Darrell Hogston—Personnel Chairman. Served in the U. S. Air Force as an Avionics Technician supporting B52(H), KC135, AC130 Combat Talon, and RF4C aircraft. Technical Manager for an MRSS before beginning a 31 year career as the Communications Officer for the City of Muskegon and retired. I am active with ARES, RACES, and Skywarn. Member, Shelby American Legion Post 30 and serve as the Adjutant. Member of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and serve as an elder.
Robert. Fong Sr. Ph.D. Chairman
Robert Fong, Sr., Ph.D.—Chairman. Retired U. S. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer (bosn).Retired Compliance Officer, US Dept of Labor. Member, Hart School Board. Chairman, Golden Twp Planning Commission. Vice President & Governance Chairman Michigan Masonic Homes “Pathways” of Michigan Alma, MI. , Vice Division commander, past national dir of training US Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Master, Hesperia-Arcana F&AM Lodge 346. PSU 301 Desert Shield & Desert Storm
Kim Loncar – Secretary. Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Information Manager. Assignments: Peacekeeper ICBM maintenance squadron, Deputy Director of Operations at Headquarters USAFE ,and the George C. Marshall Center. Selected as Executive NCO for two Wing-level Command Chief Master Sergeants and one Group Commander. Established and ran First-Term Airmen Centers. President of the Oceana County Veterans’ Coalition. Life member NCOA and a member of the Hart American Legion. Operation Enduring Freedom
Stephen Fell—Finance Chairman. Retired U. S. Navy Chief Machinery Technician. Chief Fell has held numerous management positions that involved counseling personnel, job/task planning, and maintaining operational budgets. (U.S. Navy, R&S Trucking [Maintenance Foreman], Holiday Inn Muskegon [Chief Engineer], and Oceana County Freezer Storage [Maintenance Manager]. Treasurer of various community organizations and clubs. Life member Veterans of Foreign Wars, 16 Years with Shelby Post 9441 as Quartermaster and currently with Hart Post 1329, serving as Quartermaster. Vietnam and Desert Storm.
Terry Dykema-Vice Chairman. Served four years in the U.S. Navy beginning in 1966. Served on three ammunition ships in the 7th Fleet Westpac: the USS Mount Katmai, USS Pyro and USS Virgo, spending over three years in and off the coast of Vietnam. Attended schools to support duties on these ships, rising to the rank of BM3 (E4) and honorably discharged. Member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Lions Club and Oceana Center Grange.
Andrew Sebolt-Liaison to OCDVA. Served in US Army/MIARNG as Spec-4, 44E-10 Machinist assigned to Delta Company, 1/46th Mechanized Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Kentucky; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; and 1436th Engineers in Montague, Michigan. Currently serve as Oceana County Commissioner, District 4.
Veterans Service Officer Ruth Burmeister
Ruth Burmeister was born and raised in Shelby, Michigan, the daughter of a Korean Army Veteran and a Navy Nurse. Graduated from Shelby High School and persuaded an education in Architecture and Mechanical Drafting. Was locally employed by Roy and Associates, Inc. in Ludington, Tom Sturr Architects, Inc. and Harbor Design and Construction, Inc. in Pentwater, MI. With the decline in the housing market, I shifted direction to public relations and customer service venues working for the Double JJ Ranch and Resort in Rothbury and for the American Youth Foundation at Stony Lake, MI. I have always been a people person, and enjoy interaction with the public.
Again, the recent shift in the economy has given me the opportunity to step in on the ground floor and be a part of an extraordinary group of people who have given their time and respect to helping veterans. On my own I volunteered with other VSO’s, PSO’s and local Post Commanders to gain knowledge on how to help out local veterans, attended various training schools and met other VSO’s to help gain insight as I began to navigate the challenges of being a veterans advocate. As department VSO, I am accredited by the State of Michigan Department of Veterans and Military Affairs, the National Association of County VSOs, and the U. S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs. In addition, am an accredited service officer of the American Legion and am in the process of accreditation with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). I will continue to equip myself with all of the necessary tools available to support and defend the rights of our veterans to receive their benefits.
We can provide a strong advocacy with the community. It is well established that veterans who have an advocate representing them tend to receive larger awards, this means more dollars which not only help the veteran involved but also help the local economy. Veterans receiving compensation or pension from the VA will spend those dollars to buy goods and services locally.
Karen Shears VSO Assitant
Ms. Shears joined the OCDVA team in March of 2015 in the capacity of clerk-assistant to the VSO. Her prior experience comes from a long career in administrative positions within the non-profit automotive research industry in the Ann Arbor area. Ms. Shear’s diverse background also includes administrative experience in a funeral home, and Township Clerk’s office. Since moving to Oceana County in 2008, she has held customer service positions with a grocery store, and a tax preparation team. She is the widow of a Vietnam Veteran..