Andy Marshall, Commander

Honored to serve with you

I learned something the hard way in Vietnam back in 1970: “Friendly fire” isn’t friendly at all.

Fortunately, I was able to walk away from the wounds I sustained rather quickly. The next Purple Heart I earned—the result of a Viet Cong booby trap—sidelined me for much longer. My battle that day was over, but I knew there was a long road ahead.

While rehabilitating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, I was introduced to DAV by some veterans who had been down a similar path. Their unexpected presence changed my life.

This great organization showed me that there were others who had been in my shoes, and through their help and camaraderie, disabled veterans like me were able to lead fulfilling lives with respect and dignity.

I became a full life member. I also decided to dedicate my life to DAV as a national service officer, a calling that lasted more than four decades on a full-time basis and continues today. It has given me the opportunity to help my fellow veterans on their long roads ahead as others had done for me.

Just as it has been an honor to spend more than 40 years fighting for our fellow veterans, it’s truly an honor to have been elected to serve beside you as our organization’s national commander. Serving the disabled veteran community is a sacred obligation to our members and future generations of veterans, and I don’t take it lightly.

Whether for women veterans, caregivers, those who have been negatively affected by toxic exposures or any other veteran in need, I share your commitment to ensuring veterans and their families receive the benefits they’ve earned.

But we cannot accomplish this without you on our side, because you are the ones carrying forth our important mission throughout the country.

Many of us have dealt with illness and injuries that changed us decades ago. Many of us know all too well about the cost of war. All of us were changed forever, and the last two years have been burdensome on our community in particular.

Like many of you, I joined the military to become a part of something bigger than myself. I wanted a mission.

Every day, I remain incredibly thankful that DAV came into my life, because it gave me the mission I was looking for—making sure my fellow veterans weren’t left behind.

Your membership and leadership in DAV and our great Auxiliary make you a leader in the veteran community. We are bound to our mission of service to veterans and their families.

I ask you, as leaders, to inspire your fellow veterans and stay current on the issues that affect our community.

Thank you for leading the charge for our organization and fellow disabled veterans. Thank you for bestowing me with this incredible honor and responsibility. I look forward to continuing to serve beside you.

 

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