Project 4-22 is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated in Missouri.
Project 4- 22's mission is to raise awareness that 22 veterans complete suicide daily and to help form veteran communities to prevent suicide; while examining the role of alternative medicines in reversing this epidemic.
All members work Pro-Bono in honor of our veterans.
Executive Director - Blake Bell
Blake is a well known patient advocate in the state of Missouri and across the Midwest. He currently sits as e.d. of Project 4-22, is a board member of Show-Me Cannabis, and has worked for and with numerous other related organizations. His bachelor of science is in healthcare management and he is currently enrolled in school to become a doctor. He owns & manages Bell Chiropractic & Pain Management in Florissant, MO by day and is a loving father and husband when not working tirelessly to open patient access to safe medicine.
Deputy Director- Chris Hegney
Chris is a veteran of the United States Navy. He served from 2008 thru 2013 where he served as a RST team member (Riverine Security Team) with Riverine Squadron 2. Chris currently works for Bizerba USA as a Field Service Technician and is the owner of Bad Luck Leather.
Chris developed an interest for cannabis as medicine while trying to find an alternative to medications he was prescribed thru the VA medical system that were causing more harm then good. Through his research on cannabis he developed a passion for helping inform others both in and outside the veteran community on the benefits of cannabis.
Director of Veteran Affairs - Commander Thomas Mundell
Commander Mundell is a former member of the United States Army. He served two combat tours in Vietnam as an Aero Scout Gunner on Hunter/Killer Assault Teams performing Search and Destroy Operations in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and later throughout the World. He was shot down eleven times during his Military and Civilian career.
During his military career he received the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal for Valor, Air Medal for Valor, Army Commendation Medal for Valor, four Purple Hearts, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Air Crewmember Wings and Parachutist Wings.
He served with the 135th Assault Helicopter Company, 335th Assault Helicopter Company, A Trp, 2/17 CAV, 101st Airborne Division and the 10th Special Forces Group during his military career.
Since his military career, he served with numerous Civilian and Department of Defense companies in Iran, Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Africa, and South America and was an Attack Helicopter Senior Combat Technical Instructor for Bell Helicopter International.
Returning to St. Louis, he transitioned to McDonnell Douglas and became a Senior Product Service Training Instructor on the F-15 and F-18 Fighter Aircraft. He then became a Senior Training Instructor for Flight Safety International. Later he became CEO of Tactical Self-Defense and Combat Aviation Systems.
He is presently the Past State Commander for the Department of Missouri, Veterans of Foreign Wars and was recently elected as the Chairman of MAVO ( Missouri Association of Veteran Organizations) and is Chairman of the Board For the 501-C3 Missouri Veterans Foundation.
SARTEC II, SEMA & FEMA Certified
International Fugitive Apprehension
POW-MIA Search & Awareness
Hostage crisis and negotiations
Military & Law Enforcement Training
International Weapons and Tactics Instructor
Humanitarian War Zone Infrastructure Development
Veteran benefits advisor & Public Speaker
Catastrophically Injured Veteran Mentor
He is a real American Hero and we are honored to have him join us in our mission to educate our veteran community.
Treasurer - Christy Smith
Christy Smith was born and raised in rural Missouri, and graduated from Buchanan High School in Troy, MO in May 1991. She turned 18 years old in August 1991, married ARMY Private David Smith on Sept 7th, and moved to their first duty station, all the way across the world in Stuttgart, Germany on Nov. 23rd, 1991. David and Christy will be celebrating their 28th anniversary this year. They have also been stationed at NTC, Ft. Irwin, CA, Carbondale, IL, and Ft. Stewart, GA. They have a 19 year old son, Kyle. He is currently attending Tulsa Welding Institute, in Tulsa, OK working on his Associates of Occupational Studies in Welding Technology degree.
Christy graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL in Dec. 1999. David had relocation orders come down for Ft. Stewart, GA in May 1999. So, they moved to Richmond Hill, immediately fell in love with Savannah, GA and the southern way of life. David was able to be stationed at Ft. Stewart for 12 yrs., because he did 2 tours to IRAQ. After serving 21 years, David retired as an E-8, Master Sergeant, in August 2011.
In August 2008, David and Christy opened, Computer Solutions & Office Supplies, a computer sales and repair store. It was their retirement plan after the ARMY, so she opened and managed the business while David was active duty and deployed. Along with being a small business owner, Christy’s business knowledge also includes being the Accounting Controller for TitleMax, Schneider Logistics, and Port City Logisitics. During her employment with these corporations, she was responsible for overseeing multi-million dollar acquisitions. She was the primary liaison between auditors and company management. She managed an accounting staff of 25. Her responsibilities included cash management, preparing financial statements; accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll for 1500 people, driver settlement and per diem.
Two years after David retired from the ARMY, his PTSD was not subsiding, and the pain pill intake increasing. They decided the support of immediate family was needed, so they moved back to Troy, Missouri. Christy is excited to be working with Project 4-22. She knows the negative effects of PTSD, and pain pill addiction; and wants to help our military Veterans in any way she can. Christy.firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Advisor - Hannah Tyrey DVM
Dr. Tyrey is a native of the St. Louis area. She grew up in Hazelwood, MO but moved to Jefferson County with her family before high school. She always dreamed of a career as a veterinarian and after 3 years of undergraduate work at UMSL she was accepted into Mizzou's Veterinary school. She graduated with her DVM in 2014 and immediately moved back to the greater St. Louis area. She is used to being an advocate for a patient who may not always be able to speak up for themselves. Suicide prevention and awareness is something she feels strongly about. Veterinarians also have a high rate of suicide in their profession and she is a member of the Not One More Vet initiative which seeks to support and educate veterinarians against suicide. She is looking forward to using skills learned through NOMV and the human-animal bond to help prevent loss of those who work so hard to keep our freedoms.
Communications Director - Steven Elgin
Steve uses media to get our message to the people in the most vibrant way. After he was forced to leave his former position at a radio station for sharing the benefits of CBD, he was compelled to bring this issue to the for front. So Steve then began the first pro-cannabis based radio show in St. Louis! (Find it on 590am WGNU St. Louis)
Focusing on logical law reform and the medicinal benefits of cannabis treating epilepsy, PTSD, and many other ailments has since been his main focus. Steve brings our ideas, focus, and drive to life with his charismatic personality and fearless ambition by hosting our live events in person and through social media.
“The trip to the Institute for Cannabis Research has opened up perspectives that I never thought about before, and my family and I are better because of it. Veterans fought for us. It’s time we fight for them.”
Board Member - Charlie Pons
While being a devoted family man Charlie has carved out a significant portion of his heart for the greater good. With over 13 years of experience dedicated to community work we are privileged to have his experience and expertise helping to mold our mission. Charlie never fails to impress by taking on more responsibility than his official title as he educates himself on all the benefits of Medical Marijuana. While managing his MS diagnosis he has found solitude in the journey of uncovering safer medical options as a Missouri resident. His hands on approach helps bring our events full circle with detail and heart. "Learn something new everyday, it just may be worth it."
Board Adviser - Greg Duran
Greg is a veteran, patient advocate, and the owner of "The Good Lab" in Colorado. He is largely credited with getting PTSD added to the list of accepted conditions (the first of any kind of condition to be added in CO) that can be treated with marijuana in 2017. He brings vast wealth of knowledge in a very diverse way.
Board Adviser - Tim McGettigan
Tim Timothy McGettigan, PhD, is a professor of sociology at Colorado State University - Pueblo. At present, Prof Tim is helping to establish an Institute of Cannabis Research at CSU-Pueblo. Prof Tim's research interests are in the areas of anti-racism, social change, and science, technology & society (STS). Prof Tim's most recent book, which he co-authored with Prof. Earl Smith, is titled, A Formula for Eradicating Racism (Palgrave, 2016). Prof Tim has a couple of new books in the works. One explores the new paradigm that is sweeping the globe. The other will explore the topics of free speech and thoughtcrime. Prof Tim is a Fulbright Specialist and he has been awarded Fulbright Scholarships at the Centre for Social Studies in Warsaw, Poland in 2002-2003, and at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2015.
Board Adviser - Dr. Gene Bell
FOR THE RAGE, IT’S A MATTER OF TRUST.
By Mike Thompson
As Rage Head Football Coach Mike Wyatt relays the story, it’s the last regular season game of the year against the Dayton Warbirds. Rage defensive lineman Jay Carmack has been brought to the sidelines after taking an exceptionally hard blow to the head. After being examined by team doctor Gene Bell, he’s told to have a seat on the bench. He’s suffered a concussion , and is too valuable to the team to risk further injury, which could, and most likely would , set him down for the playoffs as well. ‘’So now, its Jay the competitor versus Doc, me and good judgment,’’ said Wyatt in his office last week, ‘’ Jays telling me he can go back in, fighting with my assistant coaches to get back in the field. I asked an assistant coach if Jay could go, and the answer was yes, he says he can. Then I asked Doc, and he said Jay needs to sit it out. I told Coach Edmunds to tell Jay to have a seat. He’s done for the night.’’
It was then that Wyatt told me something I’ve long suspected after observing his relationship with our valued team Physician, Dr. Gene Bell. ‘’I trust Doc’s judgment completely. I mean, he has been absolutely correct in every, and I mean EVERY diagnosis regarding our players since he came on board, from strains to sprains, concussions, pulls, major injuries, surgery decisions, everything. I never doubt Doc, and that’s a comforting thought knowing I have someone working with our players that I can completely trust. When I send in my roster to the league on Thursday before our weekend games, I know I’ve got the best 25 players who are ready to go.’’
The education, medical school bio and resume of Dr. Gene Dennis Bell reads like a profiled’ Who’s –Who’ in some medical journal. Admittedly, even I did not know the extent of his Doctorate and Post-Doctorate education until I requested his resume from Coach Wyatt last week to write this article. You gotta be kidding me!!
It’s twenty-four, TWENTY-FOUR pages long, neatly typed, 8 by 10. Let’s just say he’s a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine with his own office on North Highway 67 / Lindbergh in Florissant, a member of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, a Certified Sports Physician, and a longtime member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. The former Wisconsin University running back and semi-pro football player also holds teaching certificates in both Missouri and Wisconsin, has conducted medical and chiropractic seminars around the country, is an accomplished musician, and holds a qualified pilots license. No, he’s never, at least in my presence, turned water into wine, but he has the trust and respect of everyone on the staff at Rage Headquarters, and I’m glad to say, over the past year has become a good friend.
Perhaps Coach Wyatt says it best when he told me Tuesday that ‘’Doc never really says a whole lot about himself. You’d never know he’s done as much as he has , but hey, the ones who do the most usually let the accomplishments speak for themselves.’’
Board Adviser - Chris Wolfenbarger
Chris was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He grew up in Independence, MO until his parents moved to Lake Lotawana, a 750 acre lake southeast of Kansas City. This is where he truly developed his love of the outdoors. He spent every day he could on and around the water. He also excelled as a Boy Scout, eventually earning his Eagle Scout. His scouting experience helped guide his love and respect for the beauty of nature. Scouting developed his teamwork and leadership skills that he uses to this day.
Chris went to college at Central Missouri State University in 1987. He was an active member in his fraternity, Sigma Nu. It was during his fraternity days that he met his best friend and business partner Jason Ormiston. He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. After college he worked as an Outdoor Sales Representative for several years before being recruited by Jason to become an appraiser.
Chris is now a 47 year old father of three children. His wife’s name is Leah Sword and his children are Christian Sword, 19, Morgan Sword, 15, and Madison Wolfenbarger, 11. Appraising has proven to be his calling and he has been a successful Certified Residential Appraiser for the past 18 years.
As a true Patriot, he joined the National Guard in 2006, during two wars. Volumes can be spoken of his passion and determination simply because he volunteered to serve at age 38, when most service members are retiring. Chris joined to serve both worldwide on behalf of our Nation and also to assist relief efforts for stateside disasters. In order to better aid warriors and others in need, Chris joined the military to be a medic. Due to his outstanding abilities, he was asked to teach a combat lifesaver course to the 1141st Engineer Company before they deployed to war. His knowledge and his willingness to serve spoke for itself. It was at that time, he was asked to transfer to the unit before their deployment to Eastern Afghanistan.
Chris deployed with 1141st Engineer Company in 2009. He was one of only seven medics. The mission of the Company was route clearance, and it was extremely dangerous. The unit knew that almost every time they left the base, they would encounter an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Because every IED is meant to maim, destroy or kill, the company would not leave the base to conduct a mission without one of their medics.
As the Company searched and found IEDs, injuries–often several–would happen. Chris often had to treat the injured outside the vehicle which left him exposed to the enemy. There were many times that he had to provide aid while under fire or on uncleared portions of route. Chris was recognized many times by the Army for his service, but the award that he prizes above all others is the Combat Medic Badge awarded for treating the wounded while engaged with the enemy.
On February 12, 2010 while on a routine mission, the Company convoy approached a civilian vehicle. The Route Clearance Buffalo that he was riding in pulled up next to the vehicle to tell them to move out of the danger zone. Chris was looking into the eyes of a young man when he detonated the Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device or SVBIED. It was on that day that Chris and all the other warriors in the vehicle were wounded. The entire event was captured by the enemy to use as propaganda. The video can be seen at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1d9_1269002798. Nothing is known about the first attack, but his is the second attack and starts at 1:18. The young man featured in the end of the video is the suicide bomber.
Chris was treated in country and finished his deployment. He was medically retired from service for combat wounds on Oct. 23rd, 2013. After his deployment he went back to appraising full time, but now his wife assists him. Leah left a successful career to help him better complete tasks that he once handled on his own.
Longing to get back to the outdoors and hoping to find the peace that it once held for him, Chris took his son and went on a sponsored warrior duck hunt. This was his first opportunity to duck hunt and he loved it. Fatefully, Chris met Ronny Sweger on that event. They bonded immediately. During his deployment to Afghanistan, Chris had even been at the base that Ronny and his team had secured and built in 2002. A relationship kindled through a simple outdoor adventure, Chris and Ronny have grown to be great friends.
Chris describes his military experience as “a normal American that served.” This perspective allows him to bridge the gap between the civilian patriots that want to support our military and the service members at large. His service has given him a first hand look at what the Special Operations community does for our Nation and our world. He has also seen daring acts of valor in combat. Chris has also endured, along with his warrior brothers, the repercussions of being wounded. After seeing these Exceptional Warriors at work in areas of the world that had been totally devastated by centuries of conflict, there was no way he could sit idly by when these true heroes needed the support that was extremely lacking.
After coming with the Project's original trip to the ICR in 2017 and then due to his dedication and passion for the mission, Chris was asked to be Board of Directors in 2018. Chris is both humbled and proud to be involved with The Project 4-22 and assist in the education of veterans and civilians alike.
Board Adviser - Teri Robnett
Teri is a major patient advocate that is very well known for putting other first. We are honored to have her join our board of directors. Her other foundation is the CPA.
Cannabis Patients Alliance was founded by Teri Robnett who many know as medical marijuana patient advocate Rx Mary Jane. She is considered one of the foremost experts on medical marijuana policy in the Colorado.
Cannabis Patients Alliance is the most effective political voice for medical marijuana patients in Colorado. Through a dedicated group of volunteer experts, The Alliance has stepped forward for patients at all levels of government from following the Governor’s Task Force on Amendment 64 and lobbying for patients rights at the State Capitol, to participating on several Rulemaking Committees for the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division and working with counties and local communities in developing reasonable regulations that insure patients continue to have safe, affordable access to medicinal cannabis.
Their work doesn’t stop at the state line. Collaborating with advocates, activists, and policy makers in states across the country at all stages of legalization, Cannabis Patients Alliance advises on effectively advocating for medical cannabis patients’ rights and needs.
Board Adviser - Sarah Hollingsworth
As a disabled combat veteran and an Illigally healed Missouri resident, the fight for access is personal for Sarah. That is exactly how she got involved with Project 4-22! After experiencing the beauty of the program first hand, Sarah quickly fell in love with the chance to create real and lasting change in Missouri. Serving as adviser to the board her goals remain steadfast. Missouri residents deserve safe access to medications that work! That medicine is Cannabis.
Learn more about how cannabis saved her life here: