Benjamin Patton


Ben Patton is a manager at Bakersfield Harley Davidson an Army Vet, former Police Officer, and the founder of Armed Forces Support Riders. Ben also co-founded the Armed Forces Support Foundation and is the father of 2 sons, one currently in active duty in the Navy and the other is a Navy veteran. Ben has also been awarded the Military/ Veteran award for 2017 from the American Red Cross. 


Jenny Patten

Vice President

Jenny Frank, AA was raised in Bakersfield, CA and graduated from Foothill High School in 1989.  In 1988 she enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served from 1989 to 1993 as a Basic Metal Worker (welder). Ms. Frank served with 3rd FSSG, General Support Maintenance Bn. in Okinawa, Japan during Operation Desert Storm and with 7th Motor Transport Battalion out of Camp Pendleton, CA. After her service, Ms. Frank attended Universal Technical Institute in 1996 and became a certified HVAC/R Technician. Ms. Frank returned to Bakersfield in 1997 and began attending Bakersfield College in the summer of 2002. Ms. Frank graduated Summa Cum Laude with an A.A. in Human Services in 2005. Ms. Frank first began working with Veterans as an Intensive Case Manager with Employers Training Resource in 2009, helping to put unemployed Veterans back into the workforce. In May of 2010, Ms. Frank accepted the position of Office Manager at the Bakersfield Vet Center and in November of 2016, she promoted to the position of Veteran Outreach Specialist. She is actively involved in the Kern County Veterans Collaborative and is the current Vice-Chair. She participates in other Veterans organizations such as the Women Veterans Advisory Committee. Recognizing gaps in services for veterans, together with her husband, Ms. Frank co-founded the Armed Forces Support Foundation in 2013.


Shaun Dawkins


Shaun is the general sales manager for Sonitrol Security in Bakersfield, he was born in Canada to English parents but is an American patriot.  His father served with British forces in Korea and his brother with the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan and says are two of the top motivating factors for his passion to be an active participant in veterans outreach.  Aside from being Treasurer for AFSF he also serves as senior event coordinator for Armed Forces Support Riders, is on the steering committee for the Kern County Veterans Collaborative, and as treasurer for the Bakersfield Toy Run.




Gilbert Cota

Operations Manager for Trans-West Security Services Inc., in Bakersfield, born and raised in Blythe Ca., until relocating to San Diego where he was involved with many activity leagues, coaching youths, active in sports and raising a daughter.

His father served with the 25th infantry battalion in Korea, his uncles were Army Veterans, Marine Veteran serving in Iraq and Desert Storm, along with brother in-laws who served in the United States Army and Air Force. 

Gilbert Patriotism come from  family and friends that have proudly served in our Armed Forces, he now proudly has the privilege and honor to serve on the board of directors with the AFSF to help veterans who have sacrificed much to this great country of ours.


Joshua Dhanens

 Veterans Service Manager at the Kern County Veterans Service Department where he has worked since 2012.  Upon graduating from high school in 1996, Joshua enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a military policeman deploying to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.  After honorably discharging from the US Army in 2005, he moved to Bakersfield and attended CSU Bakersfield, graduating in 2007.  Upon his graduation, Josh pursued a graduate degree at the University of Oklahoma.  He returned to Bakersfield in 2012 and has been assisting veterans and their families throughout Kern County apply for the benefits earned by the veteran’s honorable military service. 


Randy Coats

Born in Bakersfield and raised with a strong work ethic from my grandparents that survived the great depression. I was taught at an early age that a man's word was his bond. I worked at the family auto parts & machine shop business for many years and learned all the ins and outs of running a business. After receiving my draft card in 1964 I signed up for the U.S. Navy and went to bootcamp in San Diego, CA. During my service, I was assigned to a Destroyer Escort (DE 644) and later transferred to a Sub Tender (AS17) back in San Diego until my end of duty. I received my DD214 in 1970 and returned to work for my grandfather. I married my high school sweetheart (An Army Veteran) in 1969 and have three wonderful children. In 1973 I started working for the Housing Authority of the County of Kern for a total of 38 years and achieved the position of Deputy Director. During that same time, In 1992 I initiated the startup of a new nonprofit "Golden Empire Affordable Housing, Inc." as the Executive Director which I and my staff created multiple affordable housing units for the special needs population (Seniors, Homeless, Homeless Veterans, and Transitional Age Youth - (children ageing out of foster care)). I have a son that works as a planner for the local Nestles Corporation, a daughter that served in the Navy and retired after 20 years of service and a son that has served 21 years in the Navy and will retire in 2017.


John Wilburn

John has recently retired from the City of Bakersfield after 32.5 years as a Supervisor II in the Public Works-Solid Waste & Recycling Division.  During his time with the City, John was responsible for the coordination of Computer Systems/Software, Refuse & Recycling services and most construction projects within the City Limits of Bakersfield.

John is also a Navy Veteran and married is bride while on leave from Boot Camp, 42 years later they are going strong and in their retirement the two of them serve and volunteer on multiple nonprofit boards.

John is currently the Assistant Director with the Bakersfield Harley-Davidson HOG (Harley Owners Group), a committee member for the Bakersfield Toy Run and has recently joined the AFSF as a director.

Besides my Marriage, I am most proud of my military service for my country and of those that have and currently serve.  In joining the AFSF, this is my way of attempting to give back to those Past, Present and Future Veterans that may be in need of assistance.