VFW Elects First Desert Storm Vet as National Commander

Air Force veteran Brian Duffy of Louisville, Ky., was elected Wednesday as the Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States at its 117th National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. He also becomes the first veteran of Operation Desert Storm to lead the nation’s oldest and largest major war veterans’ organization. Duffy served in the Air Force as a jet engine mechanic on F-4 Phantom fighter aircraft, and later as a flight engineer aboard C-141 Starlifter transport aircraft in support of several campaigns to include Grenada, Panama, and Operations Desert Shield and Storm in Southwest Asia. In his acceptance speech, the retired UPS pilot called on everyone in the VFW to brag more about the accomplishments and public service that everyone inside the VFW knows is going on, but very few on the outside do. Among his primary objectives for the ensuing year is heightening the focus of mental health awareness and changing the veteran’s narrative—the veteran’s brand—which right now has 40 percent of Americans believing half of all veterans are experiencing mental health challenges, and an astounding 92 percent of employers believing veterans need access to mental health care programs. Also elected were Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Keith E. Harman, of Delphos, Ohio, and Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Vincent “B.J.” Lawrence, of Alamogordo, N.M. Read Duffy’s acceptance speech at:

 

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