David W. Riley was elected national commander for the 1 million-member DAV at the organization’s 2016 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.
He was selected as the organization’s 2010 Disabled American Veteran of the Year. He also served as Chairman of the organization’s Convention Committee on Legislation and Veterans’ Rights.
Riley is a veteran of both the Army and the Coast Guard. In the Army (1976-82), he served as a radar repair technician with tours of duty including Korea. He joined the Coast Guard in 1983 and served as a helicopter rescue swimmer. While on active duty at the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama, he contracted septic shock pneumococcus sepsis. He was hospitalized for three months and lost all four limbs and some internal organs due to the infection.
Following his medical retirement from the Coast Guard in 1997, Riley earned a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences and a master’s degree in computer science. He is a retired analyst for Gulf Coast Technical Services.
Riley is a life member of Chapter 7 in Mobile, Alabama. He also volunteers at the VA outpatient clinic in Mobile.