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National candidates for 2006-2007 membership year.

The following information is intended to inform the membership about the announced candidates for National Office. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement by the National Organization of any candidate to the exclusion of others who may stand for election. DAV members may announce their candidacy at any time, up to and including the time of our election at our National Convention in Chicago, Aug. 12-15.

* To date nine DAV members have announced their candidacy for National Office for the 20062007 membership year. Elections will take place at the DAV National Convention in Chicago, Ill., August 12-15. Biographical information presented below is offered to help acquaint you with the announced candidates.

Announcing he will seek the office of Disabled American Veterans National Commander at the upcoming National Convention in Chicago, National Senior Vice Commander Bradley Barton said, "The DAV continues to be the finest veterans service organization in the world as a result of its members' immeasurable compassion, tenacious advocacy and unparalleled service work on behalf of disabled veterans and their families. As your National Commander, I will dedicate myself to the service, quality, integrity and leadership that have brought us to this esteemed position. They are the traits that will propel us into the future as the undisputed leader of veterans service organizations--they are the traits that will make it possible to build better lives for America's disabled veterans and their families better than ever before.

"Our world continues to suffer calamity and conflict requiring the involvement of American military men and women which often results in devastating disabilities. The DAV is at work seeking out every opportunity to provide assistance to this new generation of disabled veterans, many of whom have been disabled in the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just as the DAV was there to assist me and my generation, and generations before me, I assure you we will be there to help these newly disabled veterans.

"Since joining the DAV in 1975, I have witnessed the phenomenal growth of our organization and its commitment to service under the guidance of truly great leaders. I have seen the forging of the DAV Strategic Plan and its impact on our good works, and I assure you I will continue to support this intelligent and aggressive plan of action.

"I will strive to be the leader you deserve, and I will devote my efforts to promote and expand our outstanding legislation, volunteer, membership and service programs, including the level of support needed to continue the development of our professional National Service Program. I will also continue building greater dynamic teamwork among our more than 1.3 million members at every level of the organization.

"Building better lives for America's disabled veterans and their families is our mission. It is about who we are and what we do. As your National Commander, accomplishing that mission is my ultimate goal."

Other national officers seeking election to national office in Chicago are Junior Vice Commanders Robert T. Reynolds, Raymond E. Dempsey, Roberto "Bobby" Barrera, Wallace E. "Wally" Tyson, National Judge Advocate Michael E. Dobmeier, and National Chaplain The Reverend Doctor Edward C. Bastille.

Bradley S. Barton currently serves as National Senior Vice Commander. He is a service-connected, combat disabled Vietnam War veteran who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966.

In 1968, while serving with the Marines in the battle for Khe Sanh, he was severely injured when shrapnel from an enemy mortar severed his spinal cord. As a result of his wounds, he was medically retired from the Marine Corps in August 1968.

A retired attorney, Barton has been active in the DAV since joining Chapter 3, Indianapolis, in 1975. He is currently a member and past commander of Chapter 1, Portland, Ore. Barton was elected National 4th Junior Vice Commander at the 2001 National Convention, advancing consecutively to his current position.

A native of Indiana, Barton is a recipient of the Indiana Governor's Handicapped Hoosier of the Year award and past recipient of the DAV Department of Indiana Meritorious Occupational Achievement Award. He currently serves as a member of the Department of Oregon Finance Committee. At the national level, he has served as the DAV National Finance Committee Chairman and as a member of the National Executive Committee.

Robert T. Reynolds currently serves as National 1st Jr. Vice Commander. He is a service-connected disabled veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 1990.

A native of Arlington, Va., Reynolds enlisted in the U.S. Army following high school. He served in the 82nd Airborne Division, with overseas assignments at the Jungle Expert School and Operation Southern Thrust. He was injured in a parachute training exercise while assigned to the U.S. Army 11th Special Forces Group and underwent two years of multiple surgeries before being honorably discharged from the Army with service-connected disabilities in 1990.

An active life member of Chapter 10, Arlington, Va., Reynolds' leadership positions include two consecutive years as Chapter Commander. He also served on a variety of DAV Department of Virginia committees, currently serves as Department Judge Advocate and is a past Department Commander for 1998. Nationally, he served as Chairman for the Hospital and Voluntary Services Committee and as a member of the Nominations Committee.

An avid volunteer, Reynolds is involved in numerous Chapter community activities and at the Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va., VA medical centers. He is also the Department of Virginia National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic Coordinator and is a regular volunteer at the clinic.

Raymond E. Dempsey currently serves as National 2nd Jr. Vice Commander. He is a service-connected disabled veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1967 and suffered a spinal cord injury while a member of a nuclear, chemical and biological team in 1969, resulting in his medical discharge in 1970.

Thirty-four years ago Dempsey began his lifelong commitment to the DAV while undergoing treatment in the hospital at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. He is a life member of Chapter 42, Des Plaines, Ill.

At the Chapter level, Dempsey has served in all offices, including Chapter Service Officer and Membership Chairman. He currently serves as Department Executive Committeeman and Legislative Chairman and has served in all district chairs. At the Department level, he has held elected positions and was Inspector General. He currently serves as Legislative Director and Commissioner of the Claims and Service Commission. Nationally, he served three years on the Nominating Committee, as a Finance and Dues Committee advisor, Ex-Officio member of the National Service Foundation Board of Directors, 12th District Executive Committeeman, National Finance Committee Chairman and serves as a National Service Foundation/Colorado Trust Advisory Committee member.

Dempsey earned bachelor's degrees in political science and modern world history and a master's degree in administration and supervision. He concluded a 30-year career in education in 2003, retiring as a principal in the Chicago school system.

Roberto "Bobby" Barrera currently serves as National 3rd Jr. Vice Commander. He is a service-connected, combat disabled Vietnam War veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

A life member of Chapter 5 in San Antonio and native of Del Rio, Texas, Barrera enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969, following two years of junior college. Later that year, he was seriously burned by a 500-pound bomb exploded by enemy forces beneath an armored personnel carrier in which he was traveling. Bobby was burned over 40 percent of his body, including serious facial burns, and suffered the loss of his right hand at the wrist and his left arm at the shoulder.

The injuries forced Barrera to overcome numerous physical and mental obstacles which he feels prepared him for the rigors of his career, marriage and family life.

He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at St. May's University, and later, while teaching at Del Rio High School, a master's degree at Sul Ross State University. Barrera's career has also included positions of leadership and multi-level management as a juvenile probation counselor and Family Support Center Director at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio.

Barrera is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. They include: the DAV Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year for 1998; LIFE's (Leaders In Furthering Education Foundation) Presidential Unsung Hero Award for 1998; Disabled Veteran of the Year for the State of Texas in 1990 and again in 1998 and Department of Defense Outstanding Employee with a Disability Award for 1997.

Wallace E. "Wally" Tyson currently serves as National 4th Jr. Vice Commander.

He is a service-connected Vietnam-era veteran with more than 12 years of service in the United States Army.

Born in Oak City, N.C., Tyson is a life member of Chapter 46, Fayetteville, N.C. Following high school, he attended St. Petersburg Junior College, in Clearwater, Fla., before enlisting in the U. S. Army in 1972, where his assignments included the 101st. Airborne Division, 1st Armored Division and 37m Transportation Group in Germany; 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and the U. S. Army Recruiting Command.

He joined the DAV in 1985 following medical retirement as a sergeant first class. He originally served as a Chapter Service Officer and later as Chapter Adjutant.

While serving as a DAV volunteer, Tyson earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Methodist College at Fayetteville in 1989.

Tyson was appointed Adjutant for the Department of North Carolina in June 1989. At the National level, he has served as 9th District Executive Committeeman; a member of the National Executive and Finance Committees (1997-1999) and Chairman of the National Finance Committee (19981999); four years as a member of the Interim Committee on Constitution and Bylaws; State Commanders and Adjutants Association President (2002-2003) and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the National Service Foundation. He also served as President of the North Carolina Veterans Council; was selected North Carolina Disabled Veteran of the Year for 1995 and 1996 and was presented The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by former Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. The award is among the most prestigious presented by the governor.

Michael E. Dobmeier currently serves as National Judge Advocate. He was elected as National Judge Advocate at the 2002 National Convention in Dallas.

Prior to being elected National Judge Advocate, Dobmeier was appointed Assistant to the National Judge Advocate in March 2002. He later completed the term of National Judge Advocate Edward G. Galian, who passed away on May 11, 2002.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Dobmeier, suffered second and third degree burns over more than 30 percent of his body when sprayed with hot oil in an explosion, while serving aboard the submarine, USS Trigger in 1972. Following his discharge from the Navy later that year, Dobmeier signed up as a life member of DAV Chapter 2 in Grand Forks, N.D. His active participation in DAV activities and leadership led him to be appointed or elected to nearly all Chapter and Department offices and positions, including selection as the 1985 Outstanding Member of the Department of North Dakota.

At the national level, he was chosen to serve on the National Executive and Finance Committees in 1994. He was elected National 4th and 3rd Junior Vice Commander consecutively in 1995 and 1996; National 1st Jr. Vice Commander in 1997; National Senior Vice Commander in 1998 and National Commander in 1999 at the National Convention in Orlando, Fla.

A successful business owner, Dobmeier is also president of the North Dakota Veterans Home Foundation.

The Reverend Doctor Edward C. Bastille is a disabled U.S. Air Force veteran who served in the Vietnam War as a weapons specialist. He was commissioned as a chaplain in the Air Force before being medically retired due to complications from his initial enlistment.

Rev. Dr. Bastille is the Chaplain and a life member of Chapter 16 in San Mateo, California. He also serves as Chaplain for the Department of California.

Rev. Dr. Bastille earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Springfield College in Springfield, Mass., in 1966. He also attended Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, Mass., earning a Master of Divinity in Theology degree in 1975, and doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling in 1980. He is a Board Certified Chaplain, as well as an ordained minister endorsed by the United Church of Christ.

Since 1988, the Rev. Dr. Bastille has been a chaplain at the Palo Alto Health Care System, in Palo Alto, California, and currently serves as the Chief of Chaplain Service. From 1985 to 1988, he was the Staff Chaplain at the Highland Drive Veterans Administration Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. Prior to that, he served as pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Delmont, Pa.

Also announcing they will seek election to national office are John J. Skyler and David W. Spurgin.

John J. Skyler is a Vietnam combat veteran currently serving as National Executive Committeeman, District 2, and is a member of the Board of Directors.

A resident of Western New York, Skyler served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1964 to 1970. His military service included service in Vietnam with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1 Corps Area, Quang Tri Province, DMZ in 1966-67. Following Vietnam, he served with security forces at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was honorably discharged in 1970.

Currently serving as Adjutant and Treasurer of Chapter 1, Buffalo, N.Y., Skyler has been a life member of the DAV for more than 30 years and served in a wide variety of elected and appointed Chapter positions, including two terms as Chapter Commander. At the Department level, he is currently Chairman of the Department Finance Committee and Advisor to the Board of Directors. During his three decades of membership, he has served on many Department committees including being elected Department of New York Commander in 1997.

Skyler attended Bryant & Stratton and Erie Community Colleges and managed "Skyler Agency," specializing in bookkeeping and accounting. He also pursued a medical administration career at the Buffalo VA medical center. His VA career was cut short in August 2001 when a gunman began a shooting rampage at the hospital. Skyler disarmed the gunman but was critically stabbed in the process requiring emergency surgery and hospitalization. He retired following the attack. Skyler was presented a commendation for valor by former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi for his heroic action.

Active in his community, Skyler helped organize and was elected the first treasurer of the Erie County Joint Veterans Council, and served many years as Commander of the DAV Western District Council. He has assisted with the DAV Transportation Network and has more than 1,700 hours of voluntary service at the VAMC in Buffalo.

David W. Spurgin is a service-connected Vietnam-era veteran who served in the U.S. Navy.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1961, and following basic training, served aboard the USS Jason, in the western Pacific. He was assigned to the Naval Air Station at Millington, Tenn., and attended Naval Engineering School in Great Lakes, Ill., before returning to sea aboard the USS John A. Bole in the Western Pacific. Assigned temporary duty at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, Calif., while waiting medical evaluation, he was medically discharged in 1988 after serving 27 years in the Navy.

A native of Mena Ark., Spurgin has been a member of the DAV for 38 years. He is currently a life member of Chapter 46 in Men& where he serves as Treasurer and legislative officer. In addition to his many elected and appointed positions at the Chapter level, Spurgin served nine years as a Chapter Commander.

At the Department level he served as Inspector General for the Department of Arkansas (1997-1998); and was elected Department 2nd Junior Vice Commander in 1998, Senior Vice Commander in 1999 and Department Commander in 2000. Spurgin was awarded Commander of the Year in Division Three (2000-2001), was elected to the Department Service Commission for three years (20022005), and served as Legislative Director for 2005-2006.

At the national level his service includes: 21st District Alternate Executive Committeeman and 21st District National Executive Committeeman, and has served as Deputy VAVS Representative since 2001 and has been a DAV Transportation Network volunteer for 14 years. He also served two years on the Special Projects Committee of the DAV State Commander and Adjutants Association, and currently serves as a member of the Colorado Trust Advisory Committee. He is also the 2003 recipient of the DAV Department of Arkansas Disabled Veteran of the Year Award.

In addition to his DAV activities, Spurgin serves on the Veterans Committee for U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.).

The National Convention Committee on Nominations will be available to receive additional candidates who present themselves at the National Convention in Chicago, Ill., beginning Aug. 12, 2006.
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Title Annotation:Disabled American Veterans
Publication:DAV Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Previous Article:What emergency?
Next Article:Disabled veterans reveal their character.

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