ORLANDO – Vietnam and Persian Gulf War veteran Joseph W. Johnston of Williamsburg, Ohio, was unanimously elected National Commander of the 1.2 million-member DAV (Disabled American Veterans) today at the organization’s 92nd National Convention.
“We need to ensure the integrity of the Department of Veterans Affairs health care infrastructure,” Johnston told more than 3,000 DAV delegates after the election. “What good is it to have the best health care system in the world housed in facilities that are becoming increasingly old and run down? It is scary to imagine what lies ahead for the next generation of veterans when we literally are not building a future for them today.”
Johnston is a life member of DAV Chapter 63 in Williamsburg and served in nearly all DAV’s elected and appointed offices.
“We must maintain DAV’s superb reputation for integrity and good management of the funds the American people donate to our cause,” Johnston said. “We must expand our outreach to the public in general so people keep veterans forever in their thoughts.”
He started his military career in 1966 as an enlisted man before becoming a commissioned officer, serving as an Army ranger and paratrooper. He retired from the Army in 1992 and was inducted in the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in 2007.
Johnston brings 20 years of experience in management and finance. Holding master’s degrees in business and executive management from Central Michigan University and the Army’s Command and General Staff College, Johnston has worked for nonprofit organizations since military retirement. During the past 15 years, he has served as a member of Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, the largest social service organization in the tri-state metropolitan area. He currently serves as the Chief Operations Officer of the organization. In 2009-2010, he was recognized as a Cincinnati CFO of the year and subsequently, in 2011, as a recipient of the Greater Cincinnati Second Act Award.
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with 1.2 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U. S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at www.dav.org.