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.

Ronald Hope, National Commander

Honored to Serve

Friends, we’ve had a busy year. We’re going to get busier.

As our weary nation winds down from combat operations after nearly 13 years of war, those veterans will be making that very challenging transition that we’ve all experienced ourselves. The transition out of uniform and back to civilian life is difficult, but that’s where DAV is at its best.

Helping veterans make that transition often begins with our service officers, and I’m very proud to say I spent 31 years as a National Service Officer (NSO).

This past year, when Washington, D.C., couldn’t stop squabbling and playing partisan politics, the government, as you all will remember, shut down. Many of our NSO offices are located inside VA regional offices, and this could have presented a problem.

I cannot tell you how proud I am that, even though the government shut down, DAV’s services to veterans and their families did not. Our NSOs  developed a “Plan B,” and many worked out of our Mobile Service Offices, overcoming any obstacles necessary to carry out their mission.  Department and Chapter Service Officers also stepped up, ensuring veterans weren’t left behind.

We have busy times ahead, as we continue the fight for passage of the Putting Veterans Funding First Act. This will ensure that much-needed equipment and infrastructure at VA medical facilities is available and, in the event of another government shutdown, that pension and disability compensation will not be stopped for those who’ve sacrificed for our nation.

DAV knows our partners at the VA operate the largest health care system in the country and offer some of the finest health care in the world. We know they have our veterans’ best interests at heart, although the actions of a few individuals have made it a challenging year for our partners at the VA.

The bottom line is that you can’t effectively run any organization with inadequate funding, and DAV will continue to advocate before Congress to fully fund the VA so it can provide quality health care to our men and women who served. They deserve nothing less.

I’m also proud to say I plan to keep moving forward with our mission to respond to the unique care and health issues of women veterans. Not very long ago, the word “veteran” was a purely masculine term. It’s not that way anymore. Our female soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coast
guardsmen are serving in the same dangerous areas as their brothers-in-arms. And many come home with visible or nonvisible injuries that alter their lives forever.

We have many fights ahead of us, but none of us has ever backed away from a fight we’ve been called to while wearing the nation’s uniform. Now I urge you to stand with DAV in the battles we face in the year ahead.

Let your local community leaders, stakeholders, elected officials and local congressional delegates know about veterans’ issues in your own backyards. Access our Commander’s Action Network on DAV’s website, and tell your elected national representatives where you stand on veteran-related issues.

Finally, go out and find that man or woman who is about to leave the military or has recently transitioned, and tell them about us. Many have no idea that they’ve earned benefits through their service, and we can help.

I look forward to working with you all this year. It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as your National Commander, and I pledge to work tirelessly to ensure your voices are heard as we continue our mission of more than 90 years of service to the men and women who raised their hands, said, “Send me” and went forward to conduct America’s business when called.

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