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Gordon Mansfield Elected to the Board of the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation
Gordon H. Mansfield was elected to the Board of Directors of the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation. Mr. Mansfield served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President George W. Bush from 2004 until January, 2009.
Mr. Mansfield served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President George W. Bush from 2004 until January, 2009. As chief operating officer of the second largest department in the federal government, he managed a budget of more than $77 million and a national staff of 250,000 responsible for the national system of health care services, benefits programs, and national cemeteries for American veterans and their dependents. Mr. Mansfield previously served as VA Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs from 2001 to 2004, and was Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs from October 1, 2007 to December 20, 2007 after Secretary Jim Nicholson resigned and until President Bush’s nominee, Retired U.S. Army Surgeon General James Peake, was sworn in.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Mansfield served as legislative advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, where he was responsible for the VA’s Congressional relations and for representing VA programs, policies, investigations and legislative agenda to Congress.
Before joining the VA, Mr. Mansfiend was executive director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). From 1981 to 1989 he held a number of positions at PVA, and served as the organization’
Mr. Mansfield served as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 1989 to 1993. In that position he was responsible for ensuring the availability of accessible housing for disabled people in new multi-family housing. Prior to 1981 he practiced law in Ocala, Florida.
Mr. Mansfield received his undergraduate degree from Villanova University. He enlisted in the Army in 1964 and served two tours of duty in Viet Nam. While company commander with the 101st Airborne during his second tour, he was wounded during the Tet Offensive of 1968 and sustained a spinal cord injury. In spite of his injuries he remained with his troops and ensured their safety and the evacuation of the injured before he permitted his medivac to a nearby Navy hospital. He was later transferred to the U.S. Army Hospital at Camp Zama, Japan, and then to the Valley Forge Army Hospital in Pennsylvania where he began the long physical rehabilitation process. The road to rehabilitation took him to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C. and the VA Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland., where his treatment and therapy continued for the next five years. While there he began his legal studies at American University Law School, and earned his law degree under the VA vocational rehabilitation program at the University of Miami School of Law.
Shortly after graduation, Mr. Mansfield was back in the VA medical center for a second major operation on his spine, and another rehabilitation program. It was after his recovery that he began practicing law in Ocala where he served as counsel in a legal aid program providing assistance to his fellow veterans. He also became involved in forming a DAV Chapter in Marion County, Florida, and is a life member of the DAV.
For his actions while his unit was under fire, Mr. Mansfield was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross. He was medically retired by the U.S. Army at the grade of Captain. His other combat decorations include the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman’
Mr. Mansfield was honored as the Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year at the 2006 national convention of Disabled American Veterans, and was inducted into the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame in October 2006. He is a recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the Villanova University Alumni Human Relations Medal.
The Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation has the sole mission of building The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the first memorial in our nation’s capital designed to pay tribute to American veterans disabled while in service to their country.
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