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2022-2023 Department Commander, Department of West Virginia, Veterans of Foreign Wars


 Dr. Boggess currently serves as the 2022-2023 Department Commander, Department of West Virginia, Veterans of Foreign Wars.  She is a member of VFW Post #8363 in Chesapeake, WV.  She also serves as a member of the Veterans Council for the Governor of West Virginia.

She served over 28 years in the US Army and retired as a Colonel.  Her qualifying position for membership in the VFW was serving as the Battalion Commander of the 376th Personnel Services Battalion in Northern Iraq (2004-2005).

Her military awards include the Army Distinguished Service Medal by the Secretary of the Army; the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, Iraqi Campaign medal with a Campaign Star; seven Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, and two Army Achievement Medals; and the Distinguished West Virginian awarded by Governor Bob Wise for actions taken while stationed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Sons of the American Legion Detachment of WV Commander: Brian Gano

 Brian Gano was elected Detachment Commander at the WV State Convention in Huntington,

WV in July 2021. He has been a member of Squadron 14 in Martinsburg, WV for the past 12

years. He joined the SAL under his father, who was a member of the United States Army until

his retirement.


Brian has held numerous offices in Squadron 14 as well as in the 10 th District. He has held the

positions of Chaplain, Sergeant-at-Arms, Vice Commander, and Commander of each level. At

the Detachment level, he has been Chaplain, Vice Commander, and is the current Commander.

Helping the veterans is one of his passions and he also donates his time helping the American

Legion Family, including as a member of the American Legion Riders. He is also a counselor at

American Legion Boys State.


In addition to his dedication to the SAL and the American Legion Family, Brian is the devoted

husband to his wife of 23 years, Mikki. Together, they are the parents of three sons- Scotty,

Dylan, and Zackery and are excited to be the grandparents of Asher. When not volunteering his

time, Brian enjoys the outdoors, hunting, and fishing.

Tom Hicks

     I was born in Wheeling WV in October 1953. I grew up in McMichen WV. I graduated in 1972 from John Marshall High School and after spending the summer at home working as a clerk for a local grocery store, I enlisted in the US Army to become a Military Policeman. I attended Boot Camp at Fort Dix, NJ. After Boot Camp, I went to Fort Gordon Georgia for advanced individual training for the military Police. I wanted to enlist in the army as my dad was a combat wounded veteran of the Korea Conflict. He never said much about Korea other than, “I dug fox holes.” After my dad was honorably discharged, he went home to Martins Ferry Ohio. He met my mom who grew up in Wheeling. They married and I was the first child with four sisters and one brother. My brother enlisted in the Navy and one of my sisters enlisted in the US Airforce. After I was discharged from the Army, I got a job working as an underground Coal Miner for Ireland Mine. I met my wife in 1976, we were married in 1977. In October 1977 my first daughter was born and in September of 1978 my youngest daughter was born. I had four years underground work, but was laid off in November 1979. In September 1980, I was hired at “Mobay Corporation”. I spent the next twenty years working for Mobay making rust or pigment that was used for coloring concrete. In 2001, Mobay/bayer was starting to down size. They offered an early retirement package and I took it. About six months later I went back to mining underground for McElroy Mine. I had already had four years credit towards a miner’s pension and I needed ten years total to receive the pension. I ended up working in the Mines a total of 21 years. During that time, the United Mine workers of America started a “Veteran’s Committeeman Program for the Support of Our Veterans”. I was nominated for one of the positions and voted into being a Veteran’s Committeeman that was when I started doing work for the Vet’s. The best thing we did yearly was clean the Vietnam Wall.   About the same time, I received in the US Mail a flyer from The American Legion and I really didn’t know that much about it. I did however, fill out the application mailed it in. I received my membership card national suggested that I transfer from post 200 to a local post. So, I chose to visit Post 3 in Moundsville. The first time in Post 3, I met men that I had worked with at least 20 years and longer. They had never even mentioned being American Legon Members. Anyhow, I was welcomed to the post, they immediately completed the transfer paperwork from Post 200 to Post 3 and they “Hooked” me. Just like they were supposed to! They asked me to attend the meetings, which I did, and they got me to participate in pretty much everything thing they were doing. My point in talking about how I got into doing Legion work is, I never once in all the years of working with the men who were legion member, they didn’t say anything about the legion. Had they told me about it at work, I probably would have had a lot more years in the Legion. We all need to spread the word about what we do and who we are, not just at the Legion, but also where we work send wherever we are. If we see a person who looks like they are military don’t be afraid to ask. Invite them to join, to attend the meetings and to participate in what we represent. I also am a volunteer and supporter of Helping Heros. It is a program to help homeless veterans and their families. It is a very good program for supporting the vets and their families. I also am a member of the northern panhandle Veteran’s Council. We have met with politicians discussing what kind of support we need to have for our veterans. It too is a very good organization to provide vets with different avenues to help with whatever needs a vet may have. I enjoy helping our vets with whatever they may need.

 American Legion Dept. Auxiliary President:

Savanna Kauffman

 My name is Savanna Kauffman. I was born and raised in Martinsburg WV. My Parents were Gary Kauffman and Lisa Faircloth. I lost my mother when I was 9 years old. I then moved in with my father, when I was 15 my father passed away. I was then raised by my Uncle Gerald and Aunt Sharon Kauffman. They joined me up with the American Legion Auxiliary Martinsburg/Berkeley Unit #14. I have been a member since 2011. I am eligible through my Grandfather Gerald Kauffman Sr. I started out as the unit Sergeant of Arms. Historian,Chaplain, Secretary, Treasurer, and President. On the District level I held Sergeant of Arms, President, and held committees. On the Department  level I held Historian, 2nd Vice,1st Vice, and President, and served on several committee’s. I  was the Honorary Junior Chaplain for the department. I served as Floor Page at Nationals. My Special Project is raising money to help out the VA’s in Martinsburg, Beckley, Clarksburg, and Huntington Gift Shops, my goal is to raise 10,000.00. This will help them to buy Gifts for inpatients and their families. All Donations will be sent to the ALA Department of WV

2172 Grandview Road

Moundsville, WV 26041

Earmark Department President special project


For God and Country

Savanna Kauffman

Department President


 Senior Master Sergeant Retired David L. Robinson was born 4 May 1959, Grafton, WV and is the son of James and Virginia Robinson of 13 Swindler Street, Grafton, West Virginia. Sergeant Robinson has one sister and one brother. Sister, Debra K. Hoag, of Grafton who, with her husband David M. Hoag. They have two daughters and one son, Dianna, Michele, and David. His brother, Douglas J. Robinson, wife Monica and son Corey, reside in Grafton. Sergeant Robinson is a 1977 Graduate of Grafton High School. Prior to graduation, in April 1977, he enlisted in the United States Air Force under the delayed enlistment program. He reported to Lackland AFB, TX in September 1977 for Basic Military Training. Upon completion of Basic Military Training, he was assigned to Keesler AFB, MS for Technical Training as an Information Management Specialist. 


Upon completion of technical training, he was assigned to the 6940th Electronic Security Wing, Ft Meade, MD, from November 1977 through September 1983.  Then he moved overseas to Det 25 1945th Communication Group, Radio Relay Location, Federal Republic of Germany from September 1983 to April 1988. Returning to the States, he was assigned to the 42d Bombardment Wing, Loring AFB ME, where during Desert Shield and Desert Storm he supported two deployed operating locations. In May 1991, he was handpicked for a special duty assignment with Headquarters Air Force Element/Program Resource Office at Bolling AFB, Washington DC.  In January 1998 he was requested, by name, to fill another special duty assignment with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and worked in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Office of the Deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense Policy Support, Special Advisory Staff at the Pentagon. Sergeant Robinson retired from the United States Air Force on 1 July 2001 at Bolling Air Force Base Washington DC, with honors. He is a graduate of Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Professional Military Education (PME) Courses, NCO PME I March 1980 and NCO PME II October 1981.  He is also a graduate of the Electronic Security Command NCO Leadership School, March 1983, and the Military Airlift Command (East) NCO Academy, September 1989, where he won the Speech Award. He is also a graduate of the United States Air Force Senior NCO Academy, October 1997. Sergeant Robinson holds an Associates Degree in Information Management from the Community College of the Air Force. He continued to serve as the Veterans Affairs Officer, for the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, Martinsburg Field Office, Martinsburg WV. On September 1, 2019, he retired from state service and move to his hometown Grafton, WV


Sergeant Robinson's honors and decorations include:  Airman of the Month in August 1979; promoted to Senior Airman Below-the-Zone, March 1980; NCO of the Quarter, July-September 1982; Named Professional Performer by the Electronic Security Command and Air Force Communications Command Inspector General teams, NCO of the Quarter for all four quarters, 1984; NCO of the Year, 1984. NCO of the Quarter, September-December and of the year 1985; NCO of the Year for European Communication Division, 1984; 42d Bombardment Wing NCO of the Quarter, April-June 1990; Air Force District of Washington Information Manager of the Quarter, July-September 1991  Sergeant Robinson proudly wears seventeen awards and decorations; The Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster,  Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf cluster, Joint Unit Meritorious Service award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organization Excellence Award with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with one silver and one oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with four oak leaf clusters, NCO Professional  Military Education Graduate Ribbon with two oak leaf cluster,  Air Force Small Arms Marksmanship Ribbon and the Air Force Training Ribbon.  He also wears the United States Air Force Master Information Managers badge and the Office of the Secretary of Defense badge.


David L. Robinson (ROBBIE) is very active in the American Legion.  He served as and Americanism Officer, Children and youth Officer, Service Officer, 1st Vice Commander and Post Commander of The American Legion Post 14, Martinsburg West Virginia.  He served the 10th District as Service Officer, Americanism Officer, Children & Youth Officer, Oratorical Chairman and Mountaineer Boys State Representative.  At the Department level he has served as the Department Service or Asst Service for the past 12 years, he also served as the Department Asst Sgt-at Arms. He is currently the American Legion Mountaineer Boys State Director.  At Post 12 in Grafton, WV he has served as Chaplain, and is the current Post Commander. He has been named The Legionnaire of the Year, a Ben I. Golden award, and the Distinguished Service Award Recipient. Serves as a volunteer for the Family Resource Network in Taylor County representing American Legion Post 12.  He is also an active member of the West Virginia Memorial Day Committee representing the American Legion.  


Sergeant Robinson is married to the former Jo A. Howard of Glen Burnie, MD. They were married in the Glen Burnie United Methodist Church on 15 October 1982. Jo has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Maryland. She has a Masters Degree from Cappella University in Organizational Management. She served 15 years as a Department of the Air Force Civilian in the Family Support Center at two bases and the Pentagon as a Transition/Relocation assistance specialist. She was employed by the Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, at the National Conservation Training Center, as a training specialist, in Shepherdstown, WV.  She then moved to The Mather Training Center in Harpers Ferry, WV as a Training Manager for the Department of Interior until her retirement in 2017.

VFW Grafton Memorial Post 3081 Commander

Scott Bitner


Scott Bitner of Grafton, West Virginia became Commander of Memorial City Post 3081 in

June of 2019.

Scott joined the Navy on October 13, 1981 He graduated from the Great Lakes in

November 1981, and was stationed on his first ship, the USS San Diego - AFS6. During his

Naval career, he was stationed on several sea going commands, 1 shore duty, and retired

from the USS EIRod -FFG55. Scott spent two & half years in Sardinia, Italy with the USS

Orion. He was deployed during several conflicts including Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and


He earned the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, SW

Asia Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Nato Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal,

and several other medals and commendations.

Scott joined the VFW in 2005 and became a Life Member in 2014. He is a Life Member of the

VFW National Home for Children and a Member of the American Legion Post 12 in Grafton,

West Virginia. Scott is also a member of the BUMC.

Scott is originally from Summerdale, PA, but moved to Grafton after retiring from the

Navy in 2001.

Department of West Virginia, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary President

Dina Hudson

 I am Dina Hudson, 2022-2023 Department of West Virginia VFW Auxiliary President.  I was born and raised in Fairmont, spending most of my childhood at nearby Rock Lake.

     I have been married to Dan for nearly thirty-three years.  We have two children, our son Tyler Hudson and his fiancé Sara Hall and our daughter Greta Hudson.  I am an auxiliary member to the Woody Williams VFW Post 7048 in Fairmont.

     After graduating from East Fairmont High School, I attended Fairmont State College where I received my bachelor’s degree in English and Secondary Education.  I completed my master’s degree in Online Learning and will eventually graduate with my doctorate in Organizational Leadership when time permits.

     My days are filled with teenagers as I have been teaching high school English for nearly thirty years.  In my spare time, which doesn’t actually exist, my hobbies include cooking, scuba diving, and binge watching my favorite TV shows.  On Sundays, you will usually find me in the kitchen attempting to perfect a new homemade pasta dish.

     I have been truly blessed to have received this opportunity to lead the state auxiliary.  It has been both challenging and rewarding, but most of all, it has been an adventure.  An adventure I will cherish for the rest of my life, as many of you played a part in creating my wonderful memories.

Brenda Thompson VFW Auxiliary District President & Grafton Memorial City Post 3081 Auxiliary

 President Brenda is the daughter of the late John Nery a World War II Veteran and life member of VFW Post 573 Clarksburg. Brenda also serves the VFW Auxiliary Department of West Virginia as president of District Three and liaison to West Virginia Veterans Nursing Home. Brenda is a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist. She is active in the community. She served on City of Grafton City Council for eight years. Serving as Vice Mayor for four years. She is currently serving as as member of the Grafton Taylor County Library Board. Brenda is also a member of the Grafton Rotary Club. Brenda wants to welcome all of you to Grafton. Enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend!

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