Active-duty military members assigned to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center help deliver supplies to patients as part of the DAV Night Out program.

Donated supplies keep wounded veterans connected during pandemic

DAV donated 50 Samsung Galaxy A tablets, backpacks, pens, travel mugs and key chains to patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C., in late October as part of the DAV Night Out program.

The program traditionally helps injured veterans relax by providing no-cost, biweekly lunches and dinners off hospital grounds for patients and their families.

While dinners have been shut down during most of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DAV has continued by coordinating lunches at the facility and providing donations to keep injured service members and their families connected and morale high. The tablet donation was made possible by Ford Motor Co.

“We’re extremely grateful to Ford for providing us with the funds to continue our program, even when we’ve had to think outside the box during the pandemic,” said Washington Headquarters Executive Director Randy Reese. “The point of the DAV Night Out program is social connection, and while we haven’t been able to provide that in a traditional sense, these tablets will allow wounded veterans to stay connected beyond the hospital walls.”

The program allows its participants an outlet to reconnect with family, make new friends and bond with others who may be going through the same experiences.

“During the pandemic, it’s been very hard to keep spirits lifted and to ensure these service members have a connection with family and friends,” said Army Maj. Rachel Morgans, department chief for the Warrior & Family Coordination Cell. “We hope they will be able to use these devices to contact and keep in touch with their loved ones.”