As we get closer to wrapping up another membership year of encouraging those in the veteran community to join our DAV family, I want to thank each of you for your help increasing our membership ranks so we can grow into an even stronger fighting force for veterans’ issues on Capitol Hill.

Having seen this in action at this year’s mid-winter conference, I know it’s a vital component to helping ensure veterans get the benefits they’ve earned and deserve. It also reminded me that membership does more than just influence legislative issues.

Membership impacts virtually every DAV program, and in turn, many of the services that we provide help attract new members.

For instance, dues from membership help fund volunteer projects such as the DAV Transportation Network, which helps veterans without transportation get to and from VA medical appointments. Membership dues also help support homeless veteran stand downs and other programs for veterans in need, and also provide training and supplies for local service officers who provide no-cost VA claims assistance.

These services are all free of charge to veterans, many of whom are not DAV members—but who frequently join after seeing what DAV does for them and their communities.

People often want to pay it forward when someone helps them through a tough situation or helps make their lives better. When veterans learn about DAV membership and how their dues support a meaningful mission, they are more inclined to join and help their fellow veterans.

We rely on each other to continue serving and advocating for veterans and their families. As you go about your day in your community, please talk to your fellow veterans about how DAV is able to provide service and assistance to members and nonmembers alike. When they see DAV in action or experience how DAV has made an impact on their lives, they will have a greater understanding of how membership dues help pave the way for all of our services.

Our successes and missions are linked together. Let’s educate our veteran community about DAV and encourage them to join the fight and lend a hand when needed.