Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Dave Pickerell.

Dave was born on Aug. 14, 1956, in Fairburn, Ohio. He was an inquisitive child. During family outings, he would often ask his father questions about the machines that he saw at the local factories. Dave was so fascinated with science that by 10 years old, he had already chosen a career path – chemical engineering.

In high school, Dave played football and he received a scholarship from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He majored in chemistry and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1978.

After graduation, Dave completed Calvary Officer’s course and served at Fort Knox, Kentucky. While stationed there, he met Jeannette Harvie. The two eventually married and had four children.

Dave’s next duty station was Fort Carson, Colorado where he served as the Armored Calvary platoon leader in the First Squadron, Tenth Calvary Regiment. He also served as an assistant operations officer, troop executive officer, and logistics officer. Dave returned to Fort Knox, where he was promoted to Captain. He served as a logistics officer and commanded the largest troop in the Army. Under his leadership, his troops revised army training manuals that were later used during the Gulf War. Dave received the Meritorious Service Medal for his efforts.

After leaving the military, Dave began to work in the whiskey industry. He spent 14 years as master distiller at Makers Mark, several years with WhistlePig, and helped consult hundreds of other distillers. Dave passed away from heart failure on November 1.

We honor his service.


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Graphic by Kimber Garland: Kimber is a junior at Indiana University – Bloomington studying International Studies and Korean.

Share this story

Published on Dec. 20, 2018

Estimated reading time is 1.8 min.

Views to date: 86

More Stories

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Stephen W. Pless, who served in the Vietnam War and is the only Marine aviator to be awarded a Medal of Honor during the war.

  • Alan Shepard served in the Navy aboard a destroyer and as a test pilot. He was a member of the NASA Mercury Seven and became the first American to travel into space.

  • Army Veteran Charles W. Whittlesey is a Medal of Honor Recipient and is today’s Veteran of the Day.