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Oxford Veteran Elected to DAV National Commitee

By Alyssa Schnugg
Staff writer

Oxford resident and Vietnam War veteran Jerry Bratton has spent years helping fellow local veterans and will now have the chance to assist veterans all over the South.

Bratton, 68, of Oxford, was elected to the National Executive Committee of the Disabled American Veterans on July 13 at the 2018 National Convention in Reno, Nevada. He will represent veterans from the 8th District, including the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. He will serve two years on the committee.
“As far as I know, we’ve never had a representative from north Mississippi serving in this role,” Bratton said. “It’s a great honor and I’m humbled to have been selected.”

Jerry Bratton, 68, of Oxford was recently elected to the National Executive Committee of the Disabled American Veterans. Photo courtesy of Jerry Bratton. 

As a representative, Bratton will be able to draft and vote on resolutions that affect veteran associations and help create new bills to be voted on by the State House of Representatives and Senate. He currently helped draft a bill that, if passed, will allow veterans to receive two vehicle tags for $1.
“Right now, veterans can get one car tag for a dollar,” Bratton said. “But many families have more than one vehicle.”
Bratton joined the DAV local chapter No. 48 in Oxford as a life member in 2004. At the local level, he has served numerous offices including Commander and he represents the DAV on the Veterans’ property committee to ensure the proper use and protection of the Veterans Park and Veterans building that is shared by all the veterans’ groups. 
In 2014, Bratton was elected to the office of the Sergeant at Arms for the Department of Mississippi, moving up every year to the Senior Vice Commander for the Department. In 2019, he will serve as the State Commander for the DAV.
Bratton also represented the Department of Mississippi as the Benefits Protection Leader from 2016 to 2018. As Legislative Chairman, he traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for his fellow veterans and to encourage Mississippi Members of Congress to support upcoming bills benefiting our veterans.
A 100 percent disabled combat veteran, Bratton has worked with local veterans who need assistance in getting the help and benefits they are entitled to receive as veterans.
“Most of these guys don’t know what benefits they are entitled to,” Bratton said. “I’ve been to several training sessions and I help other veterans filling out claim forms and tell them what they are entitled to. Many don’t know about being able to get the car tag for $1 or that they have life insurance or that their ad valorem taxes on their homesteads are paid for.”
Bratton served in the United States Army from 1969 through 1971 with the 101st Airborne Division, and he served a combat tour in Vietnam with the 59th Field Service Company.
He is closely involved with the Veterans Home in Oxford and meets with residents on a regular basis to make sure their needs are met. Bratton travels to all the district, regional and national conventions promoting veterans’ needs and developing friendships with other representatives that have the same goals in serving our veterans.
However, Bratton claims Mississippi is behind most other states in what they offer to veterans. He hopes that in his positions on the committee and upcoming role of state commander he can help improve the lives of all veterans.
“I believe I can really help north Mississippi veterans,” he said.

Gene Hays, MSgt, USMC Retired contributed to this story.

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