The DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Auxiliary has named Kathy Dunham of Belton, Texas, as its top member for 2019. DAV National Commander Dennis Nixon and DAV Auxiliary National Commander Ellen Timmerman will present Dunham the DAV Auxiliary Outstanding Member of the Year award at the organizations’ 98th National Convention Aug. 3 in Orlando, Florida.
The award recognizes contributions and dedication to ill and injured veterans and their families.
Dunham is a founding member of DAV Auxiliary Unit #22 in Nolanville, Texas, holding numerous leadership positions during her membership. She is involved with the organization’s Transportation Network—a nationwide program that provides free transportation to Veterans Affairs medical facilities for injured and ill veterans—and traveled at her own expense to DAV National Headquarters in Cold Spring, Kentucky, to pick up a new van for the Temple Veterans Hospital. She often volunteers to drive veterans to various appointments, many of whom would be unable to make their appointments without her help.
Dunham initiated a monthly ice cream social for veterans at the William Courtney State Veterans Nursing Home in Temple, Texas. She also started a unit clothing drive to help veterans at local homeless shelters. After seeing the needs of women veterans in her area, she began the first Women Veterans Clothes Closet for transitioning, underemployed and homeless women veterans. This program allows women veterans to receive business attire at no-cost in order to attend job interviews and other events.
“Ms. Dunham has been a go-getter from the very start,” said Timmerman. “She has been a phenomenal recruiter, a fierce veterans advocate in Washington, D.C., and she is always looking for ways to be of service to veterans and their families.”
When Dunham saw the need for DAV Auxiliary units in her local area, she became instrumental in the creation of her current unit. She took the knowledge she gained to help another Texas community create their own unit. For her efforts, she received membership awards from the national organization and the Department of Texas.
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