Dog Tag support nation

About Us

Founded by Veterans for Veterans

DOG TAG Support Nation was founded by Veterans who know what it’s like to come home after years of service and want to make the transition easier for other Veterans.

A veteran on a horse being lead by a volunteer
A father and son in hunting gear
A group of veterans outside a hunting lodge
Veterans on horses in a parade

The DOG TAG Support Nation is the Outreach & Awareness program of Veterans R&R 501c3. The sole mission of this program is to Find Veterans and Fund Our Veteran Life Saving Programs. The two biggest challenges that Veteran Servicing Organization (VSO’s) face are finding veterans and funding programs that retain them. As former military ourselves we decided to solve this problem like the military would. Make the problem well know & enlist as much help as you can to eliminate it. This is what we are doing and we need your help.

By joining our movement and becoming a DOG TAG Support Nation Sponsor you will be helping us solve both challenges. You will receive a DOG TAG which we want you to wear or display proudly. Post pics on social media wearing it, places you go, people you meet and most importantly tell people why you are wearing it. This we promise you will help a veteran to take that first step to eliminate the barriers that have held them as a prisoner in their own home. Joining the DOG TAG Support Nation Movement will help STOP the downward spiral that results in 22 Veteran Suicides a Day. Join Now!

Our Board

The Board of Directors is made up of Veterans and Veteran Supporters who want to say thank you for keeping this country free and safe.  Together, the Board and Volunteers want to create a safe, strong, solid group that isn’t just a place to go — it’s a place to call home.

Jim Welch, President

Jim Welch is the Founding member of Veterans R&R. After working with a group of Veterans in Lake and McHenry counties who were seeking alternative treatments for PTSD, Jim realized a need was not being met. He envisioned an organization dedicated to providing Veterans with educational and outreach programs that will help to enhance veterans’ productivity and quality of life.

Jason Teasley, Vice President

Jason is a founder of Veterans R&R. Nearly every male in his family served in the military, including one of his brothers, and Jason views the organization as a way of giving back to all the men and women that serve our country.

Kim Bentele, Secretary

Kimberley Bentele is the wife of Marine Corp Veteran Ryan Bentele, as well as a Board Member for Veteran’s R&R.  She has helped Ryan deal with the physical and non-visible wounds of war, including PTSD and a TBI.  After finding Operation Wild Horse in 2017, Kimberley found there to be a profound change in Ryan’s PTSD symptoms. They have subsequently both devoted a great deal of time to community outreach and volunteering to help other Veteran families in the area.

Tim Howe, Legal Counsel

Tim has a very personal connection to Veterans R&R. His wife’s godson is a Vet and Purple Heart recipient who has been impacted greatly by both physical and emotional scarring from many years serving in combat zones. Tim hopes that his very small sacrifice of time working at Veterans R&R—compared to the sacrifices made by those who’ve served—contributes to making Veterans lives better.

Peter Langerock, Director

A “son of a Sailor” and Navy brat, Peter and his family have lived all over the world as his father served in the United States Navy for nearly 30 years. You could say that loyalty, honor and patriotism are at the fundamental core of who he is. A native Chicagoan, Peter is currently living in the heart of Wisconsin—a Bear fan residing behind the Cheddar Curtain!

Dan Cahill, Program Director Outdoors

Dan was born and raised in the Chicago area and grew up hunting & fishing throughout Illinois.  As Dan and his brother learned to hunt, their father instilled in them some key principles:  always be safe, abide by the rules and regulations, respect the game, ethically harvest only what you will eat and always cherish the opportunity to spend time in the outdoors with family and friends.  Additionally, Dan was raised to love our county and appreciate the men & women of our military whose sacrifices provide us with these precious freedoms we richly enjoy.

Patti Gruber, Program Director Operation Wild Horse

Patti grew up the granddaughter of two WWII veterans. One a Marine who was captured on Wake Island and spent years as a POW in Japan.  The other a Navy machinist who served on the USS Hancock. Without a firsthand understand of the struggles her grandfathers both endured during wartime service, Patti grew up knowing there were emotional scars from their time in service. As an adult she learned about PTSD and started to draw the lines to connect her experiences, those in her family and her grandfathers back to their experiences during WWII.

Dr. Cheryl Novas, Director

Dr. Cheryl Novas, M.S., Ph.D. (c), EAGALA Certified Mental Health Professional has served in social service leadership for over twenty-five years. Coming from a multi-generational military family, her focus has been on advocacy for veterans, active military and their families. Her masters thesis explored PTSD, combat stress disorder and secondary PTSD. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on the experience of family caregivers for combat disabled veterans.