Georgia’s seven-member State Veterans Service Board recently elected new officers for 2013-14. SVSB officers serve one-year terms that begin April 1.
Ray Hendrix, a retired Army Sergeant Major and resident of Statesboro, was voted in as the new board chairman. He was appointed to the Veterans Service Board in September 2001. He is a three-time board chairman, having held the position in 2005-06 and then again in 2009-10. Hendrix, who retired from the Army in 1992 after serving 42 years in uniform, is an active member in the American Legion at the local, state, and national levels. He was Georgia’s National Executive Committeeman and representative to the Legion’s National Legislative Commission. Over the years, Hendrix, a past state commander, also served on the Legion’s National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, Military Affairs, and Americanism Commissions. Hendrix is a retired Bulloch County Magistrate Court Constable and currently is a member of Statesboro’s American Legion Post 90, Scottish Rite Temple, and Shriners Club.
Pat Phillips, long-time veteran advocate and resident of Blairsville, was selected as vice chairman. He has served on the State Veterans Service Board since April 2004. Phillips served 20-plus years in Army combat arms units with three tours in Vietnam. He retired in 1975 at the rank of Sergeant First Class. After the military, Phillips worked for the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, as a claims counselor and office manager from 1976 to 1999 and from 1993 to 1999 as an area supervisor over 16 field offices in the North Georgia Region. Phillips, a life member of Post 112 in Dalton since 1976, is an active member in the American Legion. Since 1978, he has served as a member of the American Legion’s National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission. Phillips, past state commander of the American Legion Department of Georgia, has been the state chairman of the Legion’s Rehabilitation Committee since 1993. Besides serving as state vice commander on two different occasions, he has been twice elected district commander over Legion posts in the North Georgia area.
Phil Youngblood, a retired Army First Sergeant (E-8, Promotable) and South Georgia native, was named board secretary. He was appointed to the State Veterans Service Board by Governor Deal last May. Before starting his 20-year career with the Georgia Department of Veterans Service in 1992, Youngblood worked two years as a lieutenant in the Thomas County Georgia Sheriff’s Office upon retirement from the Army. His jobs with GDVS included office manager of the Valdosta VFSO and 14 years as manager of the South Georgia Region. Youngblood, who served 15 of his 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, is a life member of the American Legion and is active in the American Legion at all levels. He has served as a post commander, district commander, and state commander of the American Legion Department of Georgia. He currently serves as director of the Georgia Boys State Program and as judge advocate for his home post and his home district. He represents Georgia’s American Legion on the National American Legion Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission. Youngblood, who now calls Quitman home, was born and raised in Thomasville. He is married to the former Yvonne Hall of Thomasville. They have two children (son, Scott and daughter, Niki) and three grandchildren (Gatlin, Grace, and Owen).
Serving as members of the State Veterans Service Board for 2013-14 with Hendrix, Phillips and Youngblood are Shawn Hanley of Atlanta, Jim Hussey of Appling, Charles “Eddie” Whitted of Blackshear, and Fred T. Fincher, Sr. of LaGrange. The seven-member, Governor-appointed, constitutional Board of Veterans Service recommends policy, procedure, and work projects and through the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service controls overall veterans policy for the state.