Despite gray clouds and downpours, hundreds of American patriots gathered at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day to honor all who have served and sacrificed for this great nation.
DAV leaders took part in an observance at the cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater, where National Commander Joe Parsetich and his wife, Meg, later laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“To the men and women who have worn our nation’s uniform, you have my ultimate respect and utmost appreciation,” said Parsetich. “The everyday parts of American life many take for granted would not be possible without your service and sacrifice.”
The holiday weekend featured spirited messages of hope and gratitude to those who have defended our nation. Committed companies also stepped up to provide critical funds to DAV programs.
The day before Veterans Day, DAV hosted a job fair at FedExField—home to the NFL’s Washington Commanders—just outside Washington, D.C. Over 90 companies attended the event, with job openings for diesel mechanics, law enforcement, information technology and more.
Over 260,000 job offers have been extended to job fair attendees over the past eight years.
Also, it wouldn’t be a Sunday in November without football. On Nov. 13, DAV was honored during the New York Giants’ Salute to Service game. DAV benefits advocates Christian Cluff and Michelle Rangel took part in the game’s official coin toss in the matchup against the Houston Texans. Danny Soto and Judy Russell—both DAV national service officers—helped present a $10,000 check from Tri-State Ford Dealers to DAV.
The Giants also called attention to Earl Granville, a DAV member and disabled Army veteran who lost his left leg in an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan in 2008.
All five met famed former Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Salute to Service is the NFL’s year-round celebration of the military and veterans.
But football players weren’t the only professional athletes joining DAV forces.
UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fighters climbed into the Octagon at Madison Square Garden in New York for UFC 281. While the mixed martial arts competitors had their sights set on winning, they made sure to thank veterans in DAV video messages that aired on ESPN.
“I want to take the time to thank every man and woman out there that is currently serving our country or has served our country,” said Dustin “The Diamond” Poirer, who won a thrilling fight via submission on the card. “Land of the free, and it’s because of you.”
Generous corporate partners also helped boost veterans’ well-being by raising funds for DAV.
EG America, a fast-growing convenience store retailer, encouraged its customers throughout November to donate when checking out at any of its 1,700 locations nationwide. This year, the point-of-sales campaign raised nearly $650,000. EG America campaigns have raised nearly $3 million for DAV since the partnership began in 2019.
Other companies running donation campaigns that benefit DAV include Trulieve, a leading cannabis company with operations in 11 states and key market positions in Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Throughout 2022, customers and patients were encouraged to round up their purchases, with proceeds going to DAV. The purchase round-ups and Trulieve financial contributions culminated in a $93,596 donation.
“We are fortunate to have such dedicated corporate partners who make supporting DAV’s mission part of theirs,” said National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “By providing funds to DAV, their continued support means veterans and their families will not be left behind.”
Companies seeking to partner with DAV should reach out to [email protected].