DAV member and volunteer receives generous fixed income for life, helps fellow veterans
For Jerry Kerkhove, a U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division veteran who served in Vietnam, the decision to fund a charitable gift annuity with the Charitable Service Trust was a wise one.
“I intended to make a larger cash donation, but when I saw the rate of return on a gift annuity, I thought, ‘That is for me,’” said Kerkhove, who is an active DAV volunteer. “Not only could I get a much better return on my money than most other places, but I could also help my fellow veterans. This was a win-win for them and for me.”
Through his gift annuity, Kerkhove receives a generous fixed income for life, largely tax-free. Married couples can ask about two-life rates. Those who itemize can also claim a one-time charitable deduction for a large portion of their gift. In the future, what remains from the annuity becomes a wonderful gift toward veterans programs and services.
Kerkhove’s generosity to DAV extends to his personal time. Since 2015, he has provided rides to more than 1,800 veterans through the DAV Transportation Network and has delivered new vans from DAV National Headquarters to South Dakota. All told, he has logged nearly 3,500 volunteer hours through DAV service programs, generously giving his time out of gratitude and respect.
During the rides, Kerkhove hears touching stories and learns how grateful veterans are to DAV and the Sioux Falls VA Health Care System.
Kerkhove has stories of his own. While serving in the 101st, he was the liaison officer for South Vietnamese soldiers who served as division interpreters. One of his favorite memories of Vietnam was seeing the Bob Hope Christmas Show in Camp Eagle, an area inside the war zone but heavily guarded for the event. He also looks back on the division band often playing “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” by the Animals, what GI’s considered to be their national anthem of South Vietnam.
“I am so thankful I have the time, ability and desire to help my fellow vets,” said Kerkhove. “I never dreamed of how rewarding this would all be. I encourage others to volunteer and to call Judie List Sweeney to learn more about the gift annuity program and how it could be a ‘win-win’ for them too.”
Our charitable gift annuity program is one of many special ways to make a lasting difference in the lives of veterans and, in so doing, “live beyond your years.” You can also check out DAV’s new benefit for members and friends: a no-cost will through Freewill.com/dav.