Every DAV Service Officer is a fellow veteran with service connected medical conditions form military. We have all been there.
The purpose of local chapters in DAV is to provide a local Service Office in every city with veterans so they can get help and information.
DAV Chapter #1 has been here for Washington veterans since 1921 and this Chapter is supported and managed entirely by unpaid volunteers.
Every veteran who joins DAV helps our chapter just by being a member.
The reality we face is that every one of us have medical conditions that limit the time and energy we can continue working, even as volunteers.
This is why we need every DAV member who has the time and energy to put in as little as 4 hours a week;
* Answering phones, questions, postal mail and email,
* Doing outreach and public education appearances,
* Raising money to support our service offices and training.
We all share a military experience and we all hold ourselves accountable for our duty to family and country as well as our responsibility to help each other.
The sad truth.
Most veterans never come looking for help at a veteran organization until they are struggling with financial problems and family issues. Some come in when their health issues become overwhelming.
Usually by the time we see the veteran, he or she has lost a lot of income, resources, family relationships, and sometimes worse than that.
In the past year we have seen more than double the number of homeless veterans with their children living in cars or boxes.
Where is all the help they are supposed to have?
Many of these veterans promise to do anything or give us anything for the help they need. These are heartfelt promises of desperate people and we cannot rely on them.
The DAV mission of free charitable service to any veterans and survivors is genuine. We do not ask for anything in return for service and we cannot accept anything from people we help.
All we can do is what we do, help with claims and refer to other resources and organizations.
There is no instant fix for these problems and hardships, but there is a measure of prevention in outreach and education of veterans. The more veterans we can reach before they lose everything, the more we can help them get on the right path to survival, stability, family support and health care.
Learn to help and help to learn
The number one obstacle is the lack of information available to the veterans looking for help. Many veterans are not even looking for help because they assume they have no problems. Everything is fine until it is not. When the veteran is desperate for help because he or she is unprepared for the unexpected loss of income, family stress and hardship, then they look for help.
On the other hand, the more veterans who join DAV and learn what they need to know about VA benefits, the more veterans we can reach and help.
Our fellow veterans need to know about VA claims, the proof they need to gather and submit and the support we provide as veterans who have been there.
That is it in a nutshell.
Join DAV and learn how to help other veterans, then you can help hundreds of veterans for the rest of your life.
DAV volunteer drivers transport hundreds of veterans with door-to-door service from home to the VA appointments and back again.
Contact our DAV Transportation Coordinator at 253-583-1343 to become a volunteer driver.
DAV employs over 500 veteran men and women across the country and every one of them has wartime service connected VA ratings.
On top of that, hundreds of DAV volunteers donate thousands of hours helping veterans every year.