Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Announcing John King's appointment as director of Department of Veterans Affairs
September 11, 1997

Thank you for coming today. I'd like to thank members of the Executive Search Committee for their hard work and for joining me today. Their chair, Keith Sherman, past president of the Retired Officers Association, will introduce them in a few minutes.

In May I asked John King to take on a very important job, the acting directorship of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). He came on board at a time of turmoil at the department and provided excellent leadership. That is why today I am appointing him as permanent director.

John is a very experienced administrator. He has served the state for 22 years and in 1990 received the Governor's Distinguished Management Leadership Award. He has a distinguished record that includes executive jobs at the Attorney General's Office, Department of Agriculture and Department of Corrections. He has been a budget analyst and knows the legislative process from his experience as the Department of Corrections legislative liaison and analyst with the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

In the past four months as acting director he has earned the support and strong endorsement of the organizations that represent Washington's 670,000 veterans.

Leaders of several of those veterans organizations served on the Executive Search Committee and I want to thank them for their dedicated help.

John is a Vietnam veteran, he speaks the veterans' language.

In the past, he faced some of the problems unique to veterans. He was in the thick of some of the worst fighting, including the Tet Offensive, of the Vietnam War. He knows first-hand the sacrifices veterans made to make our country strong and free. He knows first-hand the issues many veterans face when they come home.

Washington's soldiers, sailors, marines and air men and women have made great contributions and given of themselves. They deserve dignified, caring and efficient support once they leave active service.

I also expect the 500 state employees who provide this support to our veterans to work in a safe and respectful environment where resourcefulness and enthusiasm are encouraged and rewarded.

John King understands these goals and I believe he is the person to provide the leadership needed to achieve them.

Now, it is time to make it official with the swearing-in by Supreme Court Justice Barbara Madsen.
Access Washington