Concerned Veterans for America hosting Organizational Event in Sarasota, FL

Sarasota, FL – Concerned Veterans for America will host an organizational event at 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 17, 2012 in in the Gold Coast Eagle Distributing Confernce Room located at 7051 Wireless Court, Sarasota, FL 34240. This open to the public event will education local veterans, their families and interested citizens about Concerned Veterans for America its mission, vision and goals. Light refreshments will be served.

The Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) mission is to advocate for policies that will preserve the freedom and liberty veterans and their families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend. The goal of Concerned Veterans For America is to translate the experience, concerns, and hopes of our fellow veterans and their families into a common vision of liberty and freedom. CVA will provide a new and unique perspective on the issues that threaten to cripple not only our economic and national security, but the spirit of opportunity and liberty that we fought to defend and all Americans cherish. The CVA task will be to bring that fresh perspective to the American people and our leaders.

Gary Berntsen, CVA – Florida Director, notes, “Florida is home to over 1.6 million veterans, which is the largest percentage of veterans of any state in the nation. Florida has twenty-one military bases facing severe ‘sequestration’ cuts on January 1, 2013. Florida has two Constitutional initiatives favoring veterans, their families and orphaned children on the November 6, 2012 ballot. It is time for veterans to stand up and participate in the processes that will determine America’s future.”

“The Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota county area has over 100,000 veterans and their families. Having lead the successful CIA efforts to take down the Taliban in Afghanistan, Sarasota holds a special place in my heart,” Berntsen said.

There is a strong belief at CVA that the freedoms our veterans have defended – that our friends and loved ones suffered and died for – are threatened by the irresponsibility, broken promises, and misguided priorities in Washington. CVA contends that veterans, service-members, and their families are, and will continue to be, disproportionately affected by the current economic crises. Berntsen says, “We must rally to continue fighting as active citizens, just as we fought as soldiers.”


Gary Berntsen, Director of Concerned Veterans for America – Florida, is a decorated former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) career officer who served in the Directorate of Operations between October 1982 and June 2005. During his time at the CIA, he served as a CIA Station Chief on three separate occasions and led several of CIA’s most important counterterrorism deployments including the United States’ response to the East Africa Embassy bombings and the 9/11 attacks. In December 2001, Berntsen served as the Commander of all CIA forces in Eastern Afghanistan and led the agency’s Jawbreaker team in Tora Bora. He was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal in 2000 and the Intelligence Star in 2004. Mr. Berntsen is also a veteran of the United States Air Force.