Meeting of the minds

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Commanders and Adjutants Association offers networking, information sharing for DAV leaders

The annual DAV Commanders and Adjutants Association meeting was held July 10 and 11 at DAV National Headquarters and was attended by 134 state- and national-level leaders.

“Department commanders and adjutants are mission critical to ensure we can continue to serve veterans and their families,” said National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “These men and women are doing the work where it matters most, which is right in their own backyards.”

One of the objectives for this year’s meeting was to show DAV leaders the myriad issues the organization is tackling.

“We covered a ton of topics with our department commanders and adjutants this year,” said National Headquarters Executive Director Barry Jesinoski. “Plus, the networking opportunities alone and exchange of ideas by our leaders make DAV stronger at all levels.”

Seminars included updates on DAV’s public service announcement campaigns, new developments made by the National Employment Department and an overview of DAV’s volunteer efforts and specifically the DAV Transportation Network.

“This was a great opportunity to re-emphasize how vital our Transportation Network is to veterans across the country,” said Voluntary Services Director John Kleindienst. “It continues to be the gold standard for veteran transportation, but we absolutely need to inject new life into the program. These state leaders are the right people for the job.”

“I attended last year as senior vice [commander] for Minnesota, where I started to build networks that helped prepare me when I became commander,” said Department of Minnesota Commander Robert Saddoris. “For me, this year’s orientation was better than last year. The presenters were very knowledgeable, thus I filled my book with notes from each of them. I learned a great deal, which I will share with chapters and others in our state.”

“What’s most important about this annual meeting is the free-flowing information and exchange of ideas,” said current Commanders and Adjutants Association President Danny Oliver. “Any opportunity we have to put all of our leaders in the same room is a good day, and it always strengthens DAV.”

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