The DAV (Disabled American Veterans) National Commander’s Award for Outstanding Disabled Veteran’s Outreach Program Specialist has been awarded to Jared Smith, of Marietta, Ohio. The award will be formally presented Aug. 4 at the DAV 98th National Convention in Orlando, Florida.
Smith—an Army Reserve veteran—is an outreach specialist with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, where he provides services to meet the employment needs of eligible veterans, including homeless and disabled veterans with significant barriers to employment.
In 2018, Smith helped 43 veterans gain and sustain employment with a 98 percent retention rate. Nearly half of the veterans he placed were disabled.
Smith also established a clothing drive for the local veteran community through a partnership with the Marietta Noon Lion’s Club called VET Threads. VET Threads provides veterans with business clothes for job interviews, as well as professional work attire to get them started in their next career.
“It’s not easy to appropriately convey the sheer amount of passion, care, concern and drive that is involved with everything Jared does for our veteran community,” said Sarah Tome, program delivery supervisor for the State of Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. “He is dedicated and loyal in his service to his fellow veterans.”
Smith is an active life member of DAV Chapter 52 in Whipple, Ohio, where he serves as the social media chair and assists with recruiting for DAV and the DAV Auxiliary.
“Jared is one of the most committed outreach specialists out there,” said DAV National Commander Dennis Nixon. “His passion for serving fellow disabled veterans is genuine and embodies the values of DAV and the veteran community. He fights so hard to make sure the veterans he meets are never left behind. He is truly deserving of this recognition.”
Photos and media 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 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.