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.

Ronald Hope, National Commander

DAV advocates for caregivers, women veterans

Excerpts from the National Commander’s Mid-Winter testimony before Congress

As wartime service-disabled veterans, we have a vested interest in supporting the VA—a system dedicated to meeting our needs. Many DAV members have experienced horrific injuries, including limb  loss, paralysis, burns, blindness, brain injury and PTSD. The VA is important to them and all injured and ill veterans.

Despite a difficult year and the many challenges that lie ahead for the VA, VA health care remains a vital resource. In fact, there is no substitute for it.

While we believe the VA can and must address all its administrative and management lapses that led to the access crisis, in our view the core underlying problem has been insufficient resources.

Speaking of resources, last year’s Mid-Winter Conference kicked off Operation: Keep the Promise, a campaign to protect veterans  benefits with advance appropriations. This year’s campaign focuses on issues concerning family caregivers and women veterans.

We recognize and give our unwavering support to the nation’s caregivers. These unsung American heroes often sacrifice their own health, employment and other life goals to care for their loved ones. Family caregivers of veterans have been doing this for decades. Our nation owes them assistance so that they can continue fulfilling their vital role.

We know it costs taxpayers less to provide comprehensive caregiver support in the home than to provide nursing home or other  institutional care. Therefore, we call on Congress to extend support and services to family caregivers of wounded, injured and ill veterans of all service periods. Accordingly, we are pleased to support S. 657, Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2015, introduced
by Sen. [Dick] Durbin.

We are also passionate about ensuring that women veterans receive equal benefits and quality health care from the VA, and that they be properly recognized for the honor of their military service and their contributions to our national defense.

Women are an integral part of the military today and face the same dangers in wartime as men, but federal programs and services do not consistently provide the gender-specific health care and support services they need to aid in their transitions home.

DAV’s comprehensive report, “Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home,” recommends 27 actions needed to improve services to ensure programs are as equally effective for women veterans as they are for men.

We are pleased to support S. 471, the Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act, introduced by Sens. [Dean] Heller and [Patty] Murray. We look forward to working with both committees to pass this and other critical legislation.

As an organization of wounded, injured and ill wartime veterans, we recognize the importance and value of standing together. I hope every member of these committees stands with us and holds close the sincere promises that have been made to help sick and injured veterans heal from their physical and mental wounds and to live their lives with dignity and respect.

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