28 October 2008

Military Order Of The Purple Heart Elects New National Commander

(NAPSI)-Jeff Roy of Longmont, CO, has been elected National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH). Roy enlisted in the Army as a helicopter mechanic in August 1963; in June 1966, he completed the Army's Warrant Officer Candidate Helicopter Course. In December 1967, Roy received a direct commission to 2LT and, after serving 30 years, he retired from the 94th Army Reserve Command in 1994 at the rank of Colonel.

A distinguished helicopter mechanic and pilot, Roy deployed to South Vietnam with the 187th Army Helicopter Company in February 1967, flying air missions out of Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam; a region west of Saigon and adjacent to the Cambodian border. He was wounded during a nighttime mortar and rocket attack on his base camp during the fierce fighting in conjunction with the North Vietnamese 1968 Tet offensive.

Roy's goals during his tenure as Commander include focusing on programs that directly aid veterans seeking employment through conducting job fairs and chapter assistance to members, aid in identifying and bringing homeless veterans back into the mainstream of society and, recruitment of volunteers to assist veterans in VA hospitals, homes and community-based retirement homes where veterans are domiciled.

While serving in the Army Reserves, Roy concurrently worked for the Army as a civilian pilot until 1980, when he transferred to the Federal Aviation Administration. After serving as a safety inspector and manager, he retired from the FAA and federal service in January 2002 following 39 years of government service.

Roy's military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal (25 awards--two for valor), the Army Commendation Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters and numerous service medals and engagement ribbons.

Roy served in a number of capacities in the Military Order of the Purple Heart, from community-based chapter commander, state and regional leadership positions and, ultimately, national offices leading to his election as National Commander.

Action plan

As National Commander, Roy seeks to return to the basic precepts and objectives of the Order--those being "educational, fraternal, historical and patriotic, perpetuating the principles of liberty and justice, which have created the United States of America."

Additionally, Roy and the organization will:

• Focus on the business of the Order by being more open to the membership with finances and business and being accountable to the membership and the Foundation with grant requests and expenditures;

• Develop internal policies and procedures to meet these areas as well as compliance with applicable IRS regulations and Sarbanes-Oxley recommendations for nonprofit organizations; and

• Seek to improve support to veterans by increasing volunteer service hours and improving VAVS grant administration and the Service Program.

Roy's additional goals and objectives in meeting these focus areas include:

• Increasing VAVS volunteer hours by 15 percent, nationally;

• Conducting four MOPH-sponsored Job Fairs with the subgoal of finding employment for 1,000 veterans;

• Initiating a Homeless Veteran Program by appointing a National Homeless Veteran Program Coordinator;

• Partnering with the Cell Phones for Soldiers organization and developing a nationwide donation program;

• Increasing the responsibilities of the Region Commanders in the areas of membership recruitment and VAVS administration; and

• Improving legislative support at the Department level by taking national positions in support of local veterans issues.

To learn more about the Military Order of the Purple Heart and its programs, visit the Web site at www.purpleheart.org.

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