Board Member Profiles
LJ Raspler is the Founder and President of the 501(c)3 non-profit, Cook For Vets, Inc. She was born and raised in New York and resides in Alexandria, Virginia. As the daughter of a United States Navy Veteran, she is passionate and energized about helping Veterans struggling with food scarcity.
LJ is never one to shy away from a challenge as demonstrated by her previous leadership roles spearheading a committee that provided food and shelter to homeless men in New York, as a Girl Scout Leader, and attaining a Master’s in Education at 49 years of age. After a ten-year teaching career, then resigning in 2019, LJ initiated and engaged in activities involving Veterans. Her involvement with VFW Post 609 in Old Town, Alexandria gratefully opened up doors to seek nonprofit status. Souls Feeding Souls is at the very heart of what LJ believes to be the foundation of Cook For Vets. In her spare time, LJ enjoys hiking, traveling, yoga, reading, mediation and sound bath healing, as well as visiting museums and military memorials with her husband, Jesse.
Caleb serves as Treasurer on the Board of Cook for Vets. Originally from New York, he received his Bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and his law degree from California Western School of Law. Caleb works at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. where he manages a portfolio that includes environmental, climate, and sustainability issues. Caleb enjoys hiking, trying new restaurants, and attending concerts in his free time.
LMT, CPT, CHC, Pn1
Pamela is a Health Coach with a Health Insurance Company. She is a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach, Reiki Master, Reflexologist, and holds a certificate in Massage for People Living with Cancer from the Roswell Institute in Buffalo.
Wellness was a big career change for Pamela. She has a combined 20-years in manufacturing and distribution for a global building materials company and privately owned feed manufacturing company. She spent time on Wall Street working for a large financial company and worked for 5 years in the Special Victims Unit of the Albany County District Attorney’s Office in New York. Pamela is also the creator of a podcast to inspire change. Providing listeners with tools, ideas, and encouragement to begin living their best lives. Pamela’s goal is to share the benefits of well-being and encourage others to feel good about themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. She believes in inspiring others to take that single step in the journey toward happiness, balance, and stability in life.
Kris is a medically retired Marine Corps Sergeant who spent seven years in Federal Law Enforcement. He is a person that exemplifies a civic and service-oriented individual with involvement in numerous community organizations.
Much of his time is spent as an active member in the Masonic Lodge and he is an appointed Divan (officer) with Al Kader Shriners. Another position that Kris holds is that of an adjutant for the Legion of Honor North Coast Platoon. He currently serves as the Assistant Director for the Tillamook Music Society which promotes music education by providing scholarships for students who want to further their musical education. In addition, instruments are donated to children who want to learn to play a musical instrument. He has the proud honor of being an awesome “dad” to his service dog, Gunner, who he received in 2019 through Paws Assisting Veterans (PAVE). Kris and Gunner travel to schools and civic organizations such as the Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Star to raise money for PAVE. Another way Kris gives back is through his involvement with Bullets to Bricks as he and Jacob Skriba assist Veterans who struggle with PTSD and stress-related challenges as a result of their time spent in the military. Bullets to Bricks is a community for Veterans to enjoy all things Lego. Its primary mission is to provide an effective outlet and mindful practice as a way of alleviating debilitating symptoms.
With all that he does, Kris will be a great asset to the Cook For Vets Board.
Gerald P. “Jerry” Krueger, a retired U.S. Army officer, served 25-years of active military service. Among his multiple tours of 3-4 years each, he did occupational medicine, and human engineering research to enhance and sustain soldier performance, with a focus on the preservation of soldier health during training, in combat, and in highly stressful working environments.
Dr. Krueger conducted advanced studies with Infantry and armor forces; with Army Rangers; but especially with helicopter pilots and aviation crews. He served in Saigon, Vietnam in 1971-72 where he was awarded the Bronze Star.
For 25 more years after his active military service, Dr. Krueger did behavioral science research, ergonomics applications, consulting, and teaching for numerous Federal Government agencies. All work was dedicated to improving the working environment and practices for people doing stressful jobs, in tough work settings. Krueger is a trained museum docent and he occasionally provides tours at the US Army Museum at Fort Belvoir, VA.
Currently, Krueger continues numerous volunteer activities with several Veteran Service Organizations (VSO). Notably, since 2020, he is serving as Commander of the 100-year old Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 609 In Alexandria, VA, which meets at the historic Alexandria National Cemetery on Wilkes Street in Old Town. Under his leadership, VFW Post 609 conducts annual “honor military Veterans” activities such as: engaging public volunteers: 1) for Memorial Day, to post American Flags on all ~4,230 military Veterans’ graves at the National Cemetery; 2) to post donated military wreaths on those graves during Wreaths Across America weekend in December; 3) in conducting dignified ceremonies to honor military Veterans on Independence Day (July 4th), for Patriot Day (September 11th, on Veterans Day (November 11th), and others.
VFW Post 609 recently took on the role of Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Sponsor for two Alexandria scouting units: Boy Scout Troop 301 and Cub Scout Pack 301. Scouts now join our military Veterans in the activities listed above, and more, e.g., conducting American Flag Retirement ceremonies. Recently, in support of the Washington DC Veterans Administration Hospital’s vision impairment clinic, the Scouts joined Post 609 volunteers in assisting 80+ vision- impaired Veterans at the Reagan airport and at the Union RR Station, as they descended upon Washington DC for their annual Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) convention.
Jerry and the VFW Post 609 are proud to have served as a launch pad for Laurie’s Cook for Vets organization. We are big supporters of Cook for Vets.
How to get involved:
Cook For Vets strives to elicit positive impact on the Veteran community at large with humility, respect, and admiration. It serves Veterans from all branches of the military and all walks of life, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. We seek volunteers willing to give a few hours on a Saturday afternoon to assist with preparation, cooking, and packing up meals for delivery to our service members. Consider becoming an advocate for Veterans by getting involved with Cook For Vets!