John Drake

Courtesy of Michael Mauer, public affairs officer for District 29

John Drake was sworn in last month as commander of VFW District 29.

A member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Library Memorial Post 6664 in South Park Township has been picked to lead VFW District 29, Department of Pennsylvania.

John Drake, an Iraq War veteran, was sworn in as commander last month to take charge of the approximately 4,500 members and three dozen active VFW Posts in Allegheny County. He formerly served as commander for VFW Post 6664.

“My biggest challenge as commander is to encourage participation of all posts at the district level and to keep up our membership,” Drake said. “I want to get the word out that the VFW is open to all combat veterans, young and old, men and women.”

Those in the VFW who attend meetings and are active in their posts are not only able to learn about benefits, but speak with veterans who have applied for and have taken advantage of them, he said.

Drake enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating high school in 1978 and initially served nine years on a mortar squad and as a unit supply specialist. He was recalled to active service from the National Guard in Mt. Pleasant and deployed to Iraq in 2005.

In total, he served nearly 15 years in the Armed Forces. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 2008 as a sergeant.

Among his awards and decorations are the Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and Global War On Terrorism Service Medal. He also earned the Air Assault Badge and qualified as a Jungle Expert.

Founded in Pittsburgh more than a century ago, Veterans of Foreign Wars is the nation’s largest organization of combat veterans.

For more information about VFW District 29 and its activities, contact Drake at 724-469-3072 or

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!