The Veterans Advisory Council

The West Virginia Veterans Advisory Council is an eleven-member body made up of residents of the state who have been separated under honorable conditions from the Armed Forces of the United States. The state Legislature created the Veterans Council to advise the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Assistance on general administrative policies of the Department – and to advise the Governor and Legislature concerning legislation affecting veterans and their families.

Members as of May 28, 2024

Kenneth Boggs, Chairman – Kanawha County. Kenneth Boggs is a seasoned veteran with more than 20 years of service in the United States Army and West Virginia National Guard. He has been deployed multiple times to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His postings include tours as Executive Officer – Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target-Acquisition Squadron; Joint Operations Officer – Kandahar, Afghanistan; Commanding Officer of 92nd Engineer Battalion; and Commanding Officer – of West Virginia National Guard 111th Engineer Brigade.
Boggs is the Vice President of Strategy & Operations for N3 in Charleston, West Virginia. Boggs has served as a member of the Salvation Army Poverty Alleviation Board and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System Council.

Jack Gerrard – Harrison County. Vietnam War. Jack Gerrard served in the United States Air Force from 1964 until 1968 and was deployed to Vietnam. He served as a Department Commander in the American Legion, the National Committee for Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, and as a Chaplain for the American Legion. Additionally, he is a Veterans of Foreign Wars member and serves on the Harrison County Honor Guard.

Corrina Boggess –  Putnam County. Corrina Boggess served as a commissioned officer in the Army and Army Reserve. Her postings include Battalion Commander - 376th Personnel Services Battalion, Tikrit, Iraq, and Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel - Office Chief, Army Reserve in Washington D.C., from which she retired as a Colonel. 

Boggess served as the 2022 - 2023 Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of West Virginia. She is also a member of the National Legislative Committee and has held several other elected positions and committee memberships within and on behalf of that organization. Corrina is a member of the Association of the United States Army Life and served on the National Advisory Board of Directors from 2000 until 2003. She is also a member of the Reserve Officers Association and American Legion.

Boggess received a Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University, a Master of Arts from the University of Phoenix, a Master of Science from the U.S. Army War College, and a Doctor of Executive Leadership from the University of Charleston.

Kim Wolfe – Cabell County. Kim Wolfe served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the United States Navy.  He is the former Mayor of Huntington, West Virginia, and former Sheriff of Cabell County, West Virginia. Before that, Wolfe had been with the Huntington Police Department for 26 years. 

Wolfe graduated from Marshall University, studying Criminal Justice Administration, with additional training from Northwestern University. He serves on The United States Anti-Terrorist Advisory Council and The Advisory Committee for The National Task Force on Community Preparedness and Response.

Lew Tyree – Kanawha County. Lew Tyree served as a commissioned officer in the US Army Reserves. During his 30-year career, his postings have included platoon leader, company commander, battalion commander, and group commander, as well as several staff positions such as battalion and group executive officer and deputy chief of staff for the 99th RSC. 

Tyree was a managing General Partner in Dues, Tyree & Hicks Attorneys at Law – specializing in a broad range of legal services, including real estate, domestic relations, and criminal law. Later, he served as House Council, Senior Director of Loan Origination and Development for the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, and the Acting Vice President of University Advancement for West Virginia State University. He also serves as the Veterans Committee Chairperson for the Charleston Chapter of the NAACP.

James W. Runyon – Kanawha County. James Runyon served in the West Virginia National Guard for more than 30 years. He had numerous Command Assignments, the last of which was Commander of the 77th Brigade Troop Command, and Human Resource Assignments, including the organization’s Human Resource Officer responsible for managing the Army and Air National Guard’s diverse full-time force. His last assignment before retirement was as Chief of the Joint Staff.

Runyon is Human Resources Director for Flaherty Legal, a litigation firm with several offices throughout West Virginia. Runyon is also the West Virginia State Director of Selective Service, a member of the Charleston Catholic High School Advisory Council, a member of the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network Organizational Management Committee, and President of the Board of Directors at ABLE Families – a non-profit agency serving children and families in Mingo County.

Adam Truex – Ohio County. Adam Truex served as a Cryptologic Technician in the U.S. Navy’s Cryptologic Warfare Community. He retired honorably as Chief Petty Officer after 21 years of combined active and reserve duty service. 

Adam is the Assistant Executive Director for the Ohio Mid-Eastern Regional Education Service Agency (OME-RESA), where he leads the agency’s business and service operations in support of 56 school districts throughout 13 counties within southeast Ohio. Adam has served over two years on the Helping Hero’s board of directors and is the Northern Panhandle Veterans Council (NPVC) treasurer. Adam earned his bachelor’s degree in business leadership administration and his master’s degree in organizational leadership from West Liberty University, where he is also an adjunct professor for the School of Professional Studies.

Megan Ilnicky – Jefferson County. Megan Ilnicky, a former Marine,  is the program manager for the Veteran Support Program in the U.S. State Department. 

In her role, she ensures that veterans, active military personnel, military families, and spouses of service members who have either worked at the State Department - and also those who are newly hired receive the help and assistance they need. Her role includes making formal policy recommendations to help veterans employed by or who retired from the State Department. 

Following her transition from the Marine Corps to civilian life in 2004, Ilnicky worked for the U.S. Congress Chief Administration Office, Wounded Warrior Program.

Jeff Elkins –  Jackson County. ​Jeff Elkins is a native of Jackson County, where he graduated from Ravenswood High School in 1977. He enlisted in the US Navy in December 1976 on the Delayed Entry Program, and after high school graduation, he entered Naval Recruit Training in Great Lakes, IL, on June 23, 1977. Jeff enjoyed a 30-year career with the US Navy, retiring in December 2008 as a Master Chief Master At Arms.

While on active duty, he served 28 of his 30 years in Navy Law Enforcement and Corrections and attended and graduated from the Dallas County, TX Sheriff’s Academy; Master Chief Elkins is a Veterans of Foreign Wars Gold Legacy Life Member of Jackson County Post 6669 in Ravenswood, WV. Additionally, he is the 1st Vice Commander of American Legion Post 107 in Ripley, WV, a member of the Jackson County Honor Guard, a member of the Jackson County Vets4Vets organization, and a current Committee Member for the Jackson County Hunting Heroes in Ripley, WV.

Jeff served in various positions with the VFW here in WV, culminating in his election as the VFW WV State Commander 2021-2022. In June 2022, Jeff was appointed by Gov Jim Justice to the WV Veterans Council.  

Master Chief Elkins resides in Jackson County, just outside Ripley, WV.​

Jan Unger – Berkeley County. Jan Unger, a native of Martinsburg, retired from the West Virginia Air National Guard Nurse Corps as a lieutenant colonel. Before joining the Guard in 1989 as a Flight Nurse/Medical Technician Specialist, she had already established herself as a highly successful professional in high-level leadership roles in the banking industry. During Unger’s career, she deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn - logging hundreds of flight hours transporting wounded service members from various parts of Iraq and Afghanistan to further definitive care and providing direct patient care during transport, often for those who were seriously ill and critically injured in combat. Among her awards are the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, and the Aerial Achievement Medal. Unger worked as a nurse at several medical centers, including the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, where she also later worked as a nurse recruiter. 

Before her military career, she served as the Assistant Vice-President of the Mortgage Lending Department at Shenandoah Federal Savings and Loan and Vice-President of the Residential Lending Department at Old National Bank. Unger holds degrees, including an Associate of Science in Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Administration—all from Shepherd University. Unger is a member of the American Nurses Association, West Virginia Nurses Association, and National Nursing Honor Society – Sigma Theta Tau International. 

Additionally, she is the Exalted Ruler of the Martinsburg Elks Lodge, where she has been a member since 2006. She is also a member of the American Legion Post 14 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 896 in Martinsburg.

Kevin Gregory – Braxton County. Kevin F. Gregory is a 1986 Braxton County High School graduate from Ireland, West Virginia. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army on June 3, 1988, following his graduation from Georgia Military College. He received a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Fairmont State University before entering active duty in 1990. 

Gregory’s 29-year career included various command leadership positions at every level. His operational deployments include Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Hungary, and three years of combat operations in Iraq. His many awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Iraq Campaign Ribbon with four Stars.

Gregory owns and operates Eagle Land Transformation, LLC., specializing in Wildlife Habitat Management Consulting and Services and Excavation Services. He writes weekly articles on wildlife for the Braxton County Citizens News and enjoys outdoor activities with his friends and family. 

Gregory is a board member of the Pleasant Hill Waterline Association, President of the Ireland Lions Club, Secretary for the West Virginia Retired Military Council, member of the Fort Knox Soldier for Life Retiree Council, and assistant coach for the Braxton County Lady Eagles Softball Team. Additionally, he serves on the Braxton County Board of Education.