A Legacy of Service, Hope for the Future

DAV (Disabled American Veterans) 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

Engaging opportunities

I have been thinking a lot about our members lately and the dedicated work each of you puts forth in your own communities to help veterans lead better, more fulfilling lives.

It’s humbling how many of you continue to give so much for others, after having already given enormously for your country.

Many of you have asked how best to engage with the newer generation of veterans and wonder how to bring them in and get them involved in DAV’s activities at the local level. I suspect it may be easier than we think.

What most of us have in common, once we leave the military, is a desire to give back and serve others. This is what often led us into service in the first place and what inspired us to get involved with DAV.

We know that the services DAV offers impact lives in dozens of different ways. It’s easy, knowing how successful our current efforts are, to overlook new opportunities to get involved and engage with other veterans. We know the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but consider creative new approaches as ongoing maintenance for our current operations.

Today’s veterans are eager to be active, though they sometimes choose other ways to get involved. What this means for all of us is meeting them on their turf. Don’t wait for them to come to you; seek them out and find creative approaches to invite them to be part of the great organization you have helped create. Something simple, like sponsoring a movie night over pizza, a family barbecue for new veterans and their families, or setting up a recurring community bike ride or hike could bring our newer generation into the fold and share our mission with them.

Are you a member of a local gym? Why not bring along copies of DAV Magazine to leave behind for a fellow veteran to pick up? Or how about handing out information flyers and DAV pamphlets at the end of a community 5K race? Maybe set up a monthly coffee meet-up specifically for women veterans to get together.

We should be exploring all options and expanding beyond our normal comfort zones to share the good work of this organization and give others the opportunity to get involved.

There is a lot of new talent and energy now pouring into our community, and we will only stand to become better as an organization if we work to harness it. And we will only harness it if we take the time to go out and approach our fellow veterans, invite them in, listen to their concerns and hear their fresh, new ideas.

If you want to find out more about the National Adjutant, you can find his biography here.