Smith Holds First Meeting with Military and Veterans Council
Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today held the first meeting with members of a newly-formed Military and Veterans Council, which includes representatives from across the 21st congressional district.
Congressman Smith: “The 21st congressional district is home to more than 60,000 veterans, current members of the military and their families. The debt we owe them can never fully be repaid. But the best way we can thank them is by ensuring they receive the care and services they were promised. In Congress we have worked to improve benefits and care available to our service members and veterans. In addition, I feel it is extremely important to receive regular updates regarding the state of care and services our veterans and members of the military are receiving here at home. That is the purpose of this council. I thank each of them for their exemplary service to our country and willingness to serve as part of this advisory group.”
Members of the Council were referred by their peers, member organizations, and local and state officials. A majority of the members attended today's meeting. They include:
- Kirby Allen (Bexar County) is a retired United States Air Force Colonel who has served as branch chief in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has flown 242 combat missions.
- Rev. Von Seggern (Comal County) is a retired United States Air Force Colonel and Chaplain.
- Mike Reed (Kendall County) is a retired intelligence officer United States Air Force Colonel.
- CPT Michael Carter (Hays County) is currently a Captain in the Texas Army National Guard and is a 10-year veteran of the United States Navy.
- Dennis Birchall (Bandera County) is a retired United States Army Colonel who was recently selected as the new Veteran County Service Officer (VCSO), is active in American Legion Post 157 and attends the Hill Country Veteran Council (HCVC).
- Gary Noller (Kerr County) is the Commander of the local American Veterans (AMVETS) Jacob C. Leicht Memorial Post 1000. Gary was instrumental in establishing the criteria and vetting names for the Kerr County War Memorial and was selected to serve on the County's War Memorial Advisory Committee. He is a member of the HCVC and has also worked as an Employment Advisor for the Texas Veterans Commission.
- Tami King (Gillespie County) is a retired United States Navy Lieutenant Commander and currently serves as a VCSO. She has a reputation for delivering quality service to veterans and advocating for them.
- James Henry “Jim” Armstrong (Real County) is a retired Marine Corps Officer and a respected voice in the rural community for veterans issues. He is currently involved with Prison ministry.
- Brian Cox (Comal County) is a West Point graduate, financial advisor, and has led local efforts for wounded warriors.
- Bob Murdock (Bexar County) is a former General in the USAF and Commanding Officer of Kelly AFB. Current Director of Office for Military Affairs for City of San Antonio
- Dan Hamilton (Travis County) is a Marine Corps Officer who served in most recent Middle East conflicts. Current President of University of Texas Student Veterans Association.
- Jim Pepper (Blanco County) is a retired Marine Corps Officer who served in Vietnam.