Hershel W. Gober

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Hershel Wayne Gober
Gober sm.jpg
Acting United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
In office
July 25, 2000[1] – January 20, 2001[2]
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Togo D. West, Jr.
Succeeded by Anthony Principi
In office
July 1, 1997[3] – January 2, 1998[4]
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Jesse Brown
Succeeded by Togo D. West, Jr. (acting)
United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
In office
February 4, 1993[1] – August 10, 2000[5]
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Anthony J. Principi
Succeeded by Leo Mackay, Jr.
Director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs
In office
January 4, 1988[2] – February 4, 1993[2]
Preceded by Grady Brown[6]
Succeeded by Nick Bacon[6]
Personal details
Born (1936-12-21) December 21, 1936 (age 77)[1][2]
Monticello, Arkansas[1][2]
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Mary Lou Keener[1]
Alma mater Alaska Methodist University[1]
Profession Soldier, Public servant
Military service
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army[1]
USMC logo.svg United States Marine Corps[1]
Battles/wars Vietnam War[1]
Awards Purple Heart[1]
Bronze Star[1]
Soldier's Medal[1]

Hershel Wayne Gober (born December 21, 1936[2]) is a former government official and Vietnam War veteran. He served as acting United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) on two occasions during the administration of Bill Clinton. The first occasion to serve as Acting Secretary was from July 1, 1997[3] until January 2, 1998[4] between the resignation of Secretary Jesse Brown and the appointment of Togo D. West, Jr. as Acting Secretary. The second time to serve as Acting Secretary came on July 25, 2000[1] and lasted until January 20, 2001[2] after the resignation of Secretary West; this time Gober served in the post until the end of the Clinton presidency.

He started out in the VA as Deputy Secretary, serving from February 4, 1993[1] until August 10, 2000.[5] Gober was also briefly Secretary-designate, when Clinton named him on July 31, 1997[7] to replace Jesse Brown. However, the nomination was withdrawn before Senate action on October 27 the same year.[7] This happened because of fears nomination hearings for Gober would become heated due to questions about a 1993 claim of sexual misconduct made against him;[8] he also wished to stay as Deputy Secretary.[9]

During his tenure Gober played an important role in the Clinton (to whom he was a close and longtime aide[3]) era VA. He headed a delegation traveled to Vietnam to seek the fullest possible accounting of missing veterans.[10] He was also active in improving health care and expanding clinics for veterans.[10]

Before serving in the VA, Gober was Director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs from January 4, 1988[2] to February 4, 1993[2] during President Clinton's tenure as Governor.[11]

In Vietnam[edit]

Gober served two tours in Vietnam.[1] In addition to his combat duties, at one point he worked with an American/Vietnamese team that produced songs to help sway Vietnamese public opinion in favor of the American and South Vietnamese causes as and to encourage the leadership in Washington to favor reaching the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. Later, in 1969, he was wounded while serving as a company commander.[12]

In 1970, Gober released a 45 rpm single,"Picture of a Man," which received some airplay on popular music radio stations.[13]

Gober had at least 5 single releases and one album as a recording artist; the first two were as Hershel Almond on Ace and Challenge in 1959. The others were on ABC ("The Proud American", 1966), Tee Pee (1967) and Buddah (1969).[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o US Department of Veterans Affairs. The Honorable Hershel W. Gober. July 2000. Accessed 2008-01-15.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i DeArmond-Huskey, Rebecca. Monticello (Drew County). Encyclopedia of Arkansas. 2007-07-03. Accessed 2008-01-15.
  3. ^ a b c Staff reporter. Veterans Affairs Chief Steps Down After Four Years. 1997-06-07. CNN. Accessed 2008-01-15. "Veterans Affairs Secretary Jesse Brown plans to leave his post July 1, and President Bill Clinton accepted the resignation Saturday "with deep regret."
  4. ^ a b "President Clinton Names Togo D. West, Jr. As Acting Secretary Of The Department Of Veterans' Affairs" (Press release). White House. 1997-12-02. Retrieved 2008-01-15. "The President today announced the appointment of Togo D. West, Jr., as Acting Secretary of Veterans' Affairs; the appointment will be effective January 2, 1998." 
  5. ^ a b "Ned Powell Named Acting VA Deputy Secretary" (Press release). US Department of Veterans Affairs. 2000-08-10. Retrieved 2008-01-15. "President Clinton has appointed Edward A. (Ned) Powell, Jr., as the Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Powell, currently VAs Assistant Secretary for Financial Management, will fill the position held by Hershel W. Gober, who was named Acting VA Secretary." 
  6. ^ a b Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (2009). "History". Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  7. ^ a b U.S. Senate. Chapter 10: Cabinet Nominations Rejected or Withdrawn Accessed December 24, 2007.
  8. ^ Rosenbaum, David E. Clinton Withdraws Nomination For Secretary of Veterans Affairs. New York Times. 1997-10-25. Accessed 2007-12-25. "In confirmation hearings, the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs intended to explore circumstances surrounding the exoneration of Mr. Gober after he was accused of sexual misconduct in 1993, a Congressional staff member said tonight."
  9. ^ Rosenbaum, David E. Clinton Withdraws Nomination For Secretary of Veterans Affairs. New York Times. 1997-10-25. Accessed 2007-12-25. "Mr. Gober said he preferred to remain as Deputy Secretary, and Mr. Clinton said he regretted Mr. Gober's decision not to pursue the nomination."
  10. ^ a b Clinton, Bill. Remarks by the President, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo West, and Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Hershel Gober. July 10, 2000. Accessed 2007-12-25. " A few years ago, I was honored that he agreed to head a delegation back to Vietnam to seek the fullest possible accounting of our men and women still missing in uniform. Hershel has already made his mark on the critical issue of veterans' health care. Early in our administration, he came to me and recommended that we look for ways to bring health care closer to the veterans who needed it. Since then, we've opened more than 200 out-patient clinics all across America and have more planned this year. That's one of the big reasons we were able to treat -- listen to this -- 400,000 more veterans last year than we did the year before."
  11. ^ "President Clinton Names Hershel Gober as Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs" (Press release). White House. 1997-07-03. Retrieved 2007-12-25. "Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary, he served as State Director of Veterans' Affairs in Arkansas under then-Governor Clinton." 
  12. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7698055.stm Winning hearts and minds in Vietnam
  13. ^ "Hershel Gober". Rate your music. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "On That Wisconsin Beat" (MusicGem, 2006)- Gary E. Myers

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Togo D. West, Jr.
United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
(acting)

2000–2001
1993–1998
Succeeded by
Anthony Principi
Preceded by
Jesse Brown
Succeeded by
Togo D. West, Jr.
(acting)
Preceded by
Anthony Principi
United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
1993 – 2000
Succeeded by
Leo Mackay, Jr.
Preceded by
Grady Brown
Director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs
1988 – 1993
Succeeded by
Nick Bacon