ORLANDO, Fla.—Vietnam War veteran and Great Falls, Montana, native Joe Parsetich was unanimously elected national commander of the more than 1 million-member DAV (Disabled American Veterans) today at the organization’s 100th National Convention in Orlando, Florida.
“I want to thank all of you for the opportunity to serve alongside you in the important mission that we share,” said Parsetich. “But foremost, I want you to understand how humbled I am by this opportunity and how hard I will work to honor your service and contribute to the good fight we wage for justice.”
Parsetich served as mentor coordinator and mentor for the Veterans Treatment Court of the 8th Judicial District of Cascade County, Montana, and more than 50 of his veterans graduated from the 18-month program and successfully reintegrated back into society. In 2017, he was appointed by then-Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David Shulkin to serve on the Veterans’ Rural Health Advisory Committee. He also previously served as a board member for the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in Great Falls, served on the board of the Cascade County Suicide Prevention Team and was a member of the Veterans Advisory Council for the Great Falls Vet Center. Additionally, he has volunteered as a driver for the DAV Transportation Network and as a member of the military funeral honor guard in his hometown.
“We honor the sacrifices of our bravest when we give our time and talents to improve the lives of their brothers, sisters and survivors,” said Parsetich. “Whether that is through our legislative efforts, volunteerism or benefits advocacy, our organization will give us the opportunity to forever change lives for the people we represent and their families.”
Parsetich enlisted in the Air Force in 1968 and requested assignment to Vietnam, where he was stationed with the 377th Security Police Squadron at Tan Son Nhut Air Base until 1969. He was honorably discharged in 1972.
“Commander Parsetich has earned the respect of his fellow veterans at DAV through years of dedicated service,” said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “He’s nationally revered for his contributions to our cause and will help us tremendously as our community recovers from the pandemic and faces our critical legislative priorities.”
Photos and media of his election and acceptance speech are available upon request.
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: keeping our promise to America’s veterans. 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 nonprofit organization with more than 1 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at DAV.org.