Ryan P. "Gump” Forrest was elected Senior Vice Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1419 in 2022.
He served in the United States Air Force from 1992 to 1998 and in the New York Air National Guard from 1998 to 2022, earning his VFW eligibility by serving in Operations Enduring Freedom. In recognition of his service, he received the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Award with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with two Service Stars, , Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Longevity Service with five Oak Leaf Clusters, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with three 'M' Devices with one Hourglass Device, USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with one Service Star, AF Training Ribbon with one Oak Leaf Cluster, NATO Medal
He joined the VFW in 2019 at Post 1419 in Hamburg, NY, where he maintains his Life Membership. He served as Junior Vice Commander prior to taking his current post. He has also served as the Chapter Treasurer for the Combat Veteran Motorcycle Association® 19-6 since 2019 and the Treasurer for the Region 9 Youth Archery & Sportsmen's Camp since it’s inception in 2022.
Gump worked for the 107th Attack Wing as the Wing Inspector General from 2018 until he retirement in 2022. During his latest deployment in 2020, he served as the Deputy Group Commander of the 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group. Prior to this, he was the Commander of the 107th Civil Engineer Squadron starting in 2013.
Gump is currently employed as an Outside Sales Engineer for Siewert Equipment. He and his two children reside in Orchard Park, NY