Gordon H. Mansfield was a true American Hero! He served two tours of duty in Vietnam. While serving as a company commander with the 101st Airborne Division was wounded during the Tet Offensive on February 4, 1968, spending the next 45 years in a wheelchair as a result of spinal injuries. For his actions while his unit was under fire he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross. His other combat decorations include the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Presidential Unit Citation. Mr. Mansfield passed away on January 29, 2013.
Gordon Mansfield’s service to his country and fellow veterans didn’t stop there. In one way it had just begun. While serving as the President of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, he was recruited to assist at the VA with some major initiatives that were underway. Gordon Mansfield was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs on November 3, 2003. From October 1, 2007 until December 20, 2007 he served as the Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs. While the Deputy Secretary Gordon was frustrated by the Government’s lack of progress in achieving the 3% goal of prime and subcontract awards to service disabled veteran owned small businesses as mandated by Public Law 106-50. Gordon was instrumental in the drafting and signing by President Bush of Executive Order 13360, which among other things required agencies to develop plans to achieve the 3% goal, established the GSA “VETS GWAC”, and institutionalized VA’s Center for Veterans Enterprise. Under VA’s plan, Gordon demanded accountability by requiring the 3% goal to be part of the performance plan of all VA senior managers who influenced the acquisition process.
The following award recipients successfully owns and operates a successful small business, provides employment opportunities to veterans and who, like Gordon Mansfield in his most selfless manner, gives back to the veteran community in a substantial and continuous way.