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Sam Johnson announces special guest Taylor Kiland for 2013 Congressional Veteran Commendation Ceremony and Board

sam johnson
Sam Johnson
U.S. Congressman
Third District of Texas

Plano, TX - U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (TX-03) announced that former naval officer and author Taylor Baldwin Kiland will serve as special guest and keynote speaker at the 2013 Congressional Veteran Commendation (CVC) ceremony on Saturday, December 14. Johnson launched the CVC to honor local veterans and formally recognize their outstanding wartime sacrifices and peacetime community involvement. Additionally, Johnson announced four new board members and Collin County Judge Keith Self, a 29-year Army veteran and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, as the new chairman of the board.

Taylor Baldwin Kiland is a former naval officer and management consultant with a large technology and strategy consulting firm in Washington, D.C. She is the author or coauthor of four books, including Open Doors: Vietnam POWs Thirty Years Later. Ms. Kiland's most recent book Lessons From The Hanoi Hilton: Six Characteristics Of High-Performance Teams (Naval Institute Press, 2013) takes a look at American Prisoners of War (POWs) held in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. As a third generation naval officer, Ms. Kiland spent many of her formative years in Coronado, California, a military community that was home to several POWs. She and her parents knew many of their families and she went to school with several of the POWs' kids, which sparked a passionate interest in our nation's longest-held POWs. In addition to speaking, Ms. Kiland will hold a book signing immediately following the ceremony.

As a lawmaker and veteran, Johnson works tirelessly on behalf of U.S. military personnel and veterans. The CVC ceremony is an opportunity to highlight and bring honor to those who have faithfully served our nation. The program runs in conjunction with the Veterans History Project sponsored by the Library of Congress.

Johnson has a selection board that serves as a group of advisors to assist with nominations and the selection of commendation recipients. The board is comprised of impressive individuals dedicated to serving as leaders in their communities and country. Due to the board's term limit and to maintain continuity, Johnson has selected four new board members. Information on each new member, who will serve a four-year term, follows:

Gary Duncanson is president and CEO of No Magic, a veteran-owned software company in Allen, Texas. In 2012, Mr. Duncanson received the prestigious Patriot Award in recognition of his support of the U.S. Military and for hiring veterans. A son of a veteran, Mr. Duncanson has consistently gone above and beyond to support veterans and their families. He also worked for the U.S. Military in the Naval Warfare Assessment Center and currently works with the Department of Defense.

Cary Israel is president of Collin County Community College District, a multi-campus operation serving more than 53,000 students annually. Under Mr. Israel's leadership, veteran services have grown substantially by offering veteran-centered courses to help service members complete their education. Additionally, Collin College has been named among the nation's "Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities" and has a highly active Student Veterans of America chapter that focuses on assisting veterans' transition from military life to academic life.

Darcy Anderson serves as the vice chairman of Hillwood Management. Mr. Anderson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1978. He completed five years of active duty in the U.S. Army, serving in various capacities with combat units of the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Additionally, Mr. Anderson currently serves on the Board of Directors of West Point's Association of Graduates and Director of the West Point Society of North Texas.

Fritz Mowery is president and Chief Investment Office of Mowery Capital Management, a fee-based registered investment advisory and consulting firm based in McKinney, Texas. Mr. Mowery is also a member of the McKinney Airport Board and a staunch advocate for teaching students about aviation. He even started the McKinney ISD Aviation Academy, the only school program in Texas designed to motivate and prepare students to earn their pilot license or technician certification. Mr. Mowery served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

All Board members will be present at the December 14 ceremony to assist in announcing the commendation recipients. In addition, an in-depth interview of each honoree may be conducted and sent to the Veterans History Project to be added to the Library of Congress collection .

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