In tribute to Pete Wheeler's historic career in public service and the lives he touched, the Georgia Department of Veterans Service would like to share a collection of reminiscences and anecdotes.
If you would like to contribute a remembrance, please click here.
Commissioner Wheeler will be missed dearly, he was a man wise beyond his years and his great works and dedication will forever be present. I pray he is with his Heavenly Father and resting peacefully. May God grant peace and blessings to his family and friends.
- Telia Alexander, Veterans Field Service Officer, Thomasville, joined GDVS in 2013
Commissioner Pete Wheeler was a delightful man. He was what I consider a true southern gentlemen and a godly man with good old fashion morals. It has been an honor working for such a legendary leader and I will truly miss him “as long as I’m on this side of the grass”. Rest in Heaven Commissioner and make sure they’re still using the same recipe to make “holy water” up there.
- Ava Ingram, Administrative Assistant, Central Office, joined GDVS in 2007
I remember when I first came to work here that Mr. Wheeler took the time to shake my hand and give me a BIG smile and show me around. It is not often that the head of a large organization does that.
I remember him at all the Supermarkets we worked and how he asked all our veterans how they were doing and asked what he could do to help. It was evident that he cared for all our veterans.
He will be greatly missed.
- Robert Turner, Senior Veterans Field Service Officer, Cartersville, joined GDVS in 2002
We as a Department are blessed to have been lead by an individual who cared so much for his fellow veterans. Mr. Wheeler will be missed by all who worked with him.
- Alan Woodie, Veterans Field Service Officer, Clarkesville, joined GDVS in 2006
Mr. Wheeler always gave subordinates the authority need to effectively carry out their responsibilities. He always projected self-confidence, authority and enthusiasm, something only a great leader and man can do such as Mr. Wheeler. He always inspired cooperation and confidence of others. A man like Mr. Wheeler displayed a high degree of honesty, loyalty and integrity. He always possessed all traits associated with excellence. Mr. Wheeler always possessed a personal magnetism and displayed a high degree of professionalism.
He will be missed by this department and remembered as a superb leader. He was and always will be a exceptional, extraordinary person and remembered always. Rest in peace, I will miss you. I joined the department on Jan 3, 1994 and was able to speak and frequently with him in my capacity as a office manager and later as the South Georgia Regional Director. None of us would be here if it were not for him and I thank you Mr. Pete Wheeler, with all my heart for giving me the opportunity to excel and especially to know you.
- Craig Couturier, South Georgia Regional Director, Bainbridge, joined GDVS in 1994
Words cannot express the truly remarkable accomplishments that Commissioner Pete Wheeler did throughout his many years of dedicated service for the, "Veterans in the State of Georgia." His Love and dedication to go beyond the call of Duty on a continuous basis with Veterans issues speaks volumes of the kind of man Commissioner Wheeler was. He will be missed by all and will be remembered each time we do our duty to care for our Veterans on a daily basis, Hooha Commissioner thank you for being the example that we should mirror every day of our lives, rest in peace.
- John Jeffery, Veterans Field Service Officer, Valdosta, joined GDVS in 2011
Commissioner Wheeler’s leadership and devotion to Departmental Staff, Employees, and Georgia’s Veteran will greatly be missed. His commitment to ensuring every Veteran and their beneficiaries are educated of all available benefits entitlements were never wavering. His 60+ years of contributions and influences for Georgia Veterans will live on for many years.
- Phi Williams, Field Office Manager, Macon, joined GDVS in 2014
The Commissioner would always know my name and knew I came to the Department from Max’s Office (former U. S. Senator Max Cleland) and he would always ask “How’s Max Doing?" And I would answer, “just loving life.” That’s how I will always remember the Commissioner, knowing who you are, always positive and seem to be ”Just Loving Life."
- Herbert Ward, Field Office Manager, Fort McPherson, joined GDVS in 2003
To Commissioner Wheeler; "To a man that spent a lifetime of service to his country and Georgia's veterans and their families, deserved nothing short of the utmost respect and honor. Your work is not in vain, I salute you Sir, for all you have done." Thank you.
- Michael Partlow, Veterans Field Service Officer, Hartwell, joined GDVS in 2003
I had the privilege of talking to Mr. Wheeler while preparing for our Supermarket of Benefits here in Albany. Mr. Wheeler told me that he was a native of Albany, being born at Phoebe Putney Hospital. I could tell that he was very happy and excited about visiting his birthplace and seeing Albany’s veterans. Mr. Wheeler had a real passion for taking care of all veterans. He will be missed dearly. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” - Matthew 5:4
- Sherri D. Whitfield, Field Service Office Manager, Albany, joined GDVS in 2005
I saw Commissioner Wheeler every day...or, at least, every day we were both at work.
What I was truly impressed with was his vast knowledge…of EVERYBODY! When I started in October 2004, I was working in our Veterans Education & Training Division. Commissioner Wheeler saw me leaving the building one morning and asked “Rick, where are you heading?”
He said “Ah, Bainbridge. That’s way down there in Decatur County. The county commissioner is Johnny So-In-So (I can’t remember who he mentioned.) I knew his father. When you go past the airport north of the town, look to the left. Used to be an Army Air Corps base.” Commissioner Wheeler, it seemed, knew everyone’s father or grandfather.
When my sister and her husband visited me 5 years ago, I introduced them to Commissioner Wheeler and he gave them “The Tour” of his offices, including his version on how the department came in possession of Hitler’s head (a two-foot tall, 150 pound piece of bronze.) A few months ago when I spoke to Commissioner Wheeler on the phone, he asked about my sister and her husband. Wow…
I listen to classic rock on the radio. I was driving Commissioner Wheeler to an official function one day and as we left the building, the song “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard started playing on the radio. If you know the song, it starts out with a great toe-tapping rhythmic beat, and progressively turns “harder” as the song heats up. Well, when the group started singing “Pour some sugar on me”, he reached over and flicked the radio to the local talk show. I asked “Too much?” He said “What does pouring sugar on someone have to do with a song?”
How can I sum up Commissioner Wheeler? I can’t. But a few words come to mind…
We all know how great a patriot he is…
He will truly be missed…
I am borrowing a quote from his alma mater that I asked him about one day.
Sic vos non vobis.
“Do you know what that means, Rick?”
Thus do ye, but not for yourself.
- Rick Graham, Director of Operations, Central Office, joined GDVS in 2004
With the passing of Mr. Wheeler, I would like to express my humble condolences to the family and extend my best wishes and positive energy to the friends and co-workers of this great man. His service to our country in the military and afterwards as Commissioner speaks volumes about the commitment he had for our great nation. I only knew Mr. Wheeler for a short time but it was immediately obvious that he was a force to be reckoned with. His vision and stewardship has made our department one of the most highly respected organizations among all Veteran Service Organizations nationwide. Upon meeting Mr. Wheeler in July of 2014, I saw a man of deep compassion and caring. It was obvious to me that even in his weakened state; he was going to be a part of the Veteran service network to the end. I am grateful for the opportunity to have known such a great man and I am privileged to be a member of such a notable organization who owes its very existence to this man.
Please give my best regards to his family and his co-workers whom dealt with him on a daily basis.
- Tony D. Burkett, Veterans Field Service Officer, Glennville, joined GDVS in 2013
The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others. It's sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew. Thanks for the path you have laid for me to follow, as I take pride in serving each and every veteran in the state of Georgia.
- Seymour C. Parrish, Veterans Field Service Officer, Waycross, joined GDVS in 2012
The Veterans Council of the Golden Isles annually names a Veteran of the year. In recognition of Commissioner Wheeler’s dedication and years of service – in and out of uniform – he was named Veteran of the Century by the council. I know he enjoyed playing golf on Jekyll Island and would have a little tournament so to speak during the Service Officers Training School – It was a pleasure to have him visit.
- Mac Bollinger, Veterans Field Service Officer, Brunswick, joined GDVS in 2011
I would like to say it was a great honor to meet Commissioner Pete Wheeler every year when I attended the training conferences, and the times I was able to spend a few minutes talking with him. He was always smiling and greeted everyone with a hello as you passed by. I enjoyed the moments I did spend with him and the little jokes he made while we were posing for pictures which made me laugh. He has done an outstanding job with the Georgia Department of Veterans Service while he was Commissioner and our hearts are saddened at the loss of this great man that did so much for our country and the State of Georgia. I appreciate all that he has done for Veterans and his dedication to his job as Commissioner. I am proud to work for this department and want to make sure I keep his name honored by committing to helping and assisting veterans and their dependents. He will be missed by many people and even though we must move on to the next step in taking care of the veterans, his name will be honored and always remembered. Thank you Commissioner Pete Wheeler for your service and commitment to the Georgia Department of Veterans Service and taking care of the veterans and their dependents. We will miss you.
- Debra O'Neal, Field Office Manager, Lyons, joined GDVS in 2011
Thanks for all of your years of honorable and faithful service to our country and to the many veterans who have served. I pray God's blessing and peace for your family during this time.
- Eddie Taylor, Veterans Field Service Officer, Valdosta, joined GDVS in 2013
I'm humbled to be able to say that I knew Mr. Wheeler personally. It's not every day you get to meet and work for a living legend.
- Rita Barnhart, Field Office Manager, Canton, joined GDVS in 1983
Mr. Wheeler has always been there when I needed him. The few times I met him were at our annual training. He would always have a smile on his face and a warm hand shake. He will be missed tremendously for his service to country, the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, and to all veterans.
- Robert G. Claypool, Veterans Field Service Officer, Warner Robins, joined GDVS in 2012
I joined the GDVS in 1997. I remember going to my first Veteran Service Officer School at Jekyll Island and meeting Mr. Wheeler for the first time. What really stuck out in my mind about him, he was “Pro Veteran," Pro Georgia” and “Pro God and Country."
- Terri Hurst, Field Office Manager, Bainbridge, joined GDVS in 1997
I was hired in August 2003. Back then they had you come up to the Floyd building to do some paperwork before you started work. He made me feel extremely welcome and a part of the team. He also said something I've often repeated over the years. He said, this is a good work. Do your best. It's the kind of work that will get you a cool room instead of a hot one. I knew right then how much he cared about veterans and how important he thought what we do is.
- Vincent M. Pritchett, Senior Veterans Field Service Officer, Warner Robin, joined GDVS in 2003
I can recalled those fun memory of going to annual training back in the month of May at Jekyll Island and St. Simon Island and meeting Commissioner Wheeler for the first time and having to do the Pledge of Allegiance. I just thought that were the way to go for veterans to start their training. Rest In Peace.
- Milton Hayes, Veterans Field Service Officer, Albany, joined GDVS in 2006
It was my honor to visit Commissioner Wheeler on April 8, 2015 at the VAMC Nursing Home in Decatur, GA.
I ask him when was he going back to the office to which he replied that it would be in a week or so. He smiled and stated that he was 91 years old as he stared into my eyes.
I think he knew that in a week or so he would be in that great office above.
I cannot imagine this Department without Commissioner Wheeler. He was the smartest man I ever knew.
- Roy E. Hamby, Field Office Manager, Blairsville, GDVS member from 1983-1995
“There is no death, for Mr. Wheeler. People die only when we forget them, 'If you can remember him, he will be with you always.” Thank You for your service to the Veterans.
- Reggie Lewis, Veterans Service Field Officer, Savannah, joined GDVS in 2014
Over the past four years, I have had the privilege to spend a little one on one time with Commissioner Wheeler. He never failed to be an articulate, engaging man. One who could regale you with nine decades of war stories, funny anecdotes and touching memories.
Two qualities come to mind when I think of him, integrity and devotion.
Integrity is defined in Webster’s dictionary as “…the quality of being honest and fair.” Honesty was definitely a strong suit of his, as he was not shy about telling you exactly what he thought. I found him to be exceedingly fair, as well. I never saw him treat anybody he came in contact with, be it a vet or someone in the department, with anything less than grace and respect.
Devotion is defined as”…the state of being ardently dedicated and loyal to a cause." Does this need any clarification? Commissioner Wheeler’s dedication to the veterans and their families here in the State of Georgia is unprecedented and unparalleled. I cannot think of anyone who has served our great country that has given more. He served on active duty during World War II, the Georgia National Guard and with our department. No one will probably ever equal the devotion we veterans of Georgia have been blessed with because of Commissioner Wheeler.
He truly was a great man. We will miss him. We will never see the likes of him again.
God bless Commissioner Wheeler, our veterans, our veteran’s families and God bless America.
- Rob Johnson, Field Office Manager, Newnan, joined GDVS in 2001
Commissioner Wheeler was indeed an inspiration and a role model for me. He was an honorable man who always looked me in the eye and showed me he truly cared about his employees. When I saw him, he always asked me about his beloved University of Georgia and his even more his beloved Crawford, Georgia and their one red light! He owned property a stones throw from my house and always tried to sell his land to me! I will remember him always.
- Dale Bell, Field Office Manager, Athens, joined GDVS in 2001
One of the most memorable thoughts of Commissioner Pete Wheeler was the second Service Officer School I attended, at St Simons, GA. Commissioner Wheeler was shaking hands in the lobby and walked up to me and said, "Ramona, how are things going in Athens with Dale?" I just remember thinking... 'wow...he knows my name!' He will truly be missed.
- Ramona Roper, Veterans Field Service Officer, Athens, joined GDVS in 2007
In remembrance of Mr. Peter Wheeler,
From one Army veteran to another; thank you for your service. Thank you for your continual dedication to serve those that served; may your memory and legacy continue to echo throughout the State of Georgia and Our department.
- Aesia Brown, Veterans Field Service Officer, Athens, joined GDVS in 2013
Mr. Wheeler was a great man to work for. He was always professional and pleasant and remembered everyone's names. He will be missed. I always enjoyed talking to him. He was always ready to fight for the veterans of Georgia. I remember when I started my job and went to the central office to meet him, it was the first time I learned that all these years I had been eating Georgia Ice Cream and calling them Grits. I'm going to miss having Mr. Wheeler in the central office in Atlanta, although we all know his spirit will always be there calmly in control and watching our every action to ensure that each veteran receive his entitlements. He will surely be missed. God speed Mr. Wheeler…
- Willie J. Miles, Veterans Field Service Officer, Griffin, joined GDVS in 2007
I was saddened to hear of Mr. Wheeler’s passing. I can remember shortly thereafter I was hired that I had an office visit to meet the Commissioner and how impressed that I was to see all of his wonderful pictures taken with former Presidents and other iconic people on his wall. During the office visit he seemed genuinely interested not only about my military background but he had a sincere interest in me as a new employee. He asked me questions about my character and how I could help to make the State Approving Agency better. I could tell right then that he cared about the employees of SDVS and taking care of veterans and their families was job one.
Over the years Mr. Wheeler always greeted me with a wave, a warm smile and a “how are you doing today fella?” We often rode the elevator together or saw each other in passing and he always recognized me and took the time to say hello. I appreciated that.
I’d like thank him for my opportunity in working for the SDVS. He will be remembered and sadly missed.
Rest in peace sir!
- Mark Bannister, Senior Coordinator, Education and Training, joined GDVS in 2007
This is just another example that proves that the world is not fair. In this imperfect world we live in, we must trust God who is perfect. The thing that I remember most about Mr.Wheeler is one time we were at a Supermarket and at breakfast he asked me did I get some of the Georgia Ice Cream. I said I didn’t know what it was he said the Grits was Georgia Ice Cream and Coca Cola was Holy Water.
- Artis Robinson, Field Office Manager, Griffin, joined GDVS in 2002
His guidance/advice to the veteran service organizations - “Together we can accomplish anything for Georgia’s veterans.”
His genuine love, passion, and devotion to the our nation’s colors, a true protector of our country’s most recognized symbol and what it stood for – freedom and liberty. There’s an old Veterans Bulletin devotion strictly to the United States Flag Code. We can all close our eyes and hear this words, “Join me in pledging allegiance to the greatest flag of this country and the world . . .” A true protector of the American Flag, would never accept, approve and allow it to be used as a watermark and background for text. All of us who worked for him in Public Information knew the way to his heart was to feature the “Red, White, and Blue” in a photo to be used on a cover of a department publication.
Besides “Georgia Ice Cream” and “Holy Water," let’s not forget freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (especially from the Hampton Inn), Chocolate Frostys from Wendy’s, and sunny side up fried eggs with country ham.
In the end, what he loved more than anything and brought a smile to his face no matter how bad the situation at the time - a woman named Geraldine and talking about any of his six grandchildren!
- Brian Zeringue, Projects/Events Manager, Central Office, joined GDVS in 2000
He will be missed.
- Darielle Shropshire, Administrative Assistant, Education and Training, joined GDVS in 2009
Commissioner Wheeler was committed to the Veterans and their families of Georgia. He was deeply respected by many. It was a privilege to know him. Commissioner Wheeler’s legacy will not be forgotten. I salute Commissioner Wheeler for his service, sacrifice, leadership and commitment.
- Elizabeth Mauldin, Veterans Field Service Officer, Dalton, joined GDVS in 2013
What an incredible Celebration of Life; cried, laughed, reflected – that is what this type of service is for. Cannot imagine the void his family and VS Staff must feel. I realized yesterday that his first introduction to Veterans and their needs probably occurred in his childhood with WWI Vets through his interaction with relatives and neighbors in rural Georgia; amazing amount of history he was exposed to that possibly help determine his path in life. Thank God for Pete Wheeler, a strong, determined Lion…and for ALL of you who supported him and shared his vision.
- Lauri Shaw-Wood, Program Specialist, Georgia National Cemetery
In remembrance of Commissioner Wheeler: I have always found Commissioner Wheeler to be a kind and fair man in all of his dealings with me throughout the ten years I have been a part of Veterans Service. He would always meet you with a smile and ask how you were doing. There are few times in life you get the opportunity to work with someone who is so committed to his work. Commissioner Wheeler loved veterans with all his heart and soul and it was evident in everything he did. It has been an honor and privilege to work for him.
- Bobby Davis, Senior Coordinator, Education and Training, joined GDVS in 2005
I began working with the department July 1, 1970 in the Rome office which also covered the Cedartown and Carrollton area. I retired in 1998 after 34 years service. I loved my job and working with Commissioner Wheeler and was fortunate enough to be able to continue working for the department in the Cedartown Office. I have so many fond memories of the Commissioner during my time with the department, but the the one that stands out happened during Service Officers School in 2014 when we were making photos. We were making individual pictures where we were seated next to the Commissioner and as I sat down the Commissioner leaned over to me and said " Steve, didn't we do this 50 years ago?"
I will always cherish the fond memories of Commissioner Wheeler and I consider it an honor to have known and been able to work with him for so many years.
- Steve Rood, Veterans Field Service Officer, Cedartown, member of GDVS from 1970-1998
The family has my deepest sympathy in the loss of Commissioner Pete Wheeler along with my prayer that God’s Grace and Mercy will comfort and keep you as you go through this time of sadness. For his many, many years of tireless and dedicated service, not only as a veteran, but also as an advocate for veterans, I honor and salute Commissioner Wheeler. God said, “Come all ye that are heavy laden and I will give thee rest." May Commissioner Wheeler rest in peace.
- Carol D. Crawford, Field Office Manager, Waynesboro, joined GDVS in 2008
I feel honored to have known Commissioner Wheeler and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Georgia Dept. of Veterans Service. Commissioner Wheeler dedicated a lifetime of improving the quality of life for our veterans and their families. His Legacy will live on forever.
I’ll always remember his friendly smile and he always took the time to say “hello” and ask about the family. He will be greatly missed.
- Judy M. Johnson, Field Office Manager, Dalton, joined GDVS in 1991
I will miss Commissioner Wheeler and all his remarks about it’s a good day if you are above ground and they don’t cut the grass too short. Now that he is with Christ & Mrs. Wheeler high above the ground he may change that statement just a little. I know he is enjoying his time after this life and is glad to be with the ones he loved so much.
I loved to hear him talk about Atlanta in the 50’s and 60’s, to listen to him talk about history and things that took place long before I was on this earth. He was a walking history book. I will miss him (just like I did this year) when he would say “good morning April where’s May and June?” or “It’s your month all month long.”
He lived and breathed the Veterans of Georgia and no one will ever be able to match his tireless efforts for the Veterans. He is truly missed.
- April Dodgen, Budget Specialist, Central Office, joined GDVS in 2007
It was a privilege to work at the Veterans Service, (Central office) where I had the opportunity to interact with Commissioner Wheeler, on a regular basis. He was such a man of Honor, Highly Intelligent, with an Amazing Photography Memory. Even his jokes was remarkable! He will be missed by us all!
- Barbara Beedles, Administrative Support Specialist, Central Office, joined GDVS in 2002
“Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.” John 5: 28,29. This is the only hope we have. I look forward to seeing Mr. Wheeler again under better condition. Much love to his family!
- Janet Pajerowski, Field Office Manager, Valdosta, joined GDVS in 2009
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory not even death can steal. May the memories of your loved one live on in your hearts forever.
- Tessa Gilmore, Field Office Manager, Swainsboro, joined GDVS in 2010
I know the Lord was proud to welcome home another faithful servant and I’m sure Mrs. Gerry was there to welcome him with open arms! I am so glad that I had the privilege to work under Commissioner Wheeler and there was never a better friend to Veterans nor a stronger advocate for them. I just think of all his years of service and it is truly a testament of his dedication and devotion to not only Georgia Veterans, but all across the country. God Bless you Commissioner Wheeler. Fair Winds and Following Seas.
- Benjamin Harrell, Field Office Manager, Dublin, joined GDVS in 2005
With the passing of Mr. Wheeler, Georgia veterans and veterans across this country lost a great advocate. He was a veteran’s veteran and always championed veteran rights, healthcare and benefits. I am convinced that he either authored, co-authored or influenced most benefits available to veterans today. As commissioner of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, he demanded that employees treat veterans with respect, dignity and honor. I am honored to have worked for the department under his leadership and I know that his mark on the department and veterans benefits will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Mr. Pete.
- Michael Hunnicutt, Field Office Manager, Dublin, joined GDVS in 2012
Mr. Commissioner Pete Wheeler was a Generous guy who served our country in WWII. Commissioner Wheeler was also a Warm-Hearted Attentive man who craved his work and also knew his craft as the Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Veterans Service. By Serving as the Commissioner for the state of Georgia and The Georgia Department of Veterans Service this what kept Commissioner Wheeler going every day. Commissioner Pete Wheeler was a Gentleman and a Scholar and most of all He was our HERO…
- DeMario Rucker, Veterans Field Service Officer, Atlanta, joined GDVS in 2013
Commissioner Pete Wheeler loved Georgia’s veterans. He loved our nation’s flag. He served both because he could and because his service helped others and promoted the country he loved. He was a product of the WWII generation who always wanted to find a way to help all veterans in Georgia regardless of the conflicts in which they served. I was honored to work with him for 10 years at the Health and Memorials Division in Milledgeville ensuring the needs of Georgia’s older veterans and those who had passed-away were met. Then for six years to work with him to ensure the department’s resources to support its mission of serving those who served were available to meet the needs of all the state’s veterans was a labor of love for me. He is missed and will be missed for some time to come. Well done, good and faithful servant.
- Dan Holtz, Assistant Commissioner, Central Office, joined GDVS in 1999
When I told my dad, a Vietnam veteran, that I was going to work for the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, he said, "You're going to work for Pete Wheeler? That's awesome, son. That man has done more for veterans than anyone I can think of."
It didn't take me long to see the truth of those words. Working in the Public Information Division, I was surrounded by the department's history, Pete Wheeler's history, and I quickly learned that spending time with Commissioner Wheeler was like living with history. The man had a story for every occasion, and it seemed there wasn't a single part of Georgia with which he wasn't familiar and ready to share some tidbit of information.
Later, when I became his Director of Public Information, I got to see a bit of a different side of the legend. He was both an easygoing and demanding boss all at once. He expected the very best from everyone, but he took it as granted that if you worked for him, you had the best interests of Georgia's veterans at heart -- you weren't going to disappoint them, and you weren't going to disappoint Commissioner Wheeler.
As I write this, it's 10 days since he died. Those days have been one long, emotional blur, and I'm still just beginning to accept that he's gone. I had known -- intellectually, at least -- that he wouldn't be with us forever, but as anyone who ever worked for him would tell you, Commissioner Wheeler gave the impression that he intended not only to live forever but to do so while continuing to serve veterans.
For 66 years, that's exactly what he did. How many among us can match such tireless devotion to this or any cause?
Rest in peace, sir.
- Jon Suggs, Public Information Director, Central Office, joined GDVS in 2007
In USO'S work with the men and women serving in our Armed Forces it was guite an honor to know and be associated with Commissioner Wheeler. His passion and work on behalf of those whom served our Country, was indeed the hallmark of a true servant leader.
This is the legacy of Pete Wheeler, years of dedicated service on behalf of veterans.
We at USO of Georgia were honored to present him with our USO PATRIOT Award.
- Mary Lou Austin, CEO, USO of Georgia
I would like to thank you greatly for all that you have done for us Veterans while you were in office. Without you advocating for us, we wouldn't have these benefits. May you rest in peace.
- Danett Jones
To the Family and Friends of Brigadier General Pete Wheeler:
It is with sadness that I write to offer my sincere expressions of sympathy for the death of Pete Wheeler. I share your sense of loss.
Pete Wheeler was an exceptional American. The life he lived made him a legend. His dedication to honoring and servince the men and women of Georgia and the Nation, who bore the primary buden of our national defense, was unsurpassed. More than 62 years as the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service is a record that will never again be equaled.
While Pete Wheeler served many years, the results of his dedication should not be measured only by longevity. The organization that he built for the benefit of veterans since World War II will serve as a monument to his life.
I will always be grateful for the friendship that he extended to my father, Jere N. Moore. There were no treasures that my father prized more highly than his friendship with Pete Wheeler. This friendship especially brightened by father's life during his final years leading up to his death in 1985.
My father was a World Warr II veteran and directly benefited from Pete's labors and leadership as the head of Georgia Veterans Services. My father spent the last five years of his life in one of the Veterans Homes in Milledgeville that was constructed under Pete WHeeler and the care he received there was exceptional. My uncle, Dr. Edwin Allen, a veteran of World War I, also spent his final years there.
In addition, Pete demonstrated his friendship to me in many ways and I am grateful for this. I wish I had seen more of him in recent years, but I will always treasure my final visit with him last fall, when he was in a Veterans Hospital.
It is a compliment to my home town of Milledgeville that Pete chose to be buried in the Veteran's cemetery there and we appreciate this decision.
With best regards,
- Powell A. Moore
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve the state and representing the women/student veterans of Georgia State University by featuring me in the veterans calendar in the month of October 2013. I won't forget the private tour I received and the hospitality that was given to me.
- Melissa Yu