- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

ATLANTA (AP) - A board has elected the first new leader of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service in more than 60 years.

Veterans Service Board officials said in a statement Monday that Mike Roby has been tapped to lead the department. Officials say Pete Wheeler, the department’s last commissioner, served in the position since 1954 and has died.

Gov. Nathan Deal says Roby “has the experience, dedication and drive to fully serve Georgia’s veterans.” Roby says he’s looking forward to building on Wheeler’s legacy.

Board Chairman Phil Youngblood says Roby’s term will begin July 1. Officials say Georgia is home to more than 752,000 veterans.

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