THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON NAMES HERSHEL W. GOBER AS ACTING SECRETARY OF VETERANS
President Clinton today intends to designate Hershel W. Gober as Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), upon the departure of Secretary Togo West.
Mr. Hershel W. Gober, of Monticello, Arkansas, is currently the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. As VA's number two official, he is the chief operating officer of the federal government's second largest department. With an annual budget of $41 billion, VA employs some 219,000 people at hundreds of VA medical centers, clinics, benefits offices, and national cemeteries throughout the country. Prior to assuming his current duties, Mr. Gober was the Director of Veterans Affairs for the State of Arkansas. His military service covers 20 years, and includes tours of duty in both the Marine Corps and the Army. Mr. Gober served two tours in Vietnam and received numerous decorations, including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Soldier's Medal.
Mr. Gober received a B.A. from Alaska Methodist University (now Alaska Pacific University).
The Department of Veterans Affairs was established as a Cabinet-level position on March 15, 1989. The Secretary directs the federal government's second largest department, responsible for a nationwide system of health care services, benefits programs, and national cemeteries for America's veterans.