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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

National Inspector

Barry Gasdek

Region III Commander

Barry Gasdek is a retired Infantry (Airborne, Ranger, Pathfinder) US Army Soldier, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, having served in a variety of senior leadership and staff positions.

Gasdek grew up in Pennsylvania. He set his sights on college, and at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Education and participated in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. He later, received his Master's Degree from Georgia State in Counseling.

In Army training, Gasdek volunteered for every leadership school that was offered. Upon deployment, he was appointed Headquarters' Company Commander, but after about a month was transferred to infantry Company Commander. The first time, Patriot Gasdek was wounded by grenade fragments during an enemy assault, the second; he was hit by shrapnel and blown into the air by an RPG explosion. Patriot Gasdek earned the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, five Bronze Stars, 17 Air Medals and two Purple Hearts while serving in Vietnam. His original intention was to fulfill his commission and return to the US to teach, but after Vietnam, Gasdek found a home in the military, only retiring in 1992.

In 1989, Gasdek began teaching Military Science at the University of Wyoming. Among his many roles as a civilian representative for Veterans, he worked as a service officer with the Wyoming Veterans Commission and was elected Commander of the American Legion Post No. 14 from 1996-1997, VFW Post No. 2221, 1997-1998, State President AUSA 2014-2016, and Legion of Valor (LOV) National Commander 2008-2009. He is currently on their Board of Directors.

While working as Wyoming Boys State Director with the American Legion and establishing valuable working relationships with VSO's, community and state leaders, Patriot Gasdek met US Senator Barrasso who would in 2012 publish a Congressional tribute to him for his embodiment of 'cowboy ethics' and what it means to be a citizen of Wyoming. The tribute also saluted Gasdek's lifelong service to his country and Wyoming. In it, Gasdek was honored for his role as a fighter, mentor and teacher.

Patriot Gasdek is a member of many VSO's such as the LOV, American Legion, AUSA, DAV, VFW, and MOAA among some, and holds numerous civilian honors as well. Before being elected as the Region III Commander at the National Convention in Dallas, TX, he served as Department Commander of Wyoming.

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