AIR FORCE VETERAN ELECTED TO LEAD AMERICA’S LARGEST COMBAT VETERANS ORGANIZATION
New VFW National Commander Vows to Defend Freedom’s Defenders
July 24, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 24, 2014) — The Veterans of
Foreign Wars of the United States concluded its 115th national
convention yesterday with the election of the new VFW National Commander, John
served in the U.S. Air Force from 1976-1997, including a tour in Korea in
1992-1993 with the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base as a Flight
Operations Superintendent. His decorations include four Meritorious Service
Medals, three Air Force Commendation Medals, three Air Force Achievement
Medals, the Korea Defense Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
is a resident of Hawthorne, Nev., and a Gold Legacy Life Member of Post 2313,
and has served the VFW in a number of leadership positions including Nevada
Department Commander and Chairman of the National Veterans Service Committee.
his acceptance speech, Stroud addressed the recent VA crisis stating, “the VA is a health care system worth saving that
right now must identify and fix what’s broken … that needs to hold people
appropriately accountable to the fullest extent of the law … and a system that
must restore the faith of veterans in their VA. He added that he is confident
Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson and nominee Bob McDonald—if confirmed—will not
make the same mistake as the previous VA Secretary who simply trusted his
employees to the point of his demise.
recounted his first experience with the VFW, stopping in Post 10047 in Las
Vegas, Nev., after seeing a sign that read ‘Active Duty Military Welcome.’ Dressed in fatigues, he entered
the Post and was immediately welcomed. Surrounded by his comrades, he learned
of the organization’s many programs and services, and he knew he wanted in.
“Comrades, I share my story to encourage you to
tell your own stories to others. A great
part of the VFW story involves the relevance between different generations, and
the ability to educate others about who we are, what we do, and who we do it
for,” he said.
had high praise for members’ work and VFW programs, citing several outstanding instances
of disaster relief, troop support and veterans resource efforts. He commended
those who worked with the U.S.
European Command to operate a Visitor’s Center for hundreds of American D-Day
veterans and thousands of visitors who were in Normandy for the 70th
anniversary of the landing, and praised the Ladies Auxiliary for its donations
to cancer research which now total $30 million.
“One of the best things about being a National
Officer is I get to brag about the VFW wherever I go … to the troops, to
veterans, their families, nonveterans and politicians, too,” he said.
Stroud stressed the
importance of reaching out to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and educating them
on what the VFW is all about. The camaraderie the VFW offers, as well as its
services help ease their transition to civilian life. Further, the VFW fights to
ensure Congress and the Administration keep America’s promise to care for them,
long after their successful transition.
“To this very day they
don’t know that it was the VFW who led the charge to create a new GI Bill … a
Family Caregiver Act … Traumatic Injury Insurance … a bullet-proof Stolen Valor
Act … concurrent receipt … a lower Guard and Reserve retirement age … and
advance appropriations for VA health care,” he explained.
Stroud is the second
Nevadan to be elected as VFW National Commander. He graduated with
honors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1990 with a Bachelor of
Science degree in Professional Aeronautics. He worked as the Mineral County
Building Official and is now retired. He is also
a member of the American Legion, the Elks, and is a Life member of the Disabled
American Veterans, the Military Order of the Cootie and the VFW National Home
will log thousands of miles within the U.S. and internationally to promote the
VFW, veterans’ issues and quality of life initiatives for active-duty, Reserve
and Guard members.
elected were Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John A. Biedrzycki, Jr. of Robinson
Township, Pa., and Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Brian J. Duffy of Louisville,
Read his entire acceptance speech.
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