Villagers For Veterans
Since founding Villagers For Veterans in 2015, Marie has been inspired by the numerous veterans she has had the pleasure to meet and the overwhelming community support that continues the V4V to provide resources and assistance in support of our core mission, "to ensure severely injured veterans receive the tools and assistance needed tof healing, a return to normalcy and an independent lifestyle," As we continue to explore opportunities to serve veterans, we identified a critical gap within the Veterans Administration to meet the serious needs of the ever-growing population of women veterans to have a stable environment to feel safe while working on a new beginning and a pathway to a successful future. Founding 2 all-female veteran transition homes in Central Florida offers women veterans a temporary safe haven while also providing job training, counseling and much needed female camaraderie as they work towards self-sufficiency in a secure and loving environment. The transition homes, appropriately named "Ashley's Cottage" and "Ashley's House" are dedicated to the memory of First Lieutenant Ashley White-Stumpf who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2011.
LCDR Kathryn A. Wilgus, NC Navy, Retired
MS, RN, PGCE, CNOR-E
Kathryn Wilgus began her military career in 1987 as part of the United States Army Reserve Delayed
Entry Program (DEP); she enlisted as an operating room technician. As a civilian, she was employed as a
perioperative nurse within Florida Hospital Health System in Orlando, achieving highest level of Clinical
Nurse IV on personal professional development ladder and became operating room manager in
Altamonte Springs, Florida. She also worked as a hospice nurse, psychiatric ward at Lake Correctional
Institution and as a licensed practical nurse instructor in her civilian occupations. In 2004, Kathryn was
commissioned a Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) in the Navy Nurse Corps Reserves. In 2016, she retired
with 20 years combined military service.
Her key assignments include a one-year deployment to Landstuhl, Germany in support of Operation
Enduring Freedom (OEF); deployment on the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort for their
Continuing Promise Mission to Antigua, Columbia and Panama; deployments to Mazar-e Sharif,
Afghanistan as a Medical Embedded Training Team (METT) member and Female Engagement Team
(FET) member and Kandahar, Afghanistan as an operating room nurse.
Kathryn earned a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing Leadership in Healthcare Systems Management
and completed her post certificate in Education, nursing focus, from Regis University, Denver, Colorado.
She also earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing from Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida.
Currently, Kathryn is a Life Member of the National Organization of Combat Veterans Motorcycle
Association (CVMA) and past Executive Officer and Quartermaster of 20-4 Chapter. She is also a Life
Member of American Legion, and serves as the State Certified Food Manager. Kathryn is excited for the
next chapter in the Villagers for Veterans. She has promised to be their “force of nature” to move
mountains and achieve great things in the weeks, months and years to come for veterans in the Villages
as well as the Central Florida and greater Orlando area.
Her military awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy
Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit
Award Medal, Army Reserves Achievement Medal (2OLC), National Defense Service Medal with one
bronze star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2BSS), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global
War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Overseas Service Medal (BSS), Armed
Forces Reserve Medal with “M” and “2” device, and silver hourglass, NATO Non-Article 5 service Medal
(BSS), USN Rifle Marksman with “E” device, USN Pistol Marksman with “E” device.
Paul entered the United States Navy Reserves as a Petty Officer Third Class (E-4) in 1990 as a Hull Technician and retired in 2014 as a Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8) Expeditionary Warfare Specialist. His key assignments include a Combat Tour to Iraq overseeing vital security of Iraq assets and personnel, security support in United Arab Emirates (UAE), and assisted in seaward security in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In 2012, Paul retired after working 20 years as a Boilermaker/Welder on Power Plants all over the East Coast in the United States; a member of Local 13 out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is also a Master Mason, within good standing, with Masonic Lodge 368 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Immordino was also named American Legionnaire of the Year Post 35 in 2020.
Currently, Paul serves as the Financial Officer, and Life Member, for his Local Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA) Chapter 20-4; a National Organization and 501(c)19. He is also on the Executive Board at his Local American Legion Post 35 a 501(c)3; and the Financial Officer of Until They Ride, another 501(c)19. Paul continues to serve veterans in the best way he knows how; with integrity and efficiency. He looks forward to the future with Villagers to Veterans and being a part of an organization that is making a difference in their community as well as others outside of the Villages.
His military awards and decorations include the Iraqi Campaign Medal, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4 Stars), Navy Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global war on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device, Silver Hour Glass, and Expeditionary Warfare Device.
Colonel Stephanie Gradford
COL Stephanie Gradford is a native of Miami, Florida. She enlisted in the Army in 1990 as an Aviation
Operations Specialist and in 1993 was commissioned through Officer Candidate School in the
Her key duty assignments include Platoon Leader, B Company, 702 nd Main Support Battalion, Camp
Nimble, Korea; Commander, 380 th Movement Control Team (Airborne), 330 th Movement Control
Battalion and S-1, 7 th Transportation Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; S-1, 24 th Corps Support Group
and Commander, 396 th Transportation Company (PLS), Fort Stewart, Georgia; S-4, 3 rd Brigade, 85 th
Division and Commander, HHC, 3 rd Brigade, 85 th Division; Support Operations Officer, Area Support
Group-Kuwait, Camp Doha, Kuwait; G-4 Planner, 3 rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Executive
Officer, 87 th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Mosul, Iraq; Chief, Command Planning Group,
Combined Arms Support Command, Sustainment Center of Excellence, Battalion Commander, 71 st
Transportation Battalion, Army Logistics University, Fort Lee, Virginia, Executive Officer, 6 th Brigade,
United States Army Cadet Command, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia and Commander, United States
Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) Garrison Bagram, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. COL Gradford is currently
serving as the Chief, Sustainment Division, ARCIC.
COL Gradford’s military education includes the Transportation Officer Basic Course, the Combined
Logistics Captains Career Course, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Air Command and
Staff College, the Joint and Combined Warfighting School and the United States Army War College
Fellowship at the College of William and Mary. She is also a graduate of the Basic Airborne and Air
Assault Courses. COL Gradford holds a Masters of Military Arts & Science from Air University.
COL Gradford’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2OLC), Meritorious
Service Medal (3OLC), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2OLC), Army
Achievement Medal (3OLC), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal (1BSS), Armed
Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2BSS), Iraq Campaign Medal (1BSS), Global
War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian
Service Medal (3 rd Award), NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (4th Award),
NATO Medal (1BSS), Parachutist Badge, and Air Assault Badge. COL Gradford is also a recipient of the
U.S. Army Transportation Corps’ Ancient Order of Saint Christopher.
COL Gradford has four children: Indea (29), Nicolis (24), Raena (19) and Harien (15)
Originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Served in the Women’s Army Corps from 1969-1980 as a
Operating Room Tech, achieved the rank of SSGT. Came to Florida in 2017 and resides in Glenbrook
Village in the Villagers. After leaving the service she completed her Bachelors in Management
information system from Nichols College in Massachusetts. She worked at Cutler Army Hospital in
Massachusetts; serving as the Assistant Chief of Logistics, and Chief of Services Branch. And She is a
Member of American Legion Riders #347; past adjutant, Legionnaire 347, Member of the Motor Maids,
an all-women’s riding club and the oldest riding club in North America and Canada; past district director
for MA/RI/CT. Member of Moving Violations Motorcycle Club, MC; past secretary. Currently a member
of the Tri Country Women Veterans Organization, and on the financially committee.
As the new Secretary for Villagers for Veterans