BOARD MEMBER BIOGRAPHIES
Thomas Cashman is a design thinker and college senior at the Art Institute of Portland where he studies Industrial Design. The son of a retired Air Force Chief Warrant Officer and former Staff Sergeant, Thomas grew up around the military and veterans, always eager to listen to the stories they told. Seeking his own adventures as well as an escape from San Jose, California Thomas joined the US Army at the age of 19. After completing the 13 week Infantry Course at Fort Benning, Georgia he was stationed in Germany with 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry ‘Cottonbalers.’ The ‘Cottonbalers’ were deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield and worked with 1st Armored Division units in defeating the Medina, Tawakalna and Hammurabi Republican Guard Units during the ground campaign (Desert Storm). Cashman would later return to SW Asia with the 1st Cavalry Division in the very early days of Operation Southern Watch.
Honorably discharged at the rank of Specialist (E-4) in 1993, the new civilian relocated to Portland, Oregon and spent the next ten years pursuing his artistic interests in art, photography and film production while waiting tables, pouring drinks and moving ‘far too frequently’ around Portland. It was during this time that Thomas also became interested in the newly emerging digital media technologies. He was one of the very first professional electronic newsg gatherers to embrace digital photography as a freelance video journalist.
In 2001 Thomas attempted to reenlist in the Army, only to discover he did not possess the correct copy of his DD-214 (discharge paperwork). After three years of failed attempts, Thomas finally received the proper document and was ready to re enlist in the Army. After a chance meeting with Staff Sergeant Ernie Armenta , who promised him “I can get you to Baghdad by Christmas if you join the Oregon Guard and score 250 or higher on your APFT,” he changed his plans to slightly and joined the Oregon Army National Guard.
In October of 2004, a thirty-four year old SPC Cashman fulfilled a lifelong dream when he arrived in Iraq to report to 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment ‘Volunteers’ (FWD). He was assigned as a member of Alpha Company and quartered at the Olympic Training Facility in Baghdad, Iraq. Shortly after returning from Iraq, 2-162 Infantry was activated to respond the the Hurricane Katrina Disaster. Within 72 hours of being called up, elements of the 2-162 Infantry were among the first on the scene to arrive after the levee break and ensuing disaster in New Orleans.
In 2006, SGT Cashman volunteered for deployment with the 234 Engineers Company. Assigned as a Lead Vehicle Commander, SGT Cashman’s duty was route proofing ahead of KBR convoys for Improvised Explosive Devices and ‘complex ambushes.’ Cashman’s convoys were hit a mere three times, sustaining only a single vehicle loss, one injury, and zero casualties. Cashman was promoted to Staff Sergeant during the deployment and awarded Army Commendation Medal for successfully leading over 300 missions across 16 thousand miles of ‘the most dangerous road in the world.’ Cashman insists that there were more dangerous roads and attributes his success to “luck, balls and recklessness: we looked crazy, we acted unpredictably: no one wanted to engage that save the occasional Command Sergeant Major at the FOB (forward operating base).”
Upon returning to the states, SSG Cashman volunteered and was accepted as an instructor with the 1st Army Division at Joint Base Lewis Mcchord, where he was an assistant lead instructor teaching detainee operations to over 600 Soldiers, Sailors and Marines. Upon completion of his duty with the active Army, SSG Cashman was hired as full time unit support Training NCO for the Detachment 1-D 141 Forward Support Battalion in the 82nd Cavalry Regiment Oregon Army National Guard.
SSG Cashman also served as Squadron Ammo Sergeant, Company Medical Readiness Sergeant, Unit Prevention Leader, Equal Opportunity Representative and many other roles. Cashman completed Advanced Leaders Course at Ft Knox Kentucky during his AGR tour, as well as providing ammunition for two gunnery exercises. Maintaining a small armory in Burns, Oregon and fulfilling the role of FEMA Emergency Operations Liaison for Eastern Oregon in two state-declared flooding disasters in Harney County, Oregon in 2011 and 2012.
In spring of 2012, Cashman’s incredible luck was evident once again when he walked away from a motorcycle wreck with relatively minor injuries. After much consideration and soul searching, he came to the conclusion that he needed a radical change in lifestyle. Honorably discharged (again) at the rank of Staff Sergeant, he decided to return his attention to digital media, art and technology.
In 2013, he returned to Portland, Oregon and enrolled in the Art Institute of Portland's’ Industrial Design program. Currently Thomas is working to create and promote a line of branded lifestyle products which he summarizes as “lit shit for freedom junkies”. Inspired by his experiences serving, politics and social trends, he describes FieldCraftUSA as a ‘lifestyle brand for the free and the brave” and hopes to eventually expand the line to include high performing gear for outdoor and urban survival. In the short term, he hopes to fund the remainder of his college education not covered by the GI Bill.
In December 2017, Thomas Cashman was invited by long time friend and battle buddy Steven Baldwin to volunteer as a board member of Front Range Ranch and Rescue. Eager to put his skills and experience to work for the benefit of the veteran community, Thomas accepted the position and title of Board Member - Director of Communications.
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
Francesca Jenkins is originally from San Diego, California, and has a Master’s in Social Work from Humboldt State University. She has worked with developmentally disabled populations and people in low-income senior housing. While in New Mexico, she worked with high school students in a special education program. She is passionate about traveling, fair treatment of all animals, reading, social justice, intercultural affairs, and human rights.
Amy grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado dreaming of living on a farm; taking every available agricultural and horsemanship class offered by the city. She is now the proud mother of three crazy boys who love Front Range Ranch and Rescue (and sometimes cry when it’s time to go home). She has worked with Habitat for Humanity on their local builds from 2016 through 2017. Amy is also the Den Leader of her son’s Cub Scout Pack. She has organized many fund-raisers and events through her kid’s school and Cub Scouts, partnering recently in October 2017 with Front Range Ranch and Rescue for a community flag retirement ceremony.
In her professional life, Amy earned an Associate of Applied Science degree from Heritage College in Denver, Colorado (2008) and spent another two years following at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colorado pursuing further medical studies. She was on the management team at a nursing home in Fort Collins where she juggled patient care plans, customer relations, scheduling for staff, inventory, and ordering supplies. She has also worked as a Corporate Logistics Specialist running scheduling, attendance, administrative and human resource duties for a large local company. She is currently working as a Recovery Specialist with Enterprise Rent a Car working directly with corporate accounts to resolve damage claims.
Amy values new ideas and collaborative efforts. She loves working with teams to come up with new ways to make things work. She loves working with her hands and being able to sit back and look at what she has accomplished. Amy loves helping both people and animals and will do whatever she can to reach out to those in need. She can be a bit over the top in her desire to organize things and has a ridiculous amount of colorful office supplies.