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september/october 2007

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POW/MIA COMMITTEE REPORT

BY GARY JONES, CHAIR
During the National Convention, VVA President John Rowan invited me to chair the POW/MIA Committee. I consider it a great honor and challenge to serve the VVA membership in this forum. I was forced to cancel my attendance at the Convention because of health reasons and missed the opportunity to interact with you at that time. With that in mind, I will introduce myself briefly to you.

I served in the U.S. Navy as a commissioned officer from 1964-69. I was a ship’s engineer on destroyers during most of the period and spent my first Vietnam tour patrolling the coast from Danang to Haiphong Harbor, where we provided SAR and gunfire support to operations along the coast. My second tour was in the Brown Water Navy as OIC of NSAD Dong Ha at the Dong Ha Marine forward combat base on the Cam Lo River.

Following service, I operated my own businesses in agricultural management and then became involved with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, where after many positions, I retired as a State Park Manager.

Today, my wife Diana, a retired schoolteacher, and I reside in our quiet wooded home in Saint Louisville, Ohio, tending to kids, grandkids, and fellow veterans. I am a member of several organizations, but I am most proud to be serving as a Veterans Service Commissioner in Licking County. When not involved with these pursuits, my real love is the wood shop.

I have been involved with the Veterans Initiative Task Force for several years. One of the tasks John Rowan has assigned me is to phase the Veterans Initiative Task Force back into the POW/MIA Committee as a program. This program will go forward with the enthusiasm and effort that it always has possessed, as will the mission of the POW/MIA Committee. I believe the two efforts will benefit from a positive symbiosis and, with the help of committee members, we will see good things happen.

 

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