WWII veteran recognized for lifetime of service

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After 65 years of aiding veterans, DAV Department of Virginia says ‘thank you’ to Arnold Sells.

For World War II Army veteran Arnold Sells, service to the country he loves didn’t end after 40 months inthe military, but after 65 years of continued service tohis fellow veterans through DAV.

In December, Sells received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from DAV Chapter 10 in Fairfax, Va., for more than six decades of service, membership and compassion.

Sells grew up in Tennessee and enlisted in the Army in 1941. Assigned to the 101st Airborne as an Army Ranger, he was a part of Operation Market Garden during the invasion into the Netherlands. After his combat tour in Europe ended with shrapnel wounds, hereturned home to recuperate.

He received claims assistance from DAV and became a life member in 1949. Sells soon realized the need for DAV service in Northern Virginia and banded together his fellow veterans to start DAV Chapter 10 in 1950. Heis the lone surviving charter member.

“Arnold Sells has given many years of himself to assist so many veterans across Virginia,” said Jim Procunier, Past Department of Virginia Commander. “He is truly a unique blend of leadership, dedication and compassion.”

In 1955, Sells was unanimously elected to be Commander of DAV Department of Virginia and has held an elected or appointed position in DAV consistently over the past six decades.

“For many, many years all of my energy and time was spent in some sort of service to DAV,” said Sells. “And I’ve enjoyed every minute of my association with DAV.”

Sells continued his service to the organization when he was elected as a member of the National Executive Committee for two years. In addition, he served one year as the Department Adjutant and was elected 13 years in a row as the Department Chaplain.

Throughout the years, Sells has garnered a wealth of knowledge and a thorough understanding of DAV and has always been willing to assist and mentor newmembers.

“Arnold was such a big influence and mentor in my involvement with DAV and knowing the history,” said Past National Commander Rob Reynolds, who credits Sells for inspiring him to lead within the organization. “It has been an honor to have had the opportunity to share and learn so much from him in the past quarter ofa century.”

Over the past 65 years, Sells has impacted the lives of countless veterans and influenced DAV to a degree that’s impossible to measure, and his impact will be felt within DAV for many years to come.

“The legacy of service that was started in 1950 by Arnold Sells will extend far beyond him,” said Procunier.“It has and will continue with the service of those he watched, advised and mentored. And those of us that he took under his wing, and the entire DAV organization, are much better because of him.”

“This has been a wonderful, wonderful journey,” said Sells. “I have made a lot of good and loyal friends, and for that I am very appreciative. It means everything to me. I am just speechless. How can I thank everyone for this recognition and award? I justreally appreciate it.”