The Stronghold Freedom Foundation utilizes awareness and partnerships to serve those who were exposed to toxic conditions while deployed in the service of our country.

Our Vision

The Stronghold Freedom Foundation was founded to address the toxic exposures of military veterans who were deployed to Karshi-Khanabad, Uzbekistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. The Foundation's mission is to bring awareness to the long-term effects of exposure to toxins that were unknown at the time. We do this by raising awareness of the dangers our veterans were exposed to in their daily lives. The Foundation then utilizes strategic partnerships to help veterans deal with the effects of those exposures.

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  • 9/11/2001

    Terrorists attack the US

  • 2001

    US Forces arrive at K2

  • 2005

    The last US Troops Leave K2

  • 2012

    Mike West and PJ Widener form the Facebook group

  • 2013

    Mike West dies from K2 related cancer

  • 2019

    Tara Copp writes her first article on K2

  • Feb 2020

    HR 5957 is introduced by Rep Mark Green and Rep Stephen Lynch

  • March 2020

    Stronghold Freedom Foundation becomes a 501(c)3

  • July 2020

    Additional legislation is introduced

  • Jan 2021

    Section 751 of the 2021 NDAA includes K2 language

  • Jan 2021

    Section 2010 of HR 7105 includes K2 language

  • Jan 2021

    President Trump signs Executive Order 13982

  • Feb 2021

    HR 1355/S 454 is introduced 

Our Team

Board Chair


Advocacy Director

Mark is a K2 Veteran and heads up our Advocacy team and his team's hard work is why K2 Veterans were recognized with legislation last year. It was Mark's hard work that netted us an Executive Order from President Trump.

Board Member

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Deputy Director

Natalie is the surviving spouse of Clayton White, who died of a K2-related illness. She joined the SFF team right after we founded. She has headed up Special Projects and more recently our Strategic Planning Team.

Board Member

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Initiatives Director

Kim is the surviving spouse of LTC Timothy Brooks. Kim joined the SFF team for our first trip to DC, and then joined our Board of Directors. She has spent the last year working to bring the Care and Support Team and our other initiatives to life.

Kim is a school teacher.

Board Member


Financial Affiars Director

Paul is a K2 Veteran and is our Finance Director. He is developing our scholarship program and continues to advise the foundation on how to be more fiscally responsible.

Paul is a retired Air Force Officer and is also on our Board of Directors


Board Member


Governmental Affiars Director

Steve is a K2 Veteran and leads our Governmental Affairs Team, which includes legislation, advocating governmental agencies, and working with partners that advocate for toxic exposure legislation.

Steve is an airline pilot.


Strategic Planning Director

Samantha is the wife of K2 Veteran Brian Fausett. She joined SFF not long after our founding. She has been working on special projects, fundraising, and merchandising. She also assists the Care and Support Team.


Public Affairs Director

Stephanie is an accomplished Public Information Officer, having served in the role for Fire, EMS, and Police in her career. She is still an active Incident Management Team member and spends her summer working for the Forest Service.


Care and Support Team Director

Daryl is the surviving spouse of K2 Veteran Richard Riddle. She is a retired flight nurse and heads up our Care and Support Team.


Spiritual Team Lead

Rev Farrington is a K2 Veteran and is one of our Chaplains. He leads our Spiritual Care Team.

David Puerner

Civilan Contractor Liason

David is a K2 Veteran. He is one of the founders of the Stronghold Freedom Foundation and served a term on the Board of Directors. He continues to serve as our Civilian Contractor Liaison.

David is a retired C-130 Loadmaster, summer sawyer, and Judo Sensei.

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Special Projects

Sarah is the spouse of K2 Veteran David Puerner. She is one of the founders of the Stronghold Freedom Foundation and served a term on the Board of Directors.

Sarah cut her teeth in the non-profit sector as a Volunteer Leader for Team Rubicon. She is a retired first responder and is an Army Veteran.

Join Our Team

We can always use the help of talented volunteers to help us further the mission of the Stronghold Freedom Foundation. If you are interested please contact us.