Special to HNN From a Gov. Tomblin Press Statement
CHARLESTON, WV -Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today has appointed Keith Gwinn Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance effective July 1, 2011.  Mr. Gwinn will be the first Secretary to serve in the newly  created department.

"It gives me great pleasure to appoint Keith to this position," said Governor Tomblin.  "Keith is truly dedicated to veterans throughout our state. Working in the Division of Veterans Affairs for the past eleven years, he has the depth of experience and enthusiastic commitment to do all he can to assist West Virginia's veterans in any way possible." In his new position, Mr. Gwinn will have oversight of the Veterans Home in Barboursville, the Veterans Nursing Facility in Clarksburg, 17 Field Offices, two claims offices, the Veterans Outreach Program, the Veterans Van Transportation Program and the new State Veterans Cemetery being constructed in Institute, West Virginia. There are currently 185,000 veterans residing in the state.

"I thank Governor Tomblin for the opportunity to serve the veterans of West Virginia as the new Secretary of Veterans Assistance," Gwinn said. "With the new State Veterans Cemetery still under construction and the federal budget still undecided, many challenges lay ahead for the Department. With proper planning these challenges can be met while maintaining fiscal responsibility. I consider this an opportunity to provide the highest quality of assistance to my fellow veterans."

Gwinn is retired from the U.S. Navy and has been employed with the Division of Veterans Affairs since 2000 where he held numerous positions before accepting an appointment as the Division's Director in 2009. Gwinn currently serves several state and national veterans groups including the National Veterans Service Committee.

Gwinn is a graduate of the Cabell County Career Center with a degree in Electronic Technology and Tidewater Community College with an Associate's Degree in Business. Gwinn is currently enrolled at Mountain State University to complete his Bachelor's Degree in Business Management.

Gwinn's two daughters are currently enlisted in the U.S. Army.  He currently resides with his family in Hurricane, West Virginia.
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