All Americans who raised their right hands and joined our nation’s military have their own personal reasons to do so. Motivation to serve can be as varied as the individual personalities that make up the all-volunteer force.
What they have in common is a willingness to serve, and our job as DAV members—and recruiters—is to help veterans discover the reasons why joining a veterans service organization like ours can be a great way to continue serving one’s country.
In the military, duty came with myriad benefits, such as the ability to travel, free health care and the chance to pursue a higher education. But for many, one of the most important benefits was being part of something greater than themselves.
At DAV, I see the benefit of introducing veterans and their families to the multitude of free programs we offer. So perhaps instead of asking potential members simply to attend a meeting or pay to join, why not ask them some questions: Have you ever filed a VA claim? How is the claim going? Has the situation worsened? Did you know you could file again if it has gotten worse? Do you currently have a job? Do you feel that you are properly employed? Have you ever needed a ride to a VA appointment?
If we can explain and demonstrate the tangible benefits of membership that stretch beyond lending their voice to our legislative initiatives or attending a meeting, I believe we can “hook” more potential members.
Many veterans are unemployed or feel that they are underemployed, and they may find the right career fit through one of DAV’s job fairs. Many veterans may need help with their claims or understanding their benefits, and our trained and professional service officers are on hand to help. Some veterans may need assistance getting to their medical appointments, and the DAV Transportation Network can help meet those needs. If advocacy interests prospective members, we can and always will want them to strengthen our voice on Capitol Hill. Maybe some veterans only want to volunteer and help their fellow veterans, and through DAV’s numerous volunteer opportunities—especially our Local Veterans Assistance Program—we can help.
We understand the challenges veterans face, and that is why, when speaking with a potential member, we must illustrate the whole picture of DAV’s mission and services. From securing earned benefits and providing transportation to operating an employment program and supporting volunteer initiatives, DAV helps veterans and gives us the opportunity to serve in meaningful ways.
And as you’re out there recruiting, don’t forget to work smarter and not harder. Be sure to leverage the online membership tool from your smartphone.
For instructions on how to download the membership icon, please visit dav.org/learn-more/news/2016/working-smarter-not-harder.