Executive Board Members

It probably is not customary when naming Executive Board Members, to list a Board Member who has passed away or as we, Vets of Veteran Service Organizations say “Has Departed to the Post Everlasting,” first. However, Veterans Forum likely would never of gotten off the ground in 2002, without the invaluable assistance of CDR Bob Gardner of American Legion, Post 30, Dept of WA., to Veterans Forum and therefore there would be NO Veterans Forum Web Page!

 

Member #ONE, Founding Pillar Board Member: Bob Gardner was a WWII Navy Vet, who was a Gunners Mate assigned to the Armed Guard defending Merchant Ships; whose task it was to bring precious supplies to various locations in the Pacific, all the while being ever vigilant against Japanese submarines & aircraft.

Bob was involved with the American Legion for several decades. Having been the Post Commander for 5 years, earned Bob the title of, “Mr. Post 30.” Bob generously opened the Post doors & got the set ready each month for West Sound Community TV to tape, fellow Legionnaire, host PJ Scott & her Military Veteran guests for Veterans Forum in its early years. Veterans Forum could very well not exist without CDR Bob Gardner. CDR Bob journeyed on to the Post Everlasting on Father’s Day, June 20, 2010 during Church Services.

Robert Gardner

Robert W. Gardner, 85 of Port Orchard, WA, died Sunday, June 20, 2010.
Bob served in the US Navy during WWII as an Armed Guard Gunners Mate aboard Liberty Ships and always up front in the Pacific Island areas, reaching Tokyo 3 days after surrender.
Bob was active with the Kitsap County Veterans Advisory Committee for many years and was given the title of Mr. Post 30, American Legion, as he held the office of Commander five times.
Bob was also a Pillar as a Founding Executive Board Member of PJ Scotts,Veterans Forum TV Programs.

President:  PJ Scott, Navy WAVES Vet, Creator, Producer and Host of Veterans Forum.  As PJ Scott eventually lost much of her vision, she did not limit herself, as she had talents that did not require full visual capacities; such as interviewing guests on TV.  Previous to Veterans Forum, PJ had been a co-host of “Family Values” at KAZV an Independent TV Station in the Central Valley of CA.   Since PJ was interested and appreciated to hear the stories of her Military Veteran Family members & those Vets she met at Veterans Service Organizations, it was easy to extend that interest and appreciation to ALL Veterans. 
While many of us watch War Movies, it must be remembered that the object of movie producers is to be successful in return profits; not necessarily re-telling the accurate truth, in regard to the wide array of Military topics.  Veterans Forum, offers a platform for individual Vets to tell their stories, whether they were involved in combat or not.

Vice-President:Robert Theal, upon retiring from the Navy, Bob became very active in the American Legion and is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Bob is a real go-getter and has always supported PJ and Veterans Forum.  One of the programs that PJ had wanted to produce, took a very long time to get the guests; sons and/or grandsons of WWI Vets, who could relay some information about their father or grandfather’, involvement in WWI and had picture/s of their father or grandfather in uniform.  Fortunately, Bob Gardner was a son of a WWI Vet and Bob Theal was the grandson of a Canadian WWI Vet!  See if you can find that programs at www.YouTube/user/VeteransFroumNetwork.

From time to time, Bob has been able to obtain funding for Veterans Forum, which is vastly appreciated! 

Treasurer: Dennis Mannick is a Viet Nam, Army Vet, who is a long time member of American Legion.  Dennis recently retired after many years as a Vet Rep with Workforce, helping Vets find jobs.  Some of you may remember Dennis & those Vets who were seeking employment, on the Veterans Forum Magazine programs.  Dennis is also a former member of the Kitsap County Veterans Advisory Committee and the Port Orchard Military Affairs Committee.

Secretary: Patricia Mathis, is a Founding Member of West Sound Community TV and is the most recent Member of the Veterans Forum Executive Board.  In Veterans Forum early years Patricia used her camera to tape Veterans Forum.  Patricia comes from a family of Vets, her father saw action in France & Germany during WWII.  Patricia’s husband is an Army Vet, having served in the early 60’s and their son joined the Army in the early 90’s.  Patricia’s son-in-law recently retired from the Navy, having served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  Patricia knowledge of Community TV makes her a very valuable asset and welcome addition to the Veterans Forum Executive Board.

Secretary: Patricia Mathis, is a Founding Member of West Sound Community TV and is the most recent Member of the Veterans Forum Executive Board.  In Veterans Forum early years Patricia used her camera to tape Veterans Forum.  Patricia comes from a family of Vets, her father saw action in France & Germany during WWII.  Patricia’s husband is an Army Vet, having served in the early 60’s and their son joined the Army in the early 90’s.  Patricia’s son-in-law recently retired from the Navy, having served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  Patricia knowledge of Community TV makes her a very valuable asset and welcome addition to the Veterans Forum Executive Board.

Marketing Director:  Douglas Gellert is a member of the Sons of American Legion, as his father served in the US Marines Corps during WWII.  Doug has been instrumental in increasing the marketing communications and the TV Station audience growth of Veterans Forum.  Doug has served in a number of business development, marketing and management positions in the news media, telecommunications and advertising industries.  Doug has proven to be a very valuable asset to Veterans Forum.

Member-at-Large:  Charles Blair join the Navy several months before the US Navy & the Country was rocked by the terrorist bombing of the USS Cole, on Oct 12, 2000.  After serving four years, Charles took advantage of his earned VA Educational Benefits & ultimately obtained a MA Degree.  Charles is a member of the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Past Board Members

Navy CAPT, (Ret), George Beida served 29 years and has always had a keen interest in art.  CAPT Bieda is currently serving as the staff artist for the Bremerton Naval Museum in Washington State.
CAPT Bieda was a guest when the topic was about ‘The Four Chaplains’ of the USAT Dorchester sinking in the Atlantic during WWII.  For more information on this talented former Veterans Forum Board Member, visit his Web page at: www.windjammer-arts.com

Army Colonel, (Ret), Roger Meyer, certainly used his Educational Benefits upon being released
from the Army, after serving four years in a MASH Unit.  Meyer used his earned VA Educational Benefits to become a Doctor of Medicine with a specialty in Preventative Medicine primarily for Pediatrics!  Dr Meyer returned to the Army using Preventative Medicine not only for the children of Army personnel but for those native overseas who desperately needed the care.  Dr Meyer is very interested in Military History and has collected oral histories, which he shares at meetings where he is invited to speak.  Many of those oral histories from Western WA & in Kitsap County in particular are now in a book.  It was a pleasure having Dr Meyer on the Veterans Forum set.

Navy, Retired, Paul Young joined the Navy right after the Korean War and served nearly 30 years
as a Storekeeper.  Paul served many years as a Post Chaplain for the American Legion, as well as a stint as a District Chaplain.  Paul was a guest on Veterans Forum 2 or 3 times.  One program discussed the Japanese attack on Guam right after Pearl Harbor, some may recall that Paul introduced two Guamian’s who were youths at the time of the invasion and occupation of Guam; exceedingly interesting program with two witnesses of that awful day for Guam and the occupation of the Japanese!  On yet another program when WWI Vets were discussed, Paul brought in a picture and newspaper article about his WWI Vet Uncle, who died as a result of the rampant Spanish Flu!  Those who have attended the Kitsap County Veterans Day Event a few years ago, may well remember Paul manning the Veterans Forum booth for several years.   Paul is also a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Army, Fern Burkholder served during WWII as a WAC & was a long time American Legion Adjutant.  Fern was a guest several years ago on Veterans Forum, on a program titled The WWII Women Vets Quilt; you can watch that interview at www.YouTube.com/user/VeteransForumNetwork.
Fern is the widow of Army Major, Richard Burkholder, who is listed below as a Veterans Forum Board Executive Member in Memoriam.

Air Force, Harley McCabe served between WWII & the Korean War.  Harley is very active in the Blinded Veterans Association.  Harley is one Vet among many in the BVA, whose blindness is not a result of any incident or illness during time in Military Service.  All Vets whether Service-Connected Disabled or not, who has visual difficulties are invited to join the Blinded Veterans Association.  Call the Vision Impairment Service Team (VIST) Coordinator at your closest VA Hospital to find out about BVA & how the VA may help you in regard to your visual loss.

In Memoriam

                                                      Major Richard I. Burkholder
                                                    January 1, 1931 – July 23, 2008

Army, (Ret), Combat Vet, Major Richard Burkholder, was in Korea during the War.  Dick stayed on after the Korean War Conflict was over, for mop up purposes.  Dick joined the Army Reserve after being discharged from active service and would later be activated to serve in Viet Nam.   Burkholder reached the rank of Major and would eventually retire from Army Service. 
Dick had been very active in the American Legion serving as Post Commander and Third District Commander, Dept of WA.  Major Burkholder was one of the three guests on a two-part ‘Veterans of the Korea War’ program, which has been replayed several times in June and July as the Korean War started in June 1950 and truce agreed upon in July 1953.  That interview can be seen at, www.YouTube.com/user/VeteransForumNewtwork.