Pawcatuck's Schwartz, state's veterans advocate, tapped for Obama administration post

State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Linda Schwartz in 2006.
State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Linda Schwartz in 2006. Day file photo

The state's advocate for veterans has been chosen for a leadership role in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Linda Schwartz of Pawcatuck has served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs for the past decade. On Thursday, President Barack Obama announced he plans to nominate her to be the next Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Policy and Planning.

A former U.S. Air Force nurse, Schwartz previously served as the president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs, an organization made up of top veterans affairs officials.

On numerous occasions, she has testified before Congress about veterans' issues, consulted on veterans' studies and advised the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on policies affecting homeless veterans, women veterans, mentally ill veterans and combat veterans who are readjusting to civilian life.

In Connecticut, she is leading the creation of a memorial to honor veterans as the president of Connecticut State Veterans Memorial Inc. Among the many initiatives she has brought to fruition, Schwartz formed a network for the state's women veterans and created or bolstered countless programs and services for veterans.

Schwartz has received many honors, including the National Commendation Medal of Vietnam Veterans of America for Justice, Integrity and Meaningful Achievement, and the Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains for her services to all people, regardless of race or faith. She was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in 2004.

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