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Warren “Dave” Stout, State Commander
Warren D. “Dave” Stout was elected to the high office of State Commander at the 95th annual State Convention on June 18, 2016 in Springfield, Illinois.
Dave served in the United States Air Force from July 1965 until October 1987, earning his eligibility to the Veterans of Foreign Wars as a ground radio operator while assigned to the 504th Tactical Air Support Group at Bien Hoa Air Base in the Republic of Vietnam from May 1968 until May 1969.
Dave was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with device, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with device, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with five devices, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon with device, Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with four devices, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon with device, Air Force Training Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Dave joined the Alton VFW Post 1308 in 1999, becoming a life member in 2002. He is a Legacy Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
As a member of the Alton VFW Post 1308, Dave has served as Post Junior Vice Commander, Senior Vice Commander and as Post Commander in 2005-2006, attaining All-American status. Dave served District 12 as Junior Vice Commander, Senior Vice Commander and served as District Commander from 2009-2012, attaining All-State District Commander Status twice. Dave currently serves as Post 1308’s Quartermaster and District 12’s Judge Advocate. He also served as a Department Membership Recruiter during the 2013-2014 term. Dave is a member of the Air Force Association, American Legion and the Non-Commissioned Officer’s Association.
Dave and his wife, Mona, live in Bethalto.
Jeffrey Hastings, State Senior Vice Commander
Jeff Hastings was elected to the high office of State Senior Vice Commander at the 95th annual State Convention June 18, 2016 held in Springfield, Illinois.
Jeff served in the United States Air Force prior to joining the Missouri Air National Guard and later the Illinois Air National Guard, retiring in 2003 as a Vehicle Operations Superintendent.
Jeff earned his eligibility to the Veterans of Foreign Wars while deployed during Operation Northern Watch, Operation Southern Watch.
Hastings joined the Sgt. Charles A. Fricke Post 805 in O’Fallon, Illinois in 2001 where he maintains his life membership. He has served in a variety of positions at the Post level. Jeff served as the District 14 Commander during the 2010-2011 term, earning both All-State and All-American District Commander honors.
Jeff has served in a variety of positions at the State level – Membership Director; Chief of Staff; and the State Inspector during the 2015-2016 term.
Jeff and his wife, Kelly, have five children, including Brandi, who is serving in the United States Army and is a member of the VFW; and Anthony, serving in the United States Air Force, also a member of the VFW. They also have two grandchildren.
Donald S. Boyer, State Junior Vice Commander
Don Boyer was elected to the high office of State Junior Vice Commander at the 95th State Convention held June 18, 2016 in Springfield, Illinois.
Don served in the United States Army from 1968-1976, earning his eligibility to the Veterans of Foreign War as a Combat Engineer assigned to the 14th Combat Engineer Battalion, 18th Brigade, with service in Vietnam in 1968-1969.
Boyer joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 2003 and is a member of Harry E. Anderson Post 9545 in New Lenox, Illinois. Don has served in a variety of positions in the VFW, most notably serving as the District 18 Commander for eight of the last ten years.
Don and his wife, Kathy, have 11 children and 38 grandchildren.
Terry Vance, State Adjutant/Quartermaster
Terry was born and raised in Cropsey, Illinois and was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1966 where he was medically retired in 1969 due to combat injuries sustained in Vietnam.
He was awarded the Silver Star, the Nation's third highest medal for Gallantry in Action, the Purple Heart, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, the Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal and Parachutist Badge.
Terry joined the VFW in 1971 and has established a distinguished record of service at the Post, District and Department levels. He holds the distinction of having earned All American Commander Status at the Post, District and State level. He has held national appointments, too numerous to mention, and was elected to the National Council of Administration to serve during the 2007-2009 term. He was appointed as National Inspector General by Commander-in-Chief William Thien for the 2013-2014 year.
He was appointed as State Adjutant in 2008 and was elected State Quartermaster in 2009, positions he still holds today. He retired from the Food Service Industry as President and CEO of Panama Ltd, Inc. in 1991.
He is a Gold Legacy Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a Life Member of the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans and the AMVETS and the Military Order of the Cootie.
Terry has dedicated himself to serving all veterans and has distinguished himself as a true veteran's veteran. He and his wife, Della, reside in Springfield, Illinois.
C. Victor Smith, State Judge Advocate
Victor joined the Guthrie Pierce VFW Post 1239 in Beardstown, Illinois in 1964 where he is a Life Member. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1953 and served until June 1977 where he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. He served aboard the USS Gearing DD710 as a First Class Petty Officer during the Cuban Blockade in 1962, aboard the USS Mahan, DLG 11 as a Chief Petty Officer offshore in Vietnam in 1964, aboard the USS Piedmont AD17 offshore Vietnam in 1969 as a Master Chief Petty Officer and as part of the Mobile Training Team TAD in Korea, in 1975.
He has served as his Post Commander, Quartermaster, Adjutant, been a Tenth District Commander, Junior Vice Commander, Trustee, Judge Advocate and has served as the State Assistant Judge Advocate, Parliamentarian, Legislative Director and representative to Quincy Veterans Home Advisory Council. On the National Level he has served as Aide-de-Camp, and as a member of the National Legislative Committee.
He is married to his lovely wife, Nikki and they have five children. They reside in Frederick, Illinois.
Laurie Emmer, Department Surgeon
Reverend Donald Meeks, Department Chaplain
Rev. Donald Meeks was elected as the State Chaplain for the 2016-2017 term at the 95th annual State Convention June 18, 2016 in Springfield, Illinois.
Rev. Meeks enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of 17, and after serving our country for 21 years, retired as a Chief Petty Officer in 1991. During his Navy career, Rev. Meeks was awarded the National Defense Service Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Navy Sea Deployment Ribbon, Navy Achievement Medal; Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
While in the military, Rev. Meeks gave his life to Jesus, began working faithfully in a small community church called Miracle Deliverance Temple. There he served as choir director and was appointed president of the Men’s Ministry and served as head of transportation.
In 1981, then Brother Meeks returned to the Chicago area in a recruiting assignment for the U.S. Navy. The Lord led him to Monument of Faith Evangelistic Church under the leadership of Apostle Richard Daniel Henton. Rev. Meeks began his work at Monument in the choir, later joining the Singing Men of Monument and was placed as lead tenor in the tenor section of the main choir. Shortly after that, he was appointed to lead the Men’s Ministry at the church.
As time progressed, the Lord moved Apostle Henton to ordain Brother Meeks as a Minister. After he received certificates of training in biblical studies from his Pastor, Rev. Meeks began the journey of creating his own personal ministry.
Rev. Meeks developed and heads a much needed Public Relations Department in the church, serves in the Homeless Ministry, and has a Personal Street Ministry. He also manages “The Men of Destiny” a male gospel-singing group, birthed out of a Homeless Ministry on the west side of Chicago where Rev. Meeks taught the bible every Monday afternoon.
Rev. Meeks and his wife, Patricia, have been married for more than 34 years. They have five daughters, two sons and many grandchildren.
Rev. Meeks is also a licensed realtor under Richmond GMAC, and licensed Insurance professional under Pri merica Financial Planning.