Global Voice for Veterans DAV ~ 9/11

Veterans and the DAV

U.S.A.

Set up for Veterans and those who still serve.

VA

Serving those who serve
and have served.

D A V

Disabled American
Veterans

REBA JOINS FORCES WITH DAV TO THANK VETS

President Obama Speaks at DAV

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Secretary tells veterans' group there is no substitute for the VA
Speech to DAV touts accomplishments, outlines challenges ahead

Somedays, the Department of Veterans Affairs catches more criticism than any other federal agency.

That was not the case Saturday in a packed ballroom at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. The national convention of Disabled American Veterans greeted VA Secretary Robert McDonald with a standing ovation and applauded his remarks.

He took the opportunity to defend the department against congressional critics, including those who have talked about privatizing the VA, and to tout its accomplishments.

The research arm of the VA, he said, performed the first liver transplant and invented the shingles vaccine. The department is the largest employer of nurses in the nation and boasts the lowest foreclosure rate on the home loans it guarantees.

"There is no substitute for the VA," he said. "Veterans need the VA. Americans need the VA."

The DAV crowd applauded when McDonald said the number of veterans awaiting benefit decisions had been cut in two years from 611,000 to slightly more than 100,000, a task accomplished partly with mandatory overtime.

The audience also applauded his promise to end veteran homelessness. "We're not going to rest," he said, "until every veteran has a roof over their head every night."

McDonald also spoke of challenges lying ahead.

While the numbers of veterans are declining, demands for VA medical care are not.

McDonald attributed that to several factors: The veteran population is aging and needs more medical care. More than a decade of war and higher survival rates from severe injuries have yielded a younger group of veterans with complicated health problems. And the federal government has decided, after decades of debate, to treat Agent Orange exposure as a possible cause of many diseases, including cancers.

In addition, "we know we still have too many veterans waiting for care," he said.

McDonald's speech set the stage for another convention event Monday, when he will face House Veterans' Affairs Committee chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., a leading critic of VA scandals and construction problems, for a panel discussion.

One likely topic: the half-finished VA hospital in Aurora, which began with a $604 million construction budget in December 2011 and busted that budget by a billion dollars.

The secretary barely mentioned that project during his speech.

But in a media briefing afterward, he said he feared "if we don't get something solid" from Congress to complete construction, its opening will be delayed further.

"Nationally, this is a huge issue," he said. "It would be lunacy to not finish the hospital."

While the VA and Congress have yet to agree on a financing plan, McDonald expressed confidence that they will.

"I don't know of a single member of Congress who wants to punish a veteran," he said.

David Olinger: 303-954-1498

 

 

 

 

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DAV Members Set Their Course

DAV Members Set Their Course

During a meeting at our annual convention, our own members decided the DAV’s goals for the year ahead. While there, National Commander Joseph Johnston, left, introduced new VA head Robert McDonald.

Spotlight

Vet of the Year: “Saved for a Purpose”

Roger FerlandDAV named Roger Ferland its Outstanding Disabled Veteran of 2014. The lawyer, who set up free legal clinics for veterans, has a wonderful sense of humor, says his daughter, and is “really, really good at coping with setbacks.”

You too help your brother and sister veterans cope with setbacks through your membership in DAV.

Help Support DAV

You can make a difference in the lives of our nation’s injured veterans!

Claims Assistance

Need help filing your VA claims? Turn to your local DAV office.

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Join your fellow wounded veterans and become a member of DAV today.

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DAV Auxiliary

Anyone can support the families of our heroes. Learn about DAVA today!

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MORE NEWS FROM DAV

DAV 5K

DAV 5K Registration Now Open!

The DAV 5K will be held in two cities over Veterans Day weekend in 2014. Join us in Cincinnati or San Diego for this exciting event that raises critical funds for ill and injured veterans. Learn more at www.dav5k.org!

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DAV responds to the recent passage of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, calling it a welcome first step in restoring the confidence and capacity of the VA to properly care for veterans.

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When DAV members heard a veteran’s mobility issues confined him to his basement, they stepped in to install a donated chair lift. Now the veteran can safely get upstairs to dine with his wife.

Shirley Kosisky

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Shirley Kosisky co-founded Transitional Living Communities, a program for homeless veterans and their families, and has combatted drug abuse in her state. Shirley was recently named the DAV Auxiliary’s Outstanding Member of the Year.

Triathlon Raises 40K for DAV

Triathlon Raises 40K for DAV

Swimming, running, and biking athletes in the Willow Creek Triathlon raised $40,139 to provide another kind of transportation for our fellow veterans: DAV’s free rides to their medical appointments.

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In its series Unbroken Soldiers, the INSP cable network, in collaboration with DAV, has begun airing veterans’ inspiring stories about their road to recovery.

The Cost of Independence

Patriot Day, September 11

As we observed Patriot Day on 9/11, we remembered that ours is not a world at peace. As you well know, those reminders are a daily fact of life for veterans hurt in conflicts, both recent and long-ago.

But you provide the help your fellow veterans need every day through your DAV membership.