The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) charity dedicated to building better lives for Americaís disabled veterans and their families.
The DAV was founded in 1920 by disabled veterans returning from World War I to represent their unique interests. In 1932, the DAV was congressionally chartered as the official voice of the nationís wartime disabled veterans.
With our brave Americans leaving the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the DAVís services and advocacy are as relevant and critical today as in any time in our nationís history.
The DAVís Voluntary Services Program operates a comprehensive network of volunteers who provide veterans free rides to and from VA medical facilities and improve care and morale for sick and disabled veterans.
The DAVís 1.2 million members provide grassroots advocacy and services in communities nationwide. From educating lawmakers and the public about important issues to supporting services and legislation to help disabled veterans ó the DAV is there to promote its message of hope to all who have served and sacrificed.
Disabled American Veterans has never wavered in our commitment to serve our nationís service-connected disabled veterans, their dependents and survivors. Our largest endeavor in fulfilling that mission is our National Service Program. In 88 offices throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico, the DAV employs a corps of approximately 260 National Service Officers (NSOs) who represent veterans and their families with claims for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Defense and other government agencies. Veterans need not be DAV members to take advantage of this outstanding assistance, which is provided free of charge.
NSOs function as attorneys-in-fact, assisting veterans and their families in filing claims for VA disability compensation and pension; vocational rehabilitation and employment; education; home loan guaranty; life insurance; death benefits; health care and much more. They provide free services, such as information seminars, counseling and community outreach. NSOs also represent veterans and active duty military personnel before Discharge Review Boards, Boards for Correction of Military Records, Physical Evaluation Boards and other official panels.
Transition Service Officers (TSOs) conduct or participate in pre-discharge transition assistance briefings, the Disability Transition Assistance Program (DTAP), the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), review service treatment records, and confer with Department of Defense and Department of Labor facilitators and other participants in the discharge process. The TSO program also allows DAV to assist service members in the development of evidence, completion of required applications and prosecution of claims for veterans benefits administered under federal, state and local laws.
The first time the DAV members ever sold the little, blue Forget-Me-Nots to the public was on February 24, 1926. The first Forget-Me-Not drive was held to raise funds to support DAV services and assistance desperately needed by veterans disabled in World War I.
The idea of selling the little blue flowers came from an image carried home in the memories of soldiers from the First World War who had seen spring flowers growing on the graves of comrades and allies killed in the fighting.
After World War I, the flower became the accepted symbol for commemorating those who had fallen in the war. Many felt the best way to honor the dead was to assist those who came home bearing the scars of war.
For more than 80 years, this small blue flower of remembrance has been the staple of Chapter-level fundraising to support DAV assistance to local disabled veterans.
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