Todd’s family tree includes ancestors who fought for the Union during the American Civil War. His grandfather John Neville was a Chicago Police Officer for 35 years, served with the US Navy during WWII, and was stationed at Midway Island. John was a huge influence in his life and upbringing all the way through college. Todd’s father, Clark Hatfield, served with the US Marines in Vietnam. Honorably discharged after multiple tours, his father was awarded the Bronze Star, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry as well as being a multiple Purple Heart recipient. Clark, a 100-percent disabled veteran, recently passed away from agent orange related cancer.
In 2015, Todd began working with A Soldier’s Journey Home (ASJH) and quickly discovered what his students could provide for the organization and in return the opportunity the organization could provide for his students. As a high school teacher, he developed positions for students to experience patriotism through service work with the veteran community. Logging more than 5,000 miles and counting, his mass communication students have followed and documented the work ASJH does through the use of photography, film, and storytelling.
Understanding the value for all participating parties with this volunteer work, Todd’s students have also worked with Nine Line Foundation, Road Home Program at Rush, and CreatiVets. This veteran service work included graphic design students as well. Those students both design and produce various promotional and fundraiser material in the working production lab at John Hersey High School, where he teaches. These first-hand opportunities for the students allow them to witness and experience the true definition of sacrifice.
Todd is excited about the ways his students can assist in helping Project Headspace and Timing (PHAT) and its belief in community and selflessness. His family rallies behind and supports each endeavor he pursues in assisting our veterans. Todd’s wife Valerie and two sons, Vaughn and Corbin, look forward to opening their hearts to PHAT and helping our local veterans right here in Illinois.