D.C. ) - Gordon H. Mansfield, the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs who served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War, will speak to the delegates at Vietnam Veterans of America’s 13th biennial National Convention during the event’s general session on Friday, July 20. The Convention is being held at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois.
Mansfield, the former executive director of Paralyzed Veterans of America who was severely wounded in Vietnam, serves as the VA’s chief operating officer. He is responsible for the VA’s vast nationwide system of health care services, benefits programs, and national cemeteries. “It’s an honor that Gordon Mansfield will be taking time from his exhausting schedule to speak to the Convention delegates,” Rick Weidman, VVA’s Director of Government Relations, said. “He has spoken to us before and we always gain from his knowledge, expertise, and experience.”
Mansfield enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1964 after receiving his undergraduate degree from Villanova University and his law degree from the University of Miami. While serving as a company commander with the 101st Airborne Division, he was wounded during the 1968 Tet Offensive, sustaining a spinal cord injury. For his actions while his unit was under fire, he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross. Mansfield’s other decorations include the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.
Vietnam Veterans of America, the only congressionally chartered veterans’ service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam War era veterans and their families, will hold its National Convention from July 18-22. Some eight hundred delegates from VVA chapters across the country will join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Springfield. The delegates will set the organization’s course for the next two years, hear from an array of speakers, attend information sessions, and take part in special events, including a star-studded Awards Banquet on Saturday night, July 21.