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Who We Are

Charly Crawford, a ten-time National Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualifier and son of a Marine, was inspired to create the Liberty & Loyalty Foundation (formerly American Military Celebration) out of his love for the United States and his passion for team roping. Crawford has been able to pursue his dreams and goals because of the military service members and first responders that keep the country safe and free.

In 2014, Crawford turned his passion into a free roping clinic for military heroes in Stephenville, Texas, Crawford’s hometown.  “It all started in my backyard. ” said Crawford. “15 headers and 15 heelers along with my good friend Trey Johnson. Trey taught the heelers and brought to clinic his ministry and I taught the headers.  The rest was history.” After six years of watching the school grow, the comradery, hearing how their experience helped with PTSD and witnessing those that gave their life to Christ, Crawford decided to create a non-profit organization and make it official.

In 2020, American Military Celebration (AMC) was born, arming the military service members with the roping skills, horsemanship, team building and life long friendships to support one another in years to come. In 2022, AMC incorporated first responders into the roping events. In May 2023, AMC rebranded to Liberty & Loyalty Foundation to align more with their programs and further represents the liberty & loyalty all service members offer to the communities they serve.

The Liberty & Loyalty Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 organization that produces Western lifestyle events for veterans, retired and active service personnel, and first responders. Events promote leadership and teamwork while encouraging camaraderie, forming support systems and making memories. Through these events, opportunities for fundraising are utilized for charities that support support the needs of our heroes.

Board of Directors

Click on photos for full bios.

Troy Applegate

Board of Directors

Troy Applegate is Head of Commercial Mortgage Lending for Commercial Banking at JPMorgan Chase. In this role, Troy oversees the commercial real estate term lending activities of the bank. Prior to this, Troy was Division Executive where he led a variety of credit and capital markets teams including Chief Underwriter for Commercial Term Lending and Chief Credit Officer for the Commercial Real Estate Construction Group. With more than 30 years of banking experience, he has originated, securitized and sold assets throughout the US and Canada.

A graduate of Fort Hays State University, Troy earned a bachelor's degree in business with a major in Finance. Outside of work, Troy enjoys spending his time team roping, raising horses and going to the lake with family. Troy and his wife Connie live in Celina, TX.

Charly Crawford

Board of Directors

Born and raised in Canby, Oregon Charly Crawford grew up with his dad who was a bareback rider and the self-proclaimed biggest team roping fan on earth.

Charly’s father, Chuck always had good horses and was one of the reasons the crossfire rule was implemented.

Growing up in the Northwest, the summers were always fun because guys like Mike Beers, Allan Back, Jake Barnes, Clay Cooper, and Leo Camarillo would come rope at their house.

Due to the average rainfall being so significant, they could only rope about 4 months of the year outdoors. Chuck had a roping club where there were weekly practices and monthly jackpots.

Charly always got to rope with guys that gave him no choice but to rope the best he could. He made the amateur finals before he made the high school finals. He and his dad would jackpot together, and Charly even did his first roping school at the age of 12.

It took winning for Charly to take roping seriously and once he was accustomed to winning, he never looked back.

“I paid my fees for the Dummy Ropings by picking up beer cans around the arena”

Before moving to Arizona to attend college at Central Arizona in Casa Grande, Charly took home a state championship and made the National High School Rodeo finals three times.

Bill Force

Board of Directors

Bill brings a solid military and law enforcement background to the American Military Celebration Board of Directors. He has 22 years of U.S. Marine Corps service, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Bill also has 17 years of law enforcement experience. His service to the community continues today due to Bill’s position as a K9 handler and Vice President of the Search One Reserve Team.

Bill is educated with a B.S degree in criminology and a Masters degree in flight test technology.

Bill values his volunteer work and has served on a number of other boards including the Airborne Law Enforcement Association and the Helicopter Association International.

Bill’s passion for team roping and having veteran support go hand in hand being a part of AMC.
“I see a tremendous value in combining roping with veteran/first responder support through AMC. I’m excited to see the growth of AMC and the benefits it provides to the participants and recipients.”

Keith Mundee

Board of Directors

Keith Mundee, I am 65 years old and the President at American Hat Company. Prior to American Hat Company I was the President at Miller International. I have been in the western apparel industry for the past 23 years.

Married to Terri Mundee for 38 years and we have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. We reside in Bowie, Texas.

Since 2017 I have served as an Honorary Wing Commander for the 301st Fighter Squadron based at the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas.

After graduating from High School I played for three seasons with the Montreal Expos in their minor league system and their Scout’s League. I the attended the University of Laverne where I focused my studies on psychology and education.

In 1980 I went to work for Western Fireplace Distributors as a Field Superintendent and eventually became VP of Operations with an ownership stake in the 25 Million dollar a year company. The Company sold in 1998 and I moved my family to Boise, Idaho.

In 1999 I went to work for Miller International where I stayed until 2010 when I went to work for Keith and Susan Maddox, the owners of American Hat Company.

Ken Bray

Board of Directors

Ken Bray is the President and CEO of Equibrand Holding Corporation, a manufacturer and marketer of specially designed products for competitive horseman and equine athletes. Bray worked in the banking industry as a loan officer before departing to help found Equibrand. Through his leadership, the company’s business holdings have expanded through both startups and acquisitions. The company’s holdings include a collection of brands with products manufactured in multiple locations in the United States and abroad.

For 35 years, Bray has been dedicated to help build consumer awareness for opportunities within the Western Equine Industry. He serves on numerous committees and boards within the market space that fund educational programs, grow participation in horse sports, produce equine events, and support charitable outreach within the industry.

Bray resides near Stephenville, Texas with his wife and sons. He enjoys helping young people, training horses, and the competition surrounding western horse sport events.

Sheriff Lane Aiken

Board of Directors

Lane has served more than 38 years as an active duty law enforcement officer. On March 1, 2016, he was elected to be the Wise County Sheriff. He began his career at D/FW Airport with their Department of Public Safety in 1974. Two years later Lane joined the Texas Department of Public Safety. He served as a Highway Patrol Trooper, a Narcotics Agent, Texas Ranger and a Texas Ranger supervisor. Lane was a member of the first DPS Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for Region 1. Just prior to retirement, he was the supervising Texas Ranger Lieutenant for Company “B,” the northeastern corner of Texas. He served as the Wise County Sheriff’s Office Enforcement Captain prior to becoming Sheriff. A native of Texas, Lane earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Texas A&M Commerce. He moved to Decatur in 1992 to serve as the Texas Ranger for Wise, Jack, and Montague County. He was twice named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Wise, Jack, and Montague County Criminal Justice Association. He and his wife Kay have been married for more than 50 years. They have two children and seven grandchildren.