The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently appointed four new members to its advisory committee on minority veterans, a group that identifies the needs of 4.7 million minority members in the U.S. veteran population.
Committee members serve either two- or three-year terms when appointed. In addition to pinpointing overall minority veteran requirements, the committee also suggests programming changes to accommodate those constituents’ needs.
The four new appointees are Phillip Billy, an Air Force veteran who directs the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Services in Oklahoma; Robert McDonald, chair of the Orange County (California) Veterans Advisory Council; Raul Rosas, a retired Navy officer and disabled veteran who founded and directs a nonprofit for veterans; and Glenda Wrenn Gordon, a psychiatrist and professor who works with women veterans in Atlanta.
The quartet of new appointees joins existing committee representatives Librado “Lee” Rivas, Melissa Castillo, Nyamekye Anderson, Ginger Miller, Ghulam Sangi, Larry Townsend, Maria Vaa-Igafo, and Fang Wong, all of whom are themselves veterans and/or retired military personnel.
Minority individuals make up almost 21 percent of the total number of American veterans; in addition, minority women are estimated to comprise approximately 33 percent of all female veterans, according to the VA.