Colonel David W. Sutherland, Former Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will speak at Daemen College January 14

Veteran of Two Wars is Vocal Advocate for Returning Service Members, Veterans, Their Families and the Families of the Fallen


December 17, 2012



Contact: Mike Andrei

                Director-College Relations




Information: Daemen College Conferences &

                 Events Office






David W. Sutherland, Colonel, Retired, a veteran of 29 years active service in the United States Army and two wars, will speak at Daemen College 2 – 3:30 p.m., January 14, 2013, in Wick Center Social Room on the Daemen campus. Colonel Sutherland's talk, "The Inspiration of Courage; The Perspective of Reality" will discuss the valor that he has seen on the battlefield, and the specific challenges many veterans and their families face as they transition out of the military into their communities.


This event is sponsored by the Daemen Center for Veterans and Veteran Family Services and the Daemen College Student Veterans Association, as part of the educational services offered by the Daemen Veterans Center to veterans and their families as well as the public. It is free and open to the community.


“Understanding that our veterans are looking for people to connect with them in the local community and understand their needs of education, meaningful employment, and access to healthcare will enable our veterans and their families to thrive,” said Daemen Center for Veterans and Veteran Family Services Director Walter O. Gordon, also a veteran currently serving as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve.


“Colonel Sutherland’s message is to build awareness among American business, education, healthcare, and community leaders of the needs of our veterans and their families, as well as highlight the innovative examples that produce solutions for veteran reintegration and transition into communities across the nation.”


In the final three years of his 29-year career, Colonel Sutherland served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with a principal focus on Warrior and Family Support. In that position he visited 329 communities across the nation, meeting with more than 20,000 organizations to listen, educate, and promote improvements in services, support, and opportunities for military service members, veterans, and their families.


Colonel Sutherland now serves as the executive director of the Staff Sergeant Donnie D. Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services. The Dixon Center. Dixon Center is a coordinating agent for the myriad of entities and individuals supporting those who serve and have served our country during their transition and reintegration into civilian life. These include public and private agencies as well as organizations and departments spanning the philanthropic, business, government, faith-based, education, health care, housing, and social service sectors -- working nationally, regionally, and locally to provide grassroots solutions.


The concern on the part of millions of Americans to embrace veterans, to improve the quality of life of returning Service members and their families, represents a groundswell of support. Leveraging that support through independent groups working together inside a community-based model can significantly improve long-term quality of life for veterans and their families.


“By not allowing our returning veterans or their families to slip through the cracks in the support structure, we ensure that they thrive as contributing members of their communities,” Gordon added. “We feel this is an important message to bring to Western New Yorkers, and we are encouraging anyone, in addition to veterans and their families, to attend this event with Colonel Sutherland.”


Colonel David W. Sutherland 


David W. Sutherland was commissioned as an infantry officer in 1983. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University in history and economics, and a master’s in strategic studies.  Colonel Sutherland attended all levels of military education including Airborne; Ranger; Jumpmaster; the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College; and is a Senior Service College Graduate - Advanced Operational Studies Fellowship. 


While assigned as a Brigade staff officer he deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation Vigilant Warrior in 1994.  Colonel Sutherland has also commanded at all levels from Platoon through Brigade.  As a Company Commander he deployed to southwest Asia as part of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  While commanding 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team “Greywolf,” 1st Cavalry Division, he deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Colonel Sutherland served as the Coalition Force Commander in Diyala Province from October 2006 – December 2007, which included surge operations. 


Colonel Sutherland’s awards and decorations include, among others, the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster; the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster; the Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal with six oak leaf clusters; the Joint Service Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters; the Ranger Tab; Combat Infantryman's Badge Second Award; and Senior Parachutist Badge. 


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