James is a six-year U.S. Army veteran, 17-year law enforcement veteran, and current mentor & coach for transitioning veterans and survivors of suicide loss. James' passion to support veterans and first responders is positive response from the aftermath of the tragic death of his Army veteran brother to death by suicide in 2018. The VMPI program is his passion and empathy guides his decisions when working with his staff and leading The VMPI mentor program.
Since James transitioned from active service in 1999, he completed college with A.A. and B.A. degrees and now has a Master of Science degree in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership from the University of San Diego. He continues to serve his community and co-founded The Veteran Mentor Project, Inc. with his wife, Luv, in January 2021.
After military service, James worked in private business for five years while finishing college. After 9/11, with the support of his family and friends, James went into law enforcement to continue his service to his community and the nation. James is now in his 17th year in law enforcement and has held various investigative positions at three different law enforcement agencies. James has extensive specialized training and was trained in Crisis Intervention Team training in 2009. James was also a gang detective, homicide detective, SWAT Crisis Negotiator and Special Response Team member. James is a firearms instructor and multi-discipline instructor on several other topics.
In 2005, James and his coworkers were recognized by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors for saving a suicidal subject in crisis. 2014, James was recognized as the Ventura County Crisis intervention Team Officer of the year. Also, in 2019 James worked with CA State Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin to get CA Assembly Bill 645, a firearm suicide prevention bill, signed into law.
James' words of encouragement for transitioning veterans and first responders are to advocate for yourself, be diligent in your research, and be willing to do the work necessary to have a successful transition. Additionally, James says, "Don't be afraid to try new things, follow your interests, as well as your skills but most importantly do not be afraid to fail. The only failure is not trying. Your success depends on one critical factor...'DO THE WORK.' Transition from service never stops, become a lifelong learner. The success will follow."
Luv is a veteran of the U.S. Army. She now works for the school district serving our youth as a,health assistant. She certified Yoga instructor and currently working on her "Warrior Yoga" credential.
After her transition from service in 1996, Luv completed both A.A. and B.A. degrees. She has worked in banking, been a preschooler teacher and director for nearly 15 years. Luv is now working on our wellness & yoga programs for veterans. More info. to come soon!
Vice President Carlos Garcia is a two time Operation Iraqi Freedom (4 & 6) veteran of the US Army.
Carlos earned the Combat Infantryman Badge and was decorated for his leadership while serving in combat zones. He spent many years as an infantry team leader and squad leader while assigned to the 101st Airborne Division.
Carlos possesses a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) and B.S. In Psychology, as well as extensive specialized training in law enforcement. He now works as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer (Sergeant). and contacts our active service members and military veterans almost daily.
Carlos is also trained in crisis intervention and serves as the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) departmental coordinator. With nearly two decades in uniform and multiple combat deployments, Carlos is committed to serving veterans and first responders who are transitioning from service.
Carlos knows and understands the veteran transition process and encourages all veterans to find a mentor to help support and guide them to the next phase of their lives.
Pastor Ed has been in ministry since 2004. He has always felt lead to help the less fortunate in the world, including those in need of mentorship and biblical counseling.
As a pastor he has counseled many individuals & couples looking for peace and spiritual balance. He also has a financial background as an owner of a mortgage company. He has been active in the financial industry since 1996. He is happily married and is father to four amazing children
Vacant until filled
USMC veteran and veteran first responder. Bio coming soon!
Scott Walker has been working for the Ventura County Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Team (CIT Program) for 12 years. He got his start in Law Enforcement as a volunteer at a police storefront, 17 years ago, followed by being a police explorer, and as a police cadet while completing 2 associate degrees. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in sociology Scott switched professional goals and began working in the mental health field. Scott has worked with developmentally disabled adults living independently in the community, at-risk youth in a residential setting and in the community, and adults with substance abuse issues in a residential setting. He has a master’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. Scott has a genuine interest in finding the common ground between first responders and mental health providers…to better serve those with mental health symptoms.
Encouragement: Veterans earned and deserve a place in the front of the line for transitional services but that doesn’t eliminate personal responsibility to improving oneself. Forward progress, even if it’s slower than liked, paves the way for achievement. I believe strongly in a hand up versus a hand out philosophy.
Name: Jarrod M. Wilfert
Prior Law Enforcement: Ventura Police Department (5Years)
Years transitioned/New profession: 2012 Transition- Business Owner/ Attorney at Law
Jarrod's encouragement to you:
I think when we address the notion of transitioning career paths that involve leaving law enforcement or the military, we are really talking about making fundamental changes to our identity.
Sometimes we make these decisions on our own terms and sometimes the truth is that life makes them for us. This can be an incredibly difficult and, at times, overwhelming process. I would like to think I have "transitioned" twice now in my career having been a Deputy District Attorney and also a Police Officer working the streets of Ventura. I tell my kids that I have found my dream job three times (I work for myself now as an attorney) in life even if I did not plan things this way.
The one thing I have learned over the years is that we are never alone. If we fail, we do not do so in a vacuum and if we find successes, often if we really look we see those successes were possible because of the love and support of those around us. Transitioning career paths or perhaps, career identities, is the same. If I could give any advice it is simply this: Reach out to others and you will be surprised by the help you get and the new information and world of possibilities that is available to you.
West Point graduate, U.S. Army Colonel (Retired) veteran and Realtor. Bio coming soon!
U.S. Navy Commander (Retired) veteran and Law Enforcement Agency Public Relations Officer
West Point graduate, U.S. Army veteran, Captain & Aviator & National Account Manager for Industrial Supply Co.
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