Meet the Soldiers Freedom Outdoors Advisory Board


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COLONEL Washington Sanchez

Colonel Sanchez was born in Jacksonville, FL and grew up in North Florida. He received an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from FAMU in 1964 and earned an Army ROTC Distinguish Military Graduate Second Lieutenant Commission. Most of his 27 plus years in the Army were served with troops in the Field Artillery. 

On November 6, 1965, he was wounded while serving as a Forward Observer with an Airborne/Airmobile Company of the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam. That day, he earned the Purple Heart medal and a Bronze Star medal with Valor. In 1970, he served a second Vietnam tour for eight months as a Fire Base Commander of a split 8in/175mm Battery. 

From 1972-75, Col. Sanchez was stationed in Germany as a 155mm Battalion Operations Officer with the 3rd Armored Division. Six years later, he returned to Germany to Command the 155mm Direct Support Battalion of the First Infantry Division (Forward) for a period of three years. 

Col. Sanchez’s final troop assignment, from 1987-89 was as Commander of Grafenwoehr Training Area, which, at the time, was the largest training center in Western Europe. Non-Troop assignments included staff work in Intelligence and Research/Development. 

Personal awards include two Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters and a “V” Device, the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service and Air Medals.

Professional education includes the Senior Officer Industrial College of the Armed Forces; and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Kansas State University in 1979. 

After retiring, he volunteered with the Florida Department of Banking and Finance and worked as the Deputy Administrator of District Ten, Florida Department of Children and Families in Broward County for two years. 

For the past ten years, Col. Sanchez has served in many positions with the Department of Florida, Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) to include State Commander for FY 2011-2012, Senior Vice Commander, Judge Advocate and Inspector.  Col. Sanchez also served two years as Commander of Tallahassee Chapter 758, MOPH. From October 1, 2013 to March 1, 2017, Col. Sanchez volunteered as the Chairman of the Florida Veterans Foundation, located at the State Capitol. On November 9, 2016, Governor Scott inducted Col. Sanchez into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame where his name was placed on a wall of 30 veterans at the Florida State Capitol.  Florida has over 1.6 million veterans.

Col. Sanchez’s wife, Gloria, served for five years as the President/Secretary of the Department of Florida and one year as the Region IV President of LAMOPH.  She also served as the Junior and Senior Vice President of the National Ladies Auxiliary, MOPH. In August 2017, Gloria was elected as President of the National MOPH Auxiliary at the Convention in Dallas, TX. Her year of serve ended in August 2018 in Spokane, WA.


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Charlotte E. Blanding ED. D Retired SFC, USArmy

Dr. Charlotte Blanding served 20 years in the United States Army as a Human Resource Sergeant, Signals/Collection Analyst with Military Intelligence Command and an Equal Opportunity Advisor. She held several leadership positions, worked for National Security Agency (NSA) for six years and held a Top-Secret Clearance.  She served two additional years in the Army National Guard in Jacksonville, Florida.  Dr. Blanding had the privilege of living abroad in Germany and England during her military service.

Her Bachelor of Science degree is in Social Psychology with Park College.  After retiring from the military in 2009, she completed her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Webster University in 2011 and earned a Doctorate Degree in Counseling, Education & Supervision with Argosy University in 2017. Dr. Blanding has worked with various organizations throughout Jacksonville and Gainesville FL. She currently works at FSCJ as an Adjunct Professor and volunteers with Northeast Florida Women Veterans as a facilitator and a therapist.  

 She is an active member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Specialist in Group Work, Women’s Army Corps Veterans’ Association, while serving on the National Honor Guard.  Dr. Blanding is a lifelong servant, mother, grandmother, advocate, educator, lifetime student and a Licensed Mental health Counselor Intern with the state of Florida.