APRIL 2021
Matthew Kampainen, DAV WI Commander

Forward March!

It is hard to believe how quickly time passes, but many years ago, I served as an enlisted Soldier with the 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles) in the United States Army. I remember being in formation, waiting for the command “Forward March” to be given by the First Sergeant. Then in unison, our right foot would step forward, strike the ground, and together we would move towards our next mission. As your DAV State Commander, I am pleased to announce the command “Forward March” as we together move forward in unison towards the 2021 State Convention!

As of this writing, we are in the middle of 5 District meetings which are occurring throughout the State. The meetings have been successful and a source of inspiration for me! 

This last year, the global pandemic has been devastating to all of us – whether giving our economy a big thump, feeling isolated in quarantine, or having COVID-19 impact the health of ourselves and our loved ones. It has been a year we will never forget.

The pandemic has also impacted the DAV organization on local, State, and National levels. Many Chapters across the State did not meet for months, the 2020 Department Convention and Fall Conference were canceled along with the DAV Centennial National Convention.

There is an old saying, “The Phoenix rises from the ashes.” This saying represents our moving forward into 2021. It is a statement that symbolizes our rebirth and renewal. The past year was devasting; however, we can now take steps toward the new standard, possibly a semi-post pandemic era.

While at the District meetings, I witnessed many smiles, shouts of “How are you doing!” This represents the bond of comradery that is only known from those who have worn boots in service to our beloved Nation. There is now a real hunger and desire to be engaged in fellowship with our fellow DAV members.

While most of us were considered high risk for COVID-19 due to medical issues. A silver lining is we were in the top tier to immediately receive the vaccination. At our State Convention in Green Bay, we will err on the side of caution and utilize the required Center for Disease Control (CDC) protocols. 

I would also like to share that Andy Marshall, DAV National Senior Vice Commander (SVC), will be attending our Convention. It is anticipated that SVC Marshall will be nominated as our next National Commander at the 2021 DAV National Commander. Andy is a combat-disabled Army Veteran of the Vietnam War plus a retired National Service Office Supervisor. 

Having him at our Convention is an indication that Wisconsin continues to be a place of destination for DAV leadership to visit and meet our membership. Wisconsin Chapters and the Department continue to lead the way in engaging with veterans and ensuring that they are treated with dignity and respect. If you want to hang out with the best, come to Wisconsin!

In closing, between now and our State Convention, the tempo level will be incredibly high for many of us. However, after our 2020 State Convention was canceled due to COVID-19, I am extremely grateful for the upcoming Convention. In my next month’s column, I will provide final Convention updates to you.

Remember that together we do make a difference in the lives of veterans! 
2021 DAV State Convention tentative agenda. Read More.
Latest on the DAV/DAVA National Convention move to Tampa. Read More.
COVID-19 Cases and Positivity Rate show uptick in Wisconsin. See Data.
Help your fellow veteran! Become a Chapter Service Officer. Learn More.
Drivers wanted and needed at Milwaukee VA! Learn More.
Support H.R. 912, S. 344, S. 810, H.R. 1972. Take Action.
DAV partners with DWD, WDEC and Vets Chamber on Vets Ready Employer. Read More.
"Ask me about my DAV chapter." Read More.
Clelia Taylor made an outstanding presentation to Committee. Read More.
April LVAP Report. Learn More.
Two down, three to go! Learn More.
Coming Soon! Webinar: The Legislative Resolution Process. See When.
DAV testifies on Comp & Pen, Women Veterans, and legislation. Learn More.
Suicide prevention is a pressing issue in the veteran community. Read More.
Oshkosh Chamber/DAV Chapter 17 host Veteran Employment event. Read More.
The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all. Learn More.
A Must Read! Important information relating to COVID-19. Learn More.
WDVA opening the doors at the Wisconsin Veterans Homes. Read More.

My fellow comrades, things are looking up. Last week our Executive Committee voted to conduct our standard-length Convention. It will be at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay. Committee Meeting will be Thursday afternoon, June 10 beginning at 1:00. Convention will open at 8:00 am on Friday, June 11 and will end with the Banquet Saturday evening, June 12. Our National Service Office will be conducting Chapter Service Officer (CSO) training on Wednesday afternoon, June 9 at 1:00 pm and Thursday, June 10 at 8:00 am. Training will be completed by noon on Thursday. Chapters get your CSO Nomination Forms submitted to Brian Wilson at the National Service Office with copy furnished to State Headquarters. Reminder, Chapter Service Officers must be certified annually.

We met with the Radisson on April 14 and they can accommodate our Convention. All sessions, including Commanders Hospitality and Banquet, must comply with all CDC, Tribal, and Cooperate Guidance relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. They can set all meeting rooms to comply with social distancing, have sanitation stations available, and we must wear mask in the facility. Guest room rates are $95. per night that includes breakfast.

Deirdre Flynn, our Office Manager, mailed to every Chapter on Tuesday, April 13 a packet about the Convention which contains information on registration, rooms, delegates, etc. Should you have questions or need additional information contact us at the headquarters, (920) 338-8620.

One of the most important items of business at the Convention is the nomination, election, and installation of Department Officers. This is normally done annually and any member in good standing is eligible to run for office. The positions are Commander, Senior Vice Commander, and 3 Junior Vice Commander’s, Judge Advocate, and Benefits Protection Team Leader. The future of our Department is dependent on ensuring we have excellent leadership in these positions. As the Adjutant I encourage you to considering running for office.

Our Department is currently doing good, keep up service to our Veterans and remember, any day you help a veteran is a good day! 
Wisconsin DAV Headquarters
1253 Scheuring Road Suite A
De Pere, WI 54115
Phone: 920.338.8620
Fax: 920.338.8621
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