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Local People

By Michael P. Mauer

A member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Library Memorial Post 6664 has been picked to lead VFW District 29, Department of Pennsylvania.

John D. Drake, an Iraq War veteran, was sworn in as commander last month to take charge of the approximately 4,500 members and three dozenactive VFW Postsin Allegheny County. He formerly served as commander for VFW Post 6664.

VFWcommander John Drake
New Commander VFW District 29, John Drake

“My biggest challenge as commander is to encourage participation of all posts at the district level and to keep up our membership,” said Drake. “I want to get the word out that the VFW is open to all combat veterans, young and old, men and women.”

Those in the VFW who attend meetings and are active in their posts are not only able to learn about benefits, but speak with veteranswho’ve applied for and have taken advantage of them, he said.

“It is also a great way to be part of your community,” said Drake.

Drake enlisted in the United States Armyafter graduating high school in 1978, and initially served nine years on a mortar squad and as a unit supply specialist. He was recalled to active service from the United States Army National Guard in Mount Pleasant, PA, and deployed to Iraq in 2005. In total, he served nearly 15 years in the armed forces.

Drake was honorably discharged from the Army in 2008 as a sergeant. Among hisawards and decorations are the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Global War On Terrorism Service Medal. He also earned the Air Assault Badge and qualified as a Jungle Expert.

Founded in Pittsburgh more than a century ago, the VFW is the country’s largest organization of combat veterans. For more information about VFW District 29 and its activities, contact Drake at: 724-469-3072 or babymoose.drake3@gmail.com.

(Michael P. Mauer is the Public Affairs Officer for VFW District 29. He served as an Army photojournalist during Operation Desert Storm, and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal by Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf for his actions during the war.)

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