Hershel W. Gober
President Clinton announced on 3 July 1997, that The Honorable Hershel W. Gober to be Secretary of the Department of Veteran's Affairs. Hershel Gober, a native of Arkansas, served as Acting Secretary of Veteran's Affairs, a post he assumed upon the July 1 resignation of Jesse Brown. For four and a half years he served as Deputy Secretary. | Mr. Gober has actively pressed for the expansion of benefits for veterans who were prisoners of war, for those who were exposed to Agent Orange, radiation or mustard gas, and for Persian Gulf was veterans suffering from unexplained illnesses. | Mr. Gober is a member of the President's Management Council and led Presidential missions to Vietnam, seeking resolution to POW and MIA issues. Mr. Gober's 20-year military career includes service in both the Marine Corps and the Army. Je served two tours of duty in Vietnam and received numerous decorations including the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Soldier's Medal. | Mr. Gober graduated from Alaska Pacific University, cum laude, with a bachelor's degree in history. | Prior to his appiontment as Deputy Secretary, he served as State Director of Veterans Affairs in Arkansas under then-Governor Clinton. The Department of Veterans Affairs, formerly the Veterans Administration, was established as an executive department in 1989. The Department is comprised of three organizations that administer programs to benefit veterans and their families: the Veterans Health Administration, the Veteran Benefits Administration, and the National Cemetery System. The Department employs some 235,000 people at numerous VA medical centers, clinics, benefits offices, and national cemeteries throughout the country. The Secretary of Veteran's Affairs is responsible for maintaining this nationwide network of resources and services for America's more than 26 million veterans.