News Column

New Members Appointed to Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has announced the appointment of four new members to the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, an expert panel that advises him on issues involving minority veterans.

"This advisory committee contributes to the success of VA programs affecting minority veterans," said the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. "It helps VA strengthen health care, benefits, rehabilitation, outreach and other programs for minority veterans."

Chartered on January 30, 1995, the committee makes recommendations for administrative and legislative changes. The committee members are appointed to one-, two-, or three-year terms.

The new committee members include retired Army Maj. Gen. Harvey D. Williams from Maryland; retired Army Col. Reginald Malebranche from Virginia; retired Navy Cmdr. Kerwin E. Miller from Washington, D.C.; and U.S. Army veteran Cathleen Wiblemo from Virginia.

There are approximately 4.5 million minority veterans in the United States and its territories. They make up 18.7 percent of the total veteran population.

VA has minority veterans program coordinators at each VA medical center, regional office and national cemetery to assist minority veterans with health and benefits issues.

Membership VA Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans --Carson Ross (Chair), African-American, Blue Springs, Mo. Vietnam veteran, currently serves as the vice chair, Missouri Veterans Commission. --Lourdes E. Alvarado-Ramos, Hispanic-American, Olympia, Wash. A retired Army command sergeant major, assistant director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. --Samuel Calderon, Hispanic-American, Bucaramanga, Colombia. A retired Army colonel, retired in July 2003 from the Department of Commerce as Deputy Director for Budget. --Jefferson John D., African-American, Silver Spring, Md. A Vietnam-era Army veteran, currently working as an African-American outreach coordinator for the Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency. --James H. Mukoyama, Jr., Japanese-American, Glenview, Ill. A retired Army reserve major general, Vietnam veteran, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Regal Discount Securities. --Harvey D. Williams, African-American, Germantown, Md. A retired Army major general, former executive vice or chief operating officer of four companies. --Reginald Malebranche, Haitian, Alexandria, Va. A retired Army colonel, has held several leadership positions in private and federal industry. --Lawrence A. Bastian, Sr., U.S. Virgin Islands. A retired Army first sergeant, has held several key positions in his homeland in providing services to veterans. --Diego E. Hernandez, Puerto Rican, Miami, Fla. A retired Navy vice admiral, Vietnam veteran, currently serves as management consultant to private and public companies. --Frank A. Cordero, American Indian-Squamish Nation, Bellingham, Wash. A Vietnam veteran Marine; currently serving as a tribal veteran representative and sits on several committees in Washington. --Cathleen C. Wiblemo, Caucasian, Annandale, Va. A veteran of the U.S. Army; currently working as the deputy director of health care at the American Legion National Headquarters. --Kerwin E. Miller, African-American, Washington, DC. A retired Navy commander, currently director of the District of Columbia Office of Veterans Affairs.U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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Source: PR Newswire

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