DAV Needs your help identifying opportunities for seminars, MSO locations
DAV’s National Service Program represents more than 1 million veterans and more than 300,000 active claims before the Department of Veterans Affairs annually. Last year, DAV helped veterans, their families and survivors receive $4.04 billion in new and retroactive benefits—up from $3.7 billion in 2014.
Still more veterans are in need of help, especially among underserved communities like student veterans and areas distant from VA regional offices, so DAV has set its sights on increasing outreach yet again with more stops in 2016.
DAV wants to offer more benefits seminars and log even more miles with the Mobile Service Offices (MSOs), but needs feedback from members and communities to help make this happen.
“We need those who care about veterans to reach out to us, to help identify places where our mobile offices and seminars could do the most good,” said National Service Director Jim Marszalek. “There are still far too many people across the country who have earned benefits through military service but don’t know how or are otherwise unable to obtain those benefits. So we’re going to increase our efforts in order to reach everyone who needs us.”
As with all services DAV offers, these are free of charge. Also, veterans do not need to be DAV members to take advantage of these services.
DAV set up its mobile offices in over 800 different locations in 2015, concentrating largely on rural areas and many colleges and university campuses. While DAV offices are typically centrally located, they aren’t always easy for veterans to visit due to distance, transportation, health and other reasons. So the outreach goal is to take these mobile offices where they can have the greatest impact, especially in new places.
“When we go to veterans where they live, we increase their access to benefits and help keep the promise that is at the core of DAV’s mission,” Marszalek said. “In the past year, mobile offices traveled 104,662 miles, serving 17,769 veterans and their families during these stops.”
Additionally, DAV Service Officers across the nation provide free information seminars on veterans benefits. These seminars include a comprehensive rundown of what benefits are available through the VA and other government agencies. They last about an hour, can be held just about anywhere and accommodate groups of all sizes. DAV’s free services are offered at these events, and veterans can connect with an advocate and arrange to get the claims process started.
“The work of DAV’s National Service Officers extends well beyond their offices and deep within the veteran community,” Marszalek said. “Our seminars empower veterans and their families with great information on what benefits are available, how eligibility is determined and what to do to obtain these important services.”
There are many veterans just starting to learn what they have earned through their military service. DAV is committed to enhancing their lives through outreach, education and advocacy.
“Our NSOs work directly with veterans, family members and survivors one on one every day in our offices, but they also put in the time to go into their communities and help veterans,” Marszalek said. “This is an opportunity for an individual or local organization to make a huge difference in the lives of those who served and their families by simply making a call.”
Learn more online
If you would like to request a free benefits seminar or MSO stop in your community, contact the office closest to you. You can find that office as well as an up-to-date calendar of already scheduled events at dav.org/veterans.