Board of Directors – Veterans for Common Sense
Charles Sheehan-Miles, President
Charles Sheehan-Miles has been a soldier, computer programmer, short-order cook and non-profit executive, and is the author of more than a dozen fiction and non-fiction books, including the indie bestsellers Just Remember to Breathe and Republic: A Novel of America’s Future. He is a member of The Authors Guild and the Association of Independent Authors.
He served in the 1991 Gulf War as a tank crewman with the U.S. Army’s 24th Infantry Division. He was the founding executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center in the 1990s and co-founded Veterans for Common Sense in 2002, then served as the organization’s executive director from 2003-2006.
Charles currently lives in South Hadley, Mass.
Dan Fahey, Board Member
Dan Fahey was commissioned in the U.S. Navy through the ROTC program at the University of Notre Dame and served in the Persian Gulf in July 1991 on board the USS Arkansas (CGN-41). From 1993 to 1998, Dan was a paralegal at Swords to Plowshares, a non-profit veterans advocacy group providing housing, counseling, job placement, and legal services to veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dan has extensively researched and regularly spoken on depleted uranium (DU) from spent munitions and its potential role in veterans’ health problems. Dan served on the Board of Directors of the National Gulf War Resource Center and the Military Toxics Project.
He served as a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2006 to 2007 in Sudan, with the International Peace Institute in 2009 as an expert coder for compliance with UN Security Council sanctions regarding war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as a research consultant with the International Peace Information Service in 2009, as visiting faculty at Deep Springs College in 2010, as Research Director of the Eastern Congo Initiative in Goma, DRC from 2010 to 2011, and as a United Nations contractor in Goma, DRC since 2013.
Dan is past Post Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5888 in Santa Cruz, Calif. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Arts in International Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California at Berkeley, with a focus on armed conflict in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, and a post-doctoral in Political Science at Colorado College. He is the author of numerous book chapters, policy papers, and scholarly articles.
Anthony Hardie, Board Member
He has served with the treatment-focused U.S. Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) on Gulf War Illness (GWIRP) as a consumer reviewer with the program’s overarching Integration Panel since the programs’ creation in 2006, and since 2014 as Chair of the External Advisory Boards for the program’s Gulf War Illness Consortia at Boston University and at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He served on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (RAC) from 2006 to 2013, and on the VA’s Gulf War Steering Committee from 2010 until it concluded its work in 2012.
He served with the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs as Executive Assistant for Legislative, Public, and Intergovernmental Affairs, the agency’s third in command, from 2003 to 2009. He served as a Congressional aide to then-Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin from 1999 to 2003. He formerly served as Vice-President and as a Board member of the National Gulf War Resource Center, and as a national officer of Veterans of Modern Warfare.
He served with the U.S. Army from 1986 through 1993 with six overseas tours of duty, including two combat tours: the 1991 Gulf War, and Somalia. His military awards include the Bronze Star medal, Expeditionary Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal, among numerous others. He is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and the Defense Language Institute. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison following his military service. He is a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and a member of AMVETS and Florida Veterans for Common Sense. He is the author of 91outcomes, a website that provides Gulf War health and news.
Gene Jones, Board Member
Gene Jones is a founding member of, and continues to serve as President of Florida Veterans for Common Sense. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a linguist and analyst from 1964 to 1968. He practiced law in Sarasota, Florida until his retirement in 1999.
He is the author of Adventuring in Paradise, a non-fiction outdoor recreation guide for Southwest Florida, and Suwannee Divide, an historical novel about Florida during the Civil War. The Sarasota Herald Tribune and other Florida media have published his guest columns. He is a frequent lecturer and instructor about Florida during the Civil War, and is a regular speaker on behalf of Florida Veterans for Common Sense on veterans and national issues.
Mike Zacchea, Board Member
Mike Zacchea was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1990. Trained as an artillery officer, he served at Camp Lejeune as a forward observer and platoon commander, deploying to Somalia for Operation Restore Hope and to Haiti for Operation Support Democracy. He served as operations officer and executive officer of a Marine recruiting station. He was selected for advanced artillery school, and went on to command two artillery batteries and serve as a battalion assistant operations officer. He served another tour on recruiting duty in the northeastern US.
In March 2004, as a major, he deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom II. His team’s mission was to build, train, and lead in combat the first Iraqi army battalion trained by the US military. After an initial 4-month training period, his advisor team led the Iraqi battalion in combat operations for 7 months. During this time, the battalion participated in Operation Al-Fajr, the 2nd Battle of Fallujah. The battalion spent 6 weeks in urban combat, the longest of any deployed Iraqi unit, and accomplished a number of historical firsts for the Iraqi army. During the battle, Mike was wounded, but declined to be medically evacuated.
Mike’s military awards include the Bronze Star medal for Valor (with gold star in lieu of 2nd award), a Purple Heart medal, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, a Combat Action Ribbon, and numerous unit and campaign awards. Mike was also the first and at the time only American recognized by the Iraqi government by the Order of the Lion of Babylon. As a result of his wounds, Mike was medically retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Mike’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Arts from Hawaii Pacific University, and he is a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Advanced Artillery School, Amphibious Warfare School, and Law of Land Warfare course. He is active in veterans affairs and Iraqi refugee affairs, and has been featured in numerous national media venues discussing the Iraq War and related issues.