Dennis R. Nixon, National Commander
Ushering 2018 successes into the new year
Happy New Year! I truly hope your holidays were full of joy and happiness alongside your loved ones—and that you are prepared to start the year with energy and a renewed focus. We often get so busy with the tasks ahead we forget to reflect on our accomplishments and thank those who helped make them happen.
As a direct result of your advocacy efforts, last year brought us several important legislative victories. We saw the passage of more than 16 bills aimed at improving health care services and benefits for ill and injured veterans, including the landmark VA MISSION Act (Public Law 115-182). DAV’s key legislative priorities—focusing on reform and modernization of the Department of Veterans Affairs health care and benefits systems, expansion of comprehensive caregiver benefits and improved services for our nation’s women veterans—took front row center as we saw many years of hard work come to fruition.
Congress also passed, and the president signed, a number of other bills, including legislation to improve disability benefits delivery; expand eligibility for the VA’s Specially Adaptive Housing program; allow totally disabled veterans access to commissary and exchange privileges and space-available travel on Department of Defense aircraft; assess long-term care options for veterans with war-related injuries; and provide a 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment increase for veterans disability compensation, just to name a few.
It truly was a record year, and I want to personally thank our Benefits Protection Team leaders and all of you who contributed to our many successes. I was so pleased to see the number of bills enacted this year that were directly born out of DAV resolutions submitted and approved by DAV members. It is a testament to our determination and doggedness when it comes to making sure that our nation keeps the promises that have been made to those who served.
I am very proud and humbled to lead an organization with such incredible members who continue to serve in so many ways. With a unified voice, we protect and improve the benefits we have earned and help ensure elected officials truly understand the sacrifices made by those who have served—and the subsequent lifelong needs of disabled veterans, their families and caregivers.
I hope you will all join me on Capitol Hill in February at our mid-winter conference as I present DAV’s legislative priorities before the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees. I look forward to the year ahead and continuing to serve you as we pursue more victories for veterans. The road won’t be easy, but together we will get it done. Let’s get to work.
If you want to find out more about the National Commander, you can find his biography here.