NEWSLETTER
FEBRUARY 2020
COMMANDER'S CORNER
Michael Hert, DAV Wisconsin Commander

Washington, D.C., or Bust!

DAV 2020 Mid-Winter Conference is upon us and your Department of Wisconsin Leadership team will be walking the hallowed floors of the U.S. Capitol meeting with our federally elected officials. This is truly a “rubber meets the road” type of event. Things will kick off with a legislative update by our DAV Washington Legislative Staff. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain first- hand knowledge regarding the status of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Our Washington DAV Team is led by Randy Reese, Executive Director of DAV’s National Service and Legislative Headquarters. He is astute and insightful regarding congressional matters. This will also provide us an opportunity to review DAV’s Critical Policy Goals for 2020 and if needed, questions can be answered by Staff.

A special highlight for me is the presentation by our National Commander at a Joint Session of the House and Senate Veterans Affair Committees. There are many Veterans groups across the land but only the elite are chartered by Congress. As you are aware, DAV is a congressionally chartered Veterans Service Organization (VSO) that annually provides a presentation to Congress. It’s truly an impressive moment, when you witness a sea of DAV service caps from the Chapter, Department and National level fill the congressional hearing room. The testimony from the National Commander is always riveting and inspirational. Committee members always ask insightful, courtesy and respectful questions of our National Commander and the DAV Washington team. 

With 2020 being our Centennial year, we have a long track record of representing America’s Disabled Veterans.

Upon completion of the DAV Washington Legislative Staff updates, it’s akin to bee’s leaving the hive, we then venture forward to Capitol Hill to visit the Wisconsin Congressional members’ Offices. Through the good efforts of Al Labelle, Wisconsin Benefit Protection Team Leader (BPTL), various appointments are scheduled directly with legislators.

We also make a Legislative Presentation directly with their Staffs on Tuesday morning prior to the National Commander’s testimony. We provide them with DAV’s Critical Policy Goals for 2020. The Critical Goals are:

  • Toxic Exposure
  • Survivor Benefits
  • Implementation of the VA MISSION Act
  • Veterans Mental Health Care
  • Women Veterans

A member of Team DAV Wisconsin will highlight a Policy Goal. An example as an Iraq-Afghanistan Veteran, I’ll discuss legislation regarding the hot topic of burn pits or toxic exposure.

Due to the tireless advocacy efforts of BPTL Al Labelle and our Badger State DAV Members, in a historical first, the Department of Wisconsin is the winner of the 2018-2019 Outstanding Performance in Advocacy (OPA) Award for Division III and Al Labelle is recognized as the top-performing BPTL. This Award will be presented at the Conference in front of our peers during the Sunday afternoon session on Benefits Protection and Legislation.

DAV Wisconsin is quite proud of how we advocate for veterans, whether it is via our Transportation Network, assisting with benefit claims, job fairs, disaster relief and so forth. At Mid-Winter Conference Legislative advocacy is front and center. Together, we make a difference in the lives of veterans by ensuring they lead high quality lives of dignity and respect. “Together Forward!”
2020 DAV MID-WINTER CONFERENCE
DAV Wisconsin will be well represented at Mid-Winter. See Who.
 
BENEFITS
Vocational, Rehabilitation & Employment Benefit Overview.  See Video.
 
TRANSPORTATION
Free Hot Dogs at Milwaukee VA thanks to HSC Davis & DAV.  Learn More.
 
ADVOCACY
H.R. 4985, the Veterans Residential Care Choice Act. Take Action.
MEMBERSHIP
DAV March Madness is back! Learn More.
 
WOMEN VETERANS
Who is a woman veteran?  Find Out. .
 
LOCAL VETERANS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
LVAP Report for February. Learn More.
 
DAV AUXILIARY
It is the lifeblood of the organization. Learn More.
 
DAV TESTIMONY
DAV testifies on military sexual trauma and VA MISSION Act. Learn More.
CENSUS
John Polk: 2020 is the Year of the Census. Learn More.
 
JESSE BROWN AND GEORGE SEAL AWARDS
Reminder: Jesse Brown and George H. Seal Volunteer Nominations are due. Learn More.
 
DISTRICT MEETINGS
2020 District Meetings fast appraching. See Where.
 
WILL LEHNER
DAV Member Will Lehner, a Pearl Harbor Survivor, passes. Learn More.
 
FROM THE DAV DEPARTMENT ADJUTANT
LARRY HILL
Happy to report this month that we had our very first webinar for the Department. Second Junior Vice Commander Greg Palo, our LVAP Coordinator, conducted training on the Local Veteran Assistance Program (LVAP). He did a fantastic job covering the new forms he has developed as an excel spreadsheet. The forms will be used going forward and will make the next LVAP Coordinators job much easier. Training will be offered again to ensure we get more participants. By the way Greg led the way in the Department once again winning the 2019 LVAP award for Division III. Congratulations Greg and thank you to the 444 Volunteers that logged in more than 78,000 hours!

We’ll be at Mid-Winter this time next week. The Department has 13 members attending. We look forward to District meetings beginning next month and sharing with you the latest information and policy positions for the DAV in this the 116 th Congress.

For the Convention this year we’ve been notified that DAV National 1st Junior Vice Commander Andy Marshal will be attending. Andy is also a fellow Adjutant for the Department of Florida. He’s a great guy and has wanted to visit us for a long time. We look forward to him attending and helping us celebrate 100 Years of DAV.

We’ve just completed the update to the District Executive Committee Person (DEC) Handbook and that will be in mail to the DECs shortly. Once you have the book, we’ll schedule a webinar to review and discuss the contents. Our Office Manager did a great job of putting this book together.

Thanks to all who supported BPTL Labelle’s legislative alert. This was a true success and led to the call for stop action due to the number of phone calls that were received by one state legislator. Proves that the Veteran Community collectively does have a powerful voice that is, at times, heard by our Legislators. Keep up the great work! 
Wisconsin DAV Headquarters
1253 Scheuring Road Suite A
De Pere, WI 54115
Phone: 920.338.8620
Fax: 920.338.8621
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