RENO, Nev. – The DAV (Disabled American Veterans) National Commander’s Award for Outstanding Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration Employee of the Year has been awarded to Kirt Sickels of Iowa. The award will be formally presented at the DAV and DAV Auxiliary 97th National Convention July 15 in Reno, Nevada.
Sickels, a Navy veteran and DAV life member, started his VA career in April 1986 and has combined federal service of more than 36 years. Since 2008, Sickels has served as Director for the National Disabled Veterans Training, Exposure, Experience (TEE) Tournament, an adaptive sporting event co-hosted by DAV.
In addition to the TEE Tournament, which he helped start 25 years ago, Sickels directs two other programs for his fellow disabled veterans; the GIVE Program and Veterans Casting Away Disabilities. GIVE—Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere—is a program that started in 2007 and provides five sessions of golf lessons for veterans taught by PGA professionals. They also keep the veteran participants active throughout the season playing golf.
Veterans Casting Away Disabilities is a weeklong therapeutic rehabilitative adaptive fishing event, which is now in its 18th year.
In addition to his full-time position at VA, for nearly 20 years Sickles has served his home community of West Liberty, Iowa, as a volunteer firefighter and Advanced-EMT.
“Kirt served honorably in the U.S. Navy, but that was truly just the beginning of a life committed to service,” said DAV National Commander Delphine Metcalf-Foster. “He has dedicated himself to his fellow veterans through more than three decades of service at the VA and balances this alongside volunteering significantly in his community.”
Sickels has served and continues to serve on numerous committees advocating for veterans and their families, and has spent his career assisting and mentoring the men and women who served about available resources.
For interested media, photos or media may be 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 families and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with more than 1 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932.