Founder & Chairman
Dan graduated from MS State University with a degree in Construction Engineering Technology. After graduating, Dan was commissioned as a 2LT and went on active duty with the US Army. He served both active duty Army and in the MS Army National Guard for a total of 13 years. He spent 1⁄2 of his military career as an Engineer and 1⁄2 serving in Special Forces. Dan is currently acting as Vice President of his family’s third generation business, Fordice Construction Co. and is also President of Southern Delta Construction, LLC located in Houma, LA. Dan has served on and chaired many committees, positions and boards both locally and nationally. In 2015 Dan was voted Warren County’s Man of the Year for his efforts in honoring WWII Veterans and for the work his foundation, The Warrior Bonfire Program, is doing to help the modern day heroes. Dan has always had a love of flying. He is an active pilot with over 5000 hours and mainly flies WWII and vintage aircraft. Honoring those who have served and who are currently serving is a mission that Dan takes to heart. He currently resides in Vicksburg, MS and is married to Ann Claire Roesch Fordice and they have three children, Nathan, Alaina and Erin.
Patty grew up in Memphis, TN, and attended Memphis State University. She shares her Public Relations, Marketing, Management, Fundraising and Grant writing skills with the Foundation. She has served on many boards and committees. She is a member of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi, River City Chapter, and the Southern Public Relations Federation. Her past positions include Public Affairs for the City of Vicksburg including Manager of TV 23 Government Access TV, Grant Writer for Gouras Urban Planning, Executive Director for Drug Free-Communities through Warren-Yazoo Mental Health and the White House ONDCP, and Development Director for Vicksburg Catholic Schools. Patty currently resides in Vicksburg, MS. She is married to Mike Mekus and they have two grown children, Victoria and Nick. They attend St. Paul Catholic Church in Vicksburg.
Adrienne Eckstein retired from the U. S. Army in 2010 as a Lieutenant Colonel with over 21 years of service. She was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. She served in the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Both deployments were with the 43rd Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Heavy). She was part of humanitarian and construction missions in Honduras, Paraguay, and Panama. She supported missions within the United States after Hurricane Andrew, wild fires in Washington State, and a border road in Texas. She is a registered Professional Engineer.
She graduated from the United States Military Academy at West point in 1989 and earned a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington. Adrienne’s field grade assignments began as the Training Initiatives Officer at Headquarters, Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Her significant responsibilities were developing and presenting the Army Chief of Staff’s display at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting. The displays involved explaining Transformation and providing a visual framework for how a Transformed Army fights on the battlefield. Her next assignment was to Hawaii where she served as the Deputy District Engineer in the Honolulu Engineer District. Later she served in a joint assignment as the Chief of Legislative Affairs, United States Pacific Command and as part of the Commander’s Action Group. She coordinated congressional visits to Hawaii, drafted the Commander’s annual testimony to Congress, and reviewed legislation affecting the Pacific area of operations. Her final assignment was to Carlisle, Pennsylvania where she served as the Professor of Military Science at Dickinson College and the Commander, Blue Mountain Battalion. She supported the Army ROTC program covering eleven schools resulting in commissioning 26 Second Lieutenants into the Army in two years.
She resides in Vicksburg, MS with her husband Jeff, a retired Colonel, and two of their children, Adrienne and Adam. Their oldest son Luke currently attends the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Jimmy was taught to fly by his dad, starting at the age of 14. By age 18 he had obtained his commercial, instrument, multi-engine, seaplane and flight instructor ratings. He is a 1975 graduate of Northeast Louisiana University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Aviation. Jimmy has flown as a corporate and charter pilot on various multi-engine, Lear Jet, and Falcon 20 aircraft. In the late 70’s he flew air shows in a Pitts Special, Midget Mustang and Schweitzer 126 Seaplane.
Jimmy retired from Delta Airlines as a Captain on the Airbus 330. He has also worked as an instructor on Boeing 727 and DC-10 aircraft. Jimmy holds airline transport licenses in airplanes and helicopters as well as flight instructor and instrument instructor certificates in airplanes and helicopters. He has logged over 20,000 hours of flight time. Jimmy flies the Slot for Aeroshell Aerobatic Team. His hometown is Monroe, Louisiana. He is married to Susan and they have two married daughters, Melissa and Laura, and six grandchildren.
Steve began flying when he was a teenager, soloing his family’s T-6 while he was a Junior in high school. By the age of 23 he had accumulated over 4,000 flying hours. Steve holds a commercial, multi-engine instruments pilot license and “A Type” rating the North American B-25, and he is also rated in the FG1D Corsair. He is a CFI single and multi-engine instructor, Seaplane rated and is a Certified Commercial Aerial Applicator. He is a graduate of Sowella Technical University with an A&P license.
He is the son of the late Merle Gustafson (Angel of Okinawa Corsair fame). Steve started flying air shows at the age of 19 and has inherited his dad’s skill for aerobatics and formation while acquiring a competence skill style all his own. Steve is also an ICAS ACE Examiner. Steve flies Left Wing for the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team. He has recently retired from an Aerial Application business in Tallulah, LA, and he also farms over 450 acres of cotton and corn. He has logged over 24,000 flight hours with no end in sight! He is married to Julie and has three children. Jennifer, Brad (also a pilot) and Ashlyn.
Brooks grew up in Belzoni, Mississippi and attended Mississippi State University. In 1977, he returned home to take over the family farm after the untimely death of his father. Since that time the operation of cotton, corn and soybeans, has expanded to over 3,600 acres. Brooks was involved in research for several cottonseed companies for over 30 years. In addition, Brooks was selected as Mississippi Farmer of the Year in 2006 and has been invited to be a seminar speaker for cotton production across the Southeast, He has served on a number of Advisory Councils in the agricultural industry including the National Cotton Council & Staplcotn. Brooks was also Chairperson of the FSA. He began flying at the age of 17 and has logged flight hours in Cessna’s 150, 172, & 210 and a TF-51 Mustang. Brooks and his wife, Tangea, are active members of First United Methodist Church in Flora, MS. They have two grown sons, Brookie and Shelton, as well as two grandsons, Brooks and Drake.
Paul Duff graduated from Mississippi State University in 1984 with degrees in Banking & Finance and Real Estate Management. While at MSU, Paul was bitten by the aviation bug and earned his private pilot’s license while working as a research photographer for the Aerospace Engineering Department.
Paul has spent most of his career in the concrete business and is currently Vice President / CIO of Delta Industries, Inc., a regional ready mixed concrete producer. After 35 years as a pilot, Paul’s passion has evolved to general aviation and experimental aircraft. Paul and his wife Beth, have built and are currently flying a Van’s RV9A and are currently “scratch building” a Piper Cub. He has held multiple offices over the years with Chapter 276 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Raymond, MS and has twice been president of the Mississippi Concrete Industries Association. When they are not working on building the Cub, Paul & Beth can usually be found on the weekends at a regional fly-in or chasing a $100 hamburger in the RV9A.
Sharron was born in Hattiesburg, MS to the late Sam Jackson and Vermell Tart Jackson. Her father SFC Sam Jackson, served during WWII in the 868th Aviation Engineer Battalion, Company C stationed in the Pacific, Australia, New Guinea, Phillipines and Brisbane. Sharron is the widow of Major William G. Harris, III, who served the U.S. Army Reserve, and Vietnam “Fall of Saigon-Operation Baby Lift.” Sharron attended L. J. Rowan High School. She received a Secondary Education degree— Endorsement area, from The University of Southern Mississippi, and an Elementary education degree—Endorsement Area, from Alcorn State University. Before retiring in 2015, Sharron taught for 30 years with the last 27 years at Vicksburg Catholic School. Before moving to Vicksburg, Mississippi, she taught Kindergarten classes at Atrium Education Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. She spent 19 years as a 2nd Grade Teacher, and 8 years as the Science Fair Coordinator for St. Francis Xavier Elementary—District MSEF Region II Science Fairs, taught Study Skill Classes at St. Aloysius High School, and was Director of After School SSS (Study-Snack-Service) Program to assist students who sought extra help at St. Aloysius High School. Sharron has one son William “Gabe” Harris IV (Andrea), and three grandchildren; Emily and twins, Sam and Charlie. She has a rich history of military service in her family. Her wish is that , “ALL veterans, especially wounded heroes, can be acknowledged with honor by a grateful nation of people for their devoted and selfless acts to keep us free and out of harms way. Because my late husband was a veteran with disabilities, I have seen first hand some of the many struggles veterans face on a daily hour to hour time frame. SHAF is an organization that shows it cares about the welfare of wounded veterans and their caregivers.”
Dean is a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi. She attended Hinds Community College, received training in Child Psychology, grant writing and is a certified Zumba Instructor. Currently she is the Office Administrator for Shiers Communications, her family's business. Dean substitute teaches at Vicksburg Catholic School, and serves on several Boards including: Vicksburg Riverfest, Vicksburg Main Street, S.T.O.R.M. and the Southern Heritage Air Foundation’s Advisory Board.
Dean is involved in may community activities and has been a volunteer for the Southern Heritage Air Foundation and the Warrior Bonfire Program. She has 3 children, Veronica, J and Landen.
Paul is a native and lifetime resident of Vicksburg, Mississippi. He is retired from International Paper.
Married to Linda Banchetti and they have three grown children, Carl, Nicholas and Vincent. Paul has been a longtime volunteer of the Southern Heritage Air Foundation and the Warrior Bonfire Program.
L.W. “Bump” lives at Eagle Lake north of Vicksburg, Mississippi with his wife Peggy. Bump is retired from the United States Army, has served as the Coroner for Warren County, MS, the Director of Warren County Emergency Management and E911. He has a daughter named Jessica that is a recruit- er for the Army Reserves. Now retired, Bump and Peggy travel and volunteer for the Southern Heritage Air Foundation.
Beth is a Tru-Vision Consultant, and serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Museum and Foundation. Beth has a deep love of history and our military, and shares that when volunteering for the many activities that SHAF offers and while giving museum tours. She is married to Leland Paul Fields and they live in Mound, Louisiana.
Paul is retired from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army. He is a pilot and has a passion for honoring the Military and those who serve and have served. He is the Military Liaison for the Museum and Foundation. Paul is married to Leland Elizabeth Fields and they live in Mound, Louisiana.
Bob is retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He is a certified flight instructor and volunteer pilot for the Southern Heritage Air Foundation in our Rides Program. He is also a private pilot for Golding Barge Company, Fordice Construction Company and serves as the Foundation’s Air Show Co-Chair. In his spare time he teaches flying. Bob is married to Susan and they have two grown children. They reside in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Sabrina received a Bachelors of Science in Geology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She currently works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She is a volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol and serves as Safety Officer for the Vicksburg Squadron and Assistant Director of Safety for the Mississippi Wing Civil Air Patrol. Sabrina resides in Vicksburg with her son, Slade. In her spare time Sabrina likes to bike ride and participates in bike marathons. She attends St. Michael Catholic Church and volunteers with the Catholic Youth Organization.
Valeria is a lifetime resident of Vicksburg, Mississippi. She s a graduate of St. Aloysius High School and the University of Southern Mississippi. She currently serves as the Librarian and Key Club Sponsor at St. Aloysius High School in Vicksburg, Mississippi. She attends St. Paul and St. Michael Catholic Churches. Valeria is married to Bud Johnson and they have one son, Hunter. Hunter is a graduate of St. Aloysius High School and the University of Dallas. Valeria loves to read, ride horses and dedicates down time to the Southern Heritage Air Foundation as a volunteer and advisor.
Pam Pugh is a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi. She is a graduate of Warren Central High School and attended Hinds Community College. She is married to David Pugh. They have two adult sons and six grandchildren. Pam is an active member of Highland Baptist Church. Pam is an Executive Assistant and CRA Officer at BancorpSouth. She has over 30 years of experience in banking. Currently she is serving on the Board of Director's for United Way of West Central Mississippi and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Over the years Pam has served as a volunteer for many non-profit organizations in our community and continues to serve in that capacity.
Mark was born In Haleyville, AL and over the next several decades lived in Alabama, Tennessee, South Korea, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio and finally moved with his family to Hattiesburg, MS, where his parents were on the faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Mark grew up around airplanes, as his father was a World War II test pilot flying B-24’s and B-29’s for the U.S. Army Air Corps. His father continued to fly until well into his 80’s, flying a Cessna 210, 182 RG and a Mooney Super 21. His mother was a United States Marine during World War II and was stationed in Washington D.C. for the duration. Mark graduated from USM and moved to Vicksburg in 1977. Mark is married to Robyn Lea. They love going on Safari trips. He is currently a member of the Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce and an avid hunter and volunteer at the Southern Heritage Air Foundation. He has one daughter, Lauren P. Different, one granddaughter, Caroline Amelia Different, and a grandson, John Rufus Different. Mark retired from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security as one of four Regional Directors, with 36 years of service. Mark served on the South Central Mississippi Works Workforce Investment board for 12 years. He has served on the Administrative Board for Crawford Street United Methodist Church and other capacities within his church.
Although she grew up on a grass strip south of Atlanta, Bobbie Chapin never learned to fly until she graduated from the University of Georgia, and the realization that she would no longer have pass privileges with Eastern Air Lines, where her father was a captain, hit her. When she voiced her concern to him, his reply was, “Well Kiddo, I guess you’re going to have to learn to fly yourself!” And she did. Taildragger from the start, his Aeronca Champ became her new best friend. Hanging around the shop where her dad, Bob Rust, restored antique airplanes for a hobby, along with the bonus of enjoying all the folks who flew in or did brief airshows in their warbirds and such, made for happy times. As an adult, Bobbie remained addicted to flying and even met her future husband at an Aerobatics Club meeting. Lucky bride, her wedding gift from her hubby was a DeHavilland Chipmunk so she would no longer have to borrow her dad’s. They lived on and operated Peach State Gliderport while her husband Orville finished law school. During that time, Bobbie earned a Glider rating—more good friends who understood ailerons and rudders!
Teaching was Bobbie’s calling and her passion for over 40 years. All her college degrees, from her Bachelor’s through her Ph.D., were related to education. She started out at a fabulous school not far from Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport and left after 25 years to take a position in Gulf Breeze FL, where Bobbie headed the Gifted Program and worked with highly intelligent students who loved the beach and the Blue Angels as much as she. Doing adunct work at the University of West Florida gave her the experience of having taught first graders through college students at the college level. Just a few months before she retired, Bobbie’s husband passed away suddenly, and she decided to move to Mississippi to be close to family. She discovered Southern Heritage Air Foundation, felt an immediate embrace by those she met, and felt like she was home again.
Mike is an Army brat who served for 28 years as an Army Engineer, retiring in 1998 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He had assignments in Germany, Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, California, Kansas, and Korea, Honduras, and Mississippi.
During his final assignments in Vicksburg, Mike served in an Office of the Secretary of Defense camouflage test program located at the Engineer Research and Development Center, and in the 412th Theater Engineer Command.
After retirement, Mike worked as a technical editor for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and has served as a volunteer in several community organizations, including the Southern Heritage Air Foundation, the Vicksburg Theatre Guild, the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation, and the Vicksburg Association of Marketing Professionals.
Mike lives in Vicksburg with his wife Karen. They have three adult children, William, Cami, and Heather, and two grandchildren, Mia and Michael.