David W. Gorman, a combat-disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, was appointed executive director of DAV’s Washington Headquarters in 1995, holding that position until his retirement in 2011. His responsibilities included oversight of DAV’s national service, legislative and voluntary service programs. He was the organization’s principal spokesperson before Congress, the White House and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2015, Gorman was elected to serve on the Disabled Veterans’ Life Memorial Foundation’s board of directors where he continues to serve his fellow veterans today.
Gorman has built a reputation as one of the nation’s foremost experts regarding VA’s complex array of services and programs designed to assist America’s veterans and their families. Due to his comprehensive understanding of VA’s inner workings, he was asked to sit on numerous VA and congressionally chartered advisory committees, as well as many ad hoc groups, to seek ways to better serve America’s veterans.
After attending Cape Cod Community College, Gorman entered the U.S. Army in 1969, serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the famed “Sky Soldiers” of the Vietnam War. During a campaign to secure an area in Central Vietnam where U.S. forces suffered extremely high casualties, he was severely wounded, requiring amputation of both legs. Discharged from the Army in 1970, he joined DAV.
Gorman became a national service officer in DAV’s Boston office in 1971, rising to the post of supervisor of the organization’s Providence, Rhode Island, office the following year. In 1975, he was assigned to DAV’s national appeals staff, which represents veterans in claims before the VA Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington, D.C. He was later promoted to supervisor.
In 1981, Gorman assumed management duties in DAV’s national service program at DAV’s Washington Headquarters. He was promoted to assistant national legislative director for medical affairs in 1983 and to deputy national legislative director in 1994.
In 2015, Gorman was appointed by then-President Barack Obama to the Commission on Care, a bipartisan commission created to develop recommendations for improving access to quality VA health care.
Gorman also proudly serves on the board of directors for Camp Corral—a week of non-stop fun for the children of wounded, injured, ill, or fallen military members. As a disabled veteran and a father of five children, he uses his wealth of personal and professional experience to help guide the growth of Camp Corral and provide insight into working with military families.
Gorman and his wife, Paula, live in Simpsonville, South Carolina.