Dennis R. Nixon, National Commander

Reflecting on 2018, looking ahead to 2019

This time of year is sacred to many because it’s when we take time to reflect on our blessings. We remember the generous and bountiful nature of our great country, and we surround ourselves with loved ones, family and friends.

It is also when we reflect on the meaning and sacrifices behind Veterans Day and what it means to us as disabled veterans.

I often remind myself that when the guns of World War I finally fell silent a century ago, at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, the suffering of our country’s bravest did not end. American service members returned home to a nation that could not, or would not, care for them and live up to the promises it had made.

From the ashes of the greatest human conflict the world had ever seen, our organization was born. We’ve been fighting for veterans and their families ever since.

For example, I’m proud to say we recently released The Veteran Advantage: DAV Guide to Hiring and Retaining Veterans with Disabilities. This is a resource designed to educate employers about the many advantages of hiring disabled veterans who, as we all know, are among the most resilient people in our country. It contains strategies, lessons learned and best practices for hiring and retaining disabled veterans.

In September, we released Women Veterans: The Journey Ahead, a follow-up report to our comprehensive 2014 women veterans study. In this new report, we illustrate how we’re still fighting to ensure appropriate cultural changes in the VA health care system are enacted to adequately care for women veterans. The unique needs of our sisters-in-arms must remain in the foremost thoughts of VA leadership when making these much-needed changes.

And this year, through your assistance and after years of fighting, we are proud to have helped gain passage of the VA MISSION Act, which extends support to thousands of pre-9/11 caregivers. However, we’re still in the fight, and I hope you will join me. All our nation’s severely ill veterans are not covered by this bill, leaving behind thousands of caregivers. Please visit DAV CAN (Commander’s Action Network) and tell your elected representatives this is wrong.

The 2019 Mid-Winter Conference in Arlington, Va., is just around the corner. If at all possible, I urge you to join me in February as I deliver testimony to Congress about issues that are most important to the disabled veteran community.

Thank you for your service and commitment to fellow disabled veterans. I will close 2018 by wishing you and those you hold dear a happy and safe holiday season.

 

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