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2023-2024 Department Commander, Department of West Virginia, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Kami Elliott


Born and Raised in Fairmont

Served in the Air Force From 1991 to 1997

Deployed to Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia

Also served a year at Osan Air Base Korea 1996-1997

VFW Grafton Memorial Post 3081 Commander

Scott Bitner

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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.

VFW Department President 2023-2024

Mary Chipps

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Hello!  My name is Mary Chipps, and I am a life member at East Huntington VFW Auxiliary 9738.  I became a life member in 2008 and joined under the eligibility of my husband, Butch “Tater” Chipps, a US Army Veteran.  Butch and I have been together for 31 years and have three children – Jared, Zoe and Gavin.  Five years ago, we were blessed with my beautiful granddaughter, Hunter, and I became a Gigi!   Jared and Zoe are both life members at East Huntington Auxiliary 9738 and Gavin has been a part of the VFW family since he was in diapers!


Over the years, I have held various positions at the Auxiliary, District and Department level.  I served as President at Mountaineer Auxiliary 9097, District 8 Treasurer, Department Color Bearer, Department Chairman (Youth, Veterans and Family Support, Buddy Poppy/VFW National Home), and Trustee for several years at East Huntington Auxiliary 9738.  In 2019, I was honored to be elected Department Guard and began my ascent to my current position as Department President.  I have truly enjoyed every position that I have held with the VFW Auxiliary.


I attended West Virginia University where I obtained a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering.  However, I have been working in the Community Action world and advocating for low-income families in WV for the past 25 years.  I am currently the Executive Director of the West Virginia Community Action Partnerships, Inc. (WVCAP) and have been in this position for 17 years.  I am proud to say that WVCAP has been working for 10 years to house homeless Veterans through our Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program.


As many of you know, I am a huge college football fan and especially enjoy watching my alma mater, the WVU Mountaineers and I know together we will continue to SCORE FOR VETERANS!

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!

Matt Sampson

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Matt Sampson is a retired Army officer. A native of Iowa, he graduated and was commissioned from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served a 20-year career in the Army with tours of duty stateside and overseas, including a 15-month deployment to Iraq. His final assignment was Professor of Military Science at WVU Army ROTC in Morgantown. Matt has been a volunteer at Mountaineer Boys State since 2010, first as a Counselor, then a Senior Counselor and now as Assistant Director. He is a quadruple member of the Mountaineer Post 174 Legion Family: Legion, Auxiliary, Sons, and Legion Riders. Matt is a 2021 graduate of the National American Legion College. He and his wife, who is also an Army veteran and a dual member of the Legion and Auxiliary, reside in Morgantown. They are the parents of a son and a daughter who are members of the Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary, respectively. Matt’s father is a Navy veteran and 57-year member of the Legion. Additionally, both of Matt’s brothers retired from military careers.

Sons of the American Legion Detachment of WV Commander

Herb Chruchman

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My name is Herb Churchman, I was raised in Rowlesburg, Preston County West Virginia. I joined the Merchant Marines in 1972. I then attended the University of Miami Florida for two years. For three years I worked in the circulation department at a newspaper in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1980 I learned the wallpaper and painting trade. Fifteen years later I joined the Painters Union. My career abruptly ended six years later with a fall of twenty feet, requiring five surgeries and a year in rehab. Forced into retirement I moved to Hampshire County, West Virginia.   In 2013, I joined the Capon Bridge, American Legion Post 137. In 2017 I became the SAL Historian. In 2018 I was elected Adjutant and have held this office for five years to date. Membership has grown from approximately 100 to over 200 members, so far. In 2020, I was elected to SAL WV State Historian, then became SAL WV State Vice Commander for two years. In 2020, I held the District 10 Vice Commander for one year, then elected District 10 Commander for three years. I’ve since stepped down to serve as SAL WV Detachment Commander.   None of my positions would have been possible without the many talented officers I’ve been involved with at every level of the American Legion. By staying positive, working together and communicating with all groups in our Legion family, we can support one another and increase awareness for our veterans here, across the country, as well as abroad.

American Legion Dept. Auxiliary President

Debbie Michael 2023-2024

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Department President Debbie Michael was born in Berkeley Springs, WV on July 2, 1950. She was raised in Fulton County, PA, where she lived until she was fifteen years old. At that time, her father retired, and they moved to Berkeley Springs, where she still lives.  Debbie graduated from Berkeley Springs High School as a member of the Class of “68”.  After high school, she attended West Virginia College of Beauty Culture, graduating in 1969. She worked as a hair stylist for twenty-eight years. After closing her shop, she managed a VFW, owned a bar, and worked as a chef’s assistant.   Her love for the military and her eligibility began when she was five years old, when her brother Charles Bohrer enlisted in the US Air Force serving for twenty-five years and was a Vietnam veteran. Since joining the American Legion Auxiliary in 1976, Debbie has served the unit as President, Vice Presidents, Secretary, and Chaplain, and numerous chairman positions.  She has served in the District as President, Vice President, Chaplain, and district committee chairmen.  Debbie on the Department level served as Department First and Second Vice Presidents. She has also served on two committees as chairman.  Debbie’s deceased husband of forty-seven years, “Kat” was a Past Detachment Commander of the SAL.  She has two sons, two stepsons, thirteen grandchildren and one great-grandson.  Her son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons are all currently serving in the military (Marines & Air Force).  Her family is all members of The American Legion, Auxiliary, and the SAL. Debbie is currently working for The American Legion Berkeley Springs Post.  In her spare time (which isn’t much) she loves to spend time with her grandchildren and working on crafts.  After family, her love is the military and veterans. Through her American Legion Family, she can volunteer and help veterans and their families.

Director of the American Legion Riders, West Virginia Chapter
Clifford Shingleton

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Clifford Shingleton raised in Shinnston West Virginia is the oldest son of Fred and Janet Shingleton.  He is a Graduate of Lincoln High School in 1984.  Joined the United States Air Force soon after and was assigned to the 554 Medical Services Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas Nevada.  There he served as a medical services corpsman and shift leader in the Emergency Room for 13 years. During this time at Nellis he met his beautiful wife Robin from Cass West Virginia and had 2 Children Jayne and Charles.  While stationed at Nellis Air Force Base he attended Independent Duty Medical Services School and was qualified for special medical assignments.  The Family then transferred to Germany where he took charge of the Gastroenterology and Endoscopy center.   During this tour Cliff completed many special duty assignments to places like Albania, Tunisia, Nigeria and Cairo, Egypt.  The family enjoyed German culture and people traveling to see all the amazing sights of Europe.  From Germany, the family moved to San Antonio, Texas.  Cliff was assigned to the 37th Training Wing in San Antonio as a Master Sergeant where he oversaw the medical Care of over 6000 Basic Military Trainees through 7 Satellite Clinics.  In 2006 the Family made its last military move to Sumter South Carolina and Shaw Air Force Base.  Here Cliff was to serve as Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the 20th Aerospace Medical Services.  Cliff Retired from the Air Force in 2009 and moved with the Family back to Shinnston West Virginia.  Since Retirement he has completed his Nursing Degree and works as an RN at United Hospital Center.   His second career after retirement has been with the American Legion Serving as a post officer in Shinnston Post 31 as well as District and Department Offices in the 7 years since Joining.   He is now the Department of West Virginia’s Riders Director, where he assists and set up new Motorcycle programs for the American Legion around the State of West Virginia.  He is the current Facilitator for a VA Sponsored Program called Together with Veterans Suicide Awareness and Prevention initiative in North Central West Virginia.

American Legion Post 12 Commander


Senior Master Sergeant Retired David L. Robinson was born 4 May 1959, Grafton, WV and is the son of James and Virginia Robinson, Grafton, West Virginia. Sergeant Robinson has one sister and one brother. Sister, Debra K. Hoag, of Grafton who, with her husband David M. Hoag. His brother, Douglas J. Robinson, wife Monica a, 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.  He was then assigned to the 6940th Electronic Security Wing, Ft Meade, MD. Then he moved overseas to Dec 25 1945th Communication Group, Radio Relay Location, Federal Republic of Germany. Returning to the States, he was assigned to the 42d Bombardment Wing, Loring AFB ME. He was then handpicked for a special duty assignment with Headquarters Air Force Element/Program Resource Office at Bolling AFB, Washington DC.  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 in 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, I & II.  A graduate of the Electronic Security Command NCO Leadership School, the Military Airlift Command (East) NCO Academy, winning the Speech Award, and graduated from the USAF Senior NCO Academy. Sergeant Robinson holds an associate degree in information management from the Community College of the Air Force. He served 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, NCO of the Quarter, and NCO of the Year. His was awarded  The Defense Meritorious Service Medal w/oak leaf cluster,  Meritorious Service Medal w/ oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal w/two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal w/two oak leaf cluster, Joint Unit Meritorious Service award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organization Excellence Award w/oak leaf cluster, Air Force Good Conduct Medal w/silver and oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon w/four oak leaf clusters, NCO Professional  Military Education Graduate Ribbon w/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 in numerous positions at all levels of the American Legion.  He is currently the Department Assistant Service Officer, is Director of The American Legion Mountaineer Boys State.  He is currently Commander of The American Legion Taylor County Post 12, Grafton West Virginia.  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 on 15 October 1982. Jo has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from Cappella University. She served 15 years as a Department of the Air Force Civilian 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.  She is retired from Federal Service.

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