Born in Chicago at the Great Lakes Naval Hospital, John Valentine has been involved with the military his entire life. He spent the first 19 years of his life a Navy Brat, and then joined the US Army and served for 20 years. During his service, he made the Rank of Sergeant First Class, E-7 and deployed six times, serving in Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq.He’s a huge Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan, and is also a big fan of Iron Man and the Marvel movies in general. One of his biggest passions though, is building up the military community around him – both active duty and veterans.
Veterans Be Real, SGT Ritter Spirits, Phantom Wholesale Liquors and Phantom Freelancing. These are all companies John has founded and is the CEO of. His companies all donate all the profits to his nonprofit organization, Operation Phantom Support. In 2014 John started Operation Phantom Support, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support to our active duty members, veterans, and their families. Providing day to day living assistance, his work assists over 4,000 soldiers, veterans and 1st responders every month through all of the programs and services.
Since its beginnings, O.P.S. has grown to include support programs for low cost car repairs, tire replacements, school supply giveaways, birthday cakes for dependent children, and Christmas toy giveaways – and the list is always growing. In addition to the programs, O.P.S. also includes a long list of services to the general community, including the SGT. Leevon Ritter Support Your Troops Resale Store, a partnership with CenterPoint that provides financial assistance and counseling services, and the Nancy Miller Food Pantry.
Veterans Be Real is John’s next resource for our military community. By discussing topics like transitioning out of the military with dozens of different people who’ve all had vastly different experiences and forged different paths, the goal is to help new Veterans navigate their world post-service, and become successful in the civilian sector.