NEWSLETTER
JANUARY 2021
COMMANDER'S CORNER
Matthew Kampainen, DAV WI Commander

"We had a common experience which bound us together, and we ought to continue through an organization of our own...an organization of us, by us and for us…" Robert S. Marx, Founding DAV Commander

The above quote from our Founding Commander, Judge Robert Marx, helps keep me grounded and focused as we enter 2021. What can I say about 2020 that has already been covered by others? The past year was turbulent and was beyond the norm. We witnessed a horrific global pandemic, which as of this writing, over 389,000 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in the United States. We experienced a tense election, civil unrest, and natural catastrophes such as wildfires, tornados, hurricanes. 

Our basic existence has changed as we are now engaged in social distancing, wearing masks. No longer does one smell cologne in the air; instead, it is hand sanitizer! We also had a unique piece of insanity as we had a critical shortage of toilet paper, who would have thought. 

Regarding DAV, due to safety concerns, we saw the cancellation of State and National Conventions, plus many of our Chapter meetings had to be put on hold. I cannot deny a sense of sheer excitement as I put a new calendar on the wall and flipped the page to January 2021.

As Commander Marx indicated in the above quote, the importance of our work is critical to ensuring that America's promise to the men and women who served is kept. When we gather as an organization, whether at a Chapter, Department, or National level, our work has a life-changing impact on America's disabled veterans. Our presence ensures that veterans will live a life of dignity and respect. DAV is genuinely an agent of change on the American landscape, especially in the Badger State.

As an old Army Infantry Soldier, whether in a Field Training Exercise or a Combat Mission, sometimes we experience a "tactical pause." This would occur when an unknown factor emerged, and as leaders, we had to stand back, take a breath, reassess the situation, obtain new intelligence, gather as a Unit, put out a new plan, then move forward to the objective.

I suspect for many of us; our Chapter meetings could potentially be in the tactical pause mode due to COVID-19. This is understandable as many of our members are probably medically high risk for the virus.

The good news story for 2021 is the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. "Operation Warp Speed" is truly a fantastic story, as we witnessed a partnership between the government and private sector that pulled together a vaccine within a year. Only in America!

A silver lining for the DAV community is that many of our members may fall under the high-risk medical category and are potentially able to receive the vaccine immediately. I would encourage leadership within the Chapters to assess their situation and possibly develop a timetable for when they might be able to meet again. I would encourage that you contact your County Health Department for guidance plus use CDC best practices, if you gather, such as face masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing. I recognize each Chapter is unique and different. Some may be able to gather sooner while some maybe later. Again, much is dependent upon vaccine distribution.

In closing, I appreciate all that you have done for DAV and our veterans during this last year. Despite the hardships that have occurred, many of you still have attempted to carry out the mission. I am truly humbled and honored to be your Commander, as you are an incredible group of people that hold tight to the message of our Founders.
DAV STATEMENT
DAV Statement on Capitol Attack. Learn More.
2019-2020 YEAR IN REVIEW
100 years of assisting and advocating for veterans of all generations. Learn More.
COVID-19 SUMMARY
COVID-19 update in VA, WI VAMCs, in state and nation. Learn More.
BENEFITS
Chapter Service Officer Certification Program during COVID-19. Learn More.
TRANSPORTATION
DAV Wisconsin Transportation Program Update. Learn More.
BENEFITS PROTECTION LEADER (BPTL)
BPTL Webinar: Advocacy in a Virtual Environment. Learn More.
EMPLOYMENT
Veterans Employment Assistance from DAV. Learn More.
MEMBERSHIP
2020-2021 Membership Program. Learn More.
WOMEN VETERANS
Women Veterans Committee January Report. Learn More.
LOCAL VETERANS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
January LVAP Report. Learn More.
DAV AUXILIARY
New Year, New Beginnings. Learn More.
OUTSTANDING DISABLED VETERANS OF THE YEAR
Outstanding Disabled Veterans of the Year - Rules and Form. Learn More.
DAV WISCONSIN YOUTH AWARD
2020-2021 Youth Award Program. Learn More.
OUTSTANDING CHAPTER OF THE YEAR
Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award - Rules. Learn More.
OUTSTANDING ADJUTANT OF THE YEAR
Ridgley Outstanding Chapter Adjutant of the Year - Rules. Learn More.
JESSE BROWN MEMORIAL YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP
Youth Volunteers are eligible for a $20,000 scholarship! Learn More.
DAV CHARITABLE SERVICE TRUST
DAV Charitable Service Trust receives 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Learn More.
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS - COVID-19
COVID-19 Vaccine Plans for Milwaukee, Tomah, and Madison VAMCs. Learn More.
FROM THE DAV DEPARTMENT ADJUTANT LARRY HILL

Well Comrades, here we are at the start of another year. Let us hope this year is far better than 2020.

We are planning to have District meetings this year and have recommended late March and April. Once again, they need to be on separate weekends so we can have the same personnel attending each session to deliver a consistent message.  Deputy Adjutant Stan Kogutkiewicz is coordinating with the District Executive Committeepersons. As soon as they are scheduled, we will notify members.

We are also moving forward in planning for our Convention in Green Bay. The dates are June 10 – 12. By then our members should be vaccinated and COVID may not be an issue for us. Should it persist we can cancel both District Meetings and Convention.

Reminder, it is time to get your candidates for the George W. Seal Memorial Award and Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship submitted. DAV National has provided guidance that was forwarded to you last month. We also need to be looking to submit , as part of the National Commander’s Awards, Employer awards. The Department’s Youth Awards are also in the window for submission. The rules can be found elsewhere in this Newsletter. Let us ensure that those young folks deserving of the award are recognized.

We are in the last year of our contracts for where the Convention and Fall Conference is held. We will be addressing this matter during the January Department Phone Conference and will let everyone know of the decision for future locations.

We finally got all Annual Financial Reports in and next are the IRS Form 990s.  This has been a painful year for these two mandatory reports being submitted in a timely manner. For those Chapters late in submitting, you need to place more emphasis on these mandates next year and get started earlier. If you need help with either report just ask and we will assist. The lead in ensuring the reports is done is Deputy Treasurer Rodney Kalata, who stands ready to assist and will be tracking submissions.

With the recent activity in of our Nation’s Capitol, I think we need to keep in mind that as veterans we have all taken an oath to support and defend our constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

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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