GREENVILLE — Michael “Mike” Maloney’s term of office began June 20 as commander of the 3rd District Ohio Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), to which he was unanimously elected last month.
“Since I took command, it has been fast-paced,” he said. “The VFW is evolving to welcome the next generation of combat veterans, which requires getting out of our normal comfort zone. We are developing and implementing long-term plans to ensure sustainability in the future.”
When asked if it has been a challenge with the Coronavirus pandemic,” Maloney responded, “Yes, but we have met the challenge by embracing social media, video meetings and conference calls. In-person meetings have been held to officers only as representatives. We must continue missing though to sustain our support for our programs and objectives.”
In the meantime, he is visiting posts in the district weekly to coordinate and see what they need for their long-term plan. There are also meeting and events to attend inside and outside the district.
The 3rd District is comprised of 5,383 members across 34 posts in Montgomery, Darke, Preble, Miami, Greene, Clark, and Champaign counties. Maloney is the first district commander from VFW Post 7262 since 1984 when Gerald “Shorty” Meyers was district commander. Coincidentally, Meyers is the father of Wendell Meyers, who Maloney was coached, mentored, and taught at Greenville High School from where he graduated in 1984.
“Robert Stauffer was a 3rd district commander as well, but I don’t know his year,” Maloney said.
A native of Greenville, he began his membership in the VFW tenant organization the Sons of VFW. The first year of its inception in 1975, he was elected to the office chaplain at the age of 10. Immediately after high school graduation, he entered the U.S. Army. While in the Army for 20 years, he served in numerous positions of increased responsibility in the Military Police Regiment, including four military operations: as a compound sergeant, 401st Enemy Prisoner of War Camp, 800th MP Brigade in Operation Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia; as a platoon sergeant, 401st MP Co, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in Operation Joint Forge, Eagle Base, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina; as team leader, Personal Security Detail for the Stabilization Force commander, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; and as operation sergeant, HHD, 716th MP Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, Operation Iraqi Freedom in Babylon, Iraq.
Maloney’s numerous awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Accommodation Medal, Army Accommodation Medal with eight oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement with six oak leaf clusters, and the Southwest Asia Campaign Medal with three bronze stars.
While in the military, he was inducted in the Audie Murphy Club in 1999, Fort Hood, Texas, and graduated with honors in 2003 from the University of Maryland University College, Hanau, Germany.
“Joining the U.S. Army was the best decision that I made in my life,” he said. “I served and traveled to over 30 countries in my career, including four hostile zone tours.”
Upon military retirement, Michael entered the retail management sector with Home Depot, FedEx, and HR Block.
“I am working exclusively on VFW matters during the off-tax season,” he said.
He was elected to quartermaster, VFW Post 7262 Greenville in 2006. Under the mentorship of Post Commander, Don Dietrich, the post received All-State and All-American honors for the first time ever. The next year, VFW Post 7262 Greenville repeated the honor with Maloney as commander. He currently serves as Greenville’s quartermaster, but looks forward to transition to district and state level positions of increased responsibility. Additionally, Maloney also serves as 3rd District Ohio American Legion chaplain since 2018 and is co-founder and vice chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park and Digital Library mission.
The Veterans Memorial Park, located between VFW Post 7262 Greenville and American Legion Post 140 in Greenville, was erected in 1998 to honor and welcome the traveling “Wall That Heals” monument to the community. He connected the Veterans Digital Library mission to the park to remember all veterans who have served their nation. The Digital Library Mission is a partnership with Greenville High School Interactive Media and is a viable community cooperation between the public schools and local veterans. The mission digitizes participating veteran’s oral histories, pictures, and all other forms of primary material.
The Veterans Digital Library mission gets access to a studio and equipment for the mission, and the high school students get practical exercise on producing relevant material. The students are inspired by the mission and learn about veterans’ history in the process. To date, the mission has digitally interviewed hundreds of veterans and family members and covered several relative conventions and events. The mission’s social media presence has grown to peak of more than 30,000 viewers, which provides an avenue for underreported veterans’ activities, stories, and current issues regionally.
Maloney hopes to grow the Veteran Digital Library mission and sees it as an important outreach and training option for all veterans and their organizations.
Married twice and currently single, he has three children, James (wife Courtney), Ariel, and Kali, and three granddaughters: Meadow, Janet and Madelyn. He is the son of the late James and Ruth Maloney.
“My dad is from Syracuse and served two tours in Vietnam in the Air Force in as a load master on a C130. When he retired, they moved to Greenville, my mother’s hometown. She graduated the class of 49ers and is past president of VFW 7262. They had seven children in 10 years: Kathy, Dennis, a retired Navy submariner, Tim, Kevin (deceased), Patty, U.S. Navy, Terry (deceased) U.S. Navy, and myself ‘the baby.’”
As commander of 3rd District Ohio VFW, Mike is committed to improve digitally literacy, financial transparency and collective purchasing power.
Contact Darke County Media Staff Writer Linda Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-569-4315, ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.