Operation 22 til Freedom is governed by a five person board. In addition we have three ex-officios and veteran outreach committee members.
Justin Thompson | President
Justin was born and raised here in Council Bluffs, Iowa. As a young kid, he had a fascination with being in the military, and upon graduating high school from Lewis Central in 2003, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. After completing all necessary training, he was sent to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines in Camp Pendleton, California. He deployed to the Al Albar Province in Iraq 3 times during his enlistment, including the 2nd battle of Fallujah, Operation Phantom Fury, in November of ‘04.
Returning home after his enlistment, Justin got a job at OPPDs nuclear power plant in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. In his spare time, Justin likes to ride motorcycles, hike, site see national parks across the nation with his wife, workout, and shoot guns.
With the loss of many brothers to suicide, Justin wanted to help. With his family and friends, he hosted our first poker run in 2019, at Loess Hills Harley Davidson. With its success, it was decided that Operation 22 til Freedom needed to become a non-profit and continue helping raise funds and awareness to prevent veteran suicide.
Alicia Frieze | Vice President
Alicia Frieze was born and raised right here in Council Bluffs, IA. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and then continued her education with Stratford Career Institute’s Distant Learning Program in the interest of interior design.
Alicia has an exciting career as the Director of Sales for the Council Bluffs Convention and Visitor Bureau. When she isn’t being an UNbeliveable advocate for CB, she’s killing it at that mom and wife game! She married her high school sweetheart. Together they have two beautiful teenage daughters and two Great Danes! Her family loves to spend their free time outdoors, specifically camping at their “happy place,” a campground in IA.
She is passionate about helping others and volunteers for many CB organizations, including Operation 22 Til Freedom. Alicia is OTTF’s Vice- President and will be handling our social media efforts, marketing, and event planning. She is passionate about ensuring that those who fought for her freedom don’t stop fighting for their own lives. Have an idea about how OTTF can help veterans in our community or nationwide? Give her a call. She loves new ideas and brainstorming!
Matt Denny | Treasurer
Matthew Denny is one of the founding members and Treasurer of Operation 22 Til Freedom.
His family has served in the U.S. Armed Forces throughout history, as far back as the revolutionary war.
Matt is deeply patriotic and is honored to serve the men and women who serve and defend the country he loves.
He was born at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, NE. He grew up in Omaha and graduated high school from Benson High School, in 2004. He then attended Iowa State University were he studied Civil Engineering. Unfortunately, due to a degenerative autoimmune disease affecting his vision, he was forced to leave school and return to Omaha to pursue other opportunities.
Matt has been married for nine years and has two children, a three year old son and a seven year old daughter. As a family, they enjoy spending as much time outside as possible. They enjoy camping, hiking, swimming, kayaking, and traveling.
Steve Burns | Secretary
Steve Burns is from Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Omaha Central High School, journeyed his way through to an Associate’s in Criminal Justice, then a Bachelor’s in Security Management, and is currently completing a Master’s in Project Management. Steve currently works for OPPD as a Nuclear Security Officer.
In his free time, Steve enjoys riding his motorcycle and hanging out with friends. His goals are to help veterans and their families receive the help they need in any aspect, especially adjusting back to civilian life.
Sean Frazier | Veteran Outreach Director
Sean Frazier is originally from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Abraham Lincoln in Council Bluffs and currently lives in Omaha. Sean will graduate from Bellevue University in June with his MBA in Supply Chain Management.
In 2006, Sean joined the Marine Corps out of high school where he spent 4 years serving with 1st Battalion, 4th Marines as an Infantry Mortarman. He deployed twice to Iraq, first to Husaybah in 2007 and then Fallujah in 2008. Upon his honorable discharge in 2010, Sean and his wife moved to Omaha and in 2012 began working for OPPD where he still works as an Enterprise Risk Analyst. In his off time, Sean enjoys golfing, woodworking and spending time with his family.
Operation 22 Til Freedom is not Sean’s first venture into helping the Veteran community. He has been on the Board of OPPD’s Veterans Network for over 3 years and currently resides as the President. Like many of you, Veteran suicide has been a part of his life, which is why he is so passionate about turning the tide and getting Vets the support they need. He looks forward to getting further involved in OTTF and push it to the next level.
Nick Hardesty | Veteran Outreach Committee
Nick currently lives in Omaha, NE, with his wife and two kids. He was born and raised in Columbus, NE. While attending high school, he joined the delayed entry program (2006). In 2007, he left home determined to become a United States Marine. Upon graduation, he went to the School of Infantry and was given what he claims is the most extraordinary weapons platoon job there – MACHINE-GUNNER! His contract was five years cctive and three years in IRR.
While on active duty, he served two years in Security Forces at Bangor, WA. Then, he finished out the last three in Camp Pendleton with 2nd Battalion 4th Marines, The Magnificent Bastards. During his time with 2/4, his unit did a combat deployment to Musa’qala, Afghanistan. Their unit was highly successful but lost five of the greatest men our great country has to offer.
Throughout his short time in the Corps, he’s met a lot of Marines, and many bonds were made. That is why he takes the mission of combatting veteran suicide seriously. It’s not just about helping vets but helping their families. Nick has the perfect background to serve on our Veteran Outreach Committee due to his three years of experience in working within a veteran outreach program for work. His goal is to help those suffering know they are not alone and to combat the stigma associated with mental health.
As well as helping others, Nick looks forward to building additional relationships that will continue to help him with PTSD. He is thankful for those veterans he’s met, was able to help, and who has helped him. He is an advocate for the veteran community!