Tom Burke volunteered for the Navy in 1963. Serving at various duty stations, he was assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One at Imperial Beach, California. Assigned to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hancock in 1966, he served in HC-1’s on-board detachment. He was honorably discharged in 1969. He is an active member of the AMVETS, American Legion, and a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Tom Burke’s start with VVA was as the Vice President of Chapter 857 in New Philadelphia, Ohio, ultimately serving four terms as their President. He was elected as State Council President of Ohio in 2006 and is now serving his fourth term. He is a Life Member of VVA. He was elected to the National Board of Directors at large in 2009. He has served on various national committees including, Chair of the Public Affairs committee, Chair of Finance sub-committee on Investment, Vice Chair of the Government Affairs committee, First Vice President of the Council of State Council Presidents, Vice Chair of the Veterans Incarcerated committee, member of the National Finance committee, and member of the National Leadership Conference committee among others.
He has come to believe that no one person can accomplish all things, but standing together they can accomplish more than any of them may realize as individuals. He has previously served as the National President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary of a National transportation organization in the eighties with a membership at that time of 50, 000.