David W. Riley, National Commander

To live by our words

DAV life member and President  John F. Kennedy once said,   “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

In my mind, this is the very soul of why DAV exists. We have all watched the political process in this nation unfold in recent months, culminating in the election of a new president in November. Whether we find the results favorable or otherwise as individual voters, one fact is indisputable—candidates from both sides of the aisle spent a lot of time discussing issues that affect veterans.

Now, as newly elected leaders take their place in office, I’m asking for your help in ensuring that they also live by their words. All too often, the needs of veterans and their families get a lot of attention during the campaign season and then get swept aside once the elections are over.

It’s my intent to stop this cycle, and I hope you’ll enter the fray with me.

There are a few ways we can combine our efforts. One is to become involved in DAV CAN (Commander’s Action Network) at DAVCAN.org. With a few clicks of a button, you can tell elected representatives from your community where we collectively stand on issues that affect ill and injured veterans and keep abreast of legislative issues important to our cause.

My voice alone, even as your national commander, is not enough. Experience shows it takes many loud and powerful voices to get our government’s attention, and we certainly have the numbers to move mountains.

One great opportunity to share our collective and commanding voice is at the 2017 Mid-Winter Conference in Washington, D.C., in February. If you’re able, I hope you will meet me there.

I will deliver testimony to Congress about issues affecting our veterans and their families, and it would be my privilege for us to stand united before our lawmakers. Keep an eye on dav.org for further information on scheduling.

I’m looking forward to continuing our momentum in 2017, and I’m very proud to have you with me as we continue this journey. Let’s ensure, as a country, we live by our words regarding how our nation cares for those who sacrificed.


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