Mike Carpenter (USA / NCARNG) entered the NC Army National Guard as an officer
candidate in 1998 and drilled at The NC Military Academy until joining the Active Army
in 2000. From 2000 to 2003 Mike served enlisted as an Apache Helicopter Crew Chief
until being released from active duty under the Army’s “Green to Gold” program, where
Soldiers attend college and R.O.T.C. to become officers. He rejoined the NCARNG
upon being released and honorably discharged from Active Duty, and earned an officer
commission in 2004 while attending graduate school at The University of NC at
Charlotte. From 2004 to 2010 Mike served as an Aviation platoon leader and company
executive officer in North Carolina’s attack helicopter battalion, and was deployed in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009/2010. From 2010 to 2020 he served in
various leadership positions as a Logistics officer under North Carolina’s Maneuver
Enhancement Brigade (Engineers), and served in Kuwait in support of Operation
Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield 2017/2018. Mike retired from the
NCARNG in 2020 with 22 years of service. Currently he works with the NC Dept. of
Commerce as a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist, assisting
disadvantaged Vets that have barriers to employment in becoming job ready and hired.
Mike also is a Service Officer and life VFW member with Post 9337, a member of
American Legion Post 23 and a member of the Gaston County Veterans Council.
Mike Meeks, Sr. (USA) entered the U.S. Army in 1969 and served at Ft. Knox, KY and Bamberg, Germany before being honorably discharged in 1971. Mike is very active in local civic affairs and is Chairman of the Gaston Veterans Council, President of Bessemer City Crisis Center, Board Member of Bessemer City Boys & Girls Club, past President and board member of the BC Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of BC Weekend Backpack Program, past member of BC Economic Development, member of the Bessemer City ABC Board, BC Hope 4 Gaston volunteer, BC Delivery Meal on Wheels, member of Gaston County Honor Guard, member of the CaroMont Hospital Advisory Committee, the CaroMont Transition Committee, CaroMont Veterans Committee and CaroMont Faith and Health Ministry. Mike has received the Humanitarian Award from Purple Heart Homes, the BC 2013 Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year and the 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Legacy Award.
Kurt Geske (USAR Ret.) on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1983 to 1987, achieving the rank of Major and serving with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps as Trial Defense Counsel in Stuttgart, Germany and Administrative Law Attorney in Heidelberg, Germany. Kurt attended Santa Clara University, receiving his BA (History) in 1979, and Santa Clara University School of Law receiving his JD in 1982. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1982. Kurt retired from full-time law practice, in California, and moved to North Carolina in 2007. Kurt received his MA, in History, from University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2012. Kurt is currently the Director of Gaston County Department of Veterans Services.
Ivan “Bud” Strope (USMC) Ivan “Bud” Strope (USMC) joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1965 and served in Vietnam, as a rifle squad leader, in 1966 and 1967. Bud returned to Parris Island where he served as a rifle coach and as NCO in charge of the BOQ. He was honorably discharged in 1969 with the rank of Sergeant. Bud worked in the field of combustion engineering and traveled extensively engaged in international sales. He retired, from an engineering consulting firm, in 2013 and became active as a veterans’ advocate. Bud is currently Pastor of Veterans Ministry at Journey Fellowship and President of Camp Centurion. Bud is a life member of the VFW, American Legion, Marine Corps League, Disabled American Veterans and Mensa.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Tony Sherrill (USA) entered the U. S. Army in October 1966 and was discharged in October 1972, with the rank of Specialist 4th Class, after 2 years active service and 4 years in the Army reserve. During his tour of duty, he spent 18 months in Germany. In addition to being the Secretary of Camp Centurion, Tony is a life member of several military veteran organizations including American Legion Post 23, DAV, AmVets and the 40 & 8 Society (La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux). Tony is also a member of the VFW Auxiliary, an associate member of the Marine Corps League and a member of the Gaston County Veterans Council. Additionally, Tony is an active member of The Salvation Army.
Glenn Perkins (USMC) joined the U. S. Marine Corps in 1969 and served in Vietnam, in 1970 and 1971, as a company radio operator and as a mortar squad leader. Glenn returned to Camp Pendleton where he was honorably discharged in 1971 with the rank of Corporal. Glenn earned an A.S. in business and, for 35 years, was employed by industrial corporations including Eaton Corporation and Parker-Hannifin. After retirement, Glen became active in several civic and veterans’ organizations including the Kings Mountain Booster Club, the American Legion, the Gaston County Veterans Council and the Gaston County Honor Guard. Glenn has also been very active in the Marine Corps League, where he is a member of the Military Order of Devil Dogs and has held several key positions including Detachment Commandant and Toys-For-Tots coordinator. Glenn is currently serving the Marine Corps League as the Midwest District Vice-Commandant.
Michael Meeks, Sr.
Camp Centurion, Inc is a North Carolina Tax Exempt, 501(c)(3) Charitable Corporation .
Ivan "Bud" Strope
Supportive Housing for Veterans