Centralia’s Steve Gordon is still serving.
Atop his active in involvement with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, Gordon was recently recertified and sworn in as a member of the regional Selective Service Board.
Standing amidst the flowers and shrubbery of Centralia’s Chance Gardens, watched by a six-man audience of his peers, along with his wife Pam, Gordon was sworn
in by US Army National Guard Major Hector Maldonado.
The selective Service board, Gordon said, exists to arbitrate between the armed forces and those who do not want to serve in the military during times of war when the draft has been instated.
Gordon said he has been serving on the board since for five years.
“I thought it would be a good idea to have someone on there who had actually served in he military,” he said.
Gordon is one of five local members, Maldonado said. In this case “local,” is defined as a four-county area.
The other counties and board members are:
• Melvin Brooks, Boone
Randolph – vacant
• John Davis, Cooper
• Debby Ferguson, Howard.
Maldonado and Gordon said they need a member from Randolph County and anybody interested should contact Maldondo at 636-209-3245.
Gordon, who submitted his name for consideration as a board member in the late 70s, said training to stay on the board is ongoing and now, all online.
“The call to serve on the board came 30 years later and it still means a lot to me,” he said.
Maldonado said each appointment is approved by the president of the United States and “is pretty prestigious.”
Gordon, who served 14 months in Vietnam during his two-year tour of duty, said members of the volunteer board,
Registration with the Selective Service, Gordon said, “Is a way the government keeps a list of names of men from which to draw in case of a national emergency requiring the draft.”
He said Selective Service boards hear requests and decide which young men receive deferments, postponements, or exemptions from military service based on federal guidelines.
“Yes, the Selective Service is still up and running,” Gordon said. “If you are a male, you still have to go to the post office and register when you turn 18.”