TEAM HRT:

Craig Candelore is the Founder and Chairman of the Board for Honoring Our Troops. He graduated from U.S. Military Academy, West Point in Engineering, and served five years on active duty as an Army officer. He served in the Army Reserves reaching the rank of Colonel before retiring in 2008. Craig graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law, Cum Laude, and concluded his Masters in Systems Management at the University of Southern California. Craig is the founding attorney at Men’s Legal Center in San Diego, CA, providing legal help for nearly 30 years.

Read his full bio here.

Dale Santee has over 30 years of legal and military experience.  He recently retired from the County of San Diego’s Alternate Public Defender’s Office.  In his past he worked as a staff attorney for the Veterans Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.  Currently, he is serving as President of the California Reserve Officer’s Association (ROA).

Read his full bio here.

Howard Thomas helps with our monthly legal self help clinic held at VFW Post 3787.  Howard served in the U.S. Army Special Forces during Vietnam.  Howard has a long legal career in San Diego and specializes in family law issues.  He is compassionate in helping veterans and is dedicated in helping veterans work their way out of the legal system.  Howard also speaks five languages and has traveled extensively around the world.
Mr. Abels earned his Bachelor of Arts from Beloit College, WI, followed by his Juris Doctorate degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark. Mr. Abels is currently serving in the California National Guard as a field artillery automated tactical data systems specialist. As such, he understands the issues facing service members. He specializes in helping veterans get the benefits owed to them, be it through VA disability upgrades, discharge upgrades, or helping veteran owned companies secure VetBiz opportunities.
Ryan Loya, USMC, served ten years in the Marine Corps, most recently as a drill instructor at MCRD San Diego. He deployed four times, 2 of which were to Afghanistan. Ryan was awarded the Purple Heart after his 3rd deployment when he saved his platoon from an IED blast. Despite sustaining traumatic brain injury, he recovered within 6 months, and returned to Afghanistan. Post-transition, Ryan is working on a bill to reform military transition assistance program. He resides in NYC, attend New York University, and works at FCB Global.
Allan Candelore runs the daily activities of supporting the office.  He provides the logistics and support for many of our events.  Allan also makes sure that all of our filings are up to date so that we maintain our non profit status.
Sarah Tipton conducts all the intakes and fields calls for the HRT Veterans’ Legal Clinic.  She is also a peer mentor for Active Duty Military and helps them with their transition off of Active Duty.  She has been volunteering with HRT for over two years now.
Ganesh Subramanyam is the accountant and bookkeeeper for HRT.  Ganesh first joined Honoring Our Troops in July of 2013 and has been with the organization since. He received his B.S. degree in Economics with a Public Accounting concentration from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and obtained a Certificate in Finance from the University of California San Diego Extension.  He has gotten Honoring Our Troops caught up on their books and helped them get the necessary grants from the San Diego Foundation.  Ganesh lives in San Diego and enjoys working out, playing basketball as well as rooting for the Padres and Chargers.
Ms. Punaro grew up in Stockton, CA. She earned her Associate in Arts Degree at San Joaquin Delta College. Ms. Punaro then moved to Los Angeles where she embarked on a career in the automobile rental industry, eventually rising to corporate level as Customer Service Director for a world-wide rental car company. During her 40 plus years in the industry, she traveled extensively holding customer service and training seminars throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Retiring too early, Ms. Punaro currently volunteers for Honoring Our Troops in San Diego, CA.

Our MISSION is to address the unique needs of veterans through self-help legal clinics, veteran-oriented seminars,
and mentorships which empower the lives of veterans and their families.

Our Impact In Numbers


Click to Learn More About Our Programs: