Michael Hert, DAV Wisconsin Commander

We continue to live out the Mission

“Each of you bears upon his body the permanent honorable scars of dangerous service: service rendered in order that our great nation might continue to live according to the expressed will of its own citizens” Dwight D. Eisenhower

The above quote by Dwight Eisenhower, United States President and Supreme Allied Commander World War Two, is inscribed upon the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington D.C. These powerful words by President Eisenhower regarding the Nation’s Disabled American Veterans, remain relevant today. As we now enter the year 2020, we honor and celebrate the 100-year anniversary for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), we must never lose sight of our mission. That mission is to empower Veterans to lead high-quality lives with dignity and respect.

Our strength is the recognition of the incredible and selfless service of our Veterans. I assume over the last 100 years there were a few organizations that claimed to be of service to America’s Veterans yet eventually fell to the wayside. DAV it should be noted maintained a laser focus on the Veterans community and for decade after decade, stood alongside America’s warriors ensuring our Nations promise was kept to them and their families.

In the State of Wisconsin, DAV continues to live out the mission put forward by our forebears 100 years ago. For the reader, I would like to share some superb examples:

  • At the upcoming February 2020 DAV Mid-Winter Conference held in Washington D.C. the Department of Wisconsin is the winner of the Outstanding Performance in Advocacy (OPA) Award for Division III and our very own Al Labelle, will be recognized as the top-performing Benefits Protection Team Leader (BPTL).

  • The Department of Wisconsin is to receive back to back Division III, Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP) Awards at the 2020 National Convention in Dallas Texas. In the last calendar year, our members provided 78,692 hours of service to Badger State Veterans. Through the tenacity and vision of Greg Palo, Second Junior Vice Commander, he brought us in to new territory with receiving two years straight the Division III LVAP award. This is an incredible testimony to the dedication, fortitude and compassion of our Wisconsin DAV members and Auxiliary.

  • Our DAV Transportation Network ensures that Veterans are able to attend their medical appointments at VA facilities. Under the leadership of Transportation Coordinators, Richard “Dick” Marbes and Patty Davis, they ensure the wheels of the transportation vans keep rolling! We have 43 vans in our fleet. In 2018 alone, we transported 37,663 Veterans to their appointments while traveling 1,040,718 miles across the scenic State of Wisconsin. Again, it’s that commitment to safeguard Veterans being able to lead lives of dignity and respect.

  • Our membership continues to thrive throughout our Chapters. Under the dynamic leadership of Matt Kempainen, Senior Vice Commander, we have 231 brand new members within our ranks and the membership year is far from over. Veterans realize the impact that DAV has from a personal, legislative and community perspective.

  • Our Chapters have identified members that have gone through intense Chapter Service Officer (CSO) training provided by Brian Wilson, National Service Officer (NSO) Supervisor from the Milwaukee office. These CSOs are able to start initial paperwork for a claim and then connect the Veteran with the NSO team. In the last year over 200 claims have been started with the assistance of CSOs that are voluntarily working the field. Another great example of commitment to the DAV mission.

In closing, I’m pumped and excited as we enter the year 2020. As DAV members this is a time of reflection, celebration and commitment. As we pledge ourselves to be of service to our fellow Veterans. Remember “Together Forward”! God Bless to All.
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Comrades as the New Year begins, it’s also time to resolve once again our commitment to assisting veterans. In the past we have accomplished much. I look forward to serving you and having an exceptional year.  

Mid-Winter is rapidly approaching and once again looks like we’ll be well represented at this significant event. If attending, make sure you notify the headquarters along with who is your congressional representative.
In March we begin our District meetings. We need from each District the date of your meeting, location, and meal arrangements. Once again, each District needs to meet on different dates so that we can have our same staff members present for each meeting.

To assist you we will be sending out an Order of Business that you can adopt and tailor to meet your needs. Also, to be included, Parliamentary Procedures for your use. Plan on your meeting to be three – four hours. I feel it’s essential that we share the latest information from Mid-Winter, allow time for discussion, and take care of Department business. A reminder, this year is an even number year. Districts Two and Four will need to hold elections for those positions listed in the Department Constitution and Bylaws.

We encourage maximum attendance from Chapter’s and their members so we can have an informed membership and their input is heard by the Department staff.

Planning is under way for our convention June 11 – 14 in Green Bay. In addition to our normal business we will be celebrating the 100 th year of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). We’re planning on having a great event and would like maximum attendance to take care of business and help us celebrate.

We’re in process of updating the District Executive Committee Person Handbook. Plans are to provide this Handbook to the DEC’s at the District Meetings.

Have a great month and if you see how we can improve service to you let us know at the Headquarters.  WE need to continuously look for ways to improve in 2020 and beyond. 

Wisconsin DAV Headquarters
1253 Scheuring Road Suite A
De Pere, WI 54115
Phone: 920.338.8620
Fax: 920.338.8621
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