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Past National Commander
Disabled American Veterans




Jim Sursely, a combat-disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, was elected National Commander of the 1.3 million-member Disabled American Veterans (DAV) at the organizationís 83rd DAV and Auxiliary National Convention at Reno, Nev., in 2004.

A native of Rochester, Minn., Mr. Sursely enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1966. He volunteered for duty in Vietnam in 1968 and was assigned to the Americal Divisionís 17th Armored Cavalry. During a combat mission in January 1969, he stepped on an enemy land mine. His wounds resulted in the loss of his legs above the knee and left arm above the elbow. Following emergency helicopter evacuation to the 95th Evacuation Hospital at Da Nang, hospitalization in Japan, and extensive recuperation at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Colorado, he was medically discharged.

Mr. Sursely returned to Rochester and attended Rochester State Junior College for a year, before moving to Florida to attend Seminole Community College, earning an Associate of Science degree. In 1977, he became a licensed real estate agent, pursuing a real estate career since that time.

A life member of DAV Chapter 16, Orlando, Fla., Mr. Sursely served on various chapter executive committees and as Chapter Junior and Senior Vice Commander, and Chapter Commander. At the Department level, he served as 4th through 1st Jr. Vice Commander and Senior Vice Commander. Nationally he was consecutively elected National 4th through 1st Junior Vice Commander and Senior Vice Commander, beginning in 1999 and National Commander in 2004 Following his year as DAV National Commander, Mr. Sursely was elected to a one-year term as Chairman of the DAV Board of Directors at the organizationís 2005 National Convention in Las Vegas, Nev. He also served as a member and Chairman of the General Resolutions Committee in 1997 and 1998, and as a member of the National Interim Legislation Committee.

Mr. Sursely was honored as the DAV Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year for 1993 and received the DAV Freedom Award at the 2001 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic.

Mr. Sursely and his wife, Jeannie, reside in Apopka, Fla. They are the parents of three sons, and a daughter.


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