More than 650 DAV volunteers around the country went into their towns and neighborhoods to help veterans in need and to raise awareness of veterans’ issues during the inaugural DAV Community Impact Day, April 6.

Service projects included a yard and garden cleanup in St. Paul, Minnesota; a food drive in Bluff City, Tennessee; and visits to veterans in senior care facilities in the Orlando, Florida, area, just to name a few.

“Seeing the passion and care displayed by our members and volunteers is heartwarming,” said DAV Voluntary Services Director John Kleindienst. “I couldn’t be more pleased by the response to our first DAV Community Impact Day and the creative ways people donated their time and energy to help veterans.”

People who want to get involved with volunteering for veterans through DAV don’t have to be members, and there are regular opportunities throughout the year. More information can be found at


Volunteers showed ‘thank you for your service’ is more than words; it’s action

DAV Auxiliary National Adjutant Bunny Clos (left) and Assistant National Adjutant Ann Glende (right) distributed cookies made by local bakery Fox and Flour Creations to veterans in their Alexandria, Kentucky, neighborhood. “It was very heartwarming,” said Clos. “It really makes what we do rewarding, and the veterans really appreciated it.”

Army veteran Anthony Prince with Chapter 55 in Porterdale, Georgia, cleaned veterans’ grave markers at Lawnwood Memorial Park in Covington. Prince’s father, Stacey, a Marine Corps veteran, is buried there.

DAV members of Chapter 132 in West Liberty, Kentucky, and volunteers helped level bricks and clean up the memorial dedicated to women in the military at Tredway Memorial Park.

Air Force veteran and DAV Department of New York Senior Vice Commander Shannon Sander (center, holding service dog) visited Navy veteran Grace Moran on her 100th birthday. Sander and others from Chapter 15 in Rochester, New York, also helped at the minor league baseball Rochester Red Wings opening day, sharing information about DAV with attendees.

Ten DAV volunteers around the St. Paul, Minnesota, region helped Hazel Lewis, the spouse of a disabled veteran, by cleaning up the yard, spreading mulch, repairing garden edging and fixing exterior railings around the Lewis’ home.

Army Veteran Kenny Belew, adjutant for Chapter 39 in Bristol, Tennessee, along with eight other volunteers, collected 1,054 pounds of food donations at supermarkets around the Bluff City area for their chapter’s food pantry.

Members of Chapter 16 in Longwood, Florida, including Army veteran Reginia Johnson (left) and Air Force veteran Jeremy Lam (right) visited veterans at senior living facilities around the Orlando area.  They also brought care packages, information about veterans benefits and DAV Magazines. For veterans over 80, they helped sign them up for free DAV memberships.

Air Force veteran and DAV member Gerald Bloss of Chapter 2 in Chesapeake, West Virginia, along with six other volunteers installed new flagpoles and pressure-washed the concrete of the veterans memorial at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds in Proctorville, Ohio. “I look at it now, and I’m in awe that something like that is in my community,” Bloss said.