A native of Lake County, Ohio, Augustine enlisted in the Army in 1969. He served with the 198th Infantry Brigade in Vietnam, where he was severely wounded by a land mine explosion while on patrol in 1970. His extensive injuries resulted in his medical retirement in 1972.
A 50-year life member, Augustine started with DAV as a hospital service coordinator in 1988 for the Department of Ohio at the Wade Park VA Hospital in Cleveland. He joined DAV’s professional staff in 1988 as a national service officer apprentice in Cleveland. He remained at the Cleveland National Service Office, where he was promoted to assistant supervisor in 1997 and supervisor in 2000. He served as supervisor in Cleveland until being appointed assistant national service director at the Washington headquarters in 2002. He was appointed deputy national service director in January 2004 before being named national service director in 2010.
In 2013, he was appointed DAV National Service and Legislative Headquarters executive director, overseeing DAV’s service and legislative programs and acting as the organization’s principal spokesperson before Congress, the White House and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Shortly after his appointment as executive director, Augustine successfully led a DAV campaign supporting legislation that provided advance appropriations for veterans benefits payments, which was signed into law in 2014. He led DAV’s efforts to help Congress enact responsible legislation to enhance veterans’ access to health care while advocating for a stronger VA system, and he was critically involved in development of the VA MISSION Act of 2018 (P.L. 115–182). He was also a fierce and successful advocate for expanded veteran caregiver benefits, VA appeals modernization and women veterans.
Augustine retired from DAV in 2018 but continued to utilize his wealth of experience and knowledge as a strategic adviser on veterans health care technology. Following his retirement, Augustine moved to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He is survived by his wife Kelly, daughter Chelsea (Justin), son Kyle (Amita) and grandson.
Augustine will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Expressions of sympathy can be shared here. In lieu of flowers, the Augustine family has asked for donations to be made to DAV.
Friday, March 18 from 3:00-5:00 PM and from 7:00-9:00 PM
Fellows, Helfenbein, & Newnam Funeral Home
106 Shamrock Road
Chester, MD 21619
Saturday, March 19 at 11:00 AM
Our Mother of Sorrows
Centreville, MD 21617
May he rest in peace.