Chairman of county veterans commission resigns
Former Prince George's executive candidate gave no reason for departure
Henry Turner, a former Prince George's County executive candidate, resigned after serving two years as chairman of a group created to advocate for county veterans.
Turner, an Upper Marlboro developer and brother of County Council Chairwoman Ingrid Turner (D-Dist. 4) of Bowie, gave no reason for his resignation from the Commission for Veterans in a letter dated May 2.
"I want to thank you for allowing me to serve our 77,000 plus veterans and their families," he wrote.
Turner could not be reached for comment.
Created in 2006, the 13-member commission was tasked to study and advocate for county veterans facing problems with health care, living space and other issues. Prince George's has more former military service members than any other county in the state.
Turner, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, touted his experience in the commission while campaigning for county executive last year. He placed last among five candidates, with 3,272 votes.
All commission members are appointed to three-year terms by the county executive. The terms of half of the commission's current members expire in October 2011; the other half will serve an extra year so that terms will be staggered.
The commission still has a lot of work to do in providing veterans with needed information and resources, said commission member Fred Nordhorn.
"We've started to do what is needed, but there's still a lot to be done," said Nordhorn, who declined to discuss Turner's performance.
Several other commission members did not return phone calls by press time.
In a statement, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D), a Gulf War veteran, wished Turner well.
"I appreciate Henry Turner's service, both in uniform and in supporting Prince George's veterans," Brown said. "He was a strong partner in our efforts on the State level to improve veterans' mental health services and increase employment opportunities, and I wish him the best moving forward."
In Turner's resignation letter, he said the commission was active at ceremonies and in the Maryland General Assembly, and attracted prominent local elected leaders to its meetings on the first Mondays of every month. The group also launched a veterans forum community access program on local cable.
Vice Chairman Gerard Devlin will lead the group until County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) appoints a replacement, Turner wrote in his letter.
Baker could not be reached for comment.