Through your support efforts, we are enthusiastic to announce the following honorary guests to attend this years Major Rob Soltes Memorial Golf Event on October 12th, 2015. These attendees are veterans representing the BVA.
Sgt. Monaca Louise Gilmore
Operation Iraq Freedom Veteran, Determined to further my education and to
experience being an armed forces member influenced me to join the U.S. Army
Reserves in June of 2000. I became a 88M, Truck Driver, and several years later in
2004 deployed to Iraq as a third country national escort. Due to several harmful
incidents from war in 2005, I lost my vision and had to end my military career in
the 75 th Division, an instructors unit, training many units for war/deployment. As I
strive to overcome this major life adjustment of losing my vision, I am learning
along the way to take things one day at a time and to enjoy life. Have been
participant in BVA Operation Peer Support events, and Project Gemini exchange
week in Washington DC last April. Currently the first BVA female veteran Sgt. At
Arms and actively engaged in many recreational events.
Navy Petty Officer Scott Scieszinski
Brief Military biography: Served active duty 1990-2009, in the United States Navy as an Electronics
Technician First Class. While in the Navy I served as a Communication Support for special operators, and
trained other individuals in my field, I also performed Administrative duties. My career service included
serving as a Unit Comsec Manager. During my military career in the Navy I lead the San Diego
Partnership with the IRS VITA Program. Awards were the following three Navy Achievement Medals,
Five good conduct medals, GWOTSM, Multiple Unit and Individual Awards and Citations.
Army First Sergeant Daniel Lamar Wallace
First Sergeant (Ret.) Daniel L. Wallace enlisted in the Army as an infantryman. He attended one-
stop training that included basic airborne school at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1985. Daniel’s
assignments included tours with the 2-325th Airborne Infantry Regiment in Fort Bragg, North
Carolina; the 1-508th Infantry in Fort Kobbe, Panama; the 5th Ranger Training Battalion of
Dahlonega, Georgia; the 6th Ranger Training Battalion at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida; the 1-
502th Infantry at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; an ROTC Instructor at Montana State University in
Bozeman, Montana; and the 1-187th Infantry at Fort Campbell. Daniel deployed twice to the
Sinai (Multinational Force and Observers Duty), twice to Honduras, and once to Iraq during
Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has served as a Rifleman, Radio Transmitter Operator, Team
Leader, Squad Leader, Ranger Instructor, Platoon Sergeant, Company Executive Officer, and
Company First Sergeant. Daniel was wounded by a suicide car bomb attack in Tel Al Far, Iraq,
on December 9, 2003. After multiple surgeries he retired in December 2005 with more than 20
years of service. He currently BVA National Treaurer and has been Chairman of BVA Operation
Peer Support Committee since January 2015, has been planning many OPS events, and attended
two Project Gemini exchanges, and currently lives in Florida.
Major Thomas Allan Zampieri (Ret. Army)
Thomas Zampieri served three years on active duty as an Army medic from Sept.1972 to Sept11, 1975, and he retired Major from Army National Guard after 22 years of service August 2000, having served as military flight surgeon for 13 years. He graduated from Hahnemann Medical University Physician Assistant Program in 1978. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree from State University of New York, graduated with Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, in 2003. Dr. Zampieri completed his Political Science Ph.D. Lacrosse University December 2005 and member National Political Science Honor Society. For 25 years he worked in variety of clinical settings as a physician assistant both in private practice, at university medical centers, and for the Department of Veterans Affairs centers. He was employed April 21, 2005 as the Director of Government Relations for the Blinded Veterans Association. He retired November 22, 2013 from BVA and now serves on BVA Board of Directors in Texas. Has 5% vision both eyes and he has been volunteering coordinator for each exchange since May 2011 Project Gemini with the planning committee for BVA and BVUK.
1st Lieutenant Brian “Ski” Donarski (Ret.)
Ski had little patience for the challenging game of golf several years ago. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find a guy that is not only devoted to improving his personal golf game, but who also puts on golf clinics for non-profits organizations like Fisher House Foundation. What is especially extraordinary about Donarski, besides his golf game, is his volunteering by playing in golf events arranged by The Salute Military Golf Association for wounded veterans and the Major Charles R Soltes Jr. O.D. Memorial Golf Event benefit for BVA Operation Peer Support veterans.
Ski was nearly killed in 2006 while serving in Iraq. A member of Special Forces, 1st Lt. Brian Donarski, 35D, 44 years old, is a former Marine injured in Gulf War I by a blast and discharged in 1998 with a Purple Heart. Trying to join the Army after 9/11, he had to obtain four waivers to become an Army officer in 2004. His team members hit an anti-tank mine in Iraq in 2006 on convoy. He suffered debilitating and nearly fatal injuries with a stable burst fracture in his neck and bulged disks in his lower back. He also ripped his right shoulder out of joint and lost the vision in his right eye. He now wears a prosthetic soft lens in that eye due to optic nerve and brain issues. Also among his injuries was Traumatic Brain Injury
“By all accounts of the accident, I should be dead,” Donarski said. “But for some reason, the fuel in the tanker I was carrying didn’t ignite. That’s got to mean that I’m still here for a reason.”
Like many soldiers and veterans, Donarski had trouble adjusting to life after his injuries. He used golf as a tool to help him slow down and re-acclimate while helping his fellow wounded veterans. Donarski has earned himself quite a reputation in the world of professional golf, which is especially impressive considering the handicaps with which he now plays. Golf was such a valuable therapy tool in Donarski’s recovery early on as he worked with other wounded veterans and helped them with their game. Donarski believes the rehabilitative benefits of golf can improve the mental and physical condition of wounded warriors returning from combat. Donarski has three times qualified to play in President George W. Bush’s Warrior Open, a tournament in Dallas, Texas, featuring servicemen and servicewomen who were severely wounded in the Global War on Terror. He also finished in the No. 1 spot in a tournament held in Washington, D.C. These victories qualified him to go to Scotland to play famous Kingsbarns, St. Andrews course, and several other prestigious courses. Ski is participating second time in the Major Charles Rob Soltes Jr. O.D. Memorial Golf event for the second year to be with his OIF-OEF peers with vision loss and their families and friends.
1st Sgt. Joseph Amerling (Ret. Army)
Born in Kingston NY, Graduated Kingston High School June 1975 went active duty June 29,1975. Went to basic at Fort Polk as an 11 bravo with a first duty assignment with the 2nd Infantry division Camp Hovey Korea. Did two tours in Korea 75-76/78-79. Graduated jump school 1980 assigned to 1/504 82nd Airborne Division. DA selected to recruiting command 1983 assigned to Corning NY as recruiter/station commander 83-86.
- 1986-1988 assigned to 2/187-1/508 Fort Kobbe Panama.
- 1988-1992 assigned to 5th Ranger Training Battalion, Dahlonega,Ga Platoon Sergeant/Senior Instructor.
- 1992-1994 1SG Cco 1/508 Fort Kobbe Panama
- 1994-1995 1SG HHC 5th RTB Dahlonega, Ga.
Retired from U.S. Army officially July 1995 but started with the Gainesville Police Department while on terminal leave in April 1995.
First officer assigned to the Gang Task Force in February 1997. GTF turned into the Major Offenders Task Force under the FBI's safe street initiative. Remained on that unit until 2014 then was reassigned to the Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad until retirement in April of 2016.
During that time I was the Vice President of the Georgia Gang Investigators Association from 2000-2015.