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Who We are

About 21st Century Heroes

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In 2013, a group of Jackson Hole residents wanted to show their support to our dedicated servicemen and women. Understanding that learning a craft and creating can greatly aid in healing, they were inspired to start 21st Century Heroes, and to start with woodcarving.


Expanding to other art forms as well as woodcarving, 21st Century Heroes teams with expert instructors to develop course curriculum. Each workshop is designed to give the veterans a solid understanding of the craft--they learn how to use and maintain tools, understand basic techniques and execute their own creative projects. The veterans leave with newfound knowledge, and a set of basic tools that they can use to continue their craft when they get home.


In addition to building camaraderie and support amongst the participants, the experience introduces a creative spark, an artistic outlet, or possibly, even a new career.


The sponsored workshops provide three to five days of instruction alongside the beauty of the Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They put down tools for a day and explore the serene setting of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They take a field trip to Grand Teton National Park, do some wildlife sightseeing, and wander around the town of Jackson during each workshop.

Support Our Work

Century Heroes is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to providing therapeutic and recreational creative workshops for wounded OEF and OIF veterans. The sponsored workshops provide 3-5 days of creative arts instruction in the beautiful and relaxing setting of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Years Completed

8 years

Veterans Participated

75+ Vets

Veteran Continued Participation


Meet The Team

Dan Burgette

After earning degrees in Conservation from Purdue University, Dan Burgette worked 27 years as a Park Ranger in Grand Teton National Park.  He retired in 2004 and has been creating bird sculptures for over 35 years using wood, metal and stone with an emphasis on interpretive pieces.


In 2001 and 2011, he won the Best in World Interpretive Wood Sculpture award at the Ward World Carving Championship. He is a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists. His work focuses on realistic and interpretive wildlife subjects using mixed media.

Joe Dillett

Joe is a traditional carver who began carving and studying art in 1957 in a monastery. Although he spent some time doing electrical engineering in the corporate world, most of his income came from his successful full-time carving business, where he specialized in architectural carving.


Although retired, Joe still takes on a few woodcarving orders, but most of his time is spent volunteering for the Red Cross and teaching wounded veterans. Joe hopes to keep the art of woodcarving alive through teaching wounded veterans.

Jonathan LaBenne

Jonathan is known for capturing his and love of the wilderness in his art. His work centers on the mountains and all its inhabitants, especially the bear. He is as at home in the wilderness as most people are in their living rooms.


Jonathan derives his inspiration from the wilderness, hiking, canoeing, horseback, rafting, or just being there. He also loves living it through the eyes of his children and others.

Sharon Dillett

Sharon’s nursing career started in a men's medical ward at the University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. After she and Joe left Wisconsin, she raised their two children, then returned to nursing and spent another 25 years in a specialty hospital. There, she nursed patients on life support—specifically babies and adults on ventilators—and assisted two children on ventilators while they were at school.

After retiring, she continued to use her nursing skill to help friends and families navigate the roads of hospital stays and end-of-life decisions. She finds meeting and helping our nation’s heroes very gratifying. 

Kristine Abbey
Executive Director

Kristine grew up in California and travelled around the world as a United States Air Force family member before landing a job in Washington, DC with the Air Force Association. As Legislative Director she advocated for the USAF, Airmen and their families. In 2016 she decided to settle in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 


As the Executive Director for 21st Century Heroes her focus is ensuring each veteran attending the workshops experience the healing of creativity in the beauty of nature.

Interested in 21st Century Heroes?

Drop us a line to learn more about attending one of our workshops or donating your time or support. 

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