Matthew Kampainen, DAV WI Commander
Thank you to all who supported me!
Hello, DAV Wisconsin!
This past year has been an interesting one, with so many things going on in the country and worldwide. But for DAV Wisconsin, we have been moving forward with the progress of getting back to the flow of continuing our mission. We are keeping up an excellent job of helping Veterans and fighting for Veterans’ rights in Madison and Washington D.C. I have had the opportunity to testify in the Assembly and the Senate side in Madison on the Tax Credit bill. I have also met with State Assembly members and State Senators to discuss veteran bills that the DAV would like to see them support.
During DAV Mid-Winter, I was also able to meet with U.S. Senators and U.S. Congress Representatives with other DAV representatives to discuss DAV-supported bills we would like the Congress to pass into law. This is something I take pride in because, as I have said in the past, “If it were not for the Veterans of our past, we would not have the benefits we have today, and it is our job to make sure future Veterans have better benefits than we have today.”
DAV National Commander Andy Marshall appointed me to the National Interim Membership Committee, and I have to say it has been a fantastic experience. Every day I learn something new about DAV and how to help other Veterans join and learn about the great things that the DAV does. We are brainstorming on different ways to help chapters and members recruit and have better resources to use to tell other Veterans what the DAV does not only for Veterans but in the community.
As commander, I have traveled the state, visited chapters and hospitals. As some facilities open up, I met with the medical directors and toured their facilities. I was able to tour Madison and Tomah, and they hold a high standard of VA care. The DAV National Commander and Adjutant toured Tomah VA Hospital with me, Senior Vice Commander Rob Hilliard, Adjutant Larry Hill, and Past National Commander (PNC) Dick Marbes. National Commander Marshall and National Adjutant Marc Burgess gave Tomah VA Hospital high praises. I visited Madison VA Hospital, and I understand how they have a five-star rating. The director there shows that he puts Veteran care above all.
As my term as Commander comes to an end, I have to say it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Commander. I have met so many new people and built many friendships on this journey. We have been trying to put things in place to help the chapters and members of the department, and one of those things is the new member Welcome Brochure that will be hand out to each chapter commander or adjutant at the State Convention. A digital copy will be sent to all chapters, so they will have the ability to print out them for new members. This is to help chapters orientate new members to DAV Wisconsin.
We have also started a monthly training webinar on subjects that were requested at Fall Conference. They are posted on the department website at https://dav-wi.org/activities/webinars/ for you to watch and learn about different subjects or positions inside your chapter. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
Thank you to everyone that has been a supporter, guide, and advisor to me. Everything we have accomplished has been due to the fantastic people in the DAV and my life. My children have not only been supportive of me moving up in the DAV ladder but have also volunteered as often as possible to be a part of the DAV. The DAV has become my family, and as someone who has lost so many for different reasons, this new family means the world to me and has given me a purpose once again. Thank you to all who have supported me.