Advancing advocacy amid uncertainty

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DAV honors advocates, provides online legislative resources aimed at achieving critical policy goals during pandemic

The State Commanders and Adjutants Association’s annual mid-winter conference is DAV’s premier event focused on legislative priorities and advocacy efforts. Despite its cancellation this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s members and supporters were provided with various online tools and resources to help maintain the necessary momentum that would have been achieved through an in-person event.

In February, DAV’s national legislative team posted a series of videos on that laid out the organization’s critical policy goals for the 117th Congress and provided tips for Benefits Protection Team leaders on how to increase the efficacy of members’ and supporters’ advocacy efforts.

These legislative policy goals include ensuring veterans who were exposed to toxic substances—such as burn pits, Agent Orange and other known hazards—receive full and timely benefits; protecting veterans in the claims and appeals process; further enhancing survivor benefits; building a veterans health care system for the future; eliminating health disparities and improving services for women, minority and underserved veterans; and improving mental health services and suicide prevention efforts for veterans.

“DAV has always stood at the forefront of legislative victories for America’s veterans, and we look forward to working with congressional leaders to continue doing the same in the 117th Congress,” said National Legislative Director Joy Ilem. “We hope the tools and resources we made available online will help our members in achieving these goals on behalf of their brothers- and sisters-in-arms.”

DAV honored the top 5 performing DAV departments and department Benefits Protection Team leaders for their legislative advocacy efforts and achievements on behalf of veterans with the organization’s annual Outstanding Performance in Advocacy awards. DAV also provided special recognition awards for congressional and federal executive leadership.

“The recipients of this year’s advocacy awards have illustrated an unmatched commitment to fighting for the best interests of veterans and their families,” said National Commander Butch Whitehead. “Veterans are a nonpartisan issue, and these honorees worked tirelessly to ensure our nation keeps its promises to our nation’s heroes.”


Learn more

Legislative advocacy resources and videos of the Outstanding Performance in Advocacy award presentations can be found at