Gary L. McWhorter
Gary L. McWhorter has served his country as a Military Police Officer in the U.S. Army for three years. Upon his discharge he joined the New Jersey State Police in 1967 and served as a Road Trooper at several stations including the N.J. Turnpike. He was promoted to Detective and was assigned to the Organized Crime Unit, Major Crime Unit, and the Missing Persons Unit, retiring in 1988.
While serving on the N.J. Turnpike Gary was shot and seriously wounded in 1971. During his tenure he received the American Federation of Police Legion of Valor, Certificate of Merit (3), Certificate of Commendation (3), and was inducted into the New Jersey Honor Legion.
Upon his retirement Gary opened his own Private Detective Agency, which he operates to date. He is also Director of Security for Conair Corporation in East Windsor, N.J.
Gary met and became friends with John Loosen, the Director of the Wounded Warrior Project in 2008. A bond between the two was formed and after a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center Gary knew he had to do more, and with the assistance of others Troopers Assisting Troops was formed. Troopers Assisting Troops has grown from two men with an idea to a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting wounded military veterans.
Gary presently resides with his wife, Dotti in central New Jersey, and enjoys playing golf in his spare time.
Drew F. Lieb
Drew F. Lieb has been an influential Law Enforcement and Homeland Security executive with more than 33 years of relevant experience. He served in progressively broader roles within the New Jersey State Police for several decades (culminating in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel – Deputy Superintendent Homeland Security Branch). He served as a general Road Duty Trooper as well as a Detective in several Criminal Investigative Units. He served as the Commanding Officer of the Arson Unit as well as the Commander of the Bomb Squad which he co-founded in 1982. He has been involved in several high profile Terrorist Investigations while serving in the State Police and US Navy, to include the Japanese Red Army (Yu Kikumura) thwarted attack in 1988, the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing and follow on Bridge /Tunnel attack investigation involving the blind sheik, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Bombing, the USS COLE attack in 2000, the attack on the MV LIMBURG off the coast of Yemen in 2002, the GOPLATS Iraq oil platform capture, the capture of the Iraqi “Deck of 52” and the Fort Dix Six thwarted attack.
Upon retirement from the State Police, Drew went on to serve with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness as the Principle Deputy Director, Operations Division responsible for the command and control of daily operations to coordinate emergency response efforts across all levels of government, law enforcement, emergency management, non-profit organizations, the private sector and other jurisdictions to protect the citizens of New Jersey. Program areas he directed included: investigations, intelligence, training, outreach/special projects, and the Counterterrorism (CT) watch desk at the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center. .
Drew recently retired at the rank of CAPTAIN (O-6) from US Navy Reserve having served as an Intelligence Officer in the Information Dominance Warfare Corps. He served in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), Atlantic Intelligence Command (AIC), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Navy Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer (NEPLO) units during his reserve career. His last assignment was as the NEPLO to the Pentagon’s Policy Office of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs concentrating on complex catastrophic catastrophes and Department of Defense response protocol. For actions during the Iraqi War, in addition to military decorations, he was awarded the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Agent of the Year Award for Counter-Terrorism as well as being selected and awarded the Department of Defense Counter-Intelligence Officer of the Year for National Security Investigations.
Born in Hoboken, NJ. Drew received a BS Degree in Public Safety Administration from William Paterson University as well as an MA degree in Public Administration also from William Paterson University. He also completed additional post-graduate work at the University of Virginia. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, 180th session, as well as the Naval Post Graduate School, Executive Leaders Program, Cohort ELP 1101.
Joe Sarnecky was born in Elizabeth, NJ. He received a BS Degree in Public Administration from Roger Williams University. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1966 and served a 13 month tour of duty in Vietnam in ’67-’68. Upon discharge from the Marine Corps he applied to the New Jersey State Police and graduated with the 80th Class in February, 1970.
He served in uniform as a General Road Duty Trooper in Troops B, C, D and E and as a Station Commander in Troop A making him one of the few Troopers to be assigned to all five road troops. He was also assigned as a detective to the newly formed Casino Gaming Unit when legalized gambling came to New Jersey and conducted investigation throughout the United States, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom.
During his career he was the Officer in Charge of the New Jersey training venue sites for the 1994 World Cup; State Police Coordinator for inaugural planning/security for two New Jersey Governors; State Police Officer in charge of security details involving the Papal visit of Pope John Paul II to Newark, New Jersey and the Papal Mass at the Meadowlands; Officer in Charge of the New Jersey Vietnam Memorial Dedication; Chairman of the New Jersey State Police 75th Anniversary Committee; Chairman of the Weapons and Tactics Committee; Interview Board Chairman for two State Police applicant classes; a member of the State Police Advisory Board; Summary Court Martial Hearing Officer and a Grievance Hearing Office. He retired from the State Police as a Captain after a thirty year career.
Upon his retirement he was employed as a Crash Researcher for the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) which is operated by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation where he was assigned to the Large Truck Causation Study. This study was the first ever national research study of large truck crash causation. There along with local authorities and State Troopers, he conducted in-depth on scene investigations of commercial vehicles where there were serious personal injuries. Upon completion of that study he went into the Private Investigation field and is self employed. He still serves with the New Jersey Army National Guard as a Staff Sergeant and will retire in May, 2010, after a total of over twenty five years of military service.
He lives in Spring Lake Heights, NJ.
Kenneth F. Wondrack
Ken and his wife Jane have resided in Wall for the past 40 years and have raised four children, Mark, Melissa, Sean, and Sarah, who are all graduates of Wall High School and various colleges or universities Mark and Melissa own homes in the township and have families of their own. Ken retired from the New Jersey State Police as a Troop Commander4 in the New Jersey State Police the rank of Captain in 2000. He completed undergraduate studies at Rutgers University and graduate studies at John Jay College in Manhattan.
He is a combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps and was a forward observer with an infantry company. He continued his military career with the U.S. Army and retired as the Assistant Division Commander of the 42nd Infantry Division. He is currently an investigator for national security background investigations, state background investigations, a firearms instructor, U.S. Military contractor and licensed private investigator. He serves on many veteran’s committees and is an officer on the state Wounded Warriors Committee.
Sgt. of Arms
USAF – 1966-70 Staff Sgt. Crew Chief C-141
Over 25-years of experience in Veterans benefits
Served as National Service Director for The Eastern Paralyzed Veteran’s Association, Senior Benefits Liaison for the Wounded Warrior Project covering the Northeast. Conducted Benefit Seminars around the country and at the Military bases in Germany, Italy and the Landstuhl Regional medical Center (first stop for soldiers wounded in the current conflicts).
Sgt. of Arms
Joseph Cannatella is a thirty-one year veteran of the New Jersey State Police where he served as the Troop “B” Commander (North Jersey) until his retirement on January 1st, 2004. He was recruited by the Morris County Prosecutors Office in February 2004 and placed in command of the Office’s Homeland Security Division. In this position he served as the County Counter Terrorism Coordinator for more than four years and actively participated in the development of New Jersey’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) from its inception.
He served as the Chairman of the Law Enforcement Subcommittee which was responsible for identifying and implementing regional law enforcement initiatives for the law enforcement agencies in a seven county partnership to comply with NIMS and NRF guidelines. He was instrumental in developing the Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of ten Rapid Deployment Teams that formed a Rapid Deployment Force for the region comprised of nearly one thousand specially trained and equipped police officers. He also served as Acting Chief of Investigations for sixteen months.
During his State Police career Joe served as the State Police Division Operations Officer and was responsible for major event planning, implementation, command and control. During this assignment he was the State Level Executive Officer in charge of the Opsail/INR 2000 Millennium celebration, 2000 Republican National Convention activities on the Camden Waterfront, 2001 Post 9/11 security augmentation at Port Authority of NY/NJ facilities and the 2002 Inaugural Events for Governor James McGreevy. He also served as a member of New Jersey’s Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force.
Earlier in his career he was assigned as the Venue Commander in charge of developing, implementing and managing security operation plans for the 1994 Men’s World Cup Soccer Tournament at Giants Stadium in theMeadowlands Sports Complex and the 1995 Papal Visit of Pope John Paul the XXIII.
He has extensive experience planning and managing special security operations for Presidential, Vice Presidential and Foreign Heads of State visiting New Jersey as well as high profile criminal court proceedings of domestic and international terrorists.
He was invited to participate in security operations for the 2001 Inaugural events of President George W. Bush and was selected for a leadership role protecting the President’s extended family and friends in Washington, D.C.
After participating in a Law Enforcement Exchange Mission to Israel in 1992 with the Israeli Counter Terrorism Unit (Yamam) he coordinated a training program for representatives of the twenty-one New Jersey Counties entitled Tactical Alternatives to Counter Terrorism (T.A.C.T).
As an Academy Instructor he specialized in pre-service and advanced police training programs and was instrumental in developing an advanced Police Survival Tactics Training Program. He is currently self employed as a security consultant and is certified as a S.O.R.A. Instructor and Security Officer in compliance with the N.J. Security Officer Registration Act, N.J.S.A. 45:19A-1. The S.O.R.A. course curriculum emphasizes Homeland Security Terrorism Awareness and Prevention for security guards.
John M. Loosen
The VA has employed Mr. Loosen the Chief of Network 3 Prosthetics since 1975. Mr. Loosen was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to his VA employment John served in Vietnam as an Airborne Infantryman with the 101st Airborne Division in 1967 and 1968. During his Vietnam tour he was wounded resulting in the amputation of his left leg above the knee. As a result of his Vietnam service he was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge.
John is a graduate of St. John’s University, Jamaica NY where he earned Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He is an alumnus of the Federal College for Healthcare Executives. He began his VA career in 1975 as a Veterans Benefits Counselor at the NY Regional Office. Mr. Loosen joined Prosthetics in 1978 as a Prosthetic Representative and since than has been employed as Chief of Prosthetics at the Bronx and Brooklyn VAs and also in the capacity of Acting Chief, Radiology Service at the NY VA Medical Center in 1990-91. He has been Chief, PSAS NY VAMC since 1988 until he assumed his present role of Chief, Network 3 Prosthetics in 1996.
During his tenure as Chief, Network 3 Prosthetics, he developed the concept of the VISN Prosthetic Program. This concept was adopted by the Veterans Health Care Administration and is presently mirrored throughout the VHA nationwide. The Under Secretary for Health acknowledged Mr. Loosen for pioneering this program concept with the presentation of the Under Secretary for Health’s Superior Customer Service Award. Throughout Mr. Loosen’s career with the VA he is also the recipient of the New York Federal Executive Board Outstanding Supervisor Award; The Network Directors Commendation; Under Secretary for Health Prosthetic Chief of the Year Award; National Performance Review (Hammer Award); PSAS Leadership Award; DAV National Commanders Award and the DAV Amputee of the Year Award.
In addition to being on the Board of Directors of Troopers Assisting Troops; he is also on the Board of Directors for the Wounded Warrior Project. Org. and the National Amputation Foundation of the Disabled American Veterans.
Since the Operations Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom, John has been actively involved in reaching out to severely wounded returning veterans returning to Walter Reed and Brookes Army Medical Center. He regularly visits them at their home, or at bedside in the hospital room. He informs them of VA benefits available and continually assists them in obtaining needed medical and prosthetic items to continue their rehabilitation.
After 36 years of government service, John is presently retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and is self employed as a Management Consultant.
Joshua Altman grew up in East Brunswick, NJ, and graduated from the University of Vermont and Seton Hall University School of Law. He is now an attorney with the law firm of Benedict and Altman in New Brunswick , where his practice focuses primarily on criminal defense. As trustee of the Middlesex County Bar Association and President of the New Brunswick Bar Association, he has taken an active role in promoting Troopers Assisting Troops and the Wounded Warriors Project to the local legal community. Joshua also serves on the District VIII Ethics Committee in Middlesex County.