Last week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal appointed Louisiana AMVETS member John Abshire to the state’s Veterans' Affairs Commission.
The Veterans' Affairs Commission serves to advise the State Department of Veterans’ Affairs, State Secretary of Veterans Affairs Lane Carson, and the governor on matters relating to the welfare of veterans. Abshire was selected by AMVETS leaders in Louisiana to represent the organization on the governor’s commission.
Abshire is an Army veteran and a native of Prairieville, La., who served in the Army Reserve in 1992-2000 and active duty Army in 2002-2005. However, an injury sustained during Special Forces training precluded him from serving overseas.
In 2007, Abshire helped charter AMVETS Post No. 2007 in Lafayette, recognizing a need to reach out to today’s veterans. Abshire served as the post’s commander until relocating to Baton Rouge. Today, Post No. 2007 is the largest in the state, bolstering a diverse membership including more than a dozen members of the local National Guard unit.
In addition to his work with AMVETS, Abshire is an academic affairs manager for University of Phoenix, a strong educational partner with AMVETS. Over the last couple of years, Abshire’s unique position has allowed him to speak with members of the Louisiana National Guard during pre- and post-deployment battle assemblies on both the benefits of veterans’ organizations like AMVETS and taking advantage of their G.I. Bill education benefits.
Today, Abshire lives in Baton Rouge, La., where he is working to re-establish Louisiana’s first AMVETS Post, Post No. 2, leaving Lafayette Post No. 2007 in the competent hands of AMVET Alfred Lager.
Gov. Jindal’s Veterans’ Affairs Commission is comprised of nine appointed positions, each subject to state senate confirmation. Each member must be an honorably discharged veteran nominated by a nationally chartered veterans’ organization with a Louisiana affiliate.
Many state governors have similar commissions across the country to advise state leaders on critical local veterans’ issues. AMVETS is eager to highlight each of our representatives nationwide on the national Web site and American Veteran Online.
(Photo: John Abshire's official photo from the University of Phoenix. Photo courtesy of John Abshire.)