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.
Joseph W. Johnston, National Commander
Veterans Helping Veterans
It should come as no surprise, following the major announcements and upheavals concerning veterans and our military during the past year, that we now find ourselves with many new challenges and opportunities in the areas of service, advocacy and volunteerism.
We are walking through a rapidly changing landscape. Budget concerns constantly brew beneath the surface, increasingly bubbling over into the veterans’ community. Uncertainties within the Defense Department have given way to an “everything-on-the-table” approach to modernization, and many service members have already found themselves making the transition to civilian life much sooner than anticipated. Joblessness still plagues our men and women coming home, and many still are not getting access to their earned services and benefits.
Every DAV member has a critical role to play in this dynamic climate, and we can all identify ways to be more personally effective in fulfilling this organization’s mission by giving our time and expertise.
Our membership base and national leaders once again made a tremendous showing of solidarity on Capitol Hill during the 2014 Mid-Winter Conference, and the momentum should by no means stop there. I am always heartened by our activities during the conference. They provide a great surge of attention toward critical veterans’ issues, but I know we all have so much more to give of our time, compassion and ingenuity throughout the year.
By staying active at the local community level, we keep an important focus on the fact that veterans do not have to take on transition alone. Don’t let people wonder what DAV is all about. Go out into the community and tell them.
Earlier this year, the VA announced that the suicide rate has decreased among male veterans ages 35 to 64. But for those ages 18 to 29, the rate rose 44 percent between 2009 and 2011. Our youngest veterans are desperately in need of engagement, purpose and fulfillment. More seasoned veterans, some for whom this year will mark the 70th anniversary of the World War II Normandy landings and the liberation of Europe, may now require additional care or assistance from a fellow veteran.
We know how difficult the road home can be, for we have walked it before. At any time and at any age, we are here to serve each other. Among so much uncertainty for our veterans today, let’s continue to make DAV the constant. funding and other benefits are still in question. This is not an acceptable way to treat the men and women who served and sacrificed for this nation, and we need to make sure our lawmakers hear that message directly from us.
If want to find out more about the National Commander, you can find his biography here.