|United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs|
July 25, 2000 – January 20, 2001
|Preceded by||Togo West|
|Succeeded by||Anthony Principi|
July 1, 1997 – January 2, 1998
|Preceded by||Jesse Brown|
|Succeeded by||Togo West|
|United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs|
February 4, 1993 – August 10, 2000
|Preceded by||Anthony Principi|
|Succeeded by||Leo Mackay|
|Director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs|
January 4, 1988 – February 4, 1993
|Preceded by||Grady Brown|
|Succeeded by||Nick Bacon|
|Born||Hershel Wayne Gober|
December 21, 1936 (age 85)
Monticello, Arkansas, U.S.
United States Marine Corps
Hershel Wayne Gober (born December 21, 1936) is a former government official and Vietnam War veteran. He served as acting United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) on two occasions during the administration of Bill Clinton: first from July 1, 1997, until January 2, 1998, between the resignation of Secretary Jesse Brown and the appointment of Togo D. West, Jr. as acting secretary, and the second time from July 25, 2000, until January 20, 2001, after the resignation of Secretary West; this time Gober served in the post until the end of the Clinton presidency.
He started out in the VA as deputy secretary, serving from February 4, 1993, until August 10, 2000. Gober was also briefly secretary-designate, when Clinton named him on July 31, 1997, to replace Jesse Brown. However, the nomination was withdrawn before Senate action on October 27 the same year because of fears that nomination hearings for Gober would become heated due to questions about a 1993 claim of sexual misconduct made against him; he also wished to stay as Deputy Secretary.
During his tenure Gober, as a close and longtime aide, played an important role in the Clinton-era VA. He headed a delegation that traveled to Vietnam to seek the fullest possible accounting of missing veterans. He was also active in improving health care and expanding clinics for veterans.
Service in Vietnam
Gober served two tours in Vietnam. In addition to his combat duties, at one point he worked with an American-Vietnamese team that produced songs to help sway Vietnamese public opinion in favor of the American and South Vietnamese causes and to encourage the leadership in Washington to favor reaching the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. Later, in 1969, he was wounded while serving as a company commander.
In 1970, Gober released a 45 rpm single, "Picture of a Man", which received some airplay on popular music radio stations.
Gober had at least five single releases and one album as a recording artist; the first two were as Hershel Almond on Ace and Challenge in 1959. The others were on ABC ("The Proud American", 1966), Tee Pee (1967) and Buddah (1969).
- Unsuccessful nominations to the Cabinet of the United States
- DeArmond-Huskey, Rebecca (July 3, 2007). "Monticello (Drew County) Encyclopedia of Arkansas". http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=878.
- Staff reporter (June 7, 1997). "Veterans Affairs Chief Steps Down After Four Years". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1997/06/07/clinton.brown/. "Veterans Affairs Secretary Jesse Brown plans to leave his post July 1, and President Bill Clinton accepted the resignation Saturday "with deep regret.""
- "President Clinton Names Togo D. West, Jr. As Acting Secretary Of The Department Of Veterans' Affairs". White House. December 2, 1997. http://clinton6.nara.gov/1997/12/1997-12-02-togo-west-named-acting-secretary-at-veterans-affairs.html. Retrieved January 15, 2008. "The President today announced the appointment of Togo D. West, Jr., as Acting Secretary of Veterans' Affairs; the appointment will be effective January 2, 1998."
- "The Honorable Hershel W. Gober". US Department of Veterans Affairs. July 2000. http://www1.va.gov/pressrel/gober.htm.
- "Ned Powell Named Acting VA Deputy Secretary". US Department of Veterans Affairs. August 10, 2000. http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=207. "President Clinton has appointed Edward A. (Ned) Powell, Jr., as the Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Powell, currently VAs Assistant Secretary for Financial Management, will fill the position held by Hershel W. Gober, who was named Acting VA Secretary."
- U.S. Senate. Chapter 10: Cabinet Nominations Rejected or Withdrawn Accessed December 24, 2007.
- Rosenbaum, David E. Clinton Withdraws Nomination For Secretary of Veterans Affairs. New York Times. 1997-10-25. Accessed December 25, 2007. "In confirmation hearings, the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs intended to explore circumstances surrounding the exoneration of Mr. Gober after he was accused of sexual misconduct in 1993, a Congressional staff member said tonight."
- Rosenbaum, David E. Clinton Withdraws Nomination For Secretary of Veterans Affairs. New York Times. 1997-10-25. Accessed 2007-12-25. "Mr. Gober said he preferred to remain as Deputy Secretary, and Mr. Clinton said he regretted Mr. Gober's decision not to pursue the nomination."
- Clinton, Bill (July 10, 2000). "Remarks by the President, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo West, and Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Hershel Gober". http://clinton6.nara.gov/2000/07/2000-07-10-remarks-by-the-president.html. "A few years ago, I was honored that he agreed to head a delegation back to Vietnam to seek the fullest possible accounting of our men and women still missing in uniform. Hershel has already made his mark on the critical issue of veterans' health care. Early in our administration, he came to me and recommended that we look for ways to bring health care closer to the veterans who needed it. Since then, we've opened more than 200 out-patient clinics all across America and have more planned this year. That's one of the big reasons we were able to treat -- listen to this -- 400,000 more veterans last year than we did the year before."
- "President Clinton Names Hershel Gober as Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs". White House. July 3, 1997. http://clinton6.nara.gov/1997/07/1997-07-03-president-names-gober-secretary-of-veterans-affairs.html. "Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary, he served as State Director of Veterans' Affairs in Arkansas under then-Governor Clinton."
- Winning hearts and minds in Vietnam
- "Hershel Gober". Rate your music. http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/hershel_gober. [dead link]
- "On That Wisconsin Beat" (MusicGem, 2006) – Gary E. Myers
- Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture entry
- Department of Veterans Affairs biography of Acting Secretary Gober at the Wayback Machine (archived January 29, 2004)
- Profile at American President: An Online Reference Resource
- Recordings of Gober singing songs in Vietnam are available in the Edward G. Lansdale collection at the Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University
- Gober Appearances on C-SPAN
|United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
|United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
|United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
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