GOVERNOR APPOINTS ACOVA MEMBERS

Devils Lake Daily Journal

NORTH DAKOTA - Governor Doug Burgum appointed Dave Rice, Hal Weninger, Vernon Laning, Brian Bartlett and Joseph “Dutch” Bialke each to a three-year term on the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACOVA).

Dave Rice, a resident of Fargo, is a Navy Veteran serving in the Vietnam War. He is the past State Commander of the American Legion and VFW. He remains an active member of the VFW, American Legion, AMVETS, VVA, DAV, 40 & 8, Navy League, Fleet Reserve, Fargo Moorhead Funeral Honor Guard and the Honor Flight of ND&MN.

Gary Maddock, a resident of Bismarck, is an Air Force veteran. He is the past state commander of the ND AMVETS and a member of the American Legion, and Vietnam Veterans of America.

Hal Weninger, a resident of New Town, is an Army Veteran having served in Vietnam. He is a retired Postmaster and active member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Vernon Laning, a resident of Bismarck, is an Army Veteran retired after 34 years of service with Basin Electric he has served as a ND State legislator, District 7 American legion Commander, Member of ND Veterans Legislative Council, Governor’s Task Force on Veterans Affairs and remains active in the American Legion.

Brian Bartlett, a resident of Steele, is an Army Veteran having served in Kosovo. He is employed with AmeriGas is the State AMVETS 1st Vice and Post 20 commander and is a member of the American Legion.

Joseph “Dutch” Bialke, a resident of Mandan, is an Air Force Veteran having served in Haiti, Croatia, Bosnia and Iraq. He is employed as an attorney with the ND Department of Agriculture he is a member of the American Legion and Life member of VFW, MOAA, DAV and AMVETS. Governor Burgum also appointed 2 members from AMVETS to fill vacancies unfilled due to COVID interrupting nomination process.

Gary Maddock, a resident of Bismarck, was appointed for a 1-year term ending June 2022. He is an Air Force veteran, the past state commander of the ND AMVETS, a member of the American Legion, and Vietnam Veterans of America.

Murray Strom, a resident of Steele, was appointed to a 2-year term ending June 2023. He is an Army Veteran active in the AMVETS. Mr. Strom was also appointed Chair of the ACOVA. These members were nominated by North Dakota Veteran Service Organizations;

Dave Rice by the VFW, Gary Maddock, Brian Bartlett and Murray Strom by the AMVETS, Hal Weninger by the VVA and Joseph “Dutch” Bialke by the DAV. While on the ACOVA they will serve on several subcommittees which serve the Veterans of North Dakota. The ACOVA is responsible for organization, policy, and general administration of all veterans’ affairs in the state of North Dakota. The ACOVA also oversees the expenditures of the Post War Trust Fund interest earnings, legislative laws concerning veterans, ND Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Governing board of the Veterans Home.

The ACOVA is comprised of 15 voting members, each appointed by the Governor, nominated by the five major veteran organizations in the state. Each year, the Governor is to appoint one member from a list of two names submitted by the following veteran organizations: American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, and Vietnam Veterans of America. The Committee is also comprised of three nonvoting members who are to serve in an advisory capacity - the North Dakota Adjutant General, the Center Director of the Federal Veterans Affairs, and the Executive Director Job Service North Dakota. Members currently serving on the ACOVA are; Richard Belling of West Fargo, Dan Brown of Williston, Mamie Havelka of Bismarck, Dave Hilleren of New Town, Dean Overby of Wahpeton, Tom Ryan of Williston, Jim Verwey of Valley City and Glenn Wahus of Watford City. The fifteen-member Committee will hold their next meeting November 18, 2021 in Fargo.