Mottern appointed by Hilleary to help lead Veterans' Coalition

From Staff Reports

   FRANKLIN -- Republican gubernatorial nominee Van Hilleary has appointed William E. "Sonny" Mottern to help lead the Van Hilleary for Governor Veterans' Coalition.
   As a member of the Steering Committee, Mottern will work with the coalition to encourage and organize veterans' support for Hilleary, helping to spread his message and get out the vote on Election Day. The steering committee will also advise Hilleary on veterans' affairs issues across the state.
   Hilleary said he was honored to have Mottern as a leader in his campaign.
   "I am honored to have a leader and a hero like Sonny helping to coordinate my grassroots campaign," Hilleary said. "There is tremendous respect for him in the community not only as a veteran and a POW, but also as a community leader. He understands the importance of this election and the need to see new, trustworthy leadership in Nashville."
   Mottern is a veteran of World War II who served with the U.S. Army's 15th Infantry Regiment. Seriously wounded and captured by the Germans in December of 1944, he was held captive until the following April.
   He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, Bronze Star (with oak leaf cluster), Prisoner of War Medal, and the World War II Medal. He is the past National Commander of the American Ex-Prisoners of War, and he is currently Treasurer of the American Ex-POW Service Foundation.
   Mottern said he believed Hilleary would be an excellent governor because he has proven himself as a leader dedicated to honoring our veterans.
   "Van Hilleary has always shown his commitment to veterans by keeping his promises, standing by his word, and making veterans' concerns a priority," Mottern said. "I am honored to serve as a member of Van's Veterans' Coalition."
   Hilleary is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. In 1990, he volunteered to serve two tours of duty during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
   While in the Persian Gulf theater of operations, he flew 24 missions as a navigator on a C-130 aircraft. His earned him two U.S. Air Medals, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the National Service Medal, the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, the Southwest Asia Campaign Medal and the Outstanding Unit Ribbon.
   Hilleary, who represents the 4th District in Congress, is the only Tennessean on the Armed Services Committee, where as a veteran he is able to use his military expertise to help shape defense policy.
   Leading the Van Hilleary for Governor Veterans' Coalition is Capt. Dennis L. Witzenburg, USN (Ret.) of Nashville, whose military assignments have included command of the nuclear submarines USS Seawolf and USS Tennessee.