RANTOUL — Brad Gould will serve as grand marshal of the 2019 Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Freedom Celebration parade Thursday, July 4.
A resident of Rantoul, Gould is the incoming Illinois state commander for the Veterans of Foreign War for 2019.
Gould was raised in Shelbyville, Ind., and served from April 1981 until October 2002 in the U.S. Air Force. He retired as master sergeant and as a medical logistics superintendent.
He was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two devices, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Outstanding Unit Award with device, National Defense Ribbon with Service Star, Korean Defense Medal and Good Conduct Medal with five devices.
Gould helped start the Champaign County Veterans Assistance Commission and has been the superintendent since its inception in December 2012. The VAC provides services such as assistance with mortgage or rent payments, utilities, food and family essentials, and VA claims, as well as offering advocacy, information and referral, location and retrieval of discharge documents, and more.
Gould has dedicated himself to serving all veterans. He is a gold legacy life member and past commander of VFW Post 630, Urbana. He is also member of the American Legion Post 70 in Shelbyville, Ind.
He was elected Department of Illinois state commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the 98th State Convention held in Springfield.
Gould has served at the state level as the senior vice commander, junior vice commander and assistant state adjutant from 2011-2919.
His efforts in helping veterans has led to VFW national and state appointments. He was appointed national assistant inspector general from 2013-2014 and national deputy chief of staff in 2015-2016. He is also on the board of directors for the Phoenix Based Project.
Gould and his wife, Shana, reside in Rantoul. Shana is a life member of VFW Post 630 Auxiliary. They have four children and four grandchildren.