A Legacy of Service, Hope for the Future
DAV is the most long-lasting veterans advocacy and assistance group in this country. We’ve watched this country change and grow, and we’ve grown along with it. However, DAV has never wavered in its core mission to fulfill our country’s promises to the men and women who served. We invite everyone, veterans and civilian, men and women, young and old, to join us as we stand up for those veterans who risked it all when they stood up for us, our country, and our ideals.
J. Marc Burgess, National Adjutant
A Lesson from Aristotle
As we prepare for the coming year and what it has in store for us, I am reminded of a time-honored adage: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
For me, it means that when you add together all the parts of something, it becomes greater than it seems possible. Just like teamwork—people working together are able to accomplish more when their individual efforts are added together.
And that’s how I view this great organization of ours. Time and again, it has been proven that we can do so much more together—National, Departments, Chapters and the Auxiliary—than individually. Just look at our Transportation Network. Together, we purchase dozens of vans every year and donate them to the VA. Our Hospital Service Coordinators manage the often complex operations and scheduling at VA medical facilities across the country. And our DAV and Auxiliary volunteer drivers take veterans to and from their medical appointments.
If we didn’t all work together to provide this valuable service, it would be complete chaos.
Another fine example of DAV teamwork is our far-reaching service program, with our Chapter Service Officers, Department Service Officers, Transition Service Officers and National Service Officers each playing a vital and essential role.
One of our most impressive legislative victories is advance appropriations for veterans health care. It would not have been possible without the teamwork of our grassroots advocacy, including the DAV Commander’s Action Network, which provides our members with very effective tools
to influence public policy.
Our fraternal leadership put forward the advance funding national resolution, which was adopted by our membership at three consecutive national conventions. Our professional staff then had a mandate to seek and advocate for legislation to accomplish this goal for VA health care.
Getting the law passed was a top priority for our Departments, Chapters and Units. By urging individual members to contact their congressional delegations and explain why the budget reform was necessary, they collectively generated more than 11,000 email messages to lawmakers.
Meanwhile, your staff in Washington pulled together an unusual coalition of veterans and military organizations that mobilized their own grassroots networks to join our cause.
So, yes, Aristotle knew what he was talking about when he said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That is how we get things done in our organization. That’s what makes us so effective as advocates for those we serve.
We’ll need that kind of synergy in the months ahead, as we fight to take the politics out of funding for all the VA’s programs and services. Our goal is to get legislation enacted to fund the remainder of the VA’s accounts a year in advance. It is a battle worth waging and one we can win working
together—National, Departments, Chapters, Units and individual members at all levels of our organization.
If you want to find out more about the National Adjutant, you can find his biography here.