Nine Line Board Members
MAJ Tyler A. Merritt, USA
MAJ Tyler Merritt, USA was born in Greenwich, CT. After graduating Valley Forge Military Academy, Tyler earned an appointment to The United States Military Academy at West Point. At West Point, Tyler majored in Engineering Management, graduating among the top of his class from the Academy. Upon graduation in 2006, Tyler was commissioned in the United States Army and reported to Fort Rucker for Aviation training. Among his early assignments was with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. His final assignment with the 160th was as Executive Officer to C Company, 3-160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. In June of 2014 then CPT Merritt relocated to West Point, NY in order to attend a Masters program at Columbia University. Heserved as a West Point faculty member charged with the responsibility of developing 145 cadets under his command (Tactical Officer) and is now responsible for the Simulation Center.
MAJ Merritt’s awards and decorations include the Air Medal (4th Award), the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Global War on Terror Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, NATO Service Ribbon, the Parachutist’s Badge, Master Aviator Wings, and Combat Action Badge.
MAJ Merritt is married to Angela Merritt from Dothan, AL. They have three children: Brayden, Ryleigh, and Isabel.
Megan is a retired attorney with a long history of community involvement and support of worthy charitable efforts. She currently serves as Vice President and CFO of Nine Line Foundation, Inc, and as a member of its Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board of West-Point.Org, a nonprofit organization which provides online communication support and assistance to West Point graduates and to parents of Cadets at the United States Military Academy and any other service academies.
Megan also served as the Connecticut State Coordinator for Admissions Representatives to The United States Military Academy at West Point, and also served as Vice President of Operation Support Our Troops, a nonprofit organization which sent “care packages” to deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen, and otherwise assisted deployed service members and returning wounded warriors. From 2010 to 2017, Megan also served on the Board of Help Our Military Heroes, Inc, a nonprofit organization which focuses on providing appropriately modified vehicles to service member amputees.
Megan holds a Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Relations from Manhattanville College.
Megan is married to Dutch Hostler, who is a 1968 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dutch holds a Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law, which is where Dutch and Megan met. Dutch and Megan have two sons, both of whom are West Point graduates and received their medical degrees from Duke University School of Medicine.
Ashli was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in Alabama and Georgia. Passionate about her desire to work with veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she graduated from the University of West Georgia in 2010 with a Bachelors degree in Psychology. After moving to Savannah with her husband in 2014, the two of them began working at Nine Line Apparel. She has since become very active in both the apparel company and the Nine Line Foundation, and in the fall became the Secretary for the Foundation board. She is responsible for assisting with donation management, event coordination, and outreach to other non-profit organizations with similar agendas as the Nine Line Foundation. Her personal goal is to support the continued growth of the Nine Line Foundation, raising awareness of the struggles that service members and their families face once their tours of duty have been served.
Ashli and her husband Matt currently reside in Savannah, Georgia, and both of them continue to work for Nine Line Apparel.
Robert “Graham” Allen
Former Army Staff Sergeant and 12 year Army Combat Veteran, during which times he served multiple combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Graham is responsible for one of the top 40 fastest growing social media pages in the country.
Named in the Huffington Post “22 Veterans To Watch in 2017”, Graham is responsible for reaching over 50M people per month with his approach on tackling the “REAL” issues within the Country.
As a rising Entrepreneur, Graham is the founder of Graham Allen Enterprises, Pain is a Liar™, and Editor and Chief at DailyRants.com.
In addition to multiple appearances on National News Outlets, Graham has begun speaking tours and book writing/publishing within the Veteran community focusing on the rise of the Veteran within society after Service to their country.
Bio to follow
Bill has lived a life of service. Upon graduation from high schoool, he entered the United States Navy. Upon completing his enlistment, he joined the USNR and subsequently the New York Air National Guard.
In January 1986 Bill was appointed to the New York City Police Department and served as a New York City Police Officer (NYPD) assigned to the 20th precinct in Manhattan, NYC until July 1987. In July 1987 he left the NYPD and was appointed to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) carrying on a family legacy after his father served the department for 27 years (1960-1987). He was assigned to Ladder Company 16 in Manhattan, NYC from 1987 to 1993. In 1993 he transferred to Ladder Company 45 also in Manhattan until 2011.
As a New York City Firefighter Bill responded to the World Trade Center attacks on February 26 1993 and September 11 2001 participating in the search and rescue operations. He was awarded four citations from the Fire Department including one for his immediate response to the World Trade Center Disaster on September 11 2001.
On 19 October 2001 Bill was ordered to active duty as a member of the New York National Guard in support of Operation Noble Eagle and deployed to the World Trade Center site. On 1 November 2006 he was ordered to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom assuming the duties as Ground Safety Manager with the 105th Air Lift Wing. From 1 September 2007 to 7 February 2008 he was deployed to Bagram Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Bill retired from the FDNY in May 2011 due to a line of duty injury and a World Trade Center related illness after 24 years of service. Bill retired from the New York Air National Guard on December 5 2011 after serving in the various branches of the military (Navy, Navy Reserves, Air National Guard) both on active duty and as a member of the reserves, for over 31 years.
D. David “Dutch” Hostler
Dutch is a retired attorney with a long history of service. Upon graduation from The United States Military Academy at West Point in 1968, Dutch served as a Field Artillery officer, including tours as a Battery Commander in Germany and Vietnam. In 1975, Dutch branch transferred to the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he served for the next several years as a Defense Appellate Attorney. Upon resigning his active duty commission in 1982, Dutch served as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve for the next 18 years, including ten years’ service as an Appellate Judge on the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and retired as a Colonel (USAR)
Dutch also served as corporate counsel for IBM for over twenty-one years. Throughout his career, he has served as a Director on both for profit and non-profit Boards. Dutch earned his Bachelor of Science degree from West Point in 1968, and his Juris Doctorate degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1975. He is also a graduate of Command and General Staff College and U.S. Army War College.
BOARD OF ADVISORS
Christy Kline is originally from Montrose, Colorado. She split her time during her childhood between the mountains of southwestern Colorado and the waterfront of Stamford, Connecticut. She graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Finance from Western State Colorado University. Upon graduation she was recruited into commercial banking and has spent the last 16 years in the industry.
During her career in commercial banking Christy has always been based out of Colorado but has worked in both local and regional positions as SVP in the commercial middle market space. She is a Senior Vice President for Bank of America in Colorado. Christy has served on the boards of several not for profit organizations.
Christy currently resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two children where she enjoys skiing, hiking, exploring, traveling and in general keeping up with her two young children!
Chris enlisted in the United States Air Force in the summer of 2000, where he began his service as an Aircraft Structural Maintenance technician. He has worked numerous airframes to include F-15C/D/Es, A-10Cs, HC-130Ps, HH-60Gs, and most recently the F-16CM.
His career in the Air Force has taken him on numerous assignments to include Elmendorf AFB, AK; Moody AFB, GA; Osan AB, Republic of Korea; and most recently Shaw AFB, SC. He currently holds the rank of Master Sergeant where he is currently the section chief of the Aircraft Structural Maintenance Section.
MSgt Ortega also has been fortunate to serve in numerous overseas operations that have taken him to the Horn of Africa, Qatar, South Korea, Bagram and Kandahar in Afghanistan, and various other locations.
His list of achievements in the line of duty include the Air Force Commendation Medal, second Oak Leaf Cluster; the Air Force Achievement Medal, sixth Oak Leaf Cluster; as well as several other Meritorious Unit Awards and Overseas Campaign Citations. However, his greatest achievements still remain his two daughters Mikayla and Hadley.