Donald Stockton

Name: Donald Stockton

Branch: Navy

Years Served: 2000-2004 (active) 2008-2016 (reserve)

Rank: E-6 

Military Occupation: Boatswain’s Mate (active) Steelworker (reserve)

Hometown: Klamath Falls, OR

Twitter Handle: @WallaceTheRed

Tell us a little about you outside of the military: 

  • I currently work as the Director of Veteran Student Services at the Oregon Institute of Technology working to ensure the success of service members, veterans, and their family members while they pursue their goals in higher education. 
  • Previously, I was a Program Specialist for the Department of Veterans Affairs through the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) initiative at the Reno VA Medical Center for nearly 10 years working to ensure that veterans pursuing higher ed were also effectively accessing all their earned VA benefits.  
  • I’ve been working hard to support my family, pursuing my own higher education goals, and ensuring that I am a supportive member of my community. 
  • I was very proud to be selected by my peers to take over as the Chair of the Klamath County Veterans Advisory Council in January of 2024 after only 1 year as a member at large.  In this role I work to effectively coordinate county resources and the resources of our members to most efficiently serve veterans and families that are in need.
  • In December of 2023, I graduated from George Mason University with a Masters in Economics, providing very valuable tools to be a highly effective steward of resources at my disposal and eventually teach econ to undergraduate students. 

Why are you joining the IAVA Cavalry?

  • IAVA has been working to advocate on behalf of our generation of veterans for many years.  What has made me most excited to get involved with the Cavalry was the development of IAVA’s policy priorities that included the insights of its membership.  Chief among those for myself is the commitment to ensure accountability for our elected officials in reference to our overseas military operations, while opening options for service members and veterans to access treatments to treat the visible and invisible wounds of war has inspired me to join the fight to keep these initiatives moving forward.  

How did your military experience shape you to be the person you are today? 

  • Serving in the Navy was the transformative experience that I needed as a young man.  My family had provided an upbringing free of poverty or major socioeconomic challenge, but that created a need for some kind of conditions to help me build resiliency and discipline. Being stationed onboard one of our nation’s most formidable weapons of war supporting the invasion of Iraq and then transitioning to serve with the Naval construction force to support troops on the ground in Afghanistan exposed me to the world outside our borders, provided opportunities to improve the lives of American troops and our allies overseas, and learning about the people and cultures far from home.
  • I try hard every day to bring the most positive aspects of service into my post-military life while working with the services available to mitigate the challenges of service-related disability. 

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you believe is the most pressing? Why?

  • Reform or Repeal of our Authorizations of Military Force is essential to the health of our country and military. The provisions outlined in our constitution secure the power to make war in the hands of the people, which must be restored so we can effectively defend ourselves and our allies without straining our military and its personnel. 
  • We have a duty to ensure our military stands ready to meet any threat, then ensure that those who serve are made whole once they have completed their mission. The societal and economic impacts of perpetual warfare will continue to compound until our country is faced with a crisis where we must make difficult choices about the use of our resources at home and abroad, including whether we can afford to take care of those who serve.

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you have the strongest personal connection to? Why?

  • The AUMF’s were the means with which I and so many other IAVA members were deployed after 9/11/2001.  What I would not have expected was that my baby brother, who is 12 years my junior, would have been deployed to the same theaters of war that I was.  For other families, it may be mothers and fathers sending their sons and daughters to fight in the wars they fought in.  I feel it is our responsibility to ensure that our representatives are held accountable for their oaths as those who have served were held to account for theirs.
  • Our use of force overseas has been a major opportunity cost to our economy for nearly 25 years. Reform of these authorizations will ensure that we can avoid more intergenerational conflict, increase readiness, and bring resources back home where we can put them to use building healthy communities for future generations.


Our country has an obligation to fulfill its promise to honor and support vets. Make a donation today to help IAVA fulfill its mission to connect, unite, and empower post-9/11 veterans.

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