Volunteers Make the Difference

Every volunteer we have is priceless to the veterans we serve. Whether you volunteer at the VA, as a DAV Transportation Network Driver or are involved in our Local Veterans Assistance Program, each of you has a huge impact on the many lives you touch.

Let me share a letter we received at National Headquarters that gives some well-deserved credit to our cadre of volunteers.

Mrs. Eunice Thibodeau from Port Angeles, Wash., sent a letter thanking our volunteer drivers for all they have done for her and her veteran husband.

Mrs. Thibodeau is 84 years old, and she told us her husband’s sight is slowly deteriorating. The treatment he receives at the VA clinic in Seattle is too far of a drive for her or her husband to undertake.

She told us her DAV volunteer driver met her husband at their residence at 4:38 a.m. to make the drive to Seattle in time for his eye appointment, which he otherwise would not have been able to make.

While her husband’s eyesight is slowly improving with treatments, his mobility is also impaired. He stays as active as he can – picks up the mail, loads his powered wheelchair while shopping and even gardens – often while supporting himself with two canes.

None of this would be possible without the help of our dedicated volunteers, and while, in this case, the volunteer is a DAV Transportation Network driver, I know every volunteer has a positive effect on veterans and their families.

Mrs. Thibodeau closed her letter by saying at their age; all she and her veteran husband have is “each other.” I would add to that and say they also have DAV’s steadfast volunteers who are giving back to the men and women who served.

I want to personally extend my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of our volunteers. Your hard work extends the gratitude of our fellow Americans for the sacrifices our heroes have made for our way of life. You are the lifeblood of our voluntary services program, and we could not have the positive impact on veterans we continue to have without your dedication, service and leadership in your communities.