Marvin Myers Leadership Award
The Georgia Veterans Day Association, Inc. presents an annual Leadership Award in honor of Marvin Myers, who had served as the President of the Georgia Veterans Day Parade Association of Atlanta, Inc (the name the GVDA originally operated under) from 1995 until 2010. Upon his retirement from the association, our Officers and Board of Directors created this award in his honor to be given to an individual or organization that exhibits superior leadership and works tirelessly in support of our Veterans and active duty military. This award is presented at the annual Freedom Ball since its inception in 2012.
About Marvin Otis Myers:
Marvin Otis Myers of Duluth passed away on November 12, 2017. Marvin was born in Hutchinson, Kansas on July 24, 1936, to Otis & Donna Myers. Much of his early life was spent on a ranch in Kansas. He graduated from the University of Illinois and immediately entered the US Army as a Second Lieutenant. During his military career he was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas as an Infantry Company Commander, Hanau, Germany flying H-34s, Fort Benning, GA as an instructor in the Brigade and Battalion Operations Department and served two tours in Vietnam as an Army Aviator Armed helicopter Platoon commander, an aviator Team Leader with the Army Security Agency and Operations Officer of an Aviation Battalion. Marvin pioneered the use of Aerial Searchlights on helicopters and was the first to use this innovation in a combat environment. He was also the first aviator to use the 40 millimeter grenade launcher on a helicopter in combat. Marvin had 950 hours of combat flying time. He graduated from Airborne School, Ranger School, Flight School and the Infantry Career Course. His awards include the Silver Star, Bronze Star with cluster, 26 awards of the Air Medal, two with V for valor, Army Commendation. Award with cluster and one with V for valor, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and Vietnam Service Medal. He has Flight Wings, Ranger Tab, and Airborne badge.
During the 70s and 80s, he owned and managed a tractor dealerships in Columbus, Georgia, a Christian bookstore and a farm in Alabama. In the 80s he moved to Duluth and bought a small manufacturing company specializing in canine and equine equipment. By 1990 he was involved in the Veterans community and was one of the founders of a Vietnam veterans group. He served on the national board of Vietnam Veterans of America. A major accomplishments of the Georgia Veterans was when Marvin, the State President, led a group to Washington DC and applying pressure to the Congressmen. Agent Orange legislation was therefore passed in the US Congress. In the 90s he founded the Georgia Vietnam Veterans Alliance and served as the President until his passing. This group helps veterans with financial assistance and the awarding of scholarships to veterans and children of a veteran. During the 80s Marvin and others saw veterans suffer with countless forms of cancers due to the use of Dioxin or Agent Orange in Vietnam., Congress passed legislation to award help to Veterans suffering from Agent Orange. Today the VA has helped thousands suffering from this malady. In 2011 The Georgia Vietnam Veterans Alliance was nominated by the Georgia Department of Labor as the Veterans Small Business employer of the year, Georgia and in the nation. The organization was presented the awards by the American Legion. Marvin has served as the President of the Georgia Veterans Day Parade Association for 15 years. Marvin brought exciting leaders to Atlanta as Grand Marshals such has: General Hal Moore, the hero of (We Were Soldiers Once) and G. Gordon Liddy.
The first recipient of the Marvin Myers Leadership Award was his friend, Commissioner Pete Wheeler, of Department of Veterans Service. Marvin led a group to petition the state legislature for a grant for a Veterans Cemetery in Milledgeville. At that time a state cemetery for veterans did not exist. Today the Cemetery is a beautiful and highly used site. On Veterans Day, 2012 USA Today ran a commemorative issue recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Marvin was saluted as the Veteran from Georgia. Marvin has led a busy life and has continued to work forty hours a week helping veterans. On his 70th birthday he celebrated by making a parachute jump from three miles up. Marvin was a member of the Duluth Methodist Church; a Life member of The Veterans of Foreign Wars; the American Legion; a Life Member of the Vietnam Veterans Helicopter Association; The Army Aviation Heritage Assn.; The Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Businessman's Association; The Georgia Veterans Day Parade Association and the Georgia Vietnam Veterans Alliance.