COLD SPRING, Ky. – The DAV (Disabled American Veterans) National Commander’s Award for Outstanding Disabled Veteran’s Outreach Program Specialist has been awarded to Stephen Ezelle, of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
The award will be formally presented July 30 at the DAV and DAV Auxiliary’s 96th National Convention in New Orleans.
Ezelle is an outreach specialist with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. He developed several unique programs designed to assist veterans in finding fulfilling employment and to combat veteran homelessness. He also works to eradicate veteran recidivism in the local court system as an advisor in the Garland County Arkansas District Court.
“He is my go-to person when it comes to assisting veterans who experience barriers to employment as well as other challenges to sobriety,” said Judge Meredith Switzer Rebsamen of Garland County District Court. “His expertise in assisting our veterans as they seek employment after incarceration and treatment is the value-added approach that most treatment specialty courts are missing.”
The five counties Ezelle serves total 3,654 square miles and are home to nearly 17,000 veterans, according to DAV Department of Arkansas Adjutant John Donovan.
“His tireless efforts provide community outreach and education as well as connect veterans with much-needed services and employment opportunities,” Arkansas State Senator Alan Clark said. “He is a shining example of what it means to dedicate your time and talents in service to others and I believe he is deserving of the Outstanding Disabled Veteran’s (Outreach Program) Specialist Award.”
Ezelle established “Veterans Resource Day,” which is a program that rotates among three counties that targets veterans living in rural areas who need his services. He is also an active member of the Citizens Advisory Board of the VA Clergy, which assists in creating transitional housing for homeless veterans. Ezelle also recently partnered with the Hot Springs, Arkansas Police Department who contact him a when they encounter homeless veterans or veterans in need of outreach or employment services.
“Stephen is easily one of the most committed outreach specialists I have ever heard of,” said DAV National Commander Dave Riley. “His passion for serving fellow veterans is evident and his stellar reputation within his local community is well-deserved.”
Ezelle served four years in the Navy before his honorable discharge in 1983.
Photos and media from the event may be made available upon request.
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; providing employment resources to veterans and their spouses; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a nonprofit organization with nearly 1.3 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U. S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at www.dav.org