Founder and Executive Director
Zac is currently an Active Duty Army Infantry Major with over 23 years of service to his country, both as an enlisted man and officer. He has combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, conducted peace-support operations in the Balkans, participated in multi-national operations in Macedonia and the Philippines, counter drug operations on the Mexican border, and taken part in numerous emergency response efforts in the United States. He has served in command positions from Company to Battalion, giving him a wide range of experience within Operations, Sustainment, and Leadership. He has been decorated on many occasions which consists of two Bronze Stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Purple Heart for wounds received in Afghanistan.
Zac was also nominated and selected as the 2016-2017 Military Times Army Soldier of the Year and was the first National Guard Officer to ever win this prestigious award.
He currently resides in Vermont with his wife and two children.
Erin Faith Allen
Erin is a war historian, genealogist, artist, and author – and above all else a passionate researcher. She has traveled extensively to experience history’s most infamous battlefields and armies, and has devoted her life to telling the stories of those who have served in, and lived through, combat.
Passionate about lineage, legacy, and how individual stories of triumph and tragedy impact generations, Erin leaves no stone unturned to answer questions, provide insight and perspective, and bring healing and closure to our military families. Erin is proud to be the daughter and granddaughter of multiple generations of men who have served our nation.
As Operations Director, Erin’s role is facilitating research, building relationships with families, and orchestrating return ceremonies across the country.
Valor Guard Director
Mike understands exactly what PHR stands for. As a retired Police Officer with over twenty eight years of service, he also dedicated ten years of his life to the U.S. Army on Active Duty, and within the National Guard and Reserves. Mike is also a Gold Star father, having lost his son SGT Joshua Brennan on 26 October 2007. Josh was lost during a well-known operation in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley called Operation Rock Avalanche with the men of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. It was during this action that SSG Salvatore Giunta became the first living recipient since the Vietnam War to receive the Medal of Honor for attempting to rescue Joshua’s life that day. Mike has grown from his own personal sacrifice and the loss of his son and has since dedicated his life to serving others and living a life that would make his son proud. Since joining the organization, Mike has personally conducted over two dozen medal returns across the northwest.
Mike currently resides in Wisconsin with his wife and two daughters. One of his daughters, Britt, currently serves in the U.S Army.
Valor Research Director
Marsha is a teacher and lecturer in all levels of genealogy for over fifteen years at Chicago’s Newberry Library plus a great many societies and public libraries. She is author of the Fundamentals of Genealogy® textbook series. As our Research Director, she is currently managing a team of over a dozen volunteer researchers, primarily from The Chicago Genealogical Society where she is a board member. Marsha was inspired to begin working together with PHR in 2012 when JPAC (the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) repatriated the remains of her first cousin once removed, 2LT Dwight Dale Ekstam. 2LT Ekstam was a USMC co-pilot in WWII, and was killed in action in a mountain top crash in the South Pacific. She feels honored to pay this tremendous debt forward, understanding at a deep personal level what it means to a family reunited with a precious Purple Heart, and then to pass it down to future generations, keeping it in the family where it belongs forever.
Marsha is retired from one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate development firms. She lives with her family in Illinois and is a prolific knitter and aspiring jazz singer.