The following information is intended to inform membership on the announced candidates for national office. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by DAV National Headquarters of any candidate to the exclusion of others who may stand for election. DAV members may announce their candidacy at any time, up to and including the time of election at our 2018 DAV National Convention July 14–17 in Reno, Nev.


Dennis R. Nixon

National Senior Vice Commander Dennis Nixon, of China Spring, Texas, is a combat-wounded veteran of the Vietnam War. After medical retirement from the Marine Corps in 1970, Nixon became a DAV national service officer—also one of DAV’s first national area supervisors—and dedicated 36 years to helping his fellow veterans obtain the benefits they earned.

Since retirement, Nixon has continued to serve as a volunteer, assisting in the certification training of department and chapter service officers, as well as mentoring service officer apprentices in the national service office in Waco, Texas.

Nixon has served in various leadership capacities at both the chapter and department levels, including adjutant. He currently serves as the vice chairman for DAV’s board of directors. He is also the judge advocate for the Department of Texas. He has served on the National Executive Committee and was a member of the DAV Charitable Service Trust board of directors.

A life member of Chapter 20 in Fort Worth, Texas, Nixon has been active in DAV for 44 years.

He is seeking election to higher office.

Stephen “Butch” Whitehead

Stephen Whitehead is DAV’s national 1st junior vice commander. He is a service-connected disabled veteran who retired this year from the Minnesota Army National Guard at the rank of command sergeant major.

He is a DAV life member of Chapter 10 in Mankato, Minn., and is an active leader in his chapter. Whitehead is currently serving as adjutant for the Department of Minnesota as well as chair on multiple department-level committees.

Whitehead is seeking election to higher office.

Donald Day

Donald Day is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served during the Vietnam era. During his time on active duty, he had tours in Europe and Southeast Asia. He currently serves as DAV’s national 2nd junior vice commander.

Day is a life member of DAV Chapter 28 in Brooklyn, N.Y. He has been active with DAV at the chapter, department and national levels. Presently, he is chapter adjutant and serves as treasurer for the Department of New York. Day is the past department commander and served as chairman of the National Convention Credentials Committee. He is an inductee of the New York Senate Veterans Hall of Fame and has served as chief street marshal of the Kings County Memorial Day Parade. He is also a certified court mentor at the Brooklyn Veterans Court and earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Rochelle in New York.

Day is seeking election to higher office.

Andy Marshall

Andy Marshall, a combat-disabled Army veteran of the Vietnam War, is currently DAV’s national 3rd junior vice commander and the DAV Department of Florida adjutant. He has been a life member of DAV Chapter 4 in Tampa, Fla., since 1975.

Marshall, who retired from DAV as a national service office supervisor in St. Petersburg, Fla., was one of DAV’s first national area supervisors and has held multiple leadership positions during his 41 years with the organization, including judge advocate for the Department of Maryland. He was on the DAV Department of Florida’s finance committee before becoming department commander.

One of only a few non-attorney practitioners to argue before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims while assigned to the DAV Judicial Appeals Office, Marshall argued the case that resulted in the VA’s duty to assist requirements, a landmark decision positively affecting and protecting all veterans trying to obtain benefits from the VA.

Marshall is seeking election to higher office.

Joseph Parsetich

Joe Parsetich is an Air Force combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He represented DAV’s National Executive Committee for the 14th District from 2014 to 2016. He is currently the national 4th junior vice commander for DAV. He has been a chapter service officer since 2009 and is the past DAV Department of Montana commander. He was named Volunteer of the Quarter by the VA in 2010 and still serves on many committees pertaining to veterans’ issues.

He serves as the coordinator as well as mentor for the Veterans Treatment Court; 15 of his veterans have graduated the 18-month program and reintegrated back into society.

In addition to his various duties, he has also served as a DAV volunteer van driver; a member of the Military Funeral Honor Guard in Great Falls, Mont.; and a member of the VA secretary’s Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee.

Parsetich is seeking election to higher office.

Nancy Espinosa

Nancy Espinosa is a service-connected disabled veteran of the U.S. Army. Espinosa joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1975, where she served until joining the active duty Army in 1985. After four years of active duty, she joined the New Mexico Army National Guard until her honorable discharge in 1990.

Upon leaving military service, Espinosa became a life member of DAV. Currently a member of Chapter 14 in Layton, Utah, she is the state’s department commander and a member of the Benefits Protection Team.

She is also an active member of DAV’s Commanders and Adjutants Association, a member of the Veterans Advisory Council for the state of Utah and a commissioner on the Utah Legislative Veterans and Military Affairs Commission. Espinosa currently serves as a member of DAV’s Charitable Service Trust board of directors.

Espinosa is seeking election to national office.

Idalis Marquez

Idalis Marquez is a service-connected disabled veteran who served in the Army National Guard during the Persian Gulf War.

Marquez graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in business management. She joined DAV in 2008 and has served in multiple leadership roles at the chapter, department and national levels. Marquez was the DAV Department of Puerto Rico commander from 2014 to 2016. She also currently serves on DAV’s board of directors and as the National Executive Committee representative for District 6.

Marquez is seeking election to national office.

John Polk

John J. Polk, a combat-disabled Army veteran of the Vietnam War, retired in 1992 after a 20-year career.

Polk graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1973 and worked in the technology field in the Milwaukee area for 25 years. A life member since 1982, he has been heavily involved with DAV since 2005, holding many leadership roles at the local, state and national levels. Polk is the immediate past department commander for the Department of Wisconsin and is currently chairman of the DAV Department of Wisconsin Foundation and is adjutant and treasurer of chapter 19. He also serves as a volunteer driver. He is currently a national deputy chief of staff for the national commander, representing the Department of Wisconsin.

Polk is seeking election to national office.

Michael E. Dobmeier

Michael Dobmeier has served as national judge advocate, advising the National Executive Committee (NEC) and board of directors since 2002. He served as DAV national commander in 1999 and as the 14th District NEC representative in 1994.

Dobmeier enlisted in the Navy in 1969 after graduating from high school. He trained as an engineman; attended the Naval Submarine School in New London, Conn.; and completed Navy Dive School in San Diego.

In April 1972, Dobmeier suffered severe burns on more than 30 percent of his body after an oil heater exploded aboard the submarine USS Trigger. He was discharged later that year and became a life member of DAV Chapter 2 in Grand Forks, N.D. He has since been appointed or elected to nearly every chapter and department office and position and was named the 1985 DAV Outstanding Member of the Department of North Dakota.

Dobmeier is seeking election to another term as national judge advocate.

Michael P. Dover

National Chaplain Michael Dover is a service-connected disabled veteran and DAV life member who has served in a variety of capacities for Chapter 7 in Columbus, Ga., including senior vice commander, adjutant, treasurer, judge advocate and service officer. At the department level, Dover has served as commander and chaplain.

He retired from the Army after 20 years of service. Since then, he has worked as a civilian military trainer and analyst while simultaneously serving as a counselor and chaplain. He recently was inducted into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame for assisting over 10,000 homeless veterans.

An ordained minister and certified chaplain, Dover received his Bachelor of Theology from Christian Life School Seminary and a Bachelor of Science in business management from Liberty University.

Dover is seeking re-election as national chaplain.



Convention registration

You can pre-register for the convention via DAV’s website. There is a $25 registration fee for each delegate, alternate delegate and guest registered who is 18 years of age or older.

Registration badges are required to gain admission to the many activities and functions of the convention. If you plan to attend the line officer dinner, you must make a reservation at the designated booth inside the convention registration room no later than Sunday, July 15, at 4 p.m. Table assignments will be coordinated by DAV for the dinner, and tickets showing your assigned table number may be picked up after the business sessions on Tuesday, July 17, near the entrance of the Summit Pavilion located on the casino level.

Attendees who pre-register will be able to pick up credentials at will call, which will be located in Carson 4 on the casino level of the hotel beginning at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 12. On-site convention registration will be open at the same time and location as will call.

Please visit for more information.