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Governor Appoints 13-Member Veterans Advisory Council


November 15, 2003
Saturday - 12:55 am

Juneau - Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski has appointed 13 Alaskans to serve on a newly-created Veterans Advisory Council, which has the mission to advise the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs and the Governor on veterans' issues.

"I look forward to working with each of these dedicated veterans to make sure the state's services for our veterans are everything they should be," Murkowski said.

The council is charged with providing recommendations concerning the needs and benefits for Alaska's veterans, as well as to develop public-private partnerships with organizations to meet those needs. It will make annual recommendations to the Governor and the department. Members appointed to one-, two-, or three-year terms, are:

John Vowell, Juneau, is director of the state's six Pioneer Homes and is appointed to a seat designated for a state agency. Vowell is a veteran and will provide assistance on the Veterans Home issue.

Ronald Huffman, Nome, served in the US Air Force from 1962-93, and is the current program director for community education with Kawerak, Inc. He is a former Air Force Junior ROTC instructor.

Nona Johnson, Anchorage, served in the Marine Corps in WWII, has lived in Alaska since 1947. The only woman on the council, Johnson is a charter member of the all-woman American Legion Post.

Victor Karmun, Kotzebue, who served in the US Navy, is a volunteer Kotzebue Sound ADF&G advisory committee member and is a former Native Liaison for the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

James Grizzell, of the Mat-Su Valley, is a disabled WWII veteran of the Marine Corps who was serving on the USS Lexington when it was sunk at Midway. Grizzell is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

George Gaguzis, Anchorage, served as an Army combat infantry sergeant in Vietnam. He has been an Alaska resident since 1971 and has been active in veterans' issues for many years. Gaguzis is a member the VFW and Vietnam Veterans of America.

Robert Murray, Anderson, has been an Alaska resident since 1966, living in Nome and Fairbanks before moving to Anderson. Murray is a WWII veteran.

Ron Eller, Kodiak, is a disabled veteran who served 32 years in the US Coast Guard. He owns a sport fishing lodge and is a member of the VFW.

Ted Taylor, Anchorage, is the president of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 904, and represents that organization on the council.

Richard Frank, Fairbanks, is a former board member of the Tanana Chiefs and is a Native elder.

Joseph Fields III, Fairbanks, served two tours of duty in Vietnam in the US Army and helped bring the Vietnam Memorial moving wall to Alaska. He is a member of the Interior Alaska Veterans Coalition.

Wev Shea, Anchorage, served as a yeoman 3rd class in the US Navy, flew more than 100 combat missions in Vietnam, and is a former US attorney for Alaska.

Robert (Bert) Hall, Sr., Wasilla, is an Army veteran and is a former Associate Director of US Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic.

Murkowski said he appreciates the time commitment made by each of the members of the council. "As a veteran, I recognize the significant contribution made by each of these Alaskans when they served in the military, as well as the contributions they continue to make every day in their communities. The veterans of the state will be well served by their representation on the advisory council."


Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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