Major Gary Weaver, USMC (Ret), is a public relations professional, writer and event planner committed to building better lives for our disabled veterans and their families. A native of Pensacola, Florida, he joined the Marine Corps in 1965. Gary was a corporal (E-4) when selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program in 1967, and later served as an air traffic control officer in the Republic of Vietnam (1969-1970) with Marine Aircraft Group 13, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Quang Tri Province. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Florida (1971-73) through the Marine Corps’ College Degree Program.
Following assignments in Japan, California and South Carolina, Gary attended graduate school at the University of Southern California (1978 - 80), earning a Master’s Degree in Public Relations. He served as the Public Affairs Officer at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, from 1980 to 1983 where he directed public and internal PR activities. His final posting before retiring was as the OIC of the Marine Corps detachment at the Defense Information School (DINFOS), Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, IN, from 1983 to 1986, where he taught college level courses in governmental public affairs, community relations, and media management.
After his retirement in 1986, Gary worked as an investment broker until a fateful encounter in 1991 with a disabled veteran led to a career of service with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). He was appointed DAV’s National Director of Communications in 1997 and served in that role fourteen years until his retirement
As Communications Director, he spearheaded the development of numerous national advertising, marketing and public outreach initiatives with major organizations, including Ford Motor Company, NASCAR, Golden Corral, Harley Davidson, the NFL, MLB, as well as co-sponsorship of the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS. In 2002, the DAV’s Aviation Outreach Program began performing at air shows around the country featuring two fully restored WW II B-25 Mitchell bombers. He also served as executive production advisor for numerous PBS documentary films, including the Emmy Award-Winning Korean War Stories (2001), World War II Memorial: A Testament to Freedom (2004), The March of the Bonus Army – narrated by Gary Sinise (2006), and Hallowed Grounds: America’s Overseas Military Cemeteries (2009). Funding for these documentaries was provided by grants from the DAV National Service Foundation.
Gary’s military awards include the Navy Achievement Medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation; Navy Unit Commendation; Vietnam Campaign Medal w/device; Vietnam Service Medal w/1*; Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/palm; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and Combat Action Ribbon.
He and his wife, Theresa, reside in Alexandria, Ky.
“In a world that has become increasingly more perilous and unpredictable, honoring and supporting those who sacrifice to protect our cherished freedom, has never been more important. As a Vietnam War veteran, I am honored to stand with the Gary Sinise Foundation to help fulfill its mission to serve our active-duty military, veterans who bear the scars of war, first responders and their families as they have served our nation.”
— Gary weaver