Craig Heatherly is the founder of the Oklahoma Veteran’s Project.  He is a US Marine Corps. Veteran.  He enlisted in February 2000 as an infantryman and was assigned to B. Co. 1st BN 1st Marines, Camp Pendleton, CA.  Craig deployed with the 15th MEU (SOC) in August 2001 and was in Australia on September 11, 2001. The 15th MEU immediately deployed to the Middle East where they conducted combat operations in Afghanistan.  Craig has a Master of Public Administration and is writing his dissertation for a Doctor of Public Administration from Valdosta State University.

Jyme Marwedell

Master Sergeant William “Spanky” Gibson entered the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1989.  He deployed numerous times, including as a member of the Marine Corps. Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) in Operation Desert Storm. In 2006 MSgt. Gibson deployed to Iraq.  In May of that year GySgt. Gibson was leading a 4-man team in Ramadi, Iraq while searching for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.  An Iraqi soldier embedded with the team was wounded in the opening rounds of a firefight.  MSgt. Gibson ran to his rescue when a 30-caliber round ripped through his left knee cap, destroying the socket and severing his femoral artery.  MSgt. Gibson’s injuries were tended to by a Navy Seal Corpsman that is credited with saving his life while he laid down suppressing fire.  Ultimately, MSgt. Gibson would lose his left leg above the knee and return to the United States where he underwent many months of rehabilitation.  Undeterred by his injuries, MSgt. Gibson dedicated himself to healing and returning to the battlefield.  In January 2008 MSgt. Gibson deployed to Iraq with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.  He was the first above the knee amputee to return to combat since the Civil War.

Deputy Director

William "Spanky" Gibson, MSgt. USMC (Ret)

Board Member


Board Member

Robert Curfman is a graduate of Northeastern State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.  Robert later earned his CPA qualifications from the Oklahoma Accountancy Board.  He has more than 25 years of accounting experience and is currently an Audit Manager at Eide Bailey LLP in Tulsa, OK. Beyond his accounting expertise, Robert brings a great passion for veterans to the OVP board.  He has participated in the 2016 Adopt-A-Vet program in deploying Christmas gifts more than 390 children of veterans.  

Margaret Donathan

Robert Curfman, CPA

John Melton

I married my husband when he was an active duty Marine during the War on Terror.  There are many struggles that military families face while their loved ones serve.  These struggles continue, and in some case are exacerbated, when military members and their families transition to civilian life.  We, like many military families, struggled to find housing and adequate employment when we returned home.  Shanda is a teacher for Owasso Public Schools.  She has a Bachelor's Degree in Education and a Masters Degree in School Administration from Northeastern State University  

Craig Heatherly


Board Member


Debra Johnson

Debra Johnson lives and works in the Lawton-Fort Sill community. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and a Master of Science in Psychology. She has served as both an advocate and board member with Oklahoma nonprofit organizations to include the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's Women's Leadership and Retreat Teams, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Beta Mu's local Education Director, Vice President and Oklahoma state Easter Seals Chairman. In addition, she volunteered as a Family Readiness Group (FRG) leader throughout her husband's time in the military. Her husband, Nigel, is a disabled Airborne veteran who served 10 years in the United States Army before being medically discharged with a service connected injury in 2010. His tours included Kosovo with the 10th Mountain Division, and Iraqi (OIF1) and Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Their family's unexpected and abrupt transition from military to civilian life brought about many hardships translating to a desire to see the needs of America's veterans and their families met. 

Anthony Jones

John Melton was born and raised in Claremore, Oklahoma. He spent 5 years in the US Air Force Reserve and 3 years in the 138th Fighter Wing at Tulsa International Airport. His roles consisted of in-flight refueling and ground transportation. He was honorably discharged from the military in late 2015 at the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-5). He is now an insurance broker with RCI Insurance where he specializes in Commercial Insurance and Bonding. He also has a real estate business. John sought out OVP as a means of contributing to the veteran community. He states, "I don't know where I would be in life if I had not found the military. I became a productive member of society because of the interactions and training I received while serving in the U.S. Air Force. I feel a debt is owed to our struggling veterans and want to help facilitate that at the local level".

Anthony Jones is a US Marine Corps. Veteran.  He enlisted in February 2000 as an infantryman.  He deployed multiple times including with the 24th MEU (SOC) in 2001, which conducted operations in Kosovo.  He deployed again with 3rd BN 2nd MAR to Nasaryah, Iraq in 2003 with Task Force Tarawa.  Anthony currently serves as a police supervisor (lieutenant) with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.


Board Member

I’ve lived in Broken Arrow for 12 years, and prior to that lived in Tulsa for 25 years. I’ve been happily married to my husband Mark for 5 years. I have 2 sons ages 26 and 20, a daughter age 10, and a granddaughter who is 5 months old. We have our 4 legged kids, a 12-year-old lab, 2 10-year-oldpugs, and a 5-month-old Rotty.  "I work at Direct Energy and am a member of Jeepers Anonymous. We love to you go camping, wheeling with our Jeep club, and riding our Harley.  I’m very excited to see and be involved in all the wonderful things coming this year."

Copyright ©2017 Oklahoma Veterans Project​

The Oklahoma Veterans Project is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.


Shanda Heatherly

Executive Director

TAX ID:81-0942209