, International Integrated Logistics Systems, Inc.
His is a trustee of the Childrens Leukemia Research Association and a Past Chairman, Board of Directors, Long Island Chapter, Arthritis Foundation.
Brett P. Reistad, National Board Member
The 2018-2019 National Commander of the American Legion is a member of the National Board at State Funeral for World War II Veterans.
A successful businessman and Vietnam veteran from Virginia, Mr. Reistad played an important role in the American Legion passing our resolution at their 110th National Convention in the summer of 2018.
Brett has 37-years of active American Legion service at all levels. He served as the Chairman of the National Legislative Commission of the American Legion from July 2013 to October of 2016.
A graduate of Bluefield College, he has had a long private sector career in criminal justice activities, including 14 years with a congressionally funded program administrated by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Fiske Hanley, National Board Member
On his 7th combat mission over Japan in March 1945, Second Lt. Fiske Hanley's B-29 was shot down by the largest Japanese battleship of World War II, the Yamato. A 1938 graduate of Paschal High in Ft Worth, Texas and a 1943 graduate of Texas Tech, Fiske was treated as a "special prisoner" by the Kempei Tai military police and treated worse than regular American POW's. "My life and the lives of all Japanese prisoners of war were saved by the atomic bomb. The Japanese had orders to execute every POW the minute the US invasion of their homeland started."
Hanley was awarded the Purple Heart and POW medal upon returning to America for his valor and tenacity. His book entitled "Accused American War Criminal" is a must read for history buffs. Fiske has lived a happy and fulfilled life with 3 children and 5 grandchildren. "Mr. Hanley served his nation heroically", said fellow National Board member Morris Kahn. "He knows his greatest generation deserves special recognition at a State Funeral for the final Medal of Honor recipient from the Second World War."
Fiske credits his Christian faith in God for his survival. He has spoken to college and high school audiences on behalf of State Funeral for World War II veterans and will continue doing so, taking a break to plan his 100th birthday party in January of 2020. "Our generation defeated Nazism, Fascism, and Imperialism during World War II. The story must be told to young people."
Fiske passed away on August 9, 2020 at the age of 100. We will continue his fight to convince the President to designate a State Funeral for the last Medal of Honor recipient from his war. Rest in Peace.
Scott Mexic, National Board Member
Few American's can match Scott Mexic's record of bipartisan service in democrat and republican presidential administrations. His service includes the Office of Privatization in the Reagan White House and the Veterans Administration during the tenure of President Clinton. During the Bush-Cheney years, he served in the United States Department of Agriculture and was deployed to Afghanistan to help reorganize the Afghan Agriculture Ministry.
"Ours is a great bipartisan crusade to convince the President to hold a State Funeral for the final Medal of Honor recipient from 1941-1945," said Vietnam Medal of Honor holder and State Funeral National Board Member, Don Ballard. "The distinguished service of Mr. Mexic makes him a powerful addition to our National Board."
The proud father of a University of Mississippi Navy ROTC student, Scott has serves as and a principle in the Private Equity firm of CIH International. A native of New Orleans, Scott earned a BA, MBA and Law Degree from Tulane University and a Master's in Tax from Boston University. He resides in McLean, Virginia and is licensed to practice law in Washington, D.C., and Louisiana.