Meet the Adopt A US Soldier Volunteers

Adopt A US soldier is staffed entirely by volunteers, just like you.

While each volunteer and supporter of soldiers deserves not only our thanks and appreciation, but the gratitude of the nation, these people keep AAUSS going behind the scenes.  Here, you can meet and contact volunteers, administrators, and other key personnel of Adopt A US Soldier.  While AAUSS numbers are over 1,000,000+ supporters, these key people have volunteered their time, talents, and efforts to help keep Adopt A US Soldier growing and functioning.

Victor 'Gladen' Amato

Geek Group, Webmaster, Web Designer, Computer Coder


  Gladen has been the acting temporary webmaster for AAUSS since 2010 and is the key coder in the Geek Group which is a small group dedicated to building and maintaining the AAUSS website.

Ashleigh Benson

Texas Ambassador, Facebook Administrator

Ashleigh grew up in Texas and moved to Alaska when her dad got a new job. She pours everything she has into supporting her soldiers and our troops. Ashleigh grew up with a military family, dad, grandparents, cousins, and friends. She does a lot volunteer work with veterans, coaching, and working with Relay for Life. Right now, Ashleigh lives in the middle of Alaska, works in a small shop in town and an EMT. Eventually, Ashely would like to become a physical therapist!

Barb Hoefer


Adopting a soldier, what a great idea! I began my journey in August of last year and it was love at first adoption for me. After a few messages from my soldier, many tears of joy and excitement, I shared him with my family and we all fell in love. That led me to start the recruiting drive around me to family, friends, co-workers (past and present), and 3 more soldiers to be adopted. I shared my soldiers with our youth cheer program and that just solidified my love of this organization and the mission of AAUSS. Let no soldier go unappreciated, and make them aware that they are not forgotten while they serve their country. Two of my soldiers went with us through our football season to every game via photo buttons, video messages and pictures to them. We even brought them with us to all the cheer competitions. They wrote inspirational messages to my team of cheerleaders before competitions that I tearfully read to the team before they took the floor. They were our inspiration, our motivation, and our good luck charm! What I have learned, is that I did not adopt soldiers, no, they adopted me. My soldiers make me want to be a better person, appreciate what I have in my life that is good. I love this organization and all the volunteers affiliated with the group.


Hannah Catt

Indiana Ambassador


Hannah Catt is one of our Junior Ambassadors from the state of Indiana. She will be enlisting in the United States Navy in November.  In order to do this, she is working hard to graduate early in May 2014 which is her Junior year. She comes from a military family and enjoys showing her support to our troops. Hannah has build very great lifelong friendships with almost all of her soldiers that she has adopted.

Candise Ortt

Jessy King

Maine Ambassador

Jessy found AAUSS several years ago while searching for ways to send crocheted items to deployed service members. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her
life and so grateful she found a way to help our men and women who sacrifice so much for us.  Jessy is a dispatcher for a local police department and has been working in dispatch
and public safety since 2004. She has a very spoiled, rescued German Shepherd Dog that she adores above all and inspires her every day to find joy and give love.

Katie Bradford

Minnesota Ambassador

Marjorie Pedersen


Carol Dykstra

Nevada Ambassador

Nicole Underwood


Nicole adopted her first soldier last winter(2011), and the experience absolutely changed her life.  She is married, lives in New York, and they are the proud parents of a one year old cat!  Books are her absolute favorite thing in the whole wide world and her dream house would include a huge library.  She has two degrees in English but is currently going to nursing school.

Jessica Kaml

Aimee Stem

Pennsylvania Ambassador

Amy Bennett


Ian Rawls

Texas Ambassador

Ian was born in the state of Alabama and comes from a military family. His dad is a Vietnam Vet and his mother has now been a civilian for the Airforce for over 40 years. Ian has lived overseas most of his life.  He joined AAUSS to do more for our men and women serving overseas.

Amanda Picklo

Texas Ambassador


Amanda Picklo is the South Texas Ambassador, located in the Houston area. After witnessing a close friend go through a third wartime deployment with her husband, she decided to look into avenues to give back to our military and their families. An internet search led to discovering AAUSS, where her family promptly adopted their first soldier. Amanda and her family were immediately sold on AAUSS and its mission. Once Amanda learned of the opportunity to become an ambassador for AAUSS, she knew it was a role she wanted to take on. Adopting soldiers and promoting AAUSS as an ambassador has had unexpected benefits for her family. “My kids write regularly to our soldiers and think of them as family. Participating in AAUSS has given my kids an appreciation for our military I don’t think they could have fully realized, at their ages, without it.”

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