Fighting on

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Keeping up veterans advocacy amid a pandemic

After a turbulent end to 2020, we are starting the new year—and the 117th Congress—under the continued safety precautions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges, DAV has continued to fight on behalf of America’s veterans in Washington, which sometimes has meant getting creative with our approach during the pandemic.

In 2020, DAV’s National Legislative Department provided testimony for 25 congressional hearings, many of them held virtually, on behalf of our nation’s wartime service-disabled veterans, furthering the organization’s legislative agenda.

We were pleased to see Congress pass several important legislative measures supported by DAV before the end of the 116th Congress, including the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act (Public Law 116-178); Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act (P.L. 116-171); and the Veterans Comprehensive prevention, Access to Care, and Treatment (COMPACT) Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-214)—comprehensive legislation aimed at improving veterans transition assistance services, VA’s mental health and suicide prevention efforts, and treatment and services for women veterans at risk of homelessness.

Sadly, the DAV 2021 Mid-Winter Conference, scheduled for Feb. 21–24, has been canceled due to the pandemic, out of an abundance of caution for the health, safety and well-being of DAV members, families, guests and the general public.

As you know, the annual conference is our premier event focused on DAV’s critical legislative priorities and advocacy efforts. As such, we’ll be providing our members and supporters with web-based advocacy briefings and resources to help maintain the necessary momentum we would have achieved through an in-person event and face-to-face meetings with lawmakers.

As the 117th Congress convenes, we look forward to working with returning and newly elected representatives and the incoming administration to ensure veterans from all generations have their voices heard. Our advocacy began with sharing DAV’s Vision for Veterans policy document, which establishes seven priority issues facing the veteran community, as well as a series of concrete solutions to address them. Visit dav.la/2gt to see the full list of issues.

While we continue to fight on Capitol Hill, we encourage you to stay safe, follow the instructions given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and stay socially connected to your fellow veterans through virtual means.

And sign up for alerts through DAV CAN (Commander’s Action Network) at davcan.org to inform your elected officials about how they can help to keep the promises to America’s veterans and their families.