MAY 2020
Michael Hert, DAV Wisconsin Commander

Comradeship Is Our Glue

In the last two months, all of us have experienced new territory in our lives due to COVID-19. The last time the world had a pandemic was in 1918. Our lives changed as we feverishly put sanitizer on our hands, anxiously walked into a grocery store with our face masks on, while properly maintaining our social distance. Also who would of thought toilet paper would be the hot item of the day!

What I discovered as a DAV member and Veteran, I seriously missed the daily contact with my fellow Veterans. As a community, we did an outstanding job of reaching out to each other through text messages, social media, phone calls, etc. We made sure that our fellow Veterans had support and were not alone. 

On a personal level I discovered, I missed the friendly handshake and warm greeting that we give one another whether that be at a Chapter meeting or on the Street. The banter and discussion that occurs among us truly maintains our sanity. As an organization, we take pride in our ability to host careers fairs, deliver disaster relief, advocate for our Veterans and provide a dynamic transportation network. I came to realize through this experience, our comradery is the glue that holds all of it together. It is the fellowship, caring, and compassionate bearing which is the key to our organization’s success. It’s a powerful mix and I’m so happy to be a part of it. In the meantime, I truly miss everybody and hope we can see each other soon!

Lastly, I compose this article with mixed emotions as this will be my last writing as your Department Commander. As the Good Book says, “To everything there is a season”. For the last two years, I’ve had the honor and pleasure to serve as your Commander. Due to the COVID-19 situation, our 2020 DAV Department Convention was cancelled. As you are aware, during the Convention, elections would have been held and Department leadership positions would have changed. However due to COVID-19, it was indicated if a State Convention is cancelled, the current leadership team would be maintained until the 2021 State Convention. I’ve have decided to step down as of 15 JUN 2020. This would have been the same timeline as if our Convention had been held. I cannot in good conscience be the Commander for a third year as there is an incredible group of highly competent leaders behind me that are ready to go.

The past two years have been just a phenomenal experience for me but it’s time for our new Leaders to take the organization to the next level. Again, thank you so much for your trust and faith. God Bless and remember “Together Forward”.
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This pandemic has really brought activity to a halt. No Chapter or District meetings and now no Convention. This is really impacting the services we provide to Veterans. Be patient and we’ll get through this and back to the services we have always provided.

Our Headquarters in De Pere is still closed. Deirdre continues to work from home, except checking snail mail once a week and accomplishing bookkeeping tasks. 

We have announced the Commander’s appointment of John Willman, Jr. from Chapter 31 as our new Third Junior Vice effective 1 May. The appointment has been approved by the Department Executive Committee (DEC). The appointment was made due to the resignation of Darell Hainline effective 27 April.

Our Judge Advocate Stan Panek has just resigned due to family matters. Stan performed admirably during his period of service. His advice and assistance will be missed. Commander Hert will now be required to make a nomination for Stan’s replacement subject to approval of the DEC.

Our Fall Conference is still a go. Conference is once again in Stevens Point on October 14-17. Focus of the Conference normally is Training. This year we may make adjustment since we cancelled the Convention. We still have our normal awards and recognition to be presented for 2019 – 2020.

Chapter Service Fees are still required to be submitted. The fees support much more than the Convention and are required by the State Constitution & Bylaws (CB&L).

Our Finance Committee has met and approved a recommended Budget for next year (1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021). The next step is providing the DEC with that information for comment and then approval in June.

Please keep in mind even though there is no Stay Safe at Home requirement, I encourage everyone to stay safe and healthy. We do have an aging membership that is highly susceptible and can still be infected.

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