Dunkirk native elected Commander of NYS Veterans of Foreign Wars

William “Doc” Schmitz, a native of Dunkirk, was recently elected Commander of the Department of New York State, Veterans of Foreign Wars at the state convention in Syracuse. Having served most recently as Department Senior Vice Commander, Schmitz’ peers elected him to the highest position in the state VFW earlier this month. In addition to his State Commander duties, Doc serves as the Director of Veterans Affairs in Tom Reed’s Corning Office.

“From his long and decorated military service to his leadership among veterans in the community, Doc is committed to making sure those who served this country get the care they have earned,” Reed said. “I offer my most sincere congratulations to Doc on what is a well-deserved position. We’re reminded daily how fortunate we are to have Doc in our office as an absolute tireless advocate for veterans. The New York State VFW is remarkably lucky to have Doc as their Commander, just as we are fortunate to have Doc serving veterans and their families here in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes.”

Doc enlisted in the United States Navy as a Navy Hospital Corpsman in 1966. He was assigned to a Marine Combat Infantry Unit in Vietnam treating field casualties and ran a surgery clinic. When he returned to the United States in 1970, Doc obtained his degree in Registered Nursing and served as VFW National Surgeon General from 2010 to 2011. Within the New York State VFW, Doc has served as Department Surgeon, Department News Editor, Department Junior Vice Commander and Department Senior Vice Commander.

Doc will serve as State Commander from 2014-2015 overseeing operations for all posts in the New York Department.

He is also a member of the American Legion, Marine Corps League, Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Organization of Vietnam Veterans and a Patron of the Jewish War Veterans.