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Passing of Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo D. West, Jr.
Topic Started: Mar 12 2018, 09:26 AM (5 Views)
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Michael Isam
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Statement by Secretary David Shulkin on the Passing of
Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo D. West, Jr.

With great sadness and deepest condolences to his family, we mourn the passing of Veteran and former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Togo D. West, Jr.

Secretary West dedicated his life to serving others and was an unwavering advocate for our Nationís Veterans. His legacy stands as a powerful testament to exemplary military, public, and legal service.

Distinguishing himself even as a young man, Secretary West earned the coveted title of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America in 1957 and graduated as Valedictorian of Atkins High School, Winston-Salem, NC, in 1959.

His distinction as a student continued as he earned undergraduate and law degrees from Howard University, graduating first in his law school class.

Following military service from 1965 to 1973 as an Army Officer in both the Field Artillery and Judge Advocate General Corps, Secretary West then began a distinguished career as a public servant.

He served during the Carter Administration as General Counsel of the United States Navy, as Special Assistant to both the Deputy Secretary and the Secretary of Defense, and as General Counsel of the Department of Defense.

Appointed twice by President Clinton, Togo West, Jr. served as Secretary of the United States Army from 1993 to 1998, and as the third Secretary of VA from 1998 to 2000.

Secretary West also served in private law practice, on the boards of important companies and non-profit institutions, worked as a Senior Vice President at the Northrop Corporation, was a member of many Washington, DC think tanks and influential organizations, and volunteered on numerous political campaigns.

On behalf of America's 20 million Veterans, I salute the memory of an amazing man who achieved so much during his life of service. Togo West, Jr. was a patriot, a devoted public servant, and a tireless advocate for all Veterans. I extend my deepest personal condolences, and the condolences of our VA workforce, to the entire West family.

David J. Shulkin, M.D.

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